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    • #56453

      Hi everyone,
      My name is Keith and this is my first post on the board. I am a former Tiger owner who had to sell my baby (66 Mk1A) back in the early 90s. Last year a buddy felt sorry for me; or maybe he just got tired of hearing me cry over the loss of the Tiger and gave me a series 5, 67 Alpine in need a complete going over. I am going to build a 302 Alpine out of her and am not afraid of hard work or fabricating (I just bought a GT40 302 for her). I have no desire to re-invent the wheel on certain things and am hoping for some advise.

      I want to switch over to a rack and pinion system (actually have to, to dispose of the steering drag link on the firewall). Has anyone here done this so I can get some pointers or know of a site which would cover this.

      Second I am going to put in an 8.8 ford rear-end (probably mustang) has anyone attacked this project….do the axles and housings need to be chopped?

      I would just go out to the garage and measure the current rear end but I am in Baghdad Iraq and my Alpine is 7000 miles away.

      Thanks in advance for any help you can give

      Sandcop…AKA Keith

    • #59333

      Thought I would put a pic of the 66 Mk1A up….I hated to get rid of her…she was far from perfect (I didnt have the resources to do her right)but I hope whoever has her now is having a blast with her. [img]
      Hope the image attaches


    • #59334

      Lets try it again…..if this doesnt work, how do I post a pic and change my avatar?

    • #59335

      Hi Keith
      Welcome to the forum and thanks for your service to our country! Sorry you had to sell your Tiger years ago but at least you are returning to the Sunbeam fold. It is a LOT of work to stuff a V-8 into an Alpine without a lot of Tiger parts on hand. Firewall and tranny tunnel swaps, Tiger front crossmember and steering rack,rear end, Tiger toploader transmission, etc, etc, etc. You may want to reconsider and do a V-6 swap as many others are doing or just find a Tiger that needs lots of work and start from there. You can spend a lot of time and money converting an Alpine into a Tiger clone-probably as much as if you had started off with a rough Tiger. What part of Georgia are you from? We just had a great show outside of Atlanta last month. Check out the events section for more details. Be careful over there and good luck! Eric

    • #59336

      Hi Keith,
      I have thought about building a V8 early Alpine myself. As I see it there are two ways to do this the hard way is to try and make it as near a Tiger as posible the other easier way is to make a fun car with a V8 and avoid buying all or most of the Tiger stuff to put on an Alpine. There is a fellow on here who has done this and is doing it again and he would be a big help for you. [Chuck chime in anytime] Chuck has converted an alpine cross member to a rack using MII spindles do not recall what rack he used. Think a tunnel could be made up with out a huge deal of trouble. Might be nice to get a set of Tiger frame mounts for the engine and there is someone selling a repop trans mount. This would all get you there will be a job of work none the less. Oh and I would go with a 8 inch rear end instead of the 8.8 lots of fellows are using the 8 inch in the V6 conversions all are avoiding the 8.8. Would sugest checking into the cost and problems with narrowing the 8.8 before spending any money on one.

      Then there is the V6 conversion which is much simpler.

    • #59337

      Thanks guys …..
      I have definately decided to go with the V8….I dont mind doing the work for the V8. Sheetmetal work on the firewall and trans isnt really a major issue with me, nor is making this look exactly like a tiger. Engine mounts can be fabricated and welded and I am already looking at solid mounts. Trans mount can also be fabricated. I have done a lot of fabrication in the past and engine swaps on other vehicles. With the steering on the Alpine and the rear end I just want to avoid costly mistakes others have made. Jim I appretiate the info on the 8 inch rear end…I gather it is an easier swap but is closer to the appropriate width than the 8.8? Is there a common doner car people are using for the 8 inch? Eric…..I am from Pike county which is about 20 miles south of Griffin…about half way beween Atlanta or Macon; and thanks….it is a bit hairy over here at times. I live in the “red zone” of baghdad, which is out of the military control. The bad guys tried to blow us up in March with a garbage truck loaded with explosives….there were some injuries but they only succeded in killing themselves and 2 guards from the building next door. We are moving forward slowly but it is a long process here….Will be home in a little over 3 months.

      Thanks again guys


    • #59338

      Mustang II rear end is the one they are using but that maybe mostly because of other V6 donor parts coming from those cars.

    • #59342

      Keith has contacted me and I have replied.I of course will advise him in all what I can.That goes with out saying to all of you people who may be considering switching to the dark side.
      8) Mind you that doesn’t mean its not sunny.
      The weather here is wet wet.Mind you they say the real sun may shine on Tuesday but just for the day as more **** rain

    • #59547

      Hi Keith,

      First let me thank you for your service on behalf of our country. We support you and your fellow troops.

      The reason not to use the 8.8, is that it will cost quite a bit to modify in order to fit it into the Alpine body. Both the 8″ and the 8.8 need to be shortened in order to get them to fit, unless you leave them as wide as thy came and just put some fender flares on to accommodate the wheels. The 8.8 will need to have C-clip eliminators if you cut the housing and axles, or you’d have to machine the end of the axle to accept the C clip again. If you retain the C clip and run the axle using the stock axle bearing, you will be using the axle itself as the inner race of the axle bearing, so if the bearing goes bad, you’ll have to have another machined the same as the first, in order to fix it.

      Changing gears in the 8.8 requires more work and expense, because it is a Spicer type differential. The 8″ can change the gears in less than two hours, if you have two different pumpkins and just swap them. I like having two gear sets, so if I want to go on a long cross country trip, I can install a set of 3.55′, and if I want to go racing, I can put in a set of 4.11’s.

      If you feel you need a bigger rear end than the Ford 8″, you could use a 9″, but it will be much harder to fit, because of the limited space in the Alpine body. The 8″ is pretty tough, especially in such a light car, so I would recommend using it instead of the 8.8.

      Jose 🙂

    • #59562

      Thanks Jose,

      I appretiate the info…I weill attempt to locate an 8″ in the local salvage yard when I get home. I was even kicking around the idea of getting a rear frame section from a t-bird and have an IRS setup but that would be murder to adapt. So far I have been shopping around and have acquired a 5.0 GT40 shortblock from a 99 Ford Exploder, a ford e-303 roller cam, edelbrock performer intake with holley 600 carb, GT40 heads (3 bar not the “P” heads) electronic ignition, Summitt block hugger headers, 1.6 ratio roller rockers, and a few other assorted goodies….I probably wont be able to keep this thing on the ground as my only slightly massaged 66 Mk 1A w/260 was fast enough to be scary. I have no intention of making a “tiger clone” out of this alpine so I can have a little creative license with the creation but dont really want to alter the bodylines by cutting fenders etc. Only 56 more days and I will be home to the family and then after I take some time to reunite with the wife and kids will get to play a little not only with this but a 75 Pinto we are rebuilding for my 14 year olds first car (tank mods will be in order). 😀

    • #59565

      Hi Keith,

      The IRS from the T-Bird sounds good, but the Alpine is too narrow to allow an IRS to work well. The half shafts would be too short for the suspension to work well. One of my old customers sold his V6 Alpine and bought a Tiger that had had an IRS installed. I don’t know what it was out of, but he told me that the car had handling issues because of the limitations the narrow body put on the size of the half shafts. I suppose that if you were to install fender flares to allow the IRS to stay the stock size so it could work as designed, you could make one work, but since you said you didn’t want to alter the body of your Alpine, that pretty much does away with that idea. The T-Bird IRS was also designed for a much heavier car, so has springs that would be too stiff, and the car would ride like a buck board, hampering the effecient operation of the suspension.

      A lot of ideas sound real interesting, but on further investigation, aren’t really practical. I don’t want to rain on your parade, just wanting to give you some information for you to think about. This is just my opinion.

      Jose 😀

    • #59566

      No rain and no parade here amigo…………was just wanderings of a bored mind. It sounds like you have worked over one or two of these and I appretiate the info. I will more than likely go with an 8″ as everyone has suggested. Thanks again for the info.


    • #59577
      quote Sandcop:

      No rain and no parade here amigo…………was just wanderings of a bored mind. It sounds like you have worked over one or two of these and I appretiate the info. I will more than likely go with an 8″ as everyone has suggested. Thanks again for the info.


      Hi Keith,

      I’m not the last word in modifying the Alpine to accept a bigger drive train, but I have been working with the 2.8 Ford V6 conversion since 1975, when I did my first one. I’m the guy that makes the kit to facilitate this swap. I love working with the Alpine, so have tried a lot of different ideas; some worked and some didn’t. All in all, it has been a great journey, and I have met a lot of really great people among Sunbeamers. I’m here to share my experience modifying the Alpine, and to help anyone who needs and wants my help.

      Jose 😀

    • #59578

      Hi Keith
      Good to see you are thinking a lot.
      My project is in the holding pattern as there is so many other things right now that are fun and then there are the 9 grandkids.
      Feel free to ask all and any questions.I like Jose am willing to share.
      Take care

    • #59581

      Good to hear from you Chuck. I know you are busy and I appretiate your help. If you find the time could you break down that file that you previously sent me and re-send it as I was unable to open it. It was the document on front end modification with the Must. II components. Thanks again for all the help. 42 more days Gents……..



    • #59588

      Will see what I can do later this coming week
      Hope 42 days go by so fast it will be a surprise to see the 42nd day.
      Take care

    • #59589


      In another month you’ll be a one digit midget and so short you can walk under a door. The last week will seem like a month but will go by in a flash. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt about 35 years ago. Some things never change.

      If you are from somewhere near Zebulon, I am only about an hour away in Conyers. Let me know when you get home and I’ll buy you a coldbeer (its one word in Georgia) and we can talk about modified Alpines.

    • #59591

      Hi Barry,

      Good to hear from you, Meansville is about 4 miles south of Zebulon…out in the middle of Gods country. would love to get together for a coldbeer and talk Alpines. I am looking forward to tackling the conversion on the alpine but to be honest am not looking forward to trying to work through a front end conversion…. it looks to be a real challenge. Keep in touch and will see ya soon


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