How Fer­gu­son came up with the surefooted Stag

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide -

The tran­si­tion of the Stag from rear-wheel drive to all­wheel drive tech­nol­ogy was very in­volved. Fer­gu­son’s en­gi­neers had to be re­move the drivetrain in or­der to add the trans­fer drive cas­ing with its twin prop­shafts feed­ing front and rear dif­fer­en­tials, the vis­cous cou­pling de­vice and anti-skid sen­sor. The front dif­fer­en­tial was bolted to the en­gine block with drive­shaft hous­ings at­tached. The drive­shafts were bolted to mod­i­fied Stag hub car­ri­ers ma­chined to al­low the GKN con­stant ve­loc­ity joints to pass through to Tri­umph 1500 CV joints with cus­tom-made hubs. The Stag’s MacPher­son up­rights were short­ened, lo­cat­ing with Hill­man Hun­ter­sourced ball race tops, and the upright studs lo­cat­ing with re-drilled holes in the in­ner wing pan­els.

New en­gine mount­ings were fab­ri­cated to raise the en­gine by 0.9in, which, in turn, meant adapt­ing the bon­net with a dummy air scoop to clear the air fil­ter. Mean­while, the trans­mis­sion tun­nel was mod­i­fied to take the trans­fer drive cas­ing sit­ting on a Ford Es­cort au­to­matic gear­box mount­ing and prop­shaft con­nect­ing with the front dif­fer­en­tial. This also meant mod­i­fy­ing the struc­ture of the front pas­sen­ger’s seat.

The steer­ing rack was moved and mounted on a newly fab­ri­cated sub­frame along with smaller items like the starter mo­tor so­le­noid. Above the cool­ing sys­tem over­flow bot­tle is the mighty anti-skid air reser­voir.

A quick scan of FFD’s Stag build sheets re­veals the com­plex­ity of the task; a dif­fer­ent brake servo and mas­ter cylin­der were fit­ted and the ex­haust sys­tem adapted. In­cred­i­bly, records show that it took just a week of con­cen­trated work to com­plete the whole con­ver­sion, re­flect­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence gained by the FFD team in un­der­tak­ing sim­i­lar projects on other ve­hi­cles.

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