MG Sports Cars

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

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MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

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Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: June 12, 2008 11:04AM

"...for a potential total suspension travel of around 10-12 inches! "

Whoa! I raced motocross with less travel than that. My MG may have 3" of working travel.

Outer fender clearance: When I sit on the quarter panel, I can barely get my index finger between the fender lip & the tire. No rubbing with 205/55-14s since installing the panhard rod. The amount of deflection will change with the aspect ratio.

Jim, don't forget more elbow room with the wider MG. ;-)

Bill,

Hook up? With 500 ft/lbs of torque? Not without wrinkle walls.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 12, 2008 11:20AM

OK, the first photo shows clearly why we can't use 15" wheels. Those are 1" gage blocks sitting on the pivot and they obviously will not fit between the pivot and the rim. Jag did not use a deep backspacing on their wheels, so it wasn't an issue for them. For us, it keeps the upright away from the bodywork and allows the use of longer suspension arms for better geometry and more tire clearance.
MVC-648S.JPG
The second photo shows a section of bar stock sitting on the floor for a visual reference.
MVC-649S.JPG
It is even with the bottom of the cross braces and forward rails but would be slightly below the sill and roughly even with the jack tube. I measured 9" to the contact patch area. On my car the rear of the sill is 8-1/2" above the floor, you might check your own car. considering that we'll pick up 1/4 to 1/2" on sidewall bulge and that we plan to move the tire upwards into the well 1-2" I believe this puts us right where we should be on ride height, so the visual is somewhat misleading. But my car isn't the best reference as the new springs make it sit a little high in the back so a second opinion would be good.

Anyone care to look for a 16 inch tire with a 275 width and a fatter aspect ratio? We could get by with going perhaps as much as 1" larger on the diameter than what the 315/35-17's are but no more.

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

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Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: June 12, 2008 10:42PM

Steve got here about mid afternoon, and after the usual pleasantries we got down to business, catching up on changes and such and deciding on our plan of attack. First we did some work on the hub he brought from Jim Thompson, removed a seized bearing race and the other old bearing and spacer, then turned the hub pilot down to match the other side and cleaned up the bearing journal. Incidentally for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of removing a seized bearing, what we did was to slot opposite sides of the race almost down to the shaft, and then used a heavy chisel and a hammer to break the remaining part and split the race off. The trick is to do it without nicking the shaft. We did get a small nick but dressed that out with a very small chainsaw file to remove any stress risers. The journal had picked up metal from the bearing race and was close to .010 larger on the diameter than it was supposed to be. Without a lathe and an accurate setup this part would be scrap, but we were able to dial it in and turn it back down to the correct size. We then assembled the second upright with new bearings and seals and matched them up with a pair of spline yokes. Good enough for the uprights, at least for now, we next turned our attention to the half shafts. First we rough turned the shafts to 1.020" and then set up for finish turning and polishing, cutting both shafts to 11-7/8" x .997", which gave us.0005 to .001" of clearance with the tube.We precisely cut the tubes to length, squared and chamfered the ends, and cut the shafts to exactly fit the length of the tubes. On assembly the fit was dead on, so close in fact that the parts slid together easily but snugly, trapping the air inside and bouncing before being shoved home. They snugged up just right as they seated, but still could be rotated. I don't think we could have gotten a more perfect fit for this application. Once welded the internal shaft will provide full support for the tube to help resist wrinkling under torque, and the slip fit will allow the torque to be absorbed by the full length of the tube rather than a short section between the ends. Given the weight of the car I think they will hold up well.

Tomorrow we weld. Also cut down the LCA's and prep them for welding. I think we'll have this car back on it's wheels soon, maybe by tomorrow evening.

Jim


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2764 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: June 13, 2008 11:56AM

I agree they don't look right in the pics. Not sure it's the overall diameter though as 24.6 isn't that different than the ~24" a lot of MG's are running. I think it's a combination of the diameter & small side wall. Look at Evan Amaya's car [www.britishv8.org]. He has 205/45/17's which I calculated as just .3" less diameter & it looks fine. Now, at the risk of opening a can of worms... I still like the look of 15" or 16" & even more side wall. There are a few companies making 275/50/15's although those would be about an inch bigger diameter - not sure how that'd look. There are also a few doing 245/50/15 which would be the same diameter as the 17s you have now, just more side wall (and depending on wheel offset might make the IRS work w/o narrowing it at least on the side that only needs 1 1/2" narrowed). I think that's what Joe Shaeffer is running & they fit with the omni flares. Of course, that'd mean a little over an inch less width in the contact patch. Something to think about maybe. Pretty sure both those sizes are staples in the Cobra kit market so they're noy likely to go away any time soon.


V6 Midget
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

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Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: V6 Midget
Date: June 13, 2008 02:52PM

Thanks for the last couple of photos Jim. I see the clearance problem, it's close but no cigar for the 15" rim. I don't know what it is but the second photo now looks like the ride height will be ok. I guess it's just turning off the anti gravity machine that makes all the difference to my eyes. As to the wheels looking big, maybe it's just the flash of the chrome and the style that makes them appear all flash and no tire. I agree with Rob, on Evan's car the 17s look fine. I'm like him though, still old school and like a little more sidewall showing and less rim, but with those sizes getting harder to come by we need to look at something that will be replaceable in the future at a reasonable price. I don't doubt that with 500+ foot pounds of torque tire life will be significantly shortened if we're not careful.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

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Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: June 13, 2008 10:29PM

You guys have been missing all the fun! We finished all the cutting, welding and painting by lunchtime.
MVC-650S.JPG
So nothing would do but that we had to start putting things together.
MVC-651S.JPG
Pretty soon we had this:
MVC-652S.JPG
And then we just had to flip it over.
MVC-653S.JPG
By then it was after supper but we really felt like we had to go one step farther...

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 13, 2008 10:33PM

So we did this:
MVC-654S.JPG
and then we played,
MVC-655S.JPG
played some more,
MVC-656S.JPG
and sat around a bit and dreamed about how we are going to play when it's finished!

Jim



BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 13, 2008 10:37PM

Then we put the cars to bed,
MVC-657S.JPG
tucked them in for the night,
MVC-658S.JPG
and called it a good day's work. I will probably try to give more details later about the work we did but for right now a shower's in order and something cold to drink.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

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Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: June 14, 2008 10:14AM

That sure is one awesome toy box!


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

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Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: Moderator
Date: June 14, 2008 12:08PM

http://forum.britishv8.org/file.php?2,file=1420

This photo qualifies for entry in the photo contest!


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: June 14, 2008 02:38PM

Steve,

Hold your hands closer together. I don't think we need a 20" steering wheel. ;-)


castlesid
Kevin Jackson
Sidcup UK
(361 posts)

Registered:
11/18/2007 10:38AM

Main British Car:
1975 MGB GT Rover V8 4.35L

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: castlesid
Date: June 14, 2008 03:24PM

Jim,

Just been having a re read of what you were saying about the narrowing of the drive shafts, and noticed that you are suggesting that one side is going to be 1"+ narrower than the other.

I'm probably throwing the proverbial spanner in the works, but I do have concerns as to having effectively shorter upper and lower wishbones on one side of the car and what that will do to the geometry, and the effect on camber change, ie the camber gain will be different on each side of the car and the handling strange to say the least.

The other point is ride height, for the geometry of the Jag suspension to work correctly the lower arm needs to slope down towards it's outer pivot point by 1 1/2" - 2" with the car on the ground.

I would be looking at a ride height of approx 14 1/2" measured centre of hub to underside of the chrome strip position and then check the angle of the lower arms to see if it's in the right ball park,

Hope you don't think I'm interfering but thought it important for you to consider these issue before you get to far advanced.

Regards,

Kevin Jackson.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 14, 2008 11:15PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Curtis, I'll send that photo in. I was looking for a link of some sort for photo contest submissions but didn't find anything.

Kevin, I don't think the camber change will be enough to tell the difference, one side to the other. No street car is perfectly symmetrical anyway. They can't possibly turn right exactly the same as they turn left, yet nobody seems to notice. The difference in the arm length is minor given the overall length. The total is 1-1/4" due to the pinion gear being 5/8" off center in the differential housing. In order for the driveshaft to be centered in the transmission tunnel and not offset from the engine centerline the only way to do it was with a small difference in the length of the control arms. Anyway we only removed 2" from one side and 3-1/4 from the other so our control arms are still much longer than in the typical MGB installation, therefore our rate of camber change is much less to start with. This gives us a more forgiving geometry. I'll measure our present dimension to the beltline. It may be a bit over that spec but I'll try to find out tomorrow. We can easily vary the ride height by a couple inches and still keep the axle shafts near horizontal so I think we'll be in good shape on the drop of the LCA's.

So moving right along, here's our first photo of the day.
MVC-659S.JPG
I'm sorta proud of that shot, put up a backdrop and everything. But as you can see we got the 455 and T5 ready to put in the car. Here's another view.
MVC-660S.JPG
We really made far more progress this weekend than I expected. I would have been really happy with getting the car on it's wheels. (and I was!) But Steve was so apathetic about what we did or didn't do to the car that every time I mentioned what would be the next thing that would have to be done we ended up just doing it. By the end of the weekend we had this.
MVC-669S.JPG
It's all Steve's fault really, once we had it shiny side up I just couldn't keep him out of it.
MVC-668S.JPG

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 14, 2008 11:24PM

I have some more photos, several of the engine in the car.
MVC-661S.JPG
Rear view
MVC-663S.JPG
clearances
MVC-664S.JPG
and with the hood in place
MVC-667S.JPG

From this point I don't expect to have much trouble getting the car to the show, but if anyone would like to help, there is still time to do that.

Jim


castlesid
Kevin Jackson
Sidcup UK
(361 posts)

Registered:
11/18/2007 10:38AM

Main British Car:
1975 MGB GT Rover V8 4.35L

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: castlesid
Date: June 15, 2008 05:57AM

Jim,

Fantastic progress, the engine and box look great and sit in the bay nicely. When I posted, I missed that you had already done the narrowing of the rear end, and what a nice job you've made of it.

Kevin.



V6 Midget
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: V6 Midget
Date: June 16, 2008 09:35AM

Wow!!! You guys really got a lot accomplished and it looks great. Love the stance. I agree with Curtis, Steve's photo needs to go into the photo contest hopper, talk about "fun with our cars" his expression is priceless in the second shot where he actually is holding a steering wheel. The Omni flares are really going to fit well with those tires as well. That car is going to be one bad motor.


Citron
Stephen DeGroat
Lugoff, SC
(367 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:43PM

Main British Car:
1970 MGBGT V6, 7004R, AC, matching trailer 3.1 liter

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: Citron
Date: June 16, 2008 02:02PM

Had a great time at Jim's. We did get a lot done.
Just to let everyone know, I usually go to Jim's to repair my car. This time it was just tires. One flat on the Trailer and on on the car. Good old road debris. Had a good trip both ways though and I get to make a contribution to the Virginia Highway Patrol Retirement Fund. He was not pleased with 67 in a 55. Oh well.
T-Shirts: I am going to order 15 white and 15 red in sizes M through XL. If you need a size larger let me know by PM and I will get that ordered.
I will bring the shirts to WI and you can get them there.
Not going to WI? I will have to find out what shipping is to your location so I can add that on.
Prices: M through XL: $12
XXL and XXXL are $14.
PM me with all orders or just get them if WI in not sold out.
Make checks to BADASS.
If you will be in WI and tell me to hold shirts for you, you can pay there.
Steve


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 17, 2008 10:49AM

Well, taking the measurement Kevin recommended, we sit 1-1/2" high at the rear (Is that CB height Kevin? If so then we're at about RB height right now, plus the extra tire diameter of course.) The front tires are larger in diameter than what we will run, actually an inch larger than the rear tires. But they'll be fine for the meet. The tin is only set in place and will have to be secured. One interesting thing to note, I stood on the ends of the frame rails and jumped up and down on them as energetivcally as I could and the suspension was working very well. I could just almost get it to leave the ground but not quite and I never did get it to bottom out, so I think that Cobra suspension is going to really do the job for us. Thanks once again to Arthur for that one, as it looks like no worries in that area! We put angle iron struts in the rear to hold the car up as specs for the coil-overs have yet to be determined, so the rear suspension is quite stiff. The tires do have a little give though but I don't think that's going to do a great deal for the ride. There are no brakes and no driveshaft yet so if we run it around the autocross course we'll be relying on people power to go and stop. Steve has volunteered to drive. The steering is quite light, much lighter than my roadster and Steve even said he thought it was lighter than his car. Rather amazing really.

I'm really sorry to hear that Steve was asked to contribute to the Virginia tax fund. They seem to be reverting to their old ways, y'all watch yourselves going through that state now. Guys, Steve should be commended for his dedication and sacrifice in seeing this project through. Do you realize that he's been the ONLY PERSON who has come to a roadmaster weekend this year? And he's done it TWICE! Being a part of this project does require some level of participation. I'm as aware as anybody that times are hard, and not showing many signs of getting better. But without member participation there is no BADASS NLC. The Roadmaster project will go on of course, it's come far enough that the car will eventually be finished somehow, by somebody. But to be a group project it has to be done by more than two people. Don't think I'm discounting the contributions of people like Bill and others who still find ways to support us despite the distance, I'm not. And I understand that the project isn't quite as much of a novelty as it was at this time last year. I also expect the appearance of the car at the meet to generate a great deal of interest. But guys, by this time last year we had at least six times as many people who had showed up to work on the car and that's just going from my memory which isn't too good. It's a pretty poor showing, and Steve is really making you guys look bad. I guess it's a little late for a call to action, but I do want to enter one cautionary note. The active participants of the group do have the ability to make whatever changes to the structure of the group is deemed advisable. Now I think it's pretty good as it is but that only holds true as long as we have participation in the project. If things pick up after the meet I think we'll be fine. But if they do not, things are bound to change and not in ways that everybody who has contributed is going to like. That's really all I have to say about it right now. I'm an optimist for the most part and I know quite well that we can pull together on this and do what we set out to do, even though gas prices have gone up and the economy has gone down. We can still do it. We're way stronger when we all pull together.

I just talked to Paul Schills about the meet. Looks like we'll be doing the Roadmaster tech session Monday morning at 10:00 am before heading out for our noon activity, so hopefully this will be a good way to kick off the meet and get things moving. I know there's been a lot of interest in the project and a lot of excitement to really see the car in the flesh so to speak, and Steve and I will be there to go over the details of the conversion. Obviously the two big areas of interest are going to be the engine/ transmission and the rear suspension, plus we'll probably field some questions about the front suspension as well. Arthur, could you see what you could find out for us concerning the specifications of those springs? The wire measures the same diameter as my old Huffaker -1" street/track springs but I couldn't compare height as mine had sagged. It's possible they could be one and the same but there's no way for me to verify that. The other thing I'm really looking forward to and I know others are too, is the chance to put the car on Pete Mantell's car scales and see what we get for the corner weights. So far I haven't heard anything from Pete as to whether or not he plans to bring his scales, but on behalf of all, I'd like to ask you Pete, to see if you can do that. It's an added burden, but one which is appreciated by many.

So in an effort to avoid this becoming another "Blackwoodian" post I'll stop now and keep it short, (It helps that I've run out of things to say). In the days ahead we have final preparations to make but only a catastrophe of epic proportions could now prevent the appearance of the B.A.D.A.S.S. MGB Roadmaster making it to Port Washington next month. In the meantime I'll keep posting updates as there is progress to report.

Jim


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(1007 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: June 17, 2008 04:31PM

What is this "Blackwoodian" ... ? Something about your truck, maybe? Can't be a family reference....


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 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: June 18, 2008 10:39AM

Not sure exactly, but I think it's rumored to have something to do with long windedness. Personally I always thought it was good entertainment, but at times a very few persons have been known to go to sleep... Narcolepsy I suppose...

Jim
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