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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - 1980 Rover

Just when I though I had made my final decision on what engine to purchase for my 1969 Roadster conversion, another possibility presented itself today.
A man one town over wants to get rid of a car that has been sitting in his yard for almost 8 years. It is (about, he is not sure) a 1980 Rover, 3500-V8, standard transmission with fuel injection. When I first drove into the yard I was expecting to see a Land Rover but this is a 4-door car that looks a bit like a Saab from the front. Everything seems to be intact under the hood. If I am further interested, I would have to go back with a battery to try to get it running. Of course he assured me that it ran great when it was parked. Speedometer reads 7,000 miles so I am assuming that means 107,000. Even if I did not use the engine out of this car would it be a good source for a transmission/bell housing? What else could I use off of it?

It sounds like an SD1. I think this is probably one of the best donors for an MGB V8 conversion. Virtually everything from the engine to driveshaft may be useable. Even at that mileage you may have good results, I've had two Buick 215's go well over 100k (probably over 150, I don't keep track) with no problem. This engine should be closer to the original MGB V8 engine than most Land Rover models and require fewer modifications.

Joe Collins

If itís a Rover V8 and it is a 1980 car (give or take 5 years or so) and the hood hinges from the front then itís a 5-door hatchback SD1. However, I donít see the similarity between the SD1 and a SAAB and Rover didn't make a 4 door.
If itís an SD1 it will have a higher compression, better heads and a higher capacity oil pump than the original MGBGTV8. As well as the engine, tranmission and fuel injection, you can also use the front brakes (might be four pot) small items like the radiator expansion tank and possibly the windshield washer bottle. The back axle and brakes could be used if modified; it will probably have a 3.08:1 ratio diff. Take the lot it will be great for a conversion - its what I used.
Geoff King

Yes, the car is a 5 door. I didn't think to count the hatch back and, OK perhaps describing the car as Saab-like was streaching it but, I have never seen one of these cars before. I have decided to take the car. I hope to get it home this Saturday. Along with all the other bits I hope to use off it, it's got great alloy wheels that I would love to get onto the MGB.
Thanks for the help,

Not sure what you know of engines, but if it has been sitting that long, be carefull starting (or trying to). she will have little to no oil in her and most likely be a bit tight due to cylinders not moving for so long.

I am not rover familliar, but if you can bring a oil pump primer rod and a cordless drill I HIGHLY recommend pulling the Distrib and priming the pump to see if any oil comes out and what shape it is in. You may also want to bring a "cheapo" elect fuel pump to splice into the system to make sure she gets fuel in case the stock pump is frozen..

Otherwise, HAVE FUN! She should have most of what you need!!
Larry Embrey

Larry, thanks for the tip. I plan to get the car home on a trailer so I can take my time about getting the engine freed up before trying to start it.

Go for it,
It is an SDI. I found the same car in a junkyard near Kitchener(Can) and bought it. It has the Federal fuel injection but can be easy transformed to Carburetor. I had to do this because I was missing the ECU for it.
I rebuild the engine and have now around 40.000 miles on it. Very reliable and lots of fun. You won't regret the swap. Get you the V8 newsletter and start when you have all the parts in house.
Support on this bulletin is very good!
Werner Van Clapdurp

Yup, must be an SD1-- and to most North Americans they do look European or a little Saab-like. Most SD1's over here are automatics. Buick 215 pistons will swap in nicely if need be-- apart from improved casting processes and other relatively minor changes (larger oil pump) it is essentially the same as the Buick 215. The "stiff block" with added webbing cast in between the cylinders came out about '83 and is, in theory, a little stronger if you want to "push it". EFI should be the "flapper" type (referring to the flap in the air intake flow meter) and should have a low profile flat topped plenum chamber that fits under the standard bonnet without modification! sounds like a good find to me. Note that N/A SD1's had different brake callipers than the UK ones and may be less suitable because of larger slave cylinders.
Angus Davies

This thread was discussed between 11/04/2001 and 14/04/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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