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MG MGB Technical - Duratec engine into MGB GT

Hi,

A question bought about by curiosity......I have a 1978 MGB GT, engine runs really well. I also have a 1999 mondeo 2.5 V6 Duratec, drives very well, but worthless due to age and tax costs. I wondered if anyone has any experience of whether the duratec engine can be fitted to the MGB. The engine has wonderul power and torque, plus good economy even in the heavier mondeo, so I think if fitted to my MGB it would be a lovely little rocket!
P Sorensen

hi . i spoke to a guy with a mazda engine fitted, he said alot of engines will fit with a lot of hard work ,but you need one which will sit well in to the car like the b engine , you dont want an engine which fits to far frontal
daz

One problem is the transmission. The Mondeo is front-drive, right? So you'd need to figure out how to either mate that engine to the MGB trans (assuming it could handle the power) or find a transmission that would mate to the V6 and hopefully fit in the MGB. Then you'd have to fabricate engine mounts and figure out how to wire up the engine computer to work with the B's electrical system. That, to me, would be the biggest challenge, getting the engine management computer system to work properly.

Dan D
Dan DiBiase

I would think it possible. Google 'duratec v6 rwd' and you'll find quite a few interesting conversions with various gearboxes.

Obviously, a V6 is roughly one cylinder shorter than a straight 4, so length shouldn't be a problem. However, it looks like quite a wide engine, so you may have to rework the inner wings, and will need a custom exhaust.

As for getting the engine to run, it'd be fun to go to throttle bodies and a custom map. But its all starting to get expensive!

Personally, I'd go for the Rover V8 conversion: there's plenty of bits you can buy to make it straight-forward, plenty of experience and expertise to call on, and ultimately, a well-converted V8 MGB is worth a fair amount of money!
D Ainsworth

All very much in line with the recommendations of a fine little book I have about "Practical Engine Swapping". They make a point of "Yes, it will fit; even if you want to but a Hemi into a Festiva, it can be done." They also tell you that the simple fact that you own such-and-such an engine does NOT mean you should use it. Figure out whether the resultant vehicle is to be a toy or a workhorse or what and make a rational decision as to the best engine for the project. As D indicates, all of the prototyping for the RoV8 install was done decades ago and you KNOW it will work eventually.
David "older but no wiser" Lieb
David Lieb

Although i have the SDI V8 fitted in my GT since the early 1980's i still remember the perfect performance of my Mondeo 2.5 v6 that was crashed at the parking.

The main problems will be the small bits: Manifolds, exhaust system, water hoses, gauges, tank and fuel pumpes/lines, clutch slaver cylinder, electrics, sensible water pump at the flywheel side of the engine ...although it has it's merits with the red line at 6700 rpm!

Just investigate about the actual Morgan V6 (where the V8 was replaced some years ago in favour for the Ford V6 dohc Duratec) and look at the details.

An other way to go is to trade in the Mondeo for a SDI 3500 with manual box and then it becomes easy and more straight foreward without any loss of performance or increased wight compared to a Ford V6 conversion.

More details can be seen here:

Http.//www.britishV8.org

Ralph
Ralph

If you have the Cleveland-built Duratech high-tech V6 lump in FWD guise, why not see if someone is handbuilding a Noble, or some other sort of experiment, selling the FWD V6 and get the RWD Duratech off an S-type, transmission and all?

By stuffing a Jaguar engine into an MG, you'll also be returning the favor MG did for Jaguar by supplying the engine for the XK220 (via the MG 6R4) - the fastest roadgoing Jaguar ever.

You'll save yourself tons of grief and have an entrant for the "world's fastest MGB GT" to boot.
John Z

Many thanks for all your suggestions. I guessed it would be one hell of a job, I had considered the V8 route but the duratec I think would be far more economical to run. John Z, I like your idea of using Jaguar engine/transmission, maybe one day when I can commit the time and money I will have a go. In the meantime I will enjoy the MGB GT as she is. I do see that utube has lots of videos of MGB's with differing engines, something to aspire to one day!
P Sorensen

There seems to be a rapidly developing body of knowledge for fitting a 4 pot Zetec engine into an MGB. I know a friend who recently had a quote of 3250 for supply and fitting of a Zetec, including motorbike carbs, 5 speed type 9 box, engine (obviously!) and an EDIS control system. I think it would be very easy to spend more than that on a V8 conversion. There are also a couple of people blogging about it on mgbclub.com You wouldn't get the engine noise though!

Iain
67 BGT
I D Cameron

There are an awefull lot of V6 bolt on conversions for the MGB that are available from various different places on this side of the pond. These are all for the 60 degree ford v6, but may apply. Alternatively, the K Series guys have mostly successfully adapted the frontwheel drive engine to a rear wheel drive transmission with the use of a ford type 9 gearbox. I don't know if an adapted bell housing exists, but I'm sure you could source an adapter plate as the type 9 is a very popular gearbox for kit cars (caterham in particular).

Let us know how it turns out though!

~Dave
Dave Ryzuk

the way i look at it once you change the engine its not a mgb anymore , i like the sound it makes ,allso the handling is rubbish including breaks etc .the car does not even like going round corners ,its a fight .why can't people except its just an old car , nice just for cruising about .ive owned a rv8 so i know the difference , but i prefer the old mgb .ive spent about 2k on a rebuilt engine ,keeps up with modern day traffic and a bit of fun giving out 110 bhp
daz

Very good advice in all. I somewhat disagree with Daz, the handling need not go to rubbish with a well engineered swap though. As for selecting a RWD version of the engine if there is one such as in the Jag, that makes the whole job much easier. Adapting a FWD engine to another transmission and getting the plumbing to all work well can be a real nightmare. I suggest you take a look at the British V8 Newsletter site, plenty of cars shown in detail there with a variety of different engines. http://www.britishv8.org/index.htm
Should help you decide how to procede.
Bill Young

Its still an MGB if it has a different engine: it just becomes an MGB with an engine conversion...

MGBs DO handle well, with a few really minor tweaks. I took my factory V8 on a track day recently, and found the handling to be excellent: don't confuse handling with grip!

P: the Rover V8 conversion doesn't have to be all that thirsty: I can easily get over 30mpg on a run. It uses far less fuel than my old, tuned 1850cc B-powered GT (I wouldn't go that route again, to be honest: the B-series isn't all that good to tune, never really enjoys revving, and some engine conversions are pretty easy. Far more satisfying to fit something with lots of poke in the first place, than try and strangle every last horsepower out of the heavy old B series...)
D Ainsworth

The handling and brakes on the MGA/MGB are well up to significant increases in power.

Whether an engine swap is a 'good' thing is a philisophical question we will never resolve.

An example of the inconsitencies of such arguments - the original Costello V8 MGB transplants were damned as a sacrilege by purists. Then MG started doing it themselves, and suddenly it was all well and good, having received official approval. Hmmm....
Bill Spohn

ive just looked at some coversions on te web site ,they look fantastic but i would not know where to start ,most of the conversions only consist of the mgb body shell everything else as been upgraded ,the underneath looks nothing like a mg .it must of took thousands of man hours and alot of money to to the job .i poddle around in my mg enjoying every minute but when i want to be brutal i just get my tvr chimaera out for a blast .
daz

I agree that whether an engine swap is a "good" thing is a philosophical question, but lets not forget that Cecil Kimber himself took parts from various cars (Austins and Morris in particular) to create the MG, basically by putting an engine from one car into another (among other things), to make a more sporting version of said car. Anyone who takes this approach today, in my opinion, is simply carrying on Kimber's method, and shouldn't be looked down upon by the "purists". My only caveat would be - it needs to be done well. I have seen some ridiculous swaps that ruined the car (eg. Rear axle way to wide so the rear tires jut out from cutaways in the rear wings, huge scoop in the bonnet - looks awful).

Bottom line, its your car, use whatever engine you want, you can do whats already been done which should be easier and cheaper, or re-invent the wheel, which would be tougher and more expensive, but if it turns out well, it would be rewarding.

I saw an article in Classic Motorsports a few months back where a guy put a Jaguar straight-6 (4.2 L I think) into a Spridget - looked beautiful in there, and apparently was nice to drive (drivers legs got very warm though during a drive).

I sometimes dream of a higher performance 4 cylinder or straight six in my car, mostly to keep the economy up. But the relative ease of using the Rover V8 is appealing.
Erick Vesterback

Well here is a good time for me to jump in with a pipe dream of my own that someone might very well have.

So there has been talk that once you change the engine its not an MG anymore etc. We all have heard this and that about peoples opinions etc.

Has anyone rebuilt the 1.8 engine. Bored it out, balanced, blue printed etc, fitted cross flow heads to eliminate the siamesed ports, fitted a super charger, with su carb, have a fuel air ratio with 02 sensor mounted, and an EDIS system and really have seen what they can get out of their B? With getting real numbers and swapping out needles etc to see what can really be accomplished for a road(not track) worthy car.

James


The author of this comment will not be held responsible for misspelled words, run on sentences and the like as he is at work !
james

James,

See http://www.octarine-services.co.uk/alex1950.htm (can take a while to load) for something fairly close to what you are talking about. Obviously not built to supercharge (it has 11:1 CR!), but it would be difficult and expesive to cutom fit a SC to a crossflow head I suspect. Here you are still only talking about 120 at the wheels. With a Zetec, K Series or V8 transplant you can get to close to 200 at the wheels for far less cost. Hence the attraction of the transplants!

Cheers
Iain
I D Cameron

Agreed.
James

what about the 2l zetec engine , there is some brand new engines on flea bay for 900
daz

power torque racing
daz

My son Brian does Camaro 60 degree V-6 3.4 ltr transplants.

http://bmcautos.com/

The wight is almost identical, the fuel mileage can actually be a bit better, the power is incredible, and everything fits. The kits are great,
I do the wiring harnesses for Brian, and the cost is under $10,000

Sound high?
Try doing something on your own..........

SF
[really fast]
Dwight

DCM McCullough

"I do the wiring harnesses for Brian, and the cost is under $10,000"

Wow - nice wiring eh?

Just Kidding!

I'll bet that makes for an exciting ride.
Rick Bastedo

I agree with Daz.

I had a couple of Mondeo V6s including an estate (wagon) and, FWIW, I would say that they both went, stopped and handled better than an MGB GT. And did more miles per gallon! Apart from the 'character', almost every part of the Mondeo would be better (and 40 years newer) than the MGB - where would you stop? Do you end up with an MGB with Mondeo mechanicals or a Mondeo with an MGB body?

Neil
Neil

I have a 5 speed v6 Ford Contour. The motor is pretty much indestructible and maintenance free. Great power on the highway. Nice idea to stick it into a B. Maybe I am wrong but it just seems a bit big and heavy for an MG.

I think that what defines an MGB is its unitary construction which gives the car it's inherent personality. Putting a more modern engine and transmission into an MG would make the car faster and easier to drive on modern roads and probably more reliable. There is certainly an endearing nature to the of the twin SU carburetted 4 cylinder motor and 4 speed transmission, but the spirit of the car was always intended to be a quick sports car.

It is downright annoying to constantly be passed by minivans and used Civics.

Where would you stop? If you completely update a car with modern technology or go for 100 point originality, none of us really ever stop. There's always something more...
Jonathan Seal

"It is downright annoying to constantly be passed by minivans and used Civics"

You aren't driving it fast enough.
Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 16/10/2008 and 04/11/2008

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