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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Availability of V8 engines in UK

I quite fancy having a go at building my own V8 MGB. I've got the book and have the necessary skills, I think. It occurs to me that, at least in the SW Scotland, Glasgow area, you never see worn out Rover V8 SD1 cars for sale any more. Has the supply of V8s dried up, and if not, where does one look for engines and gearboxes etc? Have I missed the boat?

Thanks to Richard for his honest opinion on my previous thread regarding TVRs. I'm still keeping my options open and exploring all avenues, but would be sad to leave the MG fraternity. It's definitely true that an MGB V8 would be cheaper to run than any TVR.

Mike Howlett


I doubt it's dried up, and I'm sure I've seen them advertised in CCC recently - I will check for you.

New engines are available from RPI.

Frontline are offering the Costello gearbox and the rear axle for B will take the strain but requires suitable C&P and suitable props can be obtained for about 100.

Go for it Mike.



Real Steel 01895 440505 were selling used 3.9 4.0 and 4.6 engines and 3.5 V8 advertised in Practical classics for 150 Somerset 01935 826816.


Exchange & Mart etc - Landrover spares - go for a 3.9
there are plenty around

There's a mid-80s Rover SD1 V8 efi in a local breakers. Power unit looks very tidy and no parts removed so far. Contact me if interested and need more info.
John McFeely

I bought my engine from RPI. I'm afraid to say that I have no reason to recommend them to anyone else.
If I had to, I would probably try Real Steel.

Interesting comment about RPI Marc.

I have spoken to them on the telephone and was not impressed.

I have bought new 4,600 and 3,900 engines and two R380 gearboxes from John Eales for my B GT V8 and Range Rover, he has also chipped my RV8.

I am delighted with his service and prices.

Incidentally I anticipate that Rover will cease production of the V8 in the next few months; so if you want a new engine now's the time - although I understand that John has adequate stocks.

John Eales
Claybrook Mill
Frolesworth Lane
Claybrook Magna
Lutterworth Leicestershire LE17 5DB

Telephone + 44 (0) 1455 202909

No connection other than a very satisfied customer.

Safety Fast

Nigel Steward


I overlooked the warning notice about RPI, but Real Steel do not usually have new engines for sale.

The engine and heads I obtained from RPI were crap, the heads had to be reworked and the engine had broken rings scored journals and a surplus of core plugs, and I did not even get an apology. So if using RPI check every part, but they are normally cheap.

Nigel - Does John supply unprepared engines ?


I know where there is a good 3.5L engine that came from a 3500S it has been reconditioned and is complete with Factory V8 flywheel, clutch, Gearbox with overdrive on top, Prop shaft, Complete induction system with SU carbs inc K&N's, Exhaust manifolds and new 3.07:1 crown wheel and pinion. Ignition system ( electronic ). and MGV8 rocker covers.All factory V8 items. The asking price is
Mark Rawlins

Yes, I understand that Real Steel specialise in reconditioning and blue printing engines. I have the impression that they provide a fairly personal service and certainly I haven't heard any poor reports about them.

By the way, one of my wheel bearings packed up after about 3000 miles! Last dis-assembled and re-assembled by ... HiSpec Motorsports!!
I'm going to post this seperately.


You asked whether John Eales supplies unprepared engines.

If by unprepared you mean "new straight from the factory" - then yes.

I believe that he would also be happy to supply any components, "prepared" or "out of the box", or for that matter second hand.

I have found him to be really helpful. I suggest you call him and mention my name.

The only area of his business which is "difficult" is the 'phone. He works all day and leaves the answerphone switched on. I suggest you call or fax, asking for a call back. If you want to get him first time try between 17:00 and 18:30 local. Communications may his weak point, but it is well worth suffering this.

Safety Fast

Nigel Steward


Try Terry Brown at Freckleton Rover Co, in Freckleton, Lancs.

I got my Vitesse engine and FI system from him and he was very helpful.

He usually has a selection of SD1 engines andparts

He is on

Mike Barnfather
Michael barnfather

have a look at v8developments web site they have some engines on offer,i found them good to deal with
regards adrian
a j salisbury

Wow!! I'm overwhelmed at the response to my innocent query. Thanks to all. I'm only at the research stage yet so, tempting as the parts in Wiltshire sound, I'll pass them by for now. If and when I do decide to go down this road, I have learned some really useful contacts from you all. Thanks.

Mike Howlett

Mark GaGander had is engine fitted by an incompetent ( to his own admittance) this caused his engine to fail ( as he admitted.) instead of charging him
Gordon Lane


I am happy to discuss the problems of the supply of your products on an open forum.

As you know, I supplied you with digital photo's of an engine leaking like a sieve.

However, this engine was not supplied direct from Rover.

All I was asking was why this happened and have you taken reasonable steps to stop this happening again?
This question was never answered. Recompense was received and is not therefore an issue.

The simple question is What happened Chris?

We have talked on the phone and you seam very reasonable, so I'm looking for a positive step in the right direction i.e. If my case was a one off lets move forward. Positive steps to improving MG are welcomed.


Hi Gordon

I dont know if you put up my reply but you may also like to draw them to these comments My friend Mike, Just lifted from the Land Rover List,

Hi Chris
You are receiving a lot of praise on the Land Rover list at the moment, as
per the following clips.
See Ya Soon
RPI... the Dogs Dangly bits... but not cheap...
They are well respected for their V8's
But then you get what you pay for what you get.
Chris Crane is a good bloke.
RPI did Patrick Smart's motor. Including (more or less at the same time)
adding a few choice go-faster bits. He speaks very highly of them, and says
gas is smoother running than petrol, as does everyone who has LPG set up
Pete B
I was talking to them at Billing about the possibility of a gas conversion
on my Stage 1. They certainly gave the impression of being extremely
knowledgeable about it. They also appear to be actively developing the
technology rather than just fitting some foreign suppliers' kit.
Not cheap though.
Darren Burgess
I can agree with the praise about RPI, I've spoken to Chris Crane at
great length about LPG and I have never met any one with his bredth of
knowlege, particularly relating to its use on Range Rover V8s
They actually offer a service - on the quiet - where they will 'correct'
the settings done by other LPG installers (I have no connection with
blah, blah, blah.)
Simon WH

This possibly shows what I meant in my previous reply to you, I also have a comments section on my web pages with possibly 100 more like this,

Maybe you should direct them to it. and the above.

Kind regards
Gordon Lane



Express your own opinions.

At least Harry VA did and I admire him for that.


This thread was discussed between 27/10/2001 and 04/11/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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