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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Injected 302's

Hello guys i was wondering if anyone has info on a Ford 302 injected converson. I would rather stick to carb, but i got a line on a cheep injected 302.

What are the major modifications to shoe horn this engine into the car. Eventually I would like to do a complete restoration. So I do not want to butcher up too many things.

Or would a V6 be alot better??

Thanks in advance for any input.

Joel H
Joel H


I have a 1990 302 (5 liter) Ford in my 1969 B. The motor was originally injected but I opted for carb instead.
What year is your B ?
The 302 fits easier into a 74.5-80 B, than the earlier chrome bumper models.
Modifications I had to do include, relieving the crossmember by 2 inches, pushing the firewall back to look like later B's and cut holes in the inner fenders to accomodate the headers.
You will have to make or get made headers as none are available for this conversion.
I have driven many 215 conversions and the 302 even with a few extra pounds makes a huge difference in power.
A fair number of people have already done this conversion and its gaining popularity.
Dale Spooner, Larry Embrey, Steve Carrick to name but a few. Check out for details and pictures or email me for further details.


PJ Mantell


One suprising thing about the Ford 302:

It is physically SMALLER than the BOP/Rover aluminum 215 V8. Not much smaller, but a little bit. Except for having to notch the crossmember, as Pete said, the modifications neeed to install the 302 are about the same as those neeed to install the 215.

A not-so-suprising thing about the 302:

Dollar for dollar, you'll get a lot more power from the 302 than the 215 (with 87 extra cubic inches, one would expect as much).

Another suprising thing about the 302:

With aluminum heads, it only weighs about 25 pounds more than the stock 4-banger.

The next issue of the British V8 Newsletter (a little late this time, but should be on the street by the end of June - I'm recovering from my injuries a bit slower than I had hoped) will have a lengthy article on the 302.
Dan Masters

Sounds like Blue Oval propaganda to me!
:) :) :)

Seriously, the small-block Ford does provide big league power to weight ratio in a package that fits the engine compartment.

For about the same price as putting together a 200 hp rover v8 package you can make around 350 hp in a ford 302, and not have too many more hurdles to jump over. Especially in the late model cars.....

Carl wrote:

"Sounds like Blue Oval propaganda to me!"

Yep, and that's from an old diehard Chevy fan! If I were putting it in a big car, I'd still rather have a Chevy, but for an MGB or a TR6, the 302 is sure hard to beat!
Dan Masters

My work vehicle (iron gates), is a 302 powered van weighing a whopping 7,800 pounds! I can't smoke the tires but the bone-stock, 2bbl., small block v8 never fails me. A built-up 302 in an MG would have a power-to-weight ratio better than a 289 AC Cobra!
Marc Judson

It would have a better power to weight ratio, as long as you can transfer the power to the street, which is the hard part. Twisted MG's and broken axles will happen first unless you MAJORlY stiffen the chassis.

I'm still looking at the options on how to get mustang injection under the hood, and it's not looking to be an easy task.


It must have been around 1968-69 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. I saw an MGB sitting all by itself, with a 289 engine between the fenders. The placard leaning aginst the chrome bumper read, "MG Cobra". I spent only a minute or two looking at the car but, 35 years later....I still haven't forgotten it.
Marc Judson

>>Or would a V6 be alot better??

What is best-
is what is right for you, according to your skill level, time and pocket book.
*The 302 is probably the most time consuming project with the most power to be gained in natural aspiration. Also one of the most expensive when considering aluminim heads.
*The BOP/R is the one the factory installed because it was the best driveline availible at the time. It has quite a bit of expense... And for those who say it doesn't, have spent quite a bit of time searching for parts to keep the cost down. (Months or years)
*The GM 60 degree has as much power as a BOP/R with less money spent and easier to install.
*The Ford 2.8L V6 is a bit dated and is not very well supported, but can make an ok conversion.. IMO, it is just dated. Would have been a great conversion in about 1980, but not anymorewith everything else out there.
*The GM 3.8L V6 96-02 is alot of work but a interesting conversion when done.

Figure this out going in, and you'll be ahead in this game:
How much time do you have to spend on this.
Money to throw away
What is your skill level. Will someone else be doing this for you or can you finish this?

The engine is sometimes the cheapest part. Look at the total package before starting and ask alot of ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? .

Good luck,
BMC Brian McCullough

Thanks guys for the comments. All good points taken. But I have decided to keep my B original. I was really looking to get some resposes from people that have done these conversions. Too see if it's something I can handle.

There is no question that I could handle it. But Wasn't sure if I wanted to hack up my B. If I had another I would not even hesitate to drop the 302 in it but since this is the onlt one I have and the Body is sound, I have a good foundation to start a restoration.

Thanks again.

Thanks Brian for the V6 info. It would have been done over the winter, non driving months.

Joel H
Joel H

Find a clapped out late rubber bumper model and make it a project. I just got done painting my '77 and plan to have the Buick engine in next week. I would have prefered to use the GT, but thats the driver

The issue with aninjected 302 (5.0) will be hieght. ALL the Fuel injected distributors are quite tall. I called all the MFG's about it and got nothing any shorter than the stock unit.

The intakes are also to tall. Except for ONE, the 94/95 Mustang GT (NOT COBRA!) Intakes did fit under the hood just barely with how my old motor sat in the car.

There are probably ways to modify the Distrib issue, but I have not gone into that. I am sure it CAN be done and I am looking into it, but time will tell.

I have to cry foul on the 302 being most expensive, it is the same or cheaper than the BOP install chiefly due to easy and widespread parts availability. It may be a LITTLE more time consuming, due to having to bnotch the k member and make engine mounts, but if someone like me with NO car, machining, welding or fabrication experience, and no-one to copy, can do it anyone can. I had as of last year a TOTAL of $4500 into my conversion, that includes $2400 for the car itself.

On the chassis, she is handling it ok, though the rear end did let go, but that can happen with a Rover also. Most people switch to a 8, 8.8 or 9" anyway even with the rover so that is a wash pricewise. Getting the traction is THE big issue. Typically a MG can only hold a 195 or sometimes 205 width tire and with a power to weight ratio of just under 8lbs/1hp, you can really light them up. Last year my car weighed 2420lbs total and that was with around 100lbs of tools and a full tank of fuel, that night she ran 13.8 @ 102 in the 1/4mi with NO traction off the line. EASILY have 12second car if she could launch..

I know, more propaganda, but I gotta defend my baby!! This year I should have another 50+horses added under the hood with the new motor (which has cost me $0.00 to change due to thrifty purchasing and selling!)
Larry Embrey

OHH.. on hacking her up.. IF your car is a 75+ car the only things to be hacked on the chassis itself are removing the stock engine mounts and cutting exits for the fenders. Everything else I did was on the K member itself, so is replacable.

Check my site for a full diary of my conversion, as well as pictures of both 302 and rover based MG's..
Larry Embrey

<<*The BOP/R is the one the factory installed because it was the best driveline availible at the time. It has quite a bit of expense... And for those who say it doesn't, have spent quite a bit of time searching for parts to keep the cost down. (Months or years)>>


With all due respect, that line is a bit tired. I believe V8 Rover conversions can be done every bit as cheap as a V6. To back it up, I just grabbed this 3.9 Rover engine on Ebay:

And, as for die hard Chevy fan, you & me both, Dan!! I just couldn't do it to an mgb roadster. GT? Oh Yeah! There is a KILLER example in the MG V8 back issues.

I love my MGB SPORTS CAR. I really don't want to turn it into my 400 HP '68 Camaro that runs 12s in the 1/4 mile on street tires. That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed driving Steve Carrick's 302 Ford powered "Barney" (y'all have seen the pics)& Mike Moor's 300 Buick MGB & Ted Lathrop's 350 chevy powered TR6 (which I have had the pleasure to spend nearly 7 hours behind the steering wheel). IF I ever build as TR6, I want one just like Ted's. The one that still haunts me though is Bill Yobi's SWEET revving 215 Olds MGB. IT is still a LBC SPORTS CAR. That's what I strive for because I have my Camaro Muscle car. I guess I fall in the Roger Parker School. I think the 3.9 Rover is probably THE optimal engine (for me). Besides, I really don't need as much HP to keep up with some of y'all. :) :) :)

For all of y'all building MGB Muscle Cars (HIGH HP), if this is your first performance car, please be careful. This is NOT your Wife's Honda. It can be a VERY dangerous toy.



Stay with the 302, you won't be disapointed. I have a SVO 302, with a Mustang drive train. Yes even the drive shaft fits with mods to the hand brake. I don't have injection so I don't know anything about the distributor issue, I'm using the MSD 8579.
Carl - I have to agree, these can be a very dangerious toy. (and FUN!!!)

As for weight, last year it weighed 2300. I just put Ted Lathrop's cross member under Barney, I haven't weighed it yet but wouldn't be suprised if its under 2200 lbs

Steve Carrick

It's all in what you want of course. I never had any intention of building a fast 1/4 mile car and never worried about 'hooking up' aside from preventing wheel hop. As a result I have an extremely fast little *British Sports Car*. It's not the sort of car you just let anyone jump in and drive, because as has been said it can become very dangerous very fast because of the power. Some people very close to me will never be allowed to drive it simply because I know they do not have the skills to do so safely. And it actually does hook up surprisingly well, so 1/4 mile times should be pretty good. But it's not a straight line muscle car, and never will be.

There is little doubt that either V8 is a good engine choice. If someone would start producing a good header for the 302, I expect that engine might soon become the first choice on this side of the pond assuming Ted's crossmember is affordable. At that point we have a true bolt in conversion the same as with the BOP/R, and it's hard to imagine 55 pounds or so weight difference being the deciding factor in engine choice.

But I do think that for someone who is not a welder and not particularly mechanically inclined that the BOP/R is still a cheaper and easier swap and will be for some time. Although Larry's points about crossmember modification are well taken, the non welder has a good sized job getting that part of the conversion done just in terms of logistics. Do you bring the welder to the car? Take the car to the welder? Remove the crossmember and take it to the welder? Not that you couldn't do that part over the weekend but that with the BOP/R you skip that part. The alternative of swapping in a custom crossmember such as Ted's or the one Tony sells makes it simpler but drives the cost up. I think to a large degree the engine costs are similar, but aluminum heads still aren't that cheap (how much Larry?) and custom headers are outrageous.

I expect the 302 will always have the HP edge but either engine can produce more power than most of us will ever want. After all, there -is- a limit to how long you can make the travel on the gas pedal ;-) and at some point control begins to be a concern. Although I may build a larger displacement engine at some point, the prospect of another 50% power increase just doesn't seem that important right now, but to be fair about it, my 215 is a more expensive engine than a typical 302 with aluminum heads and produces about the same power.

So we're back to what you the owner wants, and that's as it should be. In my case, I was one of the pioneers. 18 years ago I'm not even sure aluminum heads for the 302 were readily available, I knew the 215 had been done so it was possible, and I pretty much jumped in blindly. Those of you doing the conversion today have an almost inconcievably huge advantage and way more choices with way less custom work. I considered the 215, the SBC and SBF, Brian's sweetheart the 60 degree V6, and even the Mazda rotary and made my choice based on size, weight, and an eventual reliable target output of 300hp. This last requirement eliminated the rotary and the V6 (that was then, things are a bit different now) and the weight eliminated the SBC and SBF. These days though, with aluminum heads, I'm sure the blower makes up the weight difference. And I'll let you in on a little secret about blower motors too. A N/A motor can be built with a 10.5:1 CR which makes it fundamentally more efficient than say an 8.5:1 CR which I am running. So there's another argument for the 302 because it has the same power without the blower. A Rover 4.6 though? But then, how do you quantify the concept of a Rover engine in an MGB which allows it to remain British in all the essentials?

Jim Blackwood

Jim, GREAT POINTS!! As usual, you put it much more eloquently than I can!!
Larry Embrey

I believe that the BOP/R can be affordable if you take your time to get all the pieces.

Lets say you get that $450 engine. As always, I believe the motor is the cheap part. Then you get a gearbox (tranny), presuming that no matter what engine you are running, its goind to cost the same...
Now- front timing cover/ oil pump... Well, our front covers are all correct, and if you really feel like changing to an opposite unit, it will cost you $10 off the internet or $15 ro $20 at a yard... Not just one yard in the whole state on three engines, but ANY yard in Any state. You name the engine, I can probably find the part in a local salvage yard rather quickly.
Bellhousing- assuming that you did not get it with the motor, ours costs $20 off eBay, and as much as $50 at a salvage yard. I pay $30 for mine...
A 215 V8 bellhousing costs $150 to $300+ off eBay depending on what time of year.. I dont keep perfect track of those, so maybe I might be a little high on price, but I see them go for more then $150 all the time...
Intake manifold 4bbl aftermarket- assuming they are all around the same off eBay or new. F.I. is just expensive with Any motor, so that all comes out in the wash.
Headers and install kits- PLEASE, someone tell me the cost of the various BOP/R headers NEW for comparison... Also the mounts for M/G setup.
The Ford 302- Again, how much do you have in header flanges, mandrel bent tubing, Gas for Oxy-Ace welding or wire and gas for MIG. Plus how much time did you have for welding, pulling in and out and in and out... grinding smooth and so on (Could a few of you give a realistic idea??) Also the mounts for M/G setup.
The GM V6 kit- headers, motor and gearbox mounts costs $600 shipped to your door with some instructions.

Rebuilding- parts is parts is parts. Ok, maybe not quite that simple, but if you were to rebuild a BOP/R, a 302 and a V6, the V6 would be a LITTLE less. <Read- V8s are usually not too much more expensive>
The BOP/R has the disadvantage here in the states of being a little bit more costly due to thier current status, but shouldn't come in too much more expensive.
The 302 should be the cheapest to rebuild because it is a popular aftermarket engine. (Chevy 350 parts are dirt cheap due to its popularity)
The GM V6 is be a little less for having two less cylinders.... But also, being a V6 can sometimes cost more per cylinder in parts. I will not claim that parts are cheaper for these (I have not done a side by side comparison) but should not cost any more.
Machine work on a V8 vs a V6 should be a little bit different <Read: NOT MUCH>- depending on the shop.
Boring and honing each cylinder costs $25.00 at one of my local shops. Thats $150 for a V6 and $200 for a V8 (not enough of a difference)
Valve jobs may make another $50, decking the blocks and heads should be about the same cost.
Porting and polishing should be less for a V6 due to its lack of those two last cylinders, so that might save a bit of money...
What in the world am I rambling about? Well, like I said, its up to the owner/builder. The V6 is less money/time. Its still absolutely NOT cheap. A used motor, a bunch of new parts and placed in the car will run as little as $2000, but who wants the bottom end? Most people by the time they are done have a $4000 driveline on thier hands doing everting themselves, but then again, thats everything.
V8 speedometer and tachometer alterations cost just as much. :-)
I am bias, but I do not have blinders on. I have driven a couple of V8 cars at MG 2001. I was Very impressed. Arguing about a good deal found is different from averages. I admit though, its alot of fun discussing the differences. :-)
BTW: I think Jim is correct. If a good header was produced along witha kit, that might take 50% of all upcoming BOP/R V8 converters in North America and turn them to FoMoCo guys. Anybody up to the task?
BMC Brian McCullough

I WOULD do it, but full time work and a young family make it just not feasible..

I would think that Ted and the Fast Car guys are working on a kit?? once they get that K member worked out I would bet they are..
Larry Embrey

A hydraulic tube bender suitable for the job should run $5K or so used and the flanges can be waterjet or laser cut, or perhaps bought in bulk. Collectors are a simple part. Probably close to a month full time would be required to set up the operation and produce the first pattern, the runner patterns, and the jigs for fitting and welding. Then how many will you sell at what price? If you disregarded everything except the machine cost for the bender, sold the headers at a $250 profit per set, and sold 4 sets the first year, at that rate you would have the machine investment paid off in 5 years but no other costs paid. If the demand went up you would do better. The resulting product would retail in the $300-400 range. Maybe feasible for someone with the floorspace and a related business.

Jim Blackwood

Larry and Jim.

I'm 28 years old and have been working on British built vehicles for three years full time in my own shop. Part time before that since the age of 16 and have done alot for other companies along the way. This is my line of work _and_ Hobby.

We have two daughters plus...
Today, we spent time looking for a minivan for the future third seat. We just finished building a new house and shop that I have alot of time and money in. Larry, my oldest daughter is 3 1/2 years old. Jim, when in business for yourself, you must know what to deligate out to others and what to do yourself. If you build the pattern and send the pieces out to specialists, it can be done for less and generally have finer quality. I do Alot of different things in my shop, but i know my limits. Thats why I decided Not to build a V6 kit myself, but I do build small pieces to compliment it- I know my limits. I have other items that I am working on.
BMC Brian McCullough

OK......... I'm not sure just what I missed here, but thanks for the background information. To reciprocate, I'm a Prototype Developer, Patent Attorney, Director and VP of a corporation, and I've been making custom stuff for several decades. Oh, and the only thing on my car I did not do myself were the heliarc welds on the intake manifold. I'd have done those too, but have yet to find the right deal on a tig machine.

I wasn't suggesting you take on the manufacture of 302 headers, just tossing out a quick and extremely rough estimate of cost and payback that someone might be able to do something with. It leaves out a lot of stuff and is overly optimistic, but if you know somebody you can farm out the forming of header primary tubes to maybe you should consider it. The only place I know of that is equipped to handle it is a TRW subsidiary in Wilmington, Ohio and they won't accept a small volume job like this one. They certainly do have the right machines for it though. Similar machines can be had relatively cheaply used, and when not being employed for making header tubes could be used for other production. The Wilmington plant makes fuel filler tubes exclusively, and they make a very large number of them. However, Edith recently brought home a very nice coffee table which has legs made of bent thinwall tubing, so that illustrates a market. Point is, done right it could be a profitable venture for someone and fill the need too. Farming it out would be fine, if you could find an acceptable vendor. That I suspect may be the sticking point.

Jim Blackwood

Maybe someone could get Headers by Ed to make 'em. I have to agree that if headers & motor mounts were available (I can notch a crossmember, no biggie) there would be quite a few MGB "Cobras".


A conversion can get expensive real quick with any engine choice, but it can also be kept reasonable with some scrounging. I think Larry has practically done his for free! :)


I have a place here that I could take my headers to to get copied. HIGHLY recommended by all the hotrod and muscle car people. BUT when I approaced him 2 years ago about making headers he told me $800 base estimate. I was like ok thank, BYE...

Now maybe taking my finished headers in and having them copied would be cheaper?? as thay for not have to fabricate from scratch, but who knows..I still may go see him as I do not like the look of mine in terms of my welds..

I got little ones too, 6yrs and now 5mos. and a house that is intent on bleeding me dry heh.

I think the K member is really not that hard. I had my neighbor notch mine as I did not know how to weld and it took all of 3hrs. The trans K member is just a modified stock unit, I cut the brace that went to the stock motor out, turned it around and drilled the 2 holes for the trans mount.also added in 1/8" alum spacers to drop the trans that little bit to make sure I had tunnel and fixed crossmember clearance..

And yes I did this year upgrades up till recently for free... '99 explorer complete engine $915, sold heads off it for $350, sold intakes off it for $300, then sold old Mexican block for $700. I will say it has been a great year for that type of stuff..
Larry Embrey

I'm trying to be funny when I say all of you are not busy enough. You sound like your almost as busy as I am, but you probably have a secretary and someone else to do the books. ;-)
_Always_ take what I say lightly, I mean nothing wrong. This is the most friendly BBS out there and other then one more, I have no others I really visit anymore.

You have just summed it up. Spend time OR money could be another way of saying it. Any conversion can be expensive.
BTW, I'm 35 minutes away from Headers by Ed..

I enjoy a free ride too. Anyone considering the install of a conversion should consider selling the old stuff off if worried about the financial end of it. I have heard from a number of V6 and V8 converters as well as others selling off the OEM stuff and coming out close to even or at least half way there.
Good Luck,
BMC Brian McCullough

This thread was discussed between 06/06/2003 and 09/06/2003

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