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.

Splish Splash!

So I’m like a kid when I have a new toy. I have to play with it. We had some decent weather after a long period of rain. I’d planned a circuit of West Berkshire and my wife was navigating. We did get a little lost and we found an interesting water feature (watch all the videos with the sound off as I haven’t sorted the audio yet!):

In all I captured over two hours of footage. There were a few interesting moments other that didn’t involve water! First, the gentlemen in the inside in the following footage was encouraging me to pull away. I was happy to oblige (all with the speed limit of course!) but Stacey wasn’t expecting it and she lost her hat. This meant I was in trouble!

I also got a bit of footage of me opening up a little on the country roads. All perfectly within the speed limit…

We learned a few things from the trip. First is that although I love to play with my toys it’s a bit chilly in winter in an open car. Who’d of thought it! Second, cold roads, cold tyres and damp mean that she can be quite twitchy. I was a few minutes from home and blipped the throttle in a corner to test the grip levels. There weren’t any and she tried to right around on me. The battery had run out on the camera so my dented ego wasn’t captured on film. Probably safer to wait for the summer if I’m not on a track (where I can push the tyre to get heat). Finally. baseball caps are not suitable headwear!

Jobs done…

Okay so I’ve updated the brake and ball joint pages as both jobs are done! This is an important milestone as everything that would stop me from driving the car on a track is now addressed and the car should get through it’s MOT in April.

I’m planning to get out at the weekend (weather permitting) and get some miles covered. I’ve got a new microphone to record the sound and am putting the GoPro charging now!!

Time flies!

My word… over a month since I last posted! Work has been a bit busy and then I was away over Christmas so I’ve been concentrating on the car rather than the posting.

The hardware sent through with the kit was too long and I needed some spacers to get the callipers central on the discs. I then had a drama undoing the flare nuts (mainly because I didn’t know what one was until I started having a problem with it!). I then got my left and rights mixed up and rounded one of the cap head bolts. Finally I inserted one of the banjo bolts the wrong way around when attaching the braided brake host to the calliper causing a slow leak. Anyway, I now have the front upgrade kit aligned and installed. It has been a little bit of a journey (!) and I’ll update the brake page in the next few days.

I’ve had the car out for a test drive and it goes and stops. According to the instructions it will take a few 100 miles to bed in the brakes.

I’ve also ordered and received a ball joint press. I’ve had a quick go at removing the ball joint that has the split gaiter. As with everything it’s quite stuck in there (the section that inserts in the knuckle not the section that’s pressed in). I didn’t have a lump hammer at my garage so next time I head down I’ll see if I can add a little more persuasion!