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general notices, announcements, invitations, & social stuff (like meets & car shows)

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jim0899
James Willenbrink
Florence, KY
(60 posts)

Registered:
10/05/2010 04:46PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB Chevrolet 327

authors avatar
Secret facility
Posted by: jim0899
Date: October 17, 2010 11:43PM

I was lucky enough to take a tour of Jim Blackwood's secret underground facility for MG V8 development (well, it's mostly above ground). It's tucked away in a nondescript building in Florence, KY. I was hoping to provide pictures to post on this forum but unfortunately no cameras were allowed.

He's not at all what I had imagined, I thought he would be like Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd's character in “Back to the Future”), not quite the same as him, but he definitely has some of the characteristics of a mad scientist (just kidding). His evolving vehicle may take flight sometime next Spring, but I'm not sure it will traverse time, that modification will have to wait for now.

I'm pretty sure he will let most members of the forum visit, but be sure to call ahead for an appointment. Oh, I forgot to mention, you won't be able to find it with Google Earth, the area has been mysteriously "Blacked out".


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(973 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: Dan B
Date: October 18, 2010 09:53AM

That's funny.


mowog1
Rick Ingram
Central Illinois
(1502 posts)

Registered:
10/17/2007 09:36PM

Main British Car:
1974.5 MGB/GT 3.9l Rover

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Re: Secret facility
Posted by: mowog1
Date: October 18, 2010 12:04PM

Been there, done that. You speak the truth.


Bill Young
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: Bill Young
Date: October 18, 2010 01:33PM

Someday I hope to be able to visit that shrine of automotive ingenuity. I want to see his anti gravity machine that makes tires float up into the wheel wells of cars on the rotissery. ;-)
MVC-477S.JPG


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(973 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: Dan B
Date: October 18, 2010 02:50PM

I had to fly up there and get him down too, he was about half crazy......


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5935 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 18, 2010 04:19PM

Well, *somebody* is about half crazy. Anyway, I'm glad you guys are having fun. Secret underground Lab huh? Well OK, if you say so. The idea does have some appeal.

Jim Willenbrink has one of the few small block Chevy powered MGB's around. I counted six in the "how it was done" archives and I know of about 4 others so with a dozen or so of these cars out there it is becoming a somewhat well proven swap. Jim sent me a link to a new development whereby LS heads are fitted to a (lighter) aftermarket SBC block, resulting in a pretty exceptional engine, and he is toying with the idea of an upgrade. Sounds like a fine idea to me, with the alloy heads and the weight reduction of the new block that swap becomes more practical. What do you think Carl?

JB


britcars
Phil Ossinger
New Brunswick, Canada
(342 posts)

Registered:
02/02/2009 07:58PM

Main British Car:
1977 MGB Roadster, Rover 3.5 ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA!

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: britcars
Date: October 18, 2010 04:45PM

Jim, is this the new World Products LS block? Can you pass on the link?
Thanks!
Phil O


jim0899
James Willenbrink
Florence, KY
(60 posts)

Registered:
10/05/2010 04:46PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB Chevrolet 327

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: jim0899
Date: October 18, 2010 07:08PM

Here's the link, there is also a video at this site that's pretty interesting. You can build a 383 with a standard Chevy small block rotating assembly with LS pistons (I beam rods) or step up to a 427 using H beam rods without any machine work to the block (except the normal cylinder hone etc.) At least that is my understanding.

[www.streetlegaltv.com]

Jim W.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2010 08:21PM by jim0899.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5935 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 20, 2010 09:06AM

Given the weight reduction in the block and the alloy heads, how much should one of these engines weigh?

JB


jim0899
James Willenbrink
Florence, KY
(60 posts)

Registered:
10/05/2010 04:46PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB Chevrolet 327

authors avatar
Re: Secret facility
Posted by: jim0899
Date: October 20, 2010 04:49PM

Jim, near as I can figure (if my calculations are correct) I think you are looking at about 474 lbs with water pump and intake manifold for the sbc/LS hybrid engine. That's if the sbc/LS hybrid iron block weighs 190 lbs – I believe the LS GM produced aluminum block weighs 116 lbs and the GM iron LS block is 204 lbs. I think the GM built LS engine (aluminum block, without oil etc.) weighs in at about 400 lbs. I had a heck of a time finding LS weights, with conflicting numbers, so please help out if you have better information. I think 500 lbs might be a more realistic number for the sbc/LS hybrid engine.

The stock GM LS aluminum block (model year 2000 and later) sould be good up to about 650hp, I don't think I'd want to go much past that though.with the GM built LS aluminum block. Using an iron block I wouldn't be afraid of 1000 hp though, the limiting factor for me would be the expense of such a beast.

I'm still not sure what kind of a $$$ amount I am going to come up with to build this sbc/LS hybrid thing, if it's too much I may have to scale it back to a conventional 383 with aluminum heads, since I have most of the components to build that engine.

Jim W.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2010 11:56PM by jim0899.


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