MG Sports Cars

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

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supertweet
Jeff

(11 posts)

Registered:
12/06/2009 11:33PM

Main British Car:


SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: supertweet
Date: June 14, 2015 01:03PM

Good Afternoon,

After several years asking questions and "lurking" on this fabulous site, I've finally convinced the now-fiance a classic 2 door roadster's in our future. However, embarrassingly, I've made extensive modification plans without ever having driven a B.

Would anyone care meeting up, sharing a drive? I have a 996 Porsche I'd happily trade keys with for an hour. For reference, I'm in the City, but the Northbay is fine. A simple park and chat as opposed to a drive would be lovely as well. As it's NBA finals night (Go Dubs!), I understand if today's unfeasible, so any time this week would be amazing.

We've managed expectations I believe, having driven a TR6, being intimately familiar with older 911's, etc. We want an older car specifically for the base, charming crudeness in the experience. However, the potential for usability, non-elitest modification support, and the B's "cute" persona (the Missus' words) have long held our attention. For reference, we've considered TR's, P1800's, the S30 Datsun, a backdated SC 911, W114 Merc's, and so on, yet all have been discarded due to no open top, price, or support. MGB's simply have the most support, flexibility, and features that seem to mesh.

I'm thinking a B roadster with one of the vendor's front and rear suspension setups, a warmed-over LX9 GM V6 backed by a T5, and special attention made to the interior (Extensively rearranged front office, GTS 914 seats, thermal and sound deadening, etc), would prove a livable 4th car with lively performance and a vintage feel, but having no baseline means all the planning is insofar moot. Hope you guys can help.

Many thanks,

Jeff



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2015 10:52PM by supertweet.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3791 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: June 14, 2015 07:47PM

If I weren't all the way across the country I would be happy to oblige! :)


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2637 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: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: June 15, 2015 12:15AM

I'm in SF pretty often, but I fly in so don't have my car. I'm sure there are some out there, but surprisingly, I don't know anyone in the bay area with one.


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: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: June 15, 2015 01:55AM

The only person I know in that area would be Jim Legg (Oldbloke), he lives in Napa.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5833 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: June 15, 2015 10:43AM

If you are seriously considering it, probably the very best thing you could do is come to the BritishV8 summer meet at Indianapolis. It does not matter if you fly in and get a cab to the meet. If you come and talk to the owners, you will have opportunities to drive a number of the cars, (my suggestion would be with the owner as passenger) as well as see first hand the different types of conversions and find out what is involved. For the level of work in the project you describe, you might even consider something like the latest Camaro engine.

Jim


ex-tyke
Graham Creswick
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
(1085 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:17AM

Main British Car:
1976 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: June 15, 2015 12:22PM

Then there is the easy way out - buy a good one already done!
[forum.britishv8.org]


supertweet
Jeff

(11 posts)

Registered:
12/06/2009 11:33PM

Main British Car:


Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: supertweet
Date: June 15, 2015 01:22PM

(Edited several times for sh*tty grammar and rambling; apologies in particular for the rambling).

Many thanks, all; Openmindedness here is one tangential factor that swayed our decision to MGB-town.

-Calvin, I will message Mr. Legg, appreciate keying him. Somewhat serendipitous, as he's using a mild 60 degree V6 as I've planned, yet is running a stoc-ish suspension setup; I can get some inkling whether the former fits my wants character-wise, and get a baseline for upgrade needs with the latter. My thanks, and note that I followed your TR LS build log during the car's creation. A beauty; very well done.

-Rob, when my car's finally finished, you're welcome firing me a message in town, hitting a drive, then grabbing cocktails and a bite. The City/Bay area's an amazing place, and full of characterful classics, yet I've only seen 1, yes, 1 MGB I can recall. It's a Green BGT I've seen running around 580-880 hwys.

-Agreed Jim, hitting a meet best satisfy's my questions. I'd like driving a B in whatever form on familiar roads first, to see what limitations, or rather personal preferences, I want retained or modified. The GM 3.6 cammer, while a "good" engine, has some power band lumpiness I'm not fond of, and the difficulties incorporating the ECM while solving the laggy throttle response is undesirable to me. Tonally, it's also IMO uninspired.

It's been done, but seems a bunch of work for a heavier engine with a higher center of gravity, for power I don't need. Engine-wise, I want snappy response, quick (not necessarily high) revving; a compact unit that's reliable/proven in the overall package, and so far, the 3.5 GM fits the bill. If I wanted to really guinea pig it, I'd pursue the VW VR6 route. You're right however, in that I won't know until driving some sort of baseline, whether a 1.8 original or an LS with custom grafted front/rear subframes is appropriate. :)

-Agreed Graham, a sorted project's the smart route. I'm of course an idiot :D. Immodestly, I'm a generally well-versed enthusiast, mechanically interested, am undertaking this for the customization and learning aspects. Coming from the Porsche world, where favoring 996 due to its rawness over 997, or believing 991 handles better on 19" vs. 20" wheels is against the grain and therefore poo-poo'd, this community's welcome, and a welcome creative outlet. Sidenote, your car's ride height and stance appeal; I've saved some some of your pictures as inspiration, although I think I'll want a shorter OD and less section width.

About the Ford V8's: How is responsiveness, particularly part throttle? My 2nd car was a "5.0" Mustang, which we did the whole DSS block/Edelbrock EFI intake/heads, "Alphabet" then Comp camshaft thing that was de rigueur in the early 90's. I found B/E-303 Ford cams particularly poorly-suited to factory or mild-build 9-9.5 static comp, leading to part-throttle laziness and bucking. Static comp needed raising (Ford's sensitive here), or faster ramp rates. Point being, the Ford V8's wonderful, but how does it suit a little British roadster?

I'm so lucky that prominent, long-term members whose cars I recognize and admire have responded. Many thanks again, and if anyone has further anecdotes or a referral to a Bay Area B owner, please let me know.

-Jeff



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2015 04:36PM by supertweet.



rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2637 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: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: June 15, 2015 03:04PM

Jeff - you need to come to Indy. Lot's of 302's as well as 60* GM V6's and also BOPR variant powered cars. Mine is a 302 & I absolutely love it. When you're looking at $15-20k investment, the cost to fly out to Indy for the meet to ride in & drive a few is a no-brainer investment. When I first jumped into this fray, that's what I did. I had a rental car, but once I parked it at the hotel, I never started it again till I had to leave. I was able to get rides every day & several members* let me drive their cars some so I could compare. That's what locked in the 302 decision for me.

As far as Kelly's car, it's one of, if not THE best 302 swap out there. Definitely worth checking into!

*Note, "members" is a loose term. There are no dues or fees or anything, just a bunch of guys who share info (& some stories) and get together at least once a year.


supertweet
Jeff

(11 posts)

Registered:
12/06/2009 11:33PM

Main British Car:


Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: supertweet
Date: June 15, 2015 05:02PM

I'm considering it Rob, thanks. The mid July date does coincide nicely with the Euro summer break (I work in Formula 1), but we need confirming whether our Austin trip's that weekend or movable. You're right, it's a great excuse to meet some fellow enthusiast and ogle fun gear.

$15-20k is am ambitiously-low goal. I've Excel'd my schedule, vendors, services and parts lists: Starting from scratch, I figured (in approximates) $5k for the suspension, $8k for a properly-machined driveline, $9k for "make it run" accessories from wheels to EZ steering to harnesses/driveshafts/master cylinders etc., THEN the little ancillaries that finish a car but eat up major budget: The appropriate low back seats with short headrests and seat heaters, finished in a decent leather that matches door panels and contrasts with the carpet and dashpad=Yikes. 3 point anchors with retractables. Rebuilt electric Smiths or Classic Instruments. A good quality paint job...

Even with me assembling from the driveline from short block stage and installing with one of the vendor's excellent "kits," doing some body panel paint prep, and calling in some favors, I'd think the budget more around $40k. Starting with a great package such as Kelly, I'd still require wheels/tires, paint and bodywork (just my preferences) and interior modifications, so figure $10-15k added to whatever the purchase price. At that point, you're right in that I must drive certain configurations to see what I'm willing to get along with, what pre-conceptions I have that are wrong/right.

I'm not doubting you; rather, one can dream :D. I know my tendencies, so I'll err cautiously. I've approached my classic ownership as commodity rather than investment-biased, and I'm more a shoot-once/tune-then-drive rather than tinkerer/upgrader, so am comfortable in that ballpark. If, however, the budget balloons like a typical house reno, I'll be having some seriously unpleasant conversations with the better half...

Rob, may I ask why you ordered your top from Acceleratedsupplies.com? One sticking point about an old car is the tops universally suck; ugly up, space consuming down, time-consuming erecting. I convinced the fiancÚ since it's our 4th car, it'll rarely need a top at all. Does your vendor offer a special latch system? Yours is nice and taut up, and folds down unobtrusively below the body line in the parcel shelf. I'd thought we'd go with a trunk-stowing model for emergencies, but am still undecided. Perhaps a better question for when I actually see a damned car...



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2015 05:12PM by supertweet.


Charles
Charles Long
McDonald, TN
(177 posts)

Registered:
09/15/2013 08:54AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB V6 1994 Camaro 3.4L 60V6

authors avatar
Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: Charles
Date: June 15, 2015 06:36PM

Jeff, I traveled for 20 years with a stow-a-way top on our B. I now have a hold down and a roll bar, top does not fit as it used to. I will now need to have a special cover made 4-500.00. I may dig out my stow-a way and use a thin light weight canvas with a standard cover.
Did someone mention that Kelly has his B V8 for sale? Just think you could wing out jump in a ride back, several of us have done it both ways.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2637 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: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: June 15, 2015 06:50PM

I went with Accelerated because they were the only ones who'd make it the way I wanted. I like the RV8 style tops (look at Evan Amaya's car in the gallery - I think there's a pic there). They have a bit bigger rear window and no quarter windows. I didn't want to spring for Prestige's RV8 top for the B so called around to find someone who'd do a regular B top and just delete the quarter windows. It still folds down like a regular B top. Truth be told though, it's almost never up. Over night at the BritishV8 meets it's been up more than the rest of the years in total.


supertweet
Jeff

(11 posts)

Registered:
12/06/2009 11:33PM

Main British Car:


Re: SF Bay Area drive offer?
Posted by: supertweet
Date: June 17, 2015 02:24PM

Unfortunately, attending the BritishV8 meet is a no go, as I need to prep for Hungary the following weekend. I'm still seeking Bay Area owners for a chat and whatnot, or if you guys have suggestions on alternate-date meet ups, I'd appreciate a heads up to a calendar/schedule.

Thanks to those that have PM'd me so far; I just saw them, and am responding presently.

Kindest,

Jeff


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