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Early or Late Shell

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Be Coming Avatar
Be Coming Kelvin Dodd
So. Calif., USA   USA
I'm looking for state of the art Rover V8 swap recommendations.
Which to use as a base car 1973 or 1978?
I have all the sheet metal to convert the 1973 to later engine specs, including the firewall bits, engine mountings, radiator mounts and the front apron bits for a twin cooling fan car.
I also have the knowledge to convert the 1978 to chrome bumper and lower it correctly.
I'm interested in what has changed in the motor mount and EFI departments for the earlier model since the introduction of RV8 headers.
I know the later shell is mostly a drop in, but how tricky is the early x member and steering now we don't have to use block huggers.

Also suggestions on lowered engine mountings for use with hot wire EFI.

I'm starting to thin my herd a bit and wonder if it makes sense to complete the 1978 shell that I purchased specifically do build a V8, or do the modifications necessary to convert the earlier 1973 and dispose of the '78 shell. I gave up on the idea of doing both.

Kelvin.

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302V8 Avatar
302V8 Platinum Member Pete Mantell
Sidney, IL, USA   USA
1958 MG Magnette ZB
1969 MG MGB V8 Conversion "Xenia"
1969 MG MGC GT
1969 MG MGC GT "Foxy"    & more
Hi Kelvin,

Personally I would use the 78 shell with chrome bumper conversion.
I have used both early and late shells for V8 conversions (now working on 23rd conversion)

Its is so much easier using the later engine bays, not only for the V8, but also for brakes, the later brake line routing follows a better route.
The later engine mounts work for the Rover also, which you probably already know.

Then to clear your Hotwire set up you can use one of Dave Craddock's RV8 bonnets.

See you in a few weeks!



Cheers

Pete

69 B 302 V8 - 78 B 215 V8 - 80 B 302 V8 - 58 ZB Magnette - 69 CGT 9004 - 69 CGT 7666

http://www.mantellmotorsport.com/


Member Services:
MGB 302 V8 Install Kits, Custom V8 & V6 Installs, V8 Conversion Parts, Restorations and MG Servicing. Contact Pete at 217-688-2463 pete@mantellmotorsport.com or visit www.mantellmotorsport.com - Check us out on Facebook too!
Edd Weninger Avatar
Arizona or SoCal, Overgaard AZ or H. Bch. CA, USA   USA
Here's my '77 with '72 grill and front fenders, early X-member bolts in, lowering blocks at rear. '80 SD-1 Rover 3.5, LT-77 5-speed. '89 14cux EFI with about 5/8" machined off plenum to fit under the hood.


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Be Coming Avatar
Be Coming Kelvin Dodd
So. Calif., USA   USA
Pete: Thanks, looking forward to seeing you too. - Good point, I'd forgotten about brakes. I was besotted by the better fit of the early car panels. My '78 has sloppy panel fit. Wiring would be easier too, as I was planning on using the 77 on dash in whatever car.

Edd: Very nice car and pretty much what I had in mind. Can you tell me what engine block brackets you used and what problems if any you ran into fitting the early cross member. If I remember correctly Glen Towery was angling the rack back a bit. I was planning on using the stock lifted cross member with lowered spindles, but I am using the SD1 oil pan that does not require the later cross member for clearance.

Thanks. This has me back to having to build two cars, but, oh well.

Kelvin.

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mgv8glen Avatar
mgv8glen Glenn Towery
Dover, DE, USA   USA
I am real glad that I took on the Rover, MG swap with my 74.5 GT for my first time conversion. Everything falls right in! no making thing line up & change around to make it all fit. Later I took on a C/B conversion & I found that it was a lot of work, compared to the R/B car. Changing the R/B body to a C/B car is easy & everybody has done it & you can even call Moss for support. Do it right he first time! I built my first V8 34 years ago come this fall & I am still driving her now with 689,000 miles on her! & still going!!! With A/C, F/I, with NO hood scoop! With all the going I have done with this MG, I have run over that Eveready bunny so many times he is no longer a spot on the road, known as road kill!!!


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Simon Austin Avatar
http://www.britishv8.org/MG/SimonAustin.htm

I used a ‘77 shell for this car and converted the bumpers. Seems easier to do this than the modifications required for an early car. Car was lowered using new front springs and “reverse-loop” leaf springs (shown in link).

I have a ‘70 GT that had the mods done by the PO to fit a Rover 3.5. I wouldn’t have bought this project if this work hadn’t been done to the shell already.

Can’t comment on the FI system as my roadster uses an Edelbrock 500 cfm carb. The GT came with a Carter AFB which I’ll try and see how it works out.

I had the 14CUX system on my RV8. By today’s standard, it’s old technology but it did work. If I ever wanted to switch to FI, I’d look at at some of the new TBI systems now available.



"Speed costs........how fast you want to spend?"


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mgv8glen Avatar
mgv8glen Glenn Towery
Dover, DE, USA   USA
I took the Rover Hot Wire F/I over to a shop in Manassas Md. that had been making F/I for years, called Electra motive & the shop owner was very impressed on how well thought out the system was, yes things change very fast in the electronic world today, BUT I look at the simple 4 wires to hook up to the O/E MG wiring harness. I do very very well on the state emissions test & running down the road I do 30mpg with a 50 + year old antique engine! If I were to update the old MG I would build a Chev. L/S engine MG.

302V8 Avatar
302V8 Platinum Member Pete Mantell
Sidney, IL, USA   USA
1958 MG Magnette ZB
1969 MG MGB V8 Conversion "Xenia"
1969 MG MGC GT
1969 MG MGC GT "Foxy"    & more
In reply to # 3671814 by mgv8glen If I were to update the old MG I would build a Chev. L/S engine MG.

Hi Glen,

In addition to my MGB 302 V8 install kit, we have the MGB LS V8 install kit coming in the near future.



Cheers

Pete

69 B 302 V8 - 78 B 215 V8 - 80 B 302 V8 - 58 ZB Magnette - 69 CGT 9004 - 69 CGT 7666

http://www.mantellmotorsport.com/


Member Services:
MGB 302 V8 Install Kits, Custom V8 & V6 Installs, V8 Conversion Parts, Restorations and MG Servicing. Contact Pete at 217-688-2463 pete@mantellmotorsport.com or visit www.mantellmotorsport.com - Check us out on Facebook too!
NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
In reply to # 3671650 by Be Coming I'm looking for state of the art Rover V8 swap recommendations.
Which to use as a base car 1973 or 1978?
I have all the sheet metal to convert the 1973 to later engine specs, including the firewall bits, engine mountings, radiator mounts and the front apron bits for a twin cooling fan car.
I also have the knowledge to convert the 1978 to chrome bumper and lower it correctly.
I'm interested in what has changed in the motor mount and EFI departments for the earlier model since the introduction of RV8 headers.
I know the later shell is mostly a drop in, but how tricky is the early x member and steering now we don't have to use block huggers.

Also suggestions on lowered engine mountings for use with hot wire EFI.

I'm starting to thin my herd a bit and wonder if it makes sense to complete the 1978 shell that I purchased specifically do build a V8, or do the modifications necessary to convert the earlier 1973 and dispose of the '78 shell. I gave up on the idea of doing both.

Kelvin.

Kelvin:

OK, you are sandbagging us! Your background tells me you can do a V8 swap in your sleep.

You of all people here need to advance the cause and do something new. You should look into Lloyd's LFX swap idea using the 3.6 engine and gearbox out of the Camaro. The Miata guys are loving this engine and other than maybe a need for a hood bump, I think it would advance the MGB cause.

Pete

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Richardtherodder Richard Mounce
BC, Canada   CAN
How does the Ford 302 compare with the Rover engine, when installing in a 74.5 or newer body?

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd., USA   USA
Hey Kelvin, hope all is going well. Sure you don't want to put a BBB in it? devil smiley

Really tough question. My car's a '71 and I like the fact that it was an original CB car. It has issues, it will never be the 'perfect' car, but it's really pretty easy to put the V8 engine in the CB car while improving the steering system at the same time. The stock rack mount is OK. That's really the best you can say for it. As long as everything is stock it is only moderately difficult to get it aligned, but change anything and it gets more difficult. However it is very easy to replace the stock mounting with a set of split collar mounts which then allows the rack to be rotated and slid sideways to align it and then locked in place. That's as easy as it is going to get. (also note the misalignment of the rack on RB cars) I know you can get the pinion shaft lengthened as needed. I highly recommend that you consider installing the EPS mod. It is transformative and you'll really like it. Very worthwhile. As long as you are doing the conversion you might as well have that advantage. The result is very good in terms of road feel while giving excellent isolation. You should check it out if you haven't had the chance to yet. Any chance you are coming to Dayton?

Jim

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1744 Avatar
1744 Gold Member Bill Guzman
CA, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT "Renegade I GT"
1974 MG MGB "Renegade"
Everything has its place.

Good exercise installing an LS in a B. It will have the same problem as the Miata's, how to use all that power. Yes I have driven an LS Miata and SBF Miata at Laguna Seca.
I would rather buy a used C5 Corvette which would cost much less than a converted Miata and still have money left over to personalize the C5

Successful engine swaps is to achieved a good balance. Cobra small block were better than the Cobra big block 427. According to several race drivers of the era.

Ok, not saying is bad swap, do not want to start a war by saying this is better than... etc.

An engine swap is the beginning of a domino effect. Many swaps stopped with the engine swap.

A good use of the LS is in a early Camaro with 427 LS power. Well, perhaps the new LT 4 would be better.

Just my opinion which could not be correct by some and that's ok.



It is our attitude that will determine the outcome


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mgv8glen Avatar
mgv8glen Glenn Towery
Dover, DE, USA   USA
Bill, There is a seat for every A?? & my ?SS only fits in a MGB GT!!! You say too much power? I say, If you are not dragging your knee & elbow going around the race track, Your not going that fast!!!!

MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
K you know I know nothing but I did my research and chose the '79 for my 302 (Rover variety) because that's what the Factory did (and should make for less "please explains" to my DoT). Of course I cheated by deleting those rubber bumpers to none and set my ride heights with alternative front and rear suspension. I'm sure Moss would give you mates rates if you wanted to cheat too spinning smiley sticking its tongue out



Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell (with extensive bodywork to come). Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. And a whole lot more to yet to come. Stealth is the word.

Be Coming Avatar
Be Coming Kelvin Dodd
So. Calif., USA   USA
Guys, lovely to hear from you. Thank you for the input, it has convinced me to go back to the original plan of using the later shell.

Let me try to address some comments.

Edd's 77 is where I'm aiming to get. I'll contact him via pm to discuss engine mounts and rack details.

Glenn has been a guiding light for me. I had to convert his unedited V8 conversion VCR tape to digital a year or so ago when all my VCR decks were dying. I'm sticking with the stock twin cooling fans due to his feedback. I too like the 14CUX system as it is the last of the "simple" off the shelf systems and there is a nifty program, RoverGauge that lets you access the sensors. I've been collecting used bits for a while and want to play with them. In the meantime, I do have a couple of carb/manifold options too.

Simon - thanks for the link. Nice looking GT. My first conversion was stuffing a 2.8L Ford V6 in a 1969 GT. That required a lot of the engine bay mods needed for the V8. It wasn't a lot of fun with a hacksaw and file. Now I have access to a plasma cutter and grinders. I've got a feeling it still won't be that much fun.

Pete - No sandbagging. My daily commute gives me a lot of time to think, but not much time to work on projects. This one is getting very long in the tooth and many of the conversion bits I bought may now be obsolete. Or at least as obsolete as my collection of engines.

Jim - After driving The Roadmaster, I'd go for a BBB given the chance, just for the sound. - Interesting concept on the rack mounting, and thanks for reminding me about EPS. Time and money constraints are going to keep this build simple. But I'll make sure there will be options for upgrades later.

Bill makes a good point about balance. It's the reason I'm sticking with the Rover motor. I don't have the resources to heavily modify the MGB platform and I like the heritage of sticking close to the factory design. Of course, just like going into battle and encountering the enemy, the plans will probably change as soon as the car hits the road.

Ok - So, back to plan A - Based on resources, it looks like it's KISS for the moment. I'll get back to doing the tunnel, rear suspension and chrome bumper modifications to the shell. That's all just labor. I'll dig out my engine block mounts and see if it makes sense to change those before hacking holes in the inner fenders. I also have to think about the front cross member swap. Guess it's time to peruse the archives again.

Again, many thanks I hope to see some of you in Richmond, or Gettysburg.

cheers
Kelvin.

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