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John Fenner
Miami Fl
(168 posts)

03/11/2010 10:58AM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB 350 CHEVY

Rebuilding My V8 B
Posted by: flitner
Date: March 18, 2010 12:00PM

Owner: John Fenner
City: Miami Fl.
Car Model: 1972 MGB
Engine: 350 Chevy

Cooling: Be Cool aluminum radiator

Exhaust: self made headers, 2.5" aluminized tube into Flowmaster mufflers

Transmission: TH 350 manual valve body

Rear Axle: Narrowed Ford 9" 3.25:1 Equa-loc, Master line axles

Front Susp.: MGB w/ swaybar

Rear Susp.: Homebuilt double triangulated four bar, used carrera coilover shocks

Brakes: 77 MGB booster
(master) Modified GM unit
(front) 68 pontiac lemans rotors/dodge challenger calipers on mgb spindles
(rear) 85 seville rear calipers gm rotors

Wheels/Tires: american racing vector series 8.5x15 225 50 15

Body Mods: extensive, flared rear quarters, rear roll pan with recessed tag ,sebring style wraps under taillights, flared front fenders, hand built front air dam, hood cowl, hand built floor pans,trans tunnel, driveshaft tunnel, trunk pan, rolled dash

Interior: Modified MGB seats, custom dash

Electrical: not yet there

I aquired this car by rebuilding a buddys airboat in bartership, it was already built with the 350 Chevy, Th.350 and narrowed 9" Ford rear by many different hands & ideas. The car sat for a couple of years due to runnability problems/handling issues and so on. After working out some bugs through driving it around " Fuel pump had too much pressure overloading the floats, it needed an alignment, it was toed out and would wander when letting off of a WOT pull, a set of tires, a new top, wiring issues,brake work, cooling system and,,,,, The list goes on"
I used it as a daily driver for+/- 2 years till the paint started to delaminate and the several attempts of bodywork showed up along with the extensive rust in the rear clip from the battery gasses.
It then sat for about a year just keeping it running here and there with other projects pending and finally my friend Jorge and I decided to resurrect the fun driving "RED BARCHETTA" as all Rush fans would recognize!!!
After researching parts and a limited budget we found a stripped out 77 B on ebay that the auction would expire in minutes I contacted the seller and set up a day to buy the car. I borrowed a buddys racecar trailer and headded to the Florida Keys with cash in hand. For the price of 1 rear quarter panel from V.B.Ltd. I bought the donor car which had been swampped in hurricane Wilmas storm surge but was rinsed out by the owners.
All of the sheet metal was in good shape with your normal rust in the rockers and lower fender areas, looked good enough for me we loaded it up and brought it home.

"Note the top picture the 77 B in the background on the rolling hack jig."

While still planning my project out and scouring ideas from the photo gallery in this website I had decided to do a flare to the rear clip to accomodate my 15x8.5 A/R Vectors which Ive had on many cars and since my first car.
I used the 72 as a layout platform being it was rusted out and set up my clearances and fit/form of the flare I wanted to acheive. Having made templates and a fixture to hold the form of the flare to both sides at different times I cut the rear clip off of the 77 and set it up on a rolling jig to work on it.

"Unforunately I dont have pictures of that part of the build"
english wheel,twins.jpg
A good ole english wheel setup from Harbor Freight I beefed up by pouring fiberglass reinforced concrete into the upper hoop to stiffen the action of the light wall tube they use to build it worked well.
And a shrinker/stretcher setup helped too.
One of my neighbors brought over a planishing hammer, a bead roller with many dies and a homemade brake.

Fortunatly I had the knowledge of sheet metal work through 25 years of building Airboats in So. Florida which takes many different fields of fabrication to accomplish. Welding/Mig/Tig/Gas/Brazing. Machining Mill/Lathe/ Aircraft/Automotive Engine overhaul. Aircraft style sheet metal fab/hulls/decking. Custom engine mounts/propeller guards etc.
After plenty of episodes of Powerblock TV on Spike And Stacey Davids Gearz, Online videos of english wheel use,, many a cold BUD LIGHT and not too big of a scrap pile I got the rear clip ready to set on the car for fitment.


From this point I had to dissassemble the 72 and get it on a frame jig built from channel from the same neighbor with the other loaned tools.
Few pics of this stage also, had a hard drive failure on 2 different occasions throughout this build losing alot of files/pics!
Cleaned all of the extra additions out of the rear between the frame rails and set the rear clip on the car and lined everything up as best as the tape measure would allow. Clamping strapping and prying then tacking it all in and hanging the doors for gaps.
Building the rear roll pan, recessed tag and trunk pan after that figuring to work forward.
Next I set up for the rear suspension by adding 2x3x3/16 rectangular tube from the rear of the frame rails to the rear of the floor pans. To add strength I added 1/8 x 5 steel plate to tie sides to driveshaft tunnel and built trans tunnel, driveshaft tunnel and fabbed up floorpans rolling rails into them with the bead roller.
More research here and there on the internet learning weight and balance and setup of the double triangulated four bar I belive I got it pretty close to the geometry desired for anti squat and cornering.
Tacking all of the brackets in place with the rear diff on the frame jig and running string lines, straight edges, plumb bobs and the links falling into place seemed to tell me I was in the right ball park. But I'll let you know how it hooks and tracks at a later entry!
Building the suspension links was a little interesting but they are plenty strong and probably overkill for this application I bought some D.O.M. 1"id X 1.250 od mild steel for the bars and 1.5 id x 1.750 od for the bushings to press into.
Then I built a fixture to hold everything together square to fit and to weld the links together by using some bud style lug nuts cut down and a couple of wheel studs pressed through a piece of channel drilled to hold it center of the bushing sleeve.

After picking up a pair of used coilover shocks from ebay I built a truss in the trunk for the top to mount to and added a pair of brackets to the lower link brackets on the rearend.
The drum brakes were serviceable but I felt the need to upgrade to disk in the rear, so more research on that I found out 85 seville rear calipers were the best to put on the rear having the park brake and not needing a residual pressure valve.
At the same time of rebuilding the differential I ordered a clutch pack for the equa-loc posi unit and got a billet pinion housing after breaking the daytona housing I had trying to press out the pinion, I got the package and a flyer inside had a rear disk brake kit for $239. but it came with front calipers so I had to pay more for the rear caliper set. I dont think I could build it for the price it sells for with core charges for rebuilt units locally. Quick Performance Racing (641) 751-8060 got me dialed in for a great price and service!

Ok You Caught Me!
Yes Jim Blackwood I copied your idea and flared the front fenders similarly to the way you did! And yes Dan Masters I did take from your ideas on the frenching the front signals going with the clear lenses instead.
I did make the center of the valance removeable as a unit.
Thanks to this great website and all of you and your great talents I've gained so many ideas and guidance along the way, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

I formed the dash and got it welded in ,still have some work to do there.


I was looking into Harbor Freight for a stud welder kit and finding alot of burned up units on ebay,I adapted an old pnumatic pop riveter to pull the studs and made an electrode to screw into my mig welder "ALMOST BURNING IT UP" then I tried my old buzz box, not enough amperage. Then i looked up how someone built their own spot welder out of a microwave transformer but that seemed to be abit of a chore so I had a utlity battery a friend gave me and bought some heavy cable at napa with a starter solenoid and a push button. Works like a champ and saved $119.

Got the shifter recessed into the tunnel and the steering column back in and cut out the toeboard for steering shaft to hook up,still need to weld in a sleeve for the flex shaft to ride in sealing inside from out. Oh yeah Its a 71 Pinto column FYI.
I needed to get it off of the frame jig to make room for a paint job and it was time to get it on the ground anyway.
Got it on the ground and set the rear shocks to get it somewhat level, and we had to set it up with the seats and windshield for its landing pics and to just look at how far it's come.
flit 004.JPG
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After a little hiatus ( Vacation, consisting of bodywork and paint job on wifey's Tahoe) I had to develop a punchlist of things to do on the project and # 1 is done!
Form cowl induction hood scoop and rust replacement,derust and prime for storage.
Next on punchlist, front fenders and valance.

v8b15 006.JPG
Got the dash panel layed out and fit for gauges need to lay out console soon.
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Recieved the new radiator from Summit, I went with the 26.5 wide by 20 tall. Having to relieve the inner wings to make it fit channeling the frame rails around it and boxing it in for strength just in case of the unavoidable front end hit.
8/15 While at the boneyard I picked up a condenser for the a/c and fitted it into the core support along with the trans cooler.
v8b1 001.JPG

v8b1 008.JPG
I picked up some seat backs from the boneyard and grafted them into the MG seat bases, Bye Bye bobblehead lowbacks!
Also fabbed up a center console and a provision for a radio and got the rollbar built and installed.

v8b1 005.JPG
v8b1 006.JPG
v8b1 014.JPG
Got the a/c evaporator and blower fabbed in.
Made up a plastic welder to modify the evaporator case I'll try to get some pics of that soon!
v8b2 001.JPG
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v8b2 002.JPG
v8b2 004.JPG
Fuel tank,filler and battery hold down fabbed up and installed.
v8b2 005.JPG
v8b2 006.JPG
Also got the A/C vents fitted into the dash.
v8b3 001.JPG

v8b3 003.JPG
Bathed the top side of the tub with Dupont Variprime after numerous cleaning and stripping methods with Kleen Strip and Phosphoric prep and Etch then Napas Twin Etch as a final wash before priming.
I ordered from Hy Tech Insulating a set of 3-5 gallon kits of their Ceramic microspheres to paint the inside of the tub to get the noise and insulating properties that Lizzard Skin claims with a lot cheaper price tag along with being able to insulate the house when I paint it soon to hopefully bring down the utility bills next summer.
v8b3 001 (2).JPG

v8b3 005.JPG
v8b3 004.JPG
I got it flipped over to clean and finish welding and fabbed up the exhaust while inverted, it sure went alot easier than doing it right side up the first time!
I will be cleaning more today and hope to have it in primer and seam sealed before tonight.
I also picked up the paint and supplies for the bodywork and paint which is soon to come.
Not any pics yet but Its back on its rear axle on the mock wheels and the interior is undercoated with the ceramic additive with some acrylic enamel black I had laying around.The bodywork has started and the dash is faired in as well as the rear bow and boot lid, I have another couple of coats of primer to apply and block out then I'll be moving to the quarters then forward as the work progresses.
Saturday I sand blasted the fenders and doors and coated in etch primer at the end of the day.

I have found one drawback to using Dot 5 brake fluid when you are restoring a project and you pressure clean it, it spreads the silicone EVERYWHERE!!!!!!
Talk about fisheye in the primer and undercoating, having to stop and recoat later.

Past couple of weeks I've been busy doing the chores of filling/blocking, priming/blocking,repeating on every surface and panel to get this thing straight and smooth and hopefully flawless to the average joe but im sure it'll be good from a far but far from good!
As of today I have done the final primer on the tub, finalizing the touch up sanding and cleaning of the parts to be undercoated by the body color being the jambs and under the hood,inside the doors ,trunk, engine compartment.
Hopefully spraying the rest of the outside panels to be able to shoot the stripes next weekend.
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On another note I have rebuilt the 72 Ford Pinto steering column by getting a new lock cylinder ,cleaning the turn signal/hazard switch,reworking the steering wheel adapter along with building a horn contact ring from scratch and integrating a lock ring into the bell of the adapter so that the wheel will lock.

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Well I only planned to spray the jambs/engine compartment/trunk and backsides of the fenders,doors etc. but I went ahead and sprayed the tub seeing that I have to wet sand it all to do the stripes and clear it anyway.
I'll be spraying the rest today hopefully.
Also a little trick, I had alot of fisheye due to the DOT 5 brake fluid as mentioned above, Fight fire with fire and add a couple of drops of DOT 5 to the paint and voila,, fisheye eliminator.
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Got the rest shot yesterday and I'll be assembling it through the end of the week,I still have to wet sand it for the stripes and clearcoat.
Well I got the trunk lid on yesterday after blasting and painting the hinges.
Today I reblasted the hood hinges and painted them and fitted the hood with the latches and got everything pretty well aligned (I cheated and drilled pilot holes in the hood hinges to line everything up during final mockup) and set the door hinges in place.
Hopefully I'll have the fenders hanging tomorrow morning and the doors fit and aligned.

Tomorrow night I hope to be wet sanding (quiet work after 11:00PM)for the stripes and clear to go on this weekend
v8bpaint1 001.JPG
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Got it wet sanded on Friday night after assemling it Thursday and Friday I shot another 2 coats of color and a coat with integrated clear @ 50 percent and another @80 percent. I am now at the 100th picture and I will edit out some for future progress. I also got the dash and center console sprayed the same bluish black pearl effect that the stripes will be. I've got the guy who designed the cowl scoop coming over to lay out the stripes today.
Hope to have the paint on there today, I gained 8 more pictures by editing a few out to make room for the final assembly.
I got the master cylinder and booster mounted in yesterday after blasting and painting the pedal box and booster. And the gas pedal also.
I'm waiting on the Brown Truck to deliver the body seals so I can start assembling the doors and install the windshield.
I got the headlights in after buffing the rings and turn/park lights in also.
v8b assemble 007.JPG
I finally got the door hardware cleaned up and windows-regulators installed, and the windshield after softening up the frame to cowl seal "which didnt come in the body seal kit" in the parts washer @ work. I forget who it was that stated the seal is a pain in the arse to put in was right on target.
I had the trunk lock from the 77 apart and had a new key made for it for $25.00 that after getting the door hardware off of the bench I found the key ring for the car and the key that fit the 72 lock, I made the door locks match by filing #2 and #4 tumblers.
Ironically the locksmith had a brand new looking trunk lock in their display w/o a key and didnt know the price, then a buddy went by there and asked the price, $99.00 I havent called them on that yet to tell them to use KY or not.
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2/28/11 Well after cleaning, blasting, welding up holes, worn areas, fixing the lower control arms that someone had butchered, and painting I got the front suspension assembled. I remember there were a few questions about the front brake rotors and their fittment, I placed the seal race/spacer that is in my setup next to the ones I saved from the 77 and they are cut down to make up for the needed bearing clearance on the spindle versus cutting the outer race bore deeper in the rotor. After blasting and honing the rotors and cleaning everything up I went ahead and poped the calipers apart and cleaned them as well getting the rust and debris out and cleanig the seals of rust.
I also straightened the pinion shaft that had about an inch jumprope in it
v8b brakes 001.JPG
v8b brakes 002.JPG
More to come soon, Thanks for looking !!!
I am at the 100th picture I'll have to open another thread to post the outcome of this build, Thanks for following along!! I was just looking over this page and it seems like it has been quite the journey from where it was 3 1/2 - 4 years ago to now!

Link to Part 2:


Edited 29 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2018 10:16AM by MGBV8.

Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 posts)

10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Rebuilding My V8 B
Posted by: Moderator
Date: March 22, 2018 02:04AM


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