MG Sports Cars

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

Go to Thread: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicLog In


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: December 05, 2019 08:10PM

at least not right now. I had a chance to spend some time with a guy who built a Factory Five 33 hot rod very much like I was going to do mine when I sold the wide MGB. He did a really nice job building his car but it was disappointing to me on a number of fronts. First there was no leg room for me in the car. That said, the latest version is supposed to have 2" more room but that would still not be enough. Second, there was no foot room (width) with an automatic transmission in the car. Third, he said the car gets extremely light at 80 mph (probably due to air getting under the clamshell front fenders). My car feels planted at 50 mph faster than that so why have a car that has tremendous speed capability but starts making you nervous at half its potential? Fourth, there is absolutely no room to carry anything in the trunk or the cockpit. The capacity of the trunk is about three 6-packs (maybe 4) and maybe a few rolled up rags and that is no exaggeration. It's hard for me to understand how in a car with a 21" longer wheelbase and that is 8" taller can have less room for passengers and gear than my 91" wheelbase MGB. The one good thing is that I had enough headroom under the hard top but the visibility through the windshield was poor at best and nonexistent out the back. The car felt very claustrophobic sitting in it and I can guarantee my wife would not be pleased.

There were other things as well. The fenders and running boards were quite flimsy even after he did a lot of reinforcement and adding additional braces. He had to replace quite a few of the components that came in the kit because they just didn't function like they should. Coilover shocks, hood and deck lid hinges, door latches, air conditioning vents, window seals in the door just to name a few. He had to remake the rear suspension arms because the ones in the kit positioned the rear axle 1 1/2" too far forward so the tires hit the front edge of the wheel opening. He had power windows and air conditioning in the car but he said that there is too much noise in the car to hold a conversation at freeway speeds. He has to have the coilovers adjusted all the way up to get 4" ground clearance at the running boards and he had to make ramps to be able to get the car out of his driveway without scraping. The car has so little suspension travel that he says you feel every tiny bump and expansion strip in the road. His description of the driving experience was it was like driving and old hot rod with a really powerful engine. He did say that the handled like a go kart on twisty country roads. But the question is - do you really want to take a go kart on a trip anywhere?

On the drive back from his house I was thinking about how much more successful the MG is in meeting the goals I set for the project than the Factory Five would for the goals I had in mind for that car. I actually smiled and gave myself some kudos for how well the car turned out. I think for now I'll just drive it and take it to some shows and autocrosses and see if there is any tweaking left to do to make it better.


ex-tyke
Graham Creswick
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
(1104 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:17AM

Main British Car:
1976 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: December 06, 2019 08:27AM

A case of the grass not being greener on the other side! .......glad that you didn't commit to the kit before discovering the issues.
I know it never rains is Southern California, but have you considered making a retractable convertible top for your beast.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3919 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 06, 2019 09:55AM

Glad to hear it! Have you considered converting it to a paddle shifted autobox?


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5920 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: December 06, 2019 10:30AM

I think that's exactly as it should be. You could look a long time and spend a lot of money and still not have a car that pleases you as much.

The MGB may not be so special compared to a few modern day equivalents, but let's not forget that at the time it was pretty exceptional. It was one of the best, most capable, and most comfortable cars in that segment. All it really lacked was power. With the refinements you have made it has only gotten better.

So can it compete with today's cars? In most regards I really don't see why not. While it will never achieve 5 star crash ratings I think everything else simply represents an upgrade option. Some make sense, some do not.

But one thing can never change, and that is the fact that you have created a very nice and very unique version of the car which, due to the efforts you put into it is never likely to mean any more to anyone else than it does to you. That's a prize worth keeping.

Jim


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: December 06, 2019 09:20PM

Graham - Have you and Lloyd been conspiring? See posts 19 & 20

Carl - Funny you should bring that up. While researching the factory Five car I did some reading about the 6L80 automatic and it sounds like a very capable trans. There are a number of aftermarket controllers available that have the paddle shift capability. What I really like about it is the 4.17 first gear that would really make the car launch and it has almost the same od ratio in 6th gear and the T56 in the car now. The trans weighs 220 lbs but that is with the torque converter and the T56 weighs 140 but you have to add in 36 lbs for the clutch and flywheel. The car will gain some weight but it is right in the center of the wheelbase so shouldn't have much effect on handling. Not sure if it will bolt up to the LT1.

Jim - You always have the nicest things to say, thank you. Lets hope I never get to find out how close it comes to that 5 star rating.


88v8
Ivor Duarte
Gloucestershire UK
(767 posts)

Registered:
02/11/2010 04:29AM

Main British Car:
1974 Land Rover Lightweight V8

Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: 88v8
Date: December 07, 2019 04:10AM

Glad you dodged the bullet. Imagine all the time and money you would have wasted.

I suspect this is the situation with a lot of modded cars. After a few miles it becomes apparent that they're not actually that nice to drive.
You have done well with yours to create something unique that actually functions well.
So if you ever feel tempted again, keep the MGB until you complete your 'new' car, then decide which you prefer.

I have a vaguely similar situation atm; I have the opportunity of a 60s Jag with a Ford V8, Been looking a long time for one.
But it's rusty. And on the other hand I have my Rambler 327 which is not rusty at all and drives nicely.
And I hate working on rusty cars. So I sit and dither.
Indeed, the siren call of the greener grass.

Ivor


theonlyiceman53
Bill Russell
Florda
(83 posts)

Registered:
11/18/2008 06:01AM

Main British Car:
77MGB 350 Chevy with LT1 heads

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: theonlyiceman53
Date: December 07, 2019 06:16AM

Hey Jim,
So glad to hear that. I was really saddened when I read your post that you were going to sell the coolest MGB on the planet. The right decision from my perspective for sure! It's on my bucket list to cut one in half and create an ADD version of yours.
Cheers,
Bill



BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5920 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: December 07, 2019 09:26AM

I want t cut one up and make a "parasite" version that can ride in a baggage bay in the bus. If anyone runs across a Honda Pioneer 500 SxS that has been rolled, let me know.

Jim


britcars
Phil Ossinger
New Brunswick, Canada
(341 posts)

Registered:
02/02/2009 07:58PM

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

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: britcars
Date: December 07, 2019 11:14AM

You've created a wonderful car Jim. As others have suggested, take some time to enjoy it while you search for something that speaks to you. Graham referred to "greener grass"...................someone once said "the grass is always greener over the septic tank".


BWA


(329 posts)

Registered:
04/13/2010 08:13PM

Main British Car:


Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: BWA
Date: December 07, 2019 02:48PM

You made a good choice Jim.
I am sure the day will come when Factory Five gets all the bugs worked out in those cars.
We can all attest to the fact that our modified British cars are never really done.
I have put over 3000 miles on mine and I am still working out bugs in my car.
Engineering a new car from scratch or modifying an old car is a real challenge and no one gets it right the first time.
You did a awesome job on your MGB and you overcame a number of design issues that cropped up when you widened your car.
So have fun with it and take your time to plan your next project.

Cheers
Byron


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: December 07, 2019 05:23PM

Actually, I am done. The only thing I might do is swap in a 6 speed automatic but that's a BIG maybe. Even if Factory Five did solve the issues, the car is just too small and claustrophobic for what I wanted it for.


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: December 09, 2019 08:43PM

Quote:
Hey Jim,
So glad to hear that. I was really saddened when I read your post that you were going to sell the coolest MGB on the planet. The right decision from my perspective for sure! It's on my bucket list to cut one in half and create an ADD version of yours.
Cheers,
Bill

I'm curious what you meant about an "ADD version"

Jim



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2019 10:05AM by MGBV8.


theonlyiceman53
Bill Russell
Florda
(83 posts)

Registered:
11/18/2008 06:01AM

Main British Car:
77MGB 350 Chevy with LT1 heads

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: theonlyiceman53
Date: December 10, 2019 09:26PM

Hi Jim,
I have a short attention span and would probably have been classified with the ADD moniker if such a thing would have existed long ago! Yours is a piece of art and anything I build would not be. Functional but not a work of art! Quick and dirty..... It would look good from a distance but not hold up to close scrutiny! I can live with that!

Cheers,
Bill


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: December 11, 2019 02:54PM

Break out the Saws All and get cuttin'


lawnvett
PJ Lenihan
Winston-Salem, NC
(473 posts)

Registered:
04/29/2009 11:37AM

Main British Car:
74 MGB-GT 3.4 V-6 crate, 5 spd

Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: lawnvett
Date: February 01, 2020 07:39PM

Hello Jim ,

I have not been on this forum for a couple of months, but seeing this post made me happy.
IMG_1106.jpeg

It was thrilling to ride with you in 2017, maybe I'll lick this renal cancer and get out to see you again for another neck snapping adventure in the WIDE MGB.

All the best,

PJ Lenihan



HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(474 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

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

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: February 02, 2020 06:03PM

Hey Jim,

Can't believe I never mentioned this before. Did you ever see the Healey 4000, aka the Rolls-Healey? A Healey 3000 widened by 6" with a Rolls Royce motor that was a prototype to replace the 3000:

https://i.vgy.me/CLdE0t.jpg


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: February 03, 2020 01:47AM

PJ - great hearing from you. I do hope you are able to make a trip out again so we can take her for a spin. It's all red now so it looks a little better than the last time you saw it.

Get well my friend.

Jim

IMG_6685small.jpg


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(757 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: February 03, 2020 01:58AM

Rick - I have looked at pictures of the AH 4000 but it is difficult to tell it has been widened unless viewed almost head on. Love to see one in person but that is unlikely due to its rarity.


HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(474 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

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

authors avatar
Re: I won't be selling my car
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: February 04, 2020 07:47AM

Jim,

That widened Healey came about as Federal Safety Regulations were starting to consider side impacts and extra width was needed in order to meet them.


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.