Main British Car:
1977 MGB 5.0 Ford WC t-5
Newbie takes swing at Mantell kit
Posted by: goal10r
Date: December 14, 2012 12:11PM
Car Model:1977 MGB
Engine:1995 Ford 5.0 HO donated from a mustang GT
Cooling: we'll see
Transmission: WC t-5 believed to be from '86 mustang or Capri
Rear Axle: upgrade from stock
Front Susp.: Spax adjustable shock
Rear Susp.:Spax adjustable shock
converted to wire wheels
Electrical: Advance Auto kit
Third forum, signed in on Pub, started on MGB thread and was pointed to the journal area so this is where I'll post my the remainder of my project. The idea is to install a Mantell kit and report on how easy/difficult it is for a moderate shade tree mechanic with a pole barn and a decent set of tools to handle the 5.0 conversion project. being an average joe with a job, a 19 y/o in school and a wife with a taste for fashion I need to try to stay on some sort of a budget. I've quickly had to up the budget from 4,000 to 5,000 dollars this week because I can see that 4K "ain't gonna git er done".
I am starting with a '77 MGB which I have replaced all floor boards, completely gone over undercarriage and have began an Advanced auto wire project inside the project. :) None of this is figured into the budget, only the 5.0 and tranny install. the rear end will be a whole different project.
Over Thanksgiving I drove to NY and picked up a supposed 70,000 mile 1995 Ford 5.0 out of a mustang gt. and a trimec WC t-5 tranny and a computer and all wiring looms. I am not sure if the tranny came out of the same car, I don't think so and a British V8 reader already warned me on different tranny shaft sizes, I'll cross that bridge when it comes. :)
This week I started my project with tearing down the 5.0 to freshen it up and install aluminum heads. From E-bay I purchased (again keep in mind the budget) a set of aluminum heads that are not name brand. Yes, I have been warned about cheap Chinese heads and the damage they can do so I went with Fresno Cal company that imports Australian non-sand castings and the company puts them together in Fresno. We'll see how well they perform, I bought them for $535. including a 100. for shipping so they could very well be crap but we'll know soon enough. The company has 98% positive feedback and have sold hundreds of sets of these heads so again, I'll keep my fingers crossed. So far I have 1350 for motor and tranny, 535 for heads 125. for rockers (also
from same company) and 90 in a gasket set. No I didn't go Felpro because I am going on a budget but I am also not picking up the cheapest crap out there, I would like this thing to actually get me down the road one day. If it's made in China I'm not buying it for this project.
Moderation is my key here. Anyway, 2100. ( I forgot to mention the rocker studs for another fidee bucks) so far and I need to get the Mantell kit which will probably run another 2K by the time it is delivered. Hence my upping the budget by a grand, I'll be over 4200. once the kit shows up and I bet it'll be VERY tight to make it all happen with another 800. bucks but I'm going for it. :) I'm going to try to stay with the stock lifters, they have about 70 K on them, again, we'll see how that works out for me. My head supplier says pushrods that are .100 over stock work best but I haven't found them yet, the search continues. I am in the process of ordering the head studs, I am told to stick with the ARP made and I will once I
figure out which to order with the aluminum heads on a 5.0 engine. They will be over a hundred bones. The stock cam stays.
so the engine looks pretty good inside, I'm hoping to have it together by the week end of 12/23. Family and go to Florida for a week and I really want to have it together by the time I leave. When I return my plan is to order the kit by the second week in January. I wanted to order the kit now and scrap the vacation and when I brought it up my wife handed me the number to a local divorce attorney. :)
I took that to mean we'll be going to Cape Corral after all.
I'm getting the hang of the british V8 website now and the tips and hints and suggestions have been great, please keep them coming. You guys have been very supportive and I look forward to meeting most of you, I have committed to doing the Kentucky "winter"
get together in late April. It won't be in the "B" but I'm going if I have to hitchhike. :)
More next week as I venture into putting the motor back together.
Again, thank you for welcoming me to your community
So it's the last day of the world, 12/21/2012 and I, like many of my fellow builders, was in my barn plugging away. If it all ends doing this, well it's the way I want to go so bring it on... :) The 5.0 is off the chain fall and on an engine stand which of course was an event by itself. I had the old 4 cyl 1800 from the MG on the engine stand so it became the parade of taking the 1800 off the engine stand (I bought a 42 dollar delivered engine dolly, yes ebay) and loaded it onto the new engine dolly, it worked out well. Then there is the job of rigging the 5.0 up to engine stand the 4 banger was
just on... Completed but I'm just sayin', I estimated an hour and it was an entire evening. :) so it's on the stand, in my paint both which has nice heat and my tool box and compressed air, good to go for winter. With the heads off the plan is the paint the block. I'll just rattle can it with a high temp paint but I'll make sure the block is prepped properly and this is an area that I have confidence in.
When the heads came off they left a tacky residue from the old head gasket and I need to clean this as well. I know the right way to do it is to have the tank dunked but the idea is to stay at 5k for the conversion so the cam stays, lifters stay, pistons stay in the holes and attached to the crank and I have left the distributor in so not to screw up the timing. I filled the cylinders and water jacket holes with paper towels and cleaned the tacky stuff off with a razor blade keeping as much crap out of the cylinders as possible then will blow all out wit air. I'm not sure if I could hit the block deck where the heads sit with a small air disc sander or if that will cause some sort of head leak so I choose to rub with paint thinner after a good razor clean and it looks decent. I'm rolling with it.
The front timing cover isn't off yet, the harmonic damper needs to come off and I don't have the proper puller. Scream USA at me if you wish but Harbor Freight it is for me tomorrow, if no Great Lake tsunami hits before midnight, two hours away. I said no chinese parts for the MG I didn't say no chinese tools and I bet I can get a puller for under 20 bucks. I promised to share the good, bad and ugly of this build, that qualifies as embarassing but it is what it is, please forgive. :)
We fly to Fla on Monday and my goal was to get the motor back together by the time I left, that "ain't" gonna happen.
But the block will be painted and ready for assembly on the vacation return and I'll have about 5 days when I get back before I have to go to work so I'm hoping for nice progress at that time. Assuming the Mayan's let me live to see tomorrow I'd like to get the balancer off, pull the chain cover and inspect timing gears and chain, if minimal slop I'm gonna let the chain and gears roll. If sloppy I'll order new stuff on Sunday before I leave.
I also know I have to deal with the oil pan, I believe mine is totally wrong cuz it's a 1995 and different than the "Fox" body 87-93 which also means the proper oil pump (or at least a pick-up tube, might as well get the whole thing). I haven't ordered the new water pump, I'll get one after I'm done with this post, have it here ready for my return. I also have to get a set of push rod guides, I'll get those tonight online as well. I'll contact the folks at Mantell tomorrow and start setting up my "kit" purchase so I'll be ready to drop a duece (sorry) when I get back, on the purchase. I did pick up some new Ford Motor Company stock push rods for8 bucks via ebay.
I doused the balancer in PB Blaster this evening in preparation to pull tomorrow.
I'll post a progress pic Sunday Evening if that planet hiding behind the sun doesn't get us...
So its dec 30 and most of us are still here (sorry Jack Klugman, I loved that guy) and I'm in Florida with nice warm weather while most of the country is getting socked with a cold wave, back home in Linden, Mi they have gotten a bunch of snow. That's bittersweet for me, the sunshine is great but I'm constantly thinking about my MG project waiting for me although I don't let the wife know this, yes honey sitting poolside is really wonderful...
The cool thing is we arrive back in Mi on Tuesday and I'll have 5 days to hit the barn and play... I'm tempted to order the Mantell kit now but I keep telling myself to have patience, plenty to do before it arrives. As I mentioned, second week in January is the goal and I should be able to hit that target date.
I have the block painted and although I didn't post a pic before I left I'll do so when I return. I did order a new timing chain and gears, the push rod plates and the water pump right before I left. My total investment is about 2400. so far and the biggie will come with the kit, I'm figuring about 2 large for that.
The plan for the next couple of weeks is: wrap up the engine "freshen" during the remainder of my vacation which means Sunday night 1/6/2013. The following week I want to order the mantell kit and start on the front end disassembly so I'm ready once the kit shows up. My project has been called a "minimalist" approach, I okay with that, it's been the plan all along. Yes, I know people say build it the way you want it the first time but I'm just not ready to throw 10 grand at this project right now so please bare with me. It's going to be a really great 2013! As the jokers like to say on new years eve, I'll see you next year! Will post again next week as the engine comes together.
Monday 1/7/2013 - back to work today, made decent progress since I've been back from Florida but there have been some concerns.
The block is painted and the heads are on. My first concern was the head gasket I got with the 90.00 engine kit. The darn head gaskets are both stamped identical so I'm confused as to why I have 2 left head gaskets.
So I'm told it doesn't matter even though the reverse side looks like it should go down. I decide to flip it over and hope for the best. Lesson learned here- I should have gone with the Felpro set but that becomes much more obvious when I get to the front cover.
The timing set works out well. No problem coming off and no problem going back on. I think I spent 30 bucks on the set, pretty much middle of the road quality, some are being sold for 9.95, I'm on a budget but I'm not a complete fool (some might question this after the Felpro incident). This whole build should qualify as a "mediumist" project because I haven't bought the cheapest of anything so far nor do I intend to.
The new timing chain looks great without the slop the old one had. I think it'll be fine.
The timing cover crank seal proved to be a real project. I push the old one out with my shop press, no problem. But when I go to press the new one in it won't go and it kinks. Need a new crank seal, but the bigger problem is why? Keep in mind I'm a newbie at this, there is a sleeve in the timing cover crank hole and I don't know if it belongs or not. Down to the the parts store and he pulls out a Felpro timing cover set and in it is a crank seal with a "sleeve" on it UNLIKE the one I received with the cheaper engine gasket set. So I put down an extra 20 dollars for the Felpro timing cover set because they don't sell just the seal... Note to self on the minimalist project- go Felpro next time...
So I get through it, sand blast the timing cover and lower intake (walnut shells rather than sand), paint them with a high temp rattle can. It's coming together pretty well and although the motor isn't together yet as planned I still have a few days before I can order the Mantell kit (Friday Jan. 11th, 2013) and a few more before it shows up. All seems well. So for the remainder of the week, torque the timing gear, install the timing cover and water pump (I just set it on for the following photo), torque the lower intake bolts, Install upper intake and torque. Then it's time to pull off of the entire front end so I can install the new Mantell kit but that should go much smoother since most of it has already been disassembled and new poly bushings installed so I hope to make up some lost time and have all ready to go when the kit shows up. Looks good on paper but then again there is life to deal with and, of course, Murphy. :)
Not too shabby for a rookie on a budget. More later in the week when I order the Mantell kit.
Last night I torqued the cam gear then figured out the bolt set up for the timing cover. I went to my Felpro kit to get the gasket (they even give you a small tube of RTV) but I noticed the timing cover gasket has a small tear in it. Because I also have the gaskets from the engine kit, I'm okay, I use it with the RTV and all goes together well. Then the water pump (Felpro gasket and RTV). I torque the lower intake unit to the block (thank you google). Because it is starting to look like an engine I set the upper intake on the motor and also throw on an old pair of 5.0 headers I have laying around and yes, I realize they won't fit when I go to put the motor into the car. I know I will have to cut holes in my inner fenders to get the Mantell kit headers to fit.
So I'm at the point where I need to get information from Pate Mantell about shipping me the V8 kit. Last week I called the number listed on the advetisment and I received a "mailbox not yet setup" verbal notation. So yesterday I look up his web address off one of the advertisment banner's on this site and ship of an inquiry off. It bounces back, I check the address and it's correct. So I try the phone again, mailbox not yet set up. So I try the "contact us" part of the Mantell website and it kicks back to me undeliverable. So I email a couple of V8 guys asking for help on the contact. I get another email address which does seem to go through but no response yet. I also email another member of this site which I am told "lives close to Steve" but nothing yet, I'll try to stay patient but for a retail operation it sure is difficult to buy a couple of grand worth of parts.
Captains log, star date 1/09/2013 about 11:15pm; :)
Pete Mantell has contacted me, thank you gentlemen for getting the word out. I'm hoping for a 5.0 kit quote by tomorrow.
The rule is to work on the project an hour every day or night even if tired, until the motor is sitting in the box where it belongs. I did my duty and pulled 1.5 hour shift sanding and prepping 1 valve cover. :( But overall I'm moving forward pretty well and it looks like I'll order the conversion kit right on my goal time of "by the second week in Jan". Should happen in the next day or so and I'll post the when's how's as they happen. Kirk out. :)
Some good news, some not so good- 1/12/2013 10:00pm; I sent out my 2180 bones to Pete Mantell for the 5.0 "kit". The math works out to 1650.00 fir the base kit, 125.00 for the core which is refundable on return of mine, 350.00 for the upgrade of headers Jet Hot coated and 55.00 for the shipping. I've read posts on some guys that complain that the stock headers in this kit don't last much longer than 3 to 4 years so I decide to step up to the Jet Hot coating. I did a bit of research on Jet Hot and they seem serious about their coatings, lifetime guarentee. They even spray the inside of them and they have some cool custom colors for additional $ but I'll stick with silver cuz I'm on a budget, remember? Jet Hot sounds like it's worth the investment to me and I ask Pete to include it in the invoice. The whole set up is to take 2-3 weeks to get to me, Pete has 2 builds ahead of me so by the time the headers are shipped out and back the timing seems good. The bad news for me is the timing cover on the '95 engine I have doesn't go smoothly with this kit. Mantell is good about sending links to the stuff you need and he sends one for the timing cover from summitt which is about 80 bucks. I figure there are probably about a thousand fox body 5.0's in junk yards and it should be easy to pick one up. My junk guy in Fenton dosn't have one so I figure he must be rinky dink but come to find out the closest one (I live 15 minutes from Flint MI) is an hour away and it's 60 bucks which immediately sells me on the Summitt cover. Pete also sends me a link for my harmonic balancer and tells me if it doesn't look like the one in the picture I'll need a new one. Fortunately, mine looks identical and I think it'll work. Now the trans id charade... I'm trying to id mine, it has a number on the top of the trans which tells me (according to an id chart right here at Brit v8) it's "never released". It also has a tag on it which is a different number and look up says it's an 85-86 WC out of a Mustang or Capri. Pete sends me a link to an article here at Brit V8 that has the measurement specs for a tranny that will work and my measurements come up exactly so I'm hoping we are good on this T-5.
I also need a block off plate for the water pump since these used mechanical pumps and I'll be using electric. I ask where to get one and Pete tells me I need to make my own, that should be something special :).
Mantell is a fountain of knowledge and he answers my goofy questions with patience, I feel like he'll work with me through this whole thing... One thing "I heard" was you can use a stock fuel injection set up with this kit and still close the hood but Pete tells me the intake needs to be milled for that to happen and he doesn't have any specs on how much. I'll worry about that later, I guess an MGC hood will fit but there can't be too many of those lying around. I might just try the milling to see if I can get stock to fit, might be cool looking. Again, we'll see. My valve covers are painted, again with caliper high temp paint and I set them on for the evening pic. For a budget build she doesn't look too bad.
Yes, I've learned how to send a picture so it's not sideways, got this one right side up. :)
So the good news is I believe my tranny will work AND my order is in (on time schedule). The not so good news is I have to get another timing cover and water pump and it doesn't sound like my stock fuel injection system will fit under the stock hood. No more whining, I'm excited to get the kit. I'll work on changing out the timing cover and pump then start on the front end disassembly in order to drop the crossmember this week.
With the new timing cover and waterpump, the second gasket set, the Mantell payment I'm over 4700. and climbing like a rocket.
I've got a lot to go, the machining of the intake situation will be a few bucks but it still seems like the cheaper way to go, keeping the stock FI system if I can make it fly.
Looking ahead- 1/14/2013- I'm trying to do the crystal ball thing and revise my budget because obviously with only 300 bucks in the kitty before I hit the big 5K mark I'm going to need some more ducats. I need a fresh oil pump before I tighten up the pan, thank goodness my oil pan is the right one. I can get an MGC type hood for about 400.00 with shipping and that will solve the hood clearance problem. I imagine the exhuast system will run about 4 bills with nothing special included, I need a driveshaft for the 5.0 to MGB rear axle, from Mantell, about 350 plus shipping. I'm leary about doing this because I doubt my 50 something thousand mile rear axle will have a hard time standing up to Mr. High Output and it looks like a 4 link is the way to go but again, that's a project for another posting. So the drive shaft may have to wait but i have a stock overdrive driveshaft that I will Ebay and help with the cost of a driveshaft that will get me down the road. I also need to consider a clutch and throw out bearing, I have them from the mustang donor but who knows how many miles they have on them and for about a buck and a half I don't want to be pulling this tranny a couple weeks after she's on the road. So my gut tells me that I'll be in over 6K by the time it's on the road and that's trying to do all on the cheap. Not including a rear end that'll hold the big motor, not including paint or glass or interior or body mods or upgrading to 15 inch wheels and tires or about a hundred other things my crystal ball isn't focusing on. Please note, I'm not crying here. I love every minute of this project and it's great therapy for me (de-stressor) but anyone who thinks they can just pull out a big motor and slam it into an MGB is in for a financial as well as nervous break down...Even with the Mantell kit there is a ton of planning, common sensing, money, a satisfactory place to do the build, etc. It is by no means easy or for the faint of heart. I can only imagine the degree of difficulty without the kit...
None of this explores the hours needed to complete, maybe the next build I can do an hourly timeline but for now those considering should know that it's equivelant to a part time job. Many of the guys doing these are retired but I'm not quite there yet and when you figure in family, full time job, honey do's, and other outside interests the demand put on you for this build is considerable. My wife is very understanding and knows that the weekly MG victories are tied into my happiness but it's still about a 20 hour a week committment and outside of the financial considerations and build location the hours to make it happen should be weighed.
Enough pontificating, time to plan for that kit showing up in a few weeks. Lot's to be done before then.
Punch list and other odds and ends while I wait...1/17/2013- Cleaned up the tranny, bell housing and spray painted them, yes rattle can caliper silver and black. :) Trying to make sure the motor is ready to go when the kit shows up, bought my oil filter, spark plugs, ordered a set of yellow accel plug wires, shame on me for just buying the 8mm wire but this thing is getting expensive quick and after upping my budget twice so far I need to cut some fat (ie; performance). I did order a 87-93 timing cover like Mantell asked me to, bought a used one I found on flea bay, bought the front seal (3rd one now!) and water pump (second one) because the '95 timing cover doesn't "work well" with this kit,all for the price of the new cover through Summit. Looked over the clutch that I got with the tranny and the disc looks a bit warn so I choose to keep the pressure plate and replace the disc, pilot and throw out bearing, ordered those and a clutch fork which didn't come with the tranny. I also still need a flywheel cuz this 5.0 used to be bolted up to an automatic, running as fast as I can to get all lined up.
Just sayin'- I am blown away at the talent of the people that contribute to this web site. I read the other project journals, guys splitting cars in half and making them wider, guys making mig and tigs and plasma cutters, designing and crafting and cutting and welding and just when you think they are about to get overwhelmed and collapse under the weight of the entire project...they pull it all together with guts and engineering and good old work ethic. You guys are amazing. I'm all geeked because I have my kit on the way and I'm spray painting like a subway graffitti artist. But for me, you are the inspiration I need to keep going back out to the barn and figuring out what to do next. You guys are pro's and I'm in awe... thank you for giving us mortals these gifts.
Finally, a pic of the tranny.
2/6/2013- It takes a lot of gall: So I'm happily plugging away on the timing cover, pulling off the '95 and installing the 87-93 fox body style which allegedly works with the kit better when I get this pain in my stomach that makes me drop my ratchet and go to a knee on the floor. The pain stays with me for 3 days and the wife has finally had enough and she calls the ambulance. It shows up and hauls me away to the nearest emergency room, diagnosis- stones in the gall bladder. They need to take out the GB and they do, in the mean time I'm in the hospital for 5 days and get nothing done on the conversion. So I'm released and after a few days in bed I head back out to the barn to continue my little project. New water pump goes on cuz of course the one on the '95 timing cover won't fit the new fox body timing cover. That done I turn to the oil pump, bought a Welling (USA) for 29 bones and it goes in. I pack the oil pump with vaseline to help with the priming and avoiding a dry start up, after the vasiline warms up it melts into the engine oil, seems old school but I've seen it work before and I'll give it a try, I clean the old tube and pick up with kerosene and install. My '95 oil pan I'm told works well with the conversion but it has 3 drain plug holes, 2 on each end of the pan and one big one on the side. Can't figure out what to do with the large side plug hole so I end up ordering a 3/4 inch rubber compression plug that looks like it will do the job. I want to wait to close up the bottom end until I give everything a good coating of moly assembly lube, the cylinders, cam, crank, a good rub down on all internal parts, plan on doing that this evening then installing the pan. Over this past weekend I managed to remove the front cross member with all the good stuff already installed, front 1 inch lowered springs and A-arms and brake lines and calipers and adjustable shocks and everything else connected to the crossmember. It's out so I'm now ready for the Mantell kit to show up, which by the way, hasn't. I did email Pete and received a response saying the last couple of cross members were "pitted" and not usable so I have to wait some more until a decent one shows up. I'm disappointed with this but also don't want junk to show up so I'll just wait it out. It does make me nervous as I'm coming up on a month since I've sent my 2180. in while I still have nothing. It takes a HUGE leap of faith to do this Mantell kit as the customer needs to wait until someone else sends in their (hopefully) good cross member core then the conversion process at Mantell begins. It seems as though, in 2013, there has to be a better way, like maybe have a stock of cross members to work from? Anywho, this Sunday, 2/10 will be 1 month since I sent in my quiche and in the meantime I worry... I've also been working on the Advance electrical kit which is a major pain to work with. If I had the electrical to do over again I would go with a Moss stock harness. The advance kit is way too complicated for me and takes hours and hours of soldering and making up sub harnesses. I did recruit a friend with experience in auto electric and he's not even sure I was sent the proper harness but he is helping me make it work. I realize the importance of the wiring working properly, I can make this entire "swap" investment and have all kinds of nightmares if the electrical isn't right. My friend lambert is an ASE master mechanic and he already has over 15 hours in on my car but he has every light working properly. I need to get him back for when I drop in the 5.0 and wire in the Advanced electrical to the Ford factory harness which also seems like a nightmare. I hope my Mantell kit has some process intructions for doing it. Lambert has suggested a Ford EVTM (electrical and ventilation technical manual) and I am in the process of ordering one through ebay. Surprisingly enough there are a few out there available for my '95. the good news is: the harness I received with the engine and transmission do seem to be in good shape and uncut or hacked on in anyway and the computer is still contected to the main, I'll keep my fingers crossed on the workability of that. There are several harnesses over and above the main so those have to get sorted out. Lambert says he can do it...but the EVTM will really, really help him.
Sooo, this evening I close up the bottom end, install the dampner, install the injectors,and start playing with the T-5. I need to set up the disc, pressure plate (I'm having second thoughts about keeping the original, I might step up for a new one since I seem to have some time before the Mantell kit shows up), throw out bearing, pilot bearing, line them up and see how it goes together. I want to install the upper intake but I haven't ordered the hardened push rods yet so it'll have to wait. I also know that I will have clearance problems with the stock 5.0 intake (it's huge) but if I can, I want to keep it. It is one of the most distinguishable intakes ever put on a car, real Detroit stuff and I like it with the big 5.0 ho plaque in the center. I am going to try to save it even if it costs a few bucks of milling and replacement hoods, etc. Lambert tells me to dump it and the fuel injection and go old school but I thinks it's very unique and I'm going to try to save it. We'll see how that judgement works out for me...
2/15/2013-Damn Dude- Still no Mantell kit. 1 month 3 days. Tried to find out what the hold up is and Pete got snarky with me. "I tell all my customers 4-6 weeks". Um, no Pete, here's your email, "usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks"... "Well if you had sent me a core it would be done". Never discussed my core other than a 125. charge if not returned. I paid it right up front. "I had to drive 200 miles to pull a core out of the snow". Hey thanks, there's a piece of confidance for me...
I'm a realist. I get the hold up thing, stuff happens. But the key to customer service is keeping everyone informed especially if you have 2180.00 of their coinage and they have scomboo... like me right now, I gots nada. I obviously have some faith here because quite a few guys on this site have recommended the Mantell kit and I know Pete has an excellent rep within these hallowed halls. And I undstand the newbie needs to pay some respect, I'm willing to do that, but damn dude I'm starting to question this business model.
I'll stop now and endure the mushroom treatment but I said I'd tell it like it is and so far, it ain't.
I got the rear main out and the new one in. Took me about 40 minutes which is way slow but I wanted to be careful and make sure it seals up tight. Assembly lube, a rubber hammer and using the old seal to tap on I was able to get it in right (it looks right anyway) and snug. I used the 2 self tapping screws trick I found on the net, drilled 2 really small holes 180 degrees from each other, screwed in 2 self tappers, got 2 vice grips with one on each screw (dah) and pulled and worked it out. The dampner is on, the hardened push rods are in and the pan is buttoned up and torqued. I started messing with the T-5, I bought a clutch kit and tried to line up the new 10.5 inch clutch with the precut holes in the fox body flywheel and of course they don't line up. I'll take it to the machine shop and get it drilled on Monday, good old Presidents day. The fork I bought seems like it will work along with the TO bearing, the disc seems like it will work and the pilot bearing fits. I'd like to have the tranny connected to the motor and ready to go by Tuesday. If I just had an idea when the kit was coming it would really help but in the meantime I'll hang onto my to my nicname; #Mushroom guy- stuck in the dark...
2/20/2013- The clouds parted and the sun came out- Pete says my kit will be shipped this week. He has powder coated my cross beam which is a 250.00 freebie as a comp for the wait. I do apreciate that very much. BUT I'M ANXIOUS to get this party started, I've been at this kit thingie since getting the motor over Thanksgiving and I really want to have it on the road this summer so hopefuly by the weekend I can get reassembly started. Can't wait to fire up the motor and figure out my bone head moves along the way, I think it's going to be fine. The flywheel is still at the maching shop, that was like pulling teeth... "What cha want"? Need my flywheel drilled. "Why didn't you get one that lined up?" Do I really need to go through all this? "60 bucks, pick it up Saturday... Grrrr. :) such is the life of a guy doing a conversion on the cheap, which by the way isn't very cheap. The hardened push rods are in and torqued down, when the clutch is done on Saturday I'll be ready to install assuming my kit is on the way shortly. I've got my electrical guy lined up for next week to help me finish the advance wiring kit and I bought the EVTM (electrical and ventilation technical manual) for a '95 mustang which will help with the stock Mustang wiring harnesses and how they all go together. I would like thing running by March 1st weekend. Then deal with the driveshaft and hood clearance issues. Iron out many of the drive train problems in March and put in an interior in April. Trim and punch list in May and ready to drive in June? Really? We'll see. This forum list is getting slow but hang tight, I think it's gonna begin to get really cool really fast, even if the motor blows sky high we'll have something to chat about! Stay tuned fellas I'm gonna give the entire "skinny" on the kit quality (I expect it to be very good) the instructions on getting it done, the Jet Hot headers, the powder coated cross member, the trans mount set up and the rest of the goodies.
2/23/2013- Mantell # 146! - Pete kept his word and has shipped my kit out on Friday, I have the tracking number and it should arrive on Tuesday, 2/26. That will be exactly 45 days since payment was sent, a month and a half. I'm sure all of the pain of waiting will be washed away when it finally gets here but again, for those interested in this kit, it gives you a realistic time frame of how long it takes. That having been said, Pete mentioned that he will now require the customer to send in their crossmember for any future builds after #146 (mine). The time and hassle of locating a good crossmember seems to be the largest time consuption piece of the entire kit manufacturing process. Hopefully this will speed up the process for future consumers. I have decided to forgo my 125.00 deposit and hang onto my crossmember as I think they are getting more difficult to find and my original is in nice shape. I hope to have many more MGBV8 builds in my future so this thing is worth gold to me. Anyway, here is the photo I have been waiting for- sorry fellas I've been trying to attach a photo but it won't take it. I'll handle some pics when the package arrives today.
3/3/2013- Wanted to forward the pic of the kit that Mantell sent me but of course, that photo is too large so you'll have to suffer through my pics.
This is what it looks like installed, the only real mod to the crossmember is the 2 engine mounts. When the kit first arrived it has a manual which helps walk you though the mods. There is a list of mods that need to be made before 5.0 install- Tunnel hump needs some cutting and grinding, Driver footwell needs to be banged or "dimpled", cut off the clutch hose bracket, the factory engine mounts, bang the frame rail to accomodate the oil filter adapter, cut the lower radiator panel, cut the tranny shifter hole and cut the exhuast header cut outs. The manual give pics some of which I had to stare at for a while to figure out where they were on my car, some are obvious. The only problem with the pics is they are taken from different cars during this same modification process and it can be confusing exactly where I need to "dimple" and cut and grind. Templates included in the manual would be a huge help, lay them on the area, soap stone aroung the template and wha la, no guessing. Anyway, back to the first list. Oh, and while I'm on it, if I had this manual sent to me right after I purchased the kit I could have been getting all this stuff handled during my 45 day wait while the kit was being built. I probably wouldn't cry about the wait if I had something to do during that period. AND, I wouldn't have had two buy THREE different water pumps...Grrr, I open the manual it it says I need to use the Ford Racing M-8501-E351S short neck water pump. I bought onefor the original '95 motor, had to change it when Pete emailed to say I needed to change my timing cover to a Fox body style cover, so I did and bought the pump for that then the manual shows up with the kit and I need the shorty which of course cost as much as both of the other 2. I've got over a hundred bucks in water pumps...this could have been avoided with up front communication. The list, I decide to cut the engine mounts first, goes easy with plasma cutter.
I use the grinder and clean it up and repaint the area. Next I cut off the clutch hose bracket which is easy, again grind and paint. With the dimpling (Which is a nice way to say bang) I get out the torch and heat up the frame rail where the manual picture shows and when she's cherry red I bang it with a ballpene hammer and it curves in fairly nicely. I do the same on the footbox.
then I painted it and it looks decent. The tunnel was a bit of a different story, two seperate pieces were seamed at the factory and when you go to cut or grind you creat a hole so I backed off the cutting and just ground on it for a while releaving it only a little. I use RTV to make sure there are no small holes where water will creep into. I laid the lower radiator cut out with soap stone and palsma cut it.
Because the factory piece was a 1 piece folded over unit I have 2 pieces now that I made my cut but I'll leave it for now and when time comes to install the radiator I'll fab up something to fit. So now all I have to do is cut my shifter hole, the manual gives a good pic of that (but again, a template would have been nice) then my headers holes on ther inner fenders. I'll do those tonight. I installed the new crossmember and the mounts look like they line up perfectly inside the frame members as the photo shows at the beginning of todays rant. I now need to put the rest of the stuff from the original crossmember onto the new one (A arms, shocks, brake set ups, etc.). By tomorrow evening I should be ready to try the first engine/transmission install.
March 30, sorry for the delay but i've kept steady at it. But everything and I mean everything needs modification. I've had this motor in and out no less that 15 times but after about 3 times I got smart and decided to take the tranny off for all this fitting. Brilliant, eh? The casting on the block for the altenator hits the frame rail so I had to cut it off. I used a sawz-all with a carbide blade and it cut right off but now I need to relocate the altenator. I'm wondering if this has anything to do with guys using reverse flow water pumps? I'll tackle that at a later time.
The motor mounts that bolt to the engine don't fit properly. I end up only using one and its modified, the driver side I have make my own because the one that came with the kit isn't even close to fitting. The problem comes with lining up the hole in the motor mount with the one on the crossmember. I get it done but it's a week worth of screwing around during my evening hours. Frustrating. Next I work on the trans mount and the steel trans crossmember doesn't fit either. I have to cut my own holes in it but again, get it done. I install the engine with the new mounts along with the tranny and finally get it all lined up. Now that everything is in its mounts I can cut the holes for the headers. I do it and, of course, immediately run into problems. I have installed adjustable shocks and the headers come through the inner fender wall and run right into the dang shocks...I modify it and finally get the passenger header to fit properly. I want to move onto the drivers header but I think I should install the steering shaft into the rack and up into it's tunnel. Of course, more trouble. Let me say here, I'm okay with trouble. I'll figure it out and its a challenge and I am in no way complaining, I love every minute I work on this car. But this ain't no "plug and play" deal. You better be ready for trouble because it comes in heaps... Now the dang steering rack hits the bottom of the engine harmonic balancer. So I'll tackle that tomorrow. The good news is, I have off work next week and really want to get this thing running. Not like, down the road, but just running. I of course, have no cut drive shaft but again, we'll work that out. Since I'm a stubborn idiot newby I go against convensional wisdom and am sticking with the stock fuel injection set up. It's so big and cluncky I don't know how I'll get er done but I'm staying with my original plan, it it gets ugly we can change it. Who said this was going to be easy?
April 13, 2013 Again, haven't written as much as I would like to but between my job and working towards a doctorate degree my time to write on this blog is getting edged out but I do continue to put in between 5 and 10 hours per week on my MGB project. A couple of things I should clarify as I move forward, with closer inspection to the front engine crossover Mantell does do some modifications other than the engine mounts. In order for the pan to fiit the crossover beam needs to be cut and rewelded, This looks very professionally done by Mantell. I'll take some pics of that this weekend and post them.
When I go to put the motor in the alternator bracket is to tight to the frame rail so I have to cut it off as I mentioned. Here's a pic.
As the motor goes in
everything is super tight. this pic was taken after I had the headers in, you can't drop the engine in with the headers on. My first fight as I explained above, is the steering rack too close to hamonic balancer. I used some home made spacers
and as I discussed above I thought I was home free. But when I let the car down off the jack stands I still didn't have enough space.
So after screwing with it for hours I decide to go big on the spacers and cut some out of aluminum stock at 1 inch.
They are plenty and I now have nice room between the harmonic balancer and the rack but I also worry that the farther I move the engine up the more I have to deal with when it comes time to fit the hood. I'm also not sure about all of this when I go to put the steering column in which I do next. It is unbelievably tight but it does fly.
It hard to see the column in the photo but its there and it moves 360 degree's so we are a go. Next issue is the headers. I originally requested the white ceramic coating on the headers (350 extra) but they showed up chrome or polished. they look nice so no biggie, I'm not sure if Mantell and I crossed up our directions or if he threw in the polished look but he assures me they are jet hot coated so I'm good with the change and they look great. I wrap them so I don't scratch them but as I struggle with getting them to fit the wrapping becomes a pain and I end up scratching them anyway. The top is really all you see in the engine compartment so I assure myself they will look fine (I have to do alot of assuring myself on this project). When I look through the Mantell directions booklet I see the hole they cut in their fenderwall and I wonder why its so big. Once I get started I realize that to get the headder in you need a large hole so you can spin and shift and locate the header onto the block. I have to keep making my fender cut out larger and larger but finally the holes are big enough to get the headers in. Then my next headache comes along, as I drop the header into the hole it hits the nut on the shock absorber. This turns into a good 5 or 6 hour projejct to get both headers to fit, changing the angle and direction of the shocks. This is where I end up scraching the headers and the whole thing is frustrating but again, I get through it.
I finally have enogh space between the nut and the header but it has been a long battle. I temporally connect the oil filter rerouting system (comes with the kit) to the inside of the fenderwall and purchase 4 half inch MIP threaded connectors to some 1/2 inch hose and it looks like it'll work. After the radiator is in I'll consider this location and change if need be. I start messing around with placing the injection unit on top of the motor and I love the way it looks.
My love affair is short lived. I begin to look at the spagetti of wiring harnesses from the original 95 mustang and it looks really complicated and time consuming. My buddy Lambert suggests that I go with a carb set first, get all of the driving bugs out then I can change back to injection. I have been telling him no for weeks but I am getting anxious to run the motor and actually try to put this thing on the road and there is so much to do yet, I get weak and agree. So now I need to order an intake and a carb set up, again going with ebay to try to contain my costs. I don't want to add everything up yet because it will just discourage me but I will tally it all up at the end for a final price on how much. So Mantell has some rcommendation on the intake, a performer, I do some research and it looks like a edlebrock 7121 is the way to go. I find one on ebay, the guy assures me its a 7121 and I order it. It shows up and of course, it doesn't fit. I flip it over and it is stamped 7181 on the underside, for a 351 motor. I look towards the sky (actually the drywalled ceiling) and ask why? Why? Why? That's where I'm at now, gonna sell this on flea bay this week and get the right one. I do have a used edlebrock carb coming, I'll rebuild it once it shows up, something I've never done but it shouldn't be that bad (famous last words).
In the mean time I'll work on getting my wiring handled.
April 20th, I continue to try to push forward even though I am hung up on the whole intake fiasco. I have listed the wrong intake on ebay and the auction is up tomorrow night, I intend to take the proceeds and purchase the correct intake (7121). I also want to clear up a bit of confusion on the crossmember. Initially I stated it looked like the only thing that had been changed was the motor mounts but that is an incorrect statement and in fairness to Mantell I wanted to straighten out my early statement.
As you can see, the crossbeam has a fairly large notch in it which is to make room for the oil pan. It is cut nicely and welded by a pro. Mantell powder coated my crossmember as a freebie because I waited 6 weeks to get my stuff, usually it runs a couple hundred bucks to have them powder coated.
I've been doing the housekeeping little things while I wait on unscrewing my intake manifold situation, I make sure the trans is in nice and straight, I level the trans mount (which is a nicely made custom piece that comes with the kit) and tighten down the trans and tighten the motor mounts. I have to pound the back side of the drivers side valve cover so it doesn't hit the firewall, it goes smoothly. The size of the passenger hole is beginning to bug me. I took care to only make it as big as absolutlely necessary but now that the header is in the size is driving me crazy. No mention on what to do with this hole in the kit manual.
Also notice the shock mount through the hole. This is what I had to deal with a month ago while installing the header. It has maybe a 1/4 inch clearance between the nut and the header.
I made a cardboard cutout on how I want the steel to lie over the major portion of the hole, I intend to cut that out today and while I have the plasma cutter out I'll enlarge the shifter hole because the T-5 shifter comes up through the hole to the right side of the shifter hole. The manual does address this, I'll take some pics so all can see what I'm talking about.
I try to get out to the project 3 or 4 nights a week even if its an hour to just sweep and collect my thoughts about moving the build forward. I fight with myself over the decision to go with a carb set up, at one point this past week I laid out the harness from the 1995 Mustang and I was trying to figure out where everything goes, it's alot of guess work. For two hours I try to find a way to make the fuel injection fly, good grief I have everything I need right at my fingertips to make this thing run, but after looking at all of it I realize that many sensors are not with the harness and I know I have no way of drilling and tapping the exhuast sensors into the headers. I realize again, my buddy Lambert is right, get it running then screw with the injection down the road...
Part of the conversion to carburation is changing out the distributor because it runs off the power from the harness plug in. I look at my options, I really don't want to go with a dual points set up, seems a bit ancient school to me, so it looks like a MSD style set up is going to be best. More cash... I also try to do some research on the dang distributor gear which is a point of contention. If you have a cast iron cam (I assume mine is a stock 5.0 cam) you have to have a steel distributor gear (or brass gear which is good for about 1 thousand miles) but you can't use a iron gear on a iron cam...I guess the change was made around 1985 when the 302 went to a hydraulic roller cam. So finding the solution to the distributor situation takes some thought as well, I don't believe this is covered in the manual. That project continues, I have some MGB stuff in the garage I am going to ebay this week to help defray the cost of the new coil, ignition box, and distributor with correct gear. I am also beginning to focus on the drive shaft that needs to be obtained (off a mustang) and then cut to proper size. I also continue to think about the hood clearance, I really don't think it's all gonna fit under there so a hood mod is in the stars. I think about an interior, a rearend that will hold this thing on the road...gonna be an expensive little car when I'm done.
SO much to think about. But again, I love every minute of it, it will be a truly custom built car and I could be throwing my money at a therapist instead. My wife reminds me that I may need a shrink to help me through the build, I smile and head out to the barn every time she says it...I'm fishing in Port Clinton Ohio next weekend but I'll keep my 1 or 2 readers in the loop as best as I can...
May 4th, 2013- Fishing was awesome, always good to get away and clear the cobwebs. Haven't completed tons on the MGB but I know summer is coming which means full days of working on this project. I can't wait. Right now I'm stealing time from my day, an hour here, an hour there, but I put in aleast 5 hours per week to keep momentum rolling. 2 things to comment on today, changes in the plan and the radiator support area welding. I stated a few things at the beginning of this project which I have to recind. It's sometimes how things work out. As mentioned, I have decided to go non-fuel injected for now and I've stated the reasons why. I also wish to comment on the no Chinese parts thing. Pro Comp is a Chinese manufaction plant basically doing knock offs of good products already out there. I have read the blogs and seen the Pro Comp stuff explode in racing situations.
I really belive in quality and pride myself on doing the best job I possibly can, I'm in no huge hurry to complete this project as long as I keep moving forward. As I go into a project of this magnitude I have original beliefs that are my foundations to drive me in certain directions and the no Chinese part was one of those wishes because I know the quality isn't always where it needs to be. But I also know that this is supposed to be a budget build and thst so called budget keeps moving up because of all the stuff I haven't thought of. This build gets crazy expensive very quickly. I am trying to contain my costs while keeping quality high which is a lofty goal. I simply can not always purchase the American name brand stuff of my wishes. So I try the secondary used market looking for the name brand stuff in a used situation (mainly ebay but I am always checking the parts section in the British V8 area). If I can't get it there I go to the less expensive brand new stuff and I have found the Pro Comp stuff really seems to fit my needs when I have to tap into this market. I just purchased a Pro Comp intake that resembles the Edlebrock intake, it's polished aluminum and looks very nice. I tried to go used after market but got frustrated when I recieved the wrong intake. At that point I caved in and went with the Pro Comp intake justifing it through the thought process of "I'm not going to race this car", yeah, right. If you stay with me on this build you'll see how that works out for me, good or bad. Enough philosophy gone bad, lets talk progress. Earlier in this project I cut the area of the radiator to make room and it left me with a panel that needed to be finished and while I wanted for my intake to show I decided to finish this area and start looking at the nose of the car from the engine well prospective to the out side of the car in assessing how I want my front bumper to go. Remember, this is a former rubber bumper car so I need to do some stuff to make it all fit and still look right.
I ground down the plasma cuts as straight as possible and used some scrap thin gauge steel to bend so I can "box off" this area. I have a bench bender and it worked pretty well, I measured the two pieces I needed and bent them then tacked and welded them into place. This photo is still a bit ugly but after I spray some rubber coating on this area I think it will look fine.
I'll spray this area tomorrow, Sunday, and post the results of this area painted and a new pic of the intake and carb on the motor. Then it's on to the distributor and we'll be ready to fire it up soon. I'm looking at Radiators now, I think I have a good fix on an aluminum radiator.
May 11, 2013 - Header hole, rad support, intake and carb, distributor are done, lets start with a couple pics. The finished radiator support area turned out decent, not alot showing once the radiator is in place but it was worth the effort to finish this area until it is time to install the radiator which is quickly approaching.
And the header hole which I'm pleased with as it was driving me nuts to see the size of the hole I had to cut to get the headers to fit-
As mentioned the intake showed up last week, I torqued it down using new felpro gaskets and grade 8 bolts I bought at Tractor Supply. I don't know it you have a Tractor supply close but I have found their grade 8 bolt selection to be excellent and really cheap. I know grade 8 is excessive for intake bolts but I get nervous when I'm torqing down on light duty bolts, I have grat confidence in these bolts and they haven't let me down yet and I like the way they look on top of the polished intake finish. I ordered a new gasket set for the carb and put them on and gave the carb a once over, if it needs to be rebuilt I'll handle that but I want to get this running soon so I'll take my chances at this point and roll with the once over.
My distributor showed up and it does fit. It supposedly has a steel gear and came with a coil and a cap. I've set the coil up temporarly on existing holes in the inner fender as I want to keep hole drilling to a minimum so my inners don't look like swiss cheese. Once the wires are on and this thing is running I'll mount the coil permanently. I was careful to install the distributor in the same position as the one that came out but I know how easy it is to get it a tooth off so we'll see when it comes time to start up which is very soon. Last night I glued up the valve cover gaskets using "yellow snot" 3M glue which works realy well for me. I flipped the covers upside down and put the bolts in while the glue was setting up.
I'll install them today. They are far from beautiful but I'm glad I used the old ones because the are a bit beat up from the chainfall chain and 17 in and outs with the motor. I'll put on something a bit nicer as I get closer to being road worthy. I put in about 4 hours last night, here's a 1am photo of the motor as it looks now, the wires will go on today as well.
Coming up this week, ordering the new radiator, wiring in the ignition and hopefully fire in the hole.
May 17th, 2013- Got like zero done on the car this week, just very busy but my desire is really beginning to build because I'm so close to starting this thing. I did order the radiator, I bought one of ebay, a new aluminum rad that is supposed to be good up to 300 horse power. I can't imagine this motor making more than 300 horse so I dropped the 166.00 delivered down to American Eagle Radiator out of Arizona. I went with the 1965, 66 mustang radiator because of it's size. My steel rad from the 1800 MG engine is 19 inches wide and 22 inches tall, I looked for a couple weeks and this one is the smallest non-custom radiator out there that will cool a V8. I still have to deal with an electric fan as I am told this is much more efficiant than the "push" fan on the water pump. I am wrapping up more odds and ends I ordered and received a starter because mine was bad, am picking up a battery today. I'll catch up on the other details this week, firing order, oil in the motor, hookup the ignition and the (hopefully) start up.
June 6th, 2013- No I haven't lost my appitite for my project just busier than a one armed wall paper hanger. I have the radiator channels welded in, the aluminum radiator from American Eagle looks good, last week of school for the kids (I'm administrator at a MI high school). I'll have lots to share by next weekend and I'll post more pics. Thanks for the patience with me, I'm running as fast as I can. Here's 3 pics to show you I'm still in the game. :) This week I'll plumb the radiator and figure out the fan set up.
September 9th, 2013- probably the last blog for my beloved 77... With a blind guess on the distributor she fired right up... I have the radiator in, electric water pump hooked up and the electric pull fan set up but I haven’t put coolant in yet. I have ran it a couple times for 4 or 5 seconds because no coolant, but it sounds healthy with no funny noises.
So, to explain my absence… I was laid off from my job on August 7th which has really screwed some things up in my life but I believe it all happens for a reason so I’m good… Unfortunately, the boat had to go, the house and barn had to go and now, my project. Such is life, I’ll take another shot at this down the road a bit.
I’ll be listing my project car on the want ads of this site probably tomorrow. My price is 5K, first come first serve. If you’ve been reading along you know I have way more in it and literally hundreds of hours…Awesome finish for someone, labor on odds and ends and cash on an interior interior, driveshaft, clutch linkage, alternator set up, yada, yada. I have many parts, custom steering wheel, top and frame, all books and hand drawn wiring diagrams done by an ASE master mechanic, all the old parts, it all goes with it EXCEPT the original front beam which should be worth 350. to some future Mantel kit assembler. If unsuccessful selling as a whole I will dismantle but it'll tear my heart out...
But my purpose was to report on the Mantel kit which I will do now, the good, bad, and ugly, as promised. I guess the ugly would be that I understand the price has gone up on the kits and the customer needs to furnish their own core for the front end. Other than that, there is no ugly. The good is, the kit is a quality unit. The welding on the front beam is done well. Most of the stuff fits with some home engineering. The headers are sharp looking, and everything needed was pretty much included. I would recommend the kit to any newbie getting their feet wet with this type of project. There are only 2 baddies about the whole process and I have been told this same thing by a couple of other guys that emailed me as I wrote this story.
1) I was the number one guy until I sent my money in, then the communication slowed way down, and at one point was almost nonexistent. I’m not sure why this happened, maybe Steve is way busy? Maybe too much biz to handle the weekly or monthly issues that come up with the kit? Again, I really don’t know but if there is ever a time when this mom and pop shop wants to go to another level, we should look at the customer satisfaction piece because a couple bad sales can take the magic out of scores of happy customers. Cash used to be king but that’s old school. Communication is king now and a company’s growth will depend on it. Anyone can buy one of these kits and go into business with a cheaper reproduction product but the foundation of business is, unquestionably, customer satisfaction. #2, the “manual” really needs an updating. It’s sort of 80’s cheesy and something more streamlined than copied pages stuck in a 3 ring binder would be a welcome change…
All in all I would give it a "B". The quality is easily an “A”, but the baddies really steal away from a solid product.
My final comment would be- "Lose the ego big fella, I’m more than just number 146…"
Happy motoring MG fanatics. I'll see you again before the sun goes down... As a whole you are very helpful, generous, and kind.
Watch for this incredible MGB on the want ads...
Edited 25 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2013 02:28PM by goal10r.