The Beginning


NAVIGATION: Please use the above grey bar to jump to whichever section of the car/process you would like to see. The numbered sections are pretty much the order I did things in, so if you are in the process of a body off I think its a quite a good order to follow.

All of the information on this blog relates to a 2000 W Reg TVR Chimaera 450. This is worth noting as earlier cars will have slightly different ways of doing things.

I decided to write this to try and help those less mechanically minded that a body lift can be undertaken by virtually anybody in the confines of a home garage.

Sorry, but some patronizing to start with:

Safety. I’m not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs, but I felt obliged to include this. Working on and under any vehicle can be dangerous if good, safe working practices aren’t used. Please support the car on 4 axle stands (not bricks/wood/or any old blocks of whatever lying in the back of the garage). A good trolley jack is a must for safe and controlled lifting. Hand/eye/face protection is needed as working with automotive oils and fuel can be very dangerous. Some can give off nasty vapors, some can combust and quite a few can do both !! The author accepts no responsibility for any damage or injury that you or the car may sustain. At the end of the day YOU are responsible for YOUR OWN safety.

I’m also going to apologise right now…I may be competent/good/able at various things, but sadly writing isn’t one of them. Attempting to play author to this guide has almost filled me with more dread than attempting the lift !! Please try and excuse any grammatical errors and my less than stellar command of English.


I do know one end of a spanner from the other but other than that I was pretty clueless and somewhat daunted by what lay ahead. My Chimaera is now approaching twelve and a half years in age and I thought it time to have a good look underneath and sort any problems that were sure to have arisen. I also wanted to upgrade various things (e.g. suspension, bushes, some gentle engine mods, possible diff refurb) and incorporating this with a good clean up of the chassis seemed the most efficient way to go. This would also be the perfect opportunity to learn more about my car and give me the confidence to tackle almost any future job that might arise.

In this guide I hope to explain every step in as much detail as possible, but without all the technical jargon that sometimes crops up. In no way am I slating any other guide (it was, after all, these that I followed to complete my lift and I am indebted to them!!!), this is just a bit more of an ‘idiots guide’. When researching the lift I was always coming across phrases such as:

“undo the forward retaining nut on the electrical component modulator and the reversed spigot clamp will slide out of the flux capacitor housing”

Well that’s all great and I’m guessing perfectly correct. The only problem is I haven’t got a clue what it means. Even looking in the car at the area in question sometimes didn’t help. That’s the kind of thing I’m trying to avoid.

This blog will be updated as much as possible, but apologies for any delays now. I’ll try to keep on top of this as best I can.

Important note:

If you’re going to go ahead with this then DO it. Plenty of research and planning is needed, but remember that there is lots of help out there if you need it on the interweb and if the worst happens then a garage can complete the work for you. Try and not get overwhelmed to begin with. Take things slowly and methodically, make plenty of notes and take 1000’s of photos and things should hopefully go fairly smoothly !! And also get yourself a copy of the ‘Bible’ which will also prove invaluable, ‘The TVR Griffith And Chimaera’ by Steve Heath.

I thought it may be a good idea for a few photos of how the car looked before the strip down started, so here we go:

1686On the day I picked Him (yes, its a HIM. Definitely not a Her. It is a TVR after all !!) up from Fernhurst TVR

1691Back home after my first drive (not including the road test when looking to buy) having collected it

2923All polished up for a Pistonheads Sunday Service

3236Getting ready for one of my trips to the Le Mans 24 Hrs

So doesn’t look too bad then. But what lies underneath …

By chimrebuild