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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Ford V8

This may be of interest to those wishing to put a ford in their MGB.
A frined of mine who builds engines for magazines (sorry can not give you his name) did a project with a 5.0 liter Ford V8.
New Explorer short block from Ford, Alloy GT40 Turbo swirl heads with 64 cc combustion chamber, changed cam to Ford F303, Edelbrock torquer II Manifold, Edelbrock carb #1405 600 cfm, and late model Mustang timing cover etc. It produce 295 hp with 270 lb of torque at 5500 rpm. The second engine (identical) 285 hp 255 lb of torque. These engines were assemble from of the shelve parts. The difference in numbers is short block assembly, after a few runs both engines increase in their outputs with very close numbers betwen them. Both engines have 9:1 compression and ran on 89 octone fuel and MSD crank trigger ign. system
Perhaps a bit much for the B.

Sorry for the typo it is not Bush, is Bill G.
We were talking politics while I was typing.
Bill Guzman

Thanks, those are decnt numbers about were my motor should play out with my low level hydraulic cam.. I hope to up grade this winter to a stouter cam.
Larry Embrey


Will this engine be featured in the magazine? Just curious as to the choices for head, cams, etc. Do you know which GT40 head he used? Ford makes three versions, two with the 64cc combustion chambers. Why the choice of the F303 cam?

I'm also curious as to why he got such low HP numbers. FOMOCO sells four versions of the 302 crate engine with GT40 heads. With the hotter B303 cam, EFI, and the X303 version of the GT-40 heads, Ford rates these engines at 345hp. With the Y303 heads and the milder E303 cam (milder than the F303), Ford rates these engines at 320HP.

Naturally, manufacturer's numbers are suspicious, but car Craft magazine did a dyno test on the 302 crate engine with the Y303 heads, B303 cam, Edlebrock performer intake, and a Road Demon carb, and got 375HP out of it. I haven't seen it, but I've been told that Hot Rod did a similar test and got similar numbers from the same engine setup. Car Craft tested the same engine with an Edlebrock dual-quad intake and a pair of Edelbrock 1404 500cfm carbs and got 360HP.

Whatever the reasons for the descrepancies, 285 - 295HP ain't bad! I want me some of that.

I disagree with you about it being too much for an MGB. Steve carrick has the same engine configuration as used by Car Craft (the 375HP version) and it is as streetable as you would want. Even with the hotter B303 cam. It's also blazingly fast.

I hope you're wrong anyway, as I'm putting the Y303/E303 version, with Edelbrock fuel injection, in my MGB, and the Y303/B303 with dual quads in my TR6. I sure would hate to be disappointed!
Dan Masters

I agree with Dan, it's not too much. My blower is putting out 12 psi and I'm running the 3.90 gears and I'm liking it a lot right now.
Jim Blackwood

What EFI are you getting to fit under the hood?? one of the aftermarkert multi-port throttle body units of the TBI style that replaces the carb?
Larry Embrey

Dan, the heads are the new Turbo swirl 64 cc chambers.
The difference is in the block; Ford explorer block has an actual compression of (measured) 7:8 NOW does hp/torque #'s are not bad. The purpose of the exercise is to assemble a low compression engine that runs on 87/89-octane gas and is less expensive than a crate engine.
Yes it will be in a magazine, it could be any of the Petersons magazines.
Yes a HO block with all of the HO parts etc. is capable of 400 hp.
These numbers were with out any mods, just bolt on parts. The reason for the cam F303 was to match it to the rpm of the manifold and lobe seapration of the cam aids on the low compression of the engine.
Anything is possible Jim, I got 510 lb of torque from a 383 Chevy small block on pump gas and naturally aspirated.

Bill Guzman


Thanks for the feedback, I'll be looking for the article (I usually look for this sort of thing anyway). Will there be cost figures given? The 375HP crate engine runs roughly $4,000 complete. Like I said, 285-295Hp ain't bad, and if one can get that for a lot less money - whoo hoo! The line forms on the right!

Just for the benefit of those who are considering a Ford engine, the 375 crate version is also bolt-on, with no mods, not even a cam change. Just bolt on the intake, exhaust, stick in a distributor, and go. You'll only need a starter, alternator, and a clutch to be complete. The same things you would need with any engine.

Price is going to be of major interest on the magazine engine. I bought a junkyard Ford engine for $100, so this engine build article might show the way to some really cheap HP. Cheap Ford engines are about as plentiful as dirt, and almost as cheap. Retail for the crate engine is $3,195. They can be had for less if you shop around and look for specials.

For those of you who might come to the conclusion I'm a Ford fanantic, let me tell you I'm not. I've never owned a Ford in my life (excluding the 31 coupe I owned for about two weeks when I was 16, way, way back in '56 when they were still cheap and eay to find. I paid $35 for it. Wish I still had it!). It's just that I think this engine is the perfect match for an MGB conversion.


I'm using the Edelbrock EFI unit. We measured it in Grand Rapids during the V8 meet, and compared it to the Edelbrock Carb intake on Steves car. The air filter flange on both were exactly the same, so there will be no difference in height with either one.
Dan Masters

Sounds great. about 4mos ago I bought the Holley bolt on throttle body injections set-up. It replaces any holley squarebore type carb. FULLY programmable, etc etc. I had buyers regret before I could get it installed and returned it. But from the manual it would be a perfect upgrade for our car. It had lower air filter flange point than any cabr available, which menas we could run a bigger better breathing air filter without drop base etc. BUT for me it was too much $$$, $1400, I had to many other things to fix on the car that could use the $1400..

Larry Embrey

FYI - when I said holley square bore, I mean ANY carb that has a square bore patter as a holley, meaning ANY carb as long as it is not a spreadbore. I think they even make a 2bbl version, and varying sizes, so you guys with Rovers and buicks can use it too!!
Larry Embrey

The price for all of the parts are under $3300 it all depends on the price of the short block and heads.
The article if used should be out sometime in the spring.
You could build your own with less $$$ and have the same hp. These were all new parts.
Yes, I agree that the Ford V8 is the right choice.
I like Chevy's, Fords, Mopar, Mazda, Honda and anything internal combustion.
But the Ford has the right stuff for the MG.
Bill Guzman

Larry, you can make your own TBI for your car.
Use the TB and computer from a Chevy truck, 1987 to 91. Buy the harness from painless, buy the necessary sensors at he auto parts, buy the computer chip from Turbo city and give them your specs, engine, sensors used etc.
Computer $25 and up from a wrecking yard
Throtle Body Holley $300 or Chevy rebuilt $250
Sensors new $200 depends on which you will be using in your application.
Painless harness $300
Chip $125
fuel pump 15 lb psi $125
You will need a open plenun manifold and your camshaft should not have more than 220 degrees duration at .050 Your (Map) Manifold Absolute pressure will not work
due to the lack of vacuum. The Map converts vacuum in to volts and the ECU does the rest
The distributor can be modify to use the GM module (Two wires)Turbo city also sell a dual purpose Map that has a switch for performance and economy, it does ok.
Sensors for non-smog
Temp sensor, Knock sensor, air sensor (comes with the TB)Map, oil pressure,Oxygen sensor,ESC module,Mat sensor comes in the TB, fuel pump relay comes in the harness, and ign module.
You will also need a adapter plate to bolt the TB to the manifold. $30 from turbo city or you can make your own.
If you by a TB from the wrecking yard, buy the rebuilt kit $10,00 and have the injectors clean, you can save $$$ also some of the sensors can be recycle Knock sensor, Map, ESC module.
Hope this helps you Larry. TBI is the way to go.
Bill Guzman

heh to much work!!! heh Ford dd TBI for a while on 302.. mid 80's era. I think 85 stang was one.. I will stick with what I got for now, got enough on plate for this winter already. HEH!!
Larry Embrey

OH, FYI the "Explorer block" listed above is exactly the right one to use for a MGB as it comes with the Ford Explorer front end on it. That save 2.5" over the old 302 from end!!!! I just measured my stock set-up vs it. I am in the middle of working on that swap myself as well as an 8.8" posi ford rear and leather miata seats..
Larry Embrey

This thread was discussed between 01/11/2002 and 03/11/2002

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