MG Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" and Costello V8s

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lawnvett
PJ Lenihan
Winston-Salem, NC
(457 posts)

Registered:
04/29/2009 11:37AM

Main British Car:
74 MGB-GT 3.4 V-6 crate, 5 spd

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: lawnvett
Date: July 13, 2017 08:25PM

Jim,

thanks for showing the RM.

It's always good when young people can see the car


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 09, 2017 10:47AM

Time for another update. As predicted I made it to the Dayton show with my Roadster, but Carl was good enough to come by here and jump in the MG-Roadmaster and drive it up to Dayton, leaving Ol' Red to languish in the company of my rag-tag fleet while we were out having fun. Dan also came in with his Lexus 1UZ 3.5L DOHC powered TR7 and the next morning we were off for the beginnings of a fine weekend.

We got a fairly early start, and for a Saturday morning the cruise through Cincinnati bridge construction up I-75 wasn't too bad as traffic at least kept moving and once across the river we made decent time. After that the rest of the 70 mile trip was a doddle, taking the I-675 Dayton bypass then Rt 35W for 1 exit before heading north again for a couple of blocks and turning left into the park. Well, that's how it WOULD have been if I hadn't passed the exit and got us a little lost. But it was all good and a fun drive. We made a little noise coming into the park and from that point on our cars were a center of attention, and perhaps the biggest draw in the meet. We went down to the end of our row (Modifieds), parked in the SHADE, and opened our hoods. The people were clustered around even before we came to a stop.

Our row was already crowded. All told there were over 20 modified cars at the meet, and we may have done a little recruiting. Don't be surprised if we pick up a member or two. Anyway, the Dayton show is fairly large at over 250 cars and our section has been the largest one for the last 2 years not including this one, which explains why we had the shade trees. Good chance that'll be the case next year as well and I can't stress enough how much better that makes it for all of us. So much better than being out in the sun. Now by contrast to the Cincinnati meet where we were stuck out in the hayfield at the furthest extent of the area being used, here we were right up front and center, right in the middle of the festivities.

Our cars served us well making the drive up and back with aplomb. As always we each noticed one or two minor things that could be improved but with the Roadmaster those are becoming less and less and Carl did say that he enjoyed the drive. I think he was impressed that everything worked as it should, and I think I remember him saying at one point that he though we should keep this car around for awhile. What were his criticisms? 1) the car has more body lean than Ol' Red. (which has a much larger sway bar). 2) the driver's side sits a little low (adjustable). 3) the tires made noise going around the on ramp. (uh... hello, not sticky tires?)

About those tires BTW, this is a good spot to post an additional caution. They are NOT rain tires. If you have to drive on water, even a slightly damp road, do not expect even average performance. I went around a local and fairly average interstate curve in a drizzle and at just 80 mph was sliding sideways. At least it was balanced. You can drive it in water, but slow down. The difference from dry traction is profound.

So we had a great time at the meet, and it was so much fun we were still there jawboning while they were handing out their little gegaws. Which was a mistake because they made me come up front and a guy kept trying to stick a microphone in my mouth. Didn't hardly know what to think of that one. I DID get to check an item off my bucket list though, (Sit in a genuine original GT40! YEAH! ) So eventually we went to O'Charlies with the gang and then headed back to Florence.

The drive back was much more rapid than we expected and we managed to hit a lull and blasted through the construction area with no impediments and were back here in little more than an hour, whereupon I attempted to upload a slightly leaner tune to my car and somehow managed to corrupt the file in the controller. So, instead of heading back to W.Va. in my car with Dan the next day of course I drove the Roadmaster. Carl of course, headed to Tennessee.

I think Dan and I set a personal record for the Florence to Milton commute. Because so far at least, the Roadmaster can still out accelerate the mighty 1UZ-TR7 I followed Dan's lead, and lead he did. These cars remove the guesswork from passing, and on the AA highway passing is what it's all about. It's fair to say that we only slowed down momentarily approaching the back markers. I don't know how fast this car has been driven, and I'm not sure I want to know. But I can attest that it is stable at 120, at which point the engine is humming along at 2500 rpm quite happily. The return trip was a good bit more sedate but even so gave one of the best trip times I've personally seen on that drive. By contrast, my roadster is at 2500 rpm at 75 mph and is comfortable there. At that speed the Roadmaster is turning about 1700-1800 rpm, and it too feels comfortable. I wouldn't even begin to hazard a guess as to which one could achieve the highest top speed, but I'm inclined to think it would be the Roadmaster, whereas the roadster would likely post a faster quarter.

So that's it for the driving report. On the upgrades, we took preliminary measurements for the lines and hoses, took notes of fitting types, and did some test fitting and the next step is for me to fit the condenser, take final measurements, and order parts. I'll get to that as soon as it's convenient to do it.

Also on the drive I noticed some pedal creep in the brakes. I think Carl mentioned that too. So we may need a new master cylinder.

I'll adjust the LR ride height next time it's on the lift.

We do have a heavier sway bar. It's big, 7/8 or 1". But we can try that one if y'all want to. No sticky tires tho.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3349 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: August 09, 2017 11:54AM

Quote:
Dan also came in with his Lexus 1UZ 3.5L DOHC powered TR7

Minor correction for Dan's sake. I believe that it is a 4.0L V8 from a SC400 & though it is DOHC per bank, I prefer to call it a Quad Cam engine. :)


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(928 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: Dan B
Date: August 09, 2017 12:59PM

Yep. That's what is says on the spark plug cover...four cam 32


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 09, 2017 01:06PM

Picky, picky. It's still a DOHC engine with DOHC heads. But have it your way, Quad Cam it is. As for the displacement, I was only going by what Dan told me, could be a 4L for all I know.

Jim


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(928 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: Dan B
Date: August 09, 2017 01:32PM

I never said 3.5. The 400 in SC400 is for 4 liter.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 09, 2017 03:10PM

Huh. Imagine that. I was wondering why it ran so strong.

Jim



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3349 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: August 09, 2017 04:11PM

Back to the Roadmaster.

I have driven it very few miles since it lived with me for a month back in March of 2012. It was still teething & very early into the shakedown.

I am very happy to report that the 155 mile round trip to the Dayton British car show from Blackwood Labs was the most fun I have had driving the Roadmaster. It has come a long way in the last 5 1/2 years. A very easy, comfortable driver & highway cruiser. Gonna be awesome with A/C. It was a hoot to follow Jim's MG up the highway watching all the reactions of others on the road. The three of us (Dan's TR7/8) caused quite a stir!

Never thought I would say this, but I could see owning a GT V8.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2457 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: rficalora
Date: August 09, 2017 10:35PM

I think that means you're getting older Carl ;).


britcars
Phil Ossinger
New Brunswick, Canada
(313 posts)

Registered:
02/02/2009 07:58PM

Main British Car:
1977 MGB Roadster, Rover 3.5 ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA!

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: britcars
Date: October 14, 2017 02:14PM

We finally made it to the Fall Gathering in Townsend. It was great to see old friends again and meet some new friends. Two highlights for me were driving the Tail of the Dragon (although it was in a Nissan Altima rental) both ways and a chance to take the Roadmaster for a spin.

Driving the Roadmaster is a totally different experience than driving my MGB Roadster with a 3.5L Rover engine. I had expected it to be a handful………not so! Once I got used to the heavy clutch it was a blast to drive, a very docile machine, easy to drive and goes where you point it in the corners. I was surprised given the fact that it had a big block Buick up front.. The roll-on power is phenomenal; only two gears needed....forward and reverse. :-).

I did have time to find a twisty road, not too hard in this part of the world, and was able to get an appreciation for how well this unusual combination works. I think that it would make a great touring car. I wish that I had more time to go further.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2017 03:36PM by britcars.


lawnvett
PJ Lenihan
Winston-Salem, NC
(457 posts)

Registered:
04/29/2009 11:37AM

Main British Car:
74 MGB-GT 3.4 V-6 crate, 5 spd

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: lawnvett
Date: January 22, 2018 08:26PM

Phill it's a hoot to drive the RM, I've been fortunate enough to get to drive that fine v8 quite a few miles..

Hey who's driving RM to Dayton? If you need a driver I'll volunteer.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 19, 2018 09:25AM

MG-Roadmaster work weekend progress report:

Thursday and Friday Steve and Dan arrived to work on the car. Carl couldn't come because of something about a crown, and PJ had some sort of a scheduling conflict. Our objectives were to R&R the starter and plumb the A/C refrigerant lines and on those tasks we were successful. As of now the A/C system has been drawn down to 27 inches of mercury and appears to be holding, and the starter is back to normal. We disassembled the old starter and it looks fine except for the bendix being bound up. I plan to go by the local starter-generator shop and see if they can match up a replaccement, and if so do the reassembly and stash it in the boot as a spare. Along the way we found a few other issues.

It looks like we may have lost continuity in the fuel gage circuit, probably just had a wire get knocked off the back of the gage but we'll need to fix that. The bigger issue was that the engine was hydrolocked and then blew white smoke. Yes, I know what you all are thinking, "Holy Smoke!" but I don't think it qualified. We may have caught it in time though. So Steve and Dan spent a good bit of their available time re-torquing the heads and as it turned out, the studs on the offending bank were noticeably less tight than we would have liked. Which as it turned out, we really liked. They also changed out the oil and filter, which Steve brought with him.

On start up, we had no white smoke. Yeah! But after warming up a bit the smoke came back and we were considerably less heartened. After sleeping on it, Dan and I decided to give the car a proper warm-up, and lo and behold, the smoke went away. Yeah! So the thought was that probably there was coolant puddled in the muffler and it took awhile to burn it out. I will be driving the car some this next week and checking it for any more symptoms. I reservedly call it done at this point but that isn't yet final. They ran a compression test on the affected bank and came back with normal numbers. Looking in the surge tank we observed a few small bubbles but since the coolant had been drained, an additional heater core added, and the heat control valve has not been opened that is inconclusive.

We ordered a pair of the fancy NGK spark plugs to match the others since there were a couple of strays, those come in Thursday. And we applied anti-sieze to the spark plug threads, definitely a needed thing.

As for the A/C, the system is now fully installed and plumbed. It contains both cooling and heating elements in the same coil so we had additional heater hoses to run but the good news from that is that not only will it give a boost to winter heat but it will be able to de-ice itself if the need arises. On that note, there is a pair of small drain hoses that will need to be added to prevent the formation of a small lake in the passenger's footwell. We ran hard lines up inside the fenderwells and the plumbing came out rather tidy, thanks to all who assisted with the planning and components. We ended up with some redundancy somehow. I don't know what happened, it wasn't my fault. Nobody reminded us that there was a drier built into the condenser and we ended up with one in the liquid line somehow. I don't know how that happened but I don't see any good reason to change it now.

We still need to add the control wiring and the ductwork, plus the radiator fans need to come on with the compressor and the temp sensor tube needs to be fitted into the evaporator coil and a face plate made to mount the controls. But at least at this point the hard work is done.

We will need to schedule another work weekend sometime between now and the Dayton meet in July. I'm thinking maybe April or May but we'll just have to see what works.

Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2018 09:28AM by BlownMGB-V8.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3349 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: February 19, 2018 10:46AM

Kudos to Jim, Dan, & Steve. Looks like y'all got a lot done! Dearly hope that head gasket is okay.

My Dentist say I need a crown, but that was not the issue.

Be very careful torquing coated spark plug into aluminum heads.

BTW, NGK says to install their new plugs dry.

NGK spark plugs feature what is known as trivalent plating. This silver-or-chrome colored finish on the threads is designed to provide corrosion resistance against moisture and chemicals. The coating also acts as a release agent during spark plug removal. NGK spark plugs are installed at the factory dry, without the use of anti-seize. NGK tech support has received a number of tech calls from installers who have over-tightened spark plugs because of the use of anti-seize. Anti-seize compound can act as a lubricant altering torque values up to 20 percent, increasing the risk of spark plug thread breakage.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 19, 2018 12:50PM

Yeah and I applaud them for that. But when the plugs have to be wrenched all the way out using a significant bit of muscle, it needs anti-sieze. I'm not trusting a set of 2 thousand dollar heads to some fancy coating. Sometimes reality just doesn't measure up to the hype, sad as that is.

Real nice weather today. I might take it for a drive.

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 19, 2018 08:59PM

Drove 25 miles today, mostly freeway. Got back home, no smoke, oil is clear. Didn't check for bubbles but I will in another day or two.

Jim



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3349 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: February 20, 2018 10:37AM

Hope the plug threads are not too long & protruding into the combustion chamber.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 20, 2018 01:24PM

You know, now that I've looked it up, we may be running plugs with too short of a reach. I'll have to look into that. The TA online catalog says the stage 2 SE heads use plugs with a 3/4" reach. These are 1/2" I'm pretty sure. Might be worth some mpg.

Jim


mowog1
Rick Ingram
Central Illinois
(1423 posts)

Registered:
10/17/2007 09:36PM

Main British Car:
1974.5 MGB/GT 3.9l Rover

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: mowog1
Date: February 20, 2018 07:15PM

Thanks, Jim. I was wondering how things were progressing.


lawnvett
PJ Lenihan
Winston-Salem, NC
(457 posts)

Registered:
04/29/2009 11:37AM

Main British Car:
74 MGB-GT 3.4 V-6 crate, 5 spd

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: lawnvett
Date: February 20, 2018 10:54PM

good work, much accomplished.

sorry I missed the weekend, hopefully I can participate next time


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5488 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 21, 2018 11:03AM

Rick, I took the old bendix to the local starter shop but they couldn't match it up. I don't recall where the last starter came from. I bought the one in it now online for about $65 though, do you think we should get another one of those to carry in the trunk?

Hopefully I'll have the plug situation sorted out today. Apparently the tapered seats crimped the top thread and that's what made them tight to remove. Because of the shorter reach the last few threads might be carboned up and need to be chased. But the heat range looks real good, so I think I can match up an iridium plug with that heat range and we would probably never need to change them again. There is a difference between OEM Buick plugs and those for TA heads, the TA heads use a longer thread. I have no idea how or when these plugs got installed and it doesn't do to try and find out, but we need to be careful about this. We put a lot of money in these heads and don't want to damage them.

Drove another 10 miles yesterday, mostly on surface streets. Exhaust was clear, oil was clear, saw some bubbles in the coolant. I'll add some leak sealant and see if that helps. Tracked the fuel gage failure back to the sender so that'll get changed once I've burned up enough gas. I have new spares I can use. I should be able to deal with all that in advance of the next work weekend. That's when we will tackle the remaining big job, completing the A/C install.

Incidentally, I picked up a Ford cruise module for my car a couple weeks ago from the junkyard for about $25, it'd probably be $30 with the cable. It's a pretty compact all electric unit that would require mounting, wiring, and push buttons wired with resistors for the controls, which I already had in my car. Seems to work correctly but I haven't tested it on the highway yet. Might be something to think about adding. I'm also wandering if we shouldn't try the big swaybar on it, now that it's just a matter of swapping them out.

Jim
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