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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - I am looking for any info on dropping a 302 ford v8 in my '79 mgb

I have a '79 MGB and I am planning on dropping a 302 ford v8 in it. I am looking for any information at all on how to do this correctly. If anyone has heard of a conversion kit for this job, please email me with details.

thanks, Jeff Huckstead
Jeff Huckstead

Jeff, a guy by the name of Bill Guzman, , was to begin working on a 302 conversion kit after his last project, a GM V6 conversion kit. He may have some info by now. Not sure, but worth a check. Bill? You out there?
Michael Willis

Dale Spooner has a real nice 302 conversion. I think he lives in Vermont, I am not sure what his e mail address is though. Also there is some 302 info in the archives.

bill jacobson

What archives???
Jeff Hucksead

Carl Halcomb has a superb example of a 302V8 conversion. I believe it was built by Tim McCracken.
No idea of contact address but you can find pictures at There are also links to big engine swaps for MGB's and other British cars.
I also have been researching this conversion.
A late model 302 with aluminum heads, water pump, light weight starter etc. could weigh in at approx. 25lbs more than the Rover 3.5, is narrower in width and would easily produce 275bhp with 300lbs.ft torque for a minimal investment. The standard T5 trans weighs 40lbs less than the Rover as well, or buy a new "world class" T5 for $1000.
My conclusions:Econoline van sump with hump at the back, early Mustang ancillary drive system to reduce the installed length, MAC "shorty" headers, Ford Falcon radiator, Shortened Mustang 8" "posi" rear end (all kinds of ratios available for $250) and driveshaft.
Of course this is just theory, any comments would be appreciated.


Andrew Worman

Go to the MG Enthusiast home page (link at the top of the page). You can register to become a member there. Then you can search the BBS archive.

Michael Hartwig

Bill's web page > <
How is everyone's Ford conversion process coming? It looks like the Blue Oval people have gotten quiet
lately. I would like to here from some. 1968 302 MGB ( still in the building stage ) Mike
mike childress

Glad to see renewed interest in the Ford conversion. After 5 years of automatic tranny,I finally am going to put in a T5.Driving other V8's at the meet in Cleveland was enough to convince me,driving a stick is way more fun.I again offer my advice to anyone that wants it.My having been there,done that,might save someone a lot of time and money.It's still a lot of work compared to the Rover but if you want easy power it's the way to go.Knowing what my motor makes with ported Edelbrock heads,Andrew is very close with his estimates with out of the box heads.And you save 50 lbs over the stock heads.The new starter is also 10 lbs lighter than the old one,as I found out.However I don't think shorty headers down next to the motor would work as there is not enough clearance with the starter on one side and the steering shaft on the other.I made headers that exit out the fenderwell,and have never had a problem with them.So I will keep everyone updated on T5 progress.
Dale Spooner

Dale, Do you have any pictures? I need some info on steering and headers. I have Made my own headers for the pass. side, but the steering is troubling me. I have the motor set back a fair amount. You can email me direct if you want to. Also, How many V8-ers have stock MG cars that they still drive on a regular basis. Mine is a 1973 B. Mike
mike childress

I am getting some copies made now actually,Mike.Send me your mailing address and I will send some when I get them back.
Dale Spooner

WOW Cool I am not only one looking 302!! I have my 302 block all rebuilt and ready, running low on $$, been a bad year for home/car's breaking down :-(

I like the Econoline sump info!! I was trying to figure out what hevicles came stock with rear pickup, oil pumps.. My local store can't tell me much unless I know a model/year...

I will be going T5 also, just waiting for one to pop up that I can afford. heh

Larry Embrey

so, can anyone give some info on the 302 conversion? like, where I can find information on doing it, and how it compares to the rover conversion in difficulty? How about weight differences?

It would be a lot easier and cheaper for me to get a 302 around here, but i wouldn't do the conversion if it's a real pain. I've read that the 302 is shorter (in height and length) and also narrower. Sounds good on paper...

Joe Pitassi
Joe Pitassi


There is a shot of the engine compartment of Dale's 302 MGB on the page below:

More conversion examples, mild to wild:

I looked into the Ford motor also. I even bought one and still have it. In researching this, I found that the Ford engine/tranny combo will weigh about 509lbs. According to a friend who did this conversion, his MG 4 banger and tranny combo weighed 448lbs. I also thought about the rear pickup. I've seen the rear pickup adapter kit installed. The problem is that the drive is still in the front of the motor, the tube comes down from the front turns to the rear, and that means you still will have about 2-3 inches of oil pan hanging down at the front. So, you are going to have crossmember clearance problems that mean either notching the member or sitting the motor rearward. Sitting rearward means cutting into the firewall/footwells. Don't get me wrong, I'd still like to do it, but, don't have the means at this time. The Ford 302 is available, if anybody wants it. FYI, Windsor-Fox has created a "No-Brainer" wiring harness to install the fuel injected 302 into a carbureted car. The guy developed for putting the newer motors into older Mustangs, but, he says it can be easily adapted to any car.
Bob Fish

Bob is correct. Installing a V8 on a B is work that has to be well planned, it's not just dropping an engine and build some mounts to hold it and make it look good. There are several V8 B's that the engine rocks and hits, and robs when it's under acceleration.
Also using the pan from a econoline or Ford Bronco will still have a hump at front for the oil pan, and mod to the cross member are needed.
Bob hit it right on the nose on the weights.

If earlier than 75 are to be used for the conversion, the V8 mods must be followed, in order to install the Ford V8. Also consider chassis stiffening for the RD.
Headers need to be custom, some shorties may fit but I am not sure.
The FI injection engine plenum is taller than the carb and air cleaner.

When doing a swap consider type of mounts to be used, location of mounts is important, stability can be added by location of mounts etc.
The kit for the V8 requires time, I have done some planning, and it will required the cross member to be modified, and custom headers, I am planning to incorporate the mod of the cross member in the kit.

If anyone needs help I will be glad to help via e-mails etc. Please keep in mind that I am not an expert like some of you.

Bill Guzman

I don't know about being an expert,but I did build my car myself and have about 20,000 miles on it since converting.The crossmember mod is minor and only needs to be done on the pump side.Headers need to be fabricated,I can't see where any shorty headers would work.Took me about 8 hours per side and have had no problems with them.Engine mounts are attached to the crossmember also,I have an automatic and trans crossmember was easy.Early Mustang rad fits with flange mods,but i found that aluminum rad is a must if you want things to stay cool.If you want a power advantage over the Rover than throw away the stock heads and go with Edelbrock alum heads.Good out of the box,better with portwork.50 lbs lighter also.There is nothing easy about this conversion as you cannot buy anything for it.It took me about 4 months to get the car running and another year to sort it all out.But way funner than a Rover when you squeeze it.I will answer any questions if I can help.
Dale Spooner

This thread was discussed between 13/12/2000 and 18/12/2000

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