MG Sports Cars

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

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JN
jim williams

(1 posts)

Registered:
02/17/2011 10:01PM

Main British Car:


MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: JN
Date: August 31, 2014 07:09PM

I bought a 1978 MGB with the idea of doing a Buick engine swap.
I have a V 8 4 bbl Buick located 300.00
A pre 93 Mustang 5 speed on loan
I need to talk in person or on the phone about what I'm getting into.
There is no use starting only to lack the funds to finish.
I don't want a fancy build just old school stock.
Location SE WV.
Thanks


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4404 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: Moderator
Date: August 31, 2014 08:25PM

Welcome to BritishV8.

You're getting into a something very, very rewarding!

What you get from it will be roughly proportional to the effort and passion you put into it.

Now, does fabricating headers sound like a fun and doable project? If so, you're probably in the minority who can get an MGB V8 together for dirt cheap. Perhaps under $2000. Because compared to headers the rest of the exhaust system is easy to fabricate as are homemade motor and transmission mounts. If you don't want to fabricate your own, you can of course buy them - but everything you buy costs money. Watch the BritishV8 classified ad section. Keep an eye on Craigs List, read "Thrifty Nickel" classified ads, and spend time at local junkyards. You might consider modifying your MGB radiator. You'll need to buy a bellhousing and flywheel. You should have a driveshaft custom made and balanced locally. Some upgrades, such as a more favorable rear axle ratio, can wait indefinitely.

Most people don't have those fabrication skills, or tools, or friends who can/will fill in the gaps, or they prefer to spend money to move their project along. So costs add up. You could be looking at five or ten thousand dollars - or even more if you decide you need bodywork. New paint? Chrome bumper conversion? Not to even mention popular chassis and brake upgrades, fancy aftermarket wiring kits, seats and interior upgrades, etc., etc. etc. All told, I'm probably at about $12,000 but I stopped saving receipts a long, long, long time ago - and that's one of the things I'd recommend other people do. (I certainly never counted the hours! I also got a lot through bartering.)

There will be unexpected costs. When you only spend $300 for a fifty year old engine, you should budget some money for putting it right. I got by with an old oil pump for awhile, but I should have used a brand new one from the start. Some people have spent over $3000 rebuilding these cool old engines. Costs vary tremendously, and again a lot comes down to what work you can do for yourself.

Have you been studying our How It Was Done articles?

Where in SE WV? Lovely area! Lewisburg is probably my favorite town in this whole country. I hope to visit again soon.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5657 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 31, 2014 08:48PM

JN, I'm originally from Milton and lived in Lewisburg, Fayetteville, Montgomery and Charleston. You will find driving the MGB on those roads with the V8 is a fantastic experience. Look up the WVBCC in Charleston. Great club. My brother Dan is the Pres.

You didn't say what engine you have. My suggestion is the Buick 300. Even if it is not the '64 with the aluminum heads, since that can be upgraded later and the car will take the weight with no real bad effects. The bellhousing is cheap and flywheels more common. Everything else is very similar. I'd recommend you NOT use the 340 or 350 as they are physically larger. Can be done, but involves a lot of extra work and the 300 can be stroked out to 350 with an OEM crank. The 215 makes a nice swap but could use more torque and costs more to do than the 300. With the '78 if you are willing to use the RV8 style hood you can avoid cutting a hole in the hood also. Or again, upgrade later.

Jim


Brownwood
Keith Montague

(176 posts)

Registered:
01/25/2014 08:08PM

Main British Car:


Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: Brownwood
Date: September 02, 2014 03:42PM

JN, I was a newbie to MGBs about 7 months. I purchased a 1980 MGB and decided to do the 5.0 Ford t5 swap. I believed i could do the build for $10K (not including fresh paint) including the cost of the car. I have limited fabrication skills but good mechanical skills and decent bodywork skills. My project has spiralled out of control and will probably be around $18K when completed, with a $5K paint job.. Having said that, my basic swap, all in, will end up costing about $12K which I think is pretty good considering my goal was $10K. I purchased my headers, used a custom fit MGB V8 radiator and used a $350 V8 swap kit. Using a Mustang radiator and fabbing mounts would have reduced my costs by about $500. A good metal fabricator could probably trim another $500 to $1000.

I do keep a detailed spreadsheet on every cost. I don't recommend that! :)


BOOTLEG
Gary Rosema
Wisconsin
(47 posts)

Registered:
11/18/2013 07:26PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB Rover 3.5L

Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: BOOTLEG
Date: September 23, 2014 07:27AM

JN,

Curtis put it well"...a very rewarding experience".
A year ago I was also in the consideration mode with a '78 B and had found this site which pushed me over the edge. So I bought a 3.5L Rover, a T5 and started a spreadsheet of expected cost by item. It all fits nicely in the car and I can pull it out or put it in 30 minutes now. I will paint the engine bay and order my new wiring harness this week. My front suspension is done. I usually invest 5 hours on weekends only. It has been fun and although I am in no hurry to finish, it is coming in view.


hockeyspokes
John Weisgerber

(2 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2013 03:01PM

Main British Car:


Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: hockeyspokes
Date: October 10, 2014 07:15PM

Hey guys, can a olds 215 be hung on an engine stand without breaking out the bell housing mounts ? Ditto for lifting the engine with a picker and chain mount to the intake manifold studs ?


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3509 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 10, 2014 08:16PM

Yes. You should make sure to tighten the engine to the stand, though. Like so:

[www.teamyikes.com]



britcars
Phil Ossinger
New Brunswick, Canada
(320 posts)

Registered:
02/02/2009 07:58PM

Main British Car:
1977 MGB Roadster, Rover 3.5 ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA!

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: britcars
Date: October 15, 2014 11:13AM

No problem.....I had a Rover 3.5 on a stand for about 6 months. To lift my engine I used a chain attached to bolt holes in the front and rear of the heads.
I've seen many engines lifted using a fixture attached to the carb studs but haven't used one myself.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3509 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 15, 2014 11:22AM

I ran a nylon sling under the intake manifold. Was able to slide it back & forth to adjust engine angle during installation.


mowog1
Rick Ingram
Central Illinois
(1455 posts)

Registered:
10/17/2007 09:36PM

Main British Car:
1974.5 MGB/GT 3.9l Rover

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: mowog1
Date: October 15, 2014 11:33AM

I used the lift attachment that bolts to the intake manifold in place of the carb.

3.9 and T5 remated.jpg


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5657 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 15, 2014 11:13PM

I have one of those (homemade of course). Can't use it anymore though, I quit using carbs.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3509 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: MGB V8 Advice
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 16, 2014 09:40AM

Carbs will make ya fat! ;)


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