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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - 71 B Roadster V8/V6 decision

Heres my problem: my 4-cylinder sucks. I hate this thing. revs like a brick, and about as fast. So i want a V8. 300hp in a 2000lbs car is to appealing to a 17-year-old like me. however, the b is my only car. so it cant be down for 2 months while i screw with this. also, i'm an excellent builder, that is, i can put things together. but if i have to make the mounts and crap, forget it. no good at that. anyone know of a kit (mounts, headers, etc) for a chrome bumper b? i would really like to use a ford or chevy 5.0, as they are quite common and bulletproof. any comments are welcome. and a thank you in advance for the many responses i hope i will get!!! thanks

Matt Hartley

Matt, I suggest you think about the work you are about to take on. If you plan to use a V8, you have to cut and weld the right bulk head. You will also have to cut the front panel between the frame rails to move the radiator forward, maybe move rack and make mounts, etc. : in short you will most likely have to custom fabricate some parts, but nothing impossible. You should start collecting all the necessary components before you start to keep down time at minimum. If you are not in the automotive field I suggest you plan for more time than 2 months. Oh, almost forgot you need lots of $$$.
PS: I'm 24 with 3 speeding tickets this year alone, I can only imagine the trouble a 17 year old might get into. Seriously, 300hp will accelerate you faster than just about any production vehicle sold, -safety fas t:)

Not to discourage you, but you will need to fabricate and it will take longer that 2 months and will cost more than your car is currenty worth. Good luck, I'm sure others can give details on any kits availabe, perhaps a V6 kit that requires no fabricating? I think someone here advertises one.

1) V8: There is a web site detailing US V8's and MGB's called: Stuffing a V8 into a British Sports Car.
There is also a list of other worthwhile sites linked to the one mentioned above.
2) V6: There is a company in the US selling kits for installing various US based V6 engines into MGB's.
Check the archives section for previous discussions; there have been many over the past few months or so.
Good luck with the conversion. Pete, Australia.
Peter Thomas


Go with the V6 if you want ease of installation. I have not done the conversion yet, but have done a lot of homework on the subject. By far the V6 is a much more straight-forward installation than a V8. Try these websites:
Zach Dorsch

Matt: I have a '95 Camaro V-6 and 5 speed in my 72B. I am very happy both with the relative ease of installation (primarily a drop in/bolt up) and the actual performance. I can't quote any 0-60 times, but, I do feel the torque when driving the car. I had mine installed by a pro. He remarked about the ease with which the whole thing went in. I had him do a bunch of extra things like rewiring the car to accomodate the fuel injection setup, fuel injection fuel pump, custom exhaust, fender flares, etc. But you can go the carb route, save a bundle and quite possibly do the whole thing in a long weekend, if you can get all the parts together and have a bit of help. The Chevy 60 degree V-6s are really good engines now that they've solved some of the old durability problems. They rev very easy and can be made to put out a lot of HP for their size. And they aren't much, if any, heavier than the stock 4 banger. Talk to Bill at the previously mentioned web site and he can advise you on how to do it quickly. I've also been talking to a friend about the aftermarket chips they sell for the computer controlled motors. He's installed one and says they do, in fact, result in more power. How much, I don't know yet. But I plan to do this after I get mine repainted. Good luck.
Bob Fish
Bob Fish

thank you all for your posts. it has been most helpful. i had really decided on bill's V6 kit. but i would really love the power of a V8. i was hoping someone would tell me of a bolt-in kit for a V8, but that doesnt sound quite possible. thanks anyways!!!


Just an FYI,
HP does not move a vehicle as much as torque does. I do the same thing, talk HP, and always have to remind myself that torque moves mass.. :-)

That said you can have all the power in the world, but without modification to the suspension, rear axle and fat rear tires the MG is only going to utilize a certain amount of the power. The rest will go up in tire-smoke. 300hp is quite a bit for a 215 to put out, which is the only V8 that "just drops in". However your car being pre 76 means you will have to do cutting, welding and fabricating to fit it. Sorry to rain on your parade.

BUT, Bill makes a nice V6 Kit, I have not seen it in person, but have been told it is nice. Plus the V6 will put out plenty of power and probably ive you beter mileage.

Hope that all makes sense, I don't want you to be discouraged and not pursue a conversion, just trying to share everything I have seen so you can make an educated decsion. Unlike you I took the road not travelled and have missed and entire summer of driving my car :-(
Larry Embrey

Larry - you are correct. the V6 is plenty of power (both hp and torque) that my B needs. especially being that i am 17, and have a heavy foot. and, yes, it will give me better mileage. i really had previously decided on a v6 kit from bill, but reading the posts of people with 300bhp mgb's made me jealous. thanks again, everyone, for all the help!

matt hartley

Matt: Just a thought for future reference. I have searched the web for speed parts for the V-6 and they are out there. You can go up to about 300 hp if you want. I don't think I will, but you never know.
Bob Fish

This is GREAT! I've been searching the net for months trying to find a site to ask these questions. I'm sold on the V6 conversion kit, but I must ask this first.

Will it fit into a right-hand drive MG (South-Africa), as easily as it would into a left-hand drive one?
If not, what needs to be changed, and how difficult will it be? Anyone know?


I'm a new owner of a chrome bumper converted 75 MGB with the sebring valences. I love my new little car, but must agree that the 1800 is a far cry from my larger American V8 stablemates. I'm quite familiar with Ford's so do any of you have any knowledge of swapping in their new Aluminum V6 and tranny out of a Mustang? It's aproximately 200hp and Aluminum.....I'm not sure of weight, but it would set it back quite far in the chassis. I'm looking for maximum handling more than SPEED, that can be taken up with more appropriate chassis. Thank you
Luke Staley

I have 2 Buick turboed V6 engines,one is a short block and the other is a long block but I do have 2 turboes for these and one was a rebuilt that made one trip to Rapid City and back before the car was rear ended.I have $500.00 into both and would sell them for that and this price includes an engine gasket set and intake gasket set.I'm not sure what the obtainable H.P. or ft.lbs. of torque would be but it likely could be above the 300 on the H.P.Also the turbo boost would give it that extra kick in the gas about a quarter ways down the strip.
Good Luck with Your project and hope it turns out real good.

dont forget-more torgue through your dif means fast acceleration ie the need for better brakes!
Acel is no good if you cant stop :)

Just a stupid parents have a '79 Buick Century with a rear-wheel drive 3.8 litre V6. I had told them I wanted the engine when they were ready to get rid of the car.

I believe this engine is a 90-degree V. How much more cutting is required to put that engine in a 76 B -- or would I be better off forgetting that engine and getting a 60-degree V?

I had pretty much given up on the larger engine swap idea (because of all the cutting and alterations required), but this thread has got me rethinking that decision.


Bill Barge

The Buick V-6 is essentially a 215 with two cylinders removed. This gives you a little more room front-to-rear, but the exhaust plumbing is a bit more of a challenge. (can't use unmodified RV8 headers) Aside from that everything that applies to the 215 also applies to the V6. If you can find room for the turbo it could make for a very potent package.

btw, Larry, don't feel too bad. I've been down all summer too. In fact, I think it's been 2 summers now. On the last major redo (the Olds Turbo) I lost better than a year, and the original conversion took maybe 4-5 years. Of course, that was back in the 80's too, and I'd never seen one, although I had seen a TR8.
Jim Blackwood

Heh, I just took a set-back also Jim. Got a set of Alum heads, set me back a number of weeks, but had to take the weight savings and power increase. It will be good for 30+hp. Now I am back to rebuilding my engine mounts...
Larry Embrey

If your interested in the v6 conversion check out my web site.

I went to the car show sponsered by the MG car club of Florida this weekend and have some really good pictures a an MGB with a 4.3 liter V-6 and a T-5. They're in color if you'd like to see them, let me know. It was done by the owner and it was a beautiful installation. I can also tell you some of the specifics of the installation if you like. Also have some pictures of MGBs with V-8s, and a beautiful GT with flares. All were taken with a digital camera so you'll need the appropriate computer program to view them. Email me direct for response.


This thread was discussed between 31/08/2001 and 25/09/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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