MG Sports Cars

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

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DukeD
Mike Duncan
Olive Branch, MS
(5 posts)

Registered:
09/30/2015 08:48PM

Main British Car:
73 MGB, 77 MGB V8 Ford 302

"Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: DukeD
Date: April 29, 2016 05:13PM

I'm doing a Ford 302 conversion in a 77 MGB. This is my first post here, I've been mostly on MG Exp but have followed posts on both. I have followed several posts about wiring harnesses and gauges and still am a little perplexed as far as what route I should take. It appears that most agree the Advance Auto-Wire is the best as apposed to Painless, EZ, American Auto Wire, and others but the price is pretty steep. More than double than some. I want to do this right and from what I have read Dan Masters has put a lot of effort into developing his product and specifically adapted to our cars. I guess I'm talking myself into it but is it really worth the difference in price? Of course you all know what happens to the budget when we get into these things.

Also the gauges. With the Ford motor and the T5 transmission, is there any way to use the original gauges without a lot of modification? I understand the speedo is a big issue but I have read one thread where D&D or one of the other suppliers may have a modification that can be used with the T5. I have looked at the Speed Hut Revolution gauges, but again a big hit to the budget.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2636 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: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: rficalora
Date: April 29, 2016 11:51PM

Can't go wrong with Advance Autowire. Very well made and made of better quality components than the others. Having the wires color coded to the stock MG is nice too - makes troubleshooting easier. Stock gauges can be used. You'll need to find a place for the oil sender and will probably need an adapter to fit it. Several articles specific to the MG tachometer available to convert the it to work with V8, fuel gauge will will read right if using the stock tank and sender, and pretty sure D&D does sell the Speedo cable drive for a T-5 (assuming yours has a drive gear). If your t5 only supports a vss signal, there are companies that sell a box that takes the vas signal in and converts it to a mechanical Speedo drive. Last I looked was a few years back but memory says they ran about $125-150 or so.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4411 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: Moderator
Date: April 30, 2016 02:43AM

Welcome to BritishV8!

To say Advance AutoWire has always provided exceptional "customer support" would be gross understatement. The original BritishV8 website was created by Dan, and he has hosted several BritishV8 meets including this year's. At about the time the site was being reborn, Dan's son Mike was running Advance AutoWire. Mike commissioned one of our first banner ads and also gave a lot of excellent advice. For example, the very existence of our message board's "pub" section was Mike's idea. Current Advance AutoWire proprietor Steve Carrick is also a long time and active contributor to all we do as a community.

Dan's MGB with Ford V8
Steve's MGB with Ford V8

Coincidentally, I've recently installed the very same models of AutoMeter speedometer and tachometer shown in Steve's write-up. I like them very much so far. The AutoMeter electronic speedometer is exceptionally easy to calibrate. (My old VDO speedo wasn't.) I paid extra to get proper mating connectors and terminals for the gauges. AutoMeter doesn't automatically include them. Interestingly, AutoMeter supplied the wrong AMP brand terminals in one of the two packages, but I was able to cut off superfluous tangs to make them work.


DukeD
Mike Duncan
Olive Branch, MS
(5 posts)

Registered:
09/30/2015 08:48PM

Main British Car:
73 MGB, 77 MGB V8 Ford 302

Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: DukeD
Date: April 30, 2016 04:23PM

Thanks guys,
From what I have read on the AAW site and these forums I have no doubt they have the better product with the quality of wire, relays, etc. and pretty specific to our cars. Guess I just needed someone else to confirm that and a bit concerned about the cost. I know I will be better off in the long run.
As for the gauges, I guess I need to research more and decide what is best for what I need. I have the yellow 7 tooth gear in the T5 and really don't want to change it. I would rather go GPS than to go through that.
The PO didn't have a sensor or anything there, just an open hole when I got it. I just wasn't sure which of the other gauges would work with this Ford 302. I have a new gas tank and a new solid state tank sending unit. I was told I should also change the original voltage stabilizer for a modern solid state stabilizer.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3790 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: May 01, 2016 08:03AM

The quality of wire used by AAW is far & away better. Not even close.


mgbv81970
Scott Wooley
Frederick Colorado
(23 posts)

Registered:
09/07/2011 02:20PM

Main British Car:
1970 MGB 289 Ford V8

authors avatar
Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: mgbv81970
Date: May 01, 2016 10:16AM

The GEARBOX in Garden City MI can supply you the speedo driven gear and clamp to fill the hole in your T5. I used one that also has a two wire output ( for 5 speeds that had cruise control). Any number of electronic speedometers will then work and you'll never have to worry about cables, adapters, right angle drives, innacurate readings or broken cables.
I also agree about AAW. Twice the price, but 3 times the quality and made specifically for our cars.

Scott


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: May 01, 2016 06:35PM

When we had the Hot Rod Shop in McKinney, I wired or rewired just about every car we built, therefor I elected to wire my GT from scratch and used the 3M wire numbering system rather than color coding. I don't regret the decision because my legs don't work all that well any more and I could do most of it setting down, though I admit that approach isn't for everyone. By the time you get through it and pay for all the wire, connectors, and a decent fuse block, I suspect you'll find the ease of using AAW, the quality and support, is well worth the cost. I also used Speed Hut GPS gauges and only regret that decision when I think of how much I paid for them. On the other hand, I'm not married, and my Harley is paid for, so what else should I have done with my kids inheritance!


Paul



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2016 06:42PM by pspeaks.



DukeD
Mike Duncan
Olive Branch, MS
(5 posts)

Registered:
09/30/2015 08:48PM

Main British Car:
73 MGB, 77 MGB V8 Ford 302

Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: DukeD
Date: May 03, 2016 12:37PM

Paul, you would think after 38 years I would have learned, but if the budget crashes too much more I may be sleeping upstairs or in the portable garage I bought from harbor freight for sandblasting and painting!!!!!
My wife and granddaughter have already claimed my 73B so if I can't get this one done somewhere close to a reasonable budget I may be without.
Definitely AAW is the way to go with the wiring but I need to do a little more research on the gauges. I'm looking at a few possibilities.
I will post what I come up with.
Thanks guys.


pspeaks
Paul Speaks
Dallas, Texas
(698 posts)

Registered:
07/20/2009 06:40PM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT 1979 Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: "Wiring and Gauges" dilemma
Posted by: pspeaks
Date: May 03, 2016 06:02PM

My friend, who owned the shop, was at the time a Speed Hut dealer so I got a small break there. We had used them in three or four cars so I have an admitted bias toward them, but still they are expensive and have no resemblance toward original gauges. There are a lot of high quality choices out there and you'll find the set that's right for you for a lot less money. I have put a lot of money into my GT for parts that I later changed including gauges. I would have saved a bit of money taking your approach. Take your time, research, research, research, and you'll be happy with the results. I look forward to seeing pictures of your project, I bet it will be great!

Paul


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