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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Project update

Since traffic has been slow... The project is coming along well. As seen in the "Humps and Bumps" thread, I now have a working set of hinges and latch on the tilt assembly (bonnet) and I have the guides and such mounted. The assembly uses a gas strut assisted double hinge which is really rather slick if I do say so myself. Upon release of the latch the assembly moves up and forwards, and then is easily pivoted forwards and stops gently with the front edge 2-3 inches from the ground. I could probably make it open all the way from the action of the struts, but would rather not. I still have to make a couple of pieces for the joint at the parting line with the fender stubs but I'm waiting on the material to arrive from Florida.

I've completed the throttle linkage and the cruise control installation and wiring (except for the control switches) and it worked out rather nicely. I had to make up a control cable and a cable mounting block, but I was able to combine those functions with a guide block I had already made for the hood. All of the sensors except the HEGO's are wired, and I am reviewing the injector sequence for the final time. Then I'll finish wrapping the harness and secure it, mount the ECU and ignition module and connect them, decide which if any of the peripheral functions I want to use, (such as the two radiator fan control outputs, knock sensor, etc.) and put the center console back in and tuck everything out of sight.

I got some supplies from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, particullarly a length of 3-1/4" ID wire reinforced silicone duct for the air inlet and have connected the MAF sensor to a K&N filter up beside the radiator. I'll have to do some shrouding around the radiator but that can come later. I also got a length of airfoil shaped aluminum tubing (about 1-1/8 x 2-1/2") which I have cut for the airfoil supports in the rear. The wing is from a 1970 Cutlass Rally 350 that looks much like the old Judge (GTO) spoiler except the ends are flipped up rather than down, which I personally think looks better. In the early '70's these two spoilers were said to be the only stock spoilers available that actually provided measureable downforce. I don't know that I buy that, but certainly an inverted airfoil is likely to be effective at lower speeds. This wing will be mounted about 20" above the trunk lid and positioned just forward of the bumper using angled struts pivoted at the rear of the wing. A link will go from the front center to the axle housing for active pitch control. Still a good bit of fabrication to be done there. I considered narrowing the wing but it's a little shorter than the widened bodywork and as it turns out the attachment points are the same width as the trunk lid support frame, so it stays as it is. At the same time I'll weld in the trunk lid strut brackets and mount the gas struts.

I've reskinned the doors and matched them to the fender stubs so they are ready to be prepped for paint. I plan to do them, the hood assembly, the wing, and the trunk lid at the same time, after I've painted the front spoiler subframe, or at the same time if I decide to make it body color rather than black. I plan to do that on a warm day late this winter. That will leave some rust repair in front of of the rear wheelwells and the balance of the body to be painted. At that time if I've had good results on the other panels I will probably repaint the fender stubs and cowling, although I'll try to avoid removing the windshield again to do it. That will leave the seats and inside of the trunk as the last parts to do. Probably I'll just buy a carpet kit for the trunk unless I decide to do it myself, and I'll begin sourcing leather for the seat covers, and buy replacement cushions.

Hopefully I'll be able to start the engine in a couple of weeks. I need to buy a battery and make up a set of spark plug wires, and I really should add an inertia switch, but I'm beginning to anticipate that first turn of the ignition. WWWWWAPAA!
Jim Blackwood

Sounds like you're doing well with a project which requires both your basic skills and lotsa high tech. You have my admiration; I'm still trying to get my engine sited properly, and then have sufficient cleanrance for a steering vibration dampener. I'd hate to have to go with just a regular ujoint down by the rack. Lots of trial and error on this facet of the project so far; consequently, this has to be one of the spendiest steering systems ever.
How many B-V8s have you owned/built? Any factory cars? What types of engines?

Regards, Joe

Joe Ullman

Although I've had an MGB-V8 a long time, with several engines and a very large number of variations, I've kept the same car. It's the 2nd of 6 I've acquired, all roadsters, 5 CB and 1 RB, and all the others have been wrecked and otherwise reduced to parts. One of those was an aborted conversion, and I have seen first hand just how badly the job can be mishandled. The car was quite unsalvageable. My car is a '71, and has had besides the old MOWOG a hot high compression Buick 215 (Cracked a piston skirt and spun a rod bearing. Maybe I over-revved it? It loved to wind up.) A low compression Olds 215 with Buick 8:1 pistons (the most reliable one of the bunch but compression had to be under 7:1), the same engine with the factory turbo and custom manifolding, and the current engine, the Olds high compression turbo engine with the Buick L/C pistons and heads shaved .040 for about 8.5:1 C/R, Eaton M90 blower, intercooler, Ford EEC-IV FI and distributorless ignition. I expect it to at least equal the first Buick engine while remaining docile and streetable which the former was certainly not. This engine swap was not extremely well known when I first did it, so this one is unique in almost every way.

The body has undergone extensive modifications, having had 5 different front ends to date, 3 of which were forward tilt assemblies and 4 of which were widened to accommodate the 265/50-14 tires. I believe I've finally gotten what I want there.

It rides about 2" closer to the ground than stock, has a custom dash covered in black leather, and any number of other custom features. Needless to say it is one of a kind. As is it's owner.
Jim Blackwood

This thread was discussed between 18/11/2001 and 19/11/2001

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