January, 2000

I hope everyone had a Happy Holiday and didn’t overdo the Y2K celebration! And now the slow winter months are upon us & car-wise. While we have yet to receive any snow here in Boston as of the date of this writing, I have already put the Tiger up for the winter. But this provides more time to attend to other matters & like administrative and governance items for the Club, of course.

Our election of Officers for 2000 is now complete. Your elected Officers for this year will be myself as President, Rande Bellman as Vice President, Pat Morrison as Secretary and Mariet Jaarsma as Treasurer. I want to offer my congratulations and thanks to these folks for their past and future contributions to TE/AE. I also want to thank all of you who voted. Even though we had only one candidate per office on the ballot, you took the time to vote and demonstrate your involvement in TE/AE.

We are asking you to again cast your votes in this issue. In my column of December, I let you know that we were going to be proposing a number of changes to the club’s Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. The list of fourteen areas appears later in this issue. Most of the proposals are to make the By-Laws more clear, to conform to already established practices or minor procedural items. I would put all but Amendments 4 and 5 in this category. Items 4 and 5 are more substantive. Let me give you my view of the reasons for each of these.

Amendment 4 proposes to allow Elected Officers to serve up to four consecutive terms. The current limit is two. My feeling here is that if an individual is willing to continue in Office and the membership wants to have this Officer continue supporting the Club and demonstrates it through the election process, then the Club rules should not be as restrictive as they are now in allowing this.

Amendment 5 proposes to provide for an elected Board of Directors, separating the function of Board member and Regional Representative. The logic here is multi-fold. First, the traits we want in a Regional Rep and the traits we want in a Board Member are not necessarily the same thing, even though currently they are the same people; and second, it currently only takes five member’s signatures to name a Regional Rep (and therefore, Board Member & this is the area of Amendment 9) but an election across the entire Club is used for selecting the Officers. This needs a more balanced and consistent approach. I believe that the election of the Board will provide the best policy and fiscal leadership for the Club while maintaining a strong cadre of enthusiastic and hard working Regional Reps, as we have always had.

I ask for your support for these changes. I have worked them extensively with the Regional Reps/Board Members and have their support and encouragement to go forward. Later in this edition, you will find a list of these proposed amendments and a ballot for your vote. Please read the proposed changes over carefully and vote.

Out next issue (February) of Rootes Review will be the Roster Edition and will not have any columns, articles or the like. So I will be back in March. Until then!

Jim Morrison

March 2000

Greetings all! It’s been a couple of months since you have had a newsletter because our annual Roster took the place of the February edition of the Rootes Review. But we are back on the monthly newsletter schedule again.

Since my last column, we have had a very important vote on a significant set of revisions to our ByLaws. I am pleased to report that all proposed amendments passed by a wide margin. Every amendment passed with at least 90% of the votes cast being in favor, some passing unanimously! There were 75 total votes cast. Although only representing about 10% of our membership, I believe this was a record voter turnout. Thanks to the Officers, the Board and all of you for your interest and help in this major endeavor. I believe it will have a very positive impact on the future of the Club.

One of the major items amended in the By-Laws revision was to have, going forward, the direct election of our Board of Directors by the membership. To align the process for electing the Board with that for the election of Officers, the election of the Directors will take place in parallel with the election of the Officers later in the year. Nominations and elections for both Officers and Directors will be held during the last part of the year with terms of office starting at the beginning of 2001.

As published last year in the newsletter, at the Board meeting in October 1998, the Board approved an increase in the TE/AE annual dues from $26 per year to $33 per year for domestic (single or joint) memberships and an increase from$28 per year to $36 per year for International (single or joint) memberships. This was also approved by the general membership at the 1998 General Meeting. This is the first dues increase since 1991 ! It was contingent on our getting back on a regular schedule with a quality newsletter …a goal we have met. We have held off implementing the increase as long as possible to see if it could be avoided. But, increases in the printing costs of our newsletter have mandated that we implement it now. So, we will have a dues increase effective for all memberships received by the Membership Chairman after May 1, 2000. We will allow renewals/extensions for everyone, even those whose memberships don’t expire until later, to renew/extend at the old rates up until the May 1st deadline. In addition, we are now offering two-year membership options. More details are given in the adjacent article.

On the subject of membership, TE/AE offers joint memberships at no additional cost to a single membership! In this way you can have your spouse, significant other or other family member (minimum age 16) be a member with you. Joint members have the full privileges of membership, including voting. TE/AE is a family club and I think this helps reach out to the family members and lets them know that this is not for the car person in the family alone. And just in case you were wondering, when TE/AE publishes its total membership figures, it uses the total number of households, counting joint memberships as one household. This was felt to be the most representative method and consistentwith how other clubs handle it.

TE/AE has a great set of events planned this year. From the overthe-top BASH, to the Crab Feast, to the SOS, to the Spring Thing, to the New England United and much more. Tiger Tom Ehrhart and the BASH Team are planning one heck of an event. Hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, pig roast, drive-in movies and, of course, a bunch of Sunbeam stuff! Over 200 folks expected. Make your plans now for May 19th – 21 st!

As we here in New England wait for the spring thaw, y’all drive careful, hear?

Jim Morrison

May 2000

This issue is your first from our new editor, Jim Anderson. I hope you continue to support Jim as you did our outgoing editor, John Webber, in the submission of articles and the like. Welcome again, Jim.

Around the Morrison household, things have been pretty quiet. . . particularly around tax time. It is truly amazing how much time, energy, money and fretting go into filing this nation’s state and Federal taxes. Can anyone say “Flat Tax” or “Value Added Tax”? But enough of that.

I just received my 5-speed transmission “kit” from Dale’s Restorations in San Bernardino, CA. I have heard nothing but great things about having a 5 speed in a Tiger and, in particular, about Dale’s kit. The objective of the kit is to have a 5-speed installation that looks absolutely stock in the cockpit and is a complete bolt-in installation with no metal cutting. The key component is, unfortunately, virtually impossible to find anymore. It is a tail shaft housing from a T-5 from a 1982-1983 two-wheel drive AMC Concord or Spirit. There weren’t that many of those to begin with and there has been a run on them to go into Tigers and other British cars that used other British cars that used Ford V-8s for the five-speed conversion. I truly lucked onto the one I found. The tail shaft is machined to accept the Tiger speedo cable and Dale even provides a speedometer gear based on your tire size and rear end ratio. In addition to that piece is a new T-5 transmission (modified by converting the stock 0.63 ratio fifth gear to a 0.8 ratio), a spacer for the driver shaft and a modified shifter assembly from an S-10 pickup. Who ever figures this out?

Lastly an adapter plate is made to rotate the transmission assembly about 30 degrees so that the shifter comes up through the stock hole in the tunnel. Slick! Of course, the shifter is modified to be straight up and down and looks exactly like the short Tiger lever, even down to the reverse T-bar (now not functional). A new transmission to-frame bracket completes the kit. All you do is add a shift knob, trans fluid and labor!

The transmission is not in the car yet and will now go in until June. I have ordered a 347 cubic inch stroker motor from Dan Nowak in Orange, CA that will go in at the same
time. Similar motors from Nowak have dyno’ed at about 385 hp and 415 ft-lbs of torque. That should be sufficient in the 2500-lb Tiger! I worried about the power of the motor versus the torque rating of the transmission but I have been assured by everyone that it will not be a problem …that long before the transmission suffers from too much torque, the tires will go up in smoke.

Jim Morrison

June 2000

Spring has sprung in sunny New England and thoughts turn to Sunbeams. I have gotten mine back up to snuff after the winter storage and it is doing very well. It’s all spruced up and ready to go.

Last month, I wrote about the 5-speed T-5 transmission that will be going in my Tiger soon and described the super-rare AMC tailshaft housing that is needed to effect the conversion. Well there are still more of those tailshafts out there. I got an email from a TE/AE member letting me know that he had found one through an Internet search in 20 minutes and is having a kit built. The message & perseverance pays off. So, if you want a slick 5-speed conversion, don’t loose hope and keep trying to find that piece.

The transmission is not in the car yet and will not go in until June along with a 347 stroker motor. In looking into the motor options, my preference was to get a completely built long block. Ford Motorsports sells stroker kits and are working on offering a full motor, but it is not yet available and I was unable to find out when it would be. So I asked the Ford Motorsports folks whom they would recommend for the complete motor. The listed Nowak, DSS, Probe and Coast as candidates. I asked around and got very good words about Nowak. He built a stroker for Ken Mattice’s Tiger and Ken is very happy with it. So based on Motorsports’ recommendation and Ken’s personal experience, I have ordered a 347 cubic inch stroker motor from Dan Nowak in Orange, CA.

Ken’s motor, set up about the same as mine will be, dyno’ed at about 385 hp and 415 ft-lbs of torque. Dan is a former Ford engineer. He appears very knowledgeable and particular about all aspects of the engine. He has his own pistons forged and grinds his own cams. I told him that I wanted a good lumpy idle so it sounds as mean as it is. He says, “No problem & we will just move the lobe centers a bit to get what you want.” Pretty thorough.

It will be a 9.8 to 1 compression motor with Edelbrock aluminum heads, roller rockers, roller lifters, custom grind cam and all the goodies for making it bulletproof.

One of the concerns I had heard about 347 strokers was oil consumption. This was due to the 3.4 inch stroke and 5.4 inch rod placing the wrist pin hole far enough up on the piston to overlap the oil ring land. But with Nowak’s motor, he utilizes a wider (taller) than normal oil ring groove so that, in addition to the oil ring, there can be a full circle “support band” under the oil ring, giving the oil ring a full circumference of support. Neat! Ken tells me that his motor does not use oil and runs as cool as any Tiger engine he has had.

Dan is very accommodating about working all the Tiger-specific issues of front sump for the oil pump, front dipstick, 3-bolt harmonic balancer with the proper alignment for the pulley, etc. I even sent him a pair of old Tiger valve covers to be sure that the roller rockers would clear them. I should get the motor towards the end of June and will write again on the installation and the performance.

Pat and I just returned from the BASH at Tiger Tom’s. It was great seeing some of you there. Talk about “Over The Top”! Tom, Joanne and the entire BASH team did an outstanding job. Fireworks, drive-in movies, great food, hi-tech audio/video, balloon ride, helicopter rides, tech sessions, car show, tours, balloon chase, auction, parts sales, cruises, and on and on. Fantastic job!

Jim Morrison

July 2000

The registration for our 2000 United in Portland is underway! Just a reminder & get those registration forms in and make your hotel reservations early. The hotel only has so many rooms held for us and they can start releasing them by July 25th and the room rates may go up if you reserve after that. Also, getting your registration form in before August 10th avoids the late registration penalty!

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Donna D’Amelio who has taken over as lead Webmaster (Webmistress?, Webperson?) and is working hard to get our new website completed and available. Malcolm McDonald, our previous Webmaster, had put a lot of work into getting a new site going, but the pressures of a new job and all have consumed his time. They will now work together as a team with Donna doing the content and maintenance and Malcolm hosting the site. Thanks to both of you. I will let you all know when the site is up.

At our General Meeting held at the United in August, we will start the process of a first for this Club & the nominations for the election of the Board of Directors. Obviously this is a very important process. Currently, the Board is made up of the Regional Reps. Starting in 2001, the Board will be elected from and by the membership, as approved in our By-Laws changes approved earlier this year. We will be discussing this whole new era of the Club at the Meeting and in subsequent President’s Columns so you can decide and vote on an informed basis.

I just got Christmas in June, and man was it neat. I had received for Christmas a three day “Introduction to Racing School” put on by Skip Barber at New Hampshire Speedway and just got back. It was a Blast! Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 am to 5:00pm. A little classroom instruction but mostly driving or watching others drive and learning. The cars are formula Dodge, identical to the ones used in the race series. They are open wheel, tube frame, rear engine cars that weigh 1040 pounds and have 135 hp Neon engines. They are pretty peppy, handle great (1.2 g’s) and brake hard. It was amazing the amount of learning and confidence one gained from Monday to Wednesday. We were really flying & .or so it seemed to my inexperienced butt & getting to 100 mph at the end of the long straight. I have never autocrossed before will be giving it a shot at the United this year. Maybe my schooling will pay off.

A correction for the description of the solution for oil usage in the 347 engine I mentioned last month: The solution being used in the motor I am getting is not the “plug” in the wrist pin hole as I described. It is actually a wider (taller) than normal oil ring groove so that, in addition to the oil ring, there can be a full circle “support band” under the oil ring, giving the oil ring a full circumference of support. Sorry for the bum info.

The British car show season is here and a lot of our Reps and members are making good showings for the Sunbeam Marque. Let’s all get out, show off our numbers and support them.

Jim Morrison

September 2000

Pat and I just got back from the United in Portland, ME and we really enjoyed seeing everyone there. It was a great, memorable event. The chance to see old friends and make some new ones. To spend hours on end with our collective heads under the hoods of cars learning, evaluating, planning. A great drive in the Maine woods to see a fabulous auto collection. A Concours by the ocean and a fun Autocross.

At the United, Ed Esslinger was awarded our Club’s highest honor, the Lord Rootes Trophy, for his dedication and tireless energy benefiting the Club. My congratulations and thanks to Ed for a well deserved recognition.

These Uniteds don’t just happen. It takes a lot of time and energy from a number of dedicated members to make it all come together. I want to say thank you to the team that worked so hard in putting this United together David Kellogg (Autocross), Stu Brennan (Awards), Rande Bellman (Concours), Phil Perron (Parts Room), Pat Morrison (Registration), Steve and Janet Towle (heavily involved in the early planning but had to slow down due to a health issue . . . . we wish you the best) and to all the others who contributed. And a special, extra big thanks for the man who took charge of the entire operation and did a marvelous job as Event Chairman, Robert Jaarsma. Robert had many things going on, including other duties for TE/AE helping his wife as Treasurer, during the time when he was in charge of this United and was stretched pretty thin. He worked many late nights and long hours to be sure all was in order for your United. He deserves our thanks . . . and a long rest! A tip of the Sunbeam cap to you, Robert.

At this United, we tried out a new method for the Concours similar to what was used during SUNI III. My thanks to the SUNI folks for allowing us to use their system as a point of departure for ours. The new method has a more consistent system for what gets judged on each car, varying by class. It also allows each participant to receive a copy of their judging sheets, with quite a bit of detail, to see the strengths and weaknesses of their car. No system is ever perfect, but I believe that this will be a step forward for our Club in defining how our Sunbeam Concours should be done. We have posted the information on this new system on our website wwwteae.org under the “Concours” tab. Take a look and let us know what you think. Each month I have been giving you an update on my 347 stroker motor and 5-speed installation. Once again, there is no update this month. The engine builder is still running way behind schedule. My goal now is to have it in and debugged in time to drive it to the SOS event in Birmingham, AL on the 6t’ through the 8′ of October, but that looks increasingly unlikely as each day without a new engine passes. Hope to see you there!

Jim Morrison

October 2000

I am going to take this opportunity of my column to talk about the upcoming election of the TE/ AE Board of Directors. This is an historic first for our Club, having the members at large directly choose who governs TE/AE. We have a number of great candidates nominated. Now you, as the electorate, must choose. But what is it that you should look for in a Director?

In my view, it is someone who has been in the Club for a good long while and, therefore, knows what our membership wants and needs. He or she has seen what has worked well and what hasn’t. He or she has demonstrated their commitment to the Club by holding office, sponsoring regional events and/or running Uniteds. They love the Marque. They have the desire and time to serve as one of only seven top leaders of the Club. They possess the knowledge and judgment to provide oversight and leadership to the Elected Officers, who may not be familiar with the Club’s history and ways. We need people who do not hesitate to speak up, to challenge, to question. And, I believe we need people who can lead the Club into the future as our membership demographics change and as the influence of the Internet on our Club continues to unfold.

qualified people. Your job is to pick the best seven men and women for leading this Club. I ask you to all take this responsibility very seriously, to do your homework and to vote.

If there are any further nominations for Officers or Board members, please let me know via telephone or email before 15 October, 2000. In the November edition of the Rootes Review, we will publish the bios of all candidates for Director and Elected Officer and will have the ballot in the December edition. The voting deadline will be shortly after the first of the year.

Each month I have been giving you an update on my 347-stroker motor and 5-speed project. The engine builder is still running way behind schedule. My goal of having it in and debugged in time to drive it to the SOS event in Birmingham is not possible. If all goes as promised, I will get the engine four days before leaving for the SOS. I had toyed with the thought of replacing only the transmission for this trip but as I got into it and realized how much of the work would have to be duplicated just to get the 5speed in, I abandoned that path. The trip will be made with the toploader and 302 in it.

Jim Morrison

November 2000

Election time is coming up! Later in this issue, you will find the bios of all the candidates who have been nominated (and who have accepted the nomination) for election to our Board of Directors. We will elect seven Directors when we vote later this year. In the December Rootes Review, you will get the bios of those nominated and running for the Elected Offices and a ballot to vote for both the Board Members and the Officers. Balloting may be by U.S. mail or email. As I will again next month, I encourage you to vote. This election of Officers and Directors is important to the Club and to you. TE/AE and its stellar website have reached yet another milestone. We now accept credit cards and bankcards for the payment of dues through our website. Both new memberships and renewals can be handled. You can find this area of the website at www.teae.org/ club_info/members.html#Join. Please give it a try. I am sure you will find it a fast and easy way to keep your membership up-to-date. My thanks to Gary Schotland, Donna D’Amelio, T. J. Higgins and Robert Jaarsma for helping to get this system in place and tested out.

Each month, I have been giving you an update on my 347-stroker motor and 5-speed project. Well, the new engine arrived today! I uncrated it and have it on the engine stand ready for the project to begin. My current 302 motor is getting tired. I just returned from a 2700-mile trip down South to the SOS in Birmingham, AL. The drive was great, with the first 1400 miles being top down. It then got so cold (I drove through areas where it had snowed, for gosh sake), that I had to put it up and keep it up. The car went through a quart of oil every 300 miles, so it is time for a little freshening up. The car and 302 engine performed flawlessly as it buzzed down the highway at 3800 – 4000 rpm (thanks to 3.31 gears and 13 inch tires). I can’t wait for the leisure of the 5speed. By the way, the 302 is for sale.

The SOS was a great event as always with about 30 cars there. It is always so nice to see everyone, poke our collective heads under all the hoods and to talk Sunbeam. It is what the Club is all about.

Jim Morrison

December 2000

Election time is here! Later in this issue, you will find a brief biography of all the candidates who have been nominated (and who have accepted the nomination) for an Elected Officer of TE/AE. In the November Rootes Review, you received the biographies of those nominated and running for the Board of Directors. The ballot to vote for both the Board Members and the Officers is included with this issue. There are ten candidates for the Board. You will be voting for seven people and the seven candidates getting the most votes will be elected to the Board. In addition, there are four Elected Officer positions to be voted on. Balloting may be by U.S. mail, fax or email. See the ballot for instructions on each of these methods. We will announce the successful candidates in the next issue of the Rootes Review following the tallying of the votes. I encourage you to vote. This election of Officers and Directors is important to the Club and to you.

Just another reminder that we now accept credit cards and bankcards for the payment of dues through our website. Both new memberships and renewals can be handled there. Please give it a try. I am sure you will find it a fast and easy way to keep your membership up-to-date.

This month’s update on the 347-stroker motor and 5-speed project is that I have painted the engine and almost finished the process of gathering parts. I have decided to rebuild all the brake and clutch hydraulics while the car is down for the winter. I am a firm believer in silicon fluid, mainly because it won’t take your paint off if you accidentally drip it onto your fender! The downside is that it slowly softens and swells the seals, requiring replacing them every 5 – 10 years, as they eventually turn to gum. It has been 7 years since I rebuilt mine, so better to be safe than sorry and go ahead and replace them now before any performance is lost. As is always the case when putting in a 302-like engine, the pulley that goes on the four bolt harmonic balancer and the water pump flange position must be addressed. I am researching the best path for me in these areas. I plan to keep the two four-barrel manifold and carbs, the distributor, starter, etc. from the current engine. I will keep you posted.

Have a Happy Holiday and stay warm.

Jim Morrison

Leave a Reply