Main British Car:
1978 MGB Roadster 3.5L British Leyland V8
1978 MGB with 3.5L V8
Posted by: Johnous
Date: January 13, 2010 12:20PM
Life has been pretty busy but I was able to get home over the Thanksgiving break for the first test fit of the engine. After a complete engine overhaul, mounting the GM-1 alternator and hunting for the right transmission deal, I have been able to achieve significant progress.
I encountered an issue with the pilot bushing that was solved by machining down the O.D. on a ford truck bushing from the 70s. I also installed a new input shaft bearing retainer (why tapered instead of ball?) on the Ford-spec WC T5 with the help of a tranny guru to fit the new HTOB from BMC Auto. Installed the RAM 88794HD clutch and mated it all together with a D&D bell housing.
It sure looks good, sitting in that engine bay! My modified engine mounts are going to require some transmission tunnel work, as it turns out. That WC T5 was getting a little too close to interference for my comfort. The block-hugger headers are not going to clear the steering rack with the modified mounts, so now I at least have an excuse to invest in some RV8 headers!
Next steps are to get the transmission tunnel mods taken care of and to get my hands on some RV8 headers. The stock radiator is not up to the job and I am getting a local shop to modify an aftermarket mustang radiator. Remote oil filter mount also in the works. I have a long way to go, but have an amateur's feeling of accomplishment
This is my first car project, and I have done tons of research in an effort to create the perfect combination of performance and reliability. I tinkered with this old B all through High School, and I have to admit I love this car dearly. Even though it was a treat to drive, there was always that underlying lack of power. With the help of my Dad (Pops), and a whole slew of knowledgeable friends, I have gotten along quite far on this lovely little project.
This is still quite the work in progress, as I have yet to even mate the engine with a transmission. However, I know that putting this out here on the web will only stand to motivate me further.
Owner: John Montgomery
City: Georgetown, TX
Car Model: 1978 MGB
Engine: Bottom end is a 3.5L Triumph TR8 V8, fitted with Buick heads and oil pan. Front timing cover is from a Rover SD1 to allow for clearance. Range Rover classic TPI Intake (milled down at the plenum base .8") and plenum fitted with Megasquirt EFI controller and a Mallory Unilite mechanical advance distributor (vacuum upgrade to be made later) with a Promaster coil. All of this will be sitting on a set of Glen Towery lowered engine mounts, to help with clearance and balance. The valve covers, water pump pulley, intake plenum and oil pan have all been powder coated body color, a nice robust british racing green.
Cooling: Refurbished 1978 radiator, though looking into the possibility of a 60's aluminum mustang radiator to survive these hot summers. Fitting the engine with a 170 degree thermostat, and using the SD1 water pump with slightly oversize pulley from D&D to help with clearance and cooling.
Exhaust: Block-hugger headers. Though still in the planning stage, a duel stainless steel 2" system with X crossover under the tranny.
Transmission: Ford-spec World Class T5 transmission
Rear Axle: Standard MGB Tube axle with rebuilt rear drums.
Front Susp.: Rebuilt and repainted from cross member. Used stiffer Moss coil springs from a pre-74' spec MGB, flushed and refilled stock MGB shocks. Rebuilt and re lubricated the kingpins. Polyurethane bushings.
Rear Susp.: Monroe Sensitrac tube shock conversion done before engine out, removing a leaf from '78 spring to obtain ride height. Traction bar in the planning stages to remove acceleration skip. Polyurethane bushings.
Brakes: Rebuilt each wheel's brakes with new rotors/pads, and the rear with resurfaced drums and new shoes. Put new brake cylinders in the rear as well as stainless steel flex hoses all the way around. Stock system throughout, but considering a future move to Toyota Landcruiser front calipers with K-car rotors and 15" wheels.
Wheels/Tires: Stock Rostyle 14" (for now)
Body Mods: Front sebring valance and pre rubber bumper grille. Removed and filled side parking lights, going for the classic 60's look.
Interior: Solid bird's eye maple dash drying on the workbench as I type this, plan to go with a "peanut butter" tan interior to match with Miata Seats and profiled roll bar.
Electrical: Advance Autowire system for a late 70's MGB V8 conversion. Megasquirt controller and system for fuel management, going to start out simple for the ignition.
Not too bad for my first time with a spray gun. Base coat/clear coat system in a nice engine-matched BRG
This is my baby. Tried to make it clear that its going in an MGB.
Custom-made .5gal aluminum swirlpot to be fitted in the unused battery well.
The interior right after finished wiring, along with early cutout for dash mold. LOTS of work to be done here.
Finished mold for the dash, steamed a cabinet-grade piece of bird's eye maple across here, will epoxy this to the original metal backing and cut out gauge holes.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2011 03:57PM by Johnous.