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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Jeep rearend update

I saw the article in the last V8 newsletter about D&D doing some Jeep differential conversions. I have completed mine and thought it would be of interest as to what was involved.
The Dana 44 for the Jeep has a 5x5 1/2 inch bolt circle and the large center hole at 4 inch dia. prevents a simple drilling of drum and hub to go to 4x 4 1/2 circle.
To accomplish this I had to secure some Ford E150 brake backing plates and early econoline drums with small center holes.
The axles then require welding of one stud hole to allow for the 4x pattern and one hole in the drum ends up intersecting one of the original holes since the cast iron drum should not be welded.
In order to get the axle bearings spaced properly to allow the drums to fit over the shoes, the bearing stops and area inside the splines must be cut back .500 inch as well as cutting 1/2 inch off the splined ends.
I used a postal Jeep cylinders, which are close to the MG piston dia., and parking brake cable which should adapt easily to the MG hand lever with some bracketry welded on underneath.
I am going to use Jeep U bolts-the Jeep axle is 2 3/4 dia NOT 2 1/2 like the MG!!
I am also using the Jeep spring plates by welding up two holes and redrilling to match the MG spring width. These plates will also require welding on of the tab for the shock link. They have a nice big mounting stud which would normally be for the shock but which should work great for a set of traction bars I am going to add.
I am having custom wheels made with a reverse offset and I think using a stock wheel with 4 inch inside off set would result in some very close fits with the spring due to the 1/2 inch narrowing of each axle. I will also be flaring the fenders since the wheels will be 7 x 15.
This has been a lot of work and some frustrations as well as ending up costing around $1600.00 but I got limited slip, bigger brakes, 3.56 ratio, and totally overhauled and hopefully bulletproof differential with traction bar mounts.
It might be wise to wait for D&D's disc set up for the rear if you are contemplating this swap or using the 5 x 5 1/2 circles on the front if possible??
Thomas Rynne

If you have pics, could you please send them to me? I am between doing this, or narrowing a GM 10 bolt(already have in parts car). I know where about 4 postal jeeps are in a pull it yourself jy, and posi difs on Ebay seem to go pretty cheap. I was considering custom axels, as the ones in the postal jeeps here are the 2 piece ones. I want 5 bolt pattern anyway, so trying to fit a MG bolt pattern isn't a concern. How did the 2 rears compare in overall length?

Also, how can you put 5 x 5 1/2 on the front? Planning on comparing some rotors I have laying around in the next few weeks, but any suggestions would be of help.

Sorry for all the questions, but thank you for your help.


The cleanest way to change to 5 on 5.5 on the front is to have new hubs machined from aluminum. You can have the inside drilled for whatever discs you want to use, such as vented Porsche, Nissan, etc., and the outside drilled for whatever wheels you want to use.
George B.

Bill Guzman had posted that some early Camaro hubs will work on the front with some minor machining. Here's his website:
The postal Jeep is about 1/2 inch narrower than stock MG and mine is now 1 inch more narrow with the change to the axles. My axle was a 79 and had one piece axles. The two piece ones were used on CJ Jeeps with the Dana 44??
If you can use a 5 bolt pattern then the swap would involve only cutting off the Jeep spring hangers and welding on the MG ones then adapting the Jeep spring plates to the narrower springs, and having a drive shaft made-it must be as small in diameter as the MG so as not to bang on the tunnel.
The pics I have don't show the details.
Thomas Rynne

tom, i don't know if any auto parts built to US government specs could be called bullet proof? it sounds like you got a nice rear end but i also look at the cost, i just had a camaro rear end done for my car and this is what i found, the shop i used had it shortened, new plates to use stock mg springs, choice of ratios, i chose 3.2 to match donor engine and trany, limited slip, stock gm disc brakes, entire unit sand blasted and painted in choice of color and the total cost was $1450, i did no work except reove old one and install new unit. cost vs value, sounds like you have what you want but a lot of time in r&d, how is the v6 coming, are you going to bring it to grand rapids?

R & D as in runaround and decide?? The Dana 44 is a widely used rear end Jim. It is on everything from Broncos to Econolines and Jeeps. The reason my conversion ended up so high was also due to it being a complete overhaual as well. All new bearings, shoes, cylinders, seals etc. I am deep into bodywork on the V6 right now and am planning on making the 2003 V8 convention.
Got both sides rockers and new floors done. I will next be doing some flared rear fenders and lots of small stuff on the balance of the sheet metal including some tophats to reinforce the spring hangers and act as mounting points for traction bars. I am hoping to go over just to check out all the conversions in Grand Rapids anyway. Cheers!
Thomas Rynne

tom,, just having a little fun with you on the postal parts, what are you using for flares, making them your self or adapting some one elses, i have thought about it myself, my v6 is being put back together right now, really looking forward to driving with the new rear end and the new cam installed, safety faster, jim

Jim, I was going to do the slice and flare job shown on the email I will send. I now think I will extend the inner fender a couple of inches ( going to try to use a trailer fender for 15 inch wheels to extend the inner fender) and mate up the new fender sections to the outside to give it a nice "rolled" appearance. I measured that I need about 1 1/2 inches per side to clear some 225-50 x 15 tires on 7 inch reversed rims. The wheels will have only 2 3/4 inside offset
Thomas Rynne

This thread was discussed between 20/03/2002 and 23/03/2002

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