MG Sports Cars

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

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Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 22, 2013 09:12PM

I'm starting this thread to document my LS4 conversion since this forum is specific to the MG.

I'm going to try to have it ready for Colorado Springs next July. It's aggressive. I'm going to use a "phased" approach which worked really well when I did my V6 conversion. Basically, the first "phase" is to get the thing on the road. This means compromises will have to be made. For example, I would love to do a cam/intake/decent headers and get close to 400 hp. (which is so easy to do with this platform) but that takes time, money and isn't necessary to get the car running. I wanted to let you know my approach so when you see me about to do something that makes you want to cover your eyes, you'll know there is some reason behind it. :) I've babbled enough so now on to a status.

The conversion is actually underway! I'm excited. I had hoped to test fit the motor last night but couldn't quite do it. I am close though. This picture shows where I'm at for now.

LS4FirewallMods.jpg

My current goal is to get the engine positioned and the mounts fabricated and installed. Next weekend is going to be extremely busy (moving mother-in-law) but I hope to find a few hours to play. I'll post again as progress is made.

Scott


RMO 699F
Mike Maloney
SW Ohio
(455 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2007 12:28PM

Main British Car:
MGB Sebring GT, Arkley Spriget, Lotus 7 Stalker 3.9 Rover, 1275cc, 3.4 V6

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: RMO 699F
Date: October 22, 2013 11:09PM

Scott, looking good! Keep the updates coming!!


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5342 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 23, 2013 10:21AM

Interesting to notice that the firewall trimming does not impinge on the foot area, sort of an important consideration. Looks like the throttle cable is unaffected as well from what I can see.

Jim


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(603 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: October 23, 2013 01:57PM

Why don't you start a project journal?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2013 01:57PM by Jim Stabe.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 23, 2013 06:26PM

Quote:
Interesting to notice that the firewall trimming does not impinge on the foot area, sort of an important consideration. Looks like the throttle cable is unaffected as well from what I can see.

Jim,
So far so good. I traced the rear of the engine on some foam cored wall board and I'm using that as my pattern. There is an area down low, marked on the picture below that I think I'm going to have to remove for the starter mount. It's only about a 1/2" of floor there right up against the frame rail. We'll see. I'm really anxious to start fitting the motor as you can imagine.

LS4FirewallMods.jpg

It's the little green thing on the left.

Scott


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 23, 2013 06:47PM

Quote:
Why don't you start a project journal?

That's a really good question, Jim. I gave it a lot of thought and decided I liked giving everyone the opportunity to ask questions or add comments and keep everything all in one thread. The alternative is to have the journal and then a second thread for the latter. This site seems to attract mostly fellow hobbyist so it's more of a mature (I don't mean old), technical, respectful and open audience. I'm not sure if you followed the LS4 thread in the drivetrain section but that approach worked out really well there and I expect it will in this thread too. Now if this were the other, inferior site, it would be an entirely different situation. I won't rant but I would never do a build thread there. :)

Scott


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1802 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 23, 2013 07:01PM

Scott, Did you have to notch the 2.2 bellhousing for starter nose clearance? The Ls4 being a little wider than the Rover V8, blockhugger headers might work through the fender RV8 style. I think the updated shielded oil relief valve is the fix for the oil consumption. The 42lb relief valve would be good if not using the DOD. Project looks good!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2013 07:06PM by mgb260.



Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 24, 2013 05:58PM

Quote:
Did you have to notch the 2.2 bellhousing for starter nose clearance? The Ls4 being a little wider than the Rover V8, blockhugger headers might work through the fender RV8 style.

Jim,

Yes, I will have to notch the bellhousing. I'm going to wait until I get the clutch here. I still need to measure how far the input shaft goes into the crank and sort that out too...in good time. Right now I'm concentrating on getting the engine installed. As soon as that is done it will be on to the manifolds/headers.

Scott


mgbreis
Ryan Reis
Beatrice, NE
(199 posts)

Registered:
07/16/2008 11:07AM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: mgbreis
Date: October 28, 2013 12:08PM

Interesting, looks like almost exactly the same firewall cuts I made for a sbf. It seems like the shift in popularity from Rover swaps to Ford swaps started about 10 years ago, I think we might be seeing a shift from Ford to LS in the near future. I'm enjoying following along, Scott!


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 29, 2013 08:11PM

I didn't have a lot of time this past weekend but I managed to find a few hours to do an initial fitting of the engine. Although it's still early in the process, I was very pleased with what I found. Obviously, nothing is in it's final position in any of the pictures that follow. Another few hours will be needed to get there. First, some pictures of fitting the motor will be shown, then the current state of the engine bay modifications. It will take a few posts to get everything uploaded.

This first picture gives a general view a few feet away from the car.

LS4Engine1.jpg

This next one illustrates one of the two main reasons I decided to go with the LS4.

LS4Engine2.jpg

You can see the harmonic balancer fits behind the rack. I thought there was a good chance it would. The only modifications to the firewall at this point are those detailed in the one of the previous posts above. It just fits and I'll need to find another 3/16" to 1/4" or so on the firewall so the motor can be tilted the required 3 degrees. I also want to give myself enough room between the rack and the balancer to slip a belt on, just in case. Still a long way to go here. Oh, the other reason I went with the LS4 is the small bellhousing.

The next series of pictures show the sides of the engine/engine compartment just for reference. It's hard to see on a photo but there is more room on the sides than I would have thought.

LS4DriverSideUp.jpg

LS4DriverSideDown.jpg


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 29, 2013 08:20PM

LS4PassSideUp.jpg

LS4PassSideDown.jpg

I did have to notch the crossmember. The front of the oil pan kept the motor about an inch higher than desired. One of the main requirements of this build is absolultely no hood modifications.

LS4CrossMemberNotch.jpg

Here is the current state of the firewall mods. Essentially no changes...I did tweak the left side a little.

LS4CurrentFirewallMods.jpg

This does it for now. It was really exciting for me to see the motor in the car.


RMO 699F
Mike Maloney
SW Ohio
(455 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2007 12:28PM

Main British Car:
MGB Sebring GT, Arkley Spriget, Lotus 7 Stalker 3.9 Rover, 1275cc, 3.4 V6

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: RMO 699F
Date: October 29, 2013 09:32PM

Great progress Scott, keep the updates coming!


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1802 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 29, 2013 09:36PM

Scott, COOL!


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Cypress, TX
(2376 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: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: rficalora
Date: October 30, 2013 12:44AM

Great work Scott. Could you tell if the steering shaft will work to the stock location or will you need to reroute it with an extra U-joint or two?

Just read that the LS4 was made for FWD applications. What bell housings work with it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/30/2013 12:52AM by rficalora.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5342 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 30, 2013 11:51AM

Very good work. So far it doesn't appear there is any reason for concern. A bit tight where the steering goes through the firewall. What do you have in mind for headers?

Jim



mgbreis
Ryan Reis
Beatrice, NE
(199 posts)

Registered:
07/16/2008 11:07AM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: mgbreis
Date: October 30, 2013 02:41PM

I bet you could cut up a set of these and make some LS/RV8 headers pretty easily.

[www.speedwaymotors.com]


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1802 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 30, 2013 03:40PM

Ryan, the LS motor is wider than the Rover or Ford. I'm thinking they will work as is, with the hole in the fenderwell lower. Probably right over the frame piece.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 30, 2013 07:32PM

Everyone, thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

Jim B., Ryan, Jim N.: I'm going to be fabricating my own set of headers but I appreciate the suggestions.

Rob, Jim B.: The steering seems to be ok as far as interference with the block. What isn't clear at this time is where the two rear exhaust ports will end up when the engine is positioned properly. This picture gives a little more detail on what is going on back there.

LS4PassSideCloser.jpg

If one of the ports ends up opposite the shaft then I'll have to get another u-joint and re-position things. The odds here favor having to modify the steering, I believe, and it will probably make things easier in the long run too. We will see.

Rob: Here is a picture of the bellhousing I'm using. It's the same one I used on my V6. It's the small GM bellhousing pattern.

http://forum.britishv8.org/file.php?6,file=13599,in_body_attachment=1

Just about any of the many RWD bell housings with this pattern will work. I'm using a Ford T5 so that pattern probably looks familiar to you. It fits the B transmission tunnel very well. I'll have some additional pictures in the not too distant future...I hope. :)


jim0899
James Willenbrink
Florence, KY
(59 posts)

Registered:
10/05/2010 04:46PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB Chevrolet 327

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: jim0899
Date: October 30, 2013 07:45PM

Looks good Scott, I'll be following this project, great way to show your progress and get feedback. I have a small block Chevy installed, gathering parts for my LS conversion.
small IMG_1543.jpg


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(495 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4 V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 30, 2013 08:49PM

Quote:
Looks good Scott, I'll be following this project, great way to show your progress and get feedback. I have a small block Chevy installed, gathering parts for my LS conversion.

Glad you're here Jim. You're the 4th Jim who has posted in this thread!

I hope you post more about your project. Very interested in your approach.

Scott
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