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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Non-V8 conversions

I am considering buying a Chrome Bumpered MGB and already know I want to do a engine conversion. I'm not looking to drop in a V6 or a V8. I was thinking about maybe a Toyota or a Mazda (Miata or Rotory)motor.

I just want something very reliable so I can use it as a daily driver.

Are there kits out there to do this type of conversion?

Please let me know what you think about this.


The Mazda motors are not an easy swap. The rotary wants to be where your frame is in front. The Miata was one of my ideas, since I have one as a parts chaser for the MG. Once again, not a good fit to the B engine compartment.

Whats your beef with 60 degree V6 engines? From what I can see they should be the easiest (bolt in) swap available.

No swap is ever going to be more cost effective than a good re-build. Contrary to all of my experiences, I hear that it is possible to have an MG engine re-built so that it provides reliable transport; just do not ask for more power.


I have seen a Mazda rotary swap in a B at a large car show (Carslile, PA). It fit with lots of room to spare. The motor fit behind the front crossmember with out problems and used a simple motor mount to the cross member. The car was featured in Grassroots Motorsports Magazine (about 2 years ago) and the owner lives in PA. The motor weighs much less than the 1800cc MG motor and you can use the Mazda 5-speed trans.

Have fun!!
Brian Kraus

Living in California your main concern on an engine swap is meeting the CARB regulations. Most late model engines you talk about will require all the associated emissions hardware to pass inspection, and then only if the exhaust manifolds or headers meet CARB standards. I guess it depends on the year of your car as to what standards you have to meet. Check the inspection standards before you get too far into such a project. The B has a fairly good sized engine compartment, so as long as the engine chosen isn't too long you can put almost any V6 or small V8 in without too much problem.
Bill Young

I'll be installing a Rotary in my '66B in the Spring. My boy races an '87 Rx7 Turbo (about 320 HP) and I now have a left over non-Turbo engine with Auto Trans from a donor car that he needed for the shell. So it's going in the '66. The floorpan of the '66B is shot so I'll be cutting out the floorpan and trans tunnel from his RX7 donor and using it in the B. It appears that the big deal with this is to get a complete donor car since you need the computer and especially the extensive wiring harness.

These engines are very, very light and naturally put put 150HP in the non-Turbo versions. Easy to get them up to 175+ by adding a free-flow exhaust and air filter.

I would have preferred a five-speed but you get what you paid for. (He gave it to me). The Air Conditioning will be nice, however.


This thread was discussed between 09/02/2001 and 15/02/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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