by Jon Hasbrouk in the March 2007 RootesReview:
This total project is about the restoration and personalizing the ’66 Tiger that we have owned for some 15 years. The goal is to make mechanical modifications that will make the vehicle faster, with better steering (Ackerman angle correction), and brakes equal to the speed factor.
The front end was completely dismantled and all pieces cleaned down to bare metal. The dimension between top shock mount holes was confirmed to be in spec (31 ½ – 31 7/8”). The welds around the tower tops were examined and reinforced at the “weak points”. We choose not to disassemble and reinforce the cross member, as the Tiger will see only periodic club competition and is not likely to suffer from a great deal of hard use.
The suspension arms were sent out for rebuilding. We chose Doug Jennings to install all new bushings and ball joints, hardware, etc., including new fulcrum pins. In a quick side-bar, unless you are blessed with a ton of ability and an equal amount of spare time, the suggestion is to use the rebuild services offered by our club vendors and use your time to move the project towards completion. Doug sent the pieces back in short order, all new in performance and appearance with the appropriate hardware.
We did elect to include the fabrication and installation of the “Logan Links” to the ends of the fulcrum pins. This addition is neat and makes a great deal of sense from a safety point of view.
The cleaned parts were primed and coated with an appropriate chassis black finish. All new grade-8 fasteners were used for reassembly and were torqued to spec. New 325 pound springs from Dale’s were installed. Dale is using a newer spring design that is supposed to give the preferred ride height with no coil binding and the ride for a street machine. We will see! We also installed Dale’s steering kit, comprised of a new MG Midget steering rack, MGB steering arms and the new associated hardware Dale supplies to make this a bolt on operation.
To provide the stopping power desired, we added Dale’s “big brake kit”, manufactured by Wilwood. The system uses 12.19 inch ventilated directional rotors squeezed by 4-piston calipers. Dale supplies a special bracket required to make this all a bolt-on system. The only “non-reversible step in the whole process is the requirement to drill out two threaded holes on each spindle bracket to allow the use of through-bolts to attach the new brake bracket. There will be more information on master cylinder sizing and component set-up in a follow-up story.
The 7/8 anti-sway bar was reinstalled with urethane bushings from Doug Jennings. Dale supplied the Carrera front shocks – now nonadjustable.
The new brake system does require the use of at least 15 inch rims on the front. Our 15 x 7 Panasports clear the steering arm ball joints at the inside of the rim by about 1/8”! Our primo dust shields will no longer fit, of course. If all works as advertised, we should have a great performing steering and stopping system. Stay tuned.