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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - V8 handling

Well, now that I have a couple hundred miles on the car, the question of handling has arisen. With my 302 oil filter and rad outlet locations I am unable ot utilize the normal MGB front swaybar and/or mounting location. For now I have the stock rear unit installed and nothing up front.

I am wondering if it would be best to remove the rear swaybar until I get the front one done? Does anyone have any experience in this situation??
Larry Embrey


I would remove bar, otherwise you will find the car tending to oversteer.


Definitely don't go with just rear.
Without any bar though, twists and turns are going to be a bit of a handful!!
You're not going to get the benifit of the V8 unless you do something. Unless you're after straight line sprints.

You should have sorted the handling before the V8!!
Have you done anything with the brakes?
Stuart Robson

The handling WAS sorted before the V8, it is the V8 that threw it all out the window due to crank balancer/pulley and Radiator outlet locations.. Brakes are stock for now. I am not driving any faster than I used to, just getting to speed faster!

I AM noticing she has a oversteer tendency if I try to accelerate at all out of corners, and I mean ANY power increase and I can feel the tail shift.. I am going to look at the front swaybar issue this weekend, to see if I can make a custom mount set-up.

Larry Embrey

Seriously Larry, get the rear bar off, or better yet a front one on pronto, so that you don't end up in a world of hurt.


I don't have any swaybars at all on my MGAV8 and the handling is OK. I don't have one on the front for the same reason you don't. I think handling would be better with a front swaybar, so if you find a way to make one let me know.
Lyle Jacobson

My oil filter has been moved into the wheelarch and is positioned high up close to the headlight nacelle. The anti-roll bar, which I take to be the sway bar that you are referring to was mounted using aluminium spacer blocks which I think that I bought from V8 conversions. It all works well. Check the archives because I think that oil filter repositioning has been mentioned before.


Congrats on finally getting it out of the garage. Hope you find an anti-roll bar to fit. We call 'em sway bars down here, too. :) I would lose the rear one.

<<I AM noticing she has a oversteer tendency if I try to accelerate at all out of corners, and I mean ANY power increase and I can feel the tail shift.. >>

I think that called TOO MUCH horsepower (torque, actually). :):) I guess you'll be steering with the gas pedal!

Word of caution: Same thing I told Steve Carrick after I drove Barney (he should have named it Godzilla), be VERY careful who you let drive it. In this day of econo-boxes there are many who have never driven anything seriously quick and have no idea how fast things can go wrong. Have fun, but be careful.


Unless you can fit massive wide tyres to rear then you need to maximise rear grip to handle cornering and power. Consider up to 1inch front bar until understeer then consider neg camber to add more grip to front.

I've noticed neg cam trunnions available in US which is a great way to add gradually to camber rather than neg cam wishbones.

A lot depends upon ride height, so may be b-------- re your A.


Carl, I would be one of those driver's.. this is my 1st car with more than 4cyl. I have driven a couple cars with V8's but this is 1st one I own..

The over steer is not a power issue, I have good pedal control, the way she feels now even a 4cyl would make her shift out..

Thanks for all the input guys, I had a feeling it was unbalancing things the way it was. I will look at spacing down the front set-up, then maybe take the rods from the lower swing arm and shorten them the same amount to maintain stock angles and range of motion..

Lyle, we will see you and Bill in Bellevue?? I will bring my car, though I will make sure it is at far end of area from your's and Bill's!! Yours are to PRETTY!!
Larry Embrey

Larry, the geometry of the swaybar is not a critical issue, as it really does not affect anything other than the force being applied upwards on one wheel and downwards on the other. As long as you have full suspension movement you can put it anywhere it will fit, and shape it any way that works. It can be anything from a short straight bar running across the front of the car with splined ends and aluminum arms attached which go to the A arms, to a highly twisted and contorted bar bent all over the place to avoid obstacles. Granted the bends ought to be symetrical, but you certainly aren't limited to the stock bar. Find something close, and you can heat it with a torch to make whatever bends are needed in it, reshape the ends, or whatever. We cut the ends off a swaybar, flattened the ends and punched holes in them using a blacksmith's forge and my brother is still using it on his near concours TR4A close to 20 years later.
Jim Blackwood

The Rover RV8 bar has a slight bend in the middle of it forward and down in order to accomodate the Range Rover motor. That could be a quick, off the shelf fix. Personaly (being inordinatly reluctant to part with $$) I'm going with the spacer/bend it yourself notion.

Bill and I will be going to Vancouver B.C. and Bellevue, weather permitting.
Lyle Jacobson

This thread was discussed between 09/05/2002 and 10/05/2002

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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