by Phil Lindsay
Originally printed 3/80
Since my Tiger has to sit through commute-hour traffic snarls, I am always looking for ways to control overheating without resorting to obtrusive external modifications like hood louvers.
The stock Tiger hood latch is set up with a “safety catch” which holds the hood after the striker bolt has released. It has always seemed that when the Tiger was in hot weather, it would run a little cooler with the hood “propped open” in the safety position. This is especially true at slow speeds when the hot air gets trapped in the engine compartment.
I decided to attempt to improve on this “natural” Tiger cooling method. The additional cooling action occurs because hot air can escape out the small gap between the hood and the car body due to the safety catch. The size of the gap depends upon the dimensions of the safety catch mechanism and the stiffness of the spring that surrounds the hood striker bolt.
I have extended the length of the safety catch hook by approximately 1/2″. I fabricated the new hook from 1/16″ mild steel and brazed it onto the existing hook. Since the new hook is slightly longer than the stock hook, I had to provide a cut-out next to the striker plate for clearance when the hood is fully closed.
The coil spring on the hood striker provides the spring tension that holds the hood open in the safety catch setting. The stock spring is too weak to work with the modified safety catch, so it is necessary to install a stiffer replacement.
Remove the old spring by unscrewing the striker bolt and visit the local hardware store. The new spring should be stiff enough to hold the hood open in the safety catch position and yet be able to compress when the hood is in the fully closed position.
The final adjustment of the modified hood lock consists of adjusting the length of the striker bolt so that the hood remains firmly locked in the fully closed position. It is also important that the new, extended safety catch hook properly mates to its latch on the striker bolt assembly.
Finally, it is important that the safety catch release when the hood control is operated. There is a fair amount of trial and error work in order to make it all work. With this set-up, my hood opens far enough that hot air can escape from both the sides and back edges of the hood. When the hood is fully closed, there is no gap and everything appears “stock.”