September 2001: Cylinder head
I managed to snap an exhaust stud inside the block on my own and was looking at about £250 to repair it. So I had to change the cylinder head on the car - well didn't have to as I could have got this repaired but had too good an offer presented to me. An ex tiger owner called Ian Martin had a spare pinto cylinder head going cheap. This head incidentally had been gas flowed, had a Holbay Fast Cam ,uprated valve gear etc, he thought it should produce about 30% more power than before. Not bad!
However in the way of all things Tiger I am making a few "modifications" (fault fixing) as I carry out the work. For example as the accelerator pedal kept sticking, I should really grease the shaft it sits on! It would also help that the cable ran straight from the pedal box to the engine bay instead of at an angle.
The engine was fitted and installed and finally running at 9PM on the Saturday before the tiger factory open day I won't say it was running well but it was in one piece!
I headed off to the open day and the cars performance was much improved, and the mid range pickup was a lot quicker. I spent the morning there. However the number of people seemed to be down on the same event held in May. This was probably due to the colder weather and a lovely(!) gale blowing across the car park. The weather didn't stop Neil Wain walking around in shorts although this might have put a few potential customers off!
However the best bit was still to come. The next day the car was booked into a local rolling road for a little tweaking. Bearing in mind my estimates of a 30% boost in power I was expecting about 130bhp at the flywheel, instead I now have 160bhp the guy at the rolling road said he was fairly happy with the results! The car is much the same to drive at slow speeds as it was before the work was done. The interesting things start happening when the engine gets to about 2500rpm, at this point the engine note changes and the car turns itself into a small guided missile. It will now rev to 6500 easily above that and I risk blowing the engine up.
If anyone is interested the work was done by Specialist Auto Services in Peterborough tel 01733 349329
The power graph is reprinted from a poor quality scan below.
This however has not stopped the spending of money, the car had been shod with the Camac tyres supplied by Tiger, however with all this power they soon showed up their limitations. I was sliding all over the place when the roads were damp. The tyres have now been changed to Yokohama A539s these cost a very reasonable £43 each and dramatically improve the handling.