by Ed Esslinger in the August 1999 RootesReview
During the SOS Spring Thing there was some discussion on installing cruise control on our Tigers for the 2000+ mile drive to SUNI. I requested information from the Tiger e- mail list. Most of the suggestions were too dangerous to use but I did hear from two listers who have installed the Audiovox or similar unit on their Tigers with good results. Based on this information I ordered one.
The next day I proceeded to install the Audiovox unit. Believe it or not, there were no instructions for a Sunbeam Tiger. The first problem is to find a place to mount the servo. I could find no easy place to mount it under the hood (which is just as well since it would probably self destruct from the heat). Inside the car I was also limited due to my air conditioning unit.
One nice feature of the Audiovox unit is its long control cable, about three feet. The location I chose was behind the passenger side foot rest. It fits well under there and the control cable is easy to route to the throttle. Some installation examples have the cable connected to the accelerator linkage inside the car, but my A/C unit put the nix on that.
The next problem was getting the control cable to the carburetor. I had no choice but to drill a 1/2 inch hole directly above the existing throttle control cable. The cruise control cable needs to extend only about one inch into the engine compartment. I modified one of the supplied mounting brackets to support the end of the control cable and mounted it to the firewall using sheet metal screws. I then connected the end of the control wire to the carburetor as instructed.
The Audiovox unit operates from the vehicle’s speed sensor or from a coil pickup mounted near the drive shaft with a magnet mounted on the drive shaft. Installing this device turned out to be a very dirty job lying on my back.
The next task was to find a place to mount the control module. It’s a neat little unit, about 1-1/2″ x 2″ in size. I decided to mount it on the dash, below the clock and fuel gauge and run the wires through the existing hole in the dash. On my other Tiger I think I will mount it in the ash tray out of sight.
The instructions on how to connect and program the servo unit, are quite simple. Three wires plus the magnetic pickup cable are routed through existing grommets in the fire wall. Two wires connect to the brake light switch and one goes to the negative side of the ignition coil. Routing the magnetic pickup cable is another dirty job on your back. The module wires are color matched to a connector plug then connected to the main wiring on the servo unit. A vacuum line is then connected and routed through the firewall to a vacuum source on the intake manifold.
When installation is complete the instructions tell you how to test for correct connections. Everything tested A-Ok.
The next morning I took the car for a drive, got it up to about 40 miles per hour, turned on the cruise control and pressed set. I took my foot off the accelerator and the car did nothing except slow down. I tried it many times at different speeds but still nothing but slow down. I then tried the accel/resume button. The car took off under full acceleration. I had to cut off the ignition switch to stop it. I double checked all the connections and ran the trouble shooting test again. Every thing checked out OK.
With the car running I made some noise measurements on the alternator regulator and compared it with my other Tiger that has a capacitor on the Ann terminal. It had about 3/4 more noise. I then connected a CB radio to the car, placed the antenna inside, and made an estimate of the noise level. Not having too much to lose but time I replaced the spark plugs wires with suppressor wires and placed a capacitor on the Ann terminal of the regulator. I re-tested for noise and using the CB radio inside the car I found that both noise levels were greatly reduced.
The next morning I put every thing back to where I started. Took the car for a drive, now every thing works as it should.