Pictures courtesy Bill Sanford.
The interesting thing about my finish at Nationals in 98 was 2nd and I missed being National Champion by less than .250 of a second. The real ringer was, 2 1/2 weeks before, I had severed the tendons on the back of my right thumb and took 2nd in 98 with a cast over my thumb and palm and up to my forearm! :) (yes most folks concede I probably would have won without the cast, but we'll never know for sure). Sorry, only one picture I've seen shows me racing at 98 Nationals with the cast visible and its at my thumb therapists office."
"I have a 1" solid sway bar with adj. end links, and looong bolts at the sway bar mount to prevent it folding over, since I can't weld it, etc. in stock class. Front bar changed only, can't add or delete to rear,(none there). I run some Koni shocks I bought from Joe Kidwell and had custom valved and larger shafts installed. The base spec we used was from a newer miata,(Koni, not stock). The wheels are custom built "Lightspeed" 14x6 and weigh 8.5 lbs each and I run 205/55x14 tires, Hoosier or Kuhmo.
It is somewhat complex about the ride height. In stock class, I can't change much, and manufacturers specs become important. (you can guess the difficulty I've had on that little bit alone). I've used David Gerald because they are now the manufactuors for pre80 TVRs. I measured the free length (unassembled) of the springs and found the rear springs had settled, I then had to replace them and this raised the car. (Early 98) At first I had adjustable perch Spax shocks, then went to the Konis. This RAISED the car again. The car has not had stock shocks on it since I got it and when Craig Gallun sent me an old stock shock it turns out the upper perch of the Spax was too low, the Konis were right. (All these parts have to retain stock dimensions... Bottom line is the car is almost exactly the same height as a stock 3000s with 205/55x14 tires.
As a side note I don't know if you know it but a TVR and a Miata are VERY similar in design. George, my 2 time National Champion friend in a Miata, and I were comparing cars. Weight, wheels, wheelbase and suspension layout are basically identical. But stand behind a TVR M type and a Miata and you would never guess the Miata has a 3/4 WIDER track! We did not actually measure A arm lengths, widths or "height" dimensions. That was more of a visual observation with the cars side by side and their wheels off.
The roll center would have to be lower on the TVR (again via a visual check). This is why I mentioned to stand behind a M/3000s. They look so low and wide that if they are not "wide", they must be "low".
Generally a lower car will handle better, but the rake can affect this, the back end raised up will tend to make the car understeer I believe, but the spring rate, if stiffer than a settled spring can make up for that, by the fact you would not be bottoming the springs or (more so) bottoming on the bump stops. Then the tires become the suspension.
I have to use stock suspension bushings, (I can tell you a story about replacing the rear lower A arm bushings and THRU bolt).
Putting in a limited slip differential was probably the best thing I did to increase the autocross success along with 1" sway bar. These cars have a lot of power, but can't get it to the ground w/o a limited slip. The diff is a Jag/salisbury type unit, the rebuild shop told me it is basically a Dana 44 with different bolt sizes. The diff is also removed from above, THRU the car! I can't change the ratio so it is still the stock 3:31. Gerry Sagerman told me it was possible to order a limited slip diff for the 3000 cars and the 2500Ms. SCCA rules say that as long as it was an option that could be ordered and installed in the FACTORY, its legal. Since the Turbos had Lmtd slips well published as an option, they were available.
For the engine I had to remake the smog setup (6 gulp valves) and I have to run the stock air cleaner housing. The car came with a K&N air filter-ok. I have to run the catalytic converter, but I have a Flowmaster muffler and I hope to increase the exhaust size to gain H.P., I don't need any more torque."
Picture courtesy Bill Sanford.
"The Tuscan was a blast, I think I have another potential winner (someday). It stalls turning right, too small wheels and tires, but it is stock. And it has not had any of "my" changes. On the way home my tow car, (the Caddy) looses a rear wheel! The next day I drove the 3000s to the track and lunched the motor the ONE day I can't tow it! :("
"I will probably will rebuild the 3000s motor and run it at Nationals, but the Tuscan is in the same class (CURRENTLY). ;)"
"I was thinking that maybe you should mention that the Wide Body Tuscan you have on your site is also the only Boss 302 powered one sold in the USA."
Bill's email address is email@example.com
Last updated on 18 September 2000.