David Kee Top Loader Transmission
The stock 4 Speed transmission in the Tiger is tired, and for a little bit more money then a full rebuild I decided to talk to David Kee Top Loader transmissions.
A quick bit of history on the Top Loader from David Kee Toploader's Website -
The Ford Toploader Transmission was introduced in 1964 to replace the Borg Warner T-10. This is the super-tough transmission built by Ford Engineers to stand up to just about anything demanded from it.
That's good enough for me to keep this style of gearbox in the Tiger as I have an alternate gearbox for the Tiger but replacing one that is similar is an easy job. One fantasic thing is David Kee offers the transmission with all NEW parts, he makes most of the pieces so no scrounging for cores. Another nice thing is that the gearbox case is available in ALUMINUM... Well almost all of it since for the Tiger (and Falcon) applications you have only a cast iron option for the tail housing. That's OK as any weight savings is good. In some conversations with David I asked about optional or custom gear ratios as I really like a close ratio box but was concerned about the first gear being too high for easy street driving. Problem solved, he has a special gear set that has a tick lower first, then the rest of the gears are as a close ratio box. Win Win! Here are the Tiger's stock gear ratios (close and wide) as well as the new one. I have run these on the Gear Calc page with a Gear and Tire combination of 3.54:1 and 205-50-15, which give me the RPM and Speed for my use. No, not expecting any super-speedway events with this car, but should get close to 150mph at the limiter.
Stock Close Ratio in the Tiger
2.32 1.69 1.29 1.0
Stock Wide Ratio in the Tiger
2.78 1.93 1.36 1.0
Tony the Tigers Ratios
2.44 1.69 1.29 1.0
So the best of both worlds, with a little help out of the hole and back to a nice close ratio for the rest. A quick note that David Kee was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the Tiger and related components. A Solid recommendation from me.
Check out David Kee Toploader's Right HERE
Now the rest of the Driveline...
Behind the engine is a McLeod Aluminium Flywheel, Diaphragm Pressure Plate, and Dual Friction Clutch. I have had good experience running this on the Mustang and it seems like a durable combination. The Bellhousing is a standard Ford aluminum housing with a Tilton Engineering annular hydraulic throw out bearing kit which includes the transmission input shaft retainer and the rest of the goodies. This gets rid of the messy clutch slave and related clutch fork too!
The transmission normally has a Spicer 1310 compatible yoke for as well as the differential. Being an over builder I have picked up a billet yoke for the transmission that uses a 1350 U-Joint and same for the Dana 44 yoke. This does present a problem as the 1310 will just fit in the stock trans tunnel, so this over build modification will likely cause some sheet metal work. Driveshaft, don't have it yet, but will likely go with a Coleman Racing aluminum which are reasonable priced and custom made.
For the Rear End (diff) it is looking like keeping the Dana 44 but changing out the axle ends from the stock Tiger style to a small bearing Ford end. Why? Brakes! I have a kit for early Mustangs that will bolt up to a small bearing housing and allow me to use late model (2000 era) Cobra disk brakes. This would be a lot easier to get rear disc brakes but I really want to retain the emergency brake functionality.
For the differential I have some Dana 3.54 gears as well as a Dana TrueTrac. The Dana TrueTrac is a 'Torsen' based differential and has no clutches. I have not run one in any cars as yet but they are supposed to be very good for the track and on the violent engaging range where a Detroit Locker is at one end of the spectrum, the Torsen at the other. About the only thing I understand is that they do create a lot of heat and require a good (Synthetic) gear oil. I also have a nice strong Dana 44 housing cover from TA Performance. You can see a picture of the housing cover on the Tiger Other page.
Various Drive Train Parts
Here are a few pictures of the parts. The Tilton throw out bearing is on the left and comes complete in a kit except for your transmission input shaft retainer which is specific for each gearbox.
The TA Performance cover, Dana TrueTrac, Shifter, Spicer U-Joints and McLeod Dual Friction clutch.
Tilton Engineering Parts
61-604 - Adjustable Bearing Wide Flat Face (61-601 is the base size for smaller clutches)
61-618 - Release Bearing Retainer (Ford Toploader)
The instructions are very clear and you need to make sure the unit is properly adjusted. CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS
Make sure the unit is properly adjusted and use a pedal stop to ensure the release bearing is not over stroked into the clutch
and a likely self destruct of the pressure plate or the bearing will pop out of the bore if really badly set up. FOLLOW THE
I have 2 types of McLeod Pressure plates for the Ford. One is the old 3 finger style, and the other is the diaphragm style. I have
run the diaphragm style for a few years in "The Ripper" and have had excellent life and no issues. I may continue to use that
style over the 3 finger unit. Part number that I have from McLeod is 360048 for the Diaphragm style cover. Make sure if your
using a diaphragm style that is fits your flywheel. I recall the later 5.0L diaphragm may have a different bolt pattern and metric
bolts on the flywheel.
Tilton Bearing and Retainer
The normal input shaft retainer on the transmission is replaced with the one from Tilton, then you adjust the height of the bearing (per specs) by threading it lower or higher. A bolt through the bearing keeps it from spinning. Simple!
Make sure you use a pedal stop as to not overstroke the clutch of bearing.