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    • #57809
      tigernewbie
      Member

      Is there any truth to the urban legend that the block used in the Tiger was really a 289 block bored out to 260 cubic inches? Has anyone ever had one successfully bored out to 289 specs?

    • #64372
      66tiger
      Member

      Unfortunately, it’s not true. The 260 block was a different casting from the 289. When reboring a 260 has been tried, the result is at best an engine with thin cylinder walls prone to overheating, and at worst, because of casting core shift, a hole through into the water jacket.

    • #64373
      tigernewbie
      Member

      Thanks, but what to make of the three freeze plugs on the Tiger’s 260 block? I think the normal 260 had only two, which is probably what drove the urban legend, since the 289 had three. People used to think Ford used 289 blocks bored to 260 for the Tiger because 260s had already been replaced by the 289 and, it was said, the Tiger had to have a 260 in accordance to an agreement with Shelby to not provide engines that would let the Tiger compete directly against the AC Cobra. Was this a bunch of hooey? Any idea why there were three freeze plugs on the Tiger’s engine block? Cheers.

    • #64374
      Bob and Jean Webb
      Participant

      if i remember right, didn’t someone say that the 260’s were industrial engines and not automotive units. would that make a difference? i think i remember this being mentioned at suni 4.

    • #64375
      James Lindner
      Participant

      Newbie

      I am on the road away from my reference material but in answer to your question about 3 plugs, Ford recast the 260 with 3 plugs beginning in Jan or Feb 63. All 260s produced after that date had 3 plugs.

      The block on my 260 has 3 plugs and was cast on 18 Apr 63.

      Jim

    • #64376

      Get a copy of Performance Tuning the Sunbeam Tiger, it will answer a lot of questions you pose,and there is a difference in the block! also note Alex Gabbards ad in the Rootes review about the 260 he has for sale.

    • #64380
      Jeff Nichols
      Participant

      ""Get a copy of Performance Tuning the Sunbeam Tiger, it will answer a lot of questions you pose"

      I wouldn’t trust that book. That is the source of the rumor: 260 block with three freeze plugs is the same as a 289 block but not bored out to 289 specs. Any info in it pertaining to 260 performance is 40 years out of date. Its an interesting artifact to read but don’t base performance mods or rebuilds on it.

    • #64382
      Roger Nyberg
      Member

      In Mike Taylor’s book "TIGER THE MAKING OF A SPORTS CAR" , he references the meeting with John Bachman of FORD Commercial Sales Division and John Panks of Rootes about the necessary modifications to the Ford engine. The alterations to the delivered engines carry Ford Industrial Engine part numbers. Most part numbers are now obsolete. Now if you need a part from Ford, tell the parts counter man the part is for my boat, otherwise he’ll show you the exit door!

    • #64384
      Bob Hokanson
      Member

      Quoting from the SA Design book "High Performance Ford Engine Parts Interchange" George Reid says, "The earliest 221/260 blocks employ engine mount bolt holes that are six inches apart, identifiable at a glance by the use of two freeze plugs. When the bolt holes were widened to seven inches as a means to improving noise, vibration, harshness and structural integrity, three freeze plugs were used. This change was adopted early in production in the 1963 model year. The 221/260 blocks should not be bored to 4.00-inches (289ci) because the risk of water jacket violation is very high."

    • #64400

      The 260 was a 5 bolt bellhousing block and was Industrial Ford Forkleft. The early 289 was 5 bolt as well , till 1965 it changed to 6 bolt for the Ford Mustang. Roots used all the early stuff for the Tigers. If you have a early Tiger you may have got a 2 freeze plug block but most all were 3 from the modified 260 till the end in 1964-65. Boring a 260 to 289 is not real safe! 8)

    • #64401
      tigernewbie
      Member

      So, I get it. So my idea of improving the 260 block by boring it out is out of the question. But what can be done to make the original Tiger 260 more of a "high performance" engine while keeping the engine externally original, if anything?

    • #64402

      There are a few things you can do to boost output, new cam and lefters,intake and carb. port and polish head roller rockers. All of this will be expensive, as Ford 260 stuff has gotten high dollar. Good luck 8) The output should be around 250 hp

    • #64405
      Bob Hokanson
      Member

      Go here:

      http://editiondigital.net/publication/?i=88199

      Write the check.

      A little black paint and most people won’t know the difference. 😆

    • #64417
      b382002631
      Member

      The legend (rumor) I heard, was told to me in 1978 when I bought my Tiger. The mechanic that worked on my car,told me,he had worked for a Sunbeam dealer in the 60’s. He said that the late MK1A’s came with 289’s, not 260’s. My car is #2631 about 90 away from being the last MK1A. When I bought my Tiger, the owner told me the same thing. He also said that the engine in B382002631 was just that a 289, but he had 302 crank, rods, and heads installed in the 289.It was very fast. My car has been in storage for more than 25 years, so I dont know if any of this is true. I did take off the valve cover once, and the heads are stamped 302. I have never checked the engine date code so I dont know if it is the original block, I never took off the oil pan either. Some day I will contact Norm Miller and get the codes and see. I know that the 289 rumor has been around a long time, and there is no real proof and it is just that a rumor.

    • #64420
      quote TigerNewbie:

      So, I get it. So my idea of improving the 260 block by boring it out is out of the question. But what can be done to make the original Tiger 260 more of a “high performance” engine while keeping the engine externally original, if anything?

      My $.02 –
      There is little externally to differentiate between the 260/286/302 engines, certainly it would take a [highly] trained eye to spot the difference. When the "updated" engine was installed in our Mk 1a, a lot of the visible 260 parts were re-used. (yes, of course I kept the orig. motor)
      Unless you are going for "Corvette concours level" restoration, any black-painted motor will be OK.
      Good luck.

    • #64428
      Jeff Nichols
      Participant

      "I have never checked the engine date code so I dont know if it is the original block, I never took off the oil pan either. Some day I will contact Norm Miller and get the codes and see. I know that the 289 rumor has been around a long time, and there is no real proof and it is just that a rumor."

      Norm’s book puts the 289 in a MK1a rumor to rest. There is no evidence of Rootes putting Ford 289 in anything other than a MKII. All Rootes and Jensen records indicate only 260 went into MKI and MKIa. If you look by the water pump on the drivers side, you will see a flange/protrusion with the engine build date stamped as a combination of letters. Do a google search to find out what the letters and numbers mean.

    • #64433
      rfraser
      Member

      I have been doing a Study on the Original Tiger engines from a Ford parts and date code point of view. If you have any questions about your engine contact me; rfraser@bluefrog .com I will gladly answer your questions. If you have an original Tiger engine please participate in my Study. The more information I get the better we can all understand our Tigers.

      As far as I can tell all 260 Tiger engines had the 7" mount and 3 freeze plugs. This was the same as the 289 engine. The best way to tell what engine you have is to look at the block casting number which down by the starter motor; there is also a casting date code nearby. Many of the 289 and 302 parts have 289 or 302 cast into the parts. The 260 parts has no such markings; you really need to go by the casting numbers on the parts to know what they are. The best book for understanding all these numbers is Bob Mannel’s Mustang & Ford Small Block V8 1962 – 1969. I use his book all the time.

      All 260 blocks are painted black until the last batch in the B19KC engine group assembled in Oct 1965, they are painted blue. Maybe when people saw the blue engine they automatically thought it was a 289.

      As for performance; 1st – Ford never upgraded the HP rating of the 260 engine after many of the parts were upgraded including the heads. The stock HP rating of 164 only applies to the very early 260 with small valves. I believe nearly all production Tigers have the upgraded heads and probably have an HP of 180 or so. You can do all the same upgrades to a 260 as you would to a 289 including a stroker kit, you just need to know what your doing and have money. I saw one listing for a 260 build including a stroker kit that got around 350 HP.

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