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Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/5/19 7:12 p.m.
wspohn said:
MotorsportsGordon said:

Probably could find some decent prices on the rubber bumper mgb and midgets.

but you can find cheap it’s just what type of shape you are alright with.

But they are far worse cars than the early versions. You need t spend a bunch of money on springs sway bars, and lowering to get an RBB back to where the chrome bumper car starts out.

as far as what goes?  Lowering isn't something I do to cars, I like being able to drive them without scraping when pulling into the shop,  I brought my bird back up to stock height shortly after I bought it.

 

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
8/5/19 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Brian :

The method used to raise the cars to meet the then headlight regulations was detrimental to handling. It messed with bump steer and roll centers in a negative way.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
8/5/19 10:31 p.m.
Jumper K Balls (Trent) said:

In reply to Brian :

The method used to raise the cars to meet the then headlight regulations was detrimental to handling. It messed with bump steer and roll centers in a negative way.

yes, we are not talking dumping them into the weeds, but back to the stock height previous to 1974. Not that MGBs ever had much ground clearance

wspohn
wspohn Dork
8/6/19 4:04 p.m.

As they said, factory mods to get past US requirements made the handling on later MGBs inferior to early ones.  The usual thing to do is drop them back to pre rubber bumper height, but it isn't as easy or cheap as it might sound.

The MGB is probably the sweet spot for engine transplant into British sports cars. Others either don't fit as well (Midgets, Spitfires), or handling is inferior (IRS TRs, Spits, GT6) or the cars are too expensive to chop up (Healey, Jags, MGA. T series.

Popular MGB swaps include the GM 60 deg. V6, the Rover V8 (or its GM antecedents) or Ford V8s. In unrusty condition the chassis can take any of those, the stock brakes are adequate for any reasonable street use, and the handling is good.

BTW, Triumph TRs have a brace that goes between the shock towers at the front of the car to stiffen things up. Never remove that brace because it gets in the way of your swap - I have seen a V8 swap on an early TR where the front suspension slowly folded in on itself over a period of weeks without the brace there to prevent it. The later IRS cars had poorly designed rear suspensions - they look like female dogs having a pee when they squat on hard acceleration. You'd be better off with a live axle candidate, although the IRS situation can be improved a fair bit by changing rear springs.

IMHO the largely untapped are for future swapping development is the modern 4 cylinder high output (usually turbo) engines.  You can have an engine that gets great mileage, weighs less than the old MG engine and produces up to 5 times the power of the original, depending on what mods you do to the new engine.

I'd have loved to stick the engine from my Solstice (currently 375 bhp/375 Tq) in the MG I engine swapped, but I decided to settle for 200 bhp from a 3.4 V6 as being more consistent with sanity.

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
8/6/19 4:55 p.m.

In reply to Brian :

There is a Jaguar XJS someone swapped a Chevy V8 into and then cut off the roof.  He’s actually got the tittle.  It doesn’t appear rusty but it sure appears to be lacking plenty. 

Every once in a while it pops back up on Craigslist with a $1 or best offer but so far no one has got him to pull the trigger.   I first saw it a decade ago and he asked $1800, Later it dropped to $500.  

Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/6/19 7:10 p.m.
wspohn said:

As they said, factory mods to get past US requirements made the handling on later MGBs inferior to early ones.  The usual thing to do is drop them back to pre rubber bumper height, but it isn't as easy or cheap as it might sound.

The MGB is probably the sweet spot for engine transplant into British sports cars. Others either don't fit as well (Midgets, Spitfires), or handling is inferior (IRS TRs, Spits, GT6) or the cars are too expensive to chop up (Healey, Jags, MGA. T series.

Popular MGB swaps include the GM 60 deg. V6, the Rover V8 (or its GM antecedents) or Ford V8s. In unrusty condition the chassis can take any of those, the stock brakes are adequate for any reasonable street use, and the handling is good.

<snip>

I'd have loved to stick the engine from my Solstice (currently 375 bhp/375 Tq) in the MG I engine swapped, but I decided to settle for 200 bhp from a 3.4 V6 as being more consistent with sanity.

the 60* v6 from 4th gen f-body was what we were thinking of swapping since there are direct swap kits for it.  we'd obviously upgrade the motor a bit as 160hp just isn't enough when 200hp is just about a head swap away.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
8/7/19 12:17 a.m.
Brian said:
wspohn said:
MotorsportsGordon said:

Probably could find some decent prices on the rubber bumper mgb and midgets.

but you can find cheap it’s just what type of shape you are alright with.

But they are far worse cars than the early versions. You need t spend a bunch of money on springs sway bars, and lowering to get an RBB back to where the chrome bumper car starts out.

as far as what goes?  Lowering isn't something I do to cars, I like being able to drive them without scraping when pulling into the shop,  I brought my bird back up to stock height shortly after I bought it.

 

The early MGB’s handled just fine and no they didn’t scrape. 

After The new bumper laws came in force, in order to keep selling MG’s in America the factory raised the cars up to make them conform to the bumper laws. 

 To return the MGB to its original good handling people will use older parts ( which Bolt right on ).  

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
8/7/19 12:25 a.m.
wspohn said:

As they said, factory mods to get past US requirements made the handling on later MGBs inferior to early ones.  The usual thing to do is drop them back to pre rubber bumper height, but it isn't as easy or cheap as it might sound.

The MGB is probably the sweet spot for engine transplant into British sports cars. Others either don't fit as well (Midgets, Spitfires), or handling is inferior (IRS TRs, Spits, GT6) or the cars are too expensive to chop up (Healey, Jags, MGA. T series.

Popular MGB swaps include the GM 60 deg. V6, the Rover V8 (or its GM antecedents) or Ford V8s. In unrusty condition the chassis can take any of those, the stock brakes are adequate for any reasonable street use, and the handling is good.

BTW, Triumph TRs have a brace that goes between the shock towers at the front of the car to stiffen things up. Never remove that brace because it gets in the way of your swap - I have seen a V8 swap on an early TR where the front suspension slowly folded in on itself over a period of weeks without the brace there to prevent it. The later IRS cars had poorly designed rear suspensions - they look like female dogs having a pee when they squat on hard acceleration. You'd be better off with a live axle candidate, although the IRS situation can be improved a fair bit by changing rear springs.

IMHO the largely untapped are for future swapping development is the modern 4 cylinder high output (usually turbo) engines.  You can have an engine that gets great mileage, weighs less than the old MG engine and produces up to 5 times the power of the original, depending on what mods you do to the new engine.

I'd have loved to stick the engine from my Solstice (currently 375 bhp/375 Tq) in the MG I engine swapped, but I decided to settle for 200 bhp from a 3.4 V6 as being more consistent with sanity.

Realize the suspension on a MGB  will freely interchange with MGTD’s  and MGA ‘s.  I’m running a MGB swaybar  and using MGA wire wheels with drum brakes, because disks don’t look proper. ( and with a top speed of 75 MPH  not needed,  even in Vintage racing) 

MGTD, TF, MGA, MGB all will easily take a Chevy V8 or whatever else you want. I’ve seen Chrysler Hemi, Jaguar V12, and so many Ford Flatheads you’d think it was a factory option.  

 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
8/7/19 12:48 a.m.

The rover v8 and gm versions  of that engine will obviously fit in an mgb as they factory installed them on 2 models.

the mgb gt v8

Then for a few years in the 90s the mgb was brought back with mgb rv8

benzbaronDaryn
benzbaronDaryn SuperDork
8/7/19 1:29 a.m.

There is an onramp on the freeway around me where there is a one mile straight, basically how fast you wanna go.  I love winding the old mercedes out.  I was driving towards the straight and notice what looks like a spitfire coming up fast.  Well I punch it up to 90 or so, a speed where most british cars should start breaking up.  Guy in a mustard yellow Jenson Healy flies past me doing at least 100 and keeps going.  That little thing was hauling ass, might be something to look into. I am still a bit stunned.  

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
8/7/19 1:40 a.m.
benzbaronDaryn said:

There is an onramp on the freeway around me where there is a one mile straight, basically how fast you wanna go.  I love winding the old mercedes out.  I was driving towards the straight and notice what looks like a spitfire coming up fast.  Well I punch it up to 90 or so, a speed where most british cars should start breaking up.  Guy in a mustard yellow Jenson Healy flies past me doing at least 100 and keeps going.  That little thing was hauling ass, might be something to look into. I am still a bit stunned.  

Stock Jensen healey are pretty fast for the 70s. They use a 907 lotus engine and are around 140 hp. Pretty impressive for a stock normally aspirated 4 cylinder engine is the 70s.

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
8/7/19 4:33 p.m.

In reply to Brian :

Local club member has a decent Triumph TR3 for $1200.  Any interest?  

Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/7/19 4:38 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Brian :

Local club member has a decent Triumph TR3 for $1200.  Any interest?  

Possibly...
Any more info?

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
8/8/19 1:42 a.m.

In reply to Brian :

I’ll try to forward the details 

dherr
dherr HalfDork
8/8/19 8:16 a.m.

Not sure what your budget is, but there is really no way to do a engine swap in an old British sports car and make it safe and reliable for less than $5k. I am in the finishing stages of my Spitfire project. Car was $750, engine/transmission was $2,000, rear suspension/differential was $2,000, suspension/brakes $800, wheels/tires $1,000 and ECU $800. Not to mention the body work, sheet metal and  misc. parts to make it nice inside.  I did not even do any paint work as I did not want to add another $4K to the budget on a Spitfire and it is more cool to have a sleeper than make it too pretty. Sure you can find a rusty MGB and stuff a F-body engine/transmission in it, but it would not be safe if you don't budget for all the other parts to make it what it needs to be to compensate for the power increase.

My project is below if you have not seen it in the builds section.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/rat-rod-1972-mk4-triumph-spitfire-project/132550/page1/

Working on a friend's MGB, higher budget for this one to be sure! But teaching my friend the art of flipping stuff to get what you need.

 

Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/8/19 8:30 a.m.

In reply to dherr :

I'll have to disagree with your engine cost numbers.  we've seen several motor/trans donor vehicles (which means no extra cost for an ECU) for $750obo, that cuts your budget by about half, which makes it more budget friendly.  Whilst I don't fabricate or do body work, we can do most things mechanical and electrical on a budget.

 

dherr
dherr HalfDork
8/8/19 8:54 a.m.

I'll grant you that I used a JDM Miata motor and 6 speed transmission and wanted the most desirable version (1999-2000 NB) so I paid twice what I could have found a used 1.6 or even 1.8 from an NA car.  I also added a turbo, which necessitated swapping the ECU. You certainly can find an F-body V6 and 5 speed for cheap and probably even less than $750 if you find a good deal. But that is just the start. There is no "kit" to building these cars, you will need to fabricate some items.  http://www.classicconversionseng.com/plines/mgb-v6-engine-installation-kits-and-parts/ is the closest but the $850 kit gets you motor and transmission mounts and headers, which are well worth the price, but you will need much more to make this all work right. You can use all used parts and keep the costs down as much as possible, but it will add up, I know as I have built three of them (V8 TR4A, Turbo Miata powered Spitfire and my old Thunderbird Turbo Spitfire Challenge car). The challenge car was built under the budget and proves it can be done, but that was not a street car and required massive fabrication.

The problem is that for most of the inexpensive examples, they are all built to handle less than 100 HP. This means the rear axles are not up to the performance and will need to be upgraded, brakes need to be improved and the suspensions need to be revised to deal with the new found power. I currently have my 1965 TR4A off the road, as after 10 years of dealing with the axle hop and brake issues, I am now pulling the body to replace the rear end with a Q45 LSD and Good Parts CV axles so I can finally use the car as intended. My TR4A has around 200 HP from the built up Rover V8, so similar to what you would get from a modern V6. I will need to re-engineer the brakes as well when I do the upgrades.

Not trying to talk you out of it by any means, just wanting to make you aware that you will need to do more than just swap the engine on one of these old classics. 

 

dherr
dherr HalfDork
8/8/19 8:57 a.m.

BTW, that LT1 in the MGB was only $800 with less than 82K miles on it. Cleaned up pretty nicely! 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
8/8/19 9:10 a.m.
MotorsportsGordon said:

The rover v8 and gm versions  of that engine will obviously fit in an mgb as they factory installed them on 2 models.

 

Then for a few years in the 90s the mgb was brought back with mgb rv8

as the RV8 used a heritage shell as it's starting point, they might be a good place to start looking at what the factory did to contain that much power

 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
8/8/19 10:37 a.m.
mad_machine said:
MotorsportsGordon said:

The rover v8 and gm versions  of that engine will obviously fit in an mgb as they factory installed them on 2 models.

 

Then for a few years in the 90s the mgb was brought back with mgb rv8

as the RV8 used a heritage shell as it's starting point, they might be a good place to start looking at what the factory did to contain that much power

 

It used a 3.9 rover v8,187 hp,234 lbs of torque at 3200rpm.

dherr
dherr HalfDork
8/8/19 11:46 a.m.

And had upgraded brakes (4 pot), heavily revised suspension, different (stronger) rear axle, etc....  My point is just that you can't just stick a larger engine into a classic British car for a few thousand dollars and expect much from it. TR7's with the V6 are a proven solution as the rear end is up to V8 torque. MGB, Spitfires, Midgets and similar are not and will require more work than just swapping out the engine/transmission. I am as cheap as anyone here on this forum, but trying to be realistic.

Brian if you can give us an idea of what you will spend on the project, we can give you advise and recommend options. My guess is that a solid MGB and the GM drivetrain is your least cost option. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/8/19 11:51 a.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

The MGB shell is actually very over designed for the original 4 banger. I bet that early on in the design it was intended to have more power until the bean counters stuck a fork in it. Torsional rigidity-wise, I would put it up against the muscle cars of the era and expect it to be a stiffer tub.

 

The RV8 did some frame additions to the rear suspension front leaf spring attach; think frame connector kinda thing.

 

Pete

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
8/8/19 12:01 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :You are correct!  The MGB came from the factory  with  4 cyl, 6 cyl, and V8 and none of them required beefing up.  

While the brakes are marginal,  Wilwood already makes a kit to upgrade to whatever your needs are. 

 

 

Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/8/19 12:11 p.m.
dherr said:

And had upgraded brakes (4 pot), heavily revised suspension, different (stronger) rear axle, etc....  My point is just that you can't just stick a larger engine into a classic British car for a few thousand dollars and expect much from it. TR7's with the V6 are a proven solution as the rear end is up to V8 torque. MGB, Spitfires, Midgets and similar are not and will require more work than just swapping out the engine/transmission. I am as cheap as anyone here on this forum, but trying to be realistic.

Brian if you can give us an idea of what you will spend on the project, we can give you advise and recommend options. My guess is that a solid MGB and the GM drivetrain is your least cost option. 

Probaly 5k all done.  2k for the MGB, 500ish for a donor f-body, another 1000 on upgraded heads, intake and cam.  the rest on getting it safe and presentable.  Chances are he'll end up over budget.

 

dherr
dherr HalfDork
8/8/19 1:02 p.m.

If you can find the right car, you may be able to flip parts to get some budget $$ back. While it tempting to find a car that needs an engine, a running car, perhaps with overdrive might get you some cash back for the swap. If it were my car and I was trying to keep it as low cost as possible, I would find a 3.4 V6 f-body and keep it stock to start. The kit from Classic Conversions solves the headers and mount fabrication issues and is probably money well spent. If the MGB is solid, that will really help budget wise, so find the most rust free car you can find.  Here in the mid-atlantic, you can find decent cars like this one that could be a good start, I bet this can be talked down to $2,500 pretty easy. https://york.craigslist.org/cto/d/windsor-1970-mgb-convertible/6945238384.html

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