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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - REWARD for information

All right, here I go again... Searching for an elusive passenger side manifold for a small block ford. I have the same exact engine mounted in exactly the same location as the following:

I have looked exhaustively (pun intended) for the last year through every junk yard I can. I have poured over ebay every single day hoping for this exhaust manifold to pop up. NOTHING. What did this originally come off from? It is NOT off any Mustang, Maverick, Comet, Falcon, or any other "common" car. As you can see by the picture, the exhaust exits straight down in front of the starter but behind the engine mount. I originally thought this would be a piece of cake, but WRONG! So now I have 2 options. (Well 3, if you count welding 2 or more manifolds together to make one) I either run a driver's side manifold on the passenger side so the exhaust exits straight toward the front and bend it around under the engine on the passenger side (There is BARELY room to do this, but it is conceivable) The only real problem is asthetics because it might look silly, especially compared to the drivers side which is tucked in nicely. My second option is to FIND OUT WHAT MANIFOLD STEVEN TAYLOR USED IN HIS CONVERSION. So here goes. I will pay the first person to give me the correct year, make and model of the manifold in question $30. I need to know what I'm looking for at this point, and it would be easier to post a "Wanted" ad looking for something specific. All I need is to know what it's from. If your information is correct, I'll send you $30. If you happen to know someone who has one... I'll pay you $50 if I end up buying it. And if you happen to have one yourself, well contact me and I will make you a generous offer.
Thanks in advance.

Scott Wooley

Scott, I have headers available for the 302 Ford conversion, they are similar to the RV8 style, where they exit through the fender well. I have both 1 1/2" and 1 5/8". For pricing e-mail me at:

Steve Carrick
Coyote Engineering
74 MGB 302 Ford
Steve Carrick

We went through this last fall. No good answers.

Wayne Pearson

Scott, Maybe the owner "made" the manifold by welding on a centre downpipe on an existing cast iron stock manifold and blanking off the original opening using a suitable chunk of cast iron and a cast iron welding rod. Some careful grinding and coating and it might not be immediately obvious what was done. Bob.
Bob Elwin

Scott, those manifolds would be very difficult to fing and if you do they would cost lots of $$$$ those manifolds appear to be from a HO Mustang 66 -67 Low number of them were manufacture and are very good if not better than some headers. Shelby use them on their early racing Mustangs for one season only.
You could get a set of a small block 351 manifolds and have them cut the outlet straigh and reweld them.

This is a common practice. Have you seen Steve's headers?

e-mail me if or call me if you need more info.
Bill Guzman

I'm familiar with the HiPo 289 headers and it's not one of those either. No, it's definintely an oddball if it does indeed exsist. I apologize for bringing it up on this board again, but I thought I would give it one more try before I give up on it. My conversion is going well despite this. I simply leave that part of the equation alone for now, as it is one of the simpler obstacles to overcome. As far as welding in a collector and making my own manifold, that is a viable option as well. Most "experts" don't believe in welding cast iron exhaust manifolds due to the heat and cool cycles which eventually will crack even good weld jobs. I usually follow up my weld with nickel rod by a good needling and then flood braze into the weld area and grind smooth. Follow this with Jet Hot coating to help keep the temperature extremes at bay and who knows, maybe it just might work.
I'll still keep my fingers crossed in the mean time.

Scott Wooley


I thought the question was answered on this board, but the answer I seem to remember was from the current owner of the car and the short of it was that they are a cut and shut job. Too bad was my thought at the time.


Scott, from the photos and some research I've been able to do I believe that the manifold is modified. The one thing I can see in the photos is that the ports to the right of the outlet flow away from it. That does't seem like something the factory would do in designing a new casting. There are also what appear to be faint lines in an oval shape around what would be the area of the weld. Looks like a minute gap in the surface where rust has started.
Bill Young

Scot - none to promising - the silver lining 'though being a well tuned manifold along the lines offered by Steve C will generally produce about 13 - 15 more BHP.

Good eye Bill.
Tanking a second (more like 50th) look at the picture I never noticed the ports running the way they do. Very odd indeed. It's got to be a custom. Oh well. I think my plan now is to relocate an alternator to the driver's side and bend a pipe around the space where the alternator used to sit and make the exhaust do a 180 degree turn back under the car. Since my entire engine is behind the crossmember, this is do-able, although how it will look is yet to be determined. Failing that aproach, I'll just have to make my own like this owner probably did.

Thanks all.

Scott Wooley


Realizing that there is a lot of pride is owner-design and fabrication, I'm not goint to try to talk you out of making your own set of headers for the SBF.

But, my opinion is "why invent the wheel"? Carrick has a great product (Graham Creswick, Pete Mantell, and others have already installed a pair on their conversions).

Just food for thought!

rick ingram

I hear what you're saying about reinventing the wheel...but the trouble is, given my engine setback, I really don't have the option of running RV8 style headers without further intrusion into the footwells of the car. This is something I realized and accepted from the start of my conversion. There are both good and bad things about having this kind of setback, but it's the way I want it, and in the end that's all that really matters. Also, ultimate horsepower is not an issue either, or else I would have probably chosen a more forward engine mounting location and gone the route of RV8 style exhausts. My dream is to have a low slung V8 completely behind the front crossmember where there is adequate room for an efficient cooling system, no modifications to the stock suspension, and still be able to run cast iron heads without killing the car's handling. I'm definitely biased a bit toward Ford products, so this was an easy choice for me. Plus I was able to obtain a completely rebuilt 289 for a 12 pack of beer! I put out the word that I was looking for a Ford 289 or 302 engine and by word of mouth my co worker approached me one day. He said a friend of his just bought an old Jeepster to build into a rock crawler and had a Chevy crate 350 ready to transplant into it. The Jeepster came with a 289 Ford, rebuilt and never fired. He yanked the engine out and threw it on his junk pile, ready to go to the scrap yard. My co worker said, "Go offer him a twelve pack of beer for it, I'm sure he'll go for it." So I did, and he not only gave me the engine, but a T5 bellhousing, a balanced flywheel, a BOX of NEW smallblock O.E.M parts including a distributor, ignition module, valves, tappets, etc. etc... The engine had all of the openings taped off with duct tape from the previous owner. I took it home and disassembled it and was quite surprised to find it was build to high compression 58cc combustion chamber, mild cam, solid lifters, etc. He even drank cheap beer! I bought him a twelve pack of Miller Light and he helped me load it into my truck! How could you not put an engine like this into your car?

Scott Wooley

Scott...sounds to me as though you were definitely in the right place at the right time!

And yes, with your configuration, I can see where a one-off header is necessary....Have you taken a photo of the manifold in question to your local Ford of the more "senior" employees may have an idea as to the origin of the manifold in question.

rick ingram

I made my own headers out of a used pair --worked ok for 2 years--now have had a new set made by tube bending out of 1-3/4 in --the engine breathes better with the larger tubes.Have just had them ceramic coated to cut back heat.
Dale spooner has made his own as well--so dont be afraid to give it a go.
The was a conversion in this area with a Chevy that had exhuast set up going to the front then down under and back as you describe --looked bloody awful!
He has since revamped it with proper headers.
Anyway best of luck in your decision.
Gil Price

Scott - Back in the 70's a popular conversion was to put a 289 in an Opel GT. Most of them that I have seen turned the exhaust manifolds around and did the 180 bend, like you were talking about. Sometimes thats the only option, go for it! I just wanted to mention that I have headers available, in case you didn't know.

Steve Carrick

Scott - If you can weld at all, or even if you can't. Give it a shot making your own. I know mine are not the prettiest thing as I was learnign to weld while I made them, but they work very well.
Larry Embrey

As Gil says "looked bloody awful". I did a AMC 360 into a '56 Willys wagon for a crusty rock-crawler. Had to reverse the passenger side manifold and route it back. Looked bloody awful and after the truck was running, I was reluctant to show off the transplant by opening the hood. You will want to do that when you're done. In short time, I had a set of custom headers made. They were expensive, but worth it for the appreciation of other gear-heads when the hood was opened. Cool vs kinda-sorta ok.

Moral? Get it going with a kludge now if you must but you will do a proper job somewhere in the future.

Good luck
Edd Weninger

Scott looked at the car right after Steve got it. The manifold was motified by the builder of the car. I have built two ford v8 B's and built tube headers both times. If you weld you can do it. Just take your time. You can tack weld them together and have a shop do the finish welding for you.

The problem though, with tube headers is the amount of space they occupy next to the engine. A manifold can be cast to to fit very tightly to the engine. Even a sharply bent header tube cannot compare. When you're talking about sacrificing passenger leg room for your exhaust system, I can assure you fractions of an inch can and do make a difference. Plus, the driver's side manifold fits so nicely that I would like to stick to cast iron for the passenger side as well. I'm a good welder and have no problems welding up either cast or mild steel. The thought of a bolt on part is just simply attractive, and my time is precious these days. I'll get over this hurdle just like all the others I've encountered so far. I guarantee my conversion will be unlike any other.

Scott Wooley

I cant understand why you say that the headers will affect leg room .
My headers in no way do.With my new headers being ceramic coated there should not even be a heat problem now. Altough the heat problem before was not a comfort factor it was the heat retention in engine compartment so with hood louvers and ceramic headers those problems are gone,I am assuming your cutting through the inner fenders to exit the exhaust--I dont believe with a 302 Ford there is an alternative --Gil
Gil Price

I would guess that Scott does not have the option of using tube headers. He twice mentions that the engine has a radical setback. This means that available fenderwell headers will exit through the passenger's leg. Not good. I suspect also that he is trying to keep the exhaust inside the framerail much like Larry was when he did his conversion originally.

Scott, when are you going to put up some photos of the swap. I am curious as to how much footwell is left once you get the engine set back that far. Also, is the setback far enough that you are using the short tailshaft T5 trany?


Yes I fouhgt long and hard to keep it inside the fenderwell. But thre are no headers or cast manifolds that will fit the car unmodified and that was on mine with NO firewall mods. If he has the firewall cut to set her back he is going to have to do something custom, OR like mentioned run them backwards...
Larry Embrey

If you can get Steve to find a casting number on the manifold it should be easy to id. Left-side manifold mounted on the right-side of the engine is sometimes a help. Also angle milling the flange surface a few degrees will allow most manifolds to be biased-in, (block hugger) or biased-out to clear frame or other obsticals. A few degrees of wedge-cut can make a substantial difference in clearance. Motorhome and truck manifolds often dump straight down as do some industrial or stationary engine manifolds, such as generators, compressors or pumps. Hope this helps. M
Marc Judson (2- 1978's)

All right. I caved and decided to modify a new stock exhaust manifold. I have it on order and hopefully will be able to start on it by next weekend. Pete, you're right about the exhaust exiting through the passenger's leg! Very funny. As far as posting pictures... Well that would require me setting up some kind of website to make that happen and I have no experience with that. My trans tunnel is still open on both sides of the car until I get the exhaust all figured out. I'll then shape the tunnel to fit around the engine. All questions about leg room will finally be answered at that point. Maybe by that time I'll figure out a way to post pictures.

Thanks for all your replies. I would never have even considered doing any of this were it not for this website.

Scott Wooley

This thread was discussed between 11/04/2005 and 24/04/2005

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