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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Olds 215 carb preference?

I'm new to these engine conversion threads, but I keep collecting pieces to do that 215 V8 conversion "someday". I have an Olds 215 with the manifold for a four-barrel carb, and I see two carbs on Ebay right now that look like they might go cheap. The questions: do they fit and/or would they be a good choice.

One is a Holley 4V, 600 cfm universal, part no. 80457-5, 0796.

The other is a Holley 1850, also either 600 or 650 cfm. It is stamped with the numbers 1850-4, 2353.

Many thanks in advance.

Allen Bachelder


for the 215 a Holley 390 (List 8007) or a Carter 400 is he right size if you calculate the demand of the 215.
The 1404 Weber/Edelbrock is a 500 CFM, the smallest they offer and easier to set up than a Holley.
An alternative for light cars with modified 215 engines might be the Holley 570 Street Avenger as used on some Fords, although I never heared of that carb used on any of the small engines.

Everyhing in Exess of these seems to be way to large, as there had not been dramatic mods done to the engine.
You will find interesting stuff for reading on Curtis Jacbsons's page also covering carb information an the readable arcives and in the #how it was done# reports from owners that show their cars there.


Many thanks, Ralph. One of these carb auctions ended while I wasn't looking and you just saved me from the other one. I'll save your note in my "scrapbook", and I've already bookmarked the link.

Allen Bachelder

Yes The biggest mistake you can make is to go too big. For a rough guide for a basically standard or slightly modified road car is to multiply engine size in cubic inches by 1.8.----- 215 x 1.8= 387 So that 390 Holley would be a good choice. To go any bigger than 390-400 you have to be real honest with yourself as far as how often you intend using full throttle at high revs for longer periods Also if the car is basically a road car vac secondries are probably a wise choice specially if you live in a hilly place Cheers Willy

Prior to installing a Ford, my Olds 215 ran with a Carter 500cfm - no problems with performance although I could have played with jetting to lean it out as it tended to run rich.
Graham Creswick

I have an Edelbrock 1414 - 500cfm and Edelbrock manifold on a Rover 3.5 with lots of head work and port matching, an agressive custom grind Erson Cam, ceramic coated 10.5:1 pistons and coated combustion chambers.
I re-jetted my carb based on recommendations from Dan LeGrou at D & D Fabrications. He has been working with the 215 Buick and Rover engines for many years.

Phil O

Thanks guys, I'm learning something.

Allen Bachelder

Just read my post...should remember to proof read. Make that an Edelbrock 1404 carb NOT a 1414.
Regards, Phil

Phil O

Allen: It hasn't been mentioned, but the Carter 400cfm is a direct bolt-on to the Olds 215 4 barrel manifold. The 390 Holley requires an adapter for the stock manifold. I personally like the AFB style carbs for their tunability - I am very comfortable with changing needles rather than jets like the Holley.
John Perkins

Many thanks for the correction. I'll make a note of it. Nice picture too! I like that air cleaner arrangement. ' Have never seen anything like it. Can those be purchased, or is this one fabricated?

And John (also of Magnette fame),
Many thanks to you as well. Your engineering skills have solved my problems more than once.

Now, you guys, can I put Phil's air cleaner on the Carter carb? 8^) --except I'm only half kidding.

Back a few years ago I had a rubber-bumpered GT which I thought the perfect recipient for this V8. Regrettably I let it slip out of my hands in a moment of weakness. So I keep looking for another recipient - unless I put the V8 in my Mk IV Farina Magnette - which has TONS of room in the engine bay. It's now sitting covered up on my carport, waiting for some serious attention.


Allen Bachelder

You won't find an MG or Rover part number for the air cleaner. :~)

The carb cover started with masking tape and an empty cereal box on the kitchen table. The next step was finding a filter. A friend suggested a cylindrical industrial filter with lots of surface area. The filter can was rolled from flat aluminum sheet and the ends spun over a wood form on a lathe. I cut all the flat sheet and had a friend TIG it together. The hose is high temp silicon heater hose from a Piper Cherokee.

I think that the Edelbrock carb is an updated version of the Carter AFB.....Edelbrock bought Carter some time ago. The throat of 4 barrel carbs are standard. I can't remember right now, either 5 1/4" or 5 1/2"?

That Farina with a v8 would be a real sleeper!

Phil O

Hi Guys. I want to put in another engine in my 1977 MGB and have to go the least expensive and simplist route. Would a v-6 odsr v-8 be that solution and if so could you point me in the direction. Thanks. Dan
Dan Irvin


just have a look here and you will find lots of pics and adequate answers in the 'how it was done' reports.


Dan: I have a couple of friends who are using the 3.4 liter GM V6 with the T5 that is installed in late model firebirds and camaros. They have horsepower that is similar to a 3.5 V8, but are 60degree V-6 so they are easier to fit and come with fuel injection that will fit under a stock MGB hood. Personally, I am installing an Olds 215 in my B-GT because I like the sound of a V8 and I have three 215s on my parts shelves.
Check out for V6 installation information.
John Perkins

This thread was discussed between 25/02/2009 and 11/03/2009

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