Top side teardown for Sunbeam Tiger engine swap project | Brad the Sunbeam Tiger King - Ep 2 - Hagerty Media
This week we had a very quick video installment, and I believe it speaks very well to the old adage “two steps forward and one step back,” which is basically every car project I’ve ever done.
As I continued through the topside disassembly phase, it was painful to me that I left a whole bunch of stuff completely untouched when I had the car painted a few years ago.
A little backstory: the car was built in 1966 in Code 92, Arctic White, which is not unlike Ford’s own Wimbledon White you see on Mustangs and such of the era. In the late 1970s, the owner in Colorado Springs had a little shunt in it and decided to paint the exterior red when the right front of the car was pulled back out. This red paint job lasted all the way to my purchase of the car in 2013, so I think he got his money’s worth. As much as I enjoyed the red, I wanted the car to be back to its original white, so I pulled the whole car apart and had that done a few years ago.
Back to today. I’ve got a Tiger all one color again, but I left lots of stuff in the engine bay (lazily) untouched during my previous project. The ultra-rare Tiger air cleaner assembly should be a grey “Hammertone” finish, but at this point was still just a sad, flaky mess. Probably looked so bad because it’s still the best place to put tools when you’re working on stuff.
And then, the windshield washer bottle bracket. Big deal, right? Well, it’s a great example of how you can examine at things on a car to get the real story. These brackets were originally painted Ford Blue, but mine was just flaking red with dusty white overspray on it. In the video you can see how I attacked that with paint stripper, and lo and behold there was the Ford Blue still under it all. It is going to be very satisfying at the end of this project to have all these little details finally sorted out!
In addition to the unpainted and unimpressive stuff mentioned, there were also some mechanical issues I uncovered. When I pulled the carburetor off the manifold, I was greeted with a puddle of oily fuel that had been collecting under the spacer plate. Perhaps this was why the car felt like it had a vacuum leak when it was cold? Not that this intake and carburetor are going back on anyway, but it means I should have paid more attention to that area over the past year or so, instead of just ignoring the occasional hard starting issue. I’ll also be replacing all the hoses, cleaning up the wheel wells, and more. All the dirty stuff I ignored last time.
Next installment: stuff starts to get heavy!