December 23, 2006 at 7:33 pm #56871
Does anyone out know of a good how to article to convert an Alpine to a V8? I have been looking around, but have not found a complete article. I know it has been done, but is it really feasible? How many hours do you guess a conversion would take? How about a V6 tech article? I know a V6 would be quick and fun, but wouldn’t a V8 car be worth more later. Thanks in advance.
December 23, 2006 at 9:55 pm #61052
Here we go again!
I am not aware of a V8 conversion how to article, but all you really need to do is look at a Sunbeam Tiger. George Boskoff figured out how to do it 40+ years ago and nothing has changed.
I can give you a partial list of what is required.
– Remove the Alpine firewall and fabricate a replacement.
– Remove the Alpine transmission tunnel and fabricate a replacement.
– Remove the Alpine steering system and fabricate a replacement.
– Relocate the Alpine brake master cylinder and fabricate new pedal linkage.
– Fabricate new engine and transmission mounts.
– Modify the Alpine frame with pass-throughs and notches for the exhaust system.
– Relocate the battery and remove the Alpine battery box.
The V8 conversion can be and has been done more than a few times. When you get through, you will have a Tiger clone, better known as an "Alger". You will get absolutely no respect from the Tiger crowd and the car will probably never have enough resale value to cover the conversion cost. If you are interested in the resale value, you would probably be better off to simply buy a Tiger.
Not only is there "how to" information about a V6 conversion, there is even a well designed, beautifully fabricated and very well supported conversion kit using the Ford 2.8 V6. The moderator for this Forum (JimE) will probably be along shortly and he can let you know how to get in touch with V6 Jose.
December 24, 2006 at 4:28 pm #61054
What Barry touched on is just a very brief summary.Then there is all the little things that need to be done as well to do the afire mentioned to make it work.
My first V8 conversion was the 351 into my Lister clone.The second was the 302 int the 62 which was a V6 and on the road in 1980.
In reality the V6 with Jose’s kit is the way to go.200HP is easily obtainable and you will have a great Alpine without the hassle and work of the V8 conversion.Why then did I change?after 177000 plus miles I just thought why not.The 62 is near finishand I’m looking at lots of ponies at the rear wheels.
Either way it is your car and what you do is your choice.Just remember it will take longer and more bucks than you think.
December 30, 2006 at 8:34 pm #61070
The British V8 Newsletter has a fourteen year history of running articles on various aspects of engine swapping and other performance modifications to British sports cars. It’s free on-line. Historically, the Newsletter has mostly focused on MGB engine conversions, but we’d be absolutely delighted to publish a How-To article specifically on converting an Alpine. All we need is a volunteer to step forward and write it.
Our newest issue does feature an article in two parts on Rob Wiseman’s experience with putting a Ford V6 in his ’61 Alpine (including some really nice photos!)
Also, here’s a link to the Sunbeam section of our photo gallery:
Got a modified Alpine or Tiger? Why not send in your photos?
January 1, 2007 at 3:37 am #61072
For all the hassle, blood, sweat and tears ( and a lot of cussing ), it is way easier to just buy a Tiger….even a fixer upper. Anyone who knows Sunbeams will know a cloned Tiger when they see one and it would not be worth anywhere near a real Tiger. Pricewise, a nicely done V6 Alpine and a cloned Tiger are worth about the same amount. Sometimes the people cloning Tigers are not as good a mechanic as they think they are and shortcuts are taken, leaving the next guy to fix their mistakes. Drive a V6 if you can, then drive a Tiger. The handling of the V6 Alpine is superior to a Tiger and it should, depending on the driver, beat the pants off a Tiger in a gymkhana or slaloms. If it’s the sound of the V8 you are looking for, I have an exhaust system on my V6 that has fooled a lot of guys. I have had numerous fellow hotrodders come up to me and ask what kind of V8 I have in the car…..they’re astonished to find out it’s a V6, so it can be done. Unless you have unlimited funds and lots of spare time, I would recommend you give up on trying to put a V8 into an Alpine and go buy a Tiger or do a V6 project. Good luck.
February 16, 2007 at 10:10 pm #61143
My name is V6 JOSE, and am the guy that makes the V6 conversion kit. If you really want a Tiger, you will be much happier if you just go buy one. There is a mystique about Tigers, that a lot of guys find facinating. I like them too, but I can’t afford one.
A converted Alpine will never be worth what a real Tiger will. You will spend a lot of time, effort, and especially MONEY, if you do it right. I have found that guys that own converted Alpines, get a bit of a cold shoulder from the REAL Tiger owners. On the other hand, the V6 converted Alpine has been gaining in reputation, as time goes on and more and more guys give a good report on how they perform.
Of all the 50+ kits we have supplied, I have only one unhappy customer, and that is because he wouldn’t do things as I suggested, so he ran into a lot of problems, and of course, it was my fault. As V6 Jim D stated, you should see if you can get a ride or get to drive a V6 Alpine, so you can taste what it feels like. Most of the guys that work on their own Alpines, do the conversion in about six months. The conversion has been done in as little as thirty days, but the guy that did it already had all the parts on hand and had a body shop to work in. The procedure isn’t complicated, but it does take a little time. I always suggest a guy do the conversion himself, because I have had several guys that had NO mechanical experience at all, complete the conversion in a reasonable amount of time. One of my customers was 75 at the time he began the conversion. He completed it and loved it.
A lot of guys might say that I’m prejudiced about the V6 conversion, but I suggest you find someone who has one and ask a lot of questions. If I can be of any help, just drop me an e-mail and we can communicate.
February 17, 2007 at 1:57 pm #61144
Cold shoulder from Tiger owners?I haven’t experienced that but then I never passed the Lister as a Tiger.Yes I have the "Tiger" script on the side.The Lister has been to the United at Niagra falls as well as The Suni in Montana so it has been exposed.I only have found great rapport with Tiger and Alpine owners.There have been several Alger owners at these events as well as a few V6s.I had my 62 V6 at Suni 1 and 2 so I have had both conversions admired,Discussed and the same with other owners I have done the same in regards to their cars.This is in part of what makes the Sunbeam community such a great thing to be part of.
I do heartily agree with the V6 conversion as it makes the Alpine a real contender. As you know we passed the 177000 mile marker before we started to do the 62 over.I was hoping to see 200000 miles but alas it wasn’t to be.
I guess I just love sunbeams and have done so for the last 43 years.
Anyway thats my 2 cent opinion.
March 10, 2007 at 10:11 pm #61158
I guess everyone’s experience is different. I have had a Tiger owner, call my V6 Alpine, a piece of S**t. I wasn’t even saying anything to him, and he felt that he had to opine. I was answering some questions from some folks at an autocross meet, when I had the hood open to have the car tech’ed in. The folks that were interested in the V6 conversion, weren’t Sunbeam owners, so didn’t know a lot about Sunbeams, and the V6 conversion specifically.
I had the great pleasure of beating this loud mouth and his 289 powered Tiger, after he challenged me to a race. I guess it meant that my piece of S**t had beaten his bigger piece?
I can’t asy that everyong in the Sunbeam community has been rude, because they haven’t, but if a guy is planning on doing a V6 conversion, he’d better get used to some negative comments, because not everyone is thrilled to see an Alpine "Bastardized". I do have to say, that in the past few years, the V6 conversion has gained credibility, and so, more and more people are better disposed to it. Right now, I have six guys waiting for us to get up and going again, so they can start their projects again.
March 11, 2007 at 1:15 pm #61159
I would assume that here in Canada there are fewer sunbeam owners that I don’t see that type of person.
Somewhere along the passage of time someone came up with the idea of me being the crazy canuck.Crazy or not I have enjoyed the past 43 years being involved in Sunbeams.
Also living in Manitoba Canada we are by far the most car people.Our classic. muscle. antigue what ever per 1000 people is high.The differse interest is fantastic. Her every one seems to be really interested in your car when at shows.We have had a few shows with 5000 + cars.
Caroll Shelby has been here and whats his name from the Classic car show on TV has been here a couple of times
Our spring swap meet will bring out in excess of 5000 people.Many will bring there car special car as the driver gets in free as well.
Maybe I just haven’t travelled enough to meet those so few people who always think they are the experts on everything but really are so tunnel
proned to know not that much after all.
I guess I will just keep on doing what I do as I really do enjoy it.Like you I have enjoyed the challenge doing the modifications and the results.
And of course not to forget the utmost thing in all of this which is
Spring is almost here and the 62 is starting to get restless.
Or is that just an eager me.
March 16, 2007 at 11:51 am #61167
I have found that Canadians tend to be a lot more polite, than we Americans. I have many friends in Canada and like visiting, because of the culture there. I also like Canadian’s attitude about cars. You tend to be crazy about performance, and less so about being purists. Most of the Canadian car guys that I have met, want as much power as they can get and love to race their cars. Since that is the way I think, I get along well with you all.
I think another reason that you haven’t run into much opposition, might be because you did the V8 conversion on a big fin Alpine, so there is no way you wpuld be able to try to pass it off as a genuine Tiger. I should have said a V8 converted Alpine, when I just said converted.
March 16, 2007 at 3:11 pm #61170
We certainly have our purists here.The Antique and classic car club I belong to fits that group.We have lots of good nature ribbing back and forth.This includes like Ford better than GM or Chrysler and so forth.When I joined this club way back when we had stock Sunbeams and I’m still a member.The one I gave my son is still a very very stock series 3 GT.
But I am pleased we don’t have too many snobbish type people that will look down on us.The Lister at an all British show was voted the one that most people would like to drive home.That was 2 years in a row.The nice thing about my cars is i can go to a british show.A Ford show or a Mopar show as I do qualify for them.I usually am welcomed with open arms and so many people want me to park next to them.
Does this say something about us canucks?
As always it is one persons car and he can do whatever as long as he does it with safety in mind.
One of the real nice cars around here is a 34 ford pickup done as a quad cab..You would swear it was factory.
Yes I’ guess I am a V8 convert although that 2.6 went a long way
March 20, 2007 at 7:10 pm #61174
November 12, 2007 at 1:51 am #61671
I’m happy and proud to say, that the kit is back in production and can be ordered by sending me an e-mail requesting a new price sheet and parts list. I am presently taking orders so I can make the first run of kits.
November 13, 2007 at 1:36 pm #61699
oops – i bought a tiger while i was waiting… maybe its time to get an alpine too 🙂
i’m sure a lot of people will be glad to hear this news!
November 15, 2007 at 12:53 am #61706quote odl21:
You wouldn’t be the first one to want one of each. They are different in almost every way. I would love to have an example of both, myself.
November 15, 2007 at 4:36 pm #61707
As Jose says, they certainly are different in many ways, but they are both soooo nice. 😀
My Tiger’s off road undergoing winter enhancements (Holley, then possibly clutch), so I am driving the Alpine all the time now. But whichever car I am driving I always miss the other one after a while.
Just returned from a Sunny trip to the North Downs for a pub lunch with some Triumph (Stag V8) friends. One followed me on the way back, but he just kept getting smaller and smaller in my rear mirror!
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