TVR Tuscan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum RPM?

A large number of owners have found that the maximum usable output of the engine is around 6,400 - 6,800 RPM. Pushing the engine beyond this and up to its maximum (around 7,200 RPM) can lead to damage and is not recommended. These figures do depend on the type of engine and may be different for the various models and year of the car (3.6L, 4.0L, 4.0L S, etc).

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What are the gear ratios?

Gear ratios and change-up speeds at 7,000 RPM for the standard and close-ratio gearboxes:

Standard Gearbox

  • 1st gear - 2.95:1, 51 MPH
  • 2nd gear - 1.95:1, 77 MPH
  • 3rd gear - 1.34:1, 112 MPH
  • 4th gear - 1.00:1, 151 MPH
  • 5th gear - 0.80:1, MAX MPH

Close-ratio Gearbox

  • 1st gear - 2.43:1, 62 MPH
  • 2nd gear - 1.56:1, 97 MPH
  • 3rd gear - 1.24:1, 122 MPH
  • 4th gear - 1.00:1, 151 MPH
  • 5th gear - 0.80:1, MAX MPH

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What should the RPMs be at idle?

Idle RPM can depend on many things - age of car and engine, recent service, etc. As a guide, the following can be used.

  • Normal idle engine speed after warm-up should be around 700-900 RPM
  • Idle engine speed drops about 100 RPM when aircon is switched on

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What do the EFI fault codes mean?

Some TVR Tuscan owners report that the EFI warning dash light will flicker on and off or come on randomly, usually due to moisture in the engine bay. Many people report having this problem just after washing the car or in wet weather. Code L sometimes flickers on and off randomly but is usually nothing to worry about! The EFI warning light will usually stay on if there is a more serious problem. Below are the diagnostic codes for the Tuscan MkI.

  • A - Speedo sensor not activating zero switch
  • B - Speedo sensor not releasing zero switch
  • C - Water level sensor not activating zero switch
  • D - Water level sensor not releasing zero switch
  • E - Fuel level sensor not activating zero switch
  • F - Fuel level sensor not releasing zero switch
  • G - Water level sensor open circuit
  • H - Air temp sensor open circuit
  • I - Oil temp sensor open circuit
  • J - Oil pressure sensor open circuit
  • K - Fuel level sensor open circuit
  • L - Erratic road speed sensor input
  • O - No communications between analogue and control

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Where can I get the engine management software?

The software download and user manual is available from the downloads section.

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Where is the speed sensor located?

View pictureAs you look at the car from behind, the sensor is located on the left hand side of the car above the differential of the rear axle. You will need to jack up the car (one side is sufficient) and use an axle stand in order to safely crawl underneath. The sensor basically looks like a metal peg with a wire coming out of it. It is positioned close to the teeth of the crown wheel so that it picks up "pulses" from the teeth of the wheel as it rotates.

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What engine coolant should I use?

Mobil Antifreeze, 50:50 with water or any similar quality product.

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Where is the oil temperature sensor located?

The sensor is located on the bottom of the oil tank. Two wires come out of it and it can be seen best from the offside with the main bonnet removed.

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What should the normal oil pressure be?

When the engine is warm (above 60C), the oil pressure should be around 9-12PSI at idle and 25-35PSI at 2,000 RPM. This will vary depending on the engine, type of oil being used and accuracy of oil pressure gauge.

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Which oil do I use and how often should I check it?

The oil level should be checked at least once a week. Many owners use 5W/40 or 10W/40 after the 6,000 mile service. The average oil consumption seems to be around 1 litre per 1,500 miles for the TVR Speed Six engine, although many owners report using hardly any in between services. Some people have found that using Mobil1 0/40 is too thin and gets used up too quickly.

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At what temperature do the fans come on?

Generally the first fan should come on when the water temperature reaches 91C to 92C. The second fan should come on around 94C. You'll hear the faint click from the electrics and you should be able to vaguely hear the fans.

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What is the normal engine operating temperature?

Once the engine has been warmed up, the normal operating temperature range is from about 65C to 95C. This will vary depending on the engine, type of oil being used, accuracy of temperature gauge, ambient outside temperature and the way the car is driven.

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What replacement spark plugs do I need?

The spark plugs as per Sparkplugs Limited are either of the following:

  • Standard - Part number: DCPR8E - Gap 0.7mm
  • Iridium IX - Part number: DCPR8EIX - Gap 0.7mm

Alternatively, please see our 'Parts and Spares' page for different suppliers and other spark plugs fitting the Tuscan.

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What is the normal water temperature?

Once the engine has been warmed up, the normal water temperature range is from about 94C to 98C.

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What fluid does the gearbox need?

The standard gearbox is a T5 Borg-Warner, Type 240 and requires 1.4 litres of ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid), the TVR manual recommends Mobil SHC (Synthetic Hydrocarbon oil).

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What is Hydratrak (standard on Tuscan S)?

Hydratrak is a limited slip differential. The Hydratrak coupling unit is a sealed for life, fluid filled cartridge. It houses an inner rotating element which is also splined to the left hand shaft, thereby interconnecting both axle shafts via the coupling unit. Consequently, whenever there is any relative wheel speed difference between the left and right rear driving wheels, there will occur relative movement within the Hydratrak unit, which in turn creates hydraulic resistance.

Greater torque is then transferred to the slower rotating wheel in order to provide the vehicle with enhanced stability as well as tractive ability. This hydraulic resistance also increases as the relative wheel speed increases, thereby providing a speed sensitive rather than torque sensitive type of limited slip differential ensuring smooth and progressive operation.

In the event of the rear wheels being under difficult tractive conditions, continued excessive wheel spinning should be avoided to ensure excessive heat is not generated within the unit which may cause premature failure.

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Where is the fuel cut-off switch?

In the top section of the Tuscan's boot where it starts to curve in towards the rear screen there's a velcro flap (covered in the same carpet as the rest of the boot). Lift the flap and there's a black rubber fuel cut-off switch.

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Where is the carbon filter for the fuel return located?

The filter is located in the front offside wing underneath the headlamps.

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Which fuel type does it need?

For daily driving Tuscans can be filled with normal Unleaded petrol (95 RON). TVR suggests using 97-98 RON Super Unleaded petrol for track days.

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How much does it cost to fill up the tank?

Based on 1.30p per litre for unleaded petrol in the UK (Oct 2014), the Tuscan's 55 litre fuel tank would cost around 71 to fill up from an empty tank.

Make sure you don't overfill, and when the fuel pump 'clicks' off at the petrol station, don't continue filling to the brim. It can cause the ECU to perceive fuel starvation and the engine can cut out or not start.

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What average MPG can I expect?

TVR owners report getting around 8-10 MPG driving the Tuscan hard and around 24-28 MPG at an average of 70MPH on the motorway. General driving would expect around 16-18 MPG. Do not necessarily trust the digital screen fuel readout as many Tuscans will actually have 3+ litres less than what the screen says!

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How big is the boot?

There is enough space to store a couple of suitcases or golf clubs, plus the targa roof panel and rear screen.

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What size wipers do I need?

Bosch 21 S wiper blades fit the Tuscan. It's recommended getting them with spoilers as at speeds over 70MPH the wipers can sometimes lift away from the window.

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What are the tyre sizes?

The standard tyre size, based on the 18" TVR spider alloy are shown below. When changing tyre or wheel sizes it is recommended to get a full geometry set-up. Many owners report a dramatic improvement in handling.

Tuscan

  • FRONT: 8.5 x 18" 42 offset (usual tyre size: 235/40/18)
  • REAR: 8.5 x 18" 33 offset (usual tyre size: 245/40/18)

Tuscan S

  • FRONT: 8.5 x 18" 42 offset (usual tyre size: 235/40/18)
  • REAR: 8.5 x 18" 33 offset (usual tyre size: 255/35/18)

Popular tyres are Toyo T1R, Goodyear F1 and Dunlop Sport.

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What locking wheel nuts will fit?

  • 1/2 UNF (19hex) 60 Degree.
  • Halfords McGard 24138 locking wheel nuts

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What is the ground clearance?

The ground clearance on most Tuscans is 120mm at the front and sides. The Lowest part is the exhaust back boxes at 100mm. The Tuscan S with the adition of the front splitter has a ground clearance on 108mm. It also depends on whether you have standard suspension or aftermarket shocks fitted and how high or low they are adjusted.

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How big is it? Will it fit in the garage?

  • Length: 4235 mm (166.7 in)
  • Wheelbase: 2361 mm (92.9 in)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 1810 mm (71.3 in)
  • Height: 1200 mm (47.2 in)
  • Front track: 1445 mm (56.8 in)
  • Rear track: 1500 mm (59.0 in)
  • Weight: 1100 kg (2425.1 lb)

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Is it comfortable for a large/small person?

For somebody of 6'3" there's still more than enough head-room with the roof on thanks to the low seating position. For people of smaller stature, somebody of 5'3" may have trouble seeing over the dashboard and change-up lights. Unfortunately you can't raise or lower the seats, they only go back and forwards. The pedals can be adjusted too for a more comfortable driving position.

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Does the Tuscan come with a spare wheel?

Tuscans don't come with a spare wheel or space-saver wheel. Instead they are supplied with two cans of tyre weld which can be used to temporarily repair a puncture, getting you home or to the nearest garage to get a replacement.

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What should the tyre pressures be?

Depending on how and where you drive these can be set to various PSI levels. Some people prefer different tyre pressures for a softer or harder ride. However for normal road use pressure should be around:

  • 22-24 PSI at the front
  • 24-26 PSI at the back

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What type of brakes are on the Tuscan?

Hydraulically operated discs all round. AP callipers are used. Standard rotor size is 298mm, with the Tuscan S using 322mm rotors. The earlier calliper uses allen bolts to hold in the pads.

The brake pedal itself can be adjusted by removing the alloy pedal cover and relocating the pushrod on the pedal itself. There is a choice of location holes on it and the linkage. Adjusting this will change the throw of the pedal and the brake pressure / pedal effort ratio.

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Where do I find the Vehicle Identification Number?

There should be a small metal plate on the inside of the boot just below the lid catch with the VIN printed on. This number should match the one on your V5 registration document and within your service log book.

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Where is the fuse box?

In the MK1 Tuscan, the fuse box is above the driver's knees at the back of the footwell. It's recommend you push the seat all the way back and use a torch!

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What type of replacement battery do I need?

Type 096R Varta Blue Dynamic 12V 74Ah.

  • Short Code: E12
  • Varta DIN: 574 013 068
  • Dimensions: 278 x 175 x 190

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Where is the ECU connection socket located?

View pictureThe ECU connection socket is located on a MK1 Tuscan to the right of the steering column, underneath the dashboard. It is a small black 3 pin socket. To connect it to a laptop you need a special lead, available from Clever Trevor. The ECU software is available from the downloads section.

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Where is the battery located and how do I get to it?

The battery is located in the passenger footwell. The easiest way to get to it is by taking the front nearside wheel off, then remove the splash guard cover.

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Where is the jump start socket located?

The jump start socket is located under the car, in line with the front of the passenger door behind the wheel arch. The socket has a red rubber dust-cap cover that you'll need to remove. You will need jump-leads with an Anderson adapter on one end. You can also use an Accumate adapter into which you can plug a trickle charger to keep the battery topped-up.

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What are the three lights above the steering wheel?

These three lights replace a conventional rev counter on the dashboard and are set to show green, amber and red lights indicating engine speed. These settings can be changed within the LCD pod settings control and so the lights may come on at different engine speeds depending on what the owner has set. The standard settings are:

  • 6,000 RPM - Green
  • 6,500 RPM - Amber
  • 7,000 RPM - Red

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Where is the rev counter displayed?

View pictureThere is a 2 digit digital readout on the LCD pod display panel and also an RPM readout on the screen showing all important information, both accessible by scrolling through the display using the menu button.

Above the steering wheel there are 3 change-up notification lights, configurable via the pod menu.

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Where can I find a list of torque settings?

A printable list of torque settings is available here.

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Where can I find a list of geometry settings?

Standard geometry settings for the Tuscan:

  • Front Caster Left 4
  • Right 4
  • Camber Left 0.75 negative
  • Right 0.75 negative
  • Toe Left 0 +/- 0.01
  • Total 0 - Parallel +/- 0.02
  • Rear Camber Left 0.75 negative
  • Right 0.75 negative
  • Toe-in Left 0.07 +/- 0.01
  • Right 0.07 +/- 0.01
  • Total 0.14 +/- 0.02

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How often should my car be serviced?

Tuscans should be serviced every 12 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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What should I keep in my car 'emergency kit'?

The Tuscan toolkit (usually available from your dealer) comes with many of the items listed below. If you don't have this it's best to obtain the following items to keep in the car for emergencies and when travelling abroad.

  • 1/4" Drive socket set.
  • Allen Keys.
  • Fuses.
  • Warning triangle.
  • Hi visibility jacket.
  • Jump leads with Anderson connector.
  • 2 cans of tyre weld.
  • Tyre pressure gauge and pump.
  • 2 Litres of oil.
  • 1 Litre of water.
  • Spare throttle cable.
  • Duct tape.
  • Cable ties.
  • Insulation tape.
  • Torch.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • First aid kit.
  • Heavy duty gloves.

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What's the difference between a standard Tuscan and S?

The S has a bigger bore engine outputting more BHP than the standard (380-400 rather than 350-360). There are various other engine tweaks and are considered to be a little bit more robust.

The S version comes with a Hydratrak limited slip differential, close-ratio gearbox, gas discharge lights, air-conditioning, a better suspension setup, it's lighter, has larger brakes up front, a DAB radio and external aerial, plus a front splitter and rear spoiler. The lights at the back are also placed differently to the standard model with the rear indicators being in the spoiler rather than LEDs at the top of the window and the brake lights higher on the rear.

The Red Rose version of the Tuscan was a model in between the standard and S. It output more BHP than standard and had a few of the engine upgrades and modifications that eventually became the S. For pictures of the different models, click here.

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What safety features does the Tuscan have?

The Tuscan comes with side impact protection in the door panels and a roll-cage. There is no ABS, airbags or traction control, although the S version has a Hydratrak limited-slip differential. The bodyshell does offer quite good impact protection as the curved panels do absorb damage well. Rather than crumple, they shatter from impacts.

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What are the red pull levers underneath the dashboard?

These are emergency door release levers to be used in the event that the door opening buttons do not work. Be careful, as they do not drop the window as normal so the door needs to be slightly forced open when using them.

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Where can I find info on ECU wiring loom and connectors?

There are PDF versions of this information available from the downloads section.

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What should the battery voltage be?

Approximately 9v when turning over, 12-13v with ignition on, and 13-14v when engine running.

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Where can I find the fusebox layout and required fuses?

There is an image of the layout and require fuse amps available from the downloads section.

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What insurance group is the Tuscan?

All TVRs are group 20 insurance.

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How much does servicing a Tuscan cost?

Expect to pay around 650+VAT for a full service and 300+VAT for a minor service at a specialist dealer. These prices vary quite broadly depending on which garage you take your car to. If considering purchasing a Tuscan, phone around your nearest garages to see what kind of prices they charge.

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