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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - ABS in an MGB

Maybe i'm just dreaming, or maybe i'm crazy, but has anyone else ever thought of the idea of putting anti-lock brakes into an MGB? I havn't done any reasearch as of yet, but it would seem to be that maybe a nissan or even a dodge neon would make for a good donor car? They are relatively similar in size, and i'm confident the braking capacity of both cars would be some what similar? Maybe it's just a pipe dream, or maybe someone else has done it, or at least thought about it? I'd love to hear some input from other people on the idea. Thanks in advance, Justin

I use to think my 70 B-GT had ABS but then I bled the brakes.
Such a conversion would be quite a job. The Neon might look lik a good donor but you might want to compare curb weights first, it would be annoying to have the ABS cime on Every time you hit the brakes. Instead you might look for an aftermarket kit that might do the job, then you can keep your stock bolt pattern and wheels. I'm not sure where too start looking for such a creature, but maybe a good brake supplier might know. Good luck!

Would you really want it? I hated it when I had modern cars, I felt I had no control of the car when it came into play. I was always used to cadence braking before and 'felt' I could stop sooner without assistance. Top Gear conducted some tests and found that a car with ABS took longer to stop in the wet than a properly cadence-braked car. Besides, is anyone who freezes when they jam on the brakes in an emergency going to have the presence of mind to steer?

On a technical note, what will happen if one wheel skids and the other doesn't? Don't modern cars with ABS have the brake disc set further to the outside of the wheel than the MGB to counteract the resultant pull?

Paul Hunt

It has been done already-I'm sure that I saw a white roadster at Silverstone last year(?) which had the ABS system lifted from a Jaguar-it's a lot of work as you need sensors on all the wheels,a valve block ecu modulator etc etc - invest in some decent ventilated discs and some 4-pot calipers for the front instead.....

I may even have a picture of this cars engine bay some where.....I'll have to look..

Regards JB
ohn Bourke

Putting ABS on an MGB would be a really interesting project. I'd like to try it one day. An MGB is a great platform for learning some automotive engineering and also for proving your prototyping skills. If you're done with the drivetrain, why not move onto other parts of the car?

The inherent disadvantages of ABS in braking performance are an issue. One not mentioned is that ABS isn't too great on pea gravel (or snow), where the wheels will tend to keep rolling instead of digging in and pushing a pile of gravel on... On the other hand, your ABS equipped MGB would be a lot safer in the hands of a novice driver. Most people have never heard the term "cadence braking" and have little aptitude for it.

You'll find the hard part is fitting ABS sensors at the wheels. Sometimes the sensors are part of "cartridge" assemblies that includes wheel bearings... Sometimes they're separate, mount on their own brackets, and have to be aligned with a "tone wheel" that rotates with or is integral to the rotor or hub. Instead of modifying the MGB brakes to accept sensors - I suspect you'll be looking for entirely new rotor/hub solutions that were designed for ABS.

John mentioned you'd be better off spending your money on better rotors and calipers. He's right. (Buy better tires too!) But to get ABS you'll be replacing and probably upgrading the rotors anyway. You might look for ABS-ready rotors... If you pull this off, you'll impress me very much!

"your ABS equipped MGB would be a lot safer in the hands of a novice driver" My MGBs in the hands of a novice driver? The very idea!

Paul Hunt

Yes I looked into it a few years ago and, initially with a mechanical system like the Dunlop Maxaret type system, then as they advanced with the electronic type.

When the Bosch electronic systems arrived with the intgral ECU (2E and later systems) then the packaging and wiring became much simpler. This left the major problem to be the creation and fitting of sensors. The ideal is a 4 channel system which caters for the speed of each wheel, but the 3 channel system which uses only one senser for the rear can be easier to integrate to the MGB axle.

Companies like Racelogic ( specialise in traction control systems that utilise ABS wheel sensors. However they have vast experience of creating simple and effective solutions to add such sensors for these cars that don't have them.

My idea was to not only include an ABS system, but intigrate this with a traction control system linked to the fuel injection of the V8, which is short of traction in damp conditions! Apart from looking into the feasibility of the concept and chosing the base components to use time and lack of money has forced this to remain another 'project on the shelf'.

Roger Parker

This thread was discussed between 25/11/1999 and 27/11/1999

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