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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - New member asks: Conversion Kits available?


I'm new here and am contemplating a V8 swap. I don't even own an MGB yet, and I'm trying to look hard before I leap (rubber vs. chrome, etc...) Now I've seen much mention of an impending sbf 302 kit but I haven't been able to figure out if it exists yet. If so, I'd love to know more details.

I am more familiar with GM, so if there's an sbc kit, great, but from what I've read here so far, the 302 (w/ aluminum heads) is a better match due to weight and size. I have a mental picture of my future car (torquey/stealthy/classic looks with relatively modern handling etc..) and can't wait to build her, but I don't want to get off on the wrong foot.
I definitely want to go with an American V8, though (purely for emotional reasons; of course reason has absolutely nothing to do with my decision to undertake this project. I was recently told that I need to start building a hot-rod LBC like I need a large hole in my head. Of course that only strengthened my resolve to do it.)




302 kits are not available at this time.
I believe Ted Lathrop of Fast Cars Inc. was looking into making motor mounts for a 302 to fit into a B. He is also doing a 302 conversion for Dan Masters.
Websites to check out include:
Dan Masters is the webmaster and publisher/editor of he British V8 Newsletter, lots of very useful info.
This company is D & D Fabrications owned by Dan Lagrou, he has conversion kits available to put the Buick/Olds/Pontiac/Rover V8 Small Block into a B. 215 CI to around 289 CI engines and kits available.
I would recommend a Rubber Bumper MGB for ease of conversion. But you can fit a 302 or BOPR into a chrome bumper B with various modifications.
Also, a useful book would be
"How to convert your MGB to V8 Power" by Roger Parker.

Good Luck

Pete Mantell
1969 MGB 302 V8
PJ Mantell


Strictly speaking, the book you want is 'How to give your MGB V8 Power' by Roger WILLIAMS. Roger Parker is the MGOC's V8 guru (and a very nice guy, who will do anything to help). Roger Parker has written a useful summary of putting the Rover V8 into MGBs. I think you can get to it through the MG Enthusiasts Club homepage. You could also try Dave Vale's V8 Conversion Company, also through the homepage. Dave was a work-colleague of Ken Costello who did the original Rover V8 conversions in the dark ages of the early 1970s!

These are all based in the UK and we tend to use the Rover V8 in various sizes 3.5l to 4.6l being the official Rover engine sizes but there are some wild Rover-based engines available up to 5 litres maybe more.

US Ford or GM V8 engines are not too common this side of the Atlantic but would be interesting but probably not cost-effective here.

Good luck

P L Hills

If you want to stay simple, & feel the need for more than 4.6L from a Rover, then try a Buick 300. It is an easy fit, uses all of the 215/Rover stuff, & can be built to 350 C.I. Mine is 308 C.I & fits in a 1973 & clears the stock hood. It would have been easier in a Rubber Bumper car.

See D & D. Only your check book is the limit.

Talk to Mike Moore to see how much fun it is.
Jim Stuart

Peter H,

Thank you for the correction, too much Old Speckled Hen and Petrol fumes for lunch !


PJ Mantell

The 300 sounds like a good option, as simplicity is definitely a concern for me. From what I've gathered from further reading, the 302 conversion seems great, but looks like it opens a HUGE can of worms. 350 ci.from a Buick would be plenty. My concern would be the availablity and price of parts. i know I can find sbf/sbc bits on every street corner, not so sure about the 300. BTW: Perhaps this is heresy around here, but what auto trans. would fit the 300 in a B?

while I have (hopefully) your attention, who 'round here has done up their suspension? part of my goal would be to go IRS w/ LSD; perhaps coilovers, etc.. I'd like to have a handling champ to go with the added tq; clearly I don't care so much about my B being period 'correct.'

Thanks fellas,



Eric, I am located in Camarillo Ca. which is not far from Burbank. This weekend we are having a all British car show in the Ventura Marina, come and see the car show and get some ideas. The marque for this year is the Aston Martin and we will have several others cars about 110 all British cars.

Come and see the new coil over suspension with camber adjustment, V6 roots blower for the V6 60 degree, etc.
Bill Guzman


Thanks for the tip. I will certainly attend, and I look forward to seeing the coilover setup, blower, etc...

What day(s)/times?


Now if they have a blown DB-5......


I'm almost finished putting IRS in my mgb. It came out of a Factory Five Racing Shelby Cobra. *hopefully* If all goes as planned it will be in the car sooner then later. I have virtually all the parts, just not the medium by which to weld it in the car.

I don't think the 302 is a can of worms any more then a 300ci. It's just a *different* can of worms. Go to your local auto parts store and ask for parts for the 300ci and they're gonna look at you like you're crazy. Say you want parts for a 302 for an mgb and they're gonna look at you the same way. Only difference is the 302 will be less expensive, but require more thought. The only part you really have to fabricate for the 302 is the exhaust headers. Everything else has been created, and can be found, or modified based on preexisting instructions.


That FFR IRS looks like a nice piece. It's exactly the kind of thing I'm thinking about. Is it available with a LSD? What do you have to modify to put it on your B?

I realize that going 300 or 302 is a can of worms either way. All things being equal, I'd actually prefer to go 302 due to parts availability, price and ultimate power potential; but as this is my first project of its kind, I want to keep the process as straightforward as possible so I don't get (too) crazy. I figure that a kit is a good step in this direction.



I will not bother putting in my vote as I am grossly biased. Some timps thoguh witht he 5.0/302. Find yourself an explorer motor form a junk yard. you will be AMAZED at how much of the parts you will use. I am using all the fron bracketry timing cover and water pump. Saves over 1.5" off normall 302 length!!!! and with a small bit of dressing the passenger bracket clears the frame, and then make a single idler and cut off the steering pump and AC mounts from the driver's side and you have all your pulley's lined up and a super short 302!! Alum heads will svae 50lbs and boost performenace. If get an explorer motor will be roller cam, so cams are easy and plentifull, definitely replace the explorer with something aftermarket. the explorer cams are low end grunt sticks that top out around 4500rpm, not well suited to even a V8 mgb..

Check my site for more info on it..
Larry Embrey

This thread was discussed between 14/07/2003 and 16/07/2003

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