MG Sports Cars

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

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mstemp
Mike Stemp
Calgary, Canada
(173 posts)

Registered:
11/25/2009 07:18AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB Rover 4.6L

Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: mstemp
Date: March 23, 2017 10:03PM

Scott,

No my Rover 4.6 will have to do. Just thinking of others. We now have Bill Guzman working on the Ecoboost, LS would be another great new option for new conversions. Unlike yourself I am not a pioneer! Congrats on your build.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(485 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: March 24, 2017 10:39AM

Thanks Mike! I really appreciate it. Just an FYI, I built my car for myself, not with the intention of developing a kit. Perhaps I would have done things a little differently? Not sure as I never even considered the possibility. I have zero time to get involved with developing a kit or even just components at this point in my life.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(485 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: April 11, 2017 10:06AM

Thought I'd do a quick update. My car is back on the road and I took it out for a few rides to continue to sort it out. I was pretty pleased overall. Bottom line, the car appears to be running about 10 degrees cooler than it did last year and the Volvo fan takes the heat away much faster than my old fan did. I should mention that I've run the old setup on days that were in the low to mid 90s many times with no issues but I worried about how the cooling system would perform in a traffic jam on days in the high 90s and above. That was the motivation to include the Volvo fan upgrade this winter.

So a few things have changed compared to my old cooling system setup. Obviously,  the biggest change was the addition of the Volvo fan but I made some other changes that may have had an effect as well. As I mentioned earlier, I reinstalled the heater back into the car which required me to add some 90 degree fittings at the water pump in place of the plugs I  installed originally. So in my research to make these changes I discovered a few inconsistencies in what I was doing. I needed a 90 degree thermostat housing that pointed straight down for my application so I got an aftermarket unit that swivels 360 degrees. It specified that a Gen 1 SBC thermostat should be used and that is what I did. Seemed to work ok. What I realized after my research is the machined surface/opening in the water pump on the wall that separates the hot and cool sides within the pump is there for a reason. Duh! You can see it in the pic below.

20170410_154701.jpg

The protrusion you see to the left contains the inlet/outlet from the heater core. This is pretty obvious but for the heater ports in the water pump the hot side comes off the hot side of the pump and the cool side is the return from the heater core. The LS thermostat has a spring loaded valve that covers the machined surface/outlet inside the pump. See picture below.

20170410_154328-884x884.jpg

During warm up the valve comes off the machined surface and allows the hot side to blend with the cool side internally within the pump. Some say it's to keep coolant flowing through the block to avoid pump cavitation. As the engine reaches operating temperature the blending is reduced as the valve closes when the thermostat begins to open and more of the hot coolant is directed to the radiator. The point to this is with the SBC thermostat, it's possible not enough of the hot coolant is going through the radiator which could reduce the efficiency of the system.  I believe I could have had issues if I didn't make changes because with the addition of the heater, even more hot coolant would have been bypassing the radiator as I'm using one of the 4 outlet heater valves. So when the heat is off the coolant is directed back to the cool side of the pump bypassing the heater core. Although my original setup wasn't optimal I think it worked because I had plugs in the heater outlets in the pump. Hope this makes some sense. I had to modify the LS thermostat slightly so it would fit into the thermostat housing but it wasn't a big deal. I attribute my cooler running while going down the road to two things, using the correct LS thermostat, and going from a 12" fan to the 15" Volvo fan which is allowing air to flow through the radiator a little easier since the hole in my shroud is now bigger. FYI,  I usually log during my drives and I'm comparing a log I did last October with the two I did the other day. The weather was very close temperature wise on those two days.

Here is a current picture of the engine bay.

20170410_080437-1612x120911.jpg

You may notice that I finally moved the air filter from behind the radiator into some cooler air. I logged incoming air temperatures in the 160s and above on hot days last summer. This change should help with that. Oh, before anyone mentions it, I know this filter is small and and I hope to go to a larger one before the meet. I would bet it is hurting flow at high RPMs.

I still have to do the seats and further clean up/sorting from my winter tasks. Really looking forward to the meet!


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5260 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: April 11, 2017 10:32AM

Looking good Scott, a proper conversion to be sure. Interesting note on that thermostat. Robertshaw made thermostats that worked in a similar fashion (and still does I expect). I'm most familiar with the one used in the I-H SV series V8 engines, which also closed off a port in the bottom of the housing when it opened.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3168 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: April 11, 2017 11:39AM

Beat me to it, Scott. :)

Looks like you have room for a longer round straight or round tapered air filter. Here the one I believe come with K&N's Air Charger kit for the Impala, Monte Carlo, Grand Prix 5.3L

[www.knfilters.com]

I much prefer the new color of the fan cover/shroud.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(485 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: April 11, 2017 03:25PM

Thanks guys.
Quote:
Beat me to it, Scott. :)

I figured you'd have something to add Carl which is why I tried to beat you to it! 😊

Quote:
I much prefer the new color of the fan cover/shroud.

Yeah, it's all new. I had to move the radiator forward a little to accommodate the Volvo fan so I decided to do it over rather than trying to adapt the original. It's very visible so it has to be right. I applied the lessons I learned from the first time too. I went with semi-gloss rather than satin this time. It's not perfect but I think it looks pretty good.


standard32
Kenny

(2 posts)

Registered:
08/02/2017 02:40PM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: standard32
Date: August 02, 2017 07:11PM

Nice job and thanks for all the documentation

I'm trying to get my head around balancer/crank/timing cover compatibility...

you posted this on page 9..... "I also replaced the timing cover. The main reason I did this was the original LS4 timing cover has the cam sensor positioned 180 degrees from the position of the RWD LS motors. Obviously, the signal from the cam sprocket reluctor will occur at a different time. I did a lot of investigation but couldn't tell if the 0411 looks at a rising edge, falling edge or just an edge and didn't want to take the chance of finding out the LS4 cover doesn't work when everything was together. An added benefit is the water pump fits without having to modify the timing cover. ....

If I'm understanding correctly, you are saying you still retain the original LS4 crank and cam ...but with a RWD timing cover?

If so, which RWD timing cover did you use? Or maybe they are all the same though? (I haven't had any luck finding that info yet).... I worried that the truck timing cover would protrude too far and hit the balancer so that's why I was curious if that's a truck or a shallower version.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2017 07:18PM by standard32.



Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(485 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: August 03, 2017 03:08PM

Hey Kenny,

Thank you!

Quote:
If I'm understanding correctly, you are saying you still retain the original LS4 crank and cam ...but with a RWD timing cover?

If so, which RWD timing cover did you use? Or maybe they are all the same though? (I haven't had any luck finding that info yet).... I worried that the truck timing cover would protrude too far and hit the balancer so that's why I was curious if that's a truck or a shallower version.

Yes, I'm using the original LS4 crank, cam, cam spockets/chain with an "LS2" timing cover. I took the old timing cover off and directly placed the new one on the motor. It was from a car motor I believe. I got it off of a guy on LS1Tech. The dimensions of the new timing cover appear to be the same as the LS4 cover (except for the position of the cam sensor) and it's been on the car for close to 5,000 miles now with no issues. I'm pretty sure the truck covers are the same and will interchange but you should double check that yourself before buying one.

You probably already know this but the original LS1 had the cam sensor at the back of the engine and with the LS2 it was moved to the front and placed in the timing cover. The LS4 is of the same "generation" as the LS2, in regards to the timing cover/position of the cam sensor at least.

Tell us a little about what you intend to put the LS4 into. It's ok if it isn't a British car. :) What computer are you going to use?


standard32
Kenny

(2 posts)

Registered:
08/02/2017 02:40PM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: standard32
Date: August 03, 2017 06:51PM

Thanks. I have a 34 Ford pickup and an LM7 5.3 (from a truck). Like you, I have a very tight physical space to fit it in... I made it worse by making my own front crossmember that sits a couple inches higher than the original (thus lowering the truck a couple inches.) I don't want to cut any more than absolutely necessary on the firewall, so I'm trying to make the engine as compact as possible.

After digging around on the internet, I stumbled on to the front wheel drive LS4 balancer. I just bought one and am anxious to try to put it on. Through cross referencing dimensions for part numbers, I found that the LS4 and LM7 balancer share the same inner diameter and it should fit. But, the LS4 crankshaft is 10mm shorter....meaning the LM7 crank will stick out 10mm further.
I am thinking that, if I'm lucky, and the depth of the balancers is the same where it fits on the crank, I might be able to solve this problem by making a spacer that is clearanced to slide over the crank to allow the bolt to tighten against the balancer.

I will have to do some searching on the timing covers. That is definitely helpful to know that an Ls2 timing cover worked with the LS4.

I am very new to LS stuff. I'm just sort of going at it with the mentality of working my way through it and trying to figure out as I go.
I plan to go with a carb rather than the fuel injection though.

Here are a couple before/after pics where I made tubular crossmembers and how much tighter it is around the balancer now.
34framebefore.jpg
34aresizedcrossmember.jpg
34 resize.jpg


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(485 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: August 03, 2017 07:23PM

Very cool project! Thanks for sharing. I really like your garage too!

I'm quite sure that you'll be OK with the truck timing cover. I'm just cautious with advice because I don't want to lead someone down the wrong path. I didn't take any measurements but the crankshaft was still recessed into the pulley when it was fully seated on the LS4 crank. I'm not sure there was 10mm of space left but at least there was something there.

Keep us informed how this works out for you if you don't mind? I think this will be very useful information.
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