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
(3923 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 31, 2013 10:38AM

Scott, from that last shot it looks like you might be able to extend your rack pinion shaft a couple of inches and clear your exhaust ports by getting the u-joint back into the firewall cone. If you have access to a lathe or someone with one it's pretty easily done, or you could run down here one day and we could do it. Something to keep in mind. The more direct the steering the better. Also since the cone is toast it wouldn't take much to modify that too and there is a little give in the column position.

Jim


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(197 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: October 31, 2013 06:51PM

Quote:
If you have access to a lathe or someone with one it's pretty easily done, or you could run down here one day and we could do it. Something to keep in mind.

Jim,

Thank you for the offer! With some luck, I should have the motor positioned by the end of the weekend. It will answer several questions. I'll keep you informed.

Scott


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(197 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: November 03, 2013 08:23AM

Made some good progress again yesterday but still have a ways to go. I got engine close to where it will ultimately live and was curious about hood clearance. I was very happy with the what I found.

LS4HoodClearance.jpg

The next couple of pictures show what I have in mind for the final layout of the engine bay. Again, it is what I was hoping for when I selected this motor. Of course it isn't done yet so things could change.

LS4EnginePositionDS.jpg

LS4EnginePositionFront.jpg

Further changes to the firewall were needed to get the engine where I wanted it. The most significant change was to the heater shelf. I wasn't really concerned with maintaining the original heater box but I believe I can modify it to fit. This will be a phase 2 task, for phase 1 I'm going to put sheet metal covers in place.

LS4CurrentFirewall11022013.jpg

You can see on the left side that the opening has been enlarged as well. #8 spark plug will be living back there and I need to provide some clearance and access to it. More trimming will be needed there. The right side is pretty much the same although I did do some trimming on the back side to fit the engine. I was running out of time but I mounted the bellhousing on the motor and quickly tried to fit it. The oil pan was hanging up on the crossmember as I was trying to angle it into the engine bay. I will be trimming it a bit more. The next step is to ensure the engine/transmission combination fits properly.

For those of you who might be considering this swap, keep in mind that I'm working with a chrome bumper B and my goals for this conversion are driving engine placement. I know nothing about rubber bumper B's, but I understand that the front crossmember is deeper and the firewall is modified for the Rover V8. It might be possible to fit an LS4 in one with no or minimal modification. It would be interesting to see. I would expect even more options if you're running a Fast Cars crossmember with a chrome or rubber bumper model.

The most interesting news from yesterday's efforts (well, interesting to me at least :) ) is it looks like it may be possible to route the headers without modifying the steering. I don't have any pictures at this point but the u-joint falls between #5 and #7 exhaust ports and the shaft appears to be low enough to allow the header pipe to fit. We will see. #7 spark plug is pretty close to the u-joint and I don't believe the original boot will work so that's another issue on the to do list.

That's it for now.

Scott


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Colorado USA
(3573 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Moderator
Date: November 03, 2013 09:58AM

That certainly is looking good!


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(3923 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: November 03, 2013 10:25AM

Very interesting.

Jim


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1265 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: November 03, 2013 07:53PM

Scott, Looks like time to look at heat/air under the dash.


74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(906 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6/ 73 Spitfire / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 Spitfire/stock 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: November 04, 2013 06:28PM

Hi Scott,

I'm kind of right there where you are at cutting the fire wall out. On the passenger side head, it does sit father back on that side than the driver side. How much room do you have there with what you cut out already? I noticed you cut out some of the center section out. What measurement did you leave yourself from the head to the center section?? So far I just cut straight off that shelf along side where the head goes, but I do have a 71 which may have more room. I did move my radiator all the way up to the cross section up front. I'm using a 24"wide x 19" tall radiator. So I also cut into the frame rail all the way out to the inner fender. Welded a c channel back in to reinforce the area.

Bought a HF plasma cutter....should have had one along time ago!!! Cut for engine clearance and cut for Vintage Air clearance in about an hours worth of work. It would have taken me days to a week to cut out what I did with a mini grinding wheel or Saw's all.

Looking good Scott !!



Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(197 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: November 04, 2013 08:24PM

Hi Calvin,

I was wondering where you were with your B. I'm leaving myself about a 1/4" between the motor and the firewall. I'm cutting the minimum into the firewall and I'm following the contours of the engine which is why part of the heater plenum is still there. Your 71 and my 68 should be exactly the same at the firewall/transmission tunnel. Outside of some touch up I'm done with my trimming except for by the #8 spark plug. What are you doing there?

Sounds like you're making some great progress too. The plasma cutter sounds great...I would have to be careful to not get carried away with it. :)

Say hi to Brenda

Scott


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Cypress, TX
(1911 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: November 04, 2013 08:52PM

RE: Bought a HF plasma cutter....

I told you they are cool. Still wish i hadnt sold mine, but needed the money at the time.

Calvin - are you using an LS4 too?


BMC
Brian Mc Cullough
Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA
(328 posts)

Registered:
10/30/2007 02:27AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB '95 3.4L 'L32' SFI V6, GM V6T5 & 3.42 Limi

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: BMC
Date: November 05, 2013 02:59AM

Further changes to the firewall were needed to get the engine where I wanted it. The most significant change was to the heater shelf. I wasn't really concerned with maintaining the original heater box but I believe I can modify it to fit.


After reading that I wanted to report you to the moderator but then realized he is on your side. Herumph. I guess this is not a Purist site.

On a more serious note, I have been following your progress with great admiration.

Do you have a photo of the pulleys and how much clearance you have between those and the steering rack and if that was at firewall cutout #1 or the second firewall trim? Without seeing the front, I can't quite tell how the rear trimmed out fits into this equation.

Thanks for keeping us post Scott!

-BMC.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(197 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: November 05, 2013 07:44PM

Brian,
I don't have a photo of my current pulley clearance but I'll get plenty once things are in place. For cutout #1 I had just enough room to fit the engine between the firewall and the steering rack. There wasn't enough room to tilt it at that point. The second trimming allowed me to tilt the engine into the proper position. I'm aiming for just enough room between the rack and the front pulley to allow a belt to be slipped through in case it needs replacing so that will be about 3/16" give or take. I also had to allow for the bellhousing at the upper two bolts. The bellhousing is an inch thick in that area not counting the two bolt heads. That is why you see the heater plenum cut out the way it is. I am going to rebuild the plenum when I put the firewall back together so much of what you see missing will be replaced. Hope this answered your question.

Scott


74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(906 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6/ 73 Spitfire / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 Spitfire/stock 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: November 09, 2013 06:27AM

Hi Rob,

No I'm using the ls1. Both the ls4 and ls1 are pretty close in size I believe.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(1805 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: November 09, 2013 07:59AM

The crankshaft is 13mm shorter, but the main thing is the accessories are more compact & driven by a single belt to save space. It's a 5.3L vs 5.7L Comes with LS6 heads, though. Lots of upgrade potential

I'm sure Scott has read this several times. I'll stick it here for future reference:
Quote:
During the research phase, I quickly realized that while 303hp in stock form isnít a slouch, it seemed GM outfitted the LS4 with good heads and compression but with smaller/more restrictive intake and exhaust components than the other RWD LS(x) applications. If it made 303 hp with all these restrictions, I was curious to see what would happen when all these restrictive components are removed/upgraded.
So I spend some time figuring out what was different on the LS4 vs. the RWD LS(x) engines going component by component and compiled the following list of planned performance upgrades:
**LS4 78mm MAF upgraded to 85mm MAF
**LS4 76mm DBW throttle body upgrade to 90mm LS2 DBW throttle body
**LS4 76mm Intake manifold upgraded to 90mm LS2 Intake manifold and matching LS2 fuel rail
**LS4 28lb injectors upgrade to 34lb LS2 injectors (came with the fuel rail)
**LS4 stock camshaft (197/197 .286/.286 @ 114LSA upgraded to a 224/231 .332/.338 @ 113 lsa (some will say this is too bigÖ)
**LS4 stock exhaust manifolds upgraded to LS7 hydro formed exhaust manifolds

These upgrades should do wonders to help the LS4 pump some air and make some power. All these upgrade components except the camshaft were purchased used off LS1tech.com or Ebay to help keep the upgrade costs down, but in total they were still higher than the initial engine purchase.



mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1265 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: November 09, 2013 12:34PM

Yeah, I have a copy of the dyno chart of that build 380HP.
LS4F40Dyno.jpg


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(1805 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: November 09, 2013 04:30PM

[www.gmls4.com]

At the wheels, no less!
Quote:
List of mods:
Car is an 88 Fiero that weighs 2807 lbs.
5.3L LS4 - stock heads and lower end
224/232 New Era DoD camshaft with pushrods/springs
Stock LS2 intake, injectors, Throttle body
Stock LS7 MAF and exhaust manifolds
4" cold air intake
Magnaflow 3" in dual 2.5 out exhaust
2006 Pontiac G6 6 speed manual FWD transmission (F40)
12lb aluminum flywheel
Spec stage 4+ 10" clutch



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2013 04:46PM by MGBV8.



mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1265 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: November 09, 2013 04:52PM

He forgot to mention the heavier valve springs that came in the cam kit. Max power at 7000 RPM! It would be beneficial to advance 4 degrees to move power curve down. Plus if he milled the heads .030 for that extra .5 from 10 to 1 stock it would be over 400HP!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2013 04:56PM by mgb260.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(197 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: November 10, 2013 08:42AM

Yeah, the LS4 has some potential but I should notice a difference going from about 170 hp to the stock 300 hp I would imagine. :)

Made more progress yesterday. The engine/transmission is in the car at the moment. Still need another day or two to finish the fitting phase. It's amazing how fast the day goes. I spent more than 8 hrs. yesterday and it felt like I was at it for only 3 hrs. Here are a couple of pictures that show how the bellhousing is fitting.

LS4bellhousingfit1.jpg

LS4bellhousingfit2.jpg

LS4bellhousingfit3.jpg

This last one was a quick shot at the end of the day showing the transmission is actually in there. It is tight but it does fit.

LS4transincar.jpg

Won't have any time to play with the car next weekend but I'm hoping to get a good start on fabricating the motor mounts Thanksgiving week.

Scott


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1265 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: November 10, 2013 01:01PM

Scott, I don't know what you have decided on for mounts but, for the 4.9 Cadillac I settled on a LS type adapter plate with solid style SBC upper mount(picture shows rubber mount) and Jeep urethane lower.
91618016~1_L.jpg
trd-4214_w.jpg



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2013 01:06PM by mgb260.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(197 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:30AM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GM 5.3 LS4

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: Scott68B
Date: November 11, 2013 10:03AM

Jim,
I'm going with the Barry 22000 mounts per a recommendation by Curtis. Specifically, the 22001-14.

I had an unexpected hour to play yesterday so I worked to position the motor a bit more. You can't tell very well from the picture below but the motor is sitting on some temporary "mounts" at the front and I have the transmission cross member in place and supporting the rear. The only place it is touching the body is at a bolt at the rear of the head on the driver's side that I'm using to hold the chain for the hoist. That, of course, will be removed.

LS4TemporaryMount.jpg

The setback is just where I wanted it and it is tilted back about 3 degrees. I think I'm going to lower it maybe 1/8" from where you see it here. There are many details and I'll do a more complete write-up when I'm sure it is in the final position.


classic conversions
bill guzman

(268 posts)

Registered:
01/09/2008 01:58AM

Main British Car:


Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: classic conversions
Date: November 12, 2013 08:43PM

Is looking good, the only problem I see and it is not a big deal, is the throttle pedal. It is going to be the same issue as the Cobra.

Avoid solid mounts on the aluminum blocks, although the blocks are very strong, a few LS engine mounted solid found themselves with holes in the side of the block at the drag strip seen them.
Use some sort of cushion.

Great work.
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