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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Easiest lightest cheapest v8?

What would be the easiest to Install, lightest, and cheapest Rover V8 i could plop in? How much is the conversion likely to cost, and what kind of power am i looking at?
Ben Davids

My car is an 80', what kind of engine pay mods are needed?
Ben Davids

Your going to have to tell us where you live so people can advise you as different countries have better options for that locality. ie don't try to get a SD1 gearbox or T5 gearbox in Australia yet in the US T5 are common and like wise with the SD1 in the U.K and the same sort of thing goes for engines.

Clem Spriggs
Clem Spriggs

How much power do you want? With the right version of the Rover V8, you can have enough to make strong men faint. Your 1980 MGB would be the easiest model to convert to a V8 (lucky you!). A good book on this subject is "How To Give Your MGB V8 Power", available from Roger Parker has a very good webpage on just how to make this conversion, complete with photos, at Go there and study, study, study. Then go see your banker.
Stephen Strange

I have converted a '77 MGB to a V-8 and will be glad to answer any questions that I can. I also can get my mechanic, who converts Jaguar XJ6's to Chevrolet 350's fuel injected, to answer any questions.I also have some sources for parts for Rover and the '60 Buick 215 CU engine.I must say, letting the mechanic do most of the conversion was EXPENSIVE, but it is a dream to drive.
Glyn A. Finch
Greenville, S.C.
Glyn A. Finch


I believe Rimmers have a 6L V8 so if you have a Pilots licence and Swiss bank account BHP is not a problem. It is probably best to do the research and design the car around what you want to use it for.
Insurance may get expensive over 3.9. The book and article by Roger referred to above are excellant also try RPI Web site, Cox and Perry and the MG Owners articles on the 4.6L.

Paul Wiley granddaddy used to say, "Speed costs money, boy. How fast do you want to go?" I'm a neophite in this conversion business but can already tell you that its not cheap!! The engine might even be the least expensive part of the equation. So far, my mods include: on the rear: MGC rear gears, rear tophats to strengthen front spring mounting point, anti-tramp bars, panhard bar, rear disc brakes, lowering springs, telescopic shock kit, centering fuel tank so dual exhaust will work, new driveshaft, Ron Hop's rear anti-sway bar....on the front: Ron Hopkinson's telescopic shock kit & front anti-sway bar, Princess 4-pot brake calipers w/bigger discs, stainless brake hoses, special-built lowered stub axles...wheels: '85 Nissan 200SX 15"x6" modified to hold mgtf hubcaps...body bobbed of rubber bumpers & late chrome grille added, front valance modified to hold driving lights & sit flush w/body, rear Sebring kit, MGC aluminum hood....& the list goes on and on and on....notice I didn't even get to the engine compartment!!!
....everyone of us who has attempted a conversion can do the same type list detailing our mods...don't even think about starting this thing with "cheap" on the mind!!!
Tony Barnhill

Hrmm, great points all the way acrost.

Well, light is a two sided issue. From my reasearch I found that the typicall Rover/BOP conversion actually lightens the car by about 50lb up front. This is obviously a good thing. When you say light, you immediately fall into the realm of alum blocks. In terms of Factory OE blocks this limits you (I only know of the rover/BOP). Thus those will be cheaper, since it is all that was ever made.

Depending on where you live (country) you will find either BOP or Rovers (or both)hard/expensive to find. Also parts will be difficult or expensive to obtain (Nothing against rover, just what I have seen, rover dealer only sometimes..) As a tradeoff, you can look at Alum aftermarket blocks for engines like the Ford 302 if you are in the US, YES it will be big $$ upfront (~$3500 block only) BUT, you will have access here in the US to get parts at any local oarts store, so long run it will become cheaper if anything needs replacement. I bought a donor motor for $50, had it completely rebuilt for $600, so I have a running untit prety cheap. Now when I hit the lotto, I will be able to buy the purty Alum block and heads and have a real light screamer. 300hp from a 302 is child's play, and will still give you a very streetable motor..

SO, like was said, we need to know where you live to help more...
Larry Embrey


(i) where can one purchase a 302 alum. block?

(ii) how do you deal with the crossmember ... can you just use a different oil pan? ... and what about the oil pump itself? ... I can't believe this would be an easy issue to really deal with.

(iii) lastly, can a 302 be installed under a stock B bonnet? ... I have seen a few pics of 302 cars, but IIRC they all had air cleaners, etc. protruding through the hood.

Generically, a bombproof 302 conversion would be incredible. The head design has been highly, highly developed and all in it is just a super motor design. Really makes the Rover units look like relics of the Bronze Age.

I currently have a 4.2 Rover which is very nice indeed, but an all-alu. 302, _properly installed_, would be the cat's meow, I think. One basic problem would be wheels -- my 195/60/15 tires scarcely put enough rubber on the road for the 4.2, let alone a 302. And I'm not one to favor fender flares and that sort of thing.

Are there any books or Web sites regarding 302 conversions?

Harry, the Ford alloy block can be purchase from Ford Motorsports for about $5K for a bare block. In short a complete alloy 302 like the one use on the Panoz Esperante can cost around $10k+

How about an alloy 300+ hp 380 lbs of torque LS1 Chevrolet it only weights 380 lbs. plus transmission. ($6K complete) To bad the B chassis can not take such a load (torque) without doing lots and lots and I mean lots of work to the chassis. The Block is low and I believe the hood would close.
My Z28 under hard acceleration (drags) it pull the front left tire, I had to stiffen the chassis, rear suspension etc. This eliminated the twist in the chassis about 90%

Your best bet would be a 289/302 with alloy heads and 650 carb, great sounding engine and about 250 hp Max
(Honest hp) That is more than the Alpine Tiger ever had.
Remember that the MG weights around 2200 RD and 24 GT
250 hp is more than 1 ci per pound and about 280 lbs of torque. The doctor prescribe 1 lb of torque per 10 lbs of weight, anything after a ratio of one to one it requires some serious mods.
But just for looks and driving around the park you could put a Cadillac 600 lb torue engine,very unique and great for car shows.
Bill Guzman

Here in the UK a BRAND NEW 4.6 litre cross-bolted block engine, complete from rocker cover to sump, excluding ancilliaries and carbs or FI, can be bought for somewhat over 2k plus 17.5% VAT - no VAT on exports outside the EU of course.

Safety Fast


Nigel Steward

Bill hits a bunch of it on the head. I thought I was alum blocks for $3500, but I could be wrong.

ii) From everything I have seen I will have to do some mods on the crossmember. I have not gotten to the point of installing the mototr in car yet to test things. I ave seen pictures of a couple 302's that are complely under the hood. the 302 is SHORTER than the BOP/rover. THe issue is tha blasted fron sump. you CAN get rear sump oil pickups which save a hug amount of height, but the pan can be a challenge to find. I have been told some Ford vans have a rear pickup. I lucked out and my motor came with a rear sump pan. Not all pans are same, I have seen some with a pronounced front sump area, some with a small one..

Larry Embrey

Email me at the email attached to this post, I have a picture to show you a different pan installed in a car...
Larry Embrey

This thread was discussed between 15/01/2001 and 19/01/2001

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