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    • #57063

      Just doing my first ever Tiger engine out job to replace the clutch.

      I removed the front sub-frame, and radiator, and I am nearly ready to lower the engine/tranny onto a trolley, and wheel it out. Just got to disconnect the oil pressure gauge pipe.

      I have disconnected everything else from the engine/tranny now, and I just need to take out the prop shaft, and away it goes hopefully.

      I dont know if I will be able to jack the car front up high enough yet, but I will soon find out! One problem is the exhaust tips touch the ground, so I need to jack up the back too.

      Wish me luck.

      Pic of trolley: Click to view and more.

    • #61776

      Hi Chris,

      What a big job just for the clutch. Are you going to utilise your time while it is out and do any other repairs to the motor? From your pictures, it looks like the front seal is leaking a bit. Good luck with your clutch replacement.

      Regards, Robin.

    • #61790

      Everything is disconnected now, just the engine and tranny mounts to go.

      While the motor is out, I will just do some checks, and a clean up. The leaks were probably just lose bolts in the oil pan. I am tempted to do some engine work, but as it runs well, I probably will leave it alone until a full rebuild is needed.

      I will check/top up the oil in the steering rack. I noticed that one aluminium wedge plate is corroded as they do, so they will both be replaced, I think I can get new ones.

      Somewhere I read that there is a weakness in the sub-frame and cracks can appear. Can anyone shed any light on that, and any other special checks needed?

      I already back flushed the rad, and it ran brown for a full 4 minutes until it came clear. No wonder the engine ran a bit hot at full tilt!

      I am planning to check/adjust the shifter while its all out. Sometimes 3rd disengages, but it’s not a big problem.

    • #61791

      They do tend to develope a bow in them, measure across the shock towers to see. If you can’t get a good set of dimensions from one of the local companies I may have some at home. And they also d fatigue crack, check for those around the welds and in the virtical areas on the ends. I know the guy who did mine several years ago welds in some reforcements but I don’t have a diagrahm showing exactly what he did.

    • #61792

      The shocks measure 82cm between centres, if anyone has any data to compare that to?

      The engine/tranny is out now. Initially the whole assembly would not drop straight down as the back of the tranny was trapped inside the X frame tunnel, so I had to drop the engine front, prop up the rear of the tranny onto the back of the trolley and then roll it all forwards. Jacking up the car front was much easier than I thought, as I had placed stands on the rear spring front hangers. Without the engine weight there I could even lift the front up by hand!!

      One snag was that the front wheels of the engine hoist were too narrow to go around the trolley, so I had to relocate the trolley wheels to reduce the track width. After that, the hoist went fully in far enough for me to lift/lower the engine.

      Anyway, it wasnt too bad a job, but I am glad I had planned it all quite carefully.

    • #61793

      The Tiger has a bad issue with the shock towers! They need to be rewelded and reinforced, check for cracks in and around the steering rack mounts. The sag issue is one that is very important that you fix this as well. Call Doug Jennings at Tiger Auto and he can give you the measurments you need. I have just gone through this issue with my Tiger, I almost totaled my car when one of the shock towers twisted and broke almost all the way off!! Dougs # 937-252-3317 Good luck 8)

    • #61810

      Thanks for the tips guys. All looks OK so far, but I will check the towers carefully after cleaning, and before refitting. No leaks, but the rack is quite dry. I fitted some new boot clips, and will refill with oil before it goes back.

      When I stripped off the transmission from the engine, I noticed there was a lot of old oil inside the bellhousing. Difficult to pinpoint the source, but I know the oil pan bolts were loose, and some may have come from there. But I dont want to take chances with the new clutch, so I am going to replace the rear crank seal; what a big job that is!! Remove crank pulley, damper, front cover, oil pan, then remove all crank caps and crank. There is not much more to go now before the whole engine is stripped!

      But its just as well really, as, although the engine runs good, the gaskets are all hard, and the timing chain is well worn, so they will all get replaced.

      I cant help getting the feeling I will end up with a full recon job though.

    • #61811

      Remember, The shock towers will need to be rewelded and reinforced regardless if they look OK!! Years of V8 weight on an Alpine crossmember, it just will not hold up, have it fixed before you put it back together. 😮

    • #61812

      Found my measurements for the crossmember. These are from r/h side to l/h side.

      Shock upper mount holes 31 3/4"
      Front mount to body bolt holes 24 1/4"
      Rear mount to body bolt holes 22 5/8"
      Rack mount bolt holes 12 5/8"
      Front of upper A arm mount area 30 3/8"
      Rear of upper A arm mount area 28 3/16"

      The last 2 are at the very ends of the flat area wheere the A arm mounts.

    • #61813

      Who can provide a reinforced front crossmember that can be exchanged with a core from the car? Meaning, I receive a ready to assemble and install, powder coated crossmember and then send mine back to the seller.

    • #61814

      I don’t know that anyone is doing that. Due to the fact the Tiger crossmember is different from the Alpine one there aren’t that many floating around out there. You could call Doug Jenninga at Tiger Auto and see if he has any but I wouldn’t plan on it.

    • #61817
      quote mikephillips:

      Found my measurements for the crossmember. These are from r/h side to l/h side.

      Shock upper mount holes 31 3/4″
      Front mount to body bolt holes 24 1/4″
      Rear mount to body bolt holes 22 5/8″
      Rack mount bolt holes 12 5/8″
      Front of upper A arm mount area 30 3/8″
      Rear of upper A arm mount area 28 3/16″

      The last 2 are at the very ends of the flat area wheere the A arm mounts.

      Mike, are these measurements the standard required, or are they obtained from your car?

      I measured across the shock tips at 82cm which is 32 1/4 in. Thats half inch more than yours. Does not sound like I have a sag problem.

      Sunbeam2005, did you say you had pics of where yours broke? If you could email or post me some I could easily work out where best to brace the towers. I guess its where the rectangular section is welded on to the cylindrical base. The welds look quite small and are limited to the corner edges. I would have expected a thicker weld fillet along those edges. I could weld over the existing welds, or add more metal maybe.

    • #61823

      These are the measurements I got from Doug Jennings at Tiger Auto that he uses to straighten crossmembers.

    • #61837

      Well surprise surprise, I am stripping the complete engine. One of the heads is now off and stripped of valves. Turns out I seem to have a ‘big valve’ head 🙂 as the valves are larger (1.71/1.46) than the spec in my early issue WSM. I dont know if mine are stock or not (casting code is C4 so that sounds about right)?

      The heads are in great shape for such an old engine. Very little guide wear in evidence. The valve seats are not pitted or sunken as I might have expected, so just need to lap the valves into the seats with grinding paste. Lots of old carbon to clean off though which should improve gas flow.

      I noticed there is a small ridge at the top of the cylinders. I read that this could be cut off with a special tool. I havent pulled the pistons yet but the cylinders look good and smooth, so I hope they are OK to reuse.

      I will have to decide whether to replace rings and bearings. I dont want to do a cylinder rebore as it runs well enough, and a full rebuild on a 260 will cost more then replacing engine with a 302, without the benefit of the 302 performance. as 260 pistons are pricey/rare.

    • #61838
      quote V Mad:

      I will have to decide whether to replace rings and bearings. I dont want to do a cylinder rebore as it runs well enough, and a full rebuild on a 260 will cost more then replacing engine with a 302, without the benefit of the 302 performance. as 260 pistons are pricey/rare.

      Ahhhhh, what the heck. Just drop in one of these. Its a 302 stroked to 347 and makes 415 hp. It will require tire (tyre) changes often.

      Don’t forget to strip and repaint the engine compartment…………..and all accessories………..while you are there you know.

    • #61840

      Oh don’t tempt me. OK for you guys, but here in the UK even a 302 GT40 crate engine will set you back £3200 or thereabouts including duty and shipping. Then I will need a decent clutch and modified 6 bolt bell housing etc. Still thinking about it though.

      BTW the engine in your pic will not fit a Tiger without changing the oil pan and water pump to a RH pump.

    • #61852
      Phil Ashmore

        Get a copy of CAT shop notes, you can buy them if you join the club. A whole section on front suspension and what to do with it. Pictures, tips etc on welding reinforcments, and of course new fulcrum pins. Got mine from Doug Jennings as someone else mentioned. For your block you need a ridge reamer to cut that edge. Then check to see if you need a rebore.

      • #61854

        Ridge reamers seem to be very rare and expensive in the UK, and not available for hire. A local machine shop advised me to either use stepped rings if available (prob not) or to use standard rings and take off the sharp top edge with a fine stone.

        I checked the piston to bore clerance and this is within limits, so bore should be OK. Ring gap was well over limits, but rings will be well worn, and the gap should be much smaller with new rings (I hope).

      • #61855

        I did a little web surfing and you are right. Ridge reamers are more expensive in the UK. You can buy them here for $25-$35. Below are two places you can buy one in the UK and the Rover folks will apparently let you rent one. … u_name=J&S … -1248.aspx

        Rover Drivers Guild
        Membership Secretary – Colin Blowers
        32 Arundel Road
        LU4 8DY
        Phone 01582 572499

        Many years ago, when I was 16, I was using a really crappy ridge reamer on a ’57 Studebaker. I was BSing with a buddy (Part of being young and dumb),not paying attention, and ended up essentially threading the cylinder wall as the reamer worked its way to the bottom.

      • #61859
        quote Duke:

        Who can provide a reinforced front crossmember that can be exchanged with a core from the car? Meaning, I receive a ready to assemble and install, powder coated crossmember and then send mine back to the seller.

        Get in touch with Tom Hall in Pleasanton CA (, IIRC). He takes good Alpine crossmembers, cuts in the required changes for the Tiger rack, and reinforces it internally and externally while it’s opened up. Cost is on the order of $1000… (at least as of last SUNI) but you get a very nice piece that should outlast any other chassis component on the Tiger. No core required, because he starts with straight Alpine pieces as opposed to stressed-out Tiger parts.

      • #61875

        I finished the cylinder prep now; managed to do it without a ridge cutter in the end, but it took a lot of careful work. I wll check ring clearances then fit rings and pistons after cleaning, and when crank is fitted. Crank journals are polished ready for test fit with plastigauge.

      • #61886

        Hi I have some pics of the crossmember and the shock towers that broke. If I can get them to post!! How do you post Pics??

      • #61890

        To post pics you first need to put them on a server such as Then they provide a link you can copy and paste into this forum. There are various ways to do it, but just try one and see if it works!!

        Update on my project: The new rings were fitted to the pistons and all gaps checked OK. The crank bearings all came within spec using the Plastigauge so the mains and conrod bearings were all coated with special assembly lube, then fitted and torqued up. I can’t beleive that this engine has fared so well in over 40 years!! I then checked that everything turns OK, no binding, but with the pistons fitted and the new springy rings and honed bores it seems harder to turn compared to when I stripped it down.

        The oil pump was refitted, and the sump was repainted and fitted. Oops, just realised the oil pump shaft needs to go in first; so sump comes off again. I poured some oil into the pickup to help prime the pump. I will put more oil in and use a power drill to pressurize the system before I fit the dizzy.

        Next to continue polishing/porting the heads. I am waiting for a Gunsons Eezi-Lap tool to arrive. This will help me lap-in the valves quickly.

      • #61901

        It was going so well.

        I finished lapping in the valves, fitted new springs, and finally fitted the heads. Checked that everything was turning OK, no valve clashes etc. Then fitted the intake manifold and painted the engine.

        Just as I was admiring how nice it all looks, I picked up a parts tray, and noticed the oil slinger sitting there. 😯

        Oh well, not the end of the world. It means the balancer and timing cover will have to come off again to fit the slinger. Better found now than when the engine was back in the car. I dont know the function of it, whether it prevents leaks or helps to lube the timing chain. But I had better get it sorted.

        I did remember to fit the fuel pump eccentric on the cam end and lock the threads. Is there anything else I might have forgotten to do?

      • #61917
        Jeff Nichols

          The oil slinger is supposed to stop oil from being slung on the timing cover gasket on the crankshaft. My rebuilt engine was missing that piece when I pulled of the cover to install a roller cam. Those are hard to find. My slinger came from Ebay because no one sold it new. The parts man said they are not needed because gaskets are much better than they were in the 60’s. But I installed one anyway to be safe.

        • #61924

          Once I had got used to the idea of taking off the harmonic balancer and timing cover again, it wasnt so bad, just a bit of a nuisance, even more so when I couldnt save the gasket and had to buy a complete bottom set just to get the gasket replaced. The oil slinger was duly fitted, and all was put back.

          I decided to stay with the stock exhaust manifolds, but they got a bit of gas flow work before they were (VHT) painted and fitted. There is considerable room for improvement there as the casting narrows quite a lot to make way for one of the bolt holes in each port; I cant believe how bad that design is 😯 . But this was easily reduced and smoothed out to make much better gas flow. This together with the bit of porting work I did on the heads should make the stock engine punch out a bit more BHP. I noticed that each manifold had seven large mounting holes to allow for tolerances, with one normal hole. To ensure good port alignment I made a dowel tool to get a second hole aligned (same principle as the intake). No point in wasting effort matching ports if the manifold are not aligned properly 😕

          Now is the time to remove the engine from the stand, and put it back onto the trolley, ready to fit the flywheel, clutch and gearbox.

          The new flywheel was then duly fitted (nearly forgetting the engine plate!) and checked for runout (max 10thou), then the clutch was attached with 6 bolts. A new thrust bearing was installed onto the fork, and the bell housing attached to the block complete with slave bracket.

          Next job will be to fit the gearbox carefully using an improvised alignment dowel, and we will be ready to put the whole show back into the car.

          I keep looking at all the bits that are left trying to work out where they will go, making sure nothing is forgotten. So far so good but it’s amazing how soon you forget exactly how it all came apart!

          Looking forward to driving it again soon 😀

        • #61961

          Well the engine is fitted back into the car now, and I wanted to validate my work before committing to refitting the subframe, generator, and other bits and pieces. So yesterday I turned the ignition key, and initially no joy. I realised I had probably got the ignition timing 180 deg out (which I had!). So after retiming it this morning, and a full battery recharge, I turned the key again, and she started first go. 😀 😀 Sounded really sweet, after oil pressure had peaked and the tappets had taken up their slack.

          Before I fired her up, I pressurised the oil system using a power drill on a hex driver which I slotted onto the oil pump shaft (in place of the dissy). Watching the oil pressure come up, and hearing air being pushed out of the system gave me confidence that the new bearings would get the best start in life. It is surprising how long it takes to get full pressure, and I would strongly reccommed this to anyone doing an engine rebuild.

          Before I fitted the engine/tranny, I checked the position of the clutch release arm, and adjusted the push rod (nice feature on these cars) to ensure the slave cylinder had enough spare travel at each end. This was necessary as the clutch arm is now in a different position with the new diaphragm clutch, and new throwout bearing.

          So the next job will be connecting up everything else in the engine bay, then concentrating on the subframe checkover/welding etc before refitting that. I am really looking forward to the first test drive.

        • #61962

          Hearing it go for the first time can be quite a rush. Mine was bought as a non runner so I didn’t hear it until a couple summers into ownership after rust repair and many dollars of parts and machine work so it was really a kick when I first fired it up.

        • #61969

          which clutch did you put in out of interest? i know you have a stock 260. is it the same clutch as I’d use in a 302 or is the the 302 clutch a little bigger?

          mine has started to smell when i slip it. i suspect its on its way out after too much exuberant side stepping and slipping that looong first gear!

          when it does go, i’ll take the opportunity to reinforce and re-align the cross member and maybe even drop in one of tom’s t5 kits.

        • #61975
          quote odl21:

          which clutch did you put in out of interest? i know you have a stock 260. is it the same clutch as I’d use in a 302 or is the the 302 clutch a little bigger? mine has started to smell when i slip it. i suspect its on its way out after too much exuberant side stepping and slipping that looong first gear! when it does go, i’ll take the opportunity to reinforce and re-align the cross member and maybe even drop in one of tom’s t5 kits.

          I have fitted a Sachs 10 inch diphragm type which was compatible with the stock flywheel (3-pairs of holes). My supplier says he sells quite a few to Tiger owners with no complaints. These will fit 289/302 if they have the correct holes in the flywheel, but some small block clutches are bigger and have different flywheels/hole mounts.

          I was impressed with how well the original clutch held out. Even with oil contamination, plus the disc was worn out, and it still held up under hard acceleration. But pulling away from standstill I could tell it was weak; there was no bite to it so thats why I replaced it.

        • #61992

          Since the engine refit, I added extra weld seams to reinforce the cross member towers, just to guard against future fractures. I also replaced one corroded alloy shim before refitting the sub-frame. I fitted an electric fan before installing the rad and I will wire and connect this up to controls later. I will try to get a thermoswitch fitted to the intake manifold (near the top hose outlet) but I need to find out the thread size.

          Next job on the car was to fit and wire up the alternator having completed all the mechanical work.

          Today I decided to convert the Holley to a manual choke, before taking it for a test drive. I dont like the elecric choke as this takes a lot of current, so I swapped the parts over from another carb, but it was not as easy as I expected. The throttle shafts were different so the fast idle levers would not interchange directly, and I had to modify one of the levers to make it fit.

          After checking and adjusting the fast idle operation, I started up the engine and verified that the choke works OK. Alternator is charging well and oil pressure up at 50 at idle. Took her for a short run, and everything seems to work OK. The new clutch is very smooth on the uptake, and is not too heavy. The engine is firing perfectly, with no sign of sticky valves, or tappet noise, and it idles smoothly even when set well below the specified RPM. The temperature held at about 82-85 C so the cooling system is working although I wont know how well until the warm weather arrives. All in all a succesful and satisfying project that started out as just a clutch change, and ended up with a pretty full engine rebuild. 😀

          I refitted the mechanical fan blade and shroud as the electric fan is not connected yet, but I hope to do that soon when I have selectd a suitable thermoswitch. Can anyone suggest suitable temperatures to use? Too low and the fan will switch on too long; too high and it will overheat. How about one that switches on at 95C (off at about 85)?

          I will need to put in some careful miles now to run in the bearings and rings. I think max 2000 rpm, and less than half throttle for 500 miles. Then build up gradually to full throttle/revs for next 500 miles. But I know this will not be easy. Maybe I should hang some old burnt out bearings on my interior mirror just to remond me of the consequences of lack of will power. 😉

        • #61993

          I would use 82c as Ford small blocks like 180 to 210 F for best performance.

        • #61994

          If you’re breaking in a new camshaft then you should definitely exceed 2000 RPM on a reasonably frequent basis. Without that the cam lobes won’t get sufficient oil splash from the crank.
          On the other hand the distributor gear needs to wear in its mesh with the camshaft, and having cold oil and elevated RPM greatly increases the load on the gear. So warm up the engine before blipping the throttle repeatedly.

          The thing that helps rings to seat is cylinder pressure, which you can only get by operating the engine at wide open throttle. You should just avoid extremely high RPM… if you get the car in second or third gear and then make several (or ten) runs from 1500 to 3000 RPM with the foot to the floor, it will do more to help the rings wear in than 1000 miles of driving like you’ve got an egg between your foot and the throttle pedal.

        • #61999

          I had a good run out on Friday and the engine is still sounding good and runs well. One thing I noticed was that the idle was a bit unreliable on initial warm up, and the engine cut out a couple of times. By the time I got back it seemed fine, but since then I noticed it needed very little choke to start even in cold weather. This led me to suspect it was running rich, and a quick look at one plug confirmed this (sooty black).

          The carb is Holley model 1848 (465cfm) which my manual says comes with a size 57 main jet as stock. I have no previous Holley experience (only Webers etc) but as far as I can gather, I will need to fit a smaller main jet to lean out the mixture. Can anyone suggest a suitable size to try (engine is completely stock)? I hear that the bowl gaskets on these cannot be reused, and that there are some better quality reusable ones on the market? Any useful tips would be appreciated.

        • #62000

          Most of your around-town driving will be done on the idle and progression circuits, and the mains don’t really come into it until you put your foot down and get the RPMs up. Start by making sure that your idle mixture screws are properly set, and that the accelerator pump is working properly. Holleys also have a high-speed enrichment device called a power valve, which can be blown by backfires through the carburetor and then cause tuning problems. There are updated backfire-proof models available and if you’re contemplating going into the carb anyway, you might want to replace this part.

          The power valves are also available with different manifold vacuum threshold settings – choose one that’s appropriate for your camshaft.

        • #62006

          I need some more help here. I am used to webers (28/36, 38DGAS etc) and with those you can select jets for idle/progression separately from the main jet. On the Holley, there seems to be no option to jet separately for progression mixture.

          I have already set the idle mixture screw for fastest idle, and it sounds OK. I guess I could do better using an exhaust anyalyser if I had one!

          Being a Holley novice, I was under the impression that the main jet also controls progression mixture. Apart from that I know there are adjustments to the accelerator pump system. Do I need to experiment with that to weaken the progression mixture?

          I doubt that the power valve needs changing as I have a stock cam, but maybe I am wrong there?

          Finally, I dont have a fuel pressure regulator, but looking into the venturis, there is no sign of flooding so I dont think there is excessive pressure.

        • #62007

          Check out this link:

          Links for useful books as well as some tips on getting mileage from performance Holleys.

        • #62008

          Thanks Theo for the link, that is a really useful site.

          Today I volunteered as a driver for Brooklands Museum. They provide rides for visitors during the school ‘half term’ holidays, and the vistors get a ride around the famous Brooklands banked race track which was built in 1907.

          We had a great day, and driving up the top of the steep banking was quite scary as the car just wanted to slip down, as you cannot get enough speed for the centrifugal force to kick in. Coming down the banking at the end was the worst as you had to slow down while you were side slipping 🙄

          But I was supposed to be running the engine in 🙁

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