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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - V8 Starter motor options

Hi all,

Got my engine fitted into the car at last today and hit on a problem.

The starter motor will not fit, it is off a range rover and the coil hits the body. It is as if the starter need to rotate to put the coil at the top or bottom as at the moment it sticks out the side and there is no room.

Does anyone have a fix for this? can the starter be modified or do i need to source an alternative

ideas please


Steve Danson

Steve, the starter motors from a Rover Sedan, P6B or SD1 will fit. Personally, I would fit one of the smaller High Torque motors. Depending on the exhaust config., usually the rover starter motor cannot be removed without removing the RH exhaust manifold & immediate piping. With the Rover starter motor, the solenoid is subjected to a lot of heat due to the proximity of the exhaust. I've had 3 solenoid failures over the years. The last one convinced me to fit the later type starter rather than continue to replace solenoids.HTHs, Barrie E
Barrie Egerton

Barrie, I am going to use a MGBhive block hugger manifold. I am on a fairly tight budget and have already way over spent on this conversion so which starter motor would you recommend of the smaller high torque ones you mention that is a reasonable price and where is the best place to source one
Steve Danson


Barry is so right. Using the hi torque starter has so many pluses. It can be removed very easily and is shorter and does not suffer from the heat problems with block hugger manifolds which is what I have. One of the best changes I made but I cannot tell you which one I have.
Ian Buckley

Steve, I bought my starter motor from a firm in Melbourne! Not much use to you I'm afraid. I'm sure it was locally made also. Try the UK vendors. Barrie E
Barrie Egerton

My 4.6L Gt runs 10.8:1 compression and the original P5/6 starter struggled to turn the engine over.
Last year I bought a PowerLite gear reduction starter which is very small in comparison.
They are quite expensive but seem to be a top quality unit and very light.
If interested make sure you order one to specifically fit an MGB GT V8.

As others have stated, the Range Rover starter won't work because of the position of the solenoid. One off a SD1 Rover is fine and is cheaper than a genuine MGB V8 starter. Or go for the hi-torq type, but I have no experience of these myself.
Mike Howlett

I have managed to source a recon SD1 starter for 87 do you think this is a reasonable price?
Steve Danson

Yes. I recently paid 118 for the same thing.
Mike Howlett

Be careful with the description 'hi-torque' some are standard starters which just have a bit more torque than normal. The ones to go for are *geared* starters, which are smaller, lighter, crank faster, take less current, leave more voltage for the ignition, and take less out of the battery. The only down-side is they are about twice the price of a standard starter - or at least were when I was looking at them.

When my factory V8 starter failed I decided to opt for one of these. When I first turned the key it sounded like the motor was spinning and not turning the engine it was so quiet, but then the engine burst into life! However the motor assemble was only attached to the V8 adapter plate with two self-tapper screws which needless to say came adrift after two or three starts, so I went back to a conventional starter. There are a number around now with much more secure attachment (through-bolts) and would definitely go for one the next time - in maybe another 20 years.
Paul Hunt

I think it is not the question whether the SD1 starter has enough power, it is a question whether it gets enough of it. After changing from two 6 Volt batteries to two of 12 Volt, the starter motor seemed to be transformed to a high torque version, although the 'old' batteries were still fine.


If you fitted *two 12v in parallel* then it's hardly surprising the cranking performance increased. Unless there is a fault somewhere in battery/ies, wiring, starter motor or engine one 12v or two 6v should be perfectly adequate.
Paul Hunt

I how have my SD1 starter fitted.
I intend wrapping the block hugger - do I still need to bother with a heat shield for the starter?
cheers and happy new year
Steve Danson

I rang a few wreckers/breakers and they were all pleased to swap my fairly new range rover starter for an SD1 starter. Infact the guy gave me two.
They both work fine. I've done over 50,000 on it. I am using through the guards headers though. Since you are using block huggers there is a reliablity problem because of the over heating. You can fit a heat shield but the SD1 starter is pretty bulky and getting it off without half pulling the engine can be an issue I'm told. Since you're prepared to pay 90 pounds for a starter then getting a high torque (and physically smaller) starter might be a better option.

a quick search for custom starter motors pulled up this

The thing that really drove me mad about the range rover starter was that it didn't fit, by about 2mm. Frustrating!

Steve - I'd say yes. My factory V8 had tubulars for many years before the starter failed. It had a shield on but it was a piece of tin rather than the thicker silvered fibre-board that should be there, so I replaced that at the same time. I knew of someone else who wrapped the starter in heat-shield cloth as well as having the rigid shield, as he had one fail (on an SD1 engine) with the correct shield fitted.
Paul Hunt

Prices: All starters are $200 except the V8 starters (114 & 114B). V8 starters are $225.
Application Year OE Part # TSI Part #
100-4; 100-6; 3000 1953 - 1968 25522; 25578 1206-10
America 1968 - 1971 25083 1206-9AAT
Jensen Healey 1972 - 1974 25615 1206-9A
Marina 1973 - 1975 25359 1206-9A
Mini 1962 - 1967 25701; 25075 1206-9AAT
Sprite 1958 - 1970 25083 1206-9A

Buick 215 V8 family
Buick; Olds; Pontiac 1961 - 1963 114B

Coventry Climax 2.5 1206-10

1500; 1600; 2000 1965 - 1970 202
510; 610; 710 1971 - 1975 202
240Z; 260Z; 280Z 1970 - 1978 202

SP250 1959 - 1964 1206-11

Pantera 106T
Tiger (See Subeam)
VanDiemen formula Ford 119
Formual Ford (most applications) 1206-9AAT

Imp 1963 - 1965 25083 1206-10
Husky 1963 - 1965 25085 1206-9A
Super Minx 1963 - 1965 25085 1206-9A

Innocenti- See Sprite or Mini applications

XK120/140/150 1953 - 1960
XKE 3.8 1961 - 1964
XKE 4.2 1965 - 1971 25684 1206-X9A
XKE V12 1971 - 1974 1206-V12
XJ6 1969 - 1987 25684 1206-X9A
XJ12 1974 - 1996 27457 1206-X9S
XJS 1975 - 1991 26381 1206-X9
XJ8 1998 - 2000 17714 1206-X9
XJR/XJRS 1995 - 2000 1206-X9

Elan 1967 - 1973 25550 1206-9AAT
Elite 1961 - 1965 25083 1206-9A
Seven w/BMC engine 1961 - 1972 25083 1206-9A
Super Seven- Specify engine

MGT series* 1947 - 1955 25016 1206-9A
MGA* 1955 - 1962 25659 1206-9A
MGB 1962 - 1967 25659 1206-9A
MGB 1968 - 1980 25654 1206-10A
MGC 1968 - 1969 25604 1206-10A
MG1100 1962 - 1967 25071 1206-9AAT

4/4; GT 1963 - 1967 25071 1206-9AAT
Plus 4 - specify engine
Plus 8 1967 - 1988 25696 114

356 (12V only) All 101
912 All 101
911 (including Carrera and turbo) All 101N
914 All 101
914-6 All 101N
928 All 101NR
930 All 101N

TR2; early TR3 (closed nose) 1954 - 1960 25541 1206-9
TR3 late: TR4/TR4A 1960 - 1968 25550 1206-10
TR250 1968 25149 1206-9A
TR6 1969 - 1976 25626 1206-9TR6
TR7 1976 - 1981 25703 1206-9TR7
TR8 1978 - 1981 25724 114
Spitfire; GT6 1962 - 1980 25149 1206-9A
Stag 1971 - 1976 25627 1206-TR7

Type I (early 6 V) 1955 - 1965 105
Type II
Mini bus w/AT 1961 - 1979 101
Mini bus w/MT 1976 - 1979 104
Type III
Early 6 V 1962 - 1966 105
Later 12 V 1967 - 1973 101
Type IV
Super Beetle All 101
Karman Ghia 1961 - 1965
Karman Ghia 1966 - 1974

* Some modifications required. Ask when ordering.

Prices: All starters are $200 except the V8 starters (114 & 114B), 101N Porsche 1206-V12 Jaguar, which are $225..

The following tech data should answer question on our gear reduction started products. We supply starters for all popular British sports cars.

Starter applications:

Sprite/midget - MGA/MGB (to 1967); MGB (1968 - 1980); Spitfire/Midget 1500; TR2/3 - later TR3/4/4A; TR6 - TR250/GT6; big Healey; Jaguar 4.2 (165 - 87); Rover V8; GM 215 V8.

General Information:

Solenoid Design - The inherent design of the Lucas solenoid is very susceptible to Hot Start Syndrome. This is because the windings of the solenoid are encapsulated in steel. There is simply no means for the heat to dissipate. The solenoid for our Hi-Torque starter is encased in aluminum. Inside the area for the solenoid there is the equivalent of 1/2 cup volume of air. Further, it is equipped with a vent hole. Every time the solenoid is engaged, it pushes (pulls) cooler air into the solenoid area thus virtually eliminating the Hot Start Syndrome.

Gear Ratio - The gear ratio of the starter is 4.44:1 which enables the starter to develop its unique torque values.

Bearings vs Bushings - The Hi-Torque starter is equipped with five (5) full roller bearings while the typical Lucas unit uses two (2) bushings to suspend the armature.

1. Technical Data
1. No load condition @ 11.5 wolts
2. Max current (amps) - 90 or less
3. Minimum speed (rpm) - 3000 or more
2. Load condition
1. 8.0 volts are minimum voltage requirements
2. Torque - .65 kg-n
3. Maximum current (amps) - 250 or less
4. Minimum speed (rpm) - 1180 or more
3. Lock test
1. Voltage - 2.5v (at least 7:1 CR)
2. Max current (amps) - 300 or less
3. Minimum torque (kg - n) - .7 or more


1. Voltages - 12v
2. Output - 1kn
3. Rating (seconds) - 30 seconds
4. Torque rating - 534 ft. lbs

NOTE: Torque rating is based on a 9 tooth pinion gear.

All information considered intellectual property of TESRAC, Inc.

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I'm sure your SD1 starter will be fine. Wrapping the headers will greatly reduce the heat on the starter but a heatshild at least over the end of the solenoid area would be a good idea. Something that is often overlooked during engine swaps is the earth side of the electrics. Make sure you have a good earth strap from the engine to the body.

Just ordered a heat shield following your recommendations from Moss and it was nearly 10 cheaper than Clive Wheatley and exactly the same part number
Steve Danson


the starter motor of the SD1 is a bit longer than that of the Factory V8. Be carfull to avoid any contact to the solenoid's teminals with the heat shield you want to install.

I also did some experiments in the early 1980's with the tubular steel manifolds that i bought from David Vale then and ended up with a set of cusom made manifolds that are comparable to the design now offered as the 'RV8 Style'.
May be one thing to considre, as you will not have any more problems with the starter, it will be much easier to route the hydraulic line to the clutch slave cyl. and it is the easiest way to find another 18 HP and have the engine compartement ventilated the proper way. When MG Rover designed the RV8, they realy knew why they did not go the 'cheap' way at this point as Abingdon was forced to do by BL once, i think.


Whilst you do have to watch the tin heat shield doesn't come into contact with the battery cable stud the fibre-board shield should be fine.
Paul Hunt

Steve, for keen V8 prices and good service, I recommend Dave Vale at V8 Conversions 01689 858716. He's in Farnborough, Kent.
Mike Howlett

This thread was discussed between 24/12/2008 and 06/01/2009

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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