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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Maybe I will do a conversion BUT....

I am "considering" a V6 or V8 conversion for my 1980 MGB. I don't mind the work involved but I am not much of a an experimenter. I have been following this section on & off for a while now & what I was wondering was is there a source that I can go to find out exactly what needs to be done, ie engine, suspension, brakes, gearbox, rear end, electric's, etc to have a reliable, street drivable car that doesn't need constant tinkering. I guess the ideal would a company that sells parts or a "kit" to do this type of thing. Even a book would be a good start for me. Cheers, and Thanks in advance.
Dave Pearn

First thing I did when I started planning my '77 mgb roadster project was to pick up the book "How to give your MGB V8 Power" by Roger Williams (updated version which includes North American info). It's been extremely valuable.

D&D Fabrications, Almont, MI; Towery Foreign Cars, Cheswold, DE are two of the suppliers that are listed in the book and their names come up quite a bit on these forums.

I've been getting most of my parts from Martyn Harvey in Waterloo, ON. He's the Canadian distributor for Clive Wheatley in the UK and has been a big help as well.

Check out his site at: www.mgb.bc/ca-mgbv8

Hope this helps.
Simon Austin

Thanks for the help.
Dave Pearn

Simon, could you get the ISBN # off that book for me. Maybe I can order it from chapters. Cheers.
Dave Pearn

Here you go, Dave:

ISBN 1-901295-62-1

The book is part of the "SpeedPro" series and published by Veloce Publishing PLC (just in case they ask).

Any other questions, feel free to ask, either here or at my e-mail.
Simon Austin

The book is a great place to start, as is information and parts from the likes of Glenn Towery, D & D fabrication, T & S imported automotive, and other suppliers. Keep in mind though, there's more then one way to skin a cat, and in most cases, there will be several alternatives for solving a specific problem. Don't be afraid to look around at different options before committing to a specific route, or a specific part. And more importantly, make sure your car is ready for this conversion. Brakes need to be working atleast at 100%, same with suspension, rust needs to be virtually non existent, and the wiring needs to be in good shape. V8's have a tendancy to magnify problems, and you don't want parts breaking or giving out while tearing down the road drag racing some kid in daddys mustang. The results can be lethal. Additionally, a car in top notch order will make it easier to diagnose and resolve problems. Nothing worse then a car that won't start, and you don't know if it's the new distributor, or the rigged up electrically taped wiring leading into it....

You're gonna LOVE it when it's done =)


Come to the British V8 2003 convention in Townsend, TN next May, and meet a lot of folks with V8 MGBs, and with a lot of good advice for you. For details, see:

There'll even be a few Canadians here as well.
Dan Masters

Hi Dave,
You might want to try Performance British. They specialize in MG-V8's. Both from a conversion standpoint and V8 parts supply. I've found them very helpful during my GT-V8 conversion. They are in Ottawa.
(613) 836-4283. Eric Rowbotham.

Justin, Well I think my car will "qualify" if I do this. I've owned it from new (1980) and has no rust (always garaged) and only 85,000km on it. I am planning on pulling the engine/gearbox in the spring for a refresh etc and to tidy up some misc things. You know how the story goes- maybe while its apart I could....&....&.....&..&..&&&&.
I know, I know, I can hear the flame's coming already!!
I don't want to modify anything that can't be reversed and I still have to see how much this will effect my appraised value. I think the safest way would be to copy the GT-V8 and make it like Abingdon would have, but that remains to be seen. Cheers.
Dave Pearn

Dave,I doubt if you get too much comment against doing an engine swap in these columns. There might be comment from the MGB General boys who believe in keeping a car pristine as much as possible. I don't know how many people in these columns that will agree with me but it's your car and if you wanted to make a Hummer out of it that is your privilege, you own the car. Somewhere in these archives I noticed that there are more than 20,000 MGB varieties still registered in the USA. This hardly qualifies for a car that is considered a rare collectible. I would not condone sacrificing an early MGB, MGA or a rare model to the torch and welder unless it was done in a way that was totally reversible.

I have seen some members take a lot of ridicule for converting a car into a V6 or V8 on other areas of this WebSite. A great percentage of the time these cars were ready for the junk yard because of the amount of work it would have taken to restore it or even make it roadable. In my opinion it takes a lot of courage from an individual to take on project like that. I have restored several MGB and Mini Cooper models that looked like they were beyond hope.

I believe the members here would encourage you to do the job in a manner that was not only in the interest of yourself but in the interest of the future owner. There are quite a few astounding creations out there that have inspired many members to follow suit as their budget would allow.

I would like to encourage you to follow your dream. Dann Wade
Dann Wade

If anything, I would think immitating an abingdon car would reduce the appraised value of a V8 conversion. Factory V8's are FANTASTIC cars, and I am in aww every time I see one of them, but most people looking to buy a V8 roadster want form, functionality, and reliability -- all things which have been improved upon over the years. Someone will always want a true abingdon copy, but if I were buying a V8 conversion, I'd want the one with the most advancements both in safety, and the quality of components used in the conversion. (Preferrably a 3.9-4.2L V8 and a T5 5 speed box). Abingdon used mgb 4 speed boxes, and they weren't the greatest part of the conversion. The induction was cool, but I think there are better methods. (I love fuel injection, set and forget) Didn't the factory cars only have like 138 hp? You won't be happy if you make a 138 hp V8, and a potential buyer would raise an eyebrow at that too. Dann's 3.4L V6's are making 200hp, and a properly built 3.9L V8 should give at least that too.

Don't rule out any options just yet

D & D Fabrications has a new website: which lists all of thier parts for the V8 conversion.
Kurt Schley

I see where the book is now listed on Wal-Mart online.
Jim Blackwood

This is getting interesting. :-) Fuel injection too.
Dave Pearn

Fuel injection is alot of work, but you will like the end results if you go that way. Both the V6 and V8 conversions have the availiblity of carburettor and Fuel injection. Some people even use Distributorless ignition systems on thier various V6/V8 conversions as well..

As its been discussed many times, and is listed in the archieves, you need to come up with these figures:
How much your planning on spending and how much power you need. It really helps to be able to catch a few rides as well. Can you can find someone in your area with a conversion to get a ride in? Otherwise maybe a trip to the MG V8 Convention is in order!
As far as sources, the Books mentioned above are great for V8 conversions and are helpful on V6 conversion. The best way is to keep coming back here, where quite a number of us hang around waiting to make believers out of others such as yourself. :-)
Good Luck,
BMC Brian McCullough

This thread was discussed between 01/12/2002 and 04/12/2002

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