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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - b engine in midget

hi all,

i have had a look around the archives looking at various engines that have been fitted to the midget.dont seem to see anyone who has fitted the 1800 b engine and box. has anyone any knowledge on this.
thanks bob.

The works has done this to 1 or 2 cars
MK1's I believe.
And one of the ausies on here has done it.

Nice periode conversion.
But not so popular now since it needs a lot of work and the power is not that good.
If you want the easy power a K or other modern engine will be the same amount of work and give a more reliable engine with more power.

Onno Könemann

Plus the 1800 makes a great ship anchor in cat 5 hurricanes is my understanding


it is the combo of engine and box

B-series and 4 synchro with OD is realy heavy.
lose the OD loses weigth
take a 3 syncro loses even more.

but compared to a A-series with a ribcase is still heavy.
Onno Könemann

Prop is right. It's an anchor compared to modern ally engines which push out far far more power. The work involved in the conversion would be just as much. If I was to do another conversion I would use the latest Ford engine. That's just a personal choice.
Neil K

I'd like to do a B series conversion.
Just for the fun of it.
A recreation of the Works midget MKI with the B engine would be nice.
As I recal it was set back a fair amount making it more mid engined.
Fitted with the old 3 bearing 3 syncro pull handle engine combo it would make for a nice torqy engine in a reasonably light car.

You should not see it as a midget with the most power but as a nice period mod

But with the MKII and de D type I have enough projects for the forseeable future ;)
Onno Könemann

I had a customer who had a B series engined Midget years ago. The car was lively in a straight line but a pig in corners. (As it was in may other respects ... not a good example of a conversion.)
Paul Walbran

I wouldn't do it. Its a really heavy engine and only puts out around 100 bhp in standard trim. I reckon it would ruin the car.
Mike Howlett

I built mine years ago, just as a test car to try a few ideas out with a heap of bits and pieces I had.
Ended up with a 2300cc B engine in a lightweight body .
It tipped the scales at 520kg dry and was magic to drive
It had the engine back a bit and with me in it had 50/50 weight distribution which was ok but not ideal
Working on another body setup now and planing for 55% rear which should be great I hope
For a road car there are better options as the guys here have said but for a nostalgic style racer it's an option worth thinking about and lots of hairy fun.
Cheers Willy

William Revit

I don't know... if it were up to me, I'd shy away from fitting any engine that would be heavier than the all-iron A series or Triumph 1500 units while providing only a minimal improvement in power. Many have used the Rover K-series, and in my opinion, this is an ideal swap, the K being light and quite powerful for its weight. And apparently they're not hard to come by on your side of the pond. Much has been said about the K-series pro and con, but for a sports car application it sure makes more sense to me. And for that matter, a well-tuned A can be a delightful, and potent, powerplant.

Gryf Ketcherside

There are ways to reduce weight and increase power on a b series, Alloy crossflow head, alloy backplate, tubular manifold, alloy sump, 5 speed box etc. However it will never make economic sense compared to a K series, and it may never reach the same power to weight ratio.
BH Harvey

Do keep in mind the Toyota 4age,not as much aplied as the Kseries but that just down to not having a installationkit available.

If you want to go period go for Jaguar 4.2ltr as done in the legendary "Fright"!
Arie de Best

arie any pictures about of the fright. would love to see them.

Trebor, check this:

Arie de Best

and a bit more ....

Arie de Best

or this more recent done to an absolute stunning quality!!!

Arie de Best

There is some youtube action too of this beast!

Arie de Best

Holy mackrel.

Now that's what I call a conversion.

Did you read the caption under the last picture on the link you posted about the Fright?

"That same year, I had a Mini Cooper 'S' and when it broke down on a motorway Alan towed me home at over 120 mph!"

Shame that spirit is dead and gone now.

Is it though?

Lawrence Slater

nop it is alive down under
Onno Könemann

Then agian it would be hard to beat a loud screaming climax...Deb can help you accomplish understanding is she is a climax expert ....hahaha

Prop...or Piggy ????, lol.



Check this one out, V8 and four wheel drive, Good talking to you at Battlesbridge, as I mentioned I've been thinking about a K series conversion, keep us informed.

R.A Davis

Glad some of you guys see an alternative to the K series motor - the retro thing is important to some of us at least. I fitted (against all recommendations) a 1300 Ford crossflow, and it's just fantastic. 80 bhp at the wheels on twin 40s is plenty with a low axle ratio, and it is dead simple and screams out at 8000. Not as economical though!. A climax motor would be absolutely the bees knees, but really expensive these days. In the sixties a mate had one of the proper Brabham Midgets, and reckoned 90mph in third, loads lighter overall and handled like a Seven on rails. Anyway - I for one prefer the simplicity and robustness of older proven motors, and they sound great too.....
D le Versha

I'd like a Climax enginer under the bonnet, too. But as you say, they are rare and have high costs to acquire/rebuild.

With a 'modern' (which are all pretty robust these days) you can replace rather than re-build.

The Zetec and the KSeries (and others) look more 'period' if you remove the plastic covers, mount them vertically (makes a big difference), and run them on carbs.

Here's a pic of Mark Reeve's vertical modern (there's a dissy at the back); with twin-40s instead of a plenum, it would look more 60's.

Anthony Cutler

... in case you were wondering... the JPG...


Anthony Cutler


You nailed it exactly.... I love the looks of a 2-3 decade old engine, theres just nothing like them...they just look doable with a few tools...todays engines looks like something you need a nasa rocket collage docterates degree just to change the spark plugs, and in some cases... Im not that far off from the truth

But yeah... I love a lump of steel with a dissy and a carb or 2 or 3.... Heck how about a carb for each clyinder...hahaha

Just sexy


This thread was discussed between 24/09/2011 and 01/10/2011

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