Technical Tips Tasmin/280i/350i

Lucas Parts List

Tasmin, 350i, 390SE
DI, H.lamp,dip,flash,horn1985+35423 
Hazard warning1980-8133829a5
Heated Rear Screen1980+33931 
Reverse (service only)1980+39563 
Rheostat (USA)1984-8578527a1,a5
Window lift1980+33852a5
Fuel injection1980+SRB5003,a8
Starter soleniod1980+SRB5003,a8
No. Plate Lamp1980+56445a3

1From Lucas catalog XCB630 (1987) 
2From Lucas catalog XCB630A (1993) 
3Catalog XCB630A lists SRB500 as a 4 pin relay
XCB630 as having 5 pins (a 'changeout' relay)
Other Cars Using Part
a1TVR M Series1977-80
a4Triumph Tr81978-82
a2Triumph Tt6All
a3Triumph Tr7 
a5Lotus Esprit, Turbo, MK II, S3 (home,europe models)1978+
a6Lotus Excel 2.21983
a7Lotus Esprit, Turbo, MK II, S3 (Federal)1980+
a8Range Rover 3.5 Litre EFi (USA)1987+

Tasmin/280i Thermostats

The Ford 2.8 litre motor used in the Tasmin/280i is a newer version of the 2.8 litre used in the Mercury Capri. Ford seems to have made many minor changes to the 2.8s used in the Ranger and Mustang, so bearings and stuff in the 280i seem to be idenical to Capri but not Mustang parts. The 1996 Stant catalog lists the thermostat as a balenced flow type which was also used in the Fiat X1/9, most VW (not 2.0L) and the Citroen SM. Stant lists thermostats for 160, 180 and 195 degrees.
4 August 1999

Tasmin/280i Relays

The early Tasmin/280i cars used a small round Lucas relay with DIN pin out. I recently ordered some Tr6 horn relays type 6RA with C1,C2,W1,W2 pin out from the Roadster Factory. They sent the type 26RA round, red DIN/ISO pin out relays. The relays came with two brackets, one to match the mounting holes of the old 6RA style and one with a single hole, like you find in driving light kits. Even more interesting, these relays had both the normally open 87 contact and the 87a normally closed contact making them very usefull.

These relays come in a box labeled SRB411 Relay 26RA and have a Roadster Factory P/N LUSRB411. The Roadster Factory calls these T78S5G3 RELAY,HEADLAMP,HORN.

Updated 26 May 2001

Tasmin/280i Wheel Bearings


Here are the Timken numbers for 280i wheel bearings:
"Set8" for the inner front wheel bearing
"Set1" for the outer front wheel bearing


Rear wheel bearings are SKF number GRW213.

All of these wheel bearings can be purchased from Motion Industries (formerly Berry Bearing), which is owned by the same holding company as NAPA.
Information provided by Barry Rowe, 27 January 2002

280i Clutch Master Cylinder

The clutch master cylinder is a 5/8" bore master cylinder that is quite expensive, Well, it seems that our NASCAR and other oval track stock car racers use a hydraulic clutch. They actually use a larger bore, but there is a simple 5/8" master available from "Left Hander Chassis". It is sold under the "Tilton" or "Wildwood" name and costs about $50. Check with Lefthander Chassis at 815-389-9999. It bolts in -- no adapters even for the fluid line.
Information provided by
Barry Rowe, 27 January 2002

Update October 15, 2004

I have a concern that the replacement I listed shouldn't be used. It appears that they are not compatible with Castrol LMA hydraulic fluid. The seals appear to round off and the fluid gets opaque black in color. The first one I had did OK, lasting over a year. But I replaced it with another one, thinking it was some old fluid, and it lasted only about 4 months before I lost the clutch action. I didn't think that any rubber seals were not compatible with LMA.

Another thing, there is no rebuild kit for the Wilwood master cylinder and the cost of the Girling clutch master cylinder has come down to only $18 more or so.

On the other hand, if people used DOT 5 in all their hydraulics it would be fine -- especially if there ever is a shortage of the real British master.

Also, remember that DOT 5 (silicon) fluid is hard to fine.

I wonder if the seals are for DOT3 fluid. Do the circle track boys use DOT3? I doubt it. Perhaps the maker should label them for DOT 5 only..... I think there are reasons that we tell the stories about using Castrol LMA (or even better -- the old Castrol -- "Castrol Crimson" -- now that was great brake fluid and pretty too!), but I doubt even British cylinders have natural rubber seals anymore. I think that stopped years ago -- probably in the '70s. I have never heard that Castrol LMA can't be used in synthetic rubber equipped systems --- only that regular America brake fluid can't be used in natural rubber equipped systems. There are few of those left.
Information provided by
Barry Rowe, October 15, 2004

280i Engine Gaskets

I have an 85 280i and I also have the motor from an 85 Bronco II and the head gaskets are identical.

I also just bought a complete Fel-Pro gasket set on Ebay for a Bronco II 2.8. It looks like most of the gaskets and seals will work on the Tasmin. The exhaust manifold gaskets and the gasket between the heads and intake manifold won't work but I think that's about it.
Bill Strohmeyer
August 13, 2004


The Ford Capri was sold in North America as the Mercury Capri. Early models used the 2.6 litre engine with two port heads. Later cars had 2.8 litre motors with three exhaust ports. All Mercury Capris used carbs, never fuel injection. The Pinto, Mustang and Ranger used versions of the 2.8. There are probably detail differences between those engines and the Capri units. Later the European Capri was dropped and the Mustang was sold as the Mercury Capri.

Corrections and tips should be sent to CRC


Last updated on April 23, 2005.