Other Cars (British & British-Inspired)

a place to discuss all our other favorite cars, especially the modified and/or V8 ones

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Oliver Fishburn

(1 posts)

08/20/2014 03:12PM

Main British Car:

V8 Minor Project Advice
Posted by: Abarxax
Date: August 20, 2014 03:26PM

Hi All,

I am thinking about building a V8 Minor as an ambitious first project I am trying to teach myself along the way I have a few friends who are mechanics but I want to do as much as possible myself but before even starting I need some advice. What do I need to consider and what engine would be recommended. I know rover v8s are popular but I did have the thought of buying an old jaguar and stripping it for parts & engine. As I say I am new so I am a complete beginner so any advice and support would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2014 03:32PM by Abarxax.

Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4533 posts)

10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: V8 Minor Project Advice
Posted by: Moderator
Date: August 20, 2014 04:47PM

Welcome to BritishV8, Oliver!

I think a Minor project sounds like a ton of fun. However, you're already trying to decide between two radical options. I would definitely purchase and start measuring the Minor BEFORE making many decisions about the eventual drivetrain. It's very hard to appreciate clearance issues until you have ruler in hand. In fact, you'll get much better measurements once the Morris lump is out of the way. Clearance issues can turn into huge delays or even worse.

Also, you need to decide for yourself what you want to have when you get finished. Show versus go? Curvy roads, or just straight ahead?

The differences between Rover V8s and older Jaguar engines are beyond night and day. Rover engines start at about 320 pounds dressed, whereas Jaguar sixes start at about 580 pounds. Jaguar twelves are even heavier. The Rover V8 engines are wide for a Minor, but the Jag engines are much taller and somewhat longer. The Rover behaves as a free-revving little sportscar engine should due to its short (2.8") stroke. Jag engines generally have very long strokes (e.g. 4.2" for the 3.8L), like proper truck engines. But maybe you want a truck engine. In which case, a Jaguar engine might actually make more sense for you than it did for Jaguar.

Would you possibly consider a high performance four cylinder engine such as one of the old Ford twin-cam mills? Some of those can be dolled up to look really sharp. They'd be so very much easier to install, and IMHO you'd still have a unique and distinctive project.

And I'm curious... where are you physically located?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2014 04:54PM by Moderator.

Richard Brengman
No. Nevada
(398 posts)

01/17/2014 07:47PM

Main British Car:
1969 Triumph GT6+ 225" Buick V6

Re: V8 Minor Project Advice
Posted by: Richard/SIA
Date: September 04, 2014 11:54PM

I've seen everything from hopped up 1275 BMC engine to blown 454 BBC put into a Minor.
Just how much fab do you want to do, and are you going to sit in the regular drivers seat or the back seat to drive it?

For a driver I would limit it to a BOP alloy V8 or Buick V6 which is essentially the same engine but shorter.
For a show car that gets trailered everywhere anything goes.

I'm going to find a Chevy of some sort and put a Jag engine into just to get even, but I would not put a Jag 6 engine into a Minor.

One of the Jag V6's might work OK if they are narrow enough.
I'm assuming that there are Jag V6's now, I've never actually looked as I don't consider it a Jag at all if it was not made before Ford took over.

Jukka Harkola

(257 posts)

04/08/2009 06:50AM

Main British Car:
Morris Minor Rover V8

Re: V8 Minor Project Advice
Posted by: minorv8
Date: October 10, 2014 02:57AM

I did my V8 Minor in late 90īs and have probably some experience about the swap :-)

First of all, width of the engine is not a problem, height is not a problem. Lengthwise, Rover V8 fits but you can definitely forget about Jag engines if you want any kind of handling. Looking back, there are some things that I would change (wheel PCD, rear axle etc.).

Biggest problem with the Rover engine is the timing gear and water pump. Possibly the best option would be the late model serpentine engine. My engine is a 4x4 Land Rover based unit and it has bigger/longer water pump (which is bad) that sits higher on the engine (which is good). That gave more room for the radiator.

I used to have geocities web pages and actually found them relocated here:


There are lots of pics and details how I did my body mods etc. Running gear has since been altered.

A warning though; if you want to do this conversion properly it is an ambitious one. A lot of fabrications to make the car safe and lots of welding. If you canīt do that yourself it will take time and cost have it done.

When I built mine I bought and engine less gearbox. I wanted a 5-speed so I found a TR7 box and rear axle. That fixed the bolt PCD (oddball Triumph / Lotus 4 x 3,75" ). Try finding nice 15" wheels with that pattern.

Where are you located ? If in USA, a Ford 8" axle would be a good option. Lots of parts available and can be updated to any spec. BUT, to summarize: think ahead and also consider possible future upgrades.

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