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MG MGB Technical - Econotune head

Has anyone got any experience with the Peter burgess head running with K&N filters and no other mods?

Only on a 1588cc MGA, the Econotune head produced amazing results and excellent economy. From memory the car went from 55 to 82 BHP at the rear wheels, even Peter Burgess was surprised how well it worked. The A has an air filter similar to the K+N layout as standard.
Stan Best

Installed the EconoTune cylinder head on my daughter's 77B--stock with .020" over pistons and a Weber DGV carb. Rolling roads are not common here in the US, so I did not have a chance to do before and after testing. But, the engines feels much more powerful and revs much more freely. I have a more expensive cylinder head, by another shop, on my 79 LE. Engines are almost identical with mine having .040" over pistons, everything else the same. Daughter's car is slightly faster acceleration and slightly more tractable in city driving.

The EconoTune cylinder head is excellent value for the money and may be a better choice, for most people, than the Burgess Fast Road cylinder head.

Les Bengtson

Does anyone know if the basic modifications for the Econotune head were included in Peter's book?

Several heads were detailed, and I chose to build my head according to the instructions that specified a light slicking up of the intake, and some serious relieving of the exhaust. Is that the structure of the econotune head?

C R Huff

I installed an Econotune head from Peter on my ī63 3 main MGB last year after the original head cracked, and highly recommend it. My engine is bored +.060, but is otherwise completely standard. As Les says, it feels much more powerful and revs more freely. It also seems to run smoother, but that may be subjective.

I have never measured the actual power increase, but notice how local MG friends now disappear in the mirror when we are climbing hills together!


I think you will have problems duplicating Peterīs special bulleted bronze valve guides, that give better heat transfer and better gas flow, if I understand it correctly.


I don't think that you will have problems duplicating Peterīs special bulleted bronze valve guides, I know you will. They're a special manganese silicon bronze alloy made to Peter's own specifications.
Steve S.

You can buy his valve guides direct, or through Chris at Octarine like I did when I did my head.
D Balkwill

1978 1800cc +20 Transformed with a Burgess head. Highly recommended.

Likewise, I've used PB's heads on both my 1800 and my V8. Excellent product. On the 1800 I used the Fast Road head with a new but standard camshaft, standard carbs, standard exhaust header and K&N filters. Measured bhp at the wheels went from 67 to 88 without any more fuel being used. Pretty good I reckon.
Mike Howlett

I had my head econotuned by Peter for my 71 B. I'm running a standard cam, SU's and standard air cleaners. As it says on his website - loads of torque up to 5000 rpm, it drives like a diesel. Fuel economy is about the same though 28 MPG over all. Runs on unleaded with no pinking. Spot on what I wanted.
Paul Hollingworth

Thanks for the comments on the valve guides. I did bullet cut my guides, but they were not from Peter. I still wonder if the iron carving instructions in the book are similar to the econotune.

C R Huff

I thought Peter might have answered that one - but he seems strangely silent!

The fast road heads follow the book detail - the Econotune heads concentrate on the area immediately before the valve seat and the combustion chamber - the rest of the ports are left standard.
Chris at Octarine Services

Thanks Chris,

Sounds like my modification was not like the Econotune. I don't recall doing much, if anything other than balancing, to the combustion chambers. I just opened the exhaust side and slicked the intake. I think it was the second head modification described in Peter's book, with the first being limited by racing rules.

C R Huff

Hi All

Not strangely silent and not secretive.

The thread was asking if people had fitted one of my Econotune heads and K&N filters so I felt the thread was directed at my customers rather than me or at the spec.

I developed the Econotune specification after the book was written. I developed the head as a customer wished to tow a caravan and needed his engine to 'think' it was bigger.

The first Econotune heads were Rover V8 ones and so effective we rarely modify beyond that spec for V8 Rover engines.The B series 4 cylinder was modified along similar lines, the nearest in the book will be Fast Road style chambers with a sort of DIY-plus approach to the throats and valves.

peter burgess

Thanks Peter,

I went back to the book to refresh my memory on what I did. I did the version that starts on Page 30 with the line, "The next stage of DIY head ... "

I have the small intake valves, and did not do the 7 degree cut to the chamber wall.

It seems I did not skim the head and block enough, as the cranking compression with a Delta KB cam is only 150 psi. I guess I was being too cautious to avoid the need for high octane fuel.

C R Huff

Hi Charley

Give it a good skim and you will be pleased with the results, keep the chambers small and you will run better on low octane fuel.

peter burgess

Thanks Peter,

I'm overdue to re-bush and re-shaft my SUs, so when I do that I think I'll pull the head and have it skimmed.

C R Huff

This thread was discussed between 11/04/2009 and 21/04/2009

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