View Full Version : New here, and restoring a Tiger

05-10-2002, 09:47 PM
Nice forum...but seems to need some action.

This is the first forum I've ever been on, so ignore mistakes please.

I'm restoring a 66 MK1a after 16 years of 1 owner storage. If anyone knows of a place where someone secreted a cache of red pebble grain vinyl for the interior, I would be eternally greatful. I've already tackled a lot of the wierd stuff, and could probabley answer questions. I also could post about a thousand other questions, but will get to that later.

Regarding the post about the chrome headlight surrounds, its not really limited to British or Hillman, but they were made for the Tiger and Alpine. The correct chrome surrounds are Lucas and were produced as an aftermarket item. Thus, they are neither original nor stock, but arguably OEM.

BadKitty is also not me, but the name of the car. I also have a 73 Jensen Healey in the works. Look forward to meeting ya'll.

Thanks for being here.


05-11-2002, 01:55 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by BadKitty:
Nice forum...but seems to need some action.


First, welcome to the forum and yes, I agree we need more action. Believe me I'm working that issue as hard as I can, but it will take time for things to grow. I'm really glad to have another Sunbeam person here as, to be honest, the Sunbeam forum is one of the slower forums, but slowly getting better - hope you can stick around and help to that end. It took us 15 months to get the first 500 members, but only a month to get the next 130, so our membership is accelerating as the word spreads.

Anyway, glad you found us and hope you enjoy it here...it will only get better.

Cheers graemlins/cheers.gif

05-13-2002, 09:27 AM
Welcome! graemlins/savewave.gif

"Slower forum", Basil? We make up for it by having the faster cars... graemlins/devilgrin.gif

Bill Tubbs
05-14-2002, 01:07 AM
Hey, Bob....
Have you had to do any body work on that Tiger? I'm going to start my first foray into body work (this will be a long-term project, I fear) and will be looking for some tips for those who have 'gone before'.

I just bought a few tools this weekend and will see what damage I can do with my Series V.


05-20-2002, 09:35 PM
Hey PiperBill:

Thanks for writing. I have nothing specific to the body work on the Tiger/Alpine. My car is a Southern Cal. car, and save for a 1/8" acid hole by the battery, is completely rust free. Other than that, it has a few dozen door dings and such, but nothing major for suggestions or otherwise. I have started getting it ready for paint.

Things I have seen to date that are bizarre include the pop riviting of rubber and trim pieces as an original manufacturing technique. Most all of the replacement rubber can be had from Sunbeam Specialties or Classic Sunbeam. Rick and Kurt, respectively, will be incredibly helpful. Also got some very good repops from a guy Tim Moran in Texas. He goes by Tigertc on Ebay, and is up often. Write him or call him about what he has.

I did just finish a body restoration on my Jensen Healey, and if this is truly your first foray into body work, here is a list of musts:
1. Get a compressor with a big enough tank.
2. Get a reciprocating pneumatic long board, and pay the big bucks for the gradiants of sandpaper (should have an 80 grit for cutting, 120 for finer, and a 220 for near finish.
3. Glaze all your work with putty after you think its done.
4. After wet sanding, wet sand again.
5. Feather with a pneumatic DA, and after feathering and finishing, feather it again.
6. Guide coat the whole car. I skipped this step on the JH, and after paint found some substantive waives and dimples in panels I would have sworn were as straight as the day they were made.
7. If you remove any pop-rivited items (e.g., the snaps for a top you don't have, aftermarket trim you removed, etc.) grind the hole to a small cone and fill with an epoxy; not bondo.
8. Watch your work as if you're doing a panel not a part of a panel.
9. After you finish each step, do it one more time.
10. Always wear safety glasses (I know you've read that everywhere, but it truly is all fun and games 'til someone loses an eye................ ................................then its ping pong).
11. If you can't figure out how something comes off, call someone rather than guessing. C clips,whole screws, etc., can be hidden in the strangest places. For example, look at your window framing to note screws over pop-rivits over pressure fittings over sealent. Looking to the trunk lock assembly, you will note that there are some nuts that seem really hard to turn. Don't turn them as they are welded. The bolts are on the inside of the mechanism. If you are looking to do a concours restoration, the wire hose clamps for the fuel tanks suck, and the fuel tank system is a bear. The connecting tube unbolts underneath the rear bumper...don't miss these. If you take the tanks down, loosely connect the bent tubes and both sets of rubber to each tank and bend them around the rear of the car until you can put them in with the connection to the connecting tube along the back. Then set all the rubber at once and finally tighten. Don't try to do it incrementally. The fuel filler fittings can be next, followed finally by the hard connections at the back of the tanks to the uprights and the front to the wheel wells.
12. An air hammer has a 50/50 shot at creating a hole rather than breaking a spot-weld.
13. Bag, label and photograph everything.
14. Unless you are insane, or doing rust work everywhere, don't do a bare metal restoration. (Both the JH and the Tiger were absolutely rust free, but when I used to do this in Michigan, rust work was a must).

As you attack the car, I have one other hint that should blow your mind. There is this non-petroleum based hand cleaner available at auto-zone and other places called "Fast Orange." It has a superfine pumice and a grease cutter, and cleans absoluetely anything. That includes wiring, vinyl (takes a shade off of black, but left the red and tan looking like new...test first) rubber (incredible...cleaned then Armoralled, and it looks like its just out of the box), engine parts, nuts and bolts, etc. Another trick short of cadminium plating for items to stay bare steel is to spray a part with a rust fixitive primer. Then take a silver spray paint (never actually looks like cold roll or forged steel) and a flat black spray paint, set your stock to be painted and begin spraying the two paints together away from your stock. Once you have the black and silver spraying in a mixed cloud using two hands, move the cans together as if you were painting the part with a single can. The results will be a finish that looks just like cold roll or raw forged steel.

The biggest problem on the JH, and one I don't seem to have to face with the Tiger was removing rustproofing. I used aircraft paint remover, burned myself, burned the driveway, burned the neighbor's dog, and still had to do the whole thing ten times.

Now that I've rambled on for this much time, I hope there was a tidbit or two that will actually help.

Pleasure talking to you. Have a ball.


Jerry Porsch
08-05-2002, 12:32 AM
Well just got back on line had a virus that shut us down and ****ed off alot of my friends.
My Tiger is still running and we did a race at Roswell in July the car made 12 passes and is still running best time was 11:52 @ 116 mph.
We almost have the 331 stoker motor together, maybe by my birthday the 12aug.
Take care Fast Tiger

08-05-2002, 09:57 AM
One other thing to remember, you can never take enough pictures of assemblies and subassemblies as you take things apart. Since restorations will always take longer and require more than you think having references to what came from where are essential if you're not completely familiar.

I've done two Sunbeams down to the bare tub sitting on stands and disassembled several other so don't hesitate to ask if you're not sure about something.