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MG MGB Technical - MGB Ford Zetec Conversion
|I have been searching around for some info on dropping a Ford Zetec 2.0 and a Ford T-9 5 Speed into an MGB. Is this next to impossible? To much cutting?|
|Try asking your question on the MGB GT V8 and Engine Conversions BBS. I think they had a Ztec thread some time ago.|
|In England a man Chris Falla put in MGB the Sierra Cosworth engine with T5 gearbox. www.fallaclassics.co.uk|
|Try this imformative link|
|Contact John Esposito at Quantum Mechanics. He is currently building a prototype. (203)459-9612.|
|I'm not sure who'd you contact, but at the Chicagoland MG Club's annual swap met last Feb there was a vendor with a kit for such a conversion. He had installed it in a BGT and it was VERY clean and neat. You may try to contact the Chicagoland club and see if they can supply the vendor's name and contact info. Here's a link to a photo page that shows the car (not very good pic) |
|Re: the Chicago area shop that has a kit, that's LaFox Imports of Elgin. I don't have their phone number or address handy, but Dennis Tobin would be the guy to talk to.|
|Birkin, the Lotus 7 replica company was working on a kit sometime ago. They use theat engine in their Lotus 7 replicas.|
Usually I don't like the idea of modifying a decent B for something else. But if it is what you intend to do, why not considering the Merkur XR4Ti turbo route. You will get a potent 175 BHP 2,3L engine fuel injected. If you buy an used car you will get rightengine- trans-rear axle set-up. Why not fit IRSuspension from merkur on the B. You could find and used XR4Ti for a decent price. Having engine & turbo restored and adding a new ceramic clutch will be fine. Cannibalizing a XR4 will save you a lot of money. The only extra skill needed wil be for fitting electrical wiring for EFI EEC-IV.
|jgc, not to answer for mike but to get a kit or share the info when it has been done is an awful lot less money and time, and more reliablity over a one off, jim|
|Wow, that is an amazingly clean install. And I need to get my engine out in the spring anyway ... is that a prototype or is it for sale?|
|Thank you everyone for the great info. The Chicagoland Kit looks very interesting and I will be contacing them to see who is offering a kit.|
ps. The car I want to change has already been changed before. So I think its no harm to what has already been done.
|mike, its NO HARM anyway if its your car and what you want to do to it, please let me, and everyone, know who and where this kit is for sale as i am very interested also. i think there is also a fellow on this board that drag races a b with this engine swap in it? i think he was in TX but maybe i am confused on the details, good luck, jim|
I could imagine that a kit is an easy fit. the most important idea is what kind of B you want to have. As a kit has been developped by someone, it will be usually a nice set-up, rather expensive. If too popular it will become a commonly seen car. Pesonnaly I an not found of jap-like zetec engine. I would definitely prefer the route taken by AC-Cobra or Sunbeam Tiger.
I am waiting for more information about the new GM Vortec engines. They have a new line of aluminum engines(block and head) dohc - 4 valves per cylinder,computerized FI. The smallest one being a 4 cylinder DOHC of 2.8 liters with twin balance shafts, the next size, a 5 cylinder 3.5 liter and the largest-a 4.2 6 cylinder - all DOHC - 4 valves per clyinder engines. I would imagine the 4 cylinder could be a blast in a mgb. Imagine, 4 valves per cylinder,crossflow head,fuel iunjected with double over head cams, all aluminum block and head and balance shafts and a 5 speed trans.This is cool stuff. Been planning on a 3.4 v6 swap and have been collecting the necessary parts for the conversion in the near future.Now I see this new engine family and I think I may wait a bit to see if the new 4cyl (175 hp) is feasible (easier)
Why not buying an Acura or a Honda. It will be this kind of hi-rev no torque engine. This is far from a B or a spirited brit. car.
|Jean Guy Catford|
With a 4 cylinder of 2.8 liters you would have enough torque to pull down the St. Jean de Baptiste statue in 3rd gear. Besides the Honda turns backward and I can't seem to find a north/south bellhousing for the Acura engine. Alyn
|alyn, as part of the new generation of gm engines i believe they already have a new 60 degree v6 in a 3.6 with lots of goodies like variable cam timing, i have a b with a 3.4 v6 and was going to build a new engine with alot of goodies on it but decided to wait a year or so until someone totals there new gm and the engines start showing up in scrap yards. jim|
Alyn I did not had in mind a GM 2,8L engine but a Ford Zetec as mentionned at the beginning of that thread. Look at 2,0 L spec and it's like Honda no torque engine. The kit offered is dealing with that kind of engine. No matter that there is no St- John... statue, anyway it wont be able to move it. That kind of rapid and furious engine is not a plus for a MGB modif, except, may be, for it's reliability. If such a case why not buying a Miata instead than a MGB, it is already that kind of mechanical background.
|Jean Guy Catford|
|hello ive got the chance to purchase a low mileage 4.0 240bhp tvr chimera engine.im hopeing to put it in my mgb.its basicly the same engine as the v8 gt much more powerfull. my car is a standrd 1800 ,i dont know iff to find a doner car but i dont like the 4 speed gear box, i wonder iff its possible to use all the running gear from the doner car and try another gear box can any one help daren|
I had a friend who owned that Costello modified car. It was a GT and I imagine that a it was mainly choosen for structural strength purpose. You have in hand a nice engine that must be EFI, that means that if you transfer it to carb. type you will lose a lot of HP, another area of some knowledge is require here. I could not imagine dropping it a standard MGB without
any improvement of all systems. The Chimera has a real frame to deal with so much HP, and a MGB is very weak on that matter as it is an integated body like these flip-flop jap. cars with the ashtray giving the structural rigidity to whole body.
Anyway there is a site dedicated to V8 conversion
Let us know the progress of your project
PS: I would suggest a Corvette 6sp gearbox an easy fit.
|Jean Guy Catford|
|darren, you need to move further on down the page to the conversion heading, ALL the info you will need is there, sorry, but no way will a corvette 6spd (t56 i believe) fit unless you want to greatly expand the tranny tunnel, gm t5 or rover sd1 are easy peasy installs. JGC; how do you really feel about japanese imports than eh? safe to say i will not see you posting on any of the sportcompact sites? jim|
Well personnally I will never have one of these cars anymore as they are over-appreciated. When you look at Cons. Report about them there is a real bias pro in theirs evaluations. The reality is that they are as much trouble prone as any other brand. But concerning this thread it is a low torque engine that annoy me the most. High HP with no torque is slower than lower HP with a good torque. In fact jim I only find a Miata with a nice shape. All others 2005 jap. models will be forgotten and vanished in 10 years from now, which is not the case with MGB, and wearing a cap in wrong orientation will look extraterrestrial...
|Jean Guy Catford|
|jgc, ahh, you know why persons wear caps in such an orientation? because they don't come with instructions, |
at least not yet.
not to say i like the shape of any of the imports in particular. i personnally drive an f250 crew cab with a v10 when i am not driving one of my LBC's, but i do very much love the honda vtec that i have in my 1973 mini
|I loved reading all of the above posts. I like the idea and in fact, Im in the middle of the conversion myself. You all can discuss how "low" the torque figures are but are we forgetting the benchmark? The ol' B series lump? I think 140 hp and 130 ft lbs of torque is a definate improvement over whats there. You can speak lowly of those who wear their hats backwards but you must remember that it is a welcome site that these cars are being adopted by a new generation, such as myself. Most of you own these cars because you have memories of when they were new, we dont. We like the look of the cars and see the potential that lies within. Whether that potential includes a motor swap or anything else. |
I personally think that this cheap and affordable swap is much better than dropping $2300 hundred bucks on a supercharger to make 100 hp out of the B series motor whereas these motors make 140 hp bone stock. the old "bang for the buck" statement makes more sense when speaking of the Zetec swap than speaking of dumping thousands of dollars into the B lump to make 100 hp and lose drivability (speaking of N/A motors only).
Just the thoughts of someone performing this swap
I'm currently working on this same conversion in a '71 roadster. My progress is slow, but things are shaping up.
I guess you've got the answer to your question about feasibility. Regarding "too much cutting?" I've needed to remove the engine mount tabs & replace them with my design, cut & box out the crossmember for sump clearance and cut a 6"x6" square out of the RH firewall for intake manifold clearance. This allows locating the crankshaft centerline in the original MG position and reasonable working clearances all around.
Where in Oregon are you? Did we talk about this conversion at ABFM?
May be its generation gap but the basic point here is about which swap could improve a MGB? Opinions could differs but a swap where a B too far from original characteristics will lead to something else. In that case why not opting for a modern Miata that already have what young owners could want. MGB was equipped with long stoke engine and more torque than japs engine conception of modified lawnboy motors type. An seriously in less that 10 years all those fast an furious type car will be forgotten. wich will not be the case with an MGB. The debate is open: a swap may be to have a more powerful an reliable car; but engine selection must respect the background of car's original concept.
|Jean Guy Catford|
It's your car, do what make you happy. While I would never dream of putting a different engine in my 69 C-GT, the midget is a different story. Been thinking Honda S2000 engine and 6-speed. Except for the sound of the exhaust I think it would be a bad-ass ride: excellent power-to-weight ratio combined with the best handling road car MG ever built (not counting the Zed cars).
74 RWA Midget
|I welcome the day when the quote "fast and the furious" cars are forgotten. But I am sure that the techniques and the technology behind those cars wont. Computer control advancements and forced induction developments, among others, are things that will not be forgotten and will continue to be practiced as things like gas become more expensive and the need to find a way to make the power we want and yet still return good mileage becomes important. The reasons for not using a miata system are that they do not make enough power for a GT and their tunability is less than a zetec motor, not to mention the relative ease and inexpensiveness a zetec (if its Ford, its for me and Ill take 3) gives. The point in question is which swap can improve an MGB and the answer really is simple, any. The B was an antiquated design when it came out. It was a continuation of 1950's and earlier technology. The motor is a longstroke motor, as are all british motors (could that be why any 1500 midget or spitfires bearings wear out at about 60K as if they were designed that way?). |
Superchargers and crossflow heads are all good ideas but they only bring you up to early 1960's hp and tq (1961 Lotus Elan, 105 hp) levels. These are tough, well designed and attractive cars but the mechanicals are a lack luster. That is the reason why boards like this one exist, we know that there are things that can be done to change our cars and we are looking for them. A factory knew best attitude can only be placed on certain aspects of these cars, the reast must be questioned and changed to keep these cars drivable with modern ones. Hence the start of this thread into motor conversions and the zetec, which I predict youll probably see more of. Reliabilty, tunability, hp and tq, price, etc are all pluses and I really see no downside, except perhaps the "its not original" arguement which really doesnt matter much since most of our parts are cheaply made Indian (no offense meant to anyone of Indian origin implied) approximations, at best, of originals. I also in no way want that to be interpretted as a shot at Moss as I appreciate everything they do as without their parts, these cars wouldnt be possible.
The swap I am working on will require no cutting whatsoever, the motor will mount off the original motor mount brackets, breathe through a pair of HS6 carburetters, and run through a Ford T5 (that fits in the tunnel as if it was made to be there, including shifter location) into the stock rear end. A Honda motor would be great in a midget except that it is too tall and the motor physically wont fit under the bonnet as it is a severely slanted 4 cyl (allowing the S2000 its slopey point nose). Also, I dont see the advantage of a motor that makes high hp and no torque all at a useless 8000 rpm. Maybe thats just me.
P.S.- An overhead cam motor doesnt make an MGB any less MGB as the plan MG had was to place an OHC motor, rather than the same tired 1800, into the late MGB. The reason this was not done was the lack of funds coming for the Leyland leadership. So, with that, I like to think that I am building a B that the factory wanted to build, with the advantage of 25 yrs of technological development. Just my thoughts, have fun.
|"The Chimera has a real frame to deal with so much HP, and a MGB is very weak on that matter as it is an integated body like these flip-flop jap. cars with the ashtray giving the structural rigidity to whole body"|
Absolute nonsense. The unibody MGB is actually structurally sound & strong. The MGB V8 bunch have conversions spanning 160 to 325 rear wheel horsepower. We haven't bent one yet, not on street tires, anyway. ;)
As mentioned above, you belong here:
The technology you are refering to has been developped for other cars than these "fast & F.. Type, they have borrowed it. When a car with a slight boost on engine side need brace between top of front suspension legs not to split apart, there is a problem.
A car with such a primitive suspension like a B and as I owned both a MGB and a GT, I noticed there is structural flexibility on the B and none on the GT. Factory and costello V8 were GT. And you believe that an upgrade fron 70 HP to 325 HP, will not affect that nice thin steel unibody on the roadster. Not so sure...
As I said, it is a matter of taste but for my part I would rather prefer a BMW 325 4 cyl 2,5L 189 HP stock. A torquey, reliable and good quality drivetrain. And a matter of drivability.
|Jean Guy Catford|
|I never said that the technology used in these "tuner cars" was developed by them but, it was the their specific needs that brought about what they have. If you want to trace things back to their beginnings, then Ford, Honda, and even MG are stealing as neither of those companies invented the 4 stroke gasoline engine. Another thing is that the strut tower brace is not there to keep the car from splitting apart, it is an attempt, a successful one at that, to help reduce chassis flex. Many car companies do it, including Ford and Mitsubishi. |
An MGB is a strong, over engineered, stout chassis. If you are driving a stock B roadster and BGT and notice the difference between the two, I must ask how are you measuring this and I must say that I highly doubt it. Ive got to side with the V8 guys on this, the B has more than enough torsional rigidity for just about anything and if it falls short, you could always weld up a cage.
Just jack rear and try to open a door. A MGB is affected but not a GT. I know it was for suspension rigidity purpose brace in jap car, I was just joking, but these jap unibody are a bit on weak side. For the B case, lets believe that body is adequate, imagine 325 Hp with leaf spring suspension and with 185-70x14 tires. Not wide enough to handle such power and if placing wider tire you have to modify fenders, it will look ugly. Then we are at our starting point, selecting a set-up that will not discombobulate that car.
|Jean Guy Catford|
Why do you think that a tire bigger than 185/70-14 won't fit. I run 205/60-14s. I flattened the lip on the quarter panels (a mod that doesn't show) because of rubbing during extreme cornering only. Wider tires than mine will fit.
I can jack the rear & operate the doors. Maybe yours is rusted? Jarrod is correct, the mgb roadster is plenty stout. I speak from experience, not speculation. I have had my V8 MGB on several race tracks, autocrossed it numerous times, & been down the 1/4 mile. Granted no slicks have been bolted on, but it is holding up fine.
The 325 (actually it dyno'ed @323) rear wheel horsepower MGB? It runs wider tires than mine without flares. I have autocrossed it, as well. It is not bent or twisted and is a blast to drive. The owner does have plans to stiffen it up a bit because he is converting the rear suspension to a 3 link design.
BTW, not all Costello conversions were GTs. He built some roadsters, too. ;)
|Jean, jacking the rear of the car and not being able to open the doors is not an indicator of structural flexibility; its an indicator of a body severely weakened by rust. An MGB, roadster or GT, is overbuilt for a unibody and has some pretty substantial steel in it, just examine the rocker sections. Please check out a sound example to base your opinions on.|
|The doors open ok on my 74 roadster when I jack up either end. Clifton|
|You could go the total different route and stick 4K into your motor and have 180 BHP, and that from the B series Motor or stick about 1.5K in and get 167BHP which to be honest after driving it i dont want much more|
Tell me your secret for such HP at 1,5K!!!
|Jean Guy Catford|
|Right for that Price you can basically make a Cut down versoon of the bumper to Bumper Cross flow engine. |
Its still the cross flow head but a much cheaper Cam used, I have the same set-up as the engine below but due to cost i decided to source cheaper alternative parts for the motor.
See this site for details
Hope this helps mate
This thread was discussed between 31/12/2004 and 10/02/2005
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