RoddyMac17 Reader
7/13/20 9:20 a.m.

For the past few months I was searching for an MGB GT, as one popped up on Craigslist for not a lot of money but quickly disappeared, then a very nice one came up on another site, which ended up selling about an hour before I sent an offer in.  Eventually, following a wanted ad, another one became available and it ended up in my hands on Friday:  

It's a 1971 B GT, that apparently came out of California, but has been here in BC for the last few years.  It does need dog legs and most likely some repair work to the outer sill hidden under the dog leg.  But the rest of the car looks to be in quite good shape.  It runs and drives well, but the 2x previous owner has fitted some uprated (lowered) front springs which brings the down the ride height just enough to drag the resonator on any small bump.  The same owner also fitted some rather wide (for an MGB) Falkens to it, so at parking lot speed it requires quite a lot of effort to steer it. 

I put a few miles on it over the weekend, and so far my GF, and both my neices really like it, and even my brother said he'll take it if I didn't want it.  Most of them like the "Blaze" paint on it, but I think it might end up Grampian Grey with an earlier front grille, and..... the spare Zetec I have in the garage along with the RX8 Gearbox that's gathering dust.

I had spent the previous weekend getting the Zetec cleaned up, stripping off years of grease and grime, and gave it a fresh lick of paint:

I also spent some time cleaning the RX8 Gearbox and compared it to an OD 3 sync MGB gearbox that was hiding under the workbench.  The RX8 'box is nearly the same dimensions as the B 'box, so fingers crossed it will fit with very little work on the tunnel:



I also found some time to start on an intake manifold for the Zetec, the plan is to use the exact same carbs as the Europa:

I still have the Elan to put back together and get dear old dads '65 MGB running again, not to mention various little things on the Europa.  So this project might take a bit longer than planned, but it will give me something else to keep me occupied. 



AxeHealey HalfDork
7/13/20 9:46 a.m.


7/13/20 10:06 a.m.


With the 67 GT not selling, I might be using it as the next project. Since it is already in my name it would require no appraiser cost, no 13% sales taxes to be paid, and I would get a pass on the safety  inspection since it is only required when you buy a car. With the new safety inspection rules, it is getting harder to  find a shop that will approve of  ANYTHING not OEM for fear of liability.

I just need some inspiration as to what it might become. The urge to shove a Miata chassis underneath is strong. Having already done the Molvo is both a reason to do this and a reason not to do it.

nlevine (Forum Supporter)
nlevine (Forum Supporter) New Reader
7/13/20 4:26 p.m.

Will be following this with great interest.

I had a '72 B GT in my garage for about 5 years before selling it off a couple of years ago. I had pulled it from a barn in New Hampshire where it had sat since the mid-80s. Would have needed everything including copious body work, but it was complete, had the original engine, a crack-free dash, and I bought it from the 2nd owner (who bought it in '74). Didn't have the wherewithal to jump into that deep of a project then, so it sat, then got sold. However, after working on a mid-80s BMW and a 2000 Audi over the last couple of years, I'm yearning to return to "simpler" mechanical times, and get back into quirky hatchbacks, so I've started looking for B GTs again.

Eager to see where this ends up...

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
7/13/20 7:10 p.m.

'73 BGT w/OD in the grosh sitting quietly as you  carry on.......

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/13/20 8:52 p.m.

In reply to RoddyMac17 :

Are you using the stock Zetec 2-piece oil pan?

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/13/20 9:44 p.m.

Looks cool!  I'm not a big fan of the regular MGB, but I've always loved the B-GT.

I dig the orange color - really works with that body style.

garethashenden New Reader
7/13/20 11:36 p.m.

Keep the orange! So '70s, in such a good way.

RoddyMac17 Reader
7/14/20 8:59 a.m.

Are you using the stock Zetec 2-piece oil pan?

That's the plan at the moment, though I might look at modifying the lower pan to reverse it.  Though that would involve modifying the oil pick-up.  I know it ends up being a tall motor, but the bellhousing is roughly inline with the bottom of the pan:


That being said, the front crossmember will require some weight loss in the form of either a notch or a relief, provided I want to keep the heater (which I do).  One thing I might look into is getting a Neil Dunne or Raceline thermostat/water outlet so that the motor could go back as far as possible and wouldn't use the plastic thermostat housing.  I had to replace the one on the Europa already, so I'm not too keen on having the same issue on this car.

RoddyMac17 Reader
8/4/20 10:53 a.m.

Time for an update, over the last few weeks I've started to acquire the bits I need to transform the GT into the car I want.  First off was finding a set of early tail lights, an early dash, and an early or later grille to get rid of the fishmouth (personal preference).  I managed to find a guy locally who was clearing out a bunch of parts, so ended up with what I needed and them some.  I managed to snag the two larger instruments (along with the dash), a spare front crossmember, and a wire wheel rear axle.  But, the axle is of the earlier type, so might not end up under the GT.  After picking up the used bits, I started on depleting my bank account and ordered all the switches I required, along with a brand new dual gauge:

I've elected to keep the wiper controls on the column, so the spot where the washer pump (or headlamp switch for a later car) is now the home to a starter button.  I know it's not stock, but it's the way I want it.  I also lucked out in managing to aquire an early dashtop piece, I had purchased a windscreen surround for a stillborn project, and as it turned out it was from an early car, so the dashtop was correct.  I had a buch of spot welds to drill out, and I'll have to replace some mounting studs, but at least I'll have something to weld in once the windscreen comes out for paint: 

One of the items on my current "to do" list was to swap out the front springs for the stock ones.  The ones that the car came with were 660 lb 2" lowered springs, which caused the center resonator to rub on anything taller than a flattened cigarette butt.  With the stock springs back in the car is much softer, and doesn't scrape on much.  I did notice that the 2x previous owner had installed a 1" sway bar, it certainly does keep the car flat in turns.  Here's a pic of the new (used grille) and raised ride height:

Another item that will be replaced on the car is the seats.  Currently there are vintage type racing seats but I have no idea who made them.  The seats are too narrow for me, and make getting in and out of the car an absolute pain.  Dear old dad wanted new seats for his B, so guess who gets the old ones...

New seats in the 65:

Old seats for my car:

I will eventually buy new covers for them (and a panel kit, carpet kit, and rear seat kit), but they will remain in red albeit with black piping.  My plan is to paint the car Grampian Grey which looks very nice with a red interior.

Other than that, I've had to remake the intake manifold tubes as my TIG welder doesn't have enough oomph to weld 1/4" aluminium to 3/8".  I've made the stubs longer and have waisted them so that I can push them through the manifold plate and weld from the backside:

I'm hoping to have the intake manifold finished by next weekend.  I have a Speeduino on order which should be in my hands early next week, so I might be able to run the Zetec before the end of August, if that happens then a week of vacation will be booked and the engine swap can begin.


Saron81 HalfDork
8/4/20 2:08 p.m.
garethashenden said:

Keep the orange! So '70s, in such a good way.

I agree! I think it may actually be "flame red."

That's what color my 71 BGT was. Love it!

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
8/4/20 3:08 p.m.

Awesome! Curious about how that big front bar works as no rear bar is mentioned; I gather the leafs make the rear of these things a little over-sprung, but near on 50% stiffer springs and a 1" bar is an awful lot of front end stiffness...

Though it needs a lot of refreshing, my '72 BGT feels like it could use an awful lot more engine than it came with before it would feel overwhelmed.

TurnerX19 SuperDork
8/4/20 3:20 p.m.

Best MGB grill they did. And I agree completely on "fishmouth". Lack of head rests on the early seats would stop me, I have been hit from behind several times.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/4/20 3:22 p.m.


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