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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Turbo 4 or V6 swap?

Does anyone know of a (relatively) easy 4 cylinder turbo swap into a RHD UK spec 77B? Where can I source info?
Have also thought about a 60deg V6 conversion (such as Bill G's kit) but not sure of the suitability to fit into a RHD car.
Any ideas?

First move, go see an engineer. The rover V8 was factory so its pretty much a rubber stamp job. Even if you use a late 90's fuel injected 4.6 developing way way more power.
The weirdest things will make you illegal, for example using braided stainless brake hoses. Even though they are better than the original rubber, not original so not allowed!. Unless of course you can find a set with an ADR number on them.

Other engines are different, are a special.
Resale- Rover engine MGB worth anything from 22 (rough as guts conversion) to 40K (glossy new paint & chrome)
Resale- other engines, allot less than a 4 pot MGB.

The super charger developed here in Melbourne is a possibility, like the Rover 8 ,that increases the value of the car substantially.


I not sure but I don't think an engineer even need get involved.

Just keep in mind that 10K will get you V8'ed with all the best 200+ BHP gear. Motor 4K, gear box etc 2K,radiator etc 2K, extractors exhaust etc 2K. Thats buy it now prices. You can do better.

That should read radiator etc 1K. You can also spend 2K on brakes wheels V rated tyres etc, but you are up for that no matter what you do.

Good advice, especially for where you reside. A bit different here with the need for an engineer, but even here the simplest and least expensive swaps are the GM 60 degree V6 and the Rover V8. With most turbo engines there's a ton of plumbing and also integration of an engine management control into the car, while you can go with a carburetated version of the V8 or V6 if you want. It's fun to blaze a new trail, but it can be very time and money consuming. BTDT with a fuel injected V6 in my midget. You should check with Bill about the suitability for a RHD car, might be some interference in the exhaust and accessory drives which were designed for LHD.
Bill Young

Thanks for the replies.
I wasnt overly keen to go the V8 route, but it always comes back to the V8! I cant find any info anywhere on 4 cyl conversions, let alone V6s in a RHD car.
Ok, lets say I have a donor car...its a '77B with a '69 engine and overdrive box. What do I need to go down the V8 path? I've read Roger Parkers web pages, but the more I read the more I get confused.
If anyone can offer advice on the V8 swap then I'll listen.
What engine ...out of what car? What gearbox....rover, supra, other? What induction set up carb/efi? Etc etc. Exhausts etc/????? Where do I source this stuff from without being ripped off?
I'm down in Tasmania which doenst help!
Hope someone can help....thank you.

If you're not familiar with it, check out There are a couple of I4 conversions featured there. One that I've seen that was very well done is Todd Budde's turbo Nissan swap. Don't know anything about the UK laws or availability, but it does look like a relatively easy fit -- although still requires fabrication of mounts & other things vs. the bolt in Rover appoach.
x Ficalora

Lots of people will have much to say on this as everyone who has done a V8 has their own opinions.
You've got the right car, the rubber bumper cars are all set up for the V8 engine. The intention of MG was to continue with V8's long term. British Leyland (otherwise known as the Prince of Darkness or possibly Voldermort) thought otherwise.

You will have read that overheating is a problem in V8's. This is no longer true if you use the "Through the guards" extractors as used on the early '90's MG RV8.

Most people use this style now (as I have done). The old fashioned "block hugger" variety squeeze down past the starter motor (which may become unreliable as a result) heat the block so an oil cooler is necessary and prevent air getting out of the engine compartment, which causes overheating.
As well as preventing all this the RV8 style add another 12BHP.
The best available are made in Adelaide. They are around $1200.
I didn't get these but wish I had. I bought the stainless RV8 ones from Clive Wheatly in England
for $400 pounds. Factor in the exchange rate plus 25% import tax and 50 pounds to get them here; and you will see that Adrian’s $1000 isn't too bad. Phone: (61) (0)8 83644988. Fax: 83613553.

Gearbox-I used the Toyota supra box. Jeff Dellow up in Sydney makes a bell housing to match the rover motor to the suprabox.
You can buy the full kit, for around $1000. Then buy a rebuilt supra box as well for around $800.
If you want to save money you can just buy his bellhousing, fork and spigot bush for around $500 and source the rest for yourself.
These guys do that and sell for a profit.
Down the bottom of the page.

Don't buy Dellows half inch clutch slave, you need a one inch one with the MGB master. I used a one inch range rover slave which has the same thread as the MGB hose
Dellow used to do a one inch slave, he might still do so if you ask.

The supra box comes in a variety of types. The one you want is the W58 with the 21inch (or D size) gear lever tower extension. The W55 is almost as good. The difference is in the fifth gear. The W58 is a 0.78 and the W55 is 0.85. If you order from dellow you can specify.
Engines- Rover or Range rover. The various parts are interchangeable. Range rovers motors have a different front part on them. I am using a rangrover front as used on the RV8. The water pump is larger and a little offset up and to the right compared to the
Rover front. You need to use a 3.5 motor front by the way. This is because you need to use a oil pump adaptor in MGB V8's due to steering rack issues.
see here
which only fits on 3.5 fronts.
The good news is that the 3.5 fronts (cheap and very available) will bolt onto ANY rover/rangerover motor. That includes 3.9's, 4.0's,4.2's and 4.6's.
The 3.5's had a problem with the blocks cracking. If they are allowed to over heat often enough (common in Australia) the crank shaft bolts Lossen a little and the block cracks. Tell tail signs are small cracks either side of the crank bolts. Usually indicates major cracking though the block. If you find a good one the fix is to use stud locker on the bolts.
The 3.9 was a major improvement over the 3.5. A much stronger block without the cracking problem. Obviously more powerful. note that this engine was externally balanced so you need to keep the original harmonic balancer.
The 4.0 (as was the 3.5, 4.2 and 4.6) was internally balanced so you may do as you like with the balancer. Allot of people like to use the Rover SD1 Balancer because it has a long neck that the steering rack may tuck under easily. The original MGGTV8's used a similar balancer.
The 4.0, 4.2 & 4.6 have a different front, so that needs to be changed for a 3.5 one. You also need a simple spacer for the balancer nut because they have a slightly longer crank nose. I used a spare distributor drive gear for that.
The 4.6 is cross bolted, that is, it has bolts holding the crank bearing caps in place. Very strong.
The 4.0, 4.2's do not have these cross bolts but they do have the provision to put them in if you want.

You need a manual Rover flywheel. These are very very rare in Australia. What you can do is get a Manual Rangerover flywheel (very common) and have half an inch machined off the face of it for a couple of hundred dollars. Clutch, use a rover one, or dellows one which is off a ford falcon I believe (or Holden, I'm not sure, others can tell you)
engine brackets are easy to make. Check out down a little. Or you can buy them off Glenn.

it is far cheaper to adapt an EFI Rover motor to MGB's than to retro fit carbies. It will cost you around $100 to get 16mm machined off the bottom of the trumpet tray and 10mm off the top. See the previous link.

P.N. Sherman

Here are some more links
Hours of interesting speculation.
P.N. Sherman

That's wonderful info, thanks so much.
I'll have a good read over the various web pages and weigh up which is a good option. Time sadly is the hardest part of the conversion equation, so I will have to find someone to do the work for me....not good when you work 6 days a week!
Cheers everyone for you help.


If you want an easy 4 pot turbo swap it would be worth looking ar the Rover T16 turbo engine. It gives either 180bhp or 200bhp as standard. It ws used in hot versions of the 200, 400, 600 and 800 ranges. I think some of these were sold in Australia.

The block is related to the B series block so it fits the B well. Some peole have used the MGB gearbox with it and others have gone for the Rover LT77 gearbox. LT77 bell housings would be from an LDV Sherpa van, one of the rare T16 equipped Land Rover Discoveries or the T16 equipped Morgan Plus 4.
David Witham

Andrew at MG workshops in Melbourne will do a turn key conversion for you. Just drive your car over to him. He has been doing them for years. He races them sometimes. His Dad as well.
One of the nicest people you could meet. I spent ages over there looking at his various V8 conversions in progress before I did mine. He didn't mind at all, offered lots of good advice. I don't know how internet savvy they are at MG workshops, be best to give him a call.Phone: (03) 9545 0111

About 4-5 years ago, he used to charge around 22K for the works, and that inclued getting it legal,MOTEC and changeing the back axle, which I don't think is necessary (many think otherwise). However the price will depend what you want done, what gear box you want him to use, size and tune/stage of motor etc. By the way Race radiators in Dandenong Melbourne Victoria, make a MGB V8 specific alloy radiator for around $600 (which they developed for Andrew). Very nice, I bought one about 3 years ago.
I expect Adrian Ackhurst will also do this sort of thing.
Regards Peter Sherman.

(Actually I live in Melbourne, I haven't worked out how to change the members log in)

P.N. Sherman

Thanks all.
Cheers $22k to get a supposedly 'bolt in' swap, it is hideously dear. Add suspension, tyres/wheels, etc etc and I'm now remembering why I looked away from the V8 conversion years ago. Hmmmm.....
At that price I might just keep the B as is and look for an American or Aussie V8.....

Best of luck with what you do. If you do find a good engine swap do let this board know as everyone here is always interested in just about anything people do to MGB's

Do keep in mind that there is the legality question of engines other than Rover and it's going to cost around the 10K mark, no matter what engine you use. Once you stray from the beaten track you are up for all sorts of development/trial and error costs. With Rovers it can be all off the shelf stuff
I've spent about 25K all up. That includes the initial purchase of the car, new roof, upholstery, conversion to chrome bumpers and the V8 conversion, brake upgrade (Volvo brakes would you believe) and new minilite replicas and tyres. I could very easily sell it for that, or more. The thing is I've now got a classic English sports car with modern reliability, running costs and outstanding performance that will not devalue as time goes by. Infact in ten years it will probably be worth more. You can not say that about any other automobile in the world, which is why putting a Rover V8 into an MGB is such a good move.
Also labour costs, Andrews fees are quite reasonable given he must pay a number of people to the job and maintain his workshop. He would have to be be putting at least 12 to 16k worth of bits into the car.
Keep in mind once you hand your car over to someone to do this sort of thing you had better trust them.
regards Peter.
P.N. Sherman

If you guys in OZ got any of the "T16 Turbo" powered cars, (820/620/220coupe) then that engine is a plausable and done conversion.

Put a 'Q' to Parker at MGOC UK and he can give you all the details.

Friend of mine is currently finishing fitting out of a MY99 Rover 600 T16 turbo lump in his BGT.

malcolm watson


Does GM have any of their 60 degree V6 motors in Australia currently? If so, they would probably be of one of the following displacements: 2.5L, 2.8l, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5 or 3.9L. If they have any, do thaty have any that are Cam in block (NOT OHC)?

If so, there are possible solutions.

Also, the bellhousing bolt pattern might make a pretty big difference too. There are quite a few GM motors that have recently emerged with teh GM 60 degree bellhousing bolt pattern. That helps to know when looking for a bolt pattern. There are several types that allow for the use of other gearboxes not commonly found here in teh USA.

BMC Brian McCullough

The Aussies have the Buick 3800 which comes with the GM 60* bolt pattern. They've also got a version of the T5 with the Ford pattern on one side and the 60* pattern on the other, but has a 9" input shaft. Bellhousing looks like this:


Thanks again:
BMC Brian, there are no 60 degree V6 engines here....they are all based on the GM 90 degree 3.8 Buick design. Pity 'cause you can buy a complete used engine/box/loom ecu etc for a few hundred dollars.

Hey Andy

Another option to confuse you, but I am a fan of high revving four cylinder engines, so have done a K-Series in my car and am loving it! You get all the fun of stirring the box, revs and power combined with a huge reduction in weight and better balance. I am only putting our 181 BHP and 146 lb torque from my engine, but 230 - 240 is a good reliable output with a little work. It is fast with the 181, so will be awesome when I finish building my 140 BHP engine and get it in next year

If you want any more info, have a look at the build here

If you need any bits / advice, give me a call
Good luck
Ed Braclik

There is also the rotary mazda option. Good power to weight ratio. Every now and again one comes up for sale in the trading post.
Mind you not too many V8's. People tend to hang on to them.

It seems that the major obsticle is the required engineer's certificate for any modification. That really takes an engine swap into an whole other area than we here in the US or GB deal with. Considering that, taking the tried and proven route with the Rover V8 seems like a 'no brainer' versus the hassel and expense of getting the engineering done on any other swap. May not be what you originally wanted, but probably your best option unless you have loads of time and money. The 3.8 Buick is similar to the Rover/Buick V8 in many ways, so should install much the same if you want to research that option.
Bill Young

I find it odd that in the land of OZ (Road Warrior birthplace) that an industrious and determined person could not over come some of those "legal" requirements and get their conversion (any conversion) registered and insured. They can't possibly be that strict “down under” so “don’t come the raw prawn with me mate”.

Michael S. Domanowski

This is a 1,8 litres VVC motor, effect 160 bhp.
VVC (variable ventilator control), it means that the motor is trimmed automatically on high revolution.
This car has better brakes, road qualities and is more easily steered than an original MGB.
This is because the new motor is about 50 kg easier than an original MGB motor.

Petrol consumption 0,063 litres/km, 45 MPG (and that is not even economy driving).

Ingemar Lindblad

Andy, just a thought but perhaps since the GM 3.8 is so readilly available in OZ and cheap, it might make business sense to do a kit for that which could carry engineering approval, thus sharing the expense of the engineering as well as generating some revenue from sales. Sort of like the emmissions certifications in California, not cheap to obtain, but worth it in the long run to the manufacturers.
Bill Young

This thread was discussed between 01/08/2007 and 21/08/2007

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