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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Still thinking about a V8 swap into a MG

Here I go:
Ever time I get into the mindset that I am going to stay with the 1.8L factory engine in my 77 MDG, I go back to the thought this car needs a V8. So then the problem comes up of money. I am one of those people that do not like to spend a lot of money on anything (cheap you may say). Every opportunity I have ever had to spend the money on the car I will just blow it off. So the car has basically sat in my back yard (not in a trailer park) for the three years I have owned it. I know the wiring needs to be re-done; the carb needs to be replaced along with the brakes, hood and trunk lid, trunk floor, doors, and carpet. The car is not in that great of shape, however it was free and I want to learn about cars. This car provides and excellent opportunity for my due to itís less then showroom condition. I do want to go the cheapest route I can at this point to get the car on the road without tearing it up to badly. The body parts can wait it is the mechanical that concerns me at this point. Hopefully when I get through with school (in 30 years at this rate) and maybe being promoted in my current job I will feel/have more money to toss at the car. For now I want to get it on the road and start enjoying it. What do you guys suggest and what do/ need to get the car on the road (small budget in mind due to me being cheap and all of that)? Now I sand blasted the trunk floor and then primer it. So the floor is bad in spots and I will fix that sooner or later (at the rate I am going more like never). So the car needs a lot of work so my thing is the engine should be rebuilt and everything mechanical should be gone through. Now I can spend the money and have it done like stock (I want to work on the car as my first real project) so I want to do all of the work myself. Which is going to be easier a V8 conversion or a stock redoing. Now the car is never going to be show quality (unless I win the lotto in the next year or so). Any information on parts where to get them and basic guess on what it will run me. Thanks please also keep in mind that I will be limited in tools (I have some hand tools, air tools, and no welder). The car does not have to have a 300-rwhp engine. Just want to get it back on the road. Thanks for any information that you can provide in this matter.





Also please if you have no positive or helpful information start up your own thread and post in it. Thanks.
The G

G,
Go with the stock rebuild. That way, you'll learn about cars without getting in over your head right away, and have something to drive 'soon' to show for it. A V8 conversion is pretty involved, requires somewhat more than basic automotive skills, and can be expensive. When you have the car running and looking good, see if you still want to do the conversion, and there'll be less chance of an abandoned project.

Best, Joe
Joe Ullman

The least expensive approach would be to buy a running MGB, next choice would be to get a rust-free non-runner that is all there, next choice would be to work on the existing engine. Installing a V8 in a rusty car is ultimately the most expensive way to go, especially as a first ever mechanical project.
George B.

Consider putting some japanese four banger out of a rear wheel drive if you aren't worried about originality. I saw an mga over the weekend that had what I think was a miata four cylinder in it (not for sure though), which came with fuel injection and all that good stuff. The idea behind this suggestion is that you might be able to get a good running engine, for cheap, with cheap, easy to find parts availabe, that will fit into the engine bay in much the same matter as the original did, without having to modify the car as much as you would for a 'V'-block engine.
Anthony Morgan

Hi "the G"
As the guys say stick with the original spec.
I've done up several B's and restoration of a tatty one is pretty straightforward. If necessary hire a welder and learn on some scrap then if you've got an engineering head on your shoulders replacing panels is no big deal ( your neighbours might not like the noise of your angle grinder etc!!)
I'm doing my first (and last probably) V8 conversion.
I thought there was a well trodden path and it would be easy. Well if you've got a big bank account it probably is but otherwise you have a lot of work and research to do. Roger Parkers article covers some useful detail and gets you going but I'm finding it a long job and it will cost over £2000 even if I don't rebuild the engine .
Have fun getting it up to running standard spec, then when you get bored in a few years - and richer from a good job have another think.
Have fun it's a great car.
Pete
Pete

Posted 20 May 2002 at 15:39:23 UK time
Joe Ullman, Washington, USA, jullman@pacifier.com
G,
Go with the stock rebuild. That way, you'll learn about cars without getting in over your head right away, and have something to drive 'soon' to show for it. A V8 conversion is pretty involved, requires somewhat more than basic automotive skills, and can be expensive. When you have the car running and looking good, see if you still want to do the conversion, and there'll be less chance of an abandoned project.

Best, Joe


That is what I was looking into doing, it is just the thought of having a little V8 in a little car would be nice.


George B., Wildomar, Ca.
The least expensive approach would be to buy a running MGB, next choice would be to get a rust-free non-runner that is all there, next choice would be to work on the existing engine. Installing a V8 in a rusty car is ultimately the most expensive way to go, especially as a first ever mechanical project.


Reread my post I am going to use this car and that was not an option as listed in my post.


Thanks for everyones input.
The G

ttt any other input
The G

The G,

I understood your post well enough the first time. My response was answering your need of least expensive alternatives to having a running MGB in a within-this- life time frame, not realizing you were married to the one in your yard.

If you want to aquire mechanical skills, you should get the engine in the car running without spending any money on it, unless the car was parked due to a major component break down. Don't waste your time wondering which engines will fit (almost any modern automotive engine can be forced in) or what wheels and tires to use (not needed on a non-runner anyway) or what gauges will fit (ditto and how do you know if anything is wrong with the existing gauges?)

Just go out there and start the engine or run a compression test to give you a clue as to will run. Troubleshooting will give you more useful experience than any amount of engine swaps. Let us know exactly what you have tried, what carburation you have and the observed conditions such as "engine turns over quickly but refuses to fire, or engine fires but dies when key is released".
George B.

Here is what I have done to the car. See if you can helps some.

Back ground:
Got car with wires disconnected from ignition module and wired backwards on the coil. Fixed those problems to the best of my abilities. (side note timing is set).


Carb:

Carb Weber 45 sidedraft carb (was on the car facttory one is in pieces). Noticed no gas was flowing so I took it off. Went through the Weber cleaned everthing out and re did it and put it back to gethter. Now gas flows and used a weber tunning sheet to put it at the factory settings (this was a base line the carb to have the car run according to the sheet). That did not work so I adjusted it like the paper stated no luck.

Other items that are change:

The car has a new rotor and cap along with new spark plugs. Also a new starter and battery. Fresh oil and filters.

What is the car doing:

It will turn over and catch ever now and then like it wants to crank but never does. (on a side not it did crank and run a few months ago for around 15 seconds, as soon as I took my foot off of the gas pedal it died. The idle screw was set out (or in) the car car should have idled high and stayed running. As sugested on the MG tech board I put a little oil down the spark plug holes to get the car to work. Never did. I can not find any vacum leaks.


Thanks if you can help me.

The G

You should post the data to the MGB Technical site for better response. I don't know enough about the Weber, but it sounds as though the timing is retarded too far to start. If you aren't sure about the static timing, try advancing a few degrees at a time until it starts. You have advanced too far when the engine kicks back against the starter. I believe the Weber has an excelerator pump, so you should be able to tell if you're getting fuel to it.
George B.

This thread was discussed between 20/05/2002 and 29/05/2002

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