by Robert Kittredge

I had read about using RUG-E gears on the early Tiger HEH-E main shaft in order to eliminate the “stumble” start when the HEH-E tranny was used with the lower rear-end ratios. This sounded like a good idea, especially when I located a RUG-E from a ’67 Mustang.

Preliminary inspection did not reveal any unacceptable abuse, so, as the price was right, I decided to try the trade. The primary reason for making the change of gears in the first place is that the Tiger HEH-E main shaft and hence, the tailshaft and tailpiece, are unique to the Tiger from the rear wall of the tranny backwards.

The internal gears, though most are not interchangeable, do use the same roller, input and output bearings, blocking rings and gaskets. Any cooperative (don’t mention Sunbeam Tiger until after he has ordered the parts) Ford parts man can get whatever parts that you are going to replace. It is easier to replace now while the tranny is down than after it has been reinstalled in the car.

Disassembly and subsequent reassembly is extremely easy. The gearbox section of the Tiger workshop manual is an exact reprint of the Ford recommended procedure, and the current Petersen’s Big Book of Auto Repair includes a step-by-step section on the RUG-E.

So pick a rainy afternoon (with everything at your finger tips, the time required is about 10 hours) and convert the area of your living room that is in front of the fireplace into a shop. I dreamt of intermingling gears, however, after cleaning and putting everything back together again, it seems to work.

A few notes:

Buy the best snap-ring pliers for headless snap-rings that you can. Start off by forgetting about the K-D or other cheaper types and go straight to Snap-On or Proto.

Go ask the man who makes his living attacking trannys. Buy right the first time and save yourself money and cussin’.

Follow the book. EXACTLY. Read it twice and do it once.

Have your dummy shafts handy. For the cluster gear, a piece of 1/2″ steel pipe about 8 1/2″ long works beautifully. For the reverse idler system, I used a piece out of a Rain Jet sprinkler but any shaft about 3 3/4″ long and a little less than 3/4″ in diameter should work. You can’t use the second set of shafts from the other tranny as they both are fitted with anti-rotation locks and am too long. The dummy shafts need to be a little shorter than the gear system.

Assemble and place in the case the shift arms and then the main shaft before seating the rear bearing. It won’t go in otherwise (it misses by a short 1/8″). Don’t forget that the shift arms go through the case from the inside. It seems easier to locate the cluster gear and seat its shaft before putting in the main shaft assembly.

Don’t assemble the cluster with its roller bearings on the regular shaft. Check for end-play and then replace the shaft with the dummy and let the entire system down into the bottom of the case with a piece of wire.

The bearings and thrust washers will all stay in place if you are careful.

Assemble the input shaft, main input bearing and input to main shaft rollers and put this in place.

Then raise the cluster and reassemble the shaft. The input gear/bearing assembly will not clear the cluster gears if it is in place.

Ford parts numbers and list prices (create a company name and ask for a discount) as of l/1/78 are:

Input shaft bearing 8D-7025 13.45
Main shaft output bearing 8D-7065 .09 ea
Reverse idler roller bearings (44) CODZ-7121-A .20 ea
Cluster gear roller bearings (44) C4AZ-7121-A .16 ea
Input shaft/Mainshaft rollers (15) C3AZ-7118-A 1.75
Oil seal, Input shaft B7AZ-7A283-B 5.00
Oil seal, Tailshaft C4TZ-7052-A .32 ea
Shift arm “0” rings (3) IA-7288-A .80
Rubber oil seal inside tailpiece B9AP-7AO11-A 1.55
Gasket set (3 gaskets) C4AZ-7153-B .05

Incidentally, a tip from a CAT member, the current Ford #C3DZ-17260-F ($13.20) is an identical speedo cable gear to the original and a 16-tooth gear #CODD-17271-A ($2.15) is also available. The OEM drive gear was a 15 tooth.

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