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Stick with Original Roadster or Switch to a GT Swap? Help!

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Stonesmith Avatar
Stonesmith Silver Member Matt Stonesmith
Louisville, Colorado, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
I finished a 5 year restoration of a 1964 pull handle roadster last fall. I now have about 1,500 miles on the car and it is really fun. This was a full restoration that I did almost entirely on my own. The car is really pristine right now. Very original.

But now I have a desire to build up another car. I love the look of the GT, and love the idea of swapping in a V8. I love figuring out all the challenges and working in the garage to make it happen.

I have found what looks like a great donor car, 1974.5 GT, little rust, good price.

So now I have a decision to make. I can't keep two cars. Won't work with my garage space, and more importantly, my very wonderful significant other has pointed out that it is not realistic to have a stable of MG's. High quality restorations cost money and the 64 would have to go to fund the V8 Swap.

So do I sell the recently finished beautiful roadster and take on another multi-year project, or do I just enjoy driving the 1964 car and forgo the joys of creating a new machine?


Help!

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MG-Maxx Avatar
MG-Maxx Silver Member Charles Waugh
West Haven, Ct, USA   USA
1979 MG MGB MkIII "Rumpelstiltskin"
2008 Chevrolet HHR
There are many on here that would disagree with your wife on having a stable full of MG's! Then again they don't have to live with your wife either... spinning smiley sticking its tongue out.

I can't afford to have a stable full and most times just the one isn't affordable with what I want to do... hot smiley.

I am not one for originality, but on a early model of the MG, I would gave a hard time to cut it up. Later RB B's I have no trouble cutting up. I am about to replace almost every panel on my car this winter.

If the GT won't disappear into someone else's garage, try putting your pull handle on a site like Bring a Trailer with a reserve(if they allow) and see if you get an offer that you can't refuse. It would be hard to see let it go after all the hard work you have put into it.

But with most people here on the dark side. It's your car, make it what you want.....

Good luck whichever way you go. AND don't forget to post pictures...smiling bouncing smiley



Chuck
Hamden, CT

79 MGB - Rumpelstiltskin
Just awakened after a 10 year slumber.
GM 60V6 Gen 3 - 3.5L EFI V6 T-5.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-06-19 12:01 PM by MG-Maxx.

MG-STROKER Avatar
CENTRAL, IOWA, USA   USA
Matt That's Like Asking If You Like Blondes Or Brunettes Best! All A Personal Choice. I Have A V8 Convertible Conversion And A Gt 4 Cylinder, Like Them Both A lot. When Traveling To Your Fine State I Would Rather Drive The GT, A 10 Hour Drive Is Much Nicer In The GT But Once I'm There I Want The Roadster To Enjoy The Mountain Views To The Fullest!
JR

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Jim Lema Avatar
Seattle, Washington, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB
Having a MG is like being affected with a disease that has no known cure. How about buying a car lift so you can store both cars in the same space in the garage?

V8MGBV8 Avatar
V8MGBV8 Carl Floyd
Kinggsport, TN, USA   USA
In reply to # 3535548 by MG-Maxx try putting your pull handle on a site like Bring a Trailer with a reserve(if they allow) and see if you get an offer that you can't refuse.

Doesn't quite work like that. Can do a reasonable reserve, but it is an auction site. They decide which cars to allow.

http://bringatrailer.com/about-bat-auctions/

If only allowed one MGB, the top has to come down. cool smiley

JWD Jim D.
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA   USA
I have a V-8 MGB roadster, two vintage convertible Corvettes and live in about the worst part of the U.S to own convertibles. That being said, nothing beats a convertible on nice sunny days.

Perambulator David D
Phoenix, Arizona, USA   USA
Have you considered putting the V8 in the car you already have? I know some people get a bit testy about carving up an early car, but it is a known quantity for the conversion.

Think of the time it would save as the paint and trim are already done.

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Stonesmith Avatar
Stonesmith Silver Member Matt Stonesmith
Louisville, Colorado, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
This is an idea that I dismissed earlier but hearing it again now it is starting to appeal to me. I need to wrap my head around the amount of disassembly to the interior to carve up the firewall and transmission tunnel.

Still, fitting the engine in and perhaps upgrading the suspension would be fun.

billymgb1000 Avatar
billymgb1000 Silver Member william gaulin
harrisville, harrisville RI, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB
1974 MG MGB V8 Conversion "Sweet Thing"
Matt I also love the fabrication, figuring and working it all out in my garage too. Just love it, anyways my first mg was a roadster but original. when I decided to v8 mine I sold the first one and I fought myself about the gt or roadster and then I remembered why I bought the first one " TOP DOWN" were the words I still love to say. So my 2 cents either sell both and buy a roaster shell and put that v8 in her. or sell the gt and start cutting on that 64. Good luck either way

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Perambulator David D
Phoenix, Arizona, USA   USA
In reply to # 3536069 by Stonesmith This is an idea that I dismissed earlier but hearing it again now it is starting to appeal to me. I need to wrap my head around the amount of disassembly to the interior to carve up the firewall and transmission tunnel.

Still, fitting the engine in and perhaps upgrading the suspension would be fun.

The narrow tunnel cars have been done before. I seem to recall one that had plenty of pictures of the metal surgery involved.

In the rear, I would be going with the CC 4 link as the easy and well proven solution to a better ride. The front does not really need anything if it is in good condition; while not a fan of kingpin suspensions, the geometry is going to be hard to improve on.

The argument against is that people will say it is an ealry car and needs to be saved. That it would be cheaper to sell what you have and start over, that the narrow tunnel is more difficult to convert.

Reality is that you are cutting and welding anyways. It will take a lot of TIME and effort to replicate the foundation you have now.

Think of what a great opportunity this is to buy a plasma cutter.

Stonesmith Avatar
Stonesmith Silver Member Matt Stonesmith
Louisville, Colorado, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
This is so helpful. Many people I talk with don't understand the fun and satisfaction that comes with doing what we do.

I spent a bit of time in the garage last night (with beer) imagining the process. Actually, considering all the sill work, floor replacements, dogleg welding - the idea of the firewall and transmission tunnel seem kind of trivial. Lot's of time, yes. but hardly visible after its complete, not very structural.

Here are some pics of what has already been done.

I am just kicking myself for not doing it at the time. But at the time it felt too big. Now it seems totally doable.

I have felt that this level of modification will decrease the value of the car. In the end, I don't care. I never really planned on selling it. I spent considerable extra time and money 'doing it right'. I think I'll just take it from where it is now, and make it what I want.

Thanks again.

Matt


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JWD Jim D.
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA   USA
As far as tunnel and firewall modifications go, only very minor tapping with a hammer was all that was required to install a Ford 5.0 and T-5Z in my 80. Definitely go with the CCE 4 link rear AND the CCE front suspension if you can afford it. The CCE front crossmember allows you to lower the engine so no hood scoop or bump are needed and there's lots of hood clearance with the air cleaner.

V8MGBV8 Avatar
V8MGBV8 Carl Floyd
Kinggsport, TN, USA   USA
In reply to # 3536334 by JWD As far as tunnel and firewall modifications go, only very minor tapping with a hammer was all that was required to install a Ford 5.0 and T-5Z in my 80.

Yeah, the late Bs are much easier for conversions.

theonlyiceman53 Avatar
theonlyiceman53 Bill Russell
Florida, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB "Frankenstien"
1977 MG MGB "Wicked"
Hey Matt,
I have 2 stock MGB's both a roadster and a GT. I also have a 350 RB and am building a 454 CB. I find that I very rarely take out the stock ones as they are just too slow. The Corvette front suspensions with the composite springs are pretty nice. IRS in the rear really give a nice ride. Most of the time I just cruise with the 350 but it sure is nice to be able to feel the power when I want. I keep the stock ones for just that reason, they are stock and too nice to cut up. It just doesn't seem right to cut up an original vehicle in good shape. I put a 283 in a 65B a long time ago and all it took was a big hammer to gain clearance for the bellhousing and tranny. The ford small block and GM/Rover aluminum engine is probably the easiest to put in but I've never done a ford and only report what I've heard. I always put in roll bars/cages in the modified cars and GT's don't really lend themselves to easy entry and exit with a cage in place. The 350 took a bit of cut and paste in the tunnel to get in place as I set it back as far as possible without cutting up the firewall and foot wells. The 454 is a completely different story as the motor sits back about 8 inches and it took some serious mods to the firewall and footwells. The seating arrangement isn't as good as stock but a small price to pay for the power. I suspect the 454 might be a bit of overkill but I think it should still handle pretty good. The engine weighs a touch over 500 lbs with heads and intake in place so it's not too terrible a price to pay in weight. The late model GTO IRS is pretty heavy so I think it should balance out pretty decent in conjunction with the engine set-back. I still have some electrical to finish and most of the interior to go before it's ready for prime time. With the LS motors in decent supply I think I would have to recommend one of them as they are quite the engine. If I build another one it will probably be an LS with Corvette front suspension and whatever IRS I can find.

So in short, do what you want! EIther way you get a cool car!
Cheers,
Bill

Peter-Sherman Avatar
Peter-Sherman Peter Sherman
Melbourne, Australia   AUS
I'll always take a early convertible over a later GT. Any sort of engine swap, any car, will cost you around 10K. Gearbox, exhaust, fuel, brakes, diff and of course engine.

There is the supercharge option which you might prefer.
For a V8 swap on a mark one you need that later Salisbury much stronger diff' (and you'd probably want a quaif LS in it, or narrow a back end out of something else) and you need to either get creative with the steering shaft, or buy a new moss steering side rubber bumper footwell bulkhead cut off the cone/corner section you want and tack it in (just trim the other corner). Buy a Rubber bumper column. RV8 style headers take care of the guards (and any over heating problems).
But it can be done , lots of detailed articles here. various years skills and extremes.
http://www.britishv8.org/Photos-MG-Conversions.htm

There is the V6 option.

however the rover V8 is an MGB engine so does have providence and looking at your restoration photos indicates that you easily have the skills.
various how tos around

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=rhiS7XnjPQYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

The latest edition can be silly prices, but there are earlier ed's quite cheap.

Heres a good article, note there are a couple of gearboxes that fit with minimum work, that he doesn't mention. T5 or supra. I'm using a supra. And the RV8 style "through the inner guards" exhausts mean that the inner guards should not need 'beating down" plus far better cooling and about 10 more BHP

http://www.mg-cars.org.uk/v8_conversions/rogv8.html

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