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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Recondition or Replace

Right guys I really need your help, I have a 1977 MGB gt with the original 1800 engine, however it now does miles per gallon on oil as well as petrol. So I need to make the decision of recondition or replace. I have already replaced the oil seals, piston rings, and valve guides to little avail.

I am now considering getting the engine re-bored and the head skimmed, however the thought has also occured to me to install a more efficient engine.

I'm not a mechanical genius - more reliant on the Haynes manuals and good judgement, so I'd be looking for a straight forward conversion.

Do you have any suggestions/ advice/ opinions? Anything to help would be appreciated!

AM Hughes

Alex from your self description I'd advise a rebuild of your engine rather than a conversion. I would suggest you contact Chris at Octarine Services.
He not only rebuilds the original B engines, but also V8s and should have all the information you require to make a sound decision on which route is best for you.
Bill Young


Much will depend on your budget of course.

I would recommend either Chris @ Octarine Services, or (of course Peter Burgess) for a rebuilt engine.

You should discuss your options, and requirements with both of them.

Skimming the head may not be a good idea unless essential, as with todays fuel you may need to reduce rather than raise the compression ratio.

Good luck.

Let us know what decisions you make, and how you get on.

Nigel Steward

Click on the WWW enthusiasts icon up in the top LH corner, click on MGGT V8 under models, click on the V8 conversion link down the bottom.
The V8 can turn your MGB into a road rocket, or an effortless cruiser. I have never regreted it for an instant. It is one of those conversions where evrything works better than the orrigional. You can really see that MG wanted to do this and had set the car up for it. The bulkheads, steering and engine compartment (engine mounts clearances etc..) are all set up for the rover V8 post 1975. The car gets about 30kg lighter , handeling get better, you get (at least) twice the power. The economy (fuel injection) actually gets better, if you can control yourself that is!
It even sounds better.
Doing the basic conversion cost me about half again as much as a total rebuild, maybe less. I did not want to do any panel welding so I started with a '75. You can buy all the necessary bits to do a straight bolt in.
You have a wide choice of suppliers over in England and so it's a cheaper conversion over there than here.
The EFI V8 from a Range Rover (Had 25000 km on it) cost $2300, (Australian Dollars) the Dellow conversion Bell housing and Toyota Supra gear box cost $1800. I chose the toyota box because aside from being VERY good, it fits into the trany tunnelwith room to spare. Dellow Automotive (check the net). About $400 or $500 for the bell housing and fork/spigot etc (thats all you really need, get the other bits locally) Exhaust system about the same again ($1800).I chose the more expensive "through the guards, RV8 style" wide diameter stainless extractors and exhaust, that add about 12BHP and improve cooling. Big Polished Alloy Radiator plus fan etc about $1000. About another $2000 for various tail shaft, engine brackets, mounts and fuel pump hoses etc. You need two pumps if you want to leave the fuel tank unaltered. The main EFI pump and a smaller "feeder" pump to supply it.
Over here a V8 conversion is worth around $25000 plus. Some go for $40000. In other words money well spent/invested.

Whether you then go on to improve brakes, change wheels and tyres etc etc is up to you.

I should add that prior to starting this conversion I had almost no mechanical experience with cars.

I should also add that your rear diff/axle is well up to handleing the V8 power, my '75 is orrigional and copes easily with the 3.9 V8

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2006 and 25/04/2006

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