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

A few firsts…

So, I’ve been out and about a bit in the car which has involved a few firsts. I attended my first kit car club meet. I’m a member of the North West Kit Car Owners Group (NWKCOG), the Tiger’s Owners Club and now Farnborough District Motor Club (FDMC). This kit car meet was a little bit of a liquorice allsorts as it was made up from members of a few different clubs getting together, in a socially distant way, near Aylesbury.

We then headed in convoy to a national forest where there’s a decent cafe where we were joined by a few other cars.

As you can see the weather brightened up considerable throughout the day. This was fortunate and I’m still running Toyo R888s which I feel need a little heat in them to work properly. It was certainly a bit sketchy on the hours drive up to Aylesbury! We broke up into smaller groups and headed out for some spirited country lane driving. I forget to pack my camera so I don’t have any footage.

I mentioned that I’d joined FDMC, top group of people so far and I’ve been encouraged to sign up for my first motorsport event. An autosolo at the end of July. Autosolo consists of racing a very tight course of cones in an area no bigger than 200m by 200m. I’ll likley be hopeless but I’m sure I’ll have fun. I have some stuff to do to the car to get it ready and compliance with the regs. I’ll add a page on this sometime in the next few days and share how supportive FDMC have been.

Tiger tunnel…

I was out this weekend stretching mine and the Tiger’s legs (in a socially distancing compliant way). I found a tunnel… couldn’t resist taking this video 🙂

I noticed as well that the race tracks are starting to open back up again. Hopefully not too long before I can post my first track day video!

First (USB) Port of Call…

Spent some time today installing a new USB port to replace the 12v cigarette lighter. This will let me charge my phone to keep googlemaps charged up when we can finally get out and about. Did quite a bit of wiring which wasn’t needed because I could reuse the connectors from the existing 12v socket. At least I got to practice my soldering and learned that I need a battery powered soldering iron rather than a gas burner (I have the blisters to show!).

Getting desperate…

My kit car is kept in a rented garage just over a mile from where I live. It wouldn’t be responsible to be spending much, if any, time there under the current lockdown. I’m certainly getting withdrawal from working on/driving it! So much so, I spent just over five hours yesterday detailing the ‘daily’:

At least I’m not embarrassed when I look out the window now!

I heard the fabric to remake the gear level boot had been posted on Friday so fingers crossed that arrives soon.

Stay safe.

Lockdown jobs…

It’s the smallest of frustrations to have to put up with not being able to drive the car because of the lockdown. So many others have it so much worse and my thoughts are with them.

I have been trying to keep busy whilst not visiting the car much. It is kept at a garage about a mile away from where I live. About every three weeks I’m calling in to turn the engine over as I take my exercise. I can’t shift anything big between my house and the garage because I don’t want to drive. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

I’ve turned some old pallets into shelving for my garage:

I’m making a grill ornament out of aluminium sheet which will look something like this when I’m done:

Progress on this job is paused at the moment whilst I wait for thinner aluminium sheet. The 2mm sheet I bought is perfect for making the brackets for the bottom of the radiator (to be extra sure I don’t get any rubbing on the chassis) but I’m chewing through Dremmel bits at an alarming rate!! I have some 1mm on the way.

I’ve also started to tackle the gear lever boot which was in a very sorry state. However, when I pulled it off I was impressed with the dedication of the original builder. The car has a black and which theme which suites me well! I’m not really that flashy (honest!). Whoever built the car sourced a black and white boot (which is actually RS branded). It was a mess though and certainly showing it’s age:

Most of the boot is actually folded down because the gear lever is a short shift. I did pull it off and try and recondition it but it ended up looking like Frankenstein!

It was full of holes and generally looking tatty so I unpicked all of the stitching and will use the old pieces as a template to make a replica.

Who’d have thought that sewing was going to be an essential kit car skill! I have the material on order and will probable start a job page for when it arrives.

Stay safe!

Sunday Spin…

The weather was nice so I decided to take the car out for a bit of a spin yesterday. I bought a cheap Lavalier microphone to see I could improve the sound quality. It isn’t great but it’s much better. I was only recording to voice memos on my iPhone and clearly when it gets really noisy I’m getting distortion. The microphone was clipped to my T-shirt under my hoodie. I’ll try locating it below the aeroscreen next time to reduce wind noise further.

One more to the ambush?

One of the great things about owning a Tiger is the amazing community. It’s big enough to have all the answers, but small enough to care and feel a part of. I had the opportunity to give a little back yesterday when I met a top bloke called Bob who is thinking about buying himself a Tiger. He wasn’t sure what model, so wanted to come and have sit in one to see what it felt like. I was able to oblige and managed to the headlights back on so that I could take him out for a spin. the weather played ball but the traffic didn’t. We got to open her up a little bit but didn’t make it out to the country lanes.

Well Bob didn’t, after I’d dropped him off at his car I stuck £15 of fuel in the car and then went and burned it… massive smile on my face the whole way around.

So what’s the deal with the title of the post? Bob and I were trying to figure out what the collective noun for a group of Tigers is. Turns out it is either an ambush or a streak. Perfect! A group of Tigers parked up is an ambush and then when on the move a streak!

Here’s the finished headlights:

They are back on the car and fully working. They do need to be aligned properly (just need to get my head around the MOT jargon). The next task is something gentle and absolutely guaranteed to not put my MOT at risk. I’m going to see if I can the scratches out of the nose cone. There’s nothing major but there are some marks. I’ve already bought a few products and will get the page for this up and running soon.

Headlights, bleeding and smoke

Popped down to the garage today to turn the Tiger over for 5 minutes as it’s been a couple of weeks. I had a few bits and pieces I wanted to do too.

I have something of a puzzle. In the last month or so when the car first stars there is a significant amount of white smoke from the area of the manifold, down pipes and exhaust. This video captures it:

It only lasts for a couple of minutes and, once everything is warm, it stops:

I can think of two causes. As far as I am aware the exhaust construction is push fit and probably sealed with some kind of exhaust putty. When I fitted the new rubber mounts for the exhaust I had to jack up the exhaust. Maybe I cracked the putty. As the exhaust heats up it might be expanding and sealing the leak. it could be as something as simple as the exhaust wrap absorbing moisture and this evaporating as the exhaust heats up. I think the former is more likely given it looks more like smoke the steam.

I finally managed to get the radiator fully bled. It’s been quite stubborn! I was pleased with the trick I came up with too! Here’s a picture of the coolant hoses at the top of the engine and the coolant reservoir:

I undid the bleed screw on the radiator and unbolted they coolant reservoir. Normally the reservoir isn’t much higher than the top of the radiator. The narrower coolant hose on the left is a return from the thermostat. I undid this in order to be able to lift the reservoir higher. I then noticed that the plastic tube the hose had been on was perfectly placed for me to gently blow down. I screwed the cap on and did this and hey presto a coolant fountain out of the bleed valve!

Finally, the headlamps have really been bothering me. They have some big patches of rust:

One headlight came off no trouble:

On the other, the mushroom headed bolt that holds the head light together is already rounded. I’m going to pop to the garage tomorrow with my dremmel. I’ll try cutting a new slot for a flat headed screwdriver first. If that doesn’t work I’ll drill it out/cut it off. It’s only a few pence for a replacement bolt.