MG Sports Cars

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

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Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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: December 22, 2014 01:20PM

Quote:
Cut the middle two tubes, straighten flange, bolt flange to two full length pieces of angle iron, & reweld center tubes. :)

Option #3. Thanks Carl! :) We're talking about less that a 1/16" so I'm hoping the press will get it close enough.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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: January 10, 2015 10:26AM

Have made some progress over the last couple of weeks but the holiday season and a very busy time at work did slow things down a little. I did get the throttle pedal/cable about 90% there and started modifying the transmission tunnel to accommodate the new position of the shifter. The transmission had to move rearward about 1.5" for the LS4 compared to the v6 position I had it in originally. I actually have to work today but hope to get something done on the car tomorrow.

My wife and I visited Artie and his wife during New Year's week and had a fantastic time! Many of you here know Artie. Anyway, a friend of Artie's, Dave, stopped by New Year's Eve afternoon with this:

DaveG8.jpg

Pontiac G8. Dave's a real cool guy. His car has an LS2 that he put headers, a CAI and a tune on. It puts out about 375 HP to the rear wheels. I realized after thinking about it that I had never been in an LS car before so it was a real treat. He took us out on some back roads and I actually got to drive it too! It really moves that big car quite well and sounds great! It was interesting to get a little perspective on what to expect. He's putting out at least a 100 HP more than I will be but my car weighs almost 2000 lbs. less than his. Should be interesting.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3362 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: January 10, 2015 10:35AM

Donor car! :)


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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: January 19, 2015 08:58PM

I thought I would do a quick update. Lots of little things are getting there. No pictures unfortunately but will do several next time I get out to the garage. I mentioned last time that the throttle pedal is just about there. I also have the transmission tunnel mods done except I'm waiting on a rivet nut to arrive to finish it. Today I got the VSS reluctor done and am very happy with the way it turned out. The sensor mount is underway and it should be completed next time.

Almost forgot to mention I managed to get the passenger side header straightened out. Used my press and slowly inched my way there. I also took Jim Stabe's advice and got a set of the manifold gaskets he recommended. They're pretty thick, looking forward to installing them. Need to check the drivers side as well.

As everyone who has done this before knows, all these little things are very time consuming. I spent about 3 hours on the reluctor alone. It's stuff that has to be done. Inch by inch! :)


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1885 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: January 20, 2015 12:09AM

Hey, You're getting there Scott!


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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: January 30, 2015 02:54PM

Thought I would give another small update. Things are still proceeding and progress is being made but the project is at the point where it's hard to notice much change from week to week. There are lots of little details to take care of with each task.The challenge is to keep pushing forward and not let the lack of visible progress make you feel like the project is in the doldrums. I've been doing fairly big projects on the car (nothing like this) during most of the last 10 winters and this is always a challenge for me. Once I start getting some of these small details out of the way more visible things can be completed. Further complicating things is it looks like I won't get my garage time for the next couple of weeks. Too much going on outside of the garage at the moment.Typing it out helps give it some perspective. :)

So, here is some visible progress that has been made. As you'll see, there are still quite a few little details to take care of with this task as well.

LS4ThrottlePedal (1).JPG

This is what I'm doing with my throttle pedal. The angle is kind of bad in this picture but heel and toe should be much easier when this is complete. There is actually quite a bit of adjustment available. I want to make sure the throttle pedal is lower than the brake pedal and as far away from it as possible. The pedal is from a mid-90's Toyota Corolla. The cable is from a 2000+ Cadillac w/Northstar motor. The following pictures show additional details at the throttle body and through the firewall.

LS4ThrottleCable.JPG

LS4ThrottleCablePassThru.JPG

I'm currently working under the car on mounting the VSS to the differential and running my battery kill switch and ground cable. I'm trying to get that completely done before moving on to other tasks. One of the things I can do over the next couple of weeks is some additional detailed planning/thinking about the remaining tasks so I can try to be more efficient and also to avoid forgetting too many things.


BWA


(307 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: BWA
Date: January 30, 2015 05:28PM

Keep pressing forward Scott, progress is progress whether it is incremental or in great surges!!
I am looking at the steep angle the throttle cable makes as it transitions from the end of the sheath over to the throttle cam. I think you should try and make the angle a little less as you will get the cable wearing out from friction.

Cheers
Byron



Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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: January 30, 2015 06:56PM

Quote:
Keep pressing forward Scott, progress is progress whether it is incremental or in great surges!!
I am looking at the steep angle the throttle cable makes as it transitions from the end of the sheath over to the throttle cam. I think you should try and make the angle a little less as you will get the cable wearing out from friction.

Thanks for the feedback Byron. Yes, I plan on heating the cable end with a heat gun and angling the cable housing to lessen the angle a bit. It's too sharp an angle now but not quite as bad as it might appear in the photo,

You're right, every minute spent doing something is one minute closer to finishing. :)


BWA


(307 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: BWA
Date: January 30, 2015 08:30PM

Scott I know you are a busy man with other priorities, when you get time could you please give your audience some instruction the following things:

I am sure that the LS4 engine had a drive by wire throttle body, what throttle body did you go with?

If the original throttle body was drive by wire could not a person stay with drive by wire and use a generic drive by wire gas pedal that you can buy from a hotrod shop? If this is possible could a person reuse the ECU that came with the LS4 and get it to work?

If you using the original ECU with another throttle body that runs off a cable how does one deal with the programming issues related to the drive by wire code in the ECU? Does the programmer just disable this code?

Take your time and give us answers on these issues when you get time. For us your conversion project is the beta version!!

Cheers
Byron


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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: January 31, 2015 11:44AM

Quote:
I am sure that the LS4 engine had a drive by wire throttle body, what throttle body did you go with?

If the original throttle body was drive by wire could not a person stay with drive by wire and use a generic drive by wire gas pedal that you can buy from a hotrod shop? If this is possible could a person reuse the ECU that came with the LS4 and get it to work?

If you using the original ECU with another throttle body that runs off a cable how does one deal with the programming issues related to the drive by wire code in the ECU? Does the programmer just disable this code?

Byron,
Thanks for the interest in the project. I seriously looked into using the original PCM when I was planning this project but decided it wasn't the way to go for a variety of reasons. From what I'm reading, it isn't as simple as getting an off the shelf DBW pedal as you are suggesting. There are several different OEM pedals and in many cases they do not interchange. I'm not sure how an aftermarket pedal would fit into this equation. The usual recommendation is to get the PCM, pedal and TAC box, if needed, with the engine from the same car.

In most cases, it isn't possible to use a DBW PCM in a DBC application. The components used to drive the IAC are usually not included on the circuit boards in DBW PCMs. Hope this answers your questions.

You seem to have a fixation on the original LS4 PCM, what's up with that?


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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 11, 2015 09:22PM

I was reminded this morning that it had been quite a while since I made an update. I was going to wait until I got more pictures of the progress but I thought I'd do a small post now. In looking through the thread, the last two pages don't have very many pictures at all so I'm going to try to add more in the next few posts.

I may not have posted anything in a month and a half but I have been getting things done. As I mentioned earlier, I've been doing small fabrication tasks and other minor things that have taken quite a bit of time but good progress has been make. The VSS mount is done finally. That took longer than anticipated but needed to be done. Also got the firewall modification for the PCM wiring harness pass through done as well. The cover plate for the right hand drive brake/clutch pedal opening was modified to avoid creating another hole in the firewall. The new fuel pump was put into a VW surge tank so it should be very easy to place in the tank. Twist the existing one off and twist the new one on. Since the transmission is an inch and a half further back than it was with the V6 motor, I decided to flip the shifter shaft 180 degrees to make up the difference. Kind of hard to describe but I'll get pictures of it for the next post. It was at the rear most position that I could be comfortable with before the V8 swap so I needed to do something to offset the more rearward V8 position. While I was at it I cleaned up the shifter and lubricated it. I'm sure there is more but I can't think of anything else except for the next item I will discuss but as you can see, most of the stuff is going to be invisible on the completed car. All the fabricated stuff that was mentioned above will need to be painted which is on the top of the list for next weekend.

So I thought I'd share a screw up with you all. Back in the summer I posted about modifying my MG coolant temperature sensor to fit into the LS head. I chucked it into my drill press and used a file to carefully turn it down to the correct diameter and then put some threads on it. You can see it here.

LS4ModdedMGSensor.jpg

I thought I was really cool. It's funny how reality corrects those false impressions pretty quickly. :) So I'm installing it into the head and thought I'd give it one final twist with the wrench for good measure and this happened.

LS4BrokenSensor.jpg

Snapped the f*&ker clean off. It was quite exciting for about a half hour as I put thread sealer on the sensor and I didn't have a big enough easy out to extract it from the head. I had visions of it being stuck in the head with all the fun that would cause. I dropped what I was doing and ran to the hardware store to get a usable easy out and fortunately was able to get what was left of the old sensor out. Obviously this was the wrong approach so I had to go to plan B. The reason I tried this approach was I really didn't want to modify the head to accommodate the MG sensor. I'm trying really hard to do as little modification of things as possible. That approach adds time to the project but so be it. Anyway, what you see in the next few pictures is not an original idea. This was found in a post on the LS1Tech site and looked like a good solution to this problem and was reversible if it didn't work out.

What you're looking at is the driver's side coolant drain plug. It's quite large. It takes a 17MM male hex socket to get it off. The center of the plug was drilled out and tapped for a pipe thread. A hardware store brass fitting was drilled out and tapped for the sensor.

LS4TempSensorMod.jpg

Here it is being test fitted into the block. All that's left is cleaning up the block a little and installing it with thread sealer. Oh, the sensor wire needs to be lengthened a bit and incorporated into the wiring harness on that side of the motor.

LS4TempSensorInstalled.jpg

That pretty much does it for now. This coming weekend, now that the weather appears to be getting better, I'm going to get back to assembling the car so much more visible progress should be made.

Edit: Correct spelling errors



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2015 09:34PM by Scott68B.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3362 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: March 12, 2015 10:34AM

Don't use thread sealer on the entire thread. That sensor will need to ground thru the block, unless you use a two wire sensor.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5518 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: March 12, 2015 10:45AM

Yeah, you know what happens next don't you? Tighten the plug just a little extra twist... ;-)

Seriously though, it's these details that make or break a conversion and that's why the 90/90 rule exists. (90% of the time to do the first 90% and 90% for the last 10%)

You're making great progress Scott. It's going to be a fine conversion.

Jim


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(647 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: March 12, 2015 11:00AM

That 90% rule is SO true. I wanted to get the car pretty much sorted out mechanically before I painted it. Got it running last May and I haven't even started the bodywork yet.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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 12, 2015 06:06PM

Carl, as always, thanks for the advice. I'll make sure I've got a good ground there.

Jim B., thank you, I appreciate it.

Jim S., yeah, I find I have to adjust my thinking with these small tasks. It takes an incredible amount of time to complete them. With the bigger tasks you see more visible results which makes it feel like you're making faster progress. I'm not complaining, garage time is therapeutic for me so it's all good. I'm quite sure I'll be sorting the car for most of the summer if not longer. I'm glad Indy is so close.



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3362 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: March 13, 2015 11:41AM

It was meant as a reminder, Scott. I know you already knew that. :)


Capt'n Moorgone
Mike Moor
Angola,IN
(108 posts)

Registered:
11/20/2008 07:05PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB 300 Buick

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Capt'n Moorgone
Date: March 14, 2015 11:11AM

Scott, Your making great headway! We all know the sorting NEVER ends with these cars!! That is what makes them so satisfying.


MGBGT?
Artie Clark
Huntington Station, New York
(14 posts)

Registered:
05/01/2014 02:14PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB Roadster Rover 3.5L V8

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: MGBGT?
Date: March 14, 2015 03:08PM

Lookin' good Scott!! Do you want me to help you on the car again, say in May? Looking to give you moral & immoral support too.....


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(517 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 16, 2015 10:07AM

Quote:
Scott, Your making great headway! We all know the sorting NEVER ends with these cars!! That is what makes them so satisfying.

Thanks Mike! Yeah, never ending. :-) I do enjoy it!

Quote:
Lookin' good Scott!! Do you want me to help you on the car again, say in May? Looking to give you moral & immoral support too.....


Thanks Artie! Thanks for the offer! As I mentioned before, you're welcome here anytime. I've been looking at what's left and at a high-level it looks like this:

o Finish assembling the engine bay (which includes fabricating the accessory drive at the front of the motor)
o Assemble the interior
o Finish wiring/assembly under the car
o Drop the tank and install the fuel pump

I'm about to make another prediction so it is going to be wrong but I'm thinking that I've got about 6 or so full days of work left to get it to the point of being drivable if nothing unforeseen comes up. That should put me toward the end of April since I only get one day a week to work on the car. I made real good progress this past weekend. There are some big unknowns to get through:

1. What will the PCM tune be like? Will it go into closed loop?
2. Are there any mechanical issues that might require pulling the motor?
3. Who knows what else major might come up?

So if 2 or 3 materialize it may be helpful if you came in. The boss says that the weekend of May 15-16-17 could work. So maybe if you tentatively pencil that date in we can discuss as we get closer?

Take care

Scott


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3362 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: March 16, 2015 11:20AM

Quote:
Looking to give you moral & immoral support too.....

We already have that covered here, Artie! ;)
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