MG Sports Cars

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

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Allen Bachelder

(1 posts)

05/31/2015 01:17AM

Main British Car:
'57 MG ZB Magnette, '65 MGB, '69 MGC/GT, '73 MGB/G ZB Magnette has MG 18GB bored to 1860 cc

Introduction and questions about MGB V8 conversions...
Posted by: bachldrs
Date: May 31, 2015 01:57AM

Hi all,

I've been an MG NUT for 31 years and a lot of cars have passed through my yard or shop in that time. Favorite current cars include a '57 ZBV saloon with 5-main 1800, Rivergate/Nissan 5-speed and 3.9 rear end. Not a hot rod, but with A/C it cruises all day at 75 mph without breaking a sweat, leaving passengers in total comfort. Next is a '60 MGA 1600 project car (possible V8 candidate?), a '65 pull-handle B project, a '69 C/GT drivable project, and a '73 B/GT - currently my daily driver. I've owned it for 29 years, but it now has a cracked head (I drive it anyway!). A friend just GAVE me an '86 Range Rover 3.5 Liter engine, and I own SD1 and Ford T5-world class transmissions that might serve. I could put it in the A, or the '73 B/GT - or I have located a 74.5 RB B/GT that is close by, needs some rust repair (not new to me), and mine for $2000/ BO. I know the mods needed in early RB cars, but like the idea of the structural rigidity provided by a GT, and the idea of cloning a factory GT - sort-of. I'm not going to go wild with the V8, I just want the low-rpm torque and high-speed cruising. Oh yes, I also have an MGC 3.7 rear end converted to 3.07 ready to go. Unless somebody convinces me that this is easy in an MGA, my options are the '73 B/GT or the proposed purchase of the 74.5 B/GT - requiring the sale of something I already have - probably the C/GT. I'm not considering convertng the '65 B - the body is done and I just don't want to carve it up.

I'm vaguely aware of the additional problems of converting chrome-bumpered cars such as my '73 B/GT, but I could be talked into it. To replace the head with what I want would cost me $1200 to start with. Given the 29 years I've owned it, I'm inclined to keep it, but is it a good host for a 3.5 L V8?

Any/all suggestions very welcome! MGA, '73 B/GT, or buy 74.5 B/GT? Transmission? (they all require rebuilding).

Many thanks!

Rick Ingram
Central Illinois
(1482 posts)

10/17/2007 09:36PM

Main British Car:
1974.5 MGB/GT 3.9l Rover

authors avatar
Re: Introduction and questions about MGB V8 conversions...
Posted by: mowog1
Date: May 31, 2015 04:14AM

Welcome, Allen!

BritishV8 2015 is *practically* in your back yard this year (Indianapolis)....I urge you to come down and join us.

You can ask many, many questions....ride/drive numerous conversions...

Think about it!

Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5854 posts)

10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Introduction and questions about MGB V8 conversions...
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: May 31, 2015 10:58AM

Allen, the structural rigidity of the MGB tub is not much of a concern whether GT or Roadster. Those cars were noticeably overbuilt and we have many owners with upwards or 300 hp now in convertibles and no evidence of structural problems. So unless you are looking for extreme power (unlikely with a 3.5) I don't think it will be a concern. You might as well go with what you'd like to have the most.

The same really applies to CB vs RB. The BOPR is not a drop-in with the CB but many owners have said they would just as soon do the engine bay mods to the CB as do the body and suspension mods to the RB. That decision really depends more on how you want the car to look. At least in the engine bay, touch-up is less critical. I've done a couple of CB cars myself and it really isn't bad at all. There are of course about a dozen different ways to do it so making the decision on engine position may be the hardest part.

I can't address converting the MGA except that I understand it's a lot easier to fit a V6-60 due to the goal post issue.


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