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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Have complete SD1 car, what should I remove from it?

I have just acquired a complete 1979 Rover 3500 SD1. The body is completely finished - I have never seen such a rusty car - BL at it's worst, but the engine seems quite fit at only 100,000 miles. I intend to remove the motor and gearbox for renovation and eventual building into a B.

What else should I salvage from the wreck?

Mike Howlett

Depends whether you want to use the rear axle - it is possible to have them cut down but I doubt whether it is cheaper than going the conventional route of an MGC axle or a new 3.07:1 diff unit.

Otherwise just the engine and gearbox ( is it manual??)

You say fit at only 100,000 miles - cams only last around 60,000 and bores can be worn out at 90,000.

You will probably want to go for the 9.75:1 CR pistons anyway so a rebore to +20 is needed.

Chris Betson

You should also remove the front brake calipers, the remote header tank for the radiator, all the ignition system, and the handbrake linkage if you are going to use the SD1 back axle.
David Daw

You can keep the speedo & cable/drive if you intend to use the transmission. Also the tacho . The dials are slightly larger than the MG, but can be modified to fit the MG cases quite easily.I'd keep some of the wiring too. It's the same colour code as the MG. There's a windscreen wiper delay relay you might be able to use in the MG setup. Also the relays might come in useful.If it's an auto, keep the shifter mechanism.I didn't look into the steering much ,but it is possible the upper steering column & uni could be used, depending on which model B you are converting.
Barrie E
Barrie Egerton

Mike, If it were me I would gut the thing and remove anything which you might possibly use and store it if you can. Steering, suspension, electrics, instruments, interior, boot and bonnet supports in other words the lot. If when doing the conversion you have a heap of bits unused then tip them of find a suitably grateful SD1 restorer and sell or donate them. Chasing breakers yards and the classifieds for the bit you threw out a week before is really time consuming, frustrating and often expensive as well.
Good luck, Pete Sydney, Australia.
Peter Thomas

Thanks guys for your answers. And yes, it is a 5-speed manual gearbox. I wondered about the brake calipers as they will fit using different bolts and the V8 disc. But someone has told me that using them will increase the pedal travel. Any knowledge, anyone?
Mike Howlett

On the brake issue, i had SDI calipers on my old V8 roadster, i didn't notice any more pedal travel. On the bolt's to be used, Dave Vale sales a sleve that uses standard B caliper bolts.
Ian Sanders


Following on from Chris's comments, all the individuals mentioned in Roger Williams book for converting SD1 axles have gone out of business. I know of only two people who may be prepared to carry out the alterations. Also the halfshafts are flanged and I do not believe are as strong as B halfshafts.


This thread was discussed between 27/12/2001 and 29/12/2001

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