Visit our Twitter feed for more great content
MGExp

MG Engine Swaps Forum

engine and 5-speed swap on MG TF... anybody ever done one?

Moss Motors
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
I hate to do this, but my TF couldn't pass a parade! I'm thinking of something that can be dropped in without much trauma to the car, so I can convert it back if I ever decide to sell it. As is, this thing is NOT a daily driver! I don't think it's even a weekend driver.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
cstrong45 Avatar
cstrong45 Charles Strong
Bainbridge Island, WA, USA   USA
Dropping in a V6 and 5 speed wont be cheap.. Better to fix what you got.

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
The XPAG engine is just weak to begin with. A supercharger would cost about five grand and give me 20-25 HP, so "expensive" is a relative term.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
Ryan Reis Avatar
Beatrice, NE, USA   USA
1968 MG MGB
I know nothing about it, but isn't a Volvo swap the popular deal with these cars? There's TD in our local club with a Volvo engine. It looks stock to a dummy like me.



Ryan

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
Wasn't the "small" flathead Ford the period swap into the T series? Of course that would be heavy and probably not real easy and might be kinda expensive. OTOH there would be only 6 exhausts to deal with and since they already flow bad maybe you couldn't make it much worse. And it'd sound great. If it was a proper job I doubt anyone would ever want to swap it back.

But what do I know? Just being ignorant here.

Jim

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
I don't know the specifics on the Volvo swap, but I'll try to find out which specific Volvo is involved. A flathead would look cool, but I'm thinking of something more technologically advanced.

I had a friend with a 350 Chevy-powered TF back in the late sixties. It ran like a bat out of hell, until it puked spider gears all over the road. I'm thinking maybe a JDM 32 valve motor out of a Nissan or Toyota might be a good compromise. I can't imagine any reason why *I* would ever want to switch it back, but I think most people buying T-series cars tend to be purists, and want originality. I think I'd sell it the way I built it, and let them have the original engine and tranny, or maybe just sell those parts once I pull them, and take the price hit on the car whenever I decide to sell it.

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
Carl recently pointed out to me that all of the old enthusiasts are dying off and cars like the Model T have plummeted in value. The T series MG's would be next on the list so I wouldn't be too concerned about buyers searching for original cars, at some point there will be more surviving cars that there are interested buyers. (Unless we spawn a whole generation of Jay Lenos.) Just do a quality swap and that speaks for itself. In the case of the B (which already has more cars than interested buyers) a well done conversion is worth a premium. There are more interested buyers than there are cars. So you might as well just do what suits your fancy.

You'll have to define what in your mind makes a good swap. Lots of considerations there. I appreciate the desire for newer technology. Lots of that can be retrofitted, most of them in fact. I have a '67 engine with all modern seals, internals, fueling, ignition, accessory drive, starter, transmission... in fact pretty much everything a new engine has except COP and direct injection, and COP is coming, along with individual EGT probes. It's a Buick 340, a bit more modern that the FHF but nowhere near as well known. If there is a particular engine that you feel would be appropriate there is no real reason to be deterred because it is old. Most iconic engines have a strong following with plenty of modern parts available.

But that may not be one of your considerations. For me it was, I wanted something in the family that the Works used. (215/Rover) That SBC would also be period correct I think but it seems you'd need to detune it or maybe build a 265. IF you are building the engine from scratch obviously you have a lot more choices than if not. There are plenty of engines you can pull from a junked car and use as-is. How do you balance cost, weight, efficiency, power, and such against more esoteric considerations?

It's tough. When I did my B back in the early 80's I had a lot less help than you do today. I thought about the 2.8L V6-60 (3.1 and 3.4 were not yet made), the rotary, and the Buick 215, all of which were less than ideal. I settled on the 215, but knowing what I do now I might very well have used the SBC. Or possibly the Buick 300. (I had no idea how much of a non-consideration the extra weight really was, and I wouldn't listen about it either.) If I was doing it today I would probably try to get one of the new direct injected Chevy V8 engines. But that's not a TF either. On that I'd try to keep the power level more reasonable.

To me, the real dividing line technologically is direct injection. Anything after that is not going to be interchangeable with anything before. Everything before is upgradeable to the level just prior to direct injection. So if you are going for a truly modern powerplant you need to be looking at DI. If not and you don't plan to build the engine, something recent, and they are all pretty much interchangeable. Might as well get something with a good transmission that is readily available, that is probably a bigger concern than which exact engine. If you build it, you can have pretty much whatever you want.

Jim

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
I tend to agree with you, Jim. I should care about what I want, not what the next buyer may or may not want. I've got a '67 Midget with a 289 in it, but I don't even drive it. I like something a little less ordinary, and the TF is a lot less ordinary. I think I'm going to look for a late model something that's already been built. I've got enough projects going on as it is. If someone could stuff a small block Chevy in a T-series back in the sixties, I can find something smaller with more power today. I don't think space is going to be a problem.

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
Not space as such. What you will run into are specific issues. For example, width at the pan rail (clearance for exhaust), overall height (hood and crossmember clearance), length (firewall and crossmember/steering clearance) and carb/intake clearance, distributor clearance, starter clearance, clutch arm, and so forth. Usually best to get something with the intake opposite the steering rather than next to it but it depends.

The 3.4L V6-60 is a very versatile choice and should probably be on your list. You should probably also consider the Gen-III Buick V6. There are too many potential 4 cylinders to mention. You can find basic engine dimensions online with a search easily enough. Are you comfortable with EFI and engine controls?

If you could pick a particular engine as being one that has either already established itself as an iconic engine or is certain to do so, that choice would tend to make the car more valuable. Don't know if the 3.4 will make the grade there or not. It's usually indicated by a ton of aftermarket support (which the 3.4 really doesn't have and I'm not sure how many import engines do.) Obviously the SBC and SBF fit this category as well as the Buick V6 and the Rover/SBB but there are many more and some of the big 4 cylinders have made a real name in racing so they are worth looking at if they will fit. There is a big Mercruiser (Half of a 460) and a Chevy used in Spring cars for instance. If you take a little time sorting it all out it'll cut down on the likelihood of later wishing you'd done it differently. You are not strictly limited to North/South configurations but with the FWD watch the starter mounting and availability of rwd transmissions. Also some engines are reverse rotation (Honda?).

Jim

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
Hmm... the reverse rotation hadn't occurred to me. I'm familiar with the other dimension/location issues. They can be a pain to figure out, but better on paper than ad-libbing it as you go. I'd prefer minimal use of the hot wrench... or none, ideally. I'm not well-versed on all the computer stuff, and I really don't like it. I'm more old-school, but there are certainly a lot of advantages to going high tech. If I go that route, I'll probably buy a late model car that's been totaled, and pull everything, including the wiring harnesses and computers. It doesn't have to be state-of-the-art, just a lot more drivable and easy to work on.

BMC Avatar
BMC Gold Member Brian Mc Cullough
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA   USA
You know that moment when you give a Two page write up in a forum and then accidentally delete it? Yeah, that just happened. I gave what i would think was a nice write up. Steam rolling out my ears.


Short and to the point-

Stock engine with a roller camshaft (rather than supercharger but about the same results!) add a 5-speed, different rear end gear ratio and a few other ad ons.

B series engine. MGA/MGB. 5-speed or MGA/early MGB gearbox. rear axle gearing for sure.

V6 engine. Long list, lots of stuff.

Any T series car is not a great car over 65 MPH.

With the exception of completing a V6 in a T series, we have done all of the above. The V6 might come but I am a quasi-purist and am not sure that the 0-60 is that important in a T series and the capability of travelling at 80 MPH on the freeway in a TD/TF is fine but I would rather do those speeds in an MGA, MGB or even an MG Midget.


I don't cuss but when you dedicate 30 minutes to a write up and then hit the wrong button, you might start to think about it. GRRR, mad at myself.

I am glad to tell you but I only have so much writing at the computer I can take. If you want, call me this evening, I might be up for a while!

-BMC.


Member Services:
Minnesota's only Fully Dedicated British Classic only shop providing Professional Restoration & Services & Specialty Products including- proper L.E.D. tail lights, Wiring looms and Engine and five speed Conversion Kits
Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
In reply to # 3160835 by BMC You know that moment when you give a Two page write up in a forum and then accidentally delete it? Yeah, that just happened. I gave what i would think was a nice write up. Steam rolling out my ears.


Short and to the point-

Stock engine with a roller camshaft (rather than supercharger but about the same results!) add a 5-speed, different rear end gear ratio and a few other ad ons.

B series engine. MGA/MGB. 5-speed or MGA/early MGB gearbox. rear axle gearing for sure.

V6 engine. Long list, lots of stuff.

Any T series car is not a great car over 65 MPH.

With the exception of completing a V6 in a T series, we have done all of the above. The V6 might come but I am a quasi-purist and am not sure that the 0-60 is that important in a T series and the capability of travelling at 80 MPH on the freeway in a TD/TF is fine but I would rather do those speeds in an MGA, MGB or even an MG Midget.


I don't cuss but when you dedicate 30 minutes to a write up and then hit the wrong button, you might start to think about it. GRRR, mad at myself.

I am glad to tell you but I only have so much writing at the computer I can take. If you want, call me this evening, I might be up for a while!

-BMC.

<lost posts> Don't you just hate that? It's happened to me more times than I care to think about. Internet Explorer has "stopped working" a lot lately, and when it does, bye-bye post!

I have no idea what my 0-60 time is with this car. I'm not even sure if I've ever seen 60, because the tach and speedo both start flailing around wildly when I get anywhere near that figure. I'm going to spend New Year's day doing a compression check and adding phenolic carb spacers, because my car didn't come with any, and I've been having vapor (vapour?) lock problems as well. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the valve seats are shot. I don't need the car to be a race car, but I would like to be able to keep up with traffic.

I recently saw an MG TF 1500 sell on eBay for a few grand less than normal, but that's because someone had put a 1500 B-series engine in it. I could do something like that, but slightly better. I have an 18GB block in my garage that's going to be going into my MGA. along with a T-9 tranny. I could put the 1600 in the TF, but I'm thinking if I bother to make a switch, I might as well go with something a little more powerful and refined.

For now, I've sorted out all the problems the MGA had, and it's a good reliable daily driver. It'll be a lot nicer with the 5-speed, though. The TF currently has no use for a 5-speed. It never goes fast enough to use a fifth gear. I'm anxious to see what kind of compression I have tomorrow. I know these cars have a reputation for being slow... I just don't know how slow is "normal" slow. A simple valve job might do wonders.

BMC Avatar
BMC Gold Member Brian Mc Cullough
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA   USA
Any carb engine that needs a valve job needs an engine rebuild. An XPAG engine that needs to be rebuilt will be costly. If your going that far, look into the roller cam. If you just rebuild the head, your gong to have a oil burner more often than not and it will do nothing for power.

-BMC.


Member Services:
Minnesota's only Fully Dedicated British Classic only shop providing Professional Restoration & Services & Specialty Products including- proper L.E.D. tail lights, Wiring looms and Engine and five speed Conversion Kits
Ralph 7h Avatar
Ralph 7h Ralph Siebenhaar
Viersen, Germany   DEU
Jim,

the Volvo B20 and the 4-speed Volvo M40 gearbox from a P1800 E or a 142/144/145 from 1972 to 1974 can be used without cutting anything. The gearbox has a shifter extension that puts the stick in the right position. The 142... of this years had a cable operated clutch that can be adopted to the original TD-F pedal box. With MGB rear axle and brakes, you can use 15" TR 2-4 wheels or wires. Instruments trom a P1800 E can be used.
The Pictures below show Volvo B20 engines in a TF.

Ralph


Attachments:
DSCN1877.jpg    37.4 KB
DSCN1877.jpg

4691106.jpg    28 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
mg td b18 engine dashboard instruments.jpg    55.4 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
B20 limahalter 2.jpg    44.2 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
Ralph 7h Avatar
Ralph 7h Ralph Siebenhaar
Viersen, Germany   DEU
A few other pics for you... even with an Alfa Romeo DCOE aluminium engine and Getrag 5-speed boxsmileys with beer


Attachments:
$(KGrHqN,!mEFGw5!e6u4BRt3kkl8CQ~~60_57.jpg    42.3 KB
$(KGrHqN,!mEFGw5!e6u4BRt3kkl8CQ~~60_57.jpg

88780-500-0.jpg    36.9 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
britfest-12-107.jpg    66.3 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
britfest-12-108.jpg    55.5 KB
Sign In or Register to view this photo
. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions




Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster