one deceptive black cat - more wild than mild and one to watch out for
along the quarter mile.
|Words: Jason Simms, Photography: Max Earey
is attracting more and more interest, and a powerful sub-section is
being created on the scene, thanks to events like Run Wot You Brung.
For these boys, body beautiful is nothing compared to the muscle that
lies beneath , and shaving off fractions of a second has taken over
from smoothing over metalwork. Our man Dan Pisit definitely falls into
and studying in the UK, Dan comes originally from Thailand where he
was involved in the whole drag strip racing scene. "When I was in
Thailand, I used to go mile racing a lot," he says. "I was
pretty good but blew up quite a lot of engines." Sound expensive,
but Dan reckons not. "Parts are cheap, you can buy complete tuned
engines from Japan for £400 and of course, labour is nothing,"
he reveals. "You can do whatever you want over there and not worry
too much about it," he continues. "They are quite good at
mechanics and repair a lot of parts rather than buy new ones. Over here
you have to pass an MoT - it's not the same in Thailand."
Dan's experience goes beyond his native shores and Blights, having
spent four years in Australia. Down under, the emphasis is very
much on big cc with V8s ruling the roost, and while there is a
healthy import and extremely healthy Holder scene, costs were
much higher than he was used to. Being a student and not finding
well-paid jobs easy to come by, Dan inevitably lost touch with
his favourite pastime. That is, until he came over here. "I
bought this about two years ago, as soon as I came here,"
he says, indicating his Tigra. "It used to belong to a friend
who's also into speed, but he hadn't done too much with it. All
my friends do tuning rather than styling, but a lot of them have
more money than I do at the moment and have Skylines and Subarus.
I bought the Tigra because, when my friend showed it to me, it
was small and tidy and I knew I could do plenty to it.
no doubting that he has done just that, as a quick glance at the
engine section of the the tech spec reveals, but this is just
the latest in a long line of options he's tried, few of them successfully.
The first step was the most obvious - wanting big power, the original
1.4-litre Tigra lump was never going to cut it, so it was ditched
in favour of the 1.6-litre Tigra engine. While a lot of us would
automatically think turbo, Dan was not convinced, not least because
he prefers naturally-aspirated engines. "This is not a good
engine for the turbo anyway, because it gets too hot," Dan
he came up with a plan to up the air and fuel massively with a
big valve-and-throttle-body combination. "I never got to
drive it," says Dan. "It blew up, so the garage put
in an XE engine and started work on that. The pistons and internals
took them two or three months, and then the throttle bodies and
ECU took another two months." It was taking quite a lot of
time and Dan wasn't too chuffed with the end result. "I used
it for one or two months, but found there was a problem with oil
leaking from the gearbox and it was smoking quite badly from the
exhaust," he says. Not good at all. To get to the bottom
of it all, Dan finally took it in to another garage. "The
news wasn't good," says Dan. The problems was quickly apparent
- a cracked cylinder head, which had clearly been on the engine
since before it was transplanted. Out comes the credit card again.
now funds were getting tight. The engine and gearbox rebuild didn't
help matters, but Dan still managed to find a way to work through
it and come out the other side smiling. "Friends helped me
out quite a bit and I got in touch with SBD about tuning parts.
They were great, I just told them what I wanted from the engine
and they provided the bits," he reveals. Even though London's
well-respected Vauxhall tuners didn't do the fitting work, the
knowledge and advice passed on proved valuable.
ended up with was a pretty extreme set of kit, which was capable of
pushing out over 200 bhp. Essentially, Dan had a throttle body set-up
but with Omega Racing pistons and some pretty wild SBD cams, meaning
that a load more fuelling and governing as needed.
480cc injectors were called in, to be controlled by the new ECU which
the bodies necessitated anyway, and this was supplemented by the obligatory
adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Just to add a little more complication
to the operation the head had to be modified to fit the cam on the exhaust
with an SBD air filter there was going to be plenty of explosive potential
in the cylinders, which would require some robust back-up. It meant
extra oil cooling, using the extremely trick Mocal system and beefing
up the mechanicals to handle the extra grunt. So in went steel con rods
and uprated valve caps to cope with the strain.
of revving all the way up to 7750rpm, Dan just had to tweak the brakes
and suspension to have a chance of keeping it on the road. He's gone
for the ultra-stiff set-up, even though he uses the car almost daily.
But then, that's a measure of the kind of driving Dan enjoys - as fast
and furious as possible, as often as possible. And he's made sure his
Tigra is up to the job.
XE, new Omega Racing pistons, steel con rods, uprated valve
caps, SBD tapered throttle body with new ECU, Vernier pulley,
Mocal oil control system, oil catcher throttle body, bigger
480cc injectors, modified head, adjustable fuel pressure regulator,
oil cooler, cool running thermostat, SBD air filter, exhaust
janspeed full system, SBD hydraulic cam profiles (284 degrees
inlet, 278 degrees exhaust), SBD exhaust manifold, 185 bhp.
five-speed gearbox, front-wheel drive.
adjustable all round.
285mm discs front, stand rear drums.
inch Mille Miglia wheel, Avon 205/40 tyres.
temperature, oil pressure and oil temperature gauges, rev
MD head, Pioneer sub, amp and tweeters.
Kits & Components | Duratec
Kits & Components | Hayabusa
Kits & Components | MBE
Press Coverage | Customer
|Home | Price
List | Site
Map | Contact
|Events | Press
Coverage | Meet
the Staff | Frequently
Asked Questions | Distributors, Dealers & Links | Sponsorship | Terms
Motorsport Ltd, Unit 15, Red Lion Business Park, Red Lion Road, Surbiton,
Surrey. KT6 7QD. Tel: 0208 391 0121.
Contact Details | Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter