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
(5812 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: January 05, 2014 11:41AM

Thanks Bill, you're so kind. ;0

Jim


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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 06, 2014 10:24AM

Made more progress yesterday. I modified the engine side mounts to fit inside the gussets I'll be adding to the frame side mounts and drilled them for the through mount bolts. Still need to complete the transmission mount and add the gussets to the frame mounts. Inching my way there.

Again, I appreciate all the great comments/feedback!

Scott


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3748 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 08, 2014 09:09PM

Quote:
Jim's car has by far the widest tires (and hence the largest expected cornering forces) of any of the converted MGBs

Well, hopefully his new tires will be stickier than those old hard shoes he's been sliding around on.

I usually find it hard to argue with Larry, but............. we really need a good Skidpad Competition! ;)


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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 13, 2014 08:24AM

Although it isn't obvious in the picture below, the motor is actually bolted into the car finally!

LS4BoltedIn.JPG

So the engine is exactly where it will live now. Here are some pictures of an engine mount and the transmission cross member in place.

LS4MotorMtBolted.JPG

LS4TransMount.JPG

I decided to wait on the mount gussets we discussed earlier until I'm sure the steering is where it will ultimately live and that won't happen until the manifolds/headers are built. So those will be next. Here are the initial cut outs for the exhaust.

LS4ExhaustCutOuts.JPG

I'll go into more detail on what I have in mind for those in my next post.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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, 2014 08:33PM

Unfortunately, it was a little too cold this weekend to work out in the garage so I went to plan B. I've been reserving/planning some of the tasks that can be done inside just in case. I worked on the throttle body, cleaning it up a bit and flipped the throttle shaft lever around for a RWD application. It's originally from a 2000+ Northstar. Here's a picture of it.

LS4NSThrottleBody.JPG

I also worked on the wiring harness a little. I'm 3/4 done with removing unneeded wires and adding missing wires. This is a little out of sequence and I'll add more about it later..oh well. I'm using the very common "0411" PCM which I got off of a 4.3 S-10 in the junkyard...also got the wiring harness from the same vehicle. Of course I need to get the correct code for an LS motor flashed onto the PCM as the 4.3 code won't do at all. I've communicated with Sinister Performance about getting that done when I'm ready. The guy really seems to know what he's doing. Anyway, the wiring varies on this PCM from application to application so adjustments are needed. It's actually pretty easy to remove add wires from the PCM plugs. Here's a picture of removing a wire.

LS40411Plug.JPG

This view is with the retainer's removed from the plug. Once you get them off you simply push the wire up and it pushes the connector out of the plug...no special tools required. To add a wire you push the wire down into the plug, through the seal and then carefully spread the plastic retainer a little to allow the connector to seat. There are two plugs, one has blue retainers the other red. Each plug has 80 slots for a total of 160. The nice thing is they all are numbered as you can see from this next shot.

LS40411Numbers.JPG

This is the current status of the harness. :)

LS40411WiringMess.JPG

It actually isn't nearly as bad as it looks. All the wires are numbered and there are plenty of wiring diagrams around to help with the harness construction. I need to finish going through one more row adding/removing where needed and then I'm going to label the wires and then I can start assembling the harness. It is time consuming. I've got about 2.5 hrs. into it so far

It's supposed to warm up a little so I hope to get out in the garage tomorrow and start the headers/exhaust.


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(720 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: January 19, 2014 08:58PM

Looking at your last picture - I feel your pain

Wiring(1).JPG

Wiring(2).JPG


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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 20, 2014 08:01PM

Quote:
Looking at your last picture - I feel your pain

:-) believe it or not I actually enjoy wiring...not sure I'd want ro do it for a living though.



BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5812 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: January 21, 2014 02:09PM

> :-) believe it or not I actually enjoy wiring...not sure I'd want ro do it for a living though.

...yeah, that's sorta how it starts out. Then it begins to slide downhill. Do enough of it and you *can* learn to hate it, just takes practice.

Jim


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1978 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 21, 2014 02:50PM

You guys are scaring people with those wireballs! LOL They are all going to go back to carbs now!


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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, 2014 07:57PM

Didn't get out to the garage again this weekend...it seems to be getting colder rather than warmer...oh yeah, it is winter isn't it. :) So I worked down in the basement again on the wiring harness and my radiator. This first picture shows things a bit more organized than the last picture I published.

LS4BeginngHarness.jpg

All the unneeded wires are removed and 99% of the remaining are labeled. As you can see they are bundled into the beginnings of a stand alone harness. It's to the point that I can start assembly of the harness as soon as I get some measurements off the car. It will be very short as I'm going to mount the PCM under the dash on the passenger side.

An LS motor requires a radiator with a 1 1/4" inlet and a 1 1/2" outlet as well as a port for the steam vent tube. My radiator had 1 1/4" inlets/outlets and no allowance for a steam tube so it had to be modified. The first picture shows the installation of the steam vent port.

LS4SteamVentTube.jpg

A member here sold me a pair of 1 1/2" fittings one of which worked out perfectly. This next picture shows how the 1 1/2" outlet was added.

LS2RadiatorOutletMod.jpg

Here is the completed radiator. Still needs to be pressure tested. It wasn't very difficult to do at all...very pleased with the way it turned out.

LS4CompletedRadiator.jpg

Bit by bit it's getting there.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1978 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 27, 2014 06:52AM

Looks good Scott! What was the original application for the radiator?


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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 27, 2014 07:50AM

Quote:
What was the original application for the radiator?

Jim, not 100% sure but I suspect it's a 6 cylinder Ford Mustang radiator. I got it essentially new off of Craigslist from a guy cleaning out his garage. Paid $20.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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: February 02, 2014 07:12PM

Finally got out to the garage and got started on the headers/manifolds. Here are a few preliminary pictures showing what I have in mind. I have about 5 hrs. into them so far. Keep in mind I am very slow.

LS4InitialHeader2.JPG

LS4InitialHeader3.JPG

Obviously I have a ways to go. This is where I ended up at the end of the day today. I'll document my progress as it is made. I am under no illusions that these are anything more than a way to route the exhaust gases out of the engine and into the exhaust pipes. These should get me going however. I'll revisit the headers in phase 2 a couple of years down the road.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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: February 09, 2014 08:02PM

More work on the manifolds. I don't believe I mentioned this but I'm using 1 5/8" pipe running into 2" exhaust pipe...not far from what the factory used for this motor. I've got the driver's side fabricated and tacked together pretty much, just need to finish welding everything up on it. Here are a few pictures.

LS4Manifold1.JPG

LS4Manifold2.JPG

Not my best work but I'm trying to get them done quickly and make sure they don't leak. To make what you might describe as a collector I did the following, sorry I didn't get a picture before welding. I'll try to remember when I do the passenger side.

LS4Collector.jpg

What I did was cut down the vertical line, there is another one 180 degrees behind the visible line. Then mostly cut the horizontal line, leaving a small section on each side and spread the two half's to fit onto the manifold. Hope this makes some sense.

I'm actually moving pretty quickly compared to when I built my V6 equal length headers. Those took pretty much the whole winter/spring season (Jan-May) to build and I still ended up rushing at the end to get the car on the road for the V8 meet. Funny thing was that particular year my HTOB gave out just before the meet so I ended up missing it anyway...very frustrating.

This might be a good time to review where things stand. I'm making good progress but I'm not where I hoped to be at this point in time. (Are things ever on schedule in this hobby? :-) ) My goal is still to make Colorado Springs but I'm not going become a slave to a schedule. I actually really enjoy the process...love to work with my hands. Once you add a hard completion date to the mix it suddenly stops being fun...been there, done that. So whatever time is takes is what it will take and we will see where we are at the beginning of July.

So here are the major tasks that remain:
1. Finish the manifolds/exhaust
2. Complete the wiring
3. Put the firewall/cross member back together
4. Address the front accessories (water pump, alternator and pulleys)
5. Replace the fuel pump with a unit that will run an LS motor
6. Prepare the motor:
     a. Replace the timing cover
     b. Replace both front and rear crank seals
     c. Check the bellhousing run-out
     d. Measure for and mount the clutch
I'm sure I'm forgetting something but these should cover the major things that are left. Lots of little details, of course. It might not sound like it but I'm very happy where things stand and I haven't run into any show stopper's to this point. Let me know if you have any questions.

Scott


74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(1150 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6 / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: LS4 Into an MGB
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: February 09, 2014 11:16PM

Scott,

Good progress. Is it possible for you to at least run 2 1/2" off the collector back to the back? These engines respond well letting the air out. Just a thought!

My headers are 1 5/8" primaries going to 2 1/2" at the collector (it is choking my exhaust airflow). The more I read I should be at 1 3/4" primaries minimum to 1 7/8" and then running 3" on out at the collector. These LSX engines want to breathe

I'm going to run 1 3/4" on Brenda's GT and try going bigger on the way out half way down underneath the car to help the engine have better exhaust airflow. It is a Bummer because I bought everything in 2 1/2" except the mufflers. So my thought was to use the 3" oval pipe going into a 3" muffler after an X pipe for clearance.

Also, I have now 2 Ls6 intakes, 28lbs stock injectors and TB, oh I think you are fly by wire right...Hmm that is 58 tooth wheel on the crank instead of 24 . You might want the LS6 intake, It would do wonders for your engine.

Here is some very cool information about a swap that uses the same engine as you. It has some awesome fabrication going on.
An 88 Fiero (sp) LS4 swap [ls1tech.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2014 11:32PM by 74ls1tr6.



Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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: February 10, 2014 01:23PM

Calvin,

Thanks for the feedback! I'll answer below:
Quote:
Is it possible for you to at least run 2 1/2" off the collector back to the back? These engines respond well letting the air out. Just a thought!

Yeah, I know this isn't optimal. I have an existing exhaust which is 2" pipe going into a Y and then to 2 1/4" out the back. I'm going to keep that for now just to make things easy. Down the road I'll want to build a serious exhaust, probably dual.
Quote:
Also, I have now 2 Ls6 intakes, 28lbs stock injectors and TB, oh I think you are fly by wire right...Hmm that is 58 tooth wheel on the crank instead of 24 . You might want the LS6 intake, It would do wonders for your engine.

Absolutely will be replacing the intake down the road. To make things easy and to get the car on the road I'll be sticking with the stock intake for now. I have a 24 tooth wheel on the crank (black crank sensor).
Quote:
Here is some very cool information about a swap that uses the same engine as you. It has some awesome fabrication going on.
An 88 Fiero (sp) LS4 swap [ls1tech.com]

I followed this build over the past couple of years. Lots of good information. Really admired his fabrication skills too. Also like the power he's getting out of the LS4. :)

Anxiously waiting to see photos of Brenda's B!

Take care

Scott


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1978 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: February 10, 2014 04:32PM

Scott, Headers look nice! Kind of a Tri-Y design. Later on you can replicate with bigger pipes. Are you going to have them coated (Jet Hot) to help relieve the heat a bit. Good work!


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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: February 10, 2014 07:15PM

Quote:
Are you going to have them coated (Jet Hot) to help relieve the heat a bit.

Jim,
Thanks.

No plans to coat them at this time.

I've got some family things coming up so there won't be much progress over the next couple of weeks I don't think. :(

Take care

Scott


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3748 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: February 14, 2014 11:56AM

Hmm, consider it Scott.

Coated heaters in an MGB go a long way toward helping prevent overheating.


Scott68B
Scott Costanzo
Columbus, Ohio
(541 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: February 18, 2014 09:57PM

Quote:
Hmm, consider it Scott.

Coated heaters in an MGB go a long way toward helping prevent overheating.

Carl and/or anyone, can you go into the specifics on how this would help? I can see if you aren't moving and your fan isn't running that having more heat in the engine bay might cause the engine temperature to rise faster. I don't see much advantage if you're going down the road or if your fan is running though.

Seems like the money could be better spent elsewhere.
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