Technical Questions - Engine
Click here to go to Homepage (if you see no orange TVR & navigation bar at the top of this page)

Page last updated 26 August, 2008





Date asked

Question Answer

26th August 2008

By Mr Walsh

I have a ford essex V6 engine, bored to 3.1cc by specialsed engines in Essex, i want an opinion on what oil to use, i have put fully synthetic and there is now a little smoke on tickover, i'm sure its the oil ?
what do you think ?

Did you run the engine in using a basic oil first? Just helps to bed in the rings but you may well know that already.

Otherwise sometimes the valve guides can be machined a little too large - not going down that road though as pretty unlikely.

What grade synthetic oil are you using? The only one I would use in an Essex is Mobil 15W50 Motorsport as the other grades of Mobil 1 are too thin - ie 0W40 & 5W40 etc - please see

If your oil is not the above it may be worth trying, or another similar grade of good quality oil. The Essex engine is too old to run on the modern grades of fully synthetic oils.

28th July 2008

By Jos Leen



Yes the Turbo was a special edition from the factory - a few were made and the Turbo was placed in front of the engine, so the exhaust manifolds ran forward to it, then a single exhaust pipe ran to the back underneath the car.

I have tried to find out about converting the 3000M to Turbo specification, however the inlet plenum chamber would be extremely difficult to source. I do know of one owner who did manage to do the conversion but he made his own plenum chamber by making it specially from cast alloy. The plenum if you didn't know is the air intake which housed the carburettor to allow it to be pressurised without blowing the fuel out of the spindle seals and float chamber vent. The other pieces required would be exhaust manifolds & system, turbo, turbo bracket (you could make this), plus suitable tubing for the intake system, a new air filter, various vacuum tubes & a bleed off valve to allow the turbo boost pressure to be adjustable.

Hope that helps you a little. There is a V6 Essex Turbo investigation study available on ebay sometimes as a reprint (not on there today) which shows the engineering study made during tests using a prototype engine.

15th July 2008

By Luc De Brucker

I have a question about the vacuum hose.
After I removed the air filter I saw a hose with no connection.
One side of the t-connection goes to the distributor, the other to the inlet manifold.
Can you tell me where to connect?

The vacuum hose goes from the carb to the PVS (the valve on the inlet manifold) and also from the carb to the distributor through a 1 way valve then to the distributor vacuum capsule. The idea is for the PVS to be closed when the engine temp is under 71ºC and the vacuum is fed through the 1 way valve, locking the distributor advance on max to prevent misfiring.. When above this temp, the PVS opens and allows the normal carb to distributor vacuum operation, therefore allowing it to advance/retard the distributor.

A bit difficult to understand I know, so please see the attached sketch (below) I just made up. It may not be 100% correct but you should understand the theory!! This layout may not match the original one by Ford or TVR, but it should allow the system to operate correctly.

17th May 2008

By Andy

I have an Essex V6 Capri Motor and the engine builder is having problems with the Hepolite Powermax Pistons +0.060 with valve pockets , The problem is the Clearance and expansion of the Pistons. Has any one got any specifications for my Australian Capri V63000. I know this depends on the camshaft type fitted. High lift cams require pockets to be machined from the pistons to allow suitable clearance. Minimum clearance should be 1.5mm between valve & piston according to one camshaft manufacturer.

These duration cams don't need machining:

Standard Cam
270º Valve lift 9.82mm/9.82mm
273º Valve lift 11.35mm/11.35mm I have tried this and it's fine
290º Valve lift 9.55mm/9.49mm I have tried this also, and it's fine

The high lift long duration cams are the ones that require machined pistons have the following specs:

290º Valve lift is 11.17mm/11.12mm
300º Valve lift is 11.73mm/11.68mm
310º Valve lift is 12.29mm/12.24mm
320º Valve lift is 12.65mm/12.65mm

4th Jan 2008

By Mick Peacock

1600 crossflow with Weber 32/36 DGAV carb. (Sorry, it's on a Morgan). Engine runs on. Running on unleaded fuel; Broquet fuel catalyst installed. Also ran on when using leaded fuel. Crankcase breather (with inline vacuum valve) fed into carb. Car checked by local tuning outfit. Suggested removing breather connection to carb; blank off carb connection. (Had tried this during check up and it stopped running on). Assumption being that engine was running on sump gases. Also fitted hotter spark plugs. Worked for a while - now runs on occasionally or blows back violently through carb. 30,000 miles covered, valves last adjusted at 18,000 miles. Automatic choke which works properly. Carb overhauled recently. Any ideas, please. Thanks for your email - all welcome whatever your car! The engine breather is always a likely cause of the running on - used to happen to a mini I owned which ran backwards after being turned off. The MG metro was fitted with a solenoid valve to stop this problem I remember - think it was on the breather pipe itself. As the problem has now returned, I would suggest it could be the plugs fouling up still, but as they are hotter they should run cleaner. However there may be some carbon deposits in the head chambers which act like a glowplug when the engine is turned off - it may be time for a decoke. Before going further though make sure the carb's not flooding (float height incorrect, float needle valve worn out), and also that the ignition timing isn't wrong.

11th December 2007

By James Collier

I've seen a kit over here for fitting a remote oil filter and cooler. This uses an attachment which screws on where the filter goes, which enables the filter to be positioned elsewhere and get round the space problem. I can then also fit the cooler in series. Do you have any suggestions where I can take off a feed for the oil temp sensor, I guess it has to be in the block or sump somewhere? Or could it be in the hot side of the filter take off? Hopefully I'll be able to sort this out and be able to enjoy the TVR in the height of summer as well as winter, the oposite of the UK! For the oil temp sensor you can get an adaptor which fits in the oil pressure switch gallery. I have one but haven't yet fitted it, probably because it fouls something - can't remember what though. Sump is cooled by airflow, so the gallery is best place for accurate oil temp. There are other galleries you could use - they are the 1/4 NPTF (national pipe thread) galleries - but be aware they can be impossible to undo without drilling (as I found when cleaning the galleries at rebuild time). Best to get an adaptor to fit where the oil pressure switch goes, then crew the switch onto this adaptor. Interesting as I had another enquiry re: oil coolers this week from Australia also! I'll let you know once I get a chance to look at the adaptor I have.

Follow up on 20th December 2008
I had time today to go over to see the TVR.  I'm pretty sure the oil pressure/temp adaptor has a 1/4 NPT thread that screws into the block. From there you can choose the female size in the t piece eg 10mm, 1/8NPT etc etc. However, due to the location of the original oil temp sender, a T piece will screw in but there isn't any access for the side threaded take-off on the adaptor to take a sender unit. Therefore you would need to fit 2x of these t piece adaptors, and cap off the side take off in the 1st one. You should then be able to use the 2nd one to take both the pressure sender and the temp - even though it's quite a long unit. I see you can also get a special sump plug to take a temp sender - see this page and then go back to the main page for these items to see the other adaptors & sender units. I'm sure you can make up a suitable system from these.

you will need to make sure the block you have does have a 1/4 NPT thread - quite rare these days but it may be different on your engine.

Here's the link for the adaptors available:

8th December 2007

By G P R Booth

Would you be able to tell me what the head bolt torque setting should be for a 1973 Ford Granada 3000 V6 engine.  Thank you. 

No problem - these are the figures I have:

Stage 1 = 7 lb ft
Stage 2 = 37 lb ft
Stage 3 (after 20 mins wait) = 68 lb ft
Stage 4 = 86 lb ft
Stage 5 (run engine for 20 mins at fast idle) = 86 lb ft hot

24th November 2007

By James Collier

I have a problem with my 3000M where it is very hard to start. The starter motor turns over very well as I have fitted a new 600cca battery. When I jump start it off my deisel truck (940cca) it starts first time. When it has been stopped and started again the ignition light does not come on, it bogs down and back fires under heavy acceleration and the battery gauge shows "off charge". I guess this is an electrical problem(s) and have checked the earth leads, HT leads, etc. I wonder if it could be something to do with the electronic ignition??


Response from James on 25th Nov 2007

Cheers for the advice, I've checked all the points you suggested, which are ok other than the battery getting not 13.5V. I found that the alternator was getting fed 12V but only putting out 12V so I'm having it checked out. I ended up getting a new alternator which sorted out that ignition switch issue.

It sounds like you have an earthing problem...but you say you have already checked them. Make sure you have full continuity (i.e. between 0 and 1.5 ohms) using an ohm meter from the battery negative terminal to the chassis, and also from the negative terminal to the engine block. Then check for 12+V at the starter terminal (main solenoid feed thick wire), and also at the alternator (both thick brown wires). Check alternator earths ok also. Check charge light bulb on the dash isn't blown (this will stop the battery charging), and also run the engine and check the battery is getting over 13.5Volts charge.

28th June 2007

By Richard Cairns

I have a tired 1600 crossflow engine in a Sprite.
It is not blowing smoke or using oil and revs pretty well but has a flat spot when accelerating (45mm sidedraft webber).
I took the car to get the webber tuned and was told that my compression was down probably due to incorrect pushrod length.
I have since done a compression test all cylinders are 95-100 dry and come up to 100-105 wet. How can I find out if the pushrods are wrong or if it is a head problem?
Yes sounds like compression is too low. I would expect to see approx 140psi on an older engine, but up to 200psi on a very good one. I am waiting for a data book to arrive on these engines but looking at Burton Power's stock list I can see the standard one is shown to be 7.6" long. Take one out and check its length. Saying that, you shouldn't have the wrong ones fitted because if you did, the rockers wouldn't operate correctly. Check the rocker to vale stem clearances, and if correct then turn over the engine to see if the rockers operate all the way through one engine cycle (2 turns of the crankshaft). If you have your gap and full operation then the valves are shutting ok, so therefore it cannot be the pushrods.

Has the engine been apart recently or have you just bought the car? I would suggest checking the cam/crank are timed correctly (gears for timing chain should be marked to align on this engine I think). If out by 1 tooth on the timing chain you will never get full compression. Maybe the chain tensioner has worked loose (i've seen this happen before on a crossflow). Perhaps even a reground cam or replacement performance cam has been fitted but not timed in correctly using offset dowel keys? This would be high on my list of reasons going by the experience with the V6 Essex cams!

Otherwise it would be perhaps the cylinder head (as you tried wet & dry compressions with no real difference it shouldn't be the piston rings). Maybe valve seats are poor, maybe head gasket leaking if oil/grease was left on block/head before fitting, even maybe a cracked head but unlikely as this would normally show up on only 1 or 2 cylinders. Low compression will mean starting is poor but improves once engine is hot. I take it the compression tests were done with a hot engine? Of course the flat spot could be caused by the carb settings - very likely.

25th June 2007

By Rob Stanway

Just a quick question, can you tell me what I should be setting the timing to for a standard 1600m? I started looking at the engine yesterday after rebuilding the carb. I thought is was running a bit rough and checked the timing. It was set to TDC! I've set it at 10 and is a load better, but I can't find a definative figure anywhere, some things say 8 or 9, others around 12.




Follow up by Rob on 25th June 2007

Thanks Mark. It's funny you say that... I've had suggestions like; as much as possible, obviously without pinking. The xflow haynes book I have was suggesting 8 - 12 and the lotus book I have (for twin cam head) was saying 15.

So I guess I'll suck it and see, I think I'll run it at 10 for a while and then change it as see what I think. My carb is a normal 32/36 DGV with a vacuum advance as is my dizzy.

Also I've been informed I have the griffis seats in my car as they have a wire support for the foam base. would you knowwhere I could get new ones? Or should I just manufacture something myself?

If it helps I'll you know what I think about the timing, mught be usfull on the site.

Not 100% sure as there were various types, but think it was 10� by cross referencing from various articles. I am hoping to put the Kent Crossflow data in the members section at the weekend, just waiting for some more reference material before doing so - will let you know when it's on there.

Just to add to the above, Aldon do various non-vacuum distributors to suit engines with non standard carbs & cams etc, their standard settings for these distributors ranges from 10� to 14� so that gives you a good idea. Make sure you stay as low as you can - any pinking when running could start to melt a plug, or worse a piston!

11th June 2007

By Rob

After rebuilding my carb last week and getting it running right I had a problem on Friday with the idle. When starting from cold it was fine, reving correctly and running well. However after about an hour of driving it would not idle. Stopping at junctions and traffic lights I would have to use the choke or heal to the brakes to keep the engine going. I spend some time roaming the internet and found that a chap with a lotus had had the same problem and after trying everything he replaced his plugs and leads and all was well. So I did this and it would appear to be the same problem with a bad spark.

Sorry about the rambling, I’m getting there, on removing the first 3 plugs I inspected them to check if I’d got the mixture right on the carb, all was well, however the 4th plug is not! Its odd half of the plug is correct, with a pinky brown colour, and the other half is sooty black.

I have a compression tester that’ll use this week to test the compression, but what do you think it might be? Piston ring? Valve seat?


Must be a fuel or spark or combustion problem. I have seen a similar problem on an old Jaguar XJ6 before - and the spark plug colour was different as is yours. Traced it to a problem with the inlet manifold take-off for the brake servo. Does the inlet manifold have a servo take-off? Perhaps it has a leaking gasket which affects the fuel/air mixture? To test for this spray a little wd40 on the inlet manifold around no.4 cylinder and see if the engine speed changes. Make sure the WD40 fumes don't get sucked into the air inlet of or the engine speed will change and would disguise the result of the test.

Just a thought - worth checking here first, but also check the carb gaskets aren't leaking, none of the vacuum pipes are missing from the carb, that the distributor vacuum capsule (if fitted) hasn't got a leak (lets air into the carb vacuum takeoff constantly).

If it doesn't stall since the plugs were changed then maybe it was just a plug, but keep a check on the spark plug colour frequently until you find out what's caused it.

15th April 2007

By Scott Sowards

Hello from the USA. Just found your site, wonder if you may be able to help answer a potential purchase and subsequent project I am contemplating. Have had a TVR 3000 S on my short list of cars to own since I was a teenager in mid-70's. They are very rare over here and I may have located a nice one on offer.

I am wondering if it is feasible to convert the 3000 S to Turbo specifications and what is involved, aside from the obvious. Have just begun poring over 30 years of periodicals and the web researching exactly what the differences were between the normally aspirated 300 S roadster and the exceedingly rare Turbo roadster.

Any help you may provide would be appreciated. Thanks.
To convert to Turbo spec. is going to be difficult due to the rarity of spares for this conversion. It would be easier to convert the car from scratch to your own design rather than try to find the original parts. The turbo would of course be no problem to find, or the exhaust as these are's more on the inlet side of things that you'll need to fabricate a pressurised plenum for the carb to operate....unless you want to go for fuel injection!

The book I sell on the website by Graham Robson may be of interest to you if you want technical information - it is the best reference book for these cars that I know of containing a lot of data.

26th March 2007

By Steve Marriage

I have a 1700 crossflow engine. Oil is escaping from around the oil filler cap and through the dip stick. The dip stick does not fit particularly well however and I was wondering is this just a question of poor seals in both cases or something more worrying?





Follow up by Steve on 26th March 2007

The dip stick is very suspect. How much oil should the engine hold? What should I expect to see in PSI on the oil pressure gauge?

There is no blue smoke from the exhaust; the head was reconditioned 2 years ago including new valve guides. It looks like ring wear or a blocked breather, but it could just be too much oil in the sump. Would piston ring wear produce any other noticeable symptoms? The engine runs well and has plenty of power though.







Further follow up on 28th March 2007

The oil pressure is about 60+psi at 4000 rpm about 30 at idle. The reading is higher when the engine is cold, when up to temperature the figures are as shown.

Does this sound like too much oil as I think it could have been overfilled because the dip stick is so unreliable? I suppose the only way to be certain is to drain out all the oil and replace with exactly the correct amount and re-calibrate the dip stick. Then run the engine and see how much the pressure reads.

What do you think?

Sounds like your crankcase pressure is possibly too high. This could come from piston ring wear (i.e. combustion gas escaping past the piston rings), valve guide wear (although you would also possibly notice smoke from the exhaust), a blocked breather tube, or even overfilling the oil.

First check the engine breathing system is ok, if so then check the compression of the cylinders, then recheck after putting a squirt of engine oil down the bores. Expect to see a normal compression reading around 160 - 180 psi, If lower than 150 psi then there is some wear to the rings. If the reading goes up substantially after the oil being added to the bores then this will confirm the rings are worn/damaged or the bores are worn. There are other problems such as holed pistons etc but see what this test comes up with.



Reply to follow up:

According to the data I have, the engine holds just over 3 litres of oil. Please take this as a guideline though as i am not 100% sure on this. Oil pressure should read around 40psi at 4000rpm as a general rule - at idle much lower. How much are you reading?

Ok as for the head you can rule that one out, piston ring wear causes excessive breather fumes to blow out of the filler cap - so that's why I mentioned worn rings. A compression test needs to be done to determine this...from what you say though if power is good then perhaps they are ok. A blocked oilway is another possibility, or the oil pump relief valve has stuck therefore not limiting the oil pressure correctly.


Reply to 2nd follow up:

You may have a high pressure oil pump fitted - but 60psi max when fully hot is recommended by most as a general guideline for these pumps. I found this to be a problem as already mentioned regarding a stuck pressure relief valve in the pump - giving way over 60psi before fitting another pump. Some High pressure pumps have been modified and unchecked by the supplier and can be too high. 30 psi at idle is healthy however so not a worry. It will always read high when the engine is cold as the oil is thicker, so always measure when it's hot.

I'm not sure on your engine but if there's no relief valve on the pump itself, you may find it on the block somewhere (I apologise but haven't yet got round to fully featuring this engine...more to appear very soon on the website now).

Your idea of draining the oil sounds like the best option - to make sure it's not being overfilled. Why not try to sort out the dipstick problem as well to save you this trouble again? If it has a dipstick tube then make sure this is not damaged and fits in the block correctly and to the right depth & buy a new dipstick!

11th March 2007

By Alan Whitaker

Do you know the weight of a powermax piston + 60?
Many thanks for your email. I'm sorry I have no technical data for these pistons...will look into it for you though and see if I can find anything. More to follow.....

10th January 2007

By David Franklin

I am looking to purchase a recon V6 3 litre to put in a 1967 Reliant
Scimitar Coupe. I have been told of a Blue Spray job on a factory rebuild.  

1. Are you able to advise where that rebuild took place.

2. I understand that the engine has been standing untouched for a number
of Years, would it be OK to put straight into the vehicle, or may it
exhibit some corrosion since the rebuild?

1. I am not sure who would have rebuilt your Engine, however I do know that
Burton Power - may paint their recon. engines in
blue as their photos of their engines have shown blue paint to have been
used in the past.

2. The engine condition will not be easy to guess. There are good ways of
storing engines as well as very poor ones - thde only real way to find out
is to remove the sump & cylinder heads to inspect everything. Ask the
seller for more information on this one - e.g. has it been stores inside or
outside, did they inject oil into the bores etc etc

4th January 2007

By Padraig Duane

When I bought my car I was told that the Essex engine in it had a Kent cam fitted, unfortunately the seller didn't know what cam it was.

I know that my engine revs better than another friends car and we have the same spec engine except for this cam.

If I take the cam out is there any way of differencing what Kent cam I have?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

The cam should be marked on the end with something like V61 to V68 - however for road engines it is likely to be a V61 (Mild Road 270º), V62 (Road/Rally 290º), or a V63 (Fast Road 276º) variant.
Valve lift is the only way to tell otherwise....and may be easier than removing the cam (as seen in the members section of my website). the V61 has 9.82mm valve lift (both inlet & exhaust), the V62 has 9.55mm inlet and 9.49mm exhaust valve lift, and the V63 has 11.35mm lift (both inlet & exhaust).

4th January 2007

By Dave Blackburn

I am rebuilding a standard essex engine and was wondering if you would still
recommend fitting steel timing gears, and if so why. Thanks for your



Dave's follow up on 5th Jan 2007:

Other than burtons are there any other places you recommend
for engine parts as i am struggling to find people who sell good standard
bits. Obviously i would like all the shiny tunig parts but it is a bit of a
rebuild on a budget!!

I would recommend fitting the steel cam gear if at all possible, as the fibre teeth on the standard one can get brittle with age and fall apart. The steel gear makes quite a bit more noise but at least you know it won't fail on you. Standard spec engines are ok for the standard gear but it's just the age and likely years of stress on the fibre teeth that is the problem.




M-Fix Reply:

You could try these people:

Not sure how good they are but seem to be fairly well priced, and lots of nice bits that are difficult to find.

Also try Ric Wood, he is very knowlegeable but is sometimes slow to reply as he's always busy. Has set up a CNC business alongside his Capri/Essex Engine business and so makes some really nice engine stuff now.

30th July 2006

By Peter Scott

My car is a 3000S and my question is: what are the torque settings when refitting the rocker covers on new gaskets ?

The torque setting is 2.5 to 3.5 lb/ft (or .35 to .42kg/m)

Hope you have a small torque screwdriver as that is a very low setting!

Other engine torque settings available in the members area.

24th July 2006

by James Collier

I'm having a problem with my 3000M, where it will stall under load, either on hills or on any more than very light acceleration. This is mainly a problem when the car has been driven for about 30mins. Once stopped, the engine starts again after a few minutes at rest. I'm guessing that it is a fueling / ignition advance problem causing over or under fueling? Have you any experience of this? The car is fitting with an electronic ignition system.








Follow up on 22nd August 2006:

Thanks for the advise, I've replaced the coil as it looked a bit shot and aslo think I might have a problem with the choke / throttle sticking. I've yet to take it out to test again though.

Sounds like it will be fuel or ignition related. As you have electronic ignition check all is ok inside the distributor cap with the rotor arm & cap electrodes. Check vacuum advance works. Check for a spark when problem occurs - could be coil breaking down.

If all is ok there then move on to the fuel system - first of all make sure the choke is working correctly and isn't stuck on when engine is hot - this is quite common.

If no luck, check the float level (remove carb top), but before that check the carb's fuel filter under the fuel inlet pipe. Also check the fuel tank isn't full of rust & blocking off the intake tube, that the fuel pump is working ok, and that the fuel pipes aren't too close to the exhaust or engine - sounds like it may have some fuel vaporisation problem. Make sure the fuel cap vent isn't blocked as vapour lock can occur (open the cap and listen for a rush of air when problem has occurred - if there is then the vent is blocked).

Please let me know if you are still having problems after these checks.

22nd July 2006

by Peter Scott

I just found your site but can't figure how to ask technical questions ? My car is a 3000S and my question is: what are the torque settings when refitting the rocker covers on new gaskets ?

The torque setting is 2.5 to 3.5 lb/ft (or .35 to .42kg/m)

Hope you have a small torque screwdriver as that is a very low setting!

To ask a technical question just go to the Technical Questions main page and click on the link.

11th July 2006

By Simon Worthington

Help --- got any info on Ally heads on a TVR turbo (V6 essex)..........
Try Ric Wood - he makes these -

3rd February 2006

by Jerry Stockwell

I have an 1973 3000m

I am having bother with the throttle cable

It routes vertically through the bulkhead near the servo ( the outer sleeve terminates at this point) and through the plate holding the pedal assembly to the bodyshell - it then seems to angle down about 45 degrees onto the throttle linkage.

The problem is where it comes through the bulkhead and changes angle it has started wearing a groove in the metal plate - so much so it binds every now and then.

Does this sound like the correct installation of the cable - do you have any photos to show how it should get from the engine bay to the pedal.

Follow up by Jerry on 8th February 2006

Yeah it is as you say - the outer sits in the guide on the top side of the pedal box - I think the main problem is the change of angle as the inner goes through the bulkhead - it is vertical in the engine bay side but is severely angled on the inside of the car as it goes to the throttle pedal and this change in angle is where it passes through the metal plate of the pedal box - hence the wear.

Sounds like something isn't quite right there as the end of the throttle cable should sit in the cable outer guide...sorry car not to hand at the moment but I'm sure from memory an adapter allows the cable to sit inside it - then locates in the top of the pedal box. If a groove has been worn into the pedal box cable hole then I guess the cable is somehow contacting the pedal box directly? A new cable and (possibly with the new cable) you can use a machined end (normally alloy) which allows the cable to locate correctly in the pedal box hole. Try getting a mountain bike brake cable from your local Halfords store as they are teflon lined and usually one is available with some alloy end inserts - useful for home made cables.

The cables are always way too long so hacksaw the cable outer, then solder the inner at the cutting point BEFORE cutting off with a good pair of wire cutters - this way it won't fray.

30th December 2005

by Eric

The reason for this email is I thought you might be able to help identify this manifold; there are some interesting features that I have not seen before.

3 bolt carb fixings plus the open end which I am unsure of its purpose, as to who made this manifold is unclear the only details that I have is this was from a very early 3.1 X pack Capri the chrome finish has been done be the original owner , was this manifold a pre-production ford item?

Click on image below for 6x large photos of this:


Answer from Axel Tenkink from the Netherlands on 27th Jan 2006:

The inlet manifold must be an early attempt to fit triple carbs on an essex
engine, recognisable by its oval inlet ports, as opposed to later engines
which had a D-shaped inlet canal.
These early engines were produced till approx 1972, when the D type heads were introduced, and the engine in general was slightly improved upon and the block made stronger. they also used a different type of oilpump. They were used in the Ford Zodiac Mk IV, early Scimitars and the TVR Tuscan V6!

These early engines are recognisable externally by the fact that their
dipstick was mounted in the front cover, as opposed to the right hand side
of the block.

The is presumably a possibility (outlet) to link up to a heater system.

I used to own a LHD TVR Tuscan (only 6 were built!), at present I run a 1973
TVR M (which I've own 27years) and a 1967 Scimitar Coupe.


Answer from Jason Cooke on 20th June 2006

Regarding the inlet manifold on your Technical Questions page....

This type of manifold was original produced by a company called "Tecalemit
Jackson" of Plymouth (TJ Engineering Ltd) back in the late 60's for the
early type of Ford Essex V6 engines.
It was originally designed for an early fuel injection set up - hence you
will note there are no carburettor studs on there.
However, this was easily converted to hold 3 Webber DCNF carbs by machining adapter blocks which were bolted on top of the existing bases and which have the carb studs in them.
You will also notice that the 3 carb bases are not symetrical. This caused a problem to fit two of the webers as they are very close - to get around this the starter assembly (choke) must be removed from the end carb.

I know this because I also have one of these inlet manifolds which I will be
selling v soon :-) look out on eBay!

I have never seen a manifold like this - the square (water take off I am guessing?) The 3 bolt holes for each carb is also strange - why not 4? Can't be standard Webers on there - although the intakes look like DCNF sizes. Perhaps a second part (i.e. plenum or intake pipes originally bolted on to the manifold with a remote throttle body?? Seems unlikely if this manifold is 20-30 years old. Perhaps from a turbo engine?

If anyone can advise or suggest anything please email us with your comments here

18th October 2005

by Duncan Ross

The Engine for some reason sprays oil out of rocker cover cap. I have cleared the breather hole but to no avail it looks like there is some serious back pressure there but I have no idea where to start looking for the problem. (TVR 1600M)


Duncan's reply:

Engine has been rebuilt 900 miles ago with hepolite pistons, strengthened cranckshaft and unleaded gas flown head. So if something wrong there I'm in for big trouble. There is no excessive pressure at the dipstick. Could it be just a choked oil breather?

The rocker cap oil problem could be down to the seals not fitting correctly, but you've not mentioned where the oil is coming out of i.e. around the edge of the cap, or through the breather. Check the dipstick tube for crankcase pressure (carefully lift out the dipstick with the engine running to see if the pressure is as great there). I would certainly check the compression of all 4 cylinders first to make sure the piston rings aren't worn out. I am guessing on a figure for the pressures but guess anything from 150 Psi to 200 Psi would be seen - any less and the rings/bores may be worn. This also depends on the compression ration but the above figures are what I would expect.

Response to Duncan's reply:

The compression would be worth checking to make sure the engine is ok - don't forget that new engines have less compressions slightly until the bores/rings bed in. At 900 miles it should have started to bed in though - check the compression as this will tell you if anything is wrong. I have seen a new factory engine with a broken piston ring before - it's not unknown - so things need checking to make sure, whoever built the engine. Try a "dry" compression test (all plugs removed, foot to the floor on the throttle). Then try a "wet" test - same but a single squirt of oil from an engineer's oil can - any significant rise in compression means there is a ring problem. No rise on a poor compression reading could mean the valve guide to valve stem clearance could be too great - hence combustion pressure is travelling up the guides into the rocker area. Of course this may be seen as blue smoke from the exhaust when the engine is started but if the stem seals are new they may stop this, but still allow pressure from the cylinders to escape into the rocker area.

Just going back to the oil spraying symptom, have you checked the rocker shaft for correct alignment? In some engines if the rocker shaft is fitted incorrectly this can block some of the oilways - possibly could cause oil spraying out somewhere it shouldn't within the rocker cover. As you say the dipstick isn't blowing out much crank pressure, then yes it could be a blocked breather somewhere. Check the oil filler cap is sealing, and check the compression most importantly.

The engine needs a full check really as it could be a few things!

23rd June 2005

By Bob Carroll

I’ve got conversion set of Weber DCOE40s to fit a TR6. However, once I got them and held them up over the original carb setup, it looks like there may be some trimming of the footwell and/or heater ducting. I can’t be sure because once I saw the potential interference, I set them aside rather than pulling the old intake and carbs (and replacing the rather expensive gasket in the process). Do you know if any cutting actually is required? I’m planning to run the carbs without velocity stacks and with RamFlow filters installed because they are the lowest profile ones I could find with the smallest lateral footprint. If anyone’s done this conversion before and can tell me if there are any chassis mods required, I’d really appreciate it. I haven't got any info on this conversion I'm afraid, so I have placed your enquiry on the main page & technical questions pages & hopefully someone will give you an answer pretty soon.

If you can help please see same article on homepage and send us an email.

23rd May 2005

By Paul Bennet

I still have my tvr 3000m in bits !!.

The latest repair is a leaking coreplug (See photo attached) on the drivers side block behind the dipstick. When I brought the car in January 2005 , I notice a slight weep to the coreplug. I removed the exhaust manifold and coreplug, Purchased a coreplug set from Burtonpower and tried to replace coreplug, The coreplug I assume needs a hefty wack to locate in the block.Problem is there does not seem to be enough space to get a good swing , do you have any ideas how to get the coreplug installed without removing the engine?

When the coreplug was removed there does seem to be what look like a metal ring which is located in the block and the coreplug locates within the metal ring (See photo attached) orange sealer is excess from sealer when trying to install coreplug.

As this is my first ford engined classic I don't know if the ring should be removed to reinstall the new core plug. Do you know what diameter the new coreplug should be?

Follow up on 19th June 2005:

Just to let you know that I had to let my local classic car workshop have a go @ getting the coreplug replaced.

We thought that we would have to take the engine out, But the workshop tried using a hydraulic ram which they fixed to the chassis ,they managed to replace the coreplug ok.

I now have the car back in the garage and am starting on stripping and rebuilding the LH front suspension.

The position of the coreplug is tricky - as you have already found out. The metal ring you mention is (I'm pretty sure) just the way the block has been machined, so don't try to remove it.

Not sure on the diameter, but they are tight to fit anyway and usually need a good belt with a suitable drift (or socket if no drift available) and a lump hammer (carefully!). Engine removal may be your only option if unable to get it in I'm afraid, but you could always try sticking the new plug in the freezer for an hour before trying to fit - sometimes it helps me with tight wheel bearings to freeze the shell first.

25th April 2005

By Mark Kavanagh

Can you tell me the correct size of the inlet manifold bolts? Did not notice when removing it that it had 2 lengths of bolt? Has someone made a mistake on previous rebuild?. Also where can I purchase off the shelf chrome rocker covers? Sorry I only have one set of these bolts and they're on the car so I can't measure them. However from memory I'm pretty sure that there are two lengths as the bolt holes in the manifold are different depths. Place your bolts in the manifold and see how much thread protrudes from each hole, then you can put them in the right place. If some stick out further you'll need to measure the depth of thread available in the cylinder head so they don't bottom out.

As for chrome rocker covers, i've not heard of these before on an Essex, but you will be able to chrome the standard pressed steel ones if you take them to a chroming company, see below:

Try Chrome Restoration Specialists - Tel/Fax 08704 430481, or Wooburn Metal Polishing & Plating Ltd - Tel/Fax 01628 850911

27th March 2005

By Mark Kavanagh

The timing gear on my essex v6 is of the later ford type,that is with the black plasic teeth. It shows no wear but would you still advise to change to a steel gear? Yes that's the fibre toothed gear alright - change it as soon as you can!

20th September 2004

By Chris Wiggin

I own a 1600m but unfortunately the engine expired last weekend. I am considering buying a completely reconditioned unit from Vulcan Engineering (
They bore out the 1600 engine to 1700 and fit Maxiflow lead free cylinder heads, Kent camshafts and modified pistons to give increased power. They do three versions at 110bhp, 135bhp and a 145bhp version that peaks at 7000rpm. I spoke to them about my car and they recommended the 145bhp version (well they would, wouldn’t they). My concern is whether other components such as the back end and transmission will be capable of handling the increased power and whether I should also consider modifying the brakes and springs/shocks?

I have posted this question on the TVRCC website and had a response from a club commitee member that a friend fitted the same Vulcan engine in his car and it drove brilliantly but he did warn that the diff casing is prone to carcking and may not be up to the job. I also emailed David Gerald TVR and Doug Elwood this to say:

"As the 1600 m shared its suspension and brakes with the (138 bhp ) 3.0 l V6 cars this sould not be an issue ; however the diff will really not be up to the job and its a fairly major task to convert to a stronger type; also cooling system will be an issue".

Now i'm really concerned that the diff will not take the extra power but I've noticed that you have fitted a V8 to a 1600 with no apparent problems. If you could spare a few moments to let me know your thoughts i'd really appreciate it. I use my 1600 for occassional sprinting, classic rallies and track days and would love to fit a 145bhp unit but i'm now thinking I should just fit a reconditioned unmodified unit. I should say I am completely un-techy and can just about spot the difference between an engine and a gearbox so if you could type your response slowly i'd appreciate it!

Well I would say the Salisbury diff (the stronger diff fitted to later M Series cars) is better, but if you bought a reconditioned TR6 diff from Rimmer Brothers then it should have a guarantee of at least a year. 145bhp is not much above a standard 3000M so if it were my car I would try the diff "as is" and see what happens! In the mean time save up for a Salisbury diff conversion, but as Doug said it is expensive to do as apart from the difficult to find Salisbury diff, you need complete new 1/2 shafts, a new diff cradle & bushes, and I think a different propshaft.....none of those bits are common or cheap. Of course I am able to fix things myself and that does help a lot, so please ignore my "risk it" suggestion!

The article you read was from someone who converted their 1600M, and looks like the diff. was fine after it was rebuilt - I would suggest keeping it anyway as the TR6 wasn't a low powered car anyway.

6th August 2004

By John

I have a 1600M which has a sluggish 1600 Ford Cross Flow. I have a Ford 1800 Zetec engine which I would like to swap.

Any experience or advice please?

Wow this one I've not seen yet! Still, engine conversions have been pretty
common on the M series yet I
have no info. on this so I guess you are one of the first to consider it.
Most importantly check engine to gearbox conversions - see if you can get
your zetec to fit the original gearbox, i do know a lot of ford 'boxes fit
other engines and I was told even the Zetec follows Ford's historical engine
layouts in these terms. Burton Power in Essex should be able to help you
with good advice -

If you get anywhere then the next thing to do is work out where the new
engine mount chassis brackets need to go, also the best position (height) to
allow clearance for bonnet, and also propshaft alignment.

18th February 2004

by Trevor Bevan
I have just reconditioned my Essex 3ltr v6 engine,it is 30 years old,and a friend of mine advised me to change the fibre cam wheel next to the timing gear for a stronger one out of a mk 1 capri or a granada because the existing one may break,i am told they are stronger. or could you tell me where i could buy one,the engine is for my gilbern invader mk 3. Your friend is right about the cam gear being weak, but i'm not sure about the granada/mk1 capri gear being steel. I know the Mk1 essex engine was different slightly but almost sure they all had fibre gears. The V4 Essex had a steel gear but unsure again as it also had a balance shaft so may differ and be incompatible with the V6.
Your best bet would be to contact Burton Power who do indeed stock this item. It is produced by a company called Quaife, but i have contacted them and they say contact Burton Power - no savings there!
28th December 2003

by Hans "3000M"
As I think I can see on the photo's of your engine the "pcv" is not connected to the carb or the airfilter. OK, for the environment there should be a connection, but for the engine itself? People who race TR-engines told me they had to connect the pcv at the inletmanifold or the oil would blow out. But is this the same at the Essex V-6? The breather pipes from the rocker cover on each side go into a collector bottle near the gearbox - so oil that condenses from oil vapour drips into this bottle for periodic emptying.
It is normal to feed this pipe back into the bakelite spacer on the standard essex carb setup, but i decided not to do this so oil is not fed into the induction side of the engine.

15th May 2003

by Mike Jeffs

Updated on 18th May 2003

While Doing the dummy build on our V6 Essex 3ltr we have run into the problem of our brand new valve springs from the UK binding before getting full valve lift. Now my question is:

What is the installed height of the original valve springs on a V6 Essex?

When rebuilding an engine a clearance of at least 1.5mm between coils is recommended. Less than this and the head will require machining to give you a suitable clearance. Also check valve guide to spring retainer clearance is not going to cause a problem. I don't have the data on the valve spring installed height I'm afraid, just that the standard free length should be 47.955mm (1.8880").

I guess you have a high lift cam? The 1.5:1 Yella Terra roller rockers with a Kent V62 road/rally cam give plenty of clearance on my heads, but the cam is not high lift.

Just an update on your valve spring problem. I have a data sheet from Burton which shows both their own & Kent cams' valve lifts. This varies obviously according to the cam, but the following types are marked as additional machining required to valve spring seats and piston pockets:

V65 - 290º Duration 11.17mm inlet/11.12mm exhaust valve lift
V66 - 300º Duration 11.73mm inlet/11.68mm exhaust valve lift
V67 - 310º Duration 12.29mm inlet/12.24mm exhaust valve lift
V68 - 320º Duration 12.65mm both valves lift

There is a warning note that states that the minimum total clearance should be .060" - if you have a cam similar to the above then I guess that's your problem.

Does anyone out there have this installed height data for a standard spring? If so please drop me an e-mail using the enquiries button at the top of this page & I'll forward it to Mike (and also write it here).

15th May 2003

by Mike Jeffs
We brought some Alloy rocker covers from Ric wood and they dont have a fitting for the PCV to fit in, i noticed you have very similar rocker covers, how did you get around this problem?
The rocker covers on this site's featured car are from Ric Wood too. I used a 90º threaded elbow pipe fitting, drilled and tapped the rocker cover, then just screwed it in with some thread sealant liquid. The collar for the oil filler was supplied already fitted. The oil cap is from a 1.6 XR2 Ford Fiesta or any 1.6 CVH engined Ford.