Tiger 5.0 Conversion

An Article by Curtis Fisher
Sept., 2001

Preface: Curtis Fisher has produced a really superb account of his "Tiger 5.0 Conversion". The subject has generated a lot of interest in our community, but can even appeal to those confirmed in the "keep-it-stock" creed. Curtis has chosen the available new Motorsport 5.0 crate motor as a basis. Whatever your personal preferences, we are not driving LBC's with a Ford V-8 because it's "cute". Who, amongst us, has never had the thought about what "could" be. Well, here's the story of one who decided to find out. Curtis has used a lot of "engine-uity", and achieved the "modest" goal of the putting the latest block in the Tiger.


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Disaster Provides Incentive:

At some occasion, opportunities (or disasters) seem to occur. How you approach them determines which it was. At an out of state competition, the engine appeared to blow a head gasket but we could not find the exact cause. The heads were checked for warpage and cracks, no head bolts loose, and no real sign of a leaking gasket. Engine tear down did not reveal the cause of overheating. After considering the 5.0 upgrade for several years, and facing an unknown cause of failure, it seemed timely to do the change over. And while I was at it, why not upgrade the transmission to a 5 speed? The 289 engine had enough power but was not reliable enough to reassemble without determining the cause. Motorsport crate motors offer up to 345 horsepower in a form/fit block with aluminum heads. Off the shelf bolt in horsepower, production line cost, Ford heritage.

Getting Started:

Buying the engine was the easiest part, accessorizing it was a different matter. The 5.0 crate motor comes with two options, aluminum or iron heads, B303 or E303 cam. You will receive a motor in a crate with no documentation. You can call Motorsport technical line and discuss application and specs. When you inquire about vintage parts or accessories, support diminishes quickly. Most of the original Tiger parts will bolt up to the crate motor, but the generator bracket is not an exact fit (to the aluminum head).

What You Get:

Motor description. No intake/exhaust. No ignition. No pulleys. Flywheel is the 157 tooth steel. Damper was cast with serpentine belt groove. Motor includes crank trigger and toothed sprocket for EFI system. Oil pan had huge dent in side. The waterpump and parts on the front fit an Explorer short package, so many Explorer parts will bolt up to this. The damper pulley front face is 5.25 inches from the block and this clears the R&P by one inch. This became the reference point for aligning the serpentine and alternator. The waterpump flange front is 5.5 inches from the block. Ford Explorer pulley (F87E-8A 528-AA) gives a perfect alignment for a serpentine belt if used. The damper/pulley is 6 inch diameter with 50 oz. imbalance.

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