MG Sports Cars

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

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BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: December 10, 2007 01:17PM

Things are moving a bit better today. Here's a shot of the upright sitting on some aluminum plate to illustrate about what I had in mind for the upper attachment point. The plate would be trimmed to fit the radius and moved outward towards the wheel an undetermined amount. Some of the 'bell' may be trimmed back as well to clear the frame.

Jim
MVC-333S.JPG



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2007 11:48AM by BlownMGB-V8.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: December 12, 2007 01:14PM

Chris Palmer in another thread characterized people as 'wrench turners' and 'polishers' and that's a good analogy as far as it goes. I think you can take it farther than that, for instance I would characterize myself as a metalworker. Not in the sense of a guy who puts up building frames or works in a foundry, but in a more artistic sense, as one who enjoys shaping metals and other materials into new forms by whatever means is available. Heaven to me is being able to create the rough shape and knowing that I can turn it over to the polisher to make it pretty. Sometimes I think the polishers would be better at administrative tasks than I am, but somebody's got to do it. So with that excuse I guess I'd better do a proper job of reporting on the last Roadmaster Weekend. I hope nobody is unhappy that I let it go this long, there were an unusually large number of people involved and every one deserves credit for their unique contribution.

Perhaps we should start with Eric DeGroat, brother of our Secretary and Treasurer Steve. By going along with Steve's request that he travel out of his way 500 miles to the south while on his vacation and haul a trailer which he probably didn't otherwise need, Eric allowed our project to continue on schedule and with the best of parts. Most of you know that Allen Mandeen in Eureka, Kansas had offered us a 455 BBB for use in the project, but that getting it from there to here was a big problem. So Steve and Eric took it upon themselves to solve that problem and get it not only back to Steve's home in South Carolina, but to bring it to Northern Kentucky for teardown and inspection, and then transport it back down to Carl's house in Tennessee. I think we all owe them a really big show of appreciation for that.

It turned out that Allen Mandeen had given us a real jewel. 1970 was the prime year for the Buick 455 and that's exactly what this engine was. Not only that but it showed minimal wear. Truthfully, we could have bolted the heads from the 430 on with fresh gaskets and seals and used it just as it was. But since we expect the car to cover a lot of miles we went ahead and pulled the pistons, which slipped out easily with only a light nudge at the top. The bores looked good and the bearings did too. Allen had evidently used the valves and springs somewhere else, but the heads had a brand new set of rockers. For a donated motor we couldn't have asked for better.

Steve characterizes himself as a wrench turner and he's good at it. Eric is right there with him and they were very efficient about the disassembly. We got quite a bit done but we still had plenty of time to relax in between. During one such intermission I turned the records over to Steve and put him on the bank account. Steve, I'll get the paperwork turned in to the bank today, sorry for being lax about it.

But that's really only part of the story. Dan Masters, who contributed the Jag IRS and the engine stand, had searched through his parts and come up with practically all of the brake pieces we needed, including brand new brake pads and rebuild parts. Steve and Eric made a detour to Dan's house on the way up here to pick those up. Also, Jack Morris in Chatanooga had donated some miscellaneous 300 SBB engine parts in the hopes we could find a way to use them, and he had transported those parts up to Dan's house where Steve and Eric picked them up. The 300 parts turned out to be useful, though their value has not yet been determined. The heads appear to be usable, provided one spark plug hole can be welded and repaired and should be better than the other set I have, so I will buy them and make a donation to the project. Same for the flex plate, which I do not have. Of the remaining parts I'm not sure there is any value there but I haven't completely gone through the box either. So basically I'll be contributing the value of a set of heads and flex plate minus repair costs once we know what those numbers are. Steve, Jack Morris needs to be added to the list of contributors, and Jack, could you please send Steve your contact info? Thanks.

The credits continue though. Carl Floyd managed to set aside precious space in his storage building for us to keep our parts in until Dale Spooner is in town, as well as checking casting numbers and combustion chamber configurations for me once the parts got there, and Dale has volunteered his time and equipment to do any needed machine work on the engine, as well as transporting the parts from Carl's place up to Danville, Virginia and back. For those of you who don't know Dale, he has an excellent reputation for his work with Rover engines, another part of the Buick family. (sort of)

I hope I haven't left anyone out. To be sure we've had lots of support from spouses and other close ones. Let's keep them happy if it's at all possible.

Finally, I'm not sure if I should say anything or not but I feel obliged to mention that Pete might appreciate some sympathy and support for him and his family. It's up to him if more should be said or not but he's our close friend and we want the best for him.

Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2007 01:23PM by BlownMGB-V8.


mowog1
Rick Ingram
Central Illinois
(1478 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: December 14, 2007 12:32AM

re: Finally, I'm not sure if I should say anything or not but I feel obliged to mention that Pete might appreciate some sympathy and support for him and his family. It's up to him if more should be said or not but he's our close friend and we want the best for him.

*******************************
Everything is A-OK in the Mantell household. I was over there on Wednesday.

:)

rick


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: December 14, 2007 08:15AM

Thanks Rick, I'm sure glad to hear that.

Also noteworthy, Bill Young has donated another hundred to the cause. Thank you Bill!! This gives him the distinction of being the biggest cash contributor and we sure need the cash. We now have enough to start thinking about what tires we want to put on the car, and we'll have to get those in, mounted and balanced by the start of summer. If we have to we can use solid struts in place of the coil-overs on the rolling chassis but I think the tires are going to be mandatory.

I wanted to post a couple of photos from the last weekend but I've let them disappear somehow. If I can find them I'll put them up. Also the library got me a copy of Tune to Win by Carrol Smith and I'm about a third of the way through it. It'd be a pretty good reference book and for $20 would be worth buying. So far I haven't seen anything there that would require us to change our approach on the suspension, another indication that we are going about this correctly.

Inclement weather and the need to put in some time on some of my own projects has slowed me down a bit but I'll try to get the final measurements for the narrowing of the IRS done this weekend and start cutting metal next week sometime.

Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2007 08:37AM by BlownMGB-V8.


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: December 15, 2007 09:52PM

The least I can do to support all the efforts of you guys on your end. I'm too far away to make the Roadmaster weekends, althoug I'll try to make at least one during the next year if I can. I'll try to keep the funds coming, the goal is at least the same amount each quarter.


Citron
Stephen DeGroat
Lugoff, SC
(365 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: December 16, 2007 11:23AM

Bill,

Thanks for your donations. As treasurer, when Jim gets the paperwork done, I will try not to lose it.
BADASS really does appreciate the money. We can certainly put it to good use.

Steve


Jacmo
Jack Morris
Chattanooga, TN
(9 posts)

Registered:
10/28/2007 08:46AM

Main British Car:
80 MGB Chevy 355 ci (Donovan Aluminum)

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: Jacmo
Date: December 16, 2007 07:03PM

Jim: Glad you could find a use for the 300 parts. About 10 years ago, I stopped at a junkyard in Lexington, TN asking about small block Buick parts and learned that someone had driven this car in the day before I arrived. They dismantled it for me on the spot and I took all I thought might be useable. The crank, rods, and front cover should be useable to someone--don't know about the oil pan.
I've sent my contact info on to Steve.

I might be able to make another donation in the spring. I've got about 5 or 6 complete 215 engines that might be useable as trade material. Let me know.

Good luck!



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: December 23, 2007 11:43AM

To Jim and all the BADASS gang.

Have a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

I am looking forward to seeing further progress reports in 2008

Kevin Jackson.

In the very cold and slightly foggy UK.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: December 24, 2007 07:29PM

Thanks to everyone and a merry Christmas to all. If that's not PC enough for anyone, then Happy Holidays to you as well. It's been a good year. The Roadmaster dream was not even a faint glimmer a year ago and look at it now. In only 3 seasons we went from a suggestion by someone over on the V8Buick board, to me sort of tongue-in-cheek trying to persuade someone, *anyone*, to actually try it, to where we are now with a full fledged charitable organization championing the cause and a car well on its way to becoming the real life embodiment of the dream. All of us doubted that it could actually ever be done. By now most of us have become believers, and many of us have pitched in to help it become a reality. The dream has caught our imagination, fed it some nitrous and set it aflame, and now here we are at the start of the new year, very well prepared to carry out the plan, meet our projections and complete the project as intended. It's true we are short of money, but I expect we always will be. Few of us have the resources to divert serious funding to the project, and really I don't think we've promoted that part of what we're doing very hard, or gone looking for any serious money. In a way that's not a bad thing since a big sponsor would naturally want some say in what we are doing and how. As it is, we're working together to build a big toy that we can all play with and have some fun, and I really think we're going to be able to end up with just that. Along the way we've made it possible to promote our sport as well and I can't see that being a bad thing, plus we're pushing the boundaries of what has been done and what can be done. I think when this car is finally ready to roll that we are going to learn that we really like it a lot. It will scare us, intimidate us, astound us, make us think that our buddies have really pushed us over the edge this time, but when we strap in for that first drive I honestly feel we will come back with a grin so wide and embedded so deep that it will never afterwards completely go away. And that's why *I'm* doing it. I think that's why we all are.

So on we go. We will need everyone's help in the coming year, by whatever means is available to you. More than anything we need those of you who are willing to put in some hard work to come in whenever you can and make your efforts count. I won't try to tell you it's easy work, for the most part it is not. It tends to be dirty, difficult, and nasty, but it is rewarding. Every single person who has worked on the car has contributed greatly to bringing the dream alive, and as we've gone along we have taken care of the worst jobs first. I think it's safe to say that with the exception of the bodywork, from here on out the dirtiest work we still have to do will be the welding and possibly kingpin work if they need rebuilt though, so it's safe to say the worst is over. Probably Denny Williams and I had the worst of it. Denny in grinding away welds and removing body panels for use on the car, and me in waterblasting all the crud off the bottom of the car, but we had company too.

Now the next Roadmaster Weekend is the 29th, and it will honestly surprise me if anyone does make it here to work on the car. But if they do we will go out and work on it. In January instead of having a work weekend we will meet at Ted's winter party the weekend of the 26th and drink some beer. We may do some planning, that would probably be a good idea just to keep up appearances if nothing else, but I expect we will have the largest number of our participants in one spot since this thing began, with the possible exception of the last V8 meet. So our (semi-annual) meeting will most likely be held over brewski's while sitting around in lawn chairs in the evening. February, as the coldest month may not see much physical progress either, but as the weather warms up so will our inclination to push on. By then we may be close to getting the engine back from Dale Spooner (Motion Machine, Danville, VA) and we'll be full of incentive to get the roller done in time for the V8 meet. To be fair, it'll probably be rough at that point. I don't know if the sheet metal work will be done, so far I'm the only person who has stepped in to do any of the welding and if it's left to me to do it as well as the IRS it may have to wait. But the main thing is that we have enough done to put it on display for the meet. When we do that I think we will catch the excitement of the rest of the V8 "brigade" and have the support we will need to finish.

But whatever else happens this I promise you, though I may become tired and need to rest occasionally, I will continue to come back to this dream, continue to lead, continue to work, and continue to encourage you all to do the same, so that we can stand together at the V8 meet in 2009 and look at our handiwork as it's cutting donuts out on the autocross course and share our pride of accomplishment for having created not just a car, but a whole new way of working together. And for that I thank all of you.

Jim


jimbb88
Jim Stuart
Maryland, USA
(47 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 07:43PM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB V8 conversion Rover 4.0 fuel injected

Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: jimbb88
Date: December 24, 2007 08:09PM

If I make it to Ted's, will you have room for the other 2 wheels? That will save me the shipping cost.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: December 24, 2007 11:41PM

Absolutely.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: January 08, 2008 04:31PM

A little more progress here, I was at Fastenal looking for some steel strap and found a length of 1 x 2" rectangular tubing which is what's needed for the main support over the differential. So I bought it and brought it home. I'll cut that 34-1/4" long tomorrow after I pick up new blades for the cutoff saw and it will drop right into place in the recess (or hump) in the shelf, and then work up the end attachments and center plate. It's good to get things moving again.

Jim


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4411 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB Roadmaster
Posted by: Moderator
Date: January 08, 2008 05:06PM

By the way... anyone following the progress of the Roadmaster may enjoy checking out this Newsletter article on it: [www.britishv8.org]


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: January 10, 2008 05:29PM

I cut the 1 x 2 tubing and fitted it, looks just right. I have a 1/8" difference in length for the GT and for the mockup mule (roadster) so I take it the assembly fitting jigs had tolerances that made panel fitting something of a slap together affair. Anyway, I'm working up the attachment points, but will have to get some more materials for that. A couple feet of 1-1/4 x 3/4 rectangular tubing with about a 1/8" wall would be perfect but I'll probably have to buy a 20' length to get it. Things like this really slow down the project, I mean look how long it took me to get the 1 x 2 tubing. The good news is that I can work on some of the rest of the mount in the meantime. I'd like to get the diff attached to the car and then cut the axles that way I don't have to worry about anything moving around.

Been thinking about the pinion angle. We didn't measure the engine angle as installed, I guess we overlooked it, which means I really should reinstall the short block and tranny and check it. I won't be able to attach the front motor mounts but should be able to approximate the engine's position by blocking it up from the crossmember about 1/4". Of course that means having to bolt the xmember back on as well. Ain't hindsight great? I don't remember if the xj6 diff had a built in angle or not but 6* seems familiar, guess I'll have to look at the articles. If it does that would be about perfect because I can build in that much adjustment in the opposite direction real easy. That way the diff could be bolted in place and the optimum pinion angle set and locked by drilling the plate for the second shock bolt while the first one with an adjustment slot holds the adjustment in place. The correct links for the LCA's could then be selected to keep the arms horizontal. Doing it this way there's no need to worry about the driveline angle at this point, it can be dealt with at any time, even after the rest of the car is finished. If there is no built in angle it gets a little trickier, as the adjustment has to start out with an offset of several degrees somewhere and I haven't figured out the best way to do that yet, probably have to weld the diff mounting plate to the cross piece at an angle. Wouldn't be nearly as neat that way.

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: January 11, 2008 08:36AM

I've confirmed the 6 degree housing angle, so the next item is vertical height of the housing. Here I need some help from those of you who either have or have done a Jag swap. I need to determine the distance from the top diff mount up to the shelf (or to the top of the raised rib that the rear bulkhead attaches to, either will work) and to do this perhaps the simplest bits of information for you to get is: 1) Do the half shafts run parallel to the ground normally, and 2) what is the distance from the (bottom edge of the) body trim line to the hub centerline?

If the shafts run parallel at rest it should be a simple matter to derive the housing height from that measurement. If they do not, perhaps having a friend or two put their weight on it until the shaft is level (parallel with the ground) and then measuring the hub distance would do the trick. Thanks guys.

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: January 14, 2008 02:05PM

Jim,.

Just to remind you the lower wishbone should be 1.5"- 2" lower at the outer end depending on suspension width to maintain correct geometry.

I send you some pics earlier and diagrams showing the use of a fixed lengh of angle iron in place of the coil spring damper units which makes things easier to work out and arrive at the desired installation height.

Kevin.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: January 16, 2008 10:26AM

Thanks Kevin. I really appreciate being reminded of details that have escaped my attention. It's not so much that I'm a dumba$$ (which I suppose we all do from time to time) as it is that I've got so many things stuffed into that little brain pan that I now find it necessary to forget the name of a dead president any time I want to remember something new. In short, things get lost in there. Sorry about that, can't help it. I was trying to decide on how far away from the body I could position the top of the differential, and working on the assumption that the u-joints would be happiest with no angle at normal ride with a full tank and driver aboard. Of course the half shaft and LCA are not parallel and the LCA will angle downwards more than the half shaft will, so without assembling the hub it's going to take a lot of measureing and calculation to get from the LCA angle to the half-shaft angle. (Lots of opportunity for error) I was hoping for a quick eyeball confirmation of half-shaft inclination but from the measurements I've been able to get I'm beginning to suspect it's a moot point anyway because the diff is going to have to be mounted as high in the body as the sheet metal will allow. But again, this is based on imprecise measurements.

I also think it's about time for me to call Bill Guzman at Classic Conversions to talk about our options on brakes.

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: January 16, 2008 05:44PM

Bill is going to provide us with a brake kit for the front which will include rotors and calipers along with a new master cylinder and an adjustable proportioning valve. He says we need to replace the pedal assembly with a late model assembly. I don't have one of those so somebody needs to step up and donate one. I'm guessing it can work with or without the booster assembly, hope so anyway. Can someone confirm this? Thanks

Jim


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2636 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: January 22, 2008 10:51PM

Jim, saw Derek post this link on the MG Experience board... if you haven't seen it, it may prove worth reviewing... [www.mgbv8.co.uk]


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 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: January 22, 2008 11:59PM

Thanks Rob, that's a good reference. It's likely that a well designed LCA could eliminate nearly 50 lbs and that tubular half-shafts could drop another 30, making total weight very comparable to stock. We won't be doing that here, but perhaps on another car...

Carl has notified me that he effected the transfer of engine parts to Dale Spooner over the weekend. As I understand it Dale was going to make the round trip to Carl's place to pick up the parts but Carl felt that since Dale was already doing the machine work he shouldn't also have to make an 8 hour drive to do it, so he met him at Galax to make the transfer. I'm trying to visualize that and I keep getting this image of Carl muscling that 455 block into the back of a pickup truck from the floor of his storage building. Well the block isn't as heavy as a BBC but it sure isn't light either, and then two sets of BBB heads, a crank and assorted other parts and I start wondering how his back is feeling. Hope you're alright Carl, we all appreciate your efforts. I don't know if Dale will be at Ted's this coming weekend or not, but one way or another I'll be getting in touch with him within about the next week.

Speaking of the weekend, we have the semi-annual BADASS, NLC meeting coming up on the 26th to be held at Ted's place, and though I certainly can't speak for Ted when I say so, I do believe that anyone who wants to attend is welcome to be there. Nothing is set in stone but I think we'll have a somewhat informal meeting in the evening whenever it becomes convenient to do so, open to anyone who would like to attend. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces there.

Jim
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