MG Sports Cars

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

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BAD-DOG
KR Davis
Denton, TX
(8 posts)

Registered:
07/09/2013 05:55PM

Main British Car:
1975 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BAD-DOG
Date: July 23, 2016 09:27PM

I have been reading a lot of the threads, as well as individual construction profiles, regarding the exhaust manifold/headers that individuals have used to install a Ford 302 (5.0l) engine in their MGB's.

I am looking for advice from those that have gone through this process before.

I realize there are a lot of trade offs associated with making more power...I've really think that the final build on my 1986 302 with the Edelbrock performer plus intake manifold and matching roller cam with a 600 Holly (vacuum secondary's) sitting on top will provide sufficient pucker factor such that a few lost ponies in the exhaust won't make me cry. I don't want to argue or contrast the benefits and trade offs of power...what I am looking for is advice on availability of parts and options that make the finished product as elegant as possible.

Furthermore, I have already modified the sides of the external surface of the car with two large pieces of 3x3 angle iron that run the entire length between the front and rear wheel wells.

angle iron.GIF

They were installed to the body with three rows of pop-rivits. This not only stiffens the body but also provides a space to tuck a corvette style side exhaust under the body without losing ground clearance (and reduces the likelihood of burning someones (my) legs. It shortens the body height by about 2-1/2 inches and I think it removes some of the short-n-fat look out of the body, and eliminated a bunch of rusted and damaged surfaces from the body. I absolutely love those side pipes and a firm believer in the loud pipes saves lives philosophy.

I want to route the exhaust through the front wheel wells and connect to the side mounted mufflers. I have a set of small holes already in the inner fender (see the photo below where the blue arrow is pointing) that I would like to use for this purpose. The holes were originally cut for a different engine that I no longer posses.

hole for exhaust.GIF

Here is what I want to accomplish:

1) A finished look inside the engine bay that appears to be well thought out (the large holes in the inner fender just are not my style)

2) Connect through the wheel well to a side mounted exhaust system.

Has anyone ever discovered an exhaust manifold that may fit this application? and not require the steering column/link to be modified?

Has anyone ever made a custom exhaust manifold (not a header)?

I have attempted to reach out to a couple of the custom header guys but haven't heard back and fear that the RV8 style headers are just no longer available (and maybe way out of my price range).

I've looked at a couple of the block hugger style headers but I believe that would require a total redesign of my motor mounts. Here is a photo of the motor mounts I designed. They allow the engine to be rubber isolated and sit on top of the forward frame mounts that retain the lower cross member. The only frame modification is to use a longer bolt to retain the front cross member.

motormounts.GIF

Any other solutions or suggestions?

Thank you in advance!!!

Disclaimer (and the fine print): I am not made of money...I am married and have to work within a clearly defined budget. I do ALL of the work myself. This is truly a built-not bought endeavor. I raised the money for the paint job by replacing a heater core on a guy's GMC Tahoe. I know I can ship the car off and have a totally custom header built that will work great, sound awesome, and cost a freak-N fortune...not gonna happen here.


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: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: rficalora
Date: July 24, 2016 03:42PM

By custom exhaust manifold do you simply mean a log style? If so, check the Roadmaster thread or pics. I would think you could make one pretty easily. They other characteristic of a manifold vs header is manifolds are generally cast iron. That'd be a different story.

Your 3x3 angle is interesting. That area - especially the welded combination of inner sill, castle rail, outer sill, and bottom plate- is key to the structure of the unibody. Depending on what you did and how you did it, it could be equal/stronger than factory... Or, could be a serious and dangerous problem waiting to happen. You might want to post more about that modification to get some input.


HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(468 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

Main British Car:
1963 Austin-Healey 3000 Ford 5.0L

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: July 24, 2016 08:32PM

Wonder if 351 Cleveland exhaust manifolds would work for you: [www.ebay.com]


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: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: July 25, 2016 03:13PM

Hate to break your bubble, but I'm doubtful that you can make an exhaust routing through that hole whether log style or otherwise. Here's a shot of my 302 exhaust in the area that you prefer - you'll note something called a steering shaft that had the unmitigated gall to take up residence in the same area!

Ford exhaust clearance 1.jpg

The other thing to check is the tire interference at full left hand wheel cut to your proposed wheelwell exhaust routing. .
You'd be better off spending the money on a quality set of Ford 302/MGB headers from Fast Cars Inc....I know that they work!
[www.fastcarsinc.com]


BAD-DOG
KR Davis
Denton, TX
(8 posts)

Registered:
07/09/2013 05:55PM

Main British Car:
1975 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BAD-DOG
Date: July 25, 2016 09:32PM

ex-tyke,

Thank you for your link to fastcarsinc.com. I had previously visited their web site but could not purchase an exhaust header directly off of their site so I thought that they were not available. I saw a phone number at the bottom of the link and called it....low, and behold! a nice lady answered the phone. She told me that the over the fender exhaust header was readily available for $600 plus shipping (estimated at around $20). I will be ordering the header assembly at the end of the month (when I get my allowance!!).

On a previous project car (350 chevy motor in a Mazda B2000 pick up), I had a guy use black iron pipe to make a pair of exhaust manifolds that worked perfect. I think he actually brazed the pieces together (not sure but they didn't leak!!!). Since that was in St. Louis and I now live in the DFW area, he would not be able to assist in this endeavor.

Rob,

As far as the angle iron insert into the body side, here is a cross section stolen from our friends at Moss Motors
originaldoorsill.GIF

I simply removed the rusted (and damaged) outer skin of the rocker panel piece only. The hem flange was kept intact with the new piece of angle iron attached to the hem flange and vertical surface of the inner panel. The outer skin was trimmed and hammered over where it to was attached with rivets to the new piece of angle iron. Only the outer skin of the rocker panel section located above the hem flange and below the door was remove and replace with a much stronger piece of angle iron. The rivets were place at 2" center to center spacing along the entire length of the angle iron. One row of rivets was located into the hem flange, a second row in the vertical flat surface of the inner panel, and the third row was where the outer skin of the rocker panel was flanged parallel to the ground into the horizontal surface of the angle iron. The angle iron should provide more strength than the single piece of thin gauge sheet metal of the outer rocker panel, particularly with the two rows of rivets in the vertical surface of the hem flange and inner panel (both of which were not rusted and excellent shape).
newdoorsill.GIF

The strength of the joint was not compromised in the modification. If there is any integrity issues, I can further decrease the spacing to 1" center to center on the rivets. To increase the clamp load on the steel rivets, steel shanks were used in lue of the cheaper and easier to find aluminum shanks. Properly sized washers were used behind the rivets in the hem flange. I feel like the stiffness has increased because if I don't carefully place the car evenly on four jack stands, the car will rock across the tallest pair jack stands (corner to corner).


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5834 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: July 26, 2016 12:33AM

Pop rivets?


DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1259 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: July 26, 2016 11:36PM

Not sure if this is of any use but, I built a LT1 powered Mazda 626 for the Lovely Lynne once upon a time. It looked stockish right down to the Mazda air filter lid and the 13 inch factory Mags cut in 1/2 for hub caps on the 15 inch steel wheels.
There was absolutely nowhere for the exhaust to exit in a traditional manner without butchering the car beyond belief.
I found 2 truck manifolds that fit perfectly when mounted backwards with the exits facing forwards. The dual 2 1/2 inch exhaust crossed over right in front of the balancer and dropped down alongside the frame after that, switching left for right. It ran that way for years. Eventually the engine went into another vehicle (Datsun Truck) and the old 2.0l engine went back in complete with the old 9" ford rear end. I still see that car around here and there and laugh my ass off every time.

Live like you mean it.
Fred



BAD-DOG
KR Davis
Denton, TX
(8 posts)

Registered:
07/09/2013 05:55PM

Main British Car:
1975 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BAD-DOG
Date: July 30, 2016 02:02PM

Fred, yeah, I guess that would work. I have seen the old ford "Y" block engines with the exhaust manifolds tied together across the front of the engine, so running the exhaust forward is not a foreign idea, just not a very common one. I am using a jeep radiator that is mounted way forward of the stock radiator. It has the reservoirs located under the fenders. The extra space between the front of the engine and the radiator might actually make this a viable solution. The exhaust routing back out through the wheel wells may get interesting with the 180 degree change in direction. It would sure make it easier to add a turbo (like I need that kind of power or headache). Here is photo of the radiator mounted early in the body work stage. I wanted to make sure that it would fit and be serviceable (drops out of the bottom of the car) before I settled on using it.

forward radiator location.GIF

My original engine selection was a modular Ford V8. I finally gave up using that engine due to interference with the steering rack (like no way in h3ll was I gonna make that work). That was the last straw for me. I had already invested a lot of time in modifications to stuff like the intake manifold and sensor locations to make it fit. I gave up the modular V8 for the much smaller and lighter Ford 302. It just seemed to me that if I cut the firewall to make it fit I lost the battle, anybody can cut up a car and make anything "fit". The holes in the inner fender (in the photos above) was were where the fabricated square tubing exhaust manifolds for the modular V8 had the right angle flange attachment for the exhaust pipe connection. The square tube lined up perfectly parallel with the inner fender sheet metal surface so I didn't have to cut the inner fender for clearance. But....that is all water under the bridge.

Modularv8.GIF

Here is a (bad) photo taken of the modular V8 sitting in the engine compartment of my MG very early in the modification of intake manifold process. It was an extremely tight fit...I should have had the rack mounted much earlier in my fabrication process as well, it sure would have saved me a lot of time. I had read elsewhere on the web where someone said the modular V8 would fit with the MG steering rack and not require cutting of the firewall (...yeah, I believe EVERYTHING I read on the internet...), doh!

I'm waiting for a break in the heat so I can drop my little 302 engine back into the car and take some measurements of the clearances. Texas is brutal in the summer...and fortunately, summer only lasts for about six months.

I'll play around with a few concepts before I plunk down the $600 bucks for the fast cars header, but the fast car header seems to be the only thing that is readily available. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the fast car solution, just a bit pricey for my budget. I've thought about fabricating up another exhaust manifold similar to the previous one (it wasn't easy and took a lot of time), but just thought that there would be more solutions out there.

If there is a set of those fast car headers (or a similar set) that someone is willing to part with, I would love to hear from them.


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(79 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: August 01, 2016 01:46PM

I feel that I must respond to the fitting of the Ford Modular engine into a MGB, I was the person who about three years ago posted photos of a DOHC modular engine in the engine bay of my MGB. Like you I gave up on the idea a few months ago but for different reasons. I chose the alloy blocked DOHC for the weight saving but ultimately found that even with log style headers which would have been resting on the chassis rails I could not get it under a MGC bonnet. My wife was not prepared to drive a car with big bonnet bulges and I was not prepared to cut the chassis rails about to lower the engine, primarily because in the UK this can force you into an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) inspection (type approval) not only does this cost a significant sum, but can make you comply with the emissions regs for the year the engine was manufactured. It can also leave you with an undesirable "Q" number plate which no one wants to have by choice.
How ever I can assure you my photos were genuine, I could get the engine into the space without cutting the bulkhead and although it was extremely tight it cleared the steering rack. I was trying to do this while rebuilding the front half of the house and like you I do not have unlimited cash to spend on my MGB, the house is still very much work in progress as well.
I think you were right like me to abandon the modular engine and go for the 302 engine, in the states you are very lucky to have a large choice of RWD engines and transmissions. In the UK that choice is very limited BMW, Mercedes Lexus etc and I am currently rethinking what I am going to fit, using older less fuel efficient engines is not done by choice with petrol costing the best part of $5.50 a US gallon.

I am considering the Ford Duratec V6 as used in the Jaguar S type.

Pros
240bhp out of the box
light and fairly compact 360lbs
cheap to buy $200 for a lowish mileage engine
fuel efficient

Cons
nobody seems to have done it, why?
Jaguar gearbox has poor shift and ratios
one off headers
virtually no tuning available

Does anyone have any opinions?


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(972 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: Dan B
Date: August 01, 2016 03:22PM

We tried setting the Lexus 1uzfe in the MGB chump car, just to see how it would fit. It wouldn't fit very well. I think Carl took pictures but I couldn't find them posted.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3792 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: August 01, 2016 09:46PM

I think I arrived after y'all did the test fit, Dan. I don't recall getting to see it in the MG engine bay.


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(972 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: Dan B
Date: August 02, 2016 11:19AM

Maybe nobody took a picture then. I don't have one.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5834 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 02, 2016 11:21AM

Was there one in the Chump car thread? I think I posted a photo, not really sure where.

Jim


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5834 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 02, 2016 11:56AM

Did a search for 1uz and found it:
[forum.britishv8.org]

Putting any OHC engine into an MGB is going to be a challenge. There just isn't a lot of vertical space. I did look at a Boxer engine in the junkyard over the weekend, that might be a similar level of difficulty. Either could be done if someone was really determined to do it, but wow, there are just so many better choices. Almost anything in a pushrod V8 engine would be better.

Now speaking of modern vs older engines, here your sword is quite truly double edged. The simplicity and limitations of carbs and distributors vs efi and crank trigger ignitions for instance, the cost and effort of doing a quality rebuild and update vs a reasonably fresh junkyard engine.

I can't say one is right and the other wrong. But if you want the modern features and are thinking about rebuilding those can be added, and often more cheaply than you might think. So an older V8 can be built to thoroughly modern standards and this is no longer an excuse for using the new engine. The new exception to that are the cutting edge direct injection engines, but short of that, even a FHF-60 could be a viable option under the right conditions.
[www.btc-bci.com]
[www.mgexp.com]

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3792 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: August 02, 2016 01:05PM

http://forum.britishv8.org/file.php?10,file=13104,in_body_attachment=1

I attempted to sharpen this one.
Lexus V8 MGB.jpg



BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5834 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 02, 2016 06:25PM

It looks better in the picture.


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(79 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: August 04, 2016 02:55PM

About four years ago when I was searching for information regarding fitting the Ford modular engine, I came across the following two sites where they said that they had seen or helped to put a Lexus V8 into a MGB. Both of these cars were in Australia, you will find the links below but no photos.
[www.lextreme.com]
[www.pistonheads.com]

Philip


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5834 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: August 04, 2016 06:46PM

No photos? Never happened.


BAD-DOG
KR Davis
Denton, TX
(8 posts)

Registered:
07/09/2013 05:55PM

Main British Car:
1975 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: SID: Seaking advice regarding exhaust manifold/header for a FORD 302
Posted by: BAD-DOG
Date: August 07, 2016 01:45PM

Philip, I'm not sure if it was your thread or not that had the modular V8 info. But it is at least comforting to know that someone else attempted it (even though it had the same fate). I wish you the best of luck with the Ford Duratec.

Here is a photo of the modular V8 engine in the mg with a metal ruler sitting on the rails surrounding the bonnet opening, we called it "Project MG Impossible", unfortunately that is the way it turned out:

modularv8fitment.GIF

I got the bonnet to close with MAJOR modifications to the upper plastic intake manifold and the aluminum water jacket/forward cross over. The photo above was taken before I modified the aluminum water jacket, but since I can't seem to find a photo of the modifications...

I was so disappointed with that project it ALL went to the scrap man when he removed the 1996 grand marque donor car that it came out of.


Carl, I gotta say that the 1UZ engine looks absolutely fantastic in that MG!! The first thing that comes to my mind is that the parts have got to be hard to find and spendy when you do find them. Kind of like my 2004 Mini Cooper. Seems like only the dealers have the parts for my Mini, and they are really proud of them. I am assuming that it was strictly a custom exhaust manifold/header on that beast?!?


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