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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Just my thoughts

Here is my idea of the basics for a V8 transplant into a 77 plus MGB.

1. 215 or 3.5/3.9 V8 complete
2. V-8 motor mounts
3. Headers
4. Transmission either rover or T-5
5. If t-5 a bell housing
6. Transmission cross member with mounts
7. Drive shaft.

I believe that this is the minimal to have a car up and running with a small V8 engine. Everything else is a safety/security thing. If you do not agree then post what you think is the minimum required items for a swap.
Public Enemy #1

You're going to also need a clutch, remote oil filter and larger radiater, however you can adapt the MG crossmember easily enough.
bounty hunter

v8???? go v6, newer technology, no radiator other than stock, no remote oil filter, both of them are going to need a HTOB, exhaust system to mate to the headers, gauges?, knowing the rpm's and speed is more than "just safety issues" come to the dark side v6v6v6v6
wanna be hot somewhere


That's patently absurd. A V8 can get by with a stock rad (though concededly you'll want to have the hose fittings reversed -- hardly a big deal); it does not need a remote oil filter if you prefer one at the front of the block; you certainly do not need a HTOB; and you can easily, easily mod the gauges to work (the tach and speedo need slight reworking -- for the latter, it's just a matter of recalibration). If you really want to, from the collector back you can use the stock exhaust.

What's the problem, again?

Here is a basic shopping list for a basic V8 conversion. What you want to add or subtract from this list is up to you.
Jim Miller

Food for thought. I had listed a while back on the Classified section a 3.4L Sequential port fuel injected V6 with distributorless ignition. This motor in the way I set them up without computer modifications, and stock emmissions camshaft and no engine internal modifications should produce no less then 175 bhp and more then 210 Lbs of tq. Absolute bone stock production numbers were 160bhp and 200 lbs of tq, so I am being reasonable. With a complete motor/gearbox, wiring harness and all of the parts except radiator hoses and radiator changes, I listed the price as $4,450.
This was taking into the considerations that I had completed everything minus installation of the unit into the car. Complete wiring harness (I go overboard to make them look like they should be proper fuel injected MG B harness), belts, pullies alternators, and a gearbox that was figured in as alot more expensive then the one figured in your website listed... Please keep in mind that was with LABOR, not just parts. Remove more then $1000 for my time getting parts and assembly.
People have put V6's together for $2,000, but I usually figure $4,000 in parts including speedometers and so forth when a DIYer works out the project. Of course, going for a carburetted version IS alot cheaper.

>That's patently absurd. A V8 can get by with a stock rad (though concededly
> you'll want to have the hose fittings reversed -- hardly a big deal)
Ted, here in winter is the ONLY time you dont see people complaining about thier BOP/R overheating on this board! Even here in Minnesota, where I am we have people with those motors that don't exactly run cool and they have larger radiators. I'm not saying the BOP/R is bad, just more problems to overcome for minimal to no benefit in bhp and tq unless building a monster... but then again, I can build a monster V6 to compare, so apples to apples.

The reason for this post;
Public Enemy #1,
Its the little things in life, ah scratch that, IN CONVERSIONS that will add up.

Serpintine belt systems (or Vee belt pullies), possibly different oil pumps, alternators, clutch kits, tachometer and speedometer conversions/alterations/changeovers, differential differenciations, radiator hoses, oils, antifreeze, CARBURETTOR and manifold, and more..
Jim has an excelent list, but some of the parts are obviously from doing alot of work trying to find items that cheap.. If you dont mind the time factor, you can keep the price down, but I know guys who haven't driven thier cars for years for that reason. I have personally missed the last five years of driving my Bugeye for one reason or another.
It is the little things... My wife and I desovered this even more so when we built our new home and shop!
Good luck,
BMC Brian McCullough

); it does not need a remote oil filter if you prefer one at the front of the block;
We drive on the right side of the car down here, as God intended.
working up a sun tan

ted, an mgb bop v8 can use the stock mgb radiator? sure if you are always driving 55 or above.i had a v8 car and also a v6 car. there is no way a stock radiator with stock fans will cool a v8 car sitting in traffic on the freeway on a 90+ degree day. that is why the factory made a bigger one to start with. running a stock exhaust system with a v8 car will limit your hp to the point you might as well buy an mgc as it will put out about the same hp and be worth more. bottom lineis this, lay out all the costs of a converison to get an engine with 200 to 215 hp, the v6 one will be appox 25% less costly, newer technology, and more readily available parts. nothing against an 8 i am just looking at this as a cost versus value, each to there own, safety faster, jim
Jim m

To carry this line of thought a step further . . . if less is better . . why not transplant a new 4 cylinder, or just hop up the existing 4 cylinder. I can tell you why . . . if I wanted a v-6 I'd get one. But then, I'd STILL wish I had a V8. To each his own. It's not always about what's practical.

Gordon Elkins

Practicality seems to go out the window rather quickly in these projects, and personal enjoyment seems to take a bigger role. Turbo charged 4 cylinder, V6, V8, whatever, just make sure you enjoy it. Everytime one of my customers calls me asking the price of insurance for two or three possible vehicles, the first thing I tell them is: "don't let the price of insurance dictate your choice, you'll never be happy." They usually get the better of the vehicles in their selection group.


Jim M wrote:

"bottom line is this, lay out all the costs of a converison to get an engine with 200 to 215 hp, the v6 one will be appox 25% less costly, newer technology, and more readily available parts."

To which I reply: Prove it!
Dan Masters

I4, I6, V6, V8. They are all motors, they all work well, and they all have their following.

I personally preffer the off idle grunt and power of a V8. There are american made 4cyl motors that can producde 300hp from the factory. It has been done over and over again, BUT you have to wind them up to get the power. The same thing happens with a V6, Sure maybe it posts the same peak numbres are a V8, the thing is, normally a V8 will have a smooth power curve up to that point and thus have close to that peak power over a wider RPM ratio, this makes for a more rlexaed and often enjoyable drive, especially for a stret car.

Pricing is always a relative thing. I could right now go out and put together a 302 powered MGB for less that 3000, that would include buying a $1500 donor car. The car would probably turn solid 14sec 1/4 mile runs until the rear end blew out and/or I tore the chassis in half. It ALL comes down to what you want to do, and how you want it finished.

here in the US a 302 is VERY easy to find. I could go down to my local wrekcing yard and have my choice of 3-4 complete motors for $150 each, then $50 for a transmission. a V6 costs the same, so why not hitch up the britches and go for the gusto with some real power?

For aftermarket parts availability the 5.0 is only second to the venerable 350 Chev. the 5.0 market is HUGE and still growing even though the motor is no longer made.

As for cooling, a Stock rad CAN hold a V8, with my healthy 302 I had a stock rad with STOCK fans holding tight in 85*f heat in traffic jams on the freeway moving <5mph. Yes it was warm, but with stock fans it had NO airflow, so that is expected, and she never once boiled out.
Larry Embrey

Larry how did you make you motor mounts and tranny mounts and do you have a patern or drawing of what they look like?

Damn Larry, every time we get into this discussion you throw out a comment that pretty much decimates the arguments for most other motor conversions. I'm contemplating building a shelby cobra replica with a 302 driveline, or maybe even pulling my rover V8 and dropping in a 302. The cobra kit I'm looking at will run about a 13.6 second quarter mile on a stock mustang driveline. Their car weighs about 2100 lbs. Very close to an mgb, but I think the suspension is dramatically better which is why the quarter mile is quicker then a lot of V8 b's. Maybe if you come up with a tubular crossmember we can make some improvements on mgb suspension selection and get our quarter mile times considerably lower. There's so many great options, but so few cars in the driveway!


I dunno guys, the most I *ever* spent on a BOP was about 1300 bucks, and that included a hot cam, Rhodes lifters and a bunch of other stuff. I've bought two newly rebuilt Olds 215's for about $1000 each. That makes for a pretty cheap conversion.

Jim Blackwood

Sorry to rant, I am just trying to stop all the engine racism, that has been rampant on this site lately. I am just plain tired of it. So a guy likes a rotary, V6, V8, V12 cool, welcome to the conversions club. But DON'T be bad mouthing everyone elses hardwork.. Each conversions is unique. My car does run on a stock rad, but my next door neighbors may not. These cars are 25yrs old and each is unique. YES I am pro 302, and will always be a person promoting the swap. But I love to see all conversions and have little patience when people badmouth other's hard work.

Sorry man, don't mean to throw you for a loop. Either motor REALLY will make you happy. I KNOW my B can break 12's. She could have last year BUT had severe traction and gearing issues with the stock Rear end. This year she should have a 8.8" AND have an additional 50 extra horses over last year. That Cobra should be scooting in the 12's if she is 2100lbs, my B is 2420.

Is that 100% ready to install or just motor (long block)? I have never seen anyone put together a fresh rover/buick for that low COMPLETE and ready to run. Even a super common dime a dozen 302/5.0 would be hard to get freshly machined for that price in running form.. I could get a running JY motor for $150 but a complete rebuild on any motor is $$$ Tell me your secrets!!
Larry Embrey

It does not matter which is better, because mine will always be better than yours. The point is that a V8 is great and the V6 is also great. But I firmly believe that the V6 is a better balance package for the MGB. But the V8 is better for those who own one.
A way to prove it would be on tight road coarse, a V6 Vs a V8 I would put my money on the V6 (same driver) On a 1/4 mile, I would put my money on the V8.

HP is not everything. A CRX Honda is faster than the Track prepared Factory Cobra kit with a 5.0 FI; I see it every month at the track. Acura Integra "R" with times close to those of the GTS class (Vipers and Z06 Corvettes) Again a balance package is what really matters.

Which is better? What you own is the best.

<<I'm contemplating building a shelby cobra replica with a 302 driveline, or maybe even pulling my rover V8 and dropping in a 302. The cobra kit I'm looking at will run about a 13.6 second quarter mile on a stock mustang driveline. Their car weighs about 2100 lbs. >>

Factory Five, Justin?

A friend of mine has built 2 of them. Cobras are very cool and sexy rides. BUT, I can't get past the steering wheel & pedals not being on center with the driver. The wheel is ofset one way & the pedals the other. I guess the thrill factor is so high you get over it.
Carl Floyd

you are so right bill, i never thought my v6 car could out run my v8 car in a 1/4 mile with the torque issues, but on a road course the 6 would leave it behind, most of my driving excursions are with audi tt and japanese sedans on the highway and i have not found one that can take the v6 car. gordaon, for the sake of discussion i wa scomparing 6 to 8, i do not think you can build a reliable 4 mgb engine with 200+ hp, dan, we'll sit down in TN and compare numbers for purchasing everything you will need off the shelf and let the numbers speak for themselves. larry, i love the 5.0 ford but for the sake of discussion it skews the number somewhat when you factor in the time involved, how many hours did it take you to make the custom headers, make the custom motor mounts, how many hours did you spend fitting and refitting the engine and also reliving the engine bay, for comparision purposes i am talking off the shelf items and having the work performed by someone else. as i said , one is not better than the other, it is just personal choice, safety faster, jim
jim m

Larry, it really all depends on how much you can do yourself, and just what you consider necessary. Balancing? More bucks. Magnaflux? Align bore? and so on. There's a lot that doesn't Have to be done to get a good serviceable engine, and with a budget conversion it's better to just get the job done, even if you may have to build another motor sooner than you might like, since it's way easier to do an engine swap than a conversion. Money = time, so the sooner it's driveable the better. Those figures were on a complete engine, no HTOB, new carb, new alt, or such as that, but let me give you a couple of examples, both different.

The first, bored, oversize pistons, bearings, seals etc, a crack in the water jacket heliarced, and valves replaced but the original cam and lifters. A spare carb was fitted that had come off something else. Right at $1300, all assembly by me and a friend, no frills. That one still runs btw. Rebuildable core cost $50.

Another core, again $50, turned out to have only minimal cylinder wear so the original pistons were used, but it got rings, bearings and such and a hot cam, springs and lifters. Again right at $1300. I wound it past 7 grand regularly, and eventually it cracked a piston skirt and spun a bearing. Now sitting in storage with a very good set of heads.

And the one I'm running now, professionally built by Lemley Racing of Southpoint Ohio, IIRC I gave ~$1200 for it and it came with a turbo, an MGB project car, and a set of nice Fiero seats attached. So the deals are out there if you look hard enough. And for bolt-ons like the starter? Stock aluminum nose starter, heliarced two tabs on the nose to rotate the solenoid down at the local school. Cost, just a little time, though I did later have it rebuilt, but that was over a 15 years ago and I'm still using it today.

Jim Blackwood

Yeah Carl it is the factory five kit that I'm looking at. That's the IRS I'm using in my B too. I'm arranging to meet with someone locally who has a factory five kit with a 405 hp 351W under the hood.... Talk about fast!

Larry, The stock mustang driveline is only 225 hp give or take a few, so 13.6 out of 225 hp seems pretty impressive.

I'll agree with Jim that you can rebuild a 215 for around $1200 bucks, but if you go to 3.9L or bigger, the costs are exponentially more... It's a real pain trying to find the right pistons, etc for a 3.9/4.2....

Whenever I can, I try to buy things from people who don't need to, or aren't trying to sell them. That way the price is usually right.


Jim M wrote:

"dan, we'll sit down in TN and compare numbers for purchasing everything you will need off the shelf and let the numbers speak for themselves."


I'd be delighted to discuss this with you in TN, but I'd be even more delighted if you'd put together an article for the Newsletter on this subject. Obviously, from the responses on this BBS, this is a hot subject, and should be of great interest to the Newsletter readers.

Myself, I come down strongly on the V8 side, but I will be the first to admit that it's just a personal preference, and that I'd stick with the V8 regardless of what the numbers showed. I'll also be the first to admit that the V6 conversion has a lot going for it, and that I'd be more than happy with a V6 if that was what I had.

I would only caution that we make sure we compare apples to apples, and not apples to doughnuts. ie, if we want to talk about "high tech" for example, we have to be sure we're not comparing a 2003 era DOHC, multivalve, variable valve timing, electronic FI engine to a 60's era pushrod V8. There are an equal number of high tech V8s available. I have in my garage now a 1977 Buick V6 which is as low tech as they come. You can't just make a blanket statement that a V6 is more (or less) high tech than a V8.

If we want to talk performance, we have to make sure that both the V6 and the V8 are producing the same HP numbers. If we want to talk handling, we need to be sure that both cars are properly setup for the engine of choice. On a race course, a 300 HP V8 might have enough power over a 200 HP V6 to compensate for any handling advantage the V6 may have, so any difference in power has to be a factor.

If we want to compare cost, we have to include ALL factors, and make sure that the two cars under study are as identical as we can make them from a performance/power/handling standpoint.

A "junkyard" V* will cost less than a professionaly built, high performance V* (substitute your choice, 6 or 8, for the *). An aluminum BOP/Rover V8 will weigh less than the iron block/iron head V6 that I have in my garage. An aluminum V6 will weigh less than the BOP/Rover V8, much less than a Ford 302, and much, much less than an iron block/iron head Chevy V8. It will cost a LOT more to get 375HP from a V6 than to get 375 HP from a 302.

It will be a lot more work to drop just about any engine into a late model MGB other than the BOP/Rover. If you buy one of the kits available, and if it is complete, it could be a lot easier to drop a V6 into an earlier MGB than any of the V8s.

My feeling is, that when it's all said and done, we won't have a clear winner; there are just too many variables, not the least of which is personal preference. Most of us have our minds made up, based strickly on personal opinion, and we won't change our minds regardless of what the data shows. V8 fans will stay V8 fans, and V6 fans will stay V6 fans, but there are many who are still undecided.

A well researched, well documented article comparing the plus's and minus's of the two choices would be well recieved, I believe.

I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm willing to go out on a limb and make a few predictions:

1. There will be more and more people choosing the V6 option,

2. More and more people will be making the swith to the Ford 302.

3. The number of BOP/Rover conversions will continue to grow.

4. We'll all be happy with whatever choice we make.

How's that for hedging my bets?


Dan Masters

The MG V-8 can certainly be cooled by a stock MGB radiator. I have been running my Olds 215 (10.5:1 compression, good cam) powered conversion for 12 years, including a fair amount of road race time, driving regularily in hot Ohio summer weather, and generally pounding the car at every opportunity. I have never overheated. The radiator is a stock '77 'B with no modification. There is an aluminum aftermarket fan on the water pump and two stock MGB electric fans for back up. these come on rarely. I believe the secret to the cooling is to cut vents of sufficient size in the inner fenderwells to allow air circulation through the engine bay. Several V-8'ers have been cutting these vents in the last couple of years and they really work.
Kurt Schley

kurt, i would agree with you about the stock radiator working but only if the mods for venting are made, this helps to bring home my original point, the v6 does not need this mod for added cooling, all these little things take time and money to be done right, dan i agree, i would be happy to start an article on the cost values, maybe i could start it and send you my notes for you to imput on them as far as balanced comparisions go?. but i can tell from your post that there is a very good reason for you to be the president of our club, your political savvy is abundant, "hows that for hedging my bets", can you define "my" for us?,, see you in TN, jim
jim m


Your comment on cutting vents in the inner fenderwells (inner wings, I think in UK English) sounds very interesting. Do you have any drawings or pictures available?


Peter hills

Let's complicate the picture a little more. If we assume that two engines, one a V8 and one a V6 have about the same efficiency, and that they both put out the same amount of power, and even perhaps that they both have aluminum heads, Then why wouldn't they both produce the same amount of heat? And if they do then don't they both have the same cooling requirements?

And on the subject of handling, given that the stock MGB has a 51/49 weight distribution, and that the BOP/Rover weighs less than the stock engine the distribution gets even more close to even if anything, how is the V6 going to inherently handle better?

I see these statements being made but without anything to back them up, so tell me please, what am I missing here?

Jim Blackwood

1. The V8 has a greater mass to cool than the V6
V8 Bigger mass in the same area, V6 smaller in the same area were the V8 would seat, also more fuel more heat.
2. The V6 sets further back than the V8 thus improving the polar weight distribution (most of the weight is in the center of the car.
The Buick V8 may be lighter but also sets forward, thus the weight is transfer to the front, same as a heavy engine.
Bill Guzman

Heat dissipation of the all aluminium V8 is greater (quicker to get rid of its own heat) and has no room for air flow around the motor.

On the subject of price... I have stated on this board as well as in private emails that it is all in where you purchase your parts and how.
Here is one example...
This is a BUICK bellhousing for a T5 conversion... QUICK PEOPLE, GET IT WHILE YOU CAN.. THESE ARE RARE AND EXPENSIVE!! :-)

Now as a comparison, I sell (read: retail) the V6 bellhousing for $40 to $50 and sometimes individuals are able to get these for free with thier engines or purchase them for an additional $25 to $70 at almost every salvage yard in the USA and Canada and Mexico and Brazil........... Flywheels are about the same price and availbility. We do not need the HTOB, but just like the V8 conversions, it is much easier to use and not mess about with items like this then it is to build your own setup.
As stated previously by quite a number of people here, build what you love and what you can afford. :-)
BMC Brian McCullough

Heres a V6 bellhousing... This person is saying that it is a rare piece... Hah! We know better then that. Notice that as of this moment, there are three days left and not one bid and they have the biddign started out at $1.00. The Buick belhousing listed above was started out a $65.00 and is up to almost $300 with only a day left... The V6 bellhousing will go for far less, if it even sells.... Its dirty you know, most have been cleaned to sell for $50.00.

Ok V6 owners, here is a cheap one. Shipping will probably cost more then the part!

OK, this Ford 302 (5.0L) bellhousing is inexpensive enough compared to the 215, but a little mor ethen the 60 degree..
Anyways, the bellhousings are just one example of where cost comes in... Again, flywheels are another example. Then water pumps and front covers and so on.

P.S. I still say that you should not look at price as the biggest factor, but if it is one of your factors, keep track of the little pieces for the desired conversion.
BMC Brian McCullough

In case you guys have forgotten, I am not at all anti-V6. I might be running one today if they hadn't initially had some teething problems. But just the same I'm not sure my question has been answered. Are you telling me that the V8 is less efficient, therefore uses more gas to make the same amount of horsepower and therefore generates more waste heat? Are you saying that is an inherent difference between the engines? Because if you are, I'm not really sure I can go along with that.

On the other hand, if you are not saying that the V8 is less efficient (and I believe this was one of the conditions of the hypothetical) then you are telling me that the V8 is better at shedding waste heat but due to a cramped engine compartment there is less airflow, therefore higher underhood temps causing the V8 to be less effective at shedding waste energy? It sounds a bit circular, and I have yet to see any good comparison to back it up. Identical car, identical radiator, identical fan, different engine, that might do it. So far not. Consider also, that waste heat generation is a function not only of engine efficiency, but of horsepower output. Given equally efficient engines, equal amounts of heat would indicate equal amounts of horsepower. So you see, you are in a bit of a corner. Either you have to claim the V8 is less efficient, or you have to claim you are making less horsepower. The only out is your claim that the air can move more freely through the engine compartment and out from under the car. I doubt this is the only difference. If so it is easily resolved with vents and the result becomes equal again. My opinion is that the broader torque curve of the V8 indicates higher *average* power output, therefore higher temps. I'll not go into relative efficiencies at engine speeds at and above the torque peak but there is another argument to be made there.

As far as the handling, again how about some good solid figures? Engine weights and vehicle weight at each tire would be a good place to start. Then, do they both use the same transmission? If so does the shifter come through the tunnel in the same place? If not, how much difference in what direction? I have serious doubts that the change in polar moment you describe is going to have any effect in anything short of an all out race machine.

I can understand your wanting to claim it's better. So do the Ford guys. And I'm not even saying it isn't in either case. What I am saying is that before I'll buy the claims being thrown around I'm going to have to see some better data.

Jim Blackwood

Hi Jim,
I don't think anyone here is as you say, anti _____ (you fill in the blank), just a little bias for our own reasons. Since bendh racing is fun here goes...

An aluminium head motor needs about 1 more compression point according to most of what I have studied and every machinist I have ever used, in order to build the same amount of power. In other words, a 350 V8 with 9.0 to 1 cast iron heads puts out the same power as an identical aluminium head with the same valves, chambers and everything, except having 10.0 to 1. This is due to heat dissipation through the head itself. The aluminium heads to compare are usually better designed and therefore have better power over the stock cast iron units anyway. Now this is Very much a generalization, but is not a bad one.

The gentlemen above listed that he DOES use a stock radiator with his BOP/R. How does he list out how he does it without overheating? Mechanical fan off the water pump. Then the two stock late model electric fans for backup. Also the exhaust on his car probably exits the inner fenders as it should on those conversions and extra vents in the inner fenders. That is in the big motor bay of the late model B.

On the cars with the V6, the stock fans have been fine for cooling the cars. I have noticed one of the cars overheating... But that was from a large vacuum leak and cooled down as soon as the problem was fixed. We do not need holes cut anywhere, not that cutting these little cooling vents is bad for any conversion, just not needed on some.

For me personally to tell you that the V8 uses more gas because it is 25% larger and therefore uses 25% more gas would be like you saying that you have 25% more cylinders, therefore 25% more power. Are these more effient on fuel? I dont know, maybe others that have paid attention can figure that out, or better yet, when you alll meet, you need to fill up completely and then go on a long drive, when you get to the end of your drive, one person goes around and topsup everybodies tank. OK, you'll probably be driving at different speeds and so on, so that probably wouldnt work. ? The SFI V6 in its original car was supposed to get 30 mpg, but we remove the VSS for top speed, so it might not be as good.
No answers here today, just misc ramblings.
-Brian Mc Cullough.
P.S. that BOP/R bellhousing went for $233.02, so sorry about the figure of $300 for this used one.
BMC Brian McCullough

When looking at the many different options available to me for an MG conversion, things that are of the utmost importance are power off idle, constant power across the rpm range, availability of parts, and of course ease of installation. Another thing that I like to through into the equation is how appealing is the sound that available engine can provide remember sound is also part of the enjoyment.

Several ways to look at it......................

Stock: Something your grand mother would feel comfortable driving.

4 Cylinder Conversion (non-stock): Week, scared of ridding a city bus because it sometimes goes to fast.

6 Cylinder Conversion: Something your mother could drive and not be intimidated by.

8 Cylinder Conversion: Real men enjoy driving. Will not settle for anything less. Considers anything less something they would let their wives drive.

10 plus Cylinders: More cylinders is always a good thing. There is no replacement for displacement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just wish for more roomunder the hood.

Public Enemy #1

4 Cylinder Conversion (non-stock): Week, scared of ridding a city bus because it sometimes goes to fast.

Hey, not all 4 cyl conversions are slow. My conversion is with a 2.3turbo out of a Ford TurboCoupe with a T5. I have a grand total of $400 in my entire car so far, and the 2.3t is more than capable of 300 rwhp. For me, I considered a 5.slo(oops, couldn't resist) but really wanted to keep a fuel injection system. Learning about turbos is just a positive sidenote for me. Since I have gotten into the 2.3turbo motors, I have also purchased a Merkur XR4Ti with the same drivetrain(I converted it to a T5).

Here is a website with a 2.3 in a MG. Mark had to turn the boost down to keep it over 14 sec 1/4 times or get kicked out of the track. I know of at least 5 more that are in the works or are finished. I just hope mine turns out as well as Mark's did once I am finished.

G.P. Copes

Great choice man. I have a friend and he and I are using the turbos off a 2.3L for his twin turbo mustang. But he liked the 2.3L so much he went and bought a XR4ti as his daily driver!!

Those motors are Wicked strong, and yes 300 is not to hard to get just by upping the boost with a stock motor. Then you can do it up nice and REALLY up the boost and have a chance at up to 500, but that is really pushing it..

Larry Embrey

After looking at the pictures on that site of the rear end, or what remains of it, I wouldn't be so quick to doubt that [2.3l]engine. Most I imagine, only do that with more than 4 cylinders.

Not saying anything about what engine's better...

In fact, I'm not even trying to say anything, other than that's pretty cool... :)

Anthony Morgan

Just a quick note on Mark's rear end...that ain't a MG rear, but a Ford 8 inch he grenaded! I honestly don't know why it broke, but am pretty sure it was on street tires.

If anyone is curious as to what can be done with these little engines, come visit us at There is a wealth of knowledge there but is mostly geared to the 2.3 turbo.


P.S. Larry, since you mentioned gettin our turbos and stickin them on a 302, check out these runs on a junkyard twin turbo 302!

Those 1/8 mile times equate to low 10's/high 9's!
G.P. Copes

I love the way on that last file he lets the Mustang get a head start and then just cruises on by. Very nice.

Rick Haynes

Just my thoughts... If you want V6 fuel efficiency and cooling running engine with 200hp, go drive my wife's new Toyota minivan and leave me with my V8 gurgling exhaust, 11:1 carbureted V8 monster

and when my V6 tows you home, and you have to rebuild it all over again from overheating, and I'm out driving... :-)
Who wants cool running? You and everybody that I am familiar with. I enjoy working on them, but driving is more then half the fun, so to be working on your car more then driving for that reason is not reasonable for most people.
Problematic cars don't win every race.

I do like the sound of 11 to 1. how many Cubes are you running and aprox bhp/tq figures? would love to know..

BMC Brian McCullough

Aaaaah! all that turbo lag, ooooh no! all that heat.
Oh sh.... turbo blew, my savings $$$$$$ gone!

My input was meant for a little fun, no offense to anyone. Years ago I was a purist doing correct restorations. Now I appreciate people who build or restore classics to keep the hobby going. This project is a '58 MGA solid wheel car a good friend offered me if I wedged a Buick or Rover 3.5L in it. The car itself was destined to be parted out or probably never restored due to the amount of Bondo and overall condition. So why not rebuild it and have some fun. Engine is a stock '63 Skylark 215 with 11:1, 200hp, 230ftlb(gross ratings), T5 w/.63 5th and 3.9rear, minilites, etc. Aluminum radiator should work fine for cooling. How many MGA's have I seen on the road in the last 15 years, about 2. All the rest were in shows or in garages or in fields.

Albert, while turbos do have inherant lag and heat, they are definitely not expensive. That is really the beauty of them. The T3s me and Larry are talking about are readily available in your local junk yard for about $50 each. If you do need to rebuild one, center sections are available for $125...just in case you can't find a good one sittin in your local boneyard.

I'm not trying to convert anyone on here...heck, I like being different. I just want to head off misinformation before it becomes gospel.


P.S. That Fairmont in the video has a stock short block(including pistons), unported Dart Sr heads, aluminum intake, Holley 600 carb and homemade headers. I can't think of many powerplants capable of 130+ mph trap speeds at the end of the 1/4 that can be reproduced for any cheaper. You could go N2O, but the sudden shock to the bottom end usually causes premature failures.
G.P. Copes

Hi Scott,
No offense taken. This BBS is for information, fun.
...and bench racing.. ? :-)
I think that in the MG B GT V8 conversion section, it has been stated several hundred times that the best conversion is the one you want. I, for the most part agree with that. Now if you were to tell me that you installed a 454CI big block GM in an otherwise -STOCK- MG B, I would strongly disagree with that! I think everybody who has done a conversion knows just how wrong that would be.

BMC Brian McCullough

Imagine a blower on a V6 Ohhhh Yea! You must have lots of junk yards with turbo cars. I have never seen one here in RI
ok maybe a cheap turbo on a V6 for $50 I put one in the trunk for spare.
Thanks for the info GP

Funny about the turbo lag. Key in TUNING, you can make them not have a big lag if you get the proper sized turbo and set-it up properly. However the fact is that you do NOT want boost all the time. It makes a car very twitchy and in fact unsafe to drive in anything but dry conditions.

one of the most common reasons for accidents with many hot rod guy is the old, Wet, Corner, boost. those 3 things and your done.

The twins I would put in my fairmont would be the smaller exh housing which means they would start spooling earlier. Since the turbos are designed for a 4cyl car and each one would run off one side of the motor, this would also produce less lag than a bigger single. PLUS like mentioned they are cheaper to get..

BUT this is a MG site and thread.

Long live MGB V8's!!!
Larry Embrey

This thread was discussed between 07/03/2003 and 17/03/2003

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