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TVR Chimaera Body Lift

TVR are not known for protecting their chassis before painting/powder coating, there is much debate over which processes were applied and when, and which years are more or less likely to suffer from rusty outriggers. Fact is though that unless your Chimaera has been pampered beyond belief, the outriggers are rusting away below you.

Sam's car was a 70k Chimaera 400 (1994 'L') when it was dismantled in 2008. The chassis was, by TVR standards, remarkably sound but the tops of the outriggers had 6" holes along them and so, 'sound' or not by inspection from underneath they HAD to be replaced.

TVR Chimaera body lift procedure:

A quick Google will reveal a number of in-depth, bolt-by-bolt body lift procedures but the summary below gives an idea of what's involved. Corrections gratefully received!

Start on the interior

  • Remove battery
  • Remove seats
  • Remove floor carpets
  • Remove handbrake and gear lever gaitor
  • Remove seat-belts
  • Remove fuel tank

This list isn't exhaustive, and there are alternatives such as just pulling-back carpet to reveal chassis bolts as opposed to removal. By and large removal makes more room to work though.

Engine bay

  • Drain coolant and remove radiator
  • Remove exhaust manifolds
  • Disconnect wiring / control cables / pipework etc

The above glosses over some tricky details, for instance manifold bolts can be a challenge and wiring of course needs to be approached with care. Space is tight behind the engine and so the injection loom can be 'fun'.

Sam's car was set to receive a new engine anyway, and so the drivetrain was removed completely. Even if not replacing, if the chassis is to be refurbished it has to come out anyway and so removal before the shell is worthwhile.

Unbolting the shell

Working from front to back the bolts can be found as follows. As this is being written from memory (some 2-3 years old) corrections welcomed!

  • 2 x bolts horizontal into front of main chassis rails.
  • 2 x bolts vertically into top of chassis accessible from below dash. VERY HARD TO FIND!!!
  • 10 x nuts/bolts through footwells/floor panels.
  • 2 x bolts horizontal through seatbelt clip anchors into main chassis rails.
  • 2 x bolts horizontal through seatbelt reel tabs, can be seen in front of rear wheels within wheel arch.
  • 2 x bolts horizonral in boot into main chassis rails (behind fuel tank).
  • 2 x allen headed bolts in boot into main chassis rails (behind fuel tank).

Other items to remove/disconnect

  • Fuel hose and fuel lines
  • Brake lines
  • Fuel pump wiring
  • Earth straps

Double ... TRIPLE check before lifting that nothing is connected between shell and chassis

Lifting the shell

A 2-post car lift is ideal at this point, the lift can be performed slowly and safely keeping an eye out for forgotten loom connections, cables, pipes etc. Others have arrange scaffolding to lift shells, jacks and just man-power too.

With the shell up high you can finally see the state of your outriggers, and the chassis strip can begin... 

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