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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Mechanic Wooo's

I've been a regular on the B board for a couple of years. I posted this there, and now here:

I had a miserable road trip to Vermont. After spending about $3000 since January on an engine rebuild (it never seem to be as smooth or strong as I expected), followed by an on going oil leak followed by a blown head gasket and the heads having to be machined smooth; I've finally decided that enough is enough. The mechanic I've been using for the past 5-6 years did a lousy job on the rebuild or the engine was in such a condition that the rebuild should not have been done. My relationship with the mechanic will be terminated Monday morning. I will seek whatever remedies are reasonable.

My question is this: I've decided that now is as good a time as any to go ahead with my dream of a V-8 conversion. The car is at a local mechanic's garage in Vermont, I'm in New York, Westchester County. Can anyone recommend a mechanic in Vermont or New York that can held this?

My car is a 1980, mostly original B. I was thinking about using one of the engines that are available by MGOC.

All comments and suggestion are welcome.


Rich Cohen

Rich Cohen

Let me get this straight; You are in New York, the car is broke in Vermont and you want to source an engine from England to be installed by someone you do not know. By the time this is done, you will have to change your first name!

I feel your pain as far as the moded MGB engine is concerned. Sorry to say, but it is the norm rather than the exception, and if you do not do your own wrenching it will become intolerable.

I would call Dan at D&D fabrications and send the whole lot to him. Your car is a prime candidate for a conversion and D&D is well past the learning curve on the conversion. Just my 2 cents worth.


Hopefully Dale Spooner (Burlington, VT, 302+ Ford 'BV8) will see this post and offer some local advice. Dal, where are you?
Derek Nicholson

Doesn't Glenn Towery come to your location and install a V8 in a couple of days?
Mike D

Shameless of me...
Click on MGB V6 Conversions on the top right.

Also, a fellow closer to you is, his drivelines are different then mine in that he uses FWD and I use RWD motors. Both end in good results.

Anyways, there are a number of V8 shops and even a few of us that lean towards other drivelines that are a bit different. Compare prices and power output of all different options before you buy, but you must also be satisfied with what you own.

Good luck,
-Brian Mc Cullough.

P.S. I'll be leaving for the Mexican Carrera by Thursday, so I dont know that i will see this thread again.

BMC Brian McCullough

If you are going to get someone else to do this it is likely to be breathtakingly expensive. The Guy local to me charges around $20K. I put in a 3.9efi myself for around 10K (and lots of help from this board). You might think about doing it you self as you can buy all the bits you need from people like Glenn Towery. Go and buy Roger Williams book "How to give your MGB V8 Power". It will at the very least get your enthusiasm cranked up.

It is very easy in this hobby to make some really expensive mistakes. I would spend a couple of months really researching all the options and ways of doing the conversion. There are excellent sources here in the U.S. for not only the engines but all the required parts. Visit the MG V8 site at Purchase all the books listed there as well as all the back-issues of the MG V8 Newsletter. All this will be money very well spent. Contact D & D Fabrications and request a catalog. (810) 798-2491. Contact the various vendors listed in the online versions of the British V8 Newsletter.
If you can wait for a while, the next British V8 Meet is in Grand Rapids in August next year. This is THE BEST source of MG V8 conversion info.
The more upfront research you do, the less the project will cost and a beter car will result.
Good Luck, the work will be more than worth it!!!!
Kurt Schley

I'm with Kurt on this one.Do it right,or do it right away.Even though I am in Vermont I really couldn't recommend anyone to do that conversion,only because I don't know of anyone who has done a Rover here.In this case I think you want to deal with someone who has done it before,so the whole process will not be one long learning curve.

Ssearch the archives...there are MANY different ways to go! The Ford 302 is becoming a very popular conversion...I personally went with the Rover 3.9 (but...after having driven a 302 conversion....WOW!) ... Educate yourself first...learn from others mistakes (and take advantage of their successes)...there are many options available Stateside!

1974.5 MGB/GT V8 conversion
rick ingram

Just a thought, your satanic mechanic might prefer to arrange/payfor transportation of your car home. Prefer to what?, I expect you might be able to think of a few things.

The EFI V8 conversion MGB has no faults I can find. It's superiour to the 1800 in every single respect. Accelleration, reliability, that fab' V8 sound. I finished mine a few months back and still get a big kick every time I start it up. Worth every cent spent.

Hi Rich,
It seems this classic car scene is the same the world over.
I've had a 1974 BV8 for 6 years now now.
It was running & legal when I bought it but not in a clean condition.
I've had a lot of work done on the engine, running gear & bodywork.
The interior's next.
Most of the jobs that I've had done had to be done twice, some of them three times, and each time I've paid top rates for everything.
On a number of occasion I had a distinct smell of rip-off.
On the catalogues the bits for MG's, in the UK, are cheaper than most average modern cars.
The technology of the car is pretty agricultural by today standard but the time quoted to carry the work out seems to be longer than for modern cars.
I don't object so much to the hourly rates being the same as a modern car work shop, although that can be questioned in respect that recent cars will require a more up to date, more expensive tool kit.
But as I said earlier, there is not a job that I've had done that hasn't needed doing again a second time at least.
Also the time quoted to do the jobs is absurd.
I have replaced 4 springs, 4 shocks and the 2 kingpins (including all the rubber bushes) in the same amount of hours that a classic car specialist had quoted me.
And I'm a carpenter/builder with a very basic toolkit and no workshop.
It seems a lot of mechanics trade on the fact that they are dealing with your toy and won't mind being riped off, but the bottom line is that most people wouldn't put up with it for their everyday car.
Still, the BGT V8 is a great little car that has taken me to "Le Mans" and across the continent on a number of occasions at "hooligan" speed, keeping up with most of my mates modern cars in the traffic, and for that only almost makes up for what you have to put up with to keep it on the road.
Go for the V8 conversion, you wo't regret it.
Good luke, not with the car, but on finding a good mechanic,


This thread was discussed between 12/10/2003 and 18/10/2003

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