Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Wire wheels or Steel Wheels?

If you've been following my body build on my web site ( you know I've planned on using bolt-on wheels because of wire wheel flex. Now, I'm wondering..I have an MGC wire rear end & front hubs w/5 MGC wire wheels....I'm going to use the MGC gears, but...saw an MGA outfitted with a V8 in a magazine (silver Lemans-style MGA in England)...he had outfitted it w/16" Boranni's and talked about running on race track..didn't seem to have any, I'm wondering: why not use my MGC wires?
Anthony Barnhill

They will distort in use, The MGC has 72 spokes on a 15" rim. I retained the 14" 72 spoke 5.5 uprated wires as they looked the part for about 6 years with V8 torque. I lost count of the number of times I had the wheels rebalanced, usually after a 'decent 'blast' when using the performance.

I came upon some knock on Minilite style alloys which I snapped up. The change to these half inch wider rims involved just a swap of the tyres from the wires. The difference was huge, steering much lighter, very responsive, handling suddenly precise and wheels in balance for periods of years rather than hourse depending on how soon I let the torque rip.

You are not fitting a V8 to burble about and listen to the V8 beat at idle. You WILL use the engine performance and the MGC spoke lenght is longer than mine were. I doubt that you will have any positives using these other than initial looks. Stick to a wheeel of rigid construction.

Roger Parker

rog...think you're correct...will stay with my original plan..found a set of '87 nissan 200sx 15" wheels that look like the original MGC wheels (oblong holes instead of round); caps are a little different but the black mg center cap glues on perfectly & gives a neat updated appearance...put them under one of my mg's & they fit with no rubbing as i spun them around...will take photos & put on my web site
Anthony Barnhill

I too have an MGC rear end that "was" a wire wheeled version.
I modified it somewhat to use disc wheels. I had a 3.9 axle that was damaged (R&P), I took the hubs and longer axles from it, along with the bearing ends from the housing. I had a machinist fit a collar to the outside of the bearing end that matched the o.d. of the bearing. I fit this inside the the bearing ends on the MGC axle, used the (1") longer axle shafts and longer bolts (L.9 grade)
The total width is 1/64" less than the original disc wheel axle.
The axle is ready to be installed, but I want to go to the drag strip while it still has the 3.9 in it first.
BTW, the car is a 1971 MGBGT with a Buick V6.
Randy Forbes

so, basically, you lengthened your wire rear end..couldn't you have done the same thing w/spacers?
Anthony Barnhill

In a word, yes.
Spacers are not "legal" for SCCA events. There is a reason for that.
Frequently I drive as tho I'm "in an event". You have to understand, I live out in the country...
Little traffic, twisty (but VERY flat) two lane roads, and very few troopers/deputys.
I feel that I have a more integrated axle by using the longer shafts and placing the bearing's load as it were intended. The way the modified ends fit into the original ends of the narrower housing is a "tap" fit.
No real force was required, but they had to go perfectly straight in. The alignment of the two sets of holes which the backing plates attach confirmed the modification.
Bear in mind that a machinist where I used to work made the collars and shrunk them onto the prepared ends at no cost.
Randy Forbes you have photos so i can visualize it...then maybe i can explain it to my local machinist..would also prefer not to use spacers & it would be easier to go your route that take the mgc chunk out of its rear end & put in mgb rear end...tony
Anthony Barnhill

I'll be glad to send you a drawing. At present, I don't have photos of that modification. I have been meaning to take pictures of everything in my garage now that you can get the pictures back on a disc.
One week ago, I shot two rolls of film, but I was following my house being moved some thirty-five miles!
I am presently in New Orleans for the week (working), I won't be able to get out my notes for the actual dimensions until I get back home. Knowing what I do about my memory, I urge you to send me an e-mail directly this Friday!!
It really is an easy modification to do. I may have made it sound more complicated than it is with my description
Randy Forbes

There might be an option for you on the wires. I once checked with California Wire Wheel about custom wires for my midget. They can make wheels with wider rims, extra spokes and oversize spokes for competition events. The cost was not that much higher than for the stock size replacements. You still have some of the strength disadvantage of wires, but they certainly look great, and with the larger spokes might well be a bit more reliable than stock wheels.
Bill Young

Good to know.
Bruce Erfer at British Wire Wheel offers the same thing.
Problem is, unless you can afford Borranis (aluminium), wire wheels are exceedingly heavy. Rolling inertia as well as unsprung weight are compromised as a result.
Hard to beat wires for looks though!
Randy Forbes

went to my local tire retailer with one of my rostyle hubs...told him what car they came off & what I wanted to do (plus-1 size)...he rummaged through his pile of discarded tires & came up with a perfect set of 80's Nissan 200SX wheels & hubcaps (wheels look like mgc steel wheels-slotted holes w/center cap) that are 15"x6"...took them home, jacked up one of my running mgb's, put them under & spun them around; didn't hit anything even turning steering lock to thing is to mount some used tires, put them on one of my B's, go for a test drive & see what cost..$40!!!
Anthony Barnhill

Hey guys there is/was a huge thread going in the mgv8mailing list about wheels. Basic consensus was that 15x6-7 wheel will fit fine and then use some 225/50r15 tires to maintain diameter close to stock.. We found that FWD wheels offered the best fit since there are many 4x4.5 spaced hubs on those cars..

ANTHONY - Let us know what happens!!
Larry Embrey

Guys, to use the wire rear without undergoing complex machinations, can't you just use rear wheels with less offset to put the wheels' C-L outboard farther from the hub? Minilites don't come in many different offsets, but there are many, many wheel styles that do. What am I missing here?

Minilites replicas from Panasport and others come in different backspaces 22mm is what fits on a MG with a whell 15X6 and a tire 205X60X15 but recommend 195
Also come in Inches 3.9 backspace 15X7 etc...
From Moss or Victoria (No difference same parts etc...)
Wheels only come in one size to protect themselves.

There is lots of information on the archives just on this issue.

Bill G.

the problem with staying with the wire wheel rear axle is that you have front and rear wheels that are not interchangeble. Also question re spare. You also can't go out and buy some cheap wheels originally for a Nissan or the like, but instead must special order one style of wheel but with two offsets. Some see no problem to this as they put a wider tire in the rear (because it will fit) than front and the wheels aren't interchangeable in any event.
Barry Parkinson

The reasons I went this route are as follows:
I have color-keyed "Rubery Owen Style" wheels on my car
I had a machinist where I worked do the mods (less than 3 hours total time involved)
And because I had all the parts on hand
It really isn't complicated
Randy Forbes me out here...i just put some old used 195-15's on those "cheap" Nissan wheels...bolted them under one of my 4-cylinder mgb's...they match the fender wells about like the stock rostyles did...ran them around the block & down the highway at speed up to 65 w/no problems; went over 2 railroad tracks pretty hard w/no bottoming out...what's to keep me from putting new tires on them & driving forever? there's no offset problem, front ones fit on back & vice versa, doesn't rub anywhre or hit on big bumps, didn't affect the turning radius? what're they gonna do?
Anthony Barnhill

Larry....where do I find the MGV8 mailing list? Do you have the url?
Anthony Barnhill

Barry wasn't knocking Nissan wheels, he was just saying that if you used an MGC wire rear axle that you wouldn't be able to use the same wheels front and rear.
George B.

you can if you use the rostyle hubs on the mgc wire wheel (actually would solve any offset problems...& earlier in the string, randy talked about modifying mgc rear..he's sent me the plans & it seems like a simple mod....then it is the same width as a b rostyle rear end
Anthony Barnhill

I like cheap. I managed to find some good looking light two piece 5 spoke alloy 15X6 wheels which I'm using on my MGB GT. with 195 55 15 tires it rides good and corners like its on railroad tracks. If I bought MG wheels it wouldn't have been $60 per wheel. They were originally mfg as Nissan aftermarket wheels. Mitsubishi, Mazda and a bunch of others use the same bolt pattern. I'm also using a lightweight space saver Nissan spare tire. Wheel and tire $6.00. 10 lbs lighter than the wire wheel that was originally back there. Much smaller too. room in the middle of the wheel for my ditty bag.
Barry Parkinson

This thread was discussed between 16/06/2000 and 01/07/2000

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical BBS is active now.