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Technical Questions - Bodywork
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Date asked

Question Answer

14th August 2010

By Philip Roper

I am currently restoring a 1600M (last one made - 1979/80) and am in the process of repairing the bodywork. The bonnet frame was rotten and therefore I purchased a new one from David Gerald's and have had it powder coated.... however I now need to attached it to the bonnet. Currently the body is off the car and being prepared to go to the paint shop (along with the bonnet), so I can't put the bonnet onto the car to measure where it needs to go.... should I therefore wait to put the frame onto the bonnet once it has been painted or can I put the frame onto the bonnet before painting, without having to put the body back onto the chassis? Is there a preferred method for aligning the bonnet frame?

Phil's reply:

I thought that was going to be the answer. I assume it is just a cast of tape the bonnet in the correct position with a consistent shut line, attach the bonnet frame to the chassis and then bond it to the bonnet in the right position..... or is there a more elegant way of doing this?

Due to slight variations with each bonnet and bodyshell, plus the fact the frame will almost certainly be slightly different you will have to fit it to the bonnet once it's back from the bodyshop.









M-Fix reply:

Yes that's basically it - although keeping everything in place while you bond them together is not too easy as access is limited when fitted to the car. You'll probably have to bond a couple of areas, then remove the bonnet and bond the rest. The shut lines are the most important, even my car has a good 3/4" gap which is not the best, and that was using the original frame after restoring it (think it was always like that even before removing though).

22nd March 2010

By Hal

I am in California and in need of a new windscreen for my TVR Grantura III. I would like it clear with no shade band at the top. I also need a rear windscreen again clear no shade or tint. What would be the cost including shipping to Southern California? I'm not a stockist of TVR parts yet, but am considering stocking some parts very soon now. However selling to the USA seems to have some sort of insurance issue in terms of indemnity etc, and as such it makes it difficult to sell parts from the UK. In fact I struggle to buy parts from the USA and only recently have been able to get Nissan parts thru ebay.

I have however shipped some body panels to New York state in the last year so I do have some idea of cost. Glass items cannot be covered by damage insurance thru Fedex/DHL etc I seem to remember, and cost for shipping alone would be something in the region of US$700-$1000 due to weight & volumetric weight, so is not cheap by any means. The rear screens are expensive for the M series cars - £1500 GBP so about US$2000 I think, not sure about the Grantura glass though. I can contact a glass supplier who makes new screens for the M Series cars if you like and see whether they can make (or stock) glass for your car. Give me a few days & I'll get back to you!

9th December 2009


(Where can I get) rubber trim for the front wheel arches ?? Another question what vehicle did the Door seals come from ??

The door seals - no idea on the original supplier as yet but a company called Woolies (see my links page) can supply them in an almost identical profile - see side seals page -

Reckon they will stock suitable beading for the wheelarches also.

26th August 2008

By Jon Beckett

Can you advise if anyone still fabricates 3000S hard tops - looking for a lightweight top for 3000S race car...when did hard tops first become available for the 3000S TVR? The only place worth contacting would be David Gerald - as I know they have made some in batches - see this link for photos & a bit of info:

11th February 2008

By James Collier

I was wondering if you know where I can get those small "3000" and "M" badges from which some 3000M's have fitted either side of the number plate?? When I fitted the ozzy plates I was left with a couple of holes from the uk plates, which can be seen as the ozzy plates are smaller than the uk ones. I thought these badges might be a good way to cover the holes and still be in keeping. I know the badges you mean, haven't seen all that many - think they were a TVR Car Club thing over here in the 80's & 90's. You could try emailing the TVR Car Club UK, or, try who I know used to stock the regalia products from the TVR Car Club. It may well be they still keep some of these. If you get any luck, please let me know.

2nd February 2008

By Bob Weiland

I have a windscreen issue that is troubling me. I read your notes on windscreens, changing seals etc. My windscreen is milky in the lower corners. It seems to spread somewhat when I am underway particularly when it is raining. It is quite annoying but it is not so bad as to be a safety hazard. I do not know much about this kind of problem. I have never seen it in any of the many cars I have owned including my ’72 Stag MK 1.

My questions are these:

Is this a TVR problem ? Could you venture an opinion on what my options are for corrective action?

It sounds like your windscreen is de-laminating. The screen is 2 layers of thin glass with the plastic membrane in the centre, and after a few years (especially on older 80's & 70's screens) can have water ingress in the corners/edges. A lot of the time it can be due to prolonged water in the screen rubber, ice etc etc, but sometimes just from poor quality manufacture.

The only real option is to replace it, once it gets so bad it fails the MOT (in the uk that's the yearly safety check to enable the owner to re-tax and insure their car). Not sure about your car safety check rules but imagine it would be similar. The reason for failure is normally stated as deterioration of the windscreen, but sometimes comes under impaired forward vision - cracks over 10mm diameter in certain areas of the screen will also be a fail over here, so it's pretty strict.

You should see the link on my site to the windscreen supplier who recently ran a batch of new laminated, and also heated windscreens - it may be worth considering a replacement longer term, or should your car fail its safety test. Otherwise I think the screen came from the Ford Zephyr originally, although most of those (if not all) were toughened as they were 1960's vintage.

7th June 2007

By Jim Vogel

I would like to remove the vinyl top on my 2500M, and have heard varying information on how to do it and what to expect as far as the condition of the fiberglass underneath. Can you educate me on how to remove the vinyl,if the surface underneath is finished or not, and what to do about it if it isn't? I have been doing bodywork for many years, but have never worked on a fiberglass car before.










Follow up by Jim on 8th June 2007

thanks very much for the information! At some point I'm going to do a body off frame restoration on this car, and that's when the roof will get removed, so hopefully it will be a little easier as I plan to remove everything else anyway. My primary concern is the condition of the fiberglass under the vinyl. I don't know that much about fiberglass, but some people have told me that the fiberglass under the vinyl may not even be finished and will have strands sticking out of it. I have no problem with removing adhesive, filling small holes, and painting, but is what I've been told true, that the roof will need much more work than that? Some have told me
that I will have to apply gelcoat and then sand it smooth, which sounds like a ton of work? In your experience, what is the surface of the roof like after removing the vinyl top?
Thanks again, this is the best information I have recieved on this topic!





Follow up by Jim on 8th June 2007

Thanks so much, Mark! I've been trying to find information on this for a while and haven't had any luck. I was having a hard time believing nobody had removed a vinyl top on one of these cars, so it was a little frustrating.
On fiberglass, what is used to fill the pinholes you mentioned?

The vinyl top is normally held in place using glue and aluminium trim strips along the lower edges on the rear quarter panels, and is also fixed under the gutter/drip rails that surround the door apertures, and sunroof frame (if sunroof fitted), plus windscreen and rear screens & rubbers.

Removal of the vinyl will mean undoing the trim rails (normally they are fixed to the panel with small studs - the nuts have to be undone on the inside of the car, and this may mean lifting some of the carpet or interior trim to get to them. Be warned, they are normally corroded or siezed and so there is quite a big risk of them rounding off or snapping. The aluminium strip may also bend when removing these if the nuts are siezed as the fixing turns in the soft aluminium.

Secondly you will need to drill out the rivets holding the door aperture gutter/drip rails (sometimes screws are fitted instead). These are not easy to drill out without damaging the aluminium rail, and any rivet that spins will damage the fibreglass if it doesn't come out quickly.

Thirdly the sunroof will have to be removed, which can be the trickiest as the headlining will have to be removed to the rear of the sunroof area so the screws fixing the canopy to the roof can be removed. Again these may have siezed and can cause damage to the roof fibreglass panel if you have to force them out.

Lastly the windscreen & rear screen would have to come out to allow the vinyl to be removed from under the rubbers.

All of this needs to be done to remove the vinyl properly as you have probably already seen, however you could carefully cut the roof away but this would leave small pieces behind which would not be easy to hide. You will also probably need to prep and spray the roof once the vinyl is off, as there will almost certainly be a bare fibreglass surface underneath (my car was unpainted), and you would need to fill the holes left by the rear quarter panel strips, then prep & spray them also.

All in all it's not too difficult, just time consuming. You will almost certainly need to do some bodywork, so it's a lot of time and a bit of money for paint/materials etc.








Follow up by M-Fix on 8th June 2007

The roof on my 3000M was pretty smooth really - a few areas needed filling as the gelcoat had pinholes from the original moulding process (and these were not filled as the roof was to be covered with the vinyl). I doubt there will be too much of a problem - perhaps some people have done this and had some, but my thought is that perhaps they didn't remove the glue from the gelcoat properly - this at first appears like the gelcoat isn't thick enough (hence the strands) - but it should come off with a but of panel wipe solvent (see tools section in bodywork for info on this).

Of course it is possible but I think it will just need some fine filling rather than major work, and the results are 100% better than a piece of black vinyl - my roof is very shiny :oD




Follow up by M-Fix on 10th June 2007

Jim, use this for fine filling:

UPOL Dolphin glaze (almost a liquid 2 part filler):



A 2K High Viscosity Polyester Putty
Excellent for Final Skimming of Polyester Putty Repair
Can be Directly Applied onto Minor Imperfections on Bodywork Prior to Over Painting
Great for use on vertical panel.

Very Easy To Sand
High Density
Ultra Smooth
Tack Free
Stain Free
Suitable For Infra Red
Can Be Used On The Following Surfaces: Bare Steel, Galvanised & Other Zinc Coated Steels, Aluminium, GRP, SMC, Most Plastics & Previously Coated Surfaces.

440 ml Bag BAGDOLHV/1 170.0

or UPOL B strand filler for any larger imperfections:

U-POL B Repair Paste


Polyester body filler reinforced with glass-fibre strands.
Can be used to fill small holes or rips in vehicle bodies.

Forms a strong, hard repair.
Sandable and over-coatable with conventional body filler.
Remains waterproof, durable and retains its adhesion over time.
High adhesion to a wide range of substrates e.g. steel, coated steel, aluminium and GRP.

1 litre UPOLB/2 240.0
1.85 litres UPOLB/4

Here is UPOL's main website:

30th May 2007

By Fam Christians

Where can i find the TVR badge on the bonnet?

The TVR bonnet badge can be bought from David Gerald Sportscars Ltd -

9th May 2007

By Dag Brækken

Do You by any chance know what the opening in the roof should be to fit a original sliding sunroof ? Not 100% as the frame needs to be removed, but just measuring the approximate size gave the following sizes:

30" x 17.5" (762mm x 444mm) approximately!

7th May 2007

By Ian Millward

On the Taimar, from what vehicle did the exterior door handles come from? Mine are the later one's with the key in the chrome handle.

As far as I am aware, this handle comes from a Mk3 Ford Cortina - looks
the same from photos I have studied.

Take a look at this ebay sale (photo now attached to this technical question as auction ended)

Please let me know if you think these are the right type so I can update the parts source page!

9th January 2007

By Mark Arrowsmith

I am planning on repainting the black under the bonnet area of my 3000m. Can you suggest a good paint type and preparation for this area given its mostly fibreglass, obviously finish is not important.
I have yet to do the same task to do on the car, and was thinking of using the spray on "stonechip" protective undercoat. This is a thick air drying paint which is applied using a (cheap) undersealing spray gun, however you will need a small compressor to power this. Have a look on the website under Bodywork, Tools and Materials Required. Most car body paint suppliers will stock the gun, and most have a selection of makes of the stonechip protection (which is overpaintable with cellulose or two pack). There are a few manufacturers of this paint and I personally prefer the Upol Gravitex type, which dries to a Matt finish and gives a great finish as long as the container is shaken well. It comes in Black, Grey and White - here is a link so you can see what the container looks like - the bottle simply screws onto the underseal air gun. Spray it on evenly and not too heavily - you should get a nice "orange peel" effect without runs if done correctly.

20th October 2006

By John

Just wondering what glass sunroof was specced on the Taimar, please? Do you have any ideas of which may fit my fabric sunroof aperture or would I have to reduce the aperture in size? I was looking for Britax pop up roofs in the local scrapper!

Thanks for your email. I'm afraid I don't know the make of the sunroof glass - but am trying to find out for your so please bear with me!

If anything I would imagine the fabric roof aperture is larger as it is pretty wide/deep.

Will get back to you as soon as I find out.

Does anyone out there know the answer to this??

Update on 24th August 2007
I have been told this was a Tudor Webasto sunroof. Many thanks to John Simpson for the information!

5th September 2006

By Neil Coalter

I was looking for some guidance on how to go about fixing the body of my TVR as I have read so many conflicting articles on working with fibreglass and your website offers a "breathe of fresh air".

From the site I see that there are articles pending on cracked gel coat & damage repairs, my car is in a very poor state with major gel coat crazing and the drivers side sill is badly damaged.

I have read articles which say to cut the crack out and then cut slots at 90 degrees to the crack given a "Frankenstein scar" These are then filled, sanded and primed - Is this a good method? Can you suggest a better way to treat cracks?

I believe the Sill is beyond repair and the best way would be to purchase a replacement and fit it. Can you suggest how to carry out this work?

As you mention, the best way to repair gel coat crack is by grinding them out and filling with a fibreglass loaded resin. There is an article on this already (which you may have already looked at) under Bodywork, Cracked Fibreglass & Paint repair.

As for the sill replacement, once you have the replacement panel you will need to decide where the new panel is trimmed off, and where the bodyshell's original sill will be cut out. Carefully cutting out the original sill can be done until the new sill fits in properly without any overlaps. However depending on the replacement sill's origin, it may be that it is thinner than the original panel, or has a feathered edging so that it can be laid over the original bodyshell at the extremities.

Once you are happy with the fit and everything lines up, next will be the laying up of new fibreglass on the bodyshell, but inside the original panels. This should be at least 2" wide so that 1" is bonded to the bodyshell, the other half to the inside of the new sill panel. The difficult part is getting these pieces to harden so that the material is straight. It's best to let the pieces harden while on the bodyshell, supervise and straighten any that move during hardening. When cured you should have a surface for the new sill to sit on. Test fit the new sill and cut/alter any parts of the new strips that prevent a flush fit. Now apply resin to the inside of the sill panel, and also onto the strips, then fit the new sill applying pressure to make sure as much of the area has bonded as possible. Finally fill the gapp all the way round with fibreglass loaded resin.

I hope that makes sense - I haven't yet got round to finishing that section but that is (roughly) how I would tackle fitting a new sill panel. I will amend & update the website on this subject as soon as I can.

31st July 2006

By Kurt Schleier

I have a sort of technical question, I have been thinking of buying a tvr 3000M to make it a sort of track day and classic racer. I have been looking for parts to tune up the engine which surprisingly are very cheap and easy to obtain so that's not a big problem but what is a problem is the essential roll cage. I have this split car diagram but I can't really make out where I could weld the rollcage to the chassis due to the glassfibre body. Is the glassfibre floor connected to the outer body because then it would be kind of immpossible to do something like that. Now hope you, with your experience and espertise with these cars can help me out with this. You can fit a roll cage, however you will have to modify the body shell to allow the tubes to go through it and attach to the chassis. Points to attach it could be behind the seats on the top square bars surrounding the differential, at the front of each door, and also the rollcage tube behind the dashboard should have a vertical bar attached to the top front-to-back chassis tubes that go around the gearbox/propshaft. I am hoping to fabricate one of these myself, and if successful may make them to order (no idea when this will happen yet)!

11th May 2006

By Jeff Roth

If I want to improve the appearence of the hood line where it matches the fender line (to make them parallel) do I adjust the nose up or down at that threaded pivot bolt at the front of the chassis? You should lower the pivot bolts to lower the front. Howevr due to their angle, this will also tend to move the whole bonnet back towards the windscreen panel. This may mean it's too close already to move back further, so it will just be a case of sliding the pivot bolts forward (in the slots in the chassis) to allow for this. If you haven't already seen it, take a look at the bonnet quick release section on the website.

7th September 2005

By Paul Millward

I've been browsing through your website and have noticed that you have stainless steel bumpers fitted on all four corners of your car. I wonder if you could tell me where you obtained them? My Taimar currently has two stainless bumpers on the front and two rubber ones on the rear so I'd like to get a pair of stainless bumpers to make up a complete set. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a supplier (other than David Gerald with a cost of £1200 for a set of four). They are in fact chromed mild steel Triumph 2000 bumpers with the corners cut off! That's why the ends are open, and they will need to be welded with steel caps then re-chromed. I think you need rear ones though......they are used front & back on the TVR but you would need to check that.

David Gerald are the only people I know that do the stainless ones at the moment.

20th May 2005

By Jim Mackay

I wonder if you can give me any information on the colour of the M series at
the top of your home page. My recently acquired M needs a couple of 'touch
ups' until I get around to a full paint job and I've no idea if the 'orange'
colour is available in aerosol or brush format in Halfords, etc.

Unfortunately the orange is a colour I chose - the car used to be red!
There is supposed to be an old colour table for the cars but the paint
system used is no longer in production. Your best bet is to polish up an
area of paint that's not faded on your car and take it to a paint specialist
who has a special "gun" which when scanned on the paint will give a code
which allows an exact match to be made (of course faded paint means the new
paint will match the faded paint!). Not sure of anyone who keeps this type
of gun except for an old friend's company which he has now left. See below
for more info - I'm sure a good bodyshop would use such a gun locally to
yourself - they are called colorimeters, or spectrophotometers.

13th November 2004

By Justin

What are the options when replacing a windscreen on a 3000m. Are there any modern screens that fit i.e. a heated one? Someone told me that a Ford mondeo screen would fit? As far as I know you can only have clear or tinted, and older screens are often toughened - whereas all new screens are laminated for safety.
Heated screen will probably never be made unless someone orders a batch of them specially! See below for donor vehicle TVR used for the screen.

15th July 2004

by Dask

My '73 2500M is in desperate need of a new windscreen. Do You know from
where it is sourced ? Maybe Ford Cortinas ?

The windscreen is off the Ford Consul from the 1960's - see photo here:

3rd June 2004

by Kathryn Todd

Could you tell me who manufacturers the TVR colour Crystal Verdi. Is this colour unique to TVR? If I wanted to purchase a litre of this paint where could I get it from and would you know how much it would be.

I think that colour is TVR only - and possibly hard to source from some paint suppliers. Your best bet is to contact your local good quality bodyshop and they all have their own mixing kit - take the car to them & they can match the colour for you. It may be possible a few variants for your colour exist - so taking the car is important!

Footnote: This colour appears to be on late 90's TVRs and onwards. Cost per litre is approx. £20-40 depending on type - eg pearlescent is more, then a lacquer is required to cover the basecoat (which is matt finish).

19th January 2004

by Aiden McConnon


The drivers side door hinges are worn on my 3000M. Have you any tips on removal and re-fitting as I have been told this is a nightmare job? The hinges are fiddly to remove from the car's body at the "a" post - but normally to remove them you take off the internal door cover first and unbolt the doors from the hinges, that then leaves you enough room to take off the hinges. One bolt goes through into the engine compartment (on the top hinge)!

Once off, the hinges are a chunky alloy with the pin pressed into them. I have yet to do the hinges but i think they will need sleeving, as i suspect the alloy may be worn away. However, soft metal against hard metal usually results in most wear occurring in the hard metal (believe it or not!), so i may be lucky. Once restored, refitting is a simple case of fitting the hinges to the body, then the doors to the hinges. Adjustment is however rather a painstaking task, a loosening the bolts and trial & error process. Tape on some thin but sturdy foam to the door step and door base to prevent the all too easy paint damage (if the door drops & hits the soor step). The strike plate will also need moving about until the door shuts correctly at the back.

I find that the alloy window frames are never the same shape, so be prepared for some really annoying gaps on those. I intend to remake them from scratch so they fit the bodyshell correctly - to stop the annoying water leaks & wind noise!
18th August 2003

by Mike Garcia
I am searching for a modified hinge for my 1979 Taimar. I recall seeing one made in a news letter & can not locate. sent a message to David Gerald & they do not have them.. Curious to know if you know where I can get a set?

The modified hinge allows the hood to open up & out further.
Someone has just forwarded this photo - hopefully gives you an idea of the mod. you asked about: