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MG MGB Technical - engine mods for more hp

I expect to have to remove my engine this winter to fix an oil leak from the rear seals. What straightforward mods can I do to get a few more horsepower. I am thinking K&Ns, tubular exhaust manifold(I was thinking of the Bell stainless system), camshaft change and gas flowed head (Peter Burgess?). Stage 1? Stage 2?
Steve Church

Decide on a budget and what you want the car to do. Then talk to Peter Burgess, he really knows about MGBs and the quality of his Heads etc is second to non. No BULL.... only good down to earth info. I use his heads and cams on both naturally aspirated and supercharged engines with excellent results.

I am in no way connected to Peter other than as a VERY satisfied customer.
jim soutar

Increasing CCs will give you the biggest gain. It's the way BMC went, increasing the B series engine from 1.5 to 1.8.
c cummins

The received wisdom now is that the OE cast iron manifold is pretty effective, I wouldnt overbore if the cylinders are OK . For road use the Peter Burgess Econotune head plus a mild cam and a needle change is a very cost effective way to go. It also results in better MPG. There is a lot on here about K+Ns I think its agreed now that the shallow pancake style ones dont flow enough to be worth while over the OE, I have to say that to avoid changing the paper filters on cost grounds alone I'm pleased I did this mod. I think its well worth a visit to Derby when its all back together to be set up on Peters rolling road, if you are doing this then leave the needles until the day. I'm sure PB will be along soon for the definitive answer.
Stan Best

The PO had the engine looked at two years before he laid the car up (reground crank, new shells, pistons, camshaft). I dont think much was done to the head other than a skim and valves lapped in. I'm hoping that the bottom end is sound. I'm getting oil seepage from the bellhousing (front of gearbox or rear of engine) so I need to pull the engine. I'm also seeing some oil seepage from the head/block joint so need to pull the head also. Seems a good time to think about improvements.

I put a Megajolt/EDIS system on my Midget when I had it. Is this worthwhile doing for the B or is a simple 'electronic points' upgrade enough?
Steve Church

The new 123 programmable (with a laptop) is very good and easy to set up for each individual engine.
jim soutar

I have to agree with Jim. Some headwork by Peter Burgess and a stronger camshaft will do plenty for minimal relative investment. No need to switch exhaust manifolds unless you're going the Big Bore route. Converting the distributor to solid state triggering should do fine, so long as you've got the right ignition curve. As for the subject of K&Ns, read the book that I sent you.
Stephen Strange

Before talking to Peter Burgess, borrow or buy his book "How to Power Tune MGB 4-cylinder engines". It will give you insight on getting the most for your money and allow you to ask intelligent questions.

werner haussmann

Find us on Sunday - how much power do you want?! The B we might be in has mega-power (but not as much as I have planned!) and the A we might end up in is engined by a B engine and has alot of power too :). That has stuff from Peter Burgess too so you can have a chat about his engines and heads.

Sounds good Rach. I hope I can find you in all the wind and rain!!
Steve Church

Oh don't - I'm still pretending it's actually going to be gloriously sunny and hot ......!

I think that the Anglia centre have signs so you should be able too - and the letters of the car are CON ( which is rather suitable really!)

This thread and quite a few others illustrates the concept of owning an MG. I think it was you Steven Strange, you wrote once that originally MG's were meant to be altered and modified by their owners. Look at the competition history. For example the very early TC's that were introdiced with very little planning, during the depression. Within a year they had a car out, and very soon, in the right hands, it was winning comps. But being tuned all the time. I just Praise the Lord, and hope that legislation never stops us enjoying our hobby. Mike
J.M. Doust

Steve - do you want to e-mail me and I'll give you my mobile number? For obvious reasons (open forum and all that) I'd prefer not to give it out here - no offence meant to anyone else of course :)

Steve, more HP costs money, the more you want the more you'll have to pay.
What can be done with good success...
Balance all rotating and ocillating internals to 1/10th, lighten flywheel, fit flat top pistons, fit a Piper 285/2, a modified cylinder head, the version Peter offers as the Ralley/Race head is fine, fit HIF6 carbs, complete Peco exhaust, match all the ports to the manifolds, add an uprated oil pump an a Abingdon Special Tuning dizzy, K&N Filters with substracks, an uprated fuel pump, an electric cooling fan and invest in new suspension bushings, brakes and telescopic schocks, new springs at the front and Moss competition springs at the rear and you will end up with the B you always desired:)
Take your time toblueprint the engine, even if it takes some days of work in the shop.
With a .060 over engine, you can end up with nearly 120 rwhp this way.
R.S. Ralph Siebenhaar

This thread was discussed between 10/08/2011 and 12/09/2011

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