Featured

Introducing the car…

Tiger Super Six with a 2.0L Zetec

I bought my Tiger at the end of August 2019. The car didn’t come with a wealth of history because it had a build blog on PistonHeads.com. I haven’t yet been able to find this blog (I hope I do!) but I will share what I discover about the car as I go.

Here’s the basics. The car was first registered in 2003 and initially had a pinto engine. The pinto let go at a track (the best ending for an engine) and a 2.0L Ford Zetec engine was added as a replacement. The Zetec has had twin Weber carburettors and a modified sump has been fitted. This was done three or four years ago. Since then the car has only done 1,300 miles. I suspect that there is an upgraded head and something has been done with the cams as well but I’m not sure. Best estimation of horsepower is 150 – 155 bhp.

The car look like it has been setup as a track toy. It has an aeroscreen rather than a windshield and no attempt to add comfort items such as a heater (not needed with engine so close to your feet!).

There’s a five speed gear box with a really nice short-shift action, racing/sports clutch and fancy racing cluster (RX-2N).

Block: 2.0L Zetec – Engine Code EDDC (Standard 135PS @6000, 180Nm @4000), Phase 3, Manufactured 1998-2004 for Focus 2.0L, Raceline baffled sump.

Intake: Twin Weber 45DCOE Carburettor

Fuel pump: Inline Facet electronic fuel pump

Cooling: Was a copper radiator with a leak (!), now custom made aluminium radiator by Custom made Rads

Brakes (Front): Was: VW Golf Mk2 – ATE 48mm (?) diameter single piston discs, now replaced with Tiger branded Hi-Spec four piston, fixed brake callipers with EPC green stuff brake pads.

Suspension (Front): Double wishbone with Protech 400 series shock absorbers and 8”, 2.25” ID – 275lb springs

Suspension (Rear): Protech with 8”, 2.25” ID – 180lb springs

Progress, progress, progress

It’s been a really productive few days helped by some unseasonably warm weather (back to cold now!) and the easing of the lockdown restrictions meaning I’m comfortable in visiting the garage.

The carbs are now back on the car with the new fuel lines cut to size.

Somehow I managed to lose a top cover bolt (you can see it missing on the top carb in the righthand image above… it’s on the righthand side of the new, blue fuel line). The replacement bolt arrived today.

I have bought a flow meter to measure the air intake of each trumpet so that I can balance the carbs and have a pretty detailed guide to follow on setting the idle speed and mixture. One of the helpful gents from the Farnborough District Motor Club is also going to look over my work when I’ve done it.

I can’t start her up through until I’ve added the missing bolt (easy) and sorted out the flexible connections at the rear of the car. There’s three things I want to do at the back and they can all be seen in this picture:

Just to help locate, this imagine is taken just forward of the fuel tank and inside of the near side rear wheel and it shows the fuel pump.

I want to replace the black fuel line (which on this picture looks a little worse for wear), make sure that the fuel pump is properly secured (there are some holes already drilled which might take a bolt or I’ll fashion a bracket), and finally you can just see the spade connectors on the positive wire. The mechanic I took the car to for its initial inspection was a little unhappy with these. He was worried if they came lose when they might create a source of ignition near the fuel tank. I’m going to add some heat shrink tube over the connectors to help ensure they don’t come apart accidently.

Once I’ve done this bit of work I can fire her up and get on with the tuning.

When working on the carbs I’ve also replaced the high density foam on top of the bodywork which supports the hood.

You can see in the picture above that it was lifting away and was really unsightly. IT took a bit if elbow grease to get all of the adhesive off but now looks much better (compare in the pictures above)!

I did discover this though under the foam:

There’s evidence of a botched fix already. It’s nothing too problematic as it’s only in the bodywork. I think I’ll stablise it with some expanding foam and then fix it after this year’s driving season.

The eagle eyed will also spot that the exhaust wrap is gone… it was well past its best and starting to disintegrate. Once I’ve got the engine fired up and running again the exhaust manifold is coming off and I’ve already got the new (black) wrap ready to go on.

I’ve also wanted to deal with a few cosmetic and ‘ease of living’ issues. I’ve replaced the indicators with new LED units. In the process I’ve extended the length of the wires to make to the nose cone easier to get on and off (hopefully it will be more on than off over the summer!).

the number plate has constantly been threatening to fall off! Quite frustrating so I’ve fabricated (a bold word!) a new bracket out of aluminum that will allow me to bolt and stick the plate.

Just waiting for a little warm weather so that I can spray it black before mounting it on the nose cone.

I have some other bits and pieces on order too… a new rear view mirror, some gel coat repair kits and I have just booked into a dyno in mid-May!

Distracting body(work)

18/03/2021: Partly as a distraction from the carbs (which is taking me far too long) I couldn’t help but revisit the improvements I was making to the nose cone. The foam insert that the hood rests on was pretty tatty and falling away. I’ve bought new and have cut new pieces. It also turned out that after sanding to removed the surface scratches the wax was covering quite a dull surface. After further investigation I’ve bought some of this stuff:

It’s great! Using a polishing bonnet with a medium sponge on the drill, and after taking some time going over, the lustre was returned to the finish!

I’m now planning to respray the mesh black along with the brackets for the number plate. I’ll update with some pictures when I’m done.

Head scratcher….

So this is a puzzling one… I’ve fully assembled both carbs. The fuel pump is sat considerably lower on the carb with the new parts.

I’ve compared the fuel pumps and they are identical. The difference in height can only come from the alignment of the cam. So it’s either the shape of the cam arm (they looked the same when offering the parts to each other) or the angle of the cam arm on the spindle.

The spindle came pre-drilled, as did one side of the cam. So the cam with the lower pump is at the stock alignment. I wonder if it’s a trick for those drilling there own spindle to make the fuel pump action more aggressive by drilling at a slight angle?

I suppose it’s possible there is such a thing as a performance cam. Bit of investigation required!

Back on track…

Yesterday afternoon I very carefully cut the new split pin down to size, bevelled the end and shaped it a little with the pliers. With plenty of WD-40, trial alignment and I’ll admit holding of breath (!) I gently tapped it into it’s new home with success! Such a relief!

The actuating cam seems to be working well and I’ve almost fully reassembled the rest of the carb. It’s been a bit of a journey, and that’s without trying to put them back on the car and tune them.

I’m working a bit next weekend but I should have time to finish the reassemble and remount them next weekend… fingers crossed!

Oops…

Things were going so well with the carb refurb and then I made a series of really silly and compounding mistakes. One carb is fully assembled and when working on the second, without realising it, I put the spindle in 180 degrees out from how it should have been installed. Then when attaching the fuel pump actuating cam, which requires knocking a split pin through the cam and spindle, this jammed.

Rather that take a breath, reflect and make a sensible decision, I departed on an a course of action which has turned out costly. The split pin jammed with about 3mm protruding (I’m not surprised now as I don’t think it would have every gone through with the orientation of the spindle incorrect). This was fouling on the inspection cover plate and prevented reassemble the carb. At this point, I didn’t think the issue with the orientation of the spindle was any big deal as I couldn’t visualise how it was causing the carb to not function properly. So, rather than be sensible, I ground off the excess split pin so it was flush with the collar of the actuating cam allowing me to close the inspection plate and finish the reassemble.

Turns out this was a silly thing to do. With the spindle 180 degree out, the arm of the actuating cam was not lifting the fuel pump high enough for it to work properly. I noticed the difference in the height of the fuel pump when I had the two reassembled carbs side-by-side. The job of this pump is to literally spray fuel each time the accelerator pedal is pressed, this helps the engine get going and create the Venturi effect to draw in the rest of the fuel. Without the pump working fully there would be less fuel reaching the engine on initial acceleration and I suspect that this would serious impact performance.

The spindle had to come out again but this can’t happen without the actuating cam coming off and this was firmly attached by a jammed split pin! The solution was always going to be destructive! I tried drilling out the split pin using a cobalt drill bit but that metal was about as tough as any I’ve come across. When this failed, I then tried to cut away at the collar and leave the spindle in tact. This is how well this approach worked:

I’m afraid it didn’t at all! I ended up having to cut all the way through the collar and spindle. Pay day tomorrow and almost £100 of car parts with VAT and delivery (and I suspect an import charge too). Stupid mistake to make, but at least I haven’t done anything to the carb itself. There was always a chance I would slip when cutting… very relieved that didn’t happen!

I suspect it will be a few weeks before the parts arrive. Hopefully I can get everything back together and on the car with a basic tune. I’ve identified a local(ish) garage that can tune Webers using a rolling road. Would be good to get a horsepower number as well. Something to look forward to as this episode hasn’t been my finest!

Carb re-assembly

Most of the parts have now arrived and the carburettor reassemble is underway! I’ve updated the carb page with the progress.

I was planning on buying some shot blasting gear but unfortunately my daily drivers was vandalised at some point between the 30th December and early afternoon on New Year’s day. I suspect this was a parting gift from 2020, it has been on of those years! Anyway, the misguided person manages to smash my windscreen, scour some of the other glass and snap off both near side door handles (with associated damage to the surrounding body panels and paint work). Going to be an expensive repair. It’s interesting though that my biggest frustration was that because that car is on finance this means I can’t attempt the work myself!

Brooklands Autosolo…

So I had the SuperSix out at the FDMC Brooklands autosolo at the weekend. Mixed fortunes.

The weather was rubbish but I seem to drive faster the wetter it is! Here’s a link to the first three runs:

Quite pleased how hard I pushed on the third and final run.

I was placed 3rd in class (out of 7) and 9th overall (out of about 50ish I think) at this point in the event. My last run was on the pace and certainly in touching distance of the faster drivers.

The whole event has started to slow down and I was seeing the cones more quicky… I’m a bit more confident with the ‘right foot steering’ which is needed with the limited lock too.

After a promising start the curse of the fuel flow struck again! Lumpy acceleration upto about 3,000 – 3,500 rpm with the engine being starved below this. I felt I really had to retire the car so that I had chance to limp it home (actually not limp it… needed to keep it around 4,000 rpm!).

I very much suspect that I have rubbish in the carbs and this is nothing that a good clean out won’t fix. I’ve added stripping and cleaning the fuel system to the winter tasks!

Here’s a pic of me and then the car in front of a bit of the remaining banking at Brooklands:

The car is certainly off the road for winter work. Problem is that real work is manic at the moment… 60 – 70 hours a week the norm so progress is likely to be a bit slow.

Because I want to spend a some time under the car (I want to replace all of the fluids including the gearbox and differential oil) I built some wooden car stands.

I tied them up a bit more but the picture below will give you the idea.

I’ll let you know how they perform

MOT Pass!

Last week was the first MOT pass! A bit close on the emissions and the hazards developed a fault on the way to the test centre but really pleased.

Next weekend is the last autosolo (at Brooklands) and today I did 300 miles to the south coast and back. After this is time to put the car off the road and start to get stuck back into the jobs.

Abingdon Autosolo…

So I managed to get the car to another autosolo a few weekends ago.

The solo was held at Abingdon Airfield and organised by Farnborough District Motorclub (FDMC). The section of the runway we were using clearly hadn’t been used by anything for quite a while as between the tarmac slabs that make up the surface there were loads of weeds… some almost 2 feet tall! Not so much of a problem except that as the day when on we tore up the weeds and mud which combined with the drizzle and a bit of oil to create and ‘interesting’ surface. Really good fun though and I had a hoot despite the fact that with no windscreen I got very muddy!

I drove much better at this event than in the last. Whilst I cut down on the mistakes frustratingly on second test I had two wrong tests which resulted in me carrying a penalty into the leaderboard putting me in the bottom half. I need to cut the mistakes out! I think I also should have had the award for the most embarrassing wrong test. On the first run I just had a brain burp and missed out a third of the circuit!

Eleven of the twelve runs are captured in this footage including all of the silly mistakes:

My last run was the fastest and, in typical fashion, the memory card was full so I didn’t capture it! I was only about 2 seconds of the pace and pushing quite hard. No wrong tests after lunch either. Lot’s of positives.

A couple called Ash and Emma had their first solo at Abingdon. They’ve captured a blog style video and I make a cameo appearance at 14:03:

At the end of both solos I’ve developed a hesitation in the throttle which feels like something to do with the fuel system. I can feel a carburetor service coming up!

We’re off to caffine and machine for breakfast… I’ll grab a few pictures and put another post up soon.

Autosolo…

So yesterday was my first foray in to ‘competitive’ motorsport (not that I was very competitive!). In case people are not aware of it, Autosolo is a relatively new discipline and takes place on a 200m x 200m tarmac area and you race against the clock through a slalom set up with cones. The cones are set up in different configurations (called a test) and each test is raced 3 times (with the best two times counting). Each cone hit is a 5 second penalty and if you go the wrong way then this is called a wrong test and is a maximum penalty (fastest time plus 20 seconds I think). Cars race in 6 classes with mine being in the fastest ‘F’ class.

Passed scrutineering… should look happier!

I can’t tell you how quickly the cones come up and how confusing it all looked to start! The first test I got two wrong test penalties, the next two test one wrong test and the final test none. The first test effectively put me to the bottom of the leaderboard because I carried a maximum penalty as one of my two fastest times. It did start to slow down though as I got a hang of where I was going, and how to remember the many turns, my times came down. I developed more confident in the car as well as the tests progressed.

Queuing up for the first run.

Good times were in the 60 – 65 second. I started in the mid-80s for the first test which dropped to high then low 70s in second two and then the last test was 60s with my last run being the fastest at 66 seconds. A few of the corners were so tight that I didn’t have enough steering lock to get round and not enough bravery to throw the back end out… next time! I think I would need to play with the setup to loosen the back end next time. We started in the wet and it dried out towards the end.

An action shot.

The car was great and didn’t overheat once. Picked up a small fuel flow issue (I think) on the way home that I’m sure won’t take long to fix. I couldn’t run my GoPro as it was a ministry of Defence site but someone did grab a few pictures of me in ‘action’. The amount I’m aching this morning is an indication of how much fun I has yesterday!

A very dirty car!