MG Sports Cars

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

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Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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: September 24, 2015 08:59PM

Quote:
Scott, Does the starter work good? How about the clutch?

Good questions Jim. So it will probably fall off the car tomorrow now that I say this but the starter has been working flawlessly so far. It's quiet in operation and the pattern on the starter gear looks typical to other starter gears I've seen. I'm not foolish enough to declare it a success at this point though. Dale Knapke and I were discussing it at the V8 Meet earlier this year. I think success will be measured in years not months. The question still remains, did I design it to be rigid and unmovable enough to last for a number of years? I should be at the Fall Gathering a week from today with my car. Maybe other members in attendance will chime in on how they think it sounds to get an unbiased opinion.

I guess I really haven't mentioned the clutch too much. As some of you may recall, it's a metallic 6 puck disc. It took at least 500 miles to break it in. It wasn't broken in at the time of the V8 meet and was one of the reasons I didn't want others driving it. It's completely broken in now and grips really well. No problems I'm aware of at the moment. I have an adjustable McLeod throw-out bearing on it. It currently is at the longest setting so the pressure point is a bit high. The next time I pull the transmission I'm going to put it at the middle setting to bring the pressure point down a bit. While I'm on the subject of the clutch I'll mention that when I was discussing what I needed with Ram Clutches, I told them I wanted it spec'd for 400 ft. lbs. and that I would be doing at least an annual autocross and an occasional track day. I don't think I mentioned that before.

I'm looking forward to getting it out on the road next week. Should be close to a 1000 miles before all is said and done. I've been doing a lot of small things to get it ready. I'm going to get it off the ground and crawl under it this weekend to give things a final check and then give it a bath.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3181 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: October 09, 2015 11:10AM

Quote:
Currently the throttle pedal is at about the same height as the brake pedal and I like it lower than the brake by 3/4" to 1".

http://www.mgexp.com/phile/71/203835/Paddy_Hopkirk_Throttle_Pedal_NOS_Front_View.JPG

[www.mossmotors.com]


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1751 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 09, 2015 12:12PM

Scott, Thanks. I was wondering if you added a brace from your starter adapter plate to the oil pan rail. On the clutch, I was worried about starting out and having to slip it quite a bit because of the solid hub. The separate pucks probably help in that respect.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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 13, 2015 08:23PM

Thanks for the link Carl, looks like a nice pedal. This is what I'm currently working with.

IMG_0221.JPG

I'm still not totally happy with it and I'm going to revisit it this fall. Need to tweak it a bit.

Quote:
Scott, Thanks. I was wondering if you added a brace from your starter adapter plate to the oil pan rail. On the clutch, I was worried about starting out and having to slip it quite a bit because of the solid hub. The separate pucks probably help in that respect.

Jim, yes, I've always had a brace to the oil pan rail. I believe it's a must have.

IMG_0215.JPG

Believe it or not, the clutch is very civilized. Much more than I thought it would be. I got caught in a back-up on I75 on the way to Townsend a few weeks ago....no issues at all. I'm very happy with it. At some point other people will drive the car (like Carl) and they can give an unbiased opinion.

So I guess I give a little update. Townsend was a lot of fun. I have about 1800 miles on the "new" motor now. I did have an incident where one of my belts got shredded. I was giving Kelly Stevenson a ride and we didn't get very far. I punched it in second and the belt let go. I was getting pretty good wheel hop at the time. It was the inside drive belt and I originally thought it was caused by the wobbly harmonic balancer and that may have been a contributing factor. I'm now thinking that the belt was rubbing against the "frame rail". It's close and I ground a slot into the flange to gain clearance. That was before I adjusted the belt pulleys by moving the whole thing forward a few mm. I didn't think to widen the slot a little more to account for that. So if this theory is correct the belt would have hit on a sharp edge and that could have caused it to come apart. I pulled things apart yesterday and corrected that issue. One thing for certain, I need to replace that harmonic balancer. It's off at least an 1/8"...pretty bad wobble. I had a bunch of people helping to put the car back together in the hotel parking lot. Believe it or not it was pretty fun. Did anyone get any pictures of the event? I didn't think to get one at the time.

The other issue I encountered was a periodic hiccup when going up hill with a light throttle. That's the best way to describe it. It's almost like taking your foot off the throttle for a split second. You can go 10 miles and nothing will happen and then suddenly it will happen. We talked about it in Townsend a little and I was thinking that it might be in the tune. So on the way home I got to wondering if it could be the MAF sensor? I picked up some MAF cleaner and sprayed the thing out pretty good. Took it out on the highway and had to go nearly twenty miles before getting it to hiccup again but it did hiccup so the cleaning thing didn't work. When I got the car back home I hooked my laptop up to check for codes and sure enough, I had 4 codes set. The two knock sensor codes and then one for the MAF and one for the cam sensor. When the belt came apart it caught the cam sensor plug and pulled it out of the sensor. Anyway, I think my next step will be to replace the MAF and go from there.

It might not sound like it given the above issues but I'm starting to get good confidence in the car and will be anxious to get it out on the road next year.

My list of winter fixes/updates is starting to get more clear now.

o New harmonic balancer
o Resolve the knock sensor codes
o Volvo fan install
o Fuel pump update
o Coil over shocks on the front end (I've got terrible bump steer that I'm attributing to the original sagging coil springs)
o Strengthening the front rear spring mounts.
o Add factory GM cruise control

This is a fluid list but I'm going to concentrate on the first 5 things and see where I end up. I'll update the thread as progress is made.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3181 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: October 14, 2015 11:45AM

I see, by lower you meant closer to the firewall. I was thinking of that little square pedal like on my dad's '63.

I took 1.5" out of the rod on the back of my pedal. The late pedal is way too close to the driver.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Cypress, TX
(2336 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 14, 2015 08:00PM

The late pedal is way too close to the driver.

Amen to that. I've modified mine some and am going to move it even further forward.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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 22, 2016 11:55AM

I've been meaning to do an update for quite a while but work, family and life seem to get in the way sometimes. I am working on the car when I can though. I'm repeating myself but my goal this winter is to move the car off the "rough" list and onto the "reliable" list. Basically that means going back and addressing issues that I ignored while getting the car on the road last summer. Before I get into the status of the project I wanted to post a current picture of the engine bay. I realized I never did post one. This was taken right after the Fall Gathering so it is a little dirty.

IMG_0222.JPG

On a semi related issue, I also did a little dumpster diving. I noticed that my neighbor was throwing out a bunch of insulation so I grabbed it to use on the garage walls. I'm ashamed to admit it but I've been in my house for over 18 years and never bothered to insulate the garage. I spent a couple of weeks putting the insulation up and it has made a pretty big difference. Should have done it years ago.

garage.jpg

So one thing I haven't had the chance to explore yet was my wideband O2 sensor. Just before I pulled the car off the road I temporarily installed a gauge just to ensure the sensor worked and to get an idea of what was going on with the FI. It actually worked but it was reading lean, even sitting there idling. Investigating that was put on the winter list. As I pulled the exhaust off the car it was obvious I had some leaking going on. Both flanges that connect the down pipes to the rest of the exhaust, just before the Y, were leaking badly. I checked the down pipes while I was at it and noticed some pin holes in them as well. I've been doing a bit of welding lately. :)

The other major issue that needs addressed is the bad harmonic balancer. It's putting a lot of stress on the drive belt. Making good progress there as well. This came yesterday.

LS4Pulley.jpg

Don't ask how much I had to pay for this thing. Ridiculous. The front of the engine bay is disassembled and I just need to pull the old pulley off and put this new one on. I'm going to go back and ensure all the pulleys are lined up as I reassemble things and make a few minor changes to improve reliability as well.

Last weekend I put some new motor mount rubber on the car. I'm a cheap b@stard and I bought some Chinese knock-offs of the Berry mounts that Curtis recommended. I wasn't happy with the way they were holding up so I got a couple of the real thing with a higher durometer. Not sure I've learned my lesson yet though. :)

I've mentioned this before but while I've got the radiator out of the car I'm going to tweak the shroud so it covers the whole surface of the cooling fins. I'll post some pictures when I get to that task. I'm also going to do a slight modification to the cross member so my lower radiator hose routing is improved. It doesn't appear that the Volvo fan is going to fit my application. I'm going to keep it around for possible future use though.

I'm still planning on doing the front coil over shocks and the fuel pump as well as strengthening the front rear spring perches and welding some of the seams in the back as well. Time is slipping by quickly though. Can you believe January is coming to a close?

I will periodically update the thread as progress is made. Oh, this is part of the sorting out process so the project is still ongoing from that perspective. That's why I'm still updating this thread as I feel that it gives a more complete view of the project. If anyone has a different view, please bring it up.

Hope everyone who's in the path of the snow storm stays safe!



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3181 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 23, 2016 11:05AM

Don't forget a bit more clearance for changing belts. ;)


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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 24, 2016 09:02AM

Quote:
Don't forget a bit more clearance for changing belts. ;)

For sure Carl!


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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 26, 2016 02:15PM

Thought I'd do another very small update while I had some time, for the very few of you who may have an interest in this kind of stuff. The following picture shows some of the details of the serpentine belt setup I'm using and some of the effects of the bad harmonic balancer.

LS4IdlerPulleyWear.jpg

Both of the idler pulleys you see were new and installed at the same time. Notice how much of the paint was worn off the rear most pulley. There isn't much "give" since the belt isn't very long and that is making things a little worse. The bad balancer probably contributed to the problems I had measuring the offset when trying to line the pulleys up too. Duh. If I get some time I'll measure just how far off the balancer is just for my own information.

This next one shows one of the GAZ shocks I'm going to use with the new upper mount installed.

GAZShockUpdate.jpg

I've been meaning to do this for a few years but didn't get around to it because I thought it was going to be a PITA. It actually wasn't bad at all. Glad it's done.

That's it for now.

Edit: corrected the automatic Android spelling corrector. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2016 02:19PM by Scott68B.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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 08, 2016 08:09PM

Been a little while but progress has been steady. Time is flying by. Seems like it was just Christmas and all of a sudden it's the middle of March! Thought I'd be a bit further along by now so I'm reducing the tasks so I'm not stressed out trying to make the meet. I think I'll stop crying and do my update now! :)

As I've mentioned previously I'm concentrating on cleaning up things I rushed to get done last year to make the car more reliable. I'm tweaking the exhaust to get rid of some pesky leaks. Should have it done by next weekend. I'm also working on the front of the motor. I replaced the harmonic balancer this past weekend. This next series of pictures shows a little of that process and where things currently stand.

IMG_1459.JPG

IMG_1463.JPG

IMG_1467.JPG

These are the only pictures in have at the moment. Carl, you'll notice that I should have an easier time slipping a belt between the balancer and the cross member now. I'm also in the middle of putting captive nuts on the radiator support to inner fender mounts. That turned out to be a PITA but it's almost there. Should make pulling the support/shroud much easier.

I also cleaned up and painted the pulley brackets. Now that I have a straight harmonic balancer I'm going to align all the pulleys for the last time I hope. I should have that done next weekend too with some luck. I'll post more pictures of this stuff as I make more progress.

I'm still planning on doing my fuel pump and some welding at the rear of the car but the coil overs at the front will have to wait yet again. I am going to shim the springs at the front to get my ride height a bit better.

I'm really getting excited for the meet and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3181 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 08, 2016 08:46PM

Awesome, now you won't need me to lay in the water puddle!


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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 23, 2016 06:08PM

Time for another update. Made some good progress I think. Got the exhaust all sealed up.

LS4ExhaustMod.JPG

As you can see, not the greatest looking but it should get the job done. There were two flanges where you see the new welds. No real reason to keep them so they're gone now.

The following picture shows the accessory drive brackets finally cleaned up and painted.

LS4AccessoryDrivePainted.JPG

I'm pleased with the way it looks now. I re-aligned all the pulleys since I now have a straight crank pulley. I did find the alternator was off a little unbelievably (to me anyway) but the pulleys are now lined up and parallel with each other. While I was in there I lengthened the range the front belt adjuster moves just in case it's needed. Carl, now that I have confidence in the accessory drive I invested in some good belts. Hopefully no one will have to lay in a water puddle now! :)

This next picture shows my fan shroud and the small change I made to it.

LS4ShroudMod.jpg

Left is old, right is new. Guess I should explain why it was made that way in the first place. When I first installed the radiator I got a bug up my butt that I wanted to see if I could mount the radiator with the shroud without modifying the stock CB front shelf. I still had my V6 at the time. As you can imagine, it was really tight. So tight that I had to allow for the pinion housing on the rack. The front most bolt was so close there wasn't room for a shroud. That's why the corner is/was missing. I did get it to fit and had it that way at the Texas meet. In the overall scheme of things this is a very minor thing, I know, but it was one of those things I meant to get to last year. I feel better now. :-)

The last item I'll talk about is the fuel pump. I had a plan in place to go with an older GM module and upgrade to a high flow pump that fit into the module. So I started looking around for one to buy when I came across this one.

LS4GTOFuelPump.JPG

The one on the left is a 2004-2006 GTO fuel pump module. In the pictures I saw it looked like it might just fit into the MGB tank so I took a chance and purchased one. The module to the right is the VW Jetta unit that I used for my V6. As you may notice, the GTO unit is almost exactly the the same height. Disregard the two posts that support the rods/springs. They will be cut down. I'm pretty excited about it for a number of reasons. The biggest is it was designed to feed a 400 HP LS2 so it leaves room to grow. Another advantage is it is a "returnless" system which means it uses a single line from the tank to the fuel rail. There is also an upgrade path as several vendors make high flow pumps that fit into this module. One final point that closed the sale for me is it uses an internal venturi pump to keep the surge tank/swirl pot/bucket full of fuel which keeps the pump cool and helps to avoid fuel starvation as you go around corners when the fuel level in the tank gets low. As I mentioned, it will require some modification to be used in the B tank. The small canister you see in the upper assembly (which won't be used) is the fuel pressure regulator. I toyed with trying to incorporate it into the tank but decided to go with an external regulator since it will be much easier. I also need to build an in-tank wire harness. I'll add a lot more details as I start doing this task.

I have about two hours of work left on the front of the engine and the car will be drivable at that point. I'll probably start it since it has been so long but I'm thinking I should jump right to the fuel tank. I'm going to reseal the tank as well. (I have a story about that I will tell) I figure it will take two work sessions to complete it so, based on how bad my estimates usually are, it will probably take 4 sessions. That translates to a month in real time since I only get to work on the car one day a week usually. That puts me very close to the meet. I need to stop writing and get back out to the garage....Townsend is sneaking up on us quickly!!


kstevusa
kelly stevenson
Southern Middle Tennessee
(800 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 09:37AM

Main British Car:
2003 Jaguar XK8 Coupe 4.2L DOHC/ VVT / 6sp. AT

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: kstevusa
Date: March 24, 2016 03:22PM

Great progress Scott. The GM fuel module should be adequate for your needs. The one in my car was from a Malibu V6 and never showed lean on the dyno. All ways showed around 14:1 A/F ratio across the entire band. I was also feeding thru a 5/16 fuel line to 24# injectors. The workmanship is excellent and should serve you well. Hope my ride is reserved? As noted, Time is short :-)


billymgb1000
bill gaulin
harrisville R.I.
(60 posts)

Registered:
11/30/2012 12:31AM

Main British Car:
1974 MGB V8 LS1 5.3

Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: billymgb1000
Date: March 24, 2016 03:34PM

Awesome Scott I am also doing those things that were not really important but I wanted to do anyway, I just welded the seat bolts to the floor under the car so now I have studs that don't move as I put the seats in (love it). Your car is looking great and all the odds and ends your wrapping up you are going to love in the end. good luck brother.



DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1210 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: March 24, 2016 04:09PM

Looking pretty sharp Scott!
If you do mount a remote FPR make sure that it has a return to the tank and does not dead head the pump.
Or your pump life will be very short.
The stock FPR dumps excess fuel back into the thank through the bottom.
If height is the deciding factor why not offset the regulator assy from the pump module?
That way you can use a regulator that you already own and it's matched to your application.

Hope that's of some use.
Cheers
Fred


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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, 2016 06:14PM

Kelly, thanks! You are first on the list and I want to make sure we do it asap. Time has a way of flying by at the meets. They are SO much fun!! Looking forward to seeing you.

Bill, thanks and those little things do make a difference. When is your car going to be on the road again?

Fred, I really value your input. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'll be adding pictures as I get things done but the reason for not using the stock FPR is the difficulty of fitting it in the tank. I won't be using the upper assembly at all. I have a rectangular cover in place at the top of the tank now and I'm going to mount the module to it. It would take a lot of work to modify that upper assembly to fit on the cover. It's hard to describe in words but I will get some pictures to make it more clear after I pull the tank. The FPR I got is a three port unit that has a return port but I don't think I'm going to have any dead head issues. The fuel pump outlet is o-ringed into a manifold which contains an internal filter and the venturi "pump". Part of the pump output is diverted to the venturi assembly which is o-ringed to the bottom of the bucket. So it actually isn't a returnless system in a strict sense as the return is "powering" the venturi which sucks fuel into the bucket if I understand what is going on correctly. It is much better to see pictures of this rather than try to describe it and I'll try to put some up asap. You may be aware of this already but if not, would you still be concerned with a dead head situation?

On a side note I think it's an ingenious setup and I'm a big fan of GM's engineering dept.

Here is a video of the system in action:




DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1210 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: March 24, 2016 06:56PM

I'm not sure that enough of the output is diverted to the venturi pump to be useful Scott.
The other issue is the three port FPR. On most, if the return port is blocked, they no longer have the ability to regulate pressure.
It might be best to mock up the system first and bench test it with a gauge and amp-meter before installing it.

Fred


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(489 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, 2016 07:10PM

Thank you Fred. It's actually not going to be an issue running a return from the FPR. I'm mounting it to the battery box so all I need are a couple of fittings. Everything else is right there. I appreciate the advice!


billymgb1000
bill gaulin
harrisville R.I.
(60 posts)

Registered:
11/30/2012 12:31AM

Main British Car:
1974 MGB V8 LS1 5.3

Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: billymgb1000
Date: March 26, 2016 04:30AM

That's pretty cool scott, my car would have been painted this last week but the weather turned back to winter so I'm hoping the end of next week she'll be painted and then it's just putting her back together. So by the end of april the latest she will be smoking the tires. yeee haaa
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