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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Quad 4

Has anyone on here ever thought of using something like a modern high strung 4 banger to replace the original 4? I know, it will probably not turn out any cheaper than a V8, but that is not my intention. I have 3 other V8's in the stable next to it so I wish to create something truely different. I love the feeling of a high reving 4 cylinder but would like modern rpm and hp. I've been considering the Zetec 2.0 or the Quad 4, but haven't been able to get a final grasp of where I should go. Mantaparts makes a nice Quad to T5 setup and the Zetec's have became an engine of choice in the Caterhams of late. What do you guys think? Opinions and suggestions are welcome along with any personal experience. Thanks in advance

Luke
Luke Staley

I saw an article in an old Kit Car magazine about the Quad 4, with Turbo, putting out over 300 hp. This article was aimed at Fiero owners at the time. Food for thought.
Bob Fish

Interesting that you mention that, because while it isn't exactly what you were talking about, I had the idea the other day, that if you had the time to kill, and the money to spend, you could completly re-engineer the front end of the mgb to accept the front subframe of some import front wheel drive. Just a pipe dream that might create a car with interesting handling characteristics. Consider a smashed Integra, where you would get the front subframe and powerplant, as well a the rear axle to swap out.
Anthony Morgan

Has anyone considered the 2.2/2.5 Chrysler 4 cylinder turbo? I don't know the measurements or weight but they are cheap and plentiful and will put out lots of power. Saw one in an Horizon bracket racing a few years ago that was amazing - it would really fly. Probably some complications due to fact that they are from a front wheel drive car. I've gone the conventional route - half way through a Rover/T5 conversion on a 77.
Phil

The 2.2/2.5 route was thought of, but some hang up do exist. The fact that most were front wheel drive is not a problem completely. Chrysler actually put a few of these in non turbo version in the Dakota. The 2.5 was available in the Dakota in both auto and manual configurations. PROBLEM is that the manual was the week link in the stock application and will not hold up well under abuse. If your willing to run an auto in an mgb, then this is a great option. 300 hp is not unheard of for the Shelby racers and 12 sec quarter miles aren't either. Im just not willing to put an auto in a sports car, not that someone esle shouldn't. They are light weight, cheap and actually still supported by Mopar in their catalogs. I've been told that the non turbo is not completely worth having by Mopar guys. Any of you British have experience with the Capri motor or the Zetec in your little sports car conversions. If only a Lotus twin cam was affordably available or a Gaerte sprint engine!

Luke
Luke Staley

I once saw a picture of a Jaguar V12 engined sprite, amusingly refered to as a "fright" I can't remember where it was i saw it though.
Phil

George Ross in Spring Hill, Tennessee is in the process of installing a Saturn twin cam in a customer's MGB. I haven't seen it yet. It sounds interesting though.
Steve M

Steve,

Do you know what transmission or conversion he has came up with for the Saturn motor? I'm open to ideas, yet seem to find a draw back in each case. I ran across a Spitfire with the Quad being put it, but it had hood clearance problems at the the timing chain area in heigth. I did find out that a Quad 4 comes out almost exactly 350# fully dressed so that should make keeping the balance of the car easier. Come on, has no one in Britain, put a Zetec motor in a MGB? It would seem a natural.
Luke Staley

Luke, I have tried the Quad 4 in a '73 MGB but never finished it because it was so tall you had to modify the hood or cut out the crossmember,and the intake system fouled the steering shaft. An after market injection system like TWN may have worked but it is VERY expensive.The Chevy 2.2 litre 4 cylinder is a very nice fit and very cheap. I would think 150 HP would be possible with comparatively little cost for installation as compared to other popular V8 installations. There are aftermarket injection systems(Venom)that give it HP boost and headers would be very easy to make but I'm sure someone makes them as a business. The common drive train components that the V6/V8 boys use will work with it also. I'm sure there are plenty of import engines that would work but no conversions have been marketed that I am aware of. My company makes a conversion that uses the very latest GM 3.4 V6 transverse engine and it makes over 200 HP with no modifications to the engine. It's the most horsepower you can get for the buck. Hope I have been some help. Dann
Dann Wade

Dann,
Were you the guys who purchased some parts in Ohio from Mantaparts to do this swap? He said he sold some kits to a company that put a couple of Quad 4's in some MGB's. He thought they were successful, yet didn't know what was involved or do you know who these guys were? He also couldn't give me the actual measurements on the engine other than weight. What is the rpm range of these fwd engines? You're kit looks tempting, I will be in touch. Thanks for your input on the Quad. I'm more interested in minimizing time down than anything else (I have enough racing projects already), so that could have turned out a nightmare.

Thanks
Luke

This board can answer questions that you just can't get answered anywhere else. Thanks guys!
Luke Staley

Luke, that was us a few years back.I had it fitted just fine and Manta part had conversion parts at that time. The bellhousings were shoddily machined was another reason I didn't use their parts. They had all the other management parts though. I sold everything I had to a friend of mine who lives in Beavercreek, Ohio. He's is fitting it into a midget,(car that is):0 The engine I sold him was 190 HP HO capable of 7500 to 8000 RPM easy. This is a very long and tall engine. There is no way as, I experienced it, to get it under the hood without it being obtrusive or having to modify the crossmember as I mentioned before. You probably couldn't find an HO engine that wasn't real tired at at this date, and that is another reason I use the transverse 3.1 or 3.4. These engines can be found anywhere in the USA with very few miles on them. I hope this answer helps you. Let me know. Try our new website at Killerbv6 .com for som pix and info on our first prototype from years back. The engine we use now has crossed runners on the manifold but everthing else is the same.
Dann

Dann,

Small world isn't it. It is kind of hard to believe that two people can actually go through such routes MG/Quad4/Manta/MGForum to end up discussing the same project potential. I'm giving your kit serious thought. How much does this set up effect the weight distribution of the B? Do you have front and rear wheel weights after the conversion? Thanks

Luke
Luke Staley

Luke,

I believe George said he was going with a T-5 with a custom bell housing. George works a day job and does restoration/custom jobs on the side.
Steve M

Have you ever thought of a, as much as I hate Japanese cars, Honda 4 banger. I mean right now, as die hard fan I am of American Iron, American 4 bangers can not hold a candle to the Jap. 1.8 litre VTEC 4 bangers. They put out something like 190 horse and thats stock out of a 1.5/ 1.8 litre motor! Then, if thats not enough, there are more turbo kits then you can shake a stick at. They are compact and there is a rear drive on out there, the S2000. It might be a bit more than an American motor, but you cant beat the output HP. Just a thought
Jarrod

The quad four is an interesting idea. I am still deep into four cylinder engines but perfer the GM 60░ V6 such conversions as the MG B. I consider it a high revving motor... Of course anything is a high revving motor when compared to the BOP/R V8. Good horse power and torque and less weight then the MGB driveline in either front or rear wheel drive versions. We use the Rear wheel drive versions with custom headders to make the engines and gearboxes a drop in conversion. Pretty simple if you go with the carbureted setup as there is nothing to really change. The Fuel injection version is more costly, but worth the money as well. Front wheel drive versions of the engine get more involved to install and can cost more, but the heads breath better. The rear wheel drive versions are easier to install and work wonderful. I believe that either version is an excelent choice. I looked at killerbv6's first 3.1L conversion at the MG 2001 show in St.Paul and believe it was well done, we also had our 3.4L at the show on display and had a high response from it. Alot of people want more then the V8 can give them and some want cheaper conversions. These can be either, depending on how people design them.
look at these sites for more on this:

http://www.drive.to/bmc.com
http://www.v6mgb.com
http://www.killerbv6.com

You will find alot of goodies avalible for these kind of conversions.
-BMC.
Brian Mc Cullough

The problem with honda motors(other than the fact there japanese)is the rotate the opposite direction(except s2000) making transmision choices a problem. The gm v6 looks like the best package,and I'm thinking about doing it myself,if I dont go with a supercharger.
rob

Rob,

Thanks for the heads up on the Honda. I've been looking for a transmission option and have found virtually zilch on this. The counter rotation must be the obvious hang up. I kept looking, simply because I've seen some extreme Hondas running Powerglides, but these likely run none of the stock internals like cam or maybe even crank? Oh well

Luke
Luke Staley

All I gotta say is something that rodders have known since the first motors were developed.....There is NO replacement for displacement. If you want power, go with an 8, not a 6 or 4. If you still want a four though, I know of a few people with Toyo Celica 4 bangers and Supra (I think) 5 speeds and 6 speeds. Aftermarket options are much more plentiful than that of Quad 4's.
Jarrod Hills

I was wondering when that one was going to come up...
The old saying about displacement was true for torque and is still a considered variable, however....

Technology is the TRUE leader nowdays. I would rather have a high output four then a low tech poorly designed V8. A twin overhead cam four cylender engine with a modern computer controlled distributorless ignition, fuel injection, and high revving engine is better then an engine that has 8 cylenders, doesn't rev beyond 5000 RPM, and has no real improvements to be made.
Of course, the C.I. factor (c.c. for some of us) is still important as two motors developed the exact same will have different outputs depending on bore and stroke.
And we all know that fitting into the engine bay as well as ease of fitment is important.
I know people who want to use 454 Chevy big blocks in MG Bs and others who want to convert Spridgets to Geo Metro motors (and a few 350ci Chevy motors already done)... Anything will work, but these are probably less thought through choices in my opinion.
We have built my brothers 924 (yup, one of them lesser german cars) up to the point that it makes "real" Porsches look somewhat slow, and its still using the original 924 block. (same basic block as the Audi 4000).


I'm not going to look down at someone for there choice. Just judge them. (just kidding!!!)
-BMC.
Brian Mc Cullough

Sure technology is important as it leads to better motors but, i must remind you that 8's are able to rev just as high as these modern four bangers when developed properly. Since you are in the US, I am sure you know of the NASCAR 350's used in the race cars that regularly rev to 9000 and 10000 revs. Thats a truely well built motor and using the same principles that makes those great motors can be put into any 8 and those will burn a 4 banger off the line any day. Those motors make something like 700 horse and they are naturally aspirated and, HUH, can it be, pushrod motors! Nothing fancy, just a good combination of internals. Im sorry, but this is why most race cars, no matter what type, run eights. Even BMW, whose 6 cylinder M# motors are great, have switched to campaigning a new 8 in thier race M3. Im sorry, but there truely is no better motor than an 8 when you are trying to build good power and torque.
Jarrod Hills

Luke, I'm sorry I didn't get back with you sooner. I've been setting up some new machinery and I haven't been online. The front to back weight distribution hasn't been determined because I felt the out car by the seat of my pants after the conversion and I never noticed any difference in handling in the corners at all. I didn't wring it out real good but I have had several drivers agree that it handles real well. The whole engine and drive train weighs about 38 lbs. Less than the the B's. The engine alone with only the necessaries weighs 20 lbs.less than the B. The suspension was all stock and the rear springs could use some help to keep from winding up. Inexpensive traction bars would do it. You can buy the parts to convert your car several differnt ways. To change the engine alone to a rear wheel drive is about $500.00. The engine management system varies from $600.00 to $1400.00 in accordance to performance desired. Engine mounts with isolators are $350.00. These are the main parts which are manufactured or modified. If you are a experienced swapper you could get away with the engine change over if you want to make your own alternator bracket, trans. crossmember, puter mods, exhaust,etc. The list goes on but these are the basics which cost the most. Hope I hope I have been some help. Dann
Dann Wade

Brian, good comments. I've gotten a lot of feed back from that car show. Mike Maloney had the car out there. I believe I have communicated with you in the past. I got really sick and was out of the picture for awhile but I'm all better now. My newest project is a B speedster. I hope to have it ready by spring. I hope to catch you at a show in the future. I'm really glad you support the V6. You have to drive a V6 B to really appreciate the terrific throttle response wouldn't you agree? Take care, Dann
Dann Wade

I totally agree with you Dan. There is nothing like driving one of these. Yes, I spoke with Mike at length and want to trade some seat time while there.. I didn't get the chance personally. I really enjoyed looking at your project and we have discussed various items over the phone from time to time.

I find it amazing how many knucle draggers there are out there that don't understand the idea of engine developement unless its a 350ci V8. For instance, a six cyl. naturally asperated Porsche that rips apart a "built" V8 Camaro. Why doesn't the Camaro win hands down??? It should be 25% faster JUST because it has 25% more cyl.s right??? they also have smaller displacement then the Chevy or Ford engines.
And why can I beat a Dodge V10 pickup with my winter beater (minivan!)??? Could it be power to weight ratio? Gearing? Driver skill? How about ratio of weight on front wheels? Hmm. We all know that we can get anything to rev, its just a matter of how much a person wants to spend and how unusual a person wants it. I am not saying that V8s are bad or even wrong.
I am saying OPEN YOUR EYES! There are thousands of ways of doing things, some are just better then others.
BTW: My 1275cc Bugeye would kill other American cars on the autocross track with similar modifications to there particular vehicles.
A quad four, a GM 60░ V6 or a BOP/R V8 makes way more sense then a 350 or 302 V8 for more then one reason...
Weight, fitup, danger of chassis problems and so on.
A four or 60░ V6 (GM or Ford) makes more sense in the MG B due to engine spacing then the 3.5L V8 (or bigger) because there is a space issue in these cars.
A local fellow is planning a 350 in an MGB. First of all, he is going to have nothing MG B except the outer body shell. Suspension will be taken out of something else, complete seperate chassis built, total interior sheetmetal removed and new interior designed. rear axle placement moved back so he can move seats back, move the engine back through firewall so he can get 50/50 weight distribution... More money then you could shake stick at to get it right. Thats the only safe way to get an MG B into the 500-1000 BHP level and still be safe on the street. A safe car is one that sits in your driveway and never leaves, but thats not what I am into. I just think that some thought into safety should be instilled in a person, and a sports car (ya know, something that turns corners- a number of hotrodders have a hard time understanding this concept) goes left and right too and therefore needs handling abilities.
Again, personal choices are the keys to conversions.
Yes, I am picking on you Jarrod, but all in good taste. :-)
Good luck all,
-BMC.
Brian Mc Cullough

Brian, well stated, especially "and a sports car (ya know, something that turns corners- a number of hotrodders have a hard time understanding this concept." I know our research( yours and mine) has cost us plenty of time and money but a newer idea has most always been the subject of scoffing and doubt. I posed a challenge to the advocates of the big cube stuffers to sort out our differences on the slalom courses but never had a bite. I can get Mikes car to run 14.60 in the 1/4 mile and the 302/4.9 Mustangs are running very close to the same times. I had an IROC Camaro that ran real close to these same times. As a matter of record, I have beaten my share on the street. I don't like Mustangs to start with so I would naturally pick on them. I have a 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am that runs 13.6 in the 1/4 mile. I hope to surpass that time with the newest 3.4 version I am preparing with no internal mods, no bottle , no air. When I do the Trans Am gets sold. I left some more comments in the V8 Conversions page. Later, Dann
Dann Wade

Sure I like hot rods but those are made for straight lines only. I am building, what hot rodders call a "G Machine." What that is is a car that has the power to go striaght and take the twisties without a problem. I have the motor to about 300 horse and I am planning dropping the Jag rear cage into the rear of the B. The front suspension I am going to design with some help, upgrading to new tecnology, like coil overs and ball joints. With this type of set up, I will be able to run the 1/4 miles fast and tear up the twisty sections of the road. I plan on autcrossing the car and taking it to track days. Just out of curiousity, what does the complete cast iron V6 motor, with intake and injection system weigh versus the weight of the aluminum V8? It cant be that much of a difference; within a hundred I would suspect. With that little of a difference in weight and the big a difference in horsepower (160 horse to 300), that power to weight ratio of a B with an 8 under the bonnet will be better than that of one with a 6. I am not advocating putting any big bore cast iron 8 in a B, as cool as that is, I think that it isnt the best thing for such a small car. I agree with the greater addition of wieght, but I think that if someone placed a light weight aluminum small block, much like the Mopar's and GM's out there, that would make more power than the normal 350's and not weight as much. Oh yeah, and about the comment about beating a Dodge pick up in your minvan is just ridiculous, if you ask me. I am a four wheeler and have a built up Jeep and must tell you that a 6000 pound truck with 4.56 gears in the pumpkins and most likely, since most V10's are in 1 tons, a low granny first, most likely something like 4 or 5 to one (depending on the trans type) isnt a dragster and wasnt meant to be driven like one. It is too heavy and is totally wrong for racing or driving fast, it is built for hauling. Youve got your minivan with street gears and a hell of a lot less weight and of course it will beat a big truck. I bet if that truck were to shed a few pounds it would beat the pants off of your minvan in the quarter and off the line (gearing would help there). Also, if a 6 would have made more sense, the factory must have not thought so since they put the eight in production versions of the B. They even had a OHC prototype four that was supposed to replace the 1800cc motor, but that never happened. Sure there are a thousand ways to do things and I think that, engine wise, an 8 is the way to go if you want power and again, torque. As we all know, torque is what gets you off the line and horsepower keeps you going and an 8 wins in both categories.
Jarrod Hills

First of all, you have made my point with the minivan vs. the Dodge V10. Yup, you got it. The minivan is geared better and has about 2500 lbs less weight to carry. The MG B is lighter then most of your hotrods and 200 BHP is as fast as 350 BHP in those heavier cars.

The factory had the BOP/Rovor motor AVALIBLE to them and it was the best choice AT THAT TIME. Therefore, it was used. The MG R V8 was building the cars with this engine for pedigree reasons and to sell cars. I wouldn't have expected them to make it with a VW 15░áV6- although possibly not a bad choice, just would have been a bad buisiness decision as those purchasing the R V8 wanted most likely to relive there youth or the past...........................................................................................................................
Our V6 conversions? Well, a four barrel version with cast iron heads and a five speed weighs in only about 30Lbs less then the 1.8L and overdrive, I believe that Dan can tell you better about the aluminium head version, but i believe he has weighed his in at 8Lbs lighter then the iron headed V6 with a carburetor. (???)
If I WANTED TO GET THE ULIMATE IN LIGHTWEIGHT:
I would purchase the aftermarket ALUMINIUM 60░ V6 BLOCK and aluminium heads. Then add the alternate style of bellhousing and flywheel and build the gearbox mount out of aluminium. That alone would save a bit more weight.
Do the V6 guys have problems with hard starting or overheating??? Probably, but not like the BOP/R V8ers. We still use the stock radiator as well!
No blowby problems on these engines unless extreamly altered. Not a problem from the start like i keep hearing with the V8s. Of course there are cures to everything, but you dont have half the problems here.
BTW:
Comparing a GM stock 160 BHP motor to your built (stroked 289 CI) 300 BHP is like comparing to apples and oranges.
A factory stock iron head carbureted 3.4L motor developes 160 BHP with a 2 barrel carburetor, all the emmisions crap installed, stock compression and no aftermarket camshaft or head work.
A built 3.4L could do 300 Bhp, but most people just want a faster MG B. Not a screamer. Another thing to look at is that a person could get very serious and pull WAY more out of a 3.1 or 3.4L, but generally it is not wanted.
What does a factory produced 3.5L with a 2bbl produce? This would mean something that the factory built as a option but with the 2bbl carb or twin S.U. manifolds.
Now compare that to the emmisions legal 3.4L with a stock 2bbl carb. What do you suppose happens when we remove the poor exhuast setups and cataletic converters?

You are correct about TQ getting you out of the hole and HP keeping you there, but I believe that "the more Cyl.s= the better", is old school way of thinking and as stated before, personal opinion.

One more thing... Do I believe that two eaqually built cars (same gear ratios, rear ends, susension and so on) with different motors can have a different outcome? Yes.
A BOP/R, if it can rev as freely and as high and as fast and as well as our 60░ with more BHP should win according to the paper. Can a 60░ or a 1.8L win over a V8? YES, you betcha! Depends on how a motor is built. Would our 185 BHP win over your 300 BHP car?
Probably not, but again, depends on how well it was executed.
Could we build a 300 BHP motor to shame your 300 BHP car? Yup..
Or did we not learn anything about the Porsche Vs. the "built" 350 CI Camaro?
BTW: I have gone over a few items in comparison. Don't start to think that the v8 is cheaper then the v6. You could be fooling yourself.
my two cents. (All in fun)......
-BMC.
Brian Mc Cullough

I think it is obvious that everyone as different views on what works best. One IMPORTANT point is the dirver. The best car in the worl cannot win a race if the driver is not good. I could drive a SCCA legue car against a stock B with say mario andretti driving and he would win. Skill counts huge.

That can be exascerbated by the set-up. A super tuned engine of ANY kind will be difficult for an unexperienced driver to run. a High HP/torque with spikey power curves is hard to drive, if the dirver cannot keep the engine in powerband without getting squirly, the power is useless. HTat is were the V8 can often prove more enjoyable. The sheer cubicle displacement produces more power with less tweaking. That said, the B chassis can only put so much of that power down. It really comes down to what you want for the car.

On the 1/4mi issue, I have watched a 302 powered B run down a Mustang Cobra R. The B had a C4 tranny and very tired torque convertor. It was so so tired that with stock tires the car could not spin the wheels! He ran a 14.08 @ 97mph. That is a bone stock ALL IRON 302 straight out of a van. This car weighed in at 2100lbs total.

It all comes down to the execution of the conversion and the driver.
Larry Embrey

Not that I am against technology but I'll take a V8 rumble over a chainsaw anyday......
Dale

Larry has the best point of all. DRIVERS SKILL. Hands down. Although I have my bias (is it obvious???) I completly agree. A few years ago when I had a original '68, I couldn't beat, but I could almost keep up with far faster cars. How? I knew how to drive my car to the max, where most of the people that I was running against had very little concept about how to drive fast... They just figured they had twice as many Cyl.s and never learned how to properly leave me in the dust...
No doubt in my mind.

BTW: a technology point... Although the Rotory (more correctly refered to as a W*nkel) motor is not commonly used for the MG B, they produce gobs of HP without ANY cyl.s, yet can rev higher and faster. If you do figure out the displacement, it is something around 1 liter. Just way off the original subject, but thought i would mention it.
Brian Mc Cullough

Ok! We are in accordance, on some points anyway! Thanks for all the input guys. Dann
Dann Wade

Larry has the best point of all. DRIVERS SKILL. Hands down. Although I have my bias (is it obvious???) I completly agree. A few years ago when I had a original '68, I couldn't beat, but I could almost keep up with far faster cars. How? I knew how to drive my car to the max, where most of the people that I was running against had very little concept about how to drive fast... They just figured they had twice as many Cyl.s and never learned how to properly leave me in the dust...
No doubt in my mind.

BTW: a technology point... Although the Rotory (more correctly refered to as a W*nkel) motor is not commonly used for the MG B, they produce gobs of HP without ANY cyl.s, yet can rev higher and faster. If you do figure out the displacement, it is something around 1 liter. Just way off the original subject, but thought i would mention it.
Brian Mc Cullough

<<That is a bone stock ALL IRON 302 straight out of a van. This car weighed in at 2100lbs total.>>

Larry, was this car lightened?

My '79 'B w/rubber bumpers and the much-lighter-than-an-iron-302 Buick 215 weighs 2300 lbs.
Carl

Some fuel:

I like the fact that at this years Summer Party at The Roadster Factory in PA, I beat all cars that have those funney little pistons at the autocross. Sorry v-8's :) Go rotory!!!
http://www.the-roadster-factory.com/summer_party/Autocross2k1.html
Brian Kraus

Carl,
The car did not appear to be lightened at all. It looked like a bone stock RB car. I did not see it get weighed, but that is what he told me it came in at.. From his 1/4mi time I had no reason to doubt him..
Larry Embrey

This thread was discussed between 22/10/2001 and 05/11/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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