Main British Car:
1975 MGB Ford 302
Sid: 1975 MGB - Ford 302 V8
Posted by: BAD-DOG
Date: January 03, 2016 07:38PM
Sid, our 1975 MGB, was purchased for $300 (as scrap) in the summer of 2014. The photos below show the condition "as purchased"
Notice all of the missing parts!...We did get boxes of what was supposed to be the parts that were removed from the vehicle (many of the parts were there; however, but in sad shape). The engine was completely torn down with parts scattered throughout the mess of parts. The floor of the trunk (boot) and the driver's side floor had already been removed.
The front cross member was modified to make room for a V8 engine. The cross member was also modified by removing the added one inch lift added in order to make the vehicle meet the new FMVSS 1975 bumper height requirements. This also required that the steering rack be moved forward about an inch and down about half-inch to accommodate the OEM steering linkage (this also provides additional space to accommodate the V8, minimizing the modifications required to the firewall for fitment.
Our modifications included changing the caster angle from the original 7 degrees to 3-1/2 degrees. This should improve the steering when the additional weight of the V8 is added to the front of the vehicle. We also added a shock absorber concentric to the spring (gutting the shock located inside of the upper control arm pivot). The spring was shortened by a couple of inches as well.
We played with all kinds of interesting modifications to the front and rear of the vehicle. There was no way that the UGLY rubber bumpers were going back on the car (I personally think they are just ugly, and ours were in less than acceptable shape. We found a Sebring rear fascia on eBay that we incorporated. We felt that the OEM tail lights were did little for the overall looks of the vehicle so we tossed them in favor of a pair of 1980 Cadillac tail lights. Once we started to modify the rear of the vehicle we also decided to eliminate the back up lights and fuel filler hole. We also decided to french in the license plate into the rear fascia. Here is an early photo showing our changes to the rear of the vehicle.
Once we got the rear of the vehicle changed, we needed to make the front of the vehicle look like it designed to go with it. The front end was built by hand. It was laid up layer by layer with sheets of fiberglass (from the local hardware store) and sculpted using a belt sander. The grill was rescued from a 1995 Mercury Grand Marque. The Marque was also going to be the engine donor (at least until we decided the work in modifying the engine and vehicle chassis to get it to fit) was just more work than we wanted to do. The addition of the chrome grill from the Marque seemed to make the front of the car smile. When we shared photos of the car with the proposed grill, we received many positive comments. The grill change was also responsible for the origination of the nick name of "Sid," from the movie Ice Age. Here is that early photo:
After a delay due to moving into a new home...we are back at work on Sid. The Grand Marque engine project was scraped due to not wanting to move the firewall. Seems like if I moved the firewall, the challenge of making any engine fit would become a moot point. We located a used Mustang 5.0 engine and C4 transmission on Craig's List for $250. The Edelbrock Performer Plus intake manifold with a Holly 600 was also acquired on Craig's List for another $200. A set of motor mounts was fabricated from angle iron that will allow the motor to be rubber isolated and bolted to the body/frame directly by the forward set of front axle mounting bolts. I am really pleased with the way the motor mounts turned out.
I have just spent the last two months sanding out the body. First with the 180 grit, then the 220 grit, then 300 grit, and finished with 400 grit. I didn't realize that primer could actually provide a reflection! The body was then coated with two coats of black epoxy sealer primer, three coats of Ford Race Red, and finished with three coats of clear. The next step is to color sand the clear with 1500 grit, 2000 grit, 4000 grit, and buff.
I was so excited with the clear coat, here is a photo taken while the body is still wet!
Here is Sid with a fresh coat of paint! I just had to install the grill to give him back his smile (to match the one I had).
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2016 12:25PM by BAD-DOG.