Worth a gamble or not?

Worth a gamble or not?

Author
Discussion

yonex

Original Poster:

15,082 posts

113 months

Saturday 22nd April 2017
quotequote all
Hi,

I have been offered a 1996 500 Griff, BRG. This car was owned by a friend who sadly passed away last year. He spent a lot of money on it over the years. New Chassis, respray, hood, wheels, brakes etc.

The problem is the engine has seized. A specialist has offered fairly strong cash but I am keen to buy. It could be a dropped liner, a crank, no idea.

How difficult are the V8's to work on? It'll need a cam but I want to be sure what i'm getting into? How bad could this be?

ClassicChimaera

9,366 posts

94 months

Saturday 22nd April 2017
quotequote all
Worst case senario cracked block or pourus so requiring new block.
This all hinges on what your paying for the car!
If your getting it 5-10 k lower than a good one sells for then your quids in because you could get a rebuilt Tvr engine for around 6 k I think.

Contact the various Tvr engine builders, start at Powers Performance and you'll soon know what an engine costs,,,

Seized, not good at all, you might need a new crank or the block can warp, loads of things. If the heads on yours are ok then that's a very good start, a short block will be considerably less.

What's the chassis like?
Sounds like a good car, do you have any information on how or why the engine seized.

ClassicChimaera

9,366 posts

94 months

Saturday 22nd April 2017
quotequote all
If a known dealer had offered strong money that's a very encouraging sign.
RV engines are simple to work on if you know how to rebuild engines, plenty of info on these old Rover lumps so no reason why a competent mechanical type with a few books and tech data at hand couldn't successfully build one. smile


andy43

6,231 posts

199 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
Any tidy Griff is 20-25k now, potentially more with a replacement chassis, new paint and a new engine.
New better-than-TVR-spec V8D engine - maybe 5-8k?
I'd say do it if it's cheap - chassis and respray are possibly big plus points that more than offset needing a new engine if the price is right.

andy43

6,231 posts

199 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
yonex said:
. It's available for £13K,
Given what you've said about the rest of the car I'd go for it at that price smile

Edited by andy43 on Sunday 23 April 11:03

yonex

Original Poster:

15,082 posts

113 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
If I remember rightly he told me years back that he'd spent money on the chassis work, he was in love with the car and like most of us would throw any amount to fix it! The only negative, apart from the engine, is the rear lights. He'd had them converted to more modern versions, I don't like them personally.

Edited by yonex on Thursday 4th May 20:36

Precat

265 posts

170 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
yonex said:
Hi,

I have been offered a 1996 500 Griff, BRG. This car was owned by a friend who sadly passed away last year. He spent a lot of money on it over the years. New Chassis, respray, hood, wheels, brakes etc.

The problem is the engine has seized. A specialist has offered fairly strong cash but I am keen to buy. It could be a dropped liner, a crank, no idea.

How difficult are the V8's to work on? It'll need a cam but I want to be sure what i'm getting into? How bad could this be?
Hi Yonex
I was in a similar position in the past and decided to buy the car in question. It cost more to fix and took longer than planned.
Based on my experience, I would say only buy the Griffith if it is something you actually wanted before your friend passed away. Leave the gambling to the professionals - the car dealers.

GlynMo

1,125 posts

194 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
andy43 said:
yonex said:
. It's available for £13K,
Given what you've said about the rest of the car I'd go for it at that price smile

Edited by andy43 on Sunday 23 April 11:03
Me too, even with rear lights that you're not too keen on.

Pete Mac

730 posts

82 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
yonex said:
......... I'll call Topcats tomorrow as they're very local.

Edited by yonex on Sunday 23 April 10:59
Turner Engineering are a good bet as well


http://turner-engineering.co.uk

Pete

yonex

Original Poster:

15,082 posts

113 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
quotequote all
Thanks all, I really appreciate it.

I'll look into this again tomorrow am. I have been thinking about it I'm pretty sure i'll go for it. Whatever profit is made (if any) I'll just give back to his partner. The value for me is the messing about and if it ultimately helps financially that'll be just what he would have wanted.


robsco

6,628 posts

121 months

Sunday 23rd April 2017
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Wonderful gesture, I bet you'll want to keep her after the event however! They get under your skin.

infinity

637 posts

229 months

Monday 24th April 2017
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Just.do.it.

This would be one of the things you would be regretting forever if you wouldn't. Especially because it was your friends' car. And if you would flip it you can probably transfer a nice profit to the partner.

But probably you will end up enjoying it for a few years, which is the best legacy your unfortunately passed away friend could offer you and his partner. You probably owe him this.

Stew Mc

401 posts

118 months

Monday 24th April 2017
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Our engine let go on the Autobahn Approx 3 years ago (Griff 500). Oil pick up Pipe came loose and starved the engine of oil. Got all the parts including camshaft, bearings, piston rings, gaskets, etc from TVR Power. Dom is very knowledgeable there. From memory, it cost around £1200 ish to rebuild and it was done at home by myself and my partner who loved getting her overalls on and helping out. Bought an engine hoist from machine mart. If you go down this route, buy a long reach hoist. I purchased a standard reach and it did the job but only just.
Hope this helps? Cheers, Stew.

lancepar

380 posts

117 months

Tuesday 25th April 2017
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yum
I’ve got a box of 4ltr used serviceable parts you are welcome to come or send someone to peruse.
From a ’95 Chimaera with 75K on the clock but don’t look if they have done that many miles, even the camshaft has very little wear on one of the lobes.
Pistons, rings and rods.
Std Alloy rockers.
Rocker shafts.
Push rods.
Some Valves, not sure if inlet or exhaust.
Timing chain and gears.
Hydraulic lifters.
Send me a PM if of interest.

Lance
cool

andy43

6,231 posts

199 months

Wednesday 26th April 2017
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That looks lovely. Cureton green? And Tuscan seats as well.
If you have to move it more than a mile or so I wouldn't risk towing it personally. I've successfully used shiply.com to get car shifting quotes for my Griff and an old Merc - some of the 'companies' on there are a bit low-rent to say the least, so make sure it'll be insured and they know it's got low ground clearance. Best of luck - looks a very nice car.

yonex

Original Poster:

15,082 posts

113 months

Thursday 4th May 2017
quotequote all
So, we're off to pick up the Griff at the weekend. I have a week to have a good look over it and make a decision. Can't wait, but it's tinged with sadness to be honest. Just feels weird.

zed4

7,247 posts

167 months

Friday 5th May 2017
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At £13k it's cheap enough for an LS3 engine conversion

yonex

Original Poster:

15,082 posts

113 months

Friday 5th May 2017
quotequote all
Is it actually worth doing, how does the Griffith chassis cope with an LS3?

Let's see how it looks on the ramp tomorrow. It'll be an adventure for sure smile

Speed 3

2,557 posts

64 months

Saturday 6th May 2017
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yonex said:
Is it actually worth doing, how does the Griffith chassis cope with an LS3?
Ask Zed4:

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

That did require body mods for cooling/access so not that straightforward for a home job. Griff chassis not known for being too stiff so more power will make for more hairy moments but its probably easier to drive at slow speed and has the benefit of a 6spd box and modern mappability. I'm one who prefers originality but you can't argue that a cross-plane chevvy V8 isn't in keeping with the original ethos of the car and had TVR not gone down the road of their own engines, it would have been a highly likely choice for the factory when the RV8 died.

yonex

Original Poster:

15,082 posts

113 months

Saturday 6th May 2017
quotequote all
Arriving at the garage the initial assessment was fairly positive. My reservations about the lights and exhaust were reinforced. I'll know much more next week, out in the open it really looks pretty good to me.