View Full Version : How to build a fake Tiger?

06-14-2007, 07:27 AM
I am sure this post will get some people excited, but I found your forum and thought I would give it a shot. I want to build a "resto-mod" Tiger out of an Alpine. The car will not be constructed to deceive anyone, just for fun. Drive train will be a 347 Stroker, T5 & 9" rear. The car and frame will be highly modified, and I don't want to cut up a good Tiger for this purpose. My questions are about what modifications I will need to hang the small block and the 5 speed in the car? I have been told that I need to convert the steering to rack & pinion. Is everything I need readily available? Any place I can find information on this swap? Thanks!

06-14-2007, 11:28 AM
I can't advise you, but you may find some useful info ~HERE~ (https://www.ntahc.org/modifiedhealeys/)

06-14-2007, 11:28 AM
Well, at a minimum you need to do the following.

1 Change to a rack in front of the engine. You can use the Alpine steering setup but it means moving the engine so far forward that too much weight sits in front and the car becomes dangerous to drive.
2 Cut out the transmission tunnel and fabricate a new one to fit the engine/transmission. As part of this you'll be recessing the engine several inches into the firewall so you'll need to cut a section of it out as you do the tunnel.
3 Engine mounts. You'll need to fabricate them, the Tiger used custom pieces which attached to the Alpine steering mounts.
4 Remove the spot welded on pieces on the front inner wheel wells as they will be in the way of the engine and new steering. Either fabricate replacements or live with the extra body shake the frome will have.
5 Heavy duty radiator. Small engine compartment, poor airflow around the V8, it'll run hot.
6 Narrow the rear, don't know the exact amount but it'll need to be done to fit the wheel wells.
7 If you run the exhaust out under the back of the car you'll may need to remove or shorten the battery box for clearance. May also need to do this dependent on what you do with the rear end for locating purposes.
8 Exhaust, you'll need Tiger header or custom made ones due to the narrow confines, the regular stuff you buy for a Ford won't fit in the space. Also, the exhaust normally runs through the front of the X frame and is recessed into the back by way of half moon cutouts. running completely underneath is a ground clearance problem unless you're using large wheels/tires.
9 Probably need to rewire, some guys use the Painless kits. Also aftermarket gauges or a mix with the originals, depends on what you want and what you can make work.
10 Fuel pump. In the trunk like the late Tigers would probably be best.

That's the basics off the top of my head. Depending on what you start with there may be other things you find you need or want to do. And of course there's whatever you want to do in terms of paint and interior.

Good luck.

06-14-2007, 01:09 PM
6 Narrow the rear, don't know the exact amount but it'll need to be done to fit the wheel wells.

I just put LAT-70 repros on my Tiger, and removed the spacers that a PO had put on the rear wheels. So, I've returned the tail end to its original narrow track. Man does that change the handling characteristics!

10 Fuel pump. In the trunk like the late Tigers would probably be best.

I second that sentiment, given that I'm about to spend some quality time with my right muffler and heat-shielding this weekend.

Not to offend, but you may wish to seriously consider keeping the Alpine manufacturer's plate on your car.

06-14-2007, 02:04 PM
Looks to me that the worst part is the rack & pinion steering conversion. Research says the Tiger used an MG setup. If true, does it bolt in or is there a bunch of custom fabrication required to the Alpine? A guy that I met with a V6 in an Alpine told me that someone makes the Tiger engine mounts.

Good idea about the Alpine serial tag. I assume it would have to be left on the car for the title to match the car. Thanks for your input!

06-15-2007, 06:28 AM
Tigers actually used their own unique column and rack, although you can retrofit a midget rack. Alpines don't have the same hole for the column in the firewall due to the widening of the transmission tunnel required for the V8. And they normally have a bracket welded to the driver's side wheel well for the column. Since this is show season I recommend you got to a British show or two and examine any Tigers there. A visual is better than I can explain it in all likelyhood. I forgot to mention that the Alpine crossmember needs to have the Alpine motor mounts removed, mounts for the rack made and welded on and notches cut for clearance of the arms.

06-15-2007, 07:53 AM
Many have done the V8 conversion.Actually you can make a super street machine by going to the 2.8 Ford V6.No body mods , no steering mods.200 HP easily obtained.The Alpine becomes a real performer as it should have had this setup from the beginning.I think Rootes would have never been taken over by Chrysler.
I did my V6 conversion in 1979 and put 177000+ miles on it.Such a fun and reliable car i had no problems of going on long trips over 2000 miles and we did do a 6000 mile trip.
As to a V8 conversion my signature tells it all.
The Lister Tiger has a 351 windsor and the 62 now has a 302 with the goodies.
I do know very well what is involved to do this and believe me you either need a lot of cash or are a very good body and mechanical person.
But then it is your car and you can do as you please but with SAFETY,SAFETY the prime concern in doing the work.
Good luck to whatever your decision may be.

06-15-2007, 08:26 AM
Thanks for the great information. Looks like I may be better off trying to find a Tiger project car. For some strange reason I have always wanted to build a small European sports car V8 conversion. Any other candidates that can hold a small block Ford? I know the Jags work and I have seen a few Healeys. I know an aluminum V8 can be made to work in an MGB, how about a 302?

06-15-2007, 12:38 PM
And you can always drop a Ford in a Daimler, though why I can't imagine. My #1059 car had a Ford V for awhile, then the PO switched back to the Daimler V.
I wonder if the Daimler engine would fit in an Alpine with less modifications? The engines can be found, usually out of a V8 250 Jag sedan.
Just a rambling thought.

MGA Steve
06-17-2007, 03:43 PM
I know an aluminum V8 can be made to work in an MGB, how about a 302?
A number of MG Club members in Colorado have built MGB V8's using the Buick/Rover 3.5, 3.9, or 4.2 liter engines from the Rover SDI or Range Rover/Discovery. Because these engines are aluminum, they actually weigh less than the cast-iron MGB 4-cylinder engine. And all these Rover engines come with fuel injection too, which is a real advantage over my TR8's carbureted 3.5-liter engine.

If you do an MGB conversion, either the 3.5 or a Ford 302 (which has also been done, though much heavier and harder to fit), get a 1977-1980 MGB rubber-bumper car as a starting point. Because MG actually offered a V8 MGB-GT in England (not in the US, although one of our club members has one) in the mid-1970s, all of these late-model MGBs come with an engine bay, firewall, sway bars, steering setup, front cross-member, radiator location, and cooling fan setup designed for mounting the V8. It is easier to change a rubber-bumper car to chrome bumpers than to change the entire front end in an original chrome-bumper car to fit a V8.

And, if you are thinking about a V6 conversion of an MGB or Alpine, instead of the V8, see "TheAutoist.com" for Tony Barnhart's step-by-step conversion of an MGB-GT to a Chevy V-6.

Incidentally, I saw the ultimate V8 conversion of an LBC at our Triumph Club car show a few weeks ago. A Triumph TR6 with a 400-CI, 600HP Chevy small block, 18-inch wide Mickey Thompson slicks, a louvered hood, and a tubbed rear end. Whatever you decide, HAVE FUN!

11-29-2007, 08:50 PM
"I know an aluminum V8 can be made to work in an MGB, how about a 302?"

Absolutely! See https://www.britishv8.org for several examples of this swap. Or, https://www.advanceautowire.com/mgbgtv8

11-30-2007, 08:24 AM
If you are building a tiger clone "ALGER" a 302 will fit .basically exterior dimensions are same as the 289