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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Wanted: converter to do V6 installation

I don't know if this is the appropriate forum, but I'll take a stab: I am looking for someone to convert my 1967 B to a V6. I (somewhat oddly) own a car that is in absolutely showroom condition, but it has no motor or tranny. It does have a radiator, a heater and all other systems exactly as stock. Anyhow, I would like to find someone who could convert it to V6 power with really first class workmanship. I don't have a whole ton of skill, tools, or interest in doing this -- I'd rather the job was professionally done through and through. I would absolutely love to get A/C if it can be provided. What should I expect to spend? I'm not looking to maximize horsepower; I'm hoping for something in the 150-190 range. Any leads appreciated.
Don Kent-Morrison

don, do not know anyone in your area doing 6's only, but give me a call and i will give you a referral, i like you do not have the know how to do it myself but the fellow i hired did a masterful conversion on my car, reasonable and very professional, jim

Here's a web site that might help:
...however, you might want to think about a later model car for the conversion (like a '79 I have for sale) & sell your car to someone who has a '66 engine/tranny (I have an extra)...
anthony barnhill

Don, we do complete turn key conversions or sell a kit for the conversion. Our installations are state of the art, hands down, and are the best available. We are known for our pristine installations. There are less expensive alternatives but they use older engines that date back to the early nineties and the motor mount perches have to be cut off and the hood modified for the air fiter or FI intake manifold to clear. Our conversion will fit any FWD engine from 1988 to 2002 if you desire. You will have a minimum 210 HP for a 3.4 V6 and go up from there. Our conversion uses the lightest American production engine and drive train of all V6 or V8 installations. It is an unbelievable experience to drive an MGB with this kind of power. Even the handling is enhanced because the light power train. Expect 30 MPG also. Our installations are less expensive than the common Buick V8 conversions and there are no overheating problems so common to the V8's and no cutting and welding in the engine area.

You can send the car to us or we can pick it up. Visit our website for more info. The picture of the blue GT has an early 3.1 V6 and has around 190 HP. The lastest engine that you will see in on the pages is a lot neater. Email me for more info.
Dann Wade

Dann Wrote:
"...There are less expensive alternatives but they use older engines that date back to the early nineties and the motor mount perches have to be cut off and the hood modified for the air filter or FI intake manifold to clear."
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but stick to the facts and do your studies before continuously placing your work and products above all others.

Our RWD conversions, (I have worked with numerous GM 60degree series of motors) are VERY modern in appearance and can cost less, for the same amount of power for a basic conversion without aesthetic restoration.
Depending on your setup, you will not necessarily need a hood scoop unless using certain parts such as a supercharger or certain manifolds and inductions. CCE has even come up with a hood scoop that fits inside (under) the bonnet so the vehicle still appears stock for those certain setups that may otherwise require bonnet bulge or scoop.
Yes you will need to remove your old style motor mounts from the motor bay, but after converting your car, you will never want to go back- these motors (both FWD and RWD 60d V6) are very dependable and fast and can appear if done appropriately, factory (or beyond). Why wouldnt you remove the old motor mounts when they are not used? Being as though this car no longer has its appropriate motor and gearbox, it will never be the concourse show winner that an owner could place twice as much into it as he will sell it for anyways. You should build this MG (no matter who does the conversion) to your specifications and not the builders or factory specifications. Numerous people have built many different styles of vehicles exactly as the factory built them only to later sell the car off, or change it due to the fact that they did not like what they had.

When Dann refers to the RWD GM 60 degree V6 "early '90s" production, this actually did stop as of late 1995 as Sequential port fuel injected (SFI) motors with Distributorless ignition systems (DIS). These motors also can be purchased new at ANY dealer and carburetion, TBI, MPFI or SFI can be used on them if desired to have a zero mile motor. Superchargers and other items for those who desire more are also available. My company builds BMC automobiles and conversions to the level of owners request. I used to work in a shop performing restorations on vehicles that won many first place prizes at Pebble Beach concourse De elegance as well as Hershey, so I am familiar with what it takes to build vehicles of very high standard.

My opinion is that the GM 60 degree V6 is the best overall conversion for the MG B for clearances, cooling, weight, ease of conversion and aesthetics. My opinion is also that the RWD motor is a better overall value with more products availible on the market for alteration purposes to build a high powered unit. You are on the correct track for a wonderful, practical and reliable MG conversion searching this BBS. Another BBS for more information on MG V6 is:

BMC Brian McCullough

Well-said Brian. If I may add to Brianís comments the GenII or III are great engines, these engines are not found in the RWD. The cast iron head engine is the High performance V6 for GM; there is no secret that cast iron heads make more hp. The Cast iron head V6's were used in trucks, vans, Fiero, and heavy autos such as Camaro/firebird
All of the heavy-duty parts listed in the GM catalogs are aim at the cast iron head engine. As far I know there is no alloy head engine in any type of auto sport. The cast iron head V6 is found in Baja, SCCA, modifies etc.
The plenum on the alloy head was design for low and mid range power which is just as good as the 3.4 MPI
The reason for the alloy head engine was to comply with the strict EPA 2002 smog laws that were mandated in 1994 by the EPA and put to a test in our county of Ventura California. They accomplish this by designing a combustion chamber that shares the chamber area with the piston, thus making the piston part of the chamber
And added the splayed valve arrangement, and made the heads from aluminum to dissipate heat (now a hotter piston) and to save some weight very little weight.
The block, rods and crank are the same as the cast iron head.
As Brian said the V6 has many possibilities.
A 60 degree V6 shares the same diameter on the crank as the 283 V8 thus allowing the use of Carrillo rods with minor machining, the rockers are the same ratio 1.5 as the big brother V8 and with some machining you can use the 1.7 rockers or buy the ones that are available for the V6 with the ratio of 1.6 plus other things that can be done to make a very powerful V6, if that is the intent, itís nice to know that you can. There is also nice to know that you can have a nice reliable driver.
I am sure that Killer B has a great installation; it's just nice to have choices.
Bill Guzman

Brian, Bill. I appreciate reading your comments but at the for the sake of debate, I don't see how you can get 200+ HP any cheaper than a low mileage 3.4 FWD pre owned engine. You can buy the engine, ECU and harness for less than $1,000. This is an engine that needs NO performance changes done to it because it already has this HP built in. They use modern technology like roller lifters and needle bearing rockers, very efficient aluminum heads with large canted valves and progressive valve springs, a better lower end, not to mention a better oiling system then the outdated RWD design. If that design was so good why didn't they continue with it in modern cars. To use this engine is the same as using dated technology and the MGB already has that! I don't understand why anyone would pay out $1500.00 or more for a new 160 HP 3.4 RWD long block, then go through even more expense to bring UP horsepower. The cost for this is more than the a FWD engine and my conversion added together. With a set of appropriate headers the horsepower figure I quoted for the FWD is guaranteed, right out of the donor car, with no modifications. I can appreciate the simplicity of a RWD engine but I offer more bang for the buck. I think logic is the issue here. Thank you, Dann-BRITISH CAR CONVERSIONS - Killer Bee Conversions
Dann Wade

Hi Dann,
You stated;
This is an engine that needs NO performance changes done to it because it already has this HP built in.

So if you can purchase a 1996 or newer 3.4L V6 and use the factory PCM, you will have OBD II system which requires an oxygen sensor behind the catylitic converter. To get the vehicle to operate correctly, you will need the factory PCM reprogrammed and therefore it is better to purchase an aftermarket ECU, so your $1000.00 for any 1996 or newer system just shot up by the price of a computer and harness anyways.

A factory crate motor is listed out as 160 BHP and 200 torque. This is listed as:
Using the stock 2 barrel manifold and as an emmissions compliant vehicle.
(now add the 4bbl OR TBI or a number of other choices for more power)
An "L32" series motor is listed out as:
160 BHP and 200 Torque. Study the exhaust system on a stock L32 and you will find it as well as the intake were terrible designs that are removed with the headers and intakes that we use anyways. The PCM perameters setup was also held back as such as many other vehicles, as the idea was to make the V8 powered Camaros far more powerful and push the sales on those. (so whatdeya suppose would happen if we used aftermarket PCMs?)

The Best FWD 3.4L that is currently offered has 185 BHP and 205 torque.
Obviously all parties disscussing the "power as sold" are discussing the power outputs after they are completed with the motors. You are labeling yours as 200+ after installing big ticket items such as the haltec or other aftermarket ECUs, so are we with little more then factory PCMs on L32 series motors with a chip for less.

You've got it all here. A little info on both series of motors as well as those who set them up. :-)
As you can see, its not just Cast iron Vs. Cast aluminium. It is also a matter of where the BHP is brought in as well as total package cost and workmanship. I have seen killerb's first car and it was nice. Our conversions are built to high levels and packages designed to the owners request. I would encourage you to speak to Dann, myself and Bill. Another great thing to do is speak to those who have already completed there projects and see what they think, or even get a test drive. Any which way, all this talk about BHP is somewhat irrelivant since you are talking numbers near that of a stock motor anyways.
Do you have a preference of what you would like for induction systems?
Carburetion, TBI (Throttle body fuel injection), MPFI (multiport FI), SFI/SPFI (Sequential Port FI)

Also, do you have any other requirements?
I/E= certain gear ratios, ect.?

Thank you,
BMC Brian McCullough

interesting: dan, brian and bill, for the sake of comparison and apples to apples so to speak, lets see some numbers from each of you. what does each of you think a used engine should run?, how much are the parts needed for a complete kit for DIY to do the swap from each of you? what do you want as a total for a turn key swap of an engine that produces 210 to 220hp completely done if the car is delivered to your shop and picked up, both cars using sfi 3.4 gm engines, forget any mention of trannys as everyone is using the same t5. maybe we can get some better answers for us all.
jim m

Ok, just some of what I have in the initial cost of the conversion.

$450 for a 19k mi engine from a 99 Grand Am GT with both computers and wiring. Sold off AC compressor and PS pump for $125. Total in engine now down to $325 and still have some parts to sell.

$250 for T5 from 91 V8 Camaro. Sold bell housing and clutch parts for $200. Cost of T5 now $50.

engine and T5 total $375.

I will use a Haltech 'puter simply because I want to. E6GM for $630 or E6K for $995.

I spent about $1200 on a recent engine redo for my 74 MGB/GT. Rebuilding the 63 215 I have in the garage would run at least $1500, so the V6 looks pretty economical either way you go!
Mike Wish

Ok! Hp #'s for those who put emphasis on Hp.
3.1 1987 ECU with piggyback ECU to change map on fuel injectors Don's Baja truck puts out 210-rear wheel hp output with 198 lb of torque. This truck can run all day. Anything is possible. This numbers are without a restrictive FI plenum. And match headers to the intake.
Common mistake is to mismatch an intake system that is design to perform at mid range with a set of headers that are design to perform at at high rpm.

Which engine is better? The best belongs to the party who owns the particular engine. Ford is better than Chevy no...Wait Chevy is better than Ford I forgot which way it's.
The point is that both engines are great, I just prefer the cast iron head V6 for several reason of my own.

Cost can vary on either one, I did a swap with a 1989 2.8 V6 at a very low cost. Engine and trans from a pick apart wrecking yard; $100 for the engine with 60k miles T5 trans for $75 I Freshen the engine for $200 I used the primary carb from my Chevy dual quad 390 Holley etc. etc.
Cost depends on your willingness to do the job.
Now to do a car for someone else, do you want a new engine or used, intent of use for the car (need to know to match parts) do you want TBI injection, MPI or Carb (# 1 choice for drag racing) there are many variables. Shop hourly cost depends on the person doing it; perhaps Brian could answer that one. I am doing complete cars to sell. I do have someone who can the swap as well to restore the car here in Ca.

I will have a 67 GT fully restore in and out with a 2.8 TBI 5 speed with TBI 180 hp 170 lb of torque (est. for now) No hood scoop, front coil over suspension plus other goodies. The cost will be around $15k
There is a nice 66 Roaster 3.4 TBI in Florida (305 V8 injectors, long story) developing 220+ hp enough to beat the BMW Z3. It may be for sale. This car won first place at a recent show. The cost $16k BTW it's a perfect black paint car.
It all depends on what you want and are willing to spend.
Bill Guzman

Brian, thanks for the response. I will respond to your input starting with a quote from you.

"So if you can purchase a 1996 or newer 3.4L V6 and use the factory PCM, you will have OBD II system which requires an oxygen sensor behind the catylitic converter. To get the vehicle to operate correctly, you will need the factory PCM reprogrammed and therefore it is better to purchase an aftermarket ECU, so your $1000.00 for any 1996 or newer system just shot up by the price of a computer and harness anyways."

It is completely unnecessary to try and use the factory ECU for several reasons 1. You have already answered the reason for not wanting to use the later factory ECU. 2. On top of what you said it can't be used in a simple way because of the complicated VATS (vehicle anti theft system) 3. It is very large and balky with a lot more inputs and outputs associated with it than the older units. 4. They have Sequential Injection which is not a bad thing but unnecessary in a conversion application.

When you buy a newer 3100 or 3400 engine from a breaking yard you negotiate for an ECU, connector with stub wiring, or the harness and knock sensor (optional) from a pre 1996 engine. Simply graft the older stub wires into the newer harness. You only use 5 inputs and one out put and that one output is for the IAC (idle air Control). Batch firing is all that is required. Sequential firing does very little or nothing for performance but adds some economy to an otherwise factory vehicle. The IAC output can be eliminated (4 wires) by using our patented mechanical IAC that works with the original choke cable. There is no need to buy an after market programmable ECU ,like Haltec, Electromotive etc. unless you want to add a turbo charger, 7th injector, NOX etc. Mike Wish has chosen to see into the future which works for him splendidly. His words of wisdom should be noted.

It's true that the most HP offered in any V60 GM vehicle is 185 HP. We ran a stock 1999 Chevy Venture test engine with an unfiltered throttle body and 12 inch pipes, one pipe per cylinder into open air and achieved 193 HP on the dyno. We ran it again with a K&N filter attached to the TB and lost 3 HP. We ran the same engine with filter and Jet Hot silver coated headers, tuned for peak performance at 6000 RPM. It produced 221 HP at 6100 RPM and peaked out with a slightly flattened curve out at 6500 RPM brcause of the stock roller cam, but lost 7 HP@ between 6800 and 7500 RPM.WE USED A 1994 CORSICA HACKED FACTORY ECU WITH NO MODIFICATIONS OTHER THAN A STUB CONNECTOR CHANGE! We have produced an easy 292 HP with a 3.1 with a cam change, honed intake manifold, 10.5:1 pistons, larger stainless valves an an after market throttle body and a Haltech F3 ECU.In other words I am being conservative about the output that I mentioned in the previous columns. By track figures and computer derivations the modern 3400 puts out closer to 215 HP with free flowing filtered intake system and exhaust. I merely said I can GUARANTEE 200+ HP with a good set of headers like the ones we use and on the website.

As far as credentials go I am a mechanical engineer with more than 30 years in doing power tuning and conversions. I was employed by GM for most of that 30 years and absorbed and produced plenty of automotive engineering. I have only been doing R&D on the 3.4 variety V6 since 1991, before that it was on Mini's and small blocks. Several of my innovations have been carried over to the Mini and are still being copied to this day.

The success I have with this engine has far exceeded my early vision for a small, plentiful, powerful engine that can be retro fitted into almost any RWD vehicle without little or no metal modification. I have customers with Chevettes, Alpines, Triumph, and S 10's using my conversions so it ain't like I haven't made my mark.

Jim M, It's not uncommon to be able to buy a low mileage 3400 with all the items I mentioned from my supplier PIERCE AUTO PARTS in Indiana for $900.00 complete with starter and alternator. I retail the package for a negotiated price for under $1100.00 plus freight. A good negotiator could most likely get the same or better deal from a local breaker since the engine will last 250,000 miles and they usually have hundreds of the 60 versions they can't sell because most of the cars on the road will last that long also. You could probably buy the whole car for even less if it was really smashed up. The breaker would realize the time it takes to pull the components and make you a deal.
Our state of the art basic conversions start at $499.00 and with options, go up to $1800.00. This is a simple worry free conversion with pull pin engine mounts for those who like to pull and build their engines for even more HP. No over heating or rare or expensive parts to have to contend for and should it happen to fail, take it to a GM dealer for service if you had to.

We offer everything from the tank to the radiator. We prefer to use the Ford Motorsport transmission or a 1979 to 1993 Ford because of the simpler installation, strength and the ratio's are closer to being compatible with the stock MGB rear gear of 3.90. We do a basic turn key (no welding, painting other repairs or body work) for around $7000.00 if the customer DEL&PU. Add more for headers tuned to your preference.We do have criteria that has to be met before we convert any car.

I hope this info has been helpful. Let me know if I can be of more assistance. Dann BRITISH CAR CONVERSIONS Home of the famous KILLER B


Dann, sounds great! I never question your ability or your basic kit with options, I am sure they are well design.

The objective is to modernize the MGB is it not?
"The outcome is to satisfied the needs with given choices". Recognize the slogan?
Do you agree Dann? Then the question is not about which is better, but which will satisfy the needs.
The 80/20 rule applies to just about anything. The goal is to get in the 80% side; perhaps simplicity is one of many vehicles to get to the 80% side.
Smokey Yunick once said "Hell just take the simple things and make them better" Perhaps that's is what we are doing or we think we are doing. The quest is never ending in engineering a better way, perhaps that's why we have so many brands and models of cars under one roof with lots of options on each model. In the end, they all take you from point A to B but how we get to point B is what makes the difference.

Bill Guzman

Bill, It would be foolish to disagree with your logic. We are both in the same arena. Any idea conceived in the automotive engineering field will undoubtedly require improvements until it's near perfect, then the technology changes and you start all over again. I guess it is our desire to create which leads us into this madness, although if the truth be known I wouldn't have it any different. Your talent is well recognized and you have made it possible for someone who wants a V6 conversion to have it. Myself I tend to cater to those who want something more radical. Same ball game, different seat. Anyway,I think what we offer is the best choice in any conversion. Thanks, Dann
Dann Wade

Dann, we both are crazy in doing what we do, but you have to admit, that it's fun, and fun is what is all about in this wonderful life.
You will be hearing from me Dann, I think we have lots to talk about.

Bill Guzman

Interesting thread. For a year I've followed the pros and cons of each of these types of conversions. Dann, you should cite your resume and past conversions on your website like you did above, it gives alot of credibility. Also, examples of other "Dann converted" MGB's whether finished or not should be cited on your site. I get the opinion, not that there is anything wrong with this, that Dann makes each car a custom conversion. Custom always reads expensive to me. Whereas the RWD conversion appears to have basis in a standardized kit that can be built upon. Perhaps there really is two different markets here and the RWD and FWD are really not meant to compete in that the FWD conversions are more "leave us your car and we'
ll convert it". Whereas the RWD kit has pictures of the components so you know what you are getting, and appears to be marketed more for the do-it-yourselfer. I'm sure I'm missing alot here, so guys, help me out.
Tom Lang

I can't speak as to the ease or difficulty of installation of the FWD as I did not choose that route. I am currently doing a RWD 2.8l carb conversion and I think that you have made a good point about the RWD conversion being a user friendly DIY conversion. I would add that adding EFI complicates matters and may very well take the DIY out of the install for many of us, unless you went with something like a holley Projection TBI that has been around in the aftermarket for a while and really seems to be targetted at the market of the "nonracing, but kind of mechanical backyard mechanics" like myself. Other than that the install has been realtively straight foward. Not that I haven't had questions, but thanks to Brain at BMC and Bill of CCE and emails, phone calls and BBS's like this is my first conversion).

The RWD kit not only comes as it is pictured and it has a book of instructions that I have found very useful with diagrams of things such as possible modification of the shifter (not neccassary though) and possible exhuast routing and sizes, which seems to lend credence to your DIY idea.

I am not however saying that the FWD is not a DIY. I just don't know. BUt Dann is correct the 3100 and 3400 engines are a dime a dozen and I could have sourced one of those locally but , since I went with a RWD 2.8 I had to get it from out of town.

Dann and Bill have each spent considerable time in creating their conversion items and it is this kind of ingenuity that provides those of us without that kind of ability to do this kind of project. Thanks guys!
andy heston

Tom and Andy, you are correct about the website being cryptic. I give the webmaster the info and he puts it in when he finds time. I sent him a bunch of info 6 weeks ago. He is a good friend and the website is free so I have to be careful about how I make my requests even though it hurts my position. There is no "big money" made from these products to contract an established website company so we have to grow with the flow. I really feel a great responsibility toward these columns and I hope I can resolve these matters soon.
MGB conversions, as well as other kinds, as Bill can attest, are very time consuming and we have a lot of responsibility to our customers/MGB friends. We like doing it for the interest it gathers and it is the most satisfing best solution for simple engine swaps in the MGB.

The issues you bring forth about DIY with the Killer B kit is no different then Bill's. Our kit is very user friendly and installation of exhaust systems or shift location and other component are the same. We give options on transmission manufacturers. Our performance options are very affordable in comparison to any V8 installation. In comparison to the RWD we give you a choice on performance options.

The only real differences in the two conversions are the Killer B Conversions uses newer, innovative technology, a higher initial horsepower rating on the engines that we recommend and the motor mounts are designed to handle backward thrusting and shifting ("a body at rest tends to remain at rest........") and they will handle at least 300 horsepower. We offer electronic engine management which is no more difficult than plugging in the components and wiring the ECU to a switch. I think the fear of using an electronic system is like the first time you set down in front of a computer with that lost look on your face. "The greatest fear is fear itself" a great quote and a motto I understand. The time it takes to understand and install the modified factory ECU system has paybacks far beyond any standard induction system available and they are currently priced about the same as any standard induction system. Bill offers a good economy package while I cater to the power tuner. Both are excellent conversions. My sincere apologies and I hope to be able to help you when you have needs. Dann Wade- BRITISH CAR CONVERSIONS-Home of the Killer B Conversion
Dann Wade

After reading this thread, and doing some research, I have decided to go with CCE kit, it does fit my budget, After doing some research I found that the 3.4 iron head has about the same power with a holley as the other 3.4 with less cost.
$ Per hp it's cheaper for me to go with the iron head v6. I am not planning on racing my car; I just want a good driver that fits my budget. An engine builder who builds racing engines told me that both engines were excellent choices for my project. But the 3.4 is less expensive for the conversion.
Thanks Bill and Dan for what you are doing.
Well back to work. Ted
Ted Johanessen

This thread was discussed between 02/10/2002 and 11/10/2002

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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