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

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V8MGBV8 Avatar
V8MGBV8 Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN, USA   USA
I might be 6'1" with gravity taking its toll. I have spent quite a few hours driving my dad's other sports car ('02 Miata SE). I am cramped & uncomfortable on long drives. I much prefer my MGB & the extra room in the cockpit. I do love the way that Miata handles.

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Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
In reply to # 3162586 by V8MGBV8 I might be 6'1" with gravity taking its toll. I have spent quite a few hours driving my dad's other sports car ('02 Miata SE). I am cramped & uncomfortable on long drives. I much prefer my MGB & the extra room in the cockpit. I do love the way that Miata handles.

...and works? I think the main reason I like my MGA and TF better, is looks, and the fact that everybody and his brother isn't still driving one.

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
Marvin, that is a beautiful conversion.

I love the way that engine looks snuggled down in the engine compartment. It just looks like it belongs there. I don't think there is anything that looks as perfect with that body style, it really is the classic, exactly what you hope to see when you lift the hood, bringing an immediate smile to your face. Anything else is just a little bit of a disappointment.

So how do you feel after having lived with the car? Did it meet your hopes? Would you do it over? How did it work out for drive-ability and living with the car? Do you like the performance, the mileage, the handling, does it drip on the floor, stuff like that?

Really sharp. Can we see more pictures? Can we talk you into doing a "How-it was Done" on BritishV8?

Jim

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ohlord Avatar
ohlord Gold Member Rob C
North of Seattle, N.W., USA   USA
1957 Land Rover Series I "EYEYIYI"
1971 MG MGB
1971 MG MGB "Bedouin 2"
1933 J2 with



"I'm a long way gone down this wild road I'm on
It's gonna take me where I'm bound
It's a long way around"



"These are the days that must happen to you"

RD2 Radar/ Electronic Warfare Technician
Vietnam 1969-1972


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1933 J2.JPG

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frankstrongoli Avatar
frankstrongoli Frank Strongoli III
Fort Collins, CO, USA   USA
1966 Cadillac DeVille
1968 MG MGB GT "Wassabi"
1973 MG MGB GT "Firefly"
1984 Chevrolet S10
It's in a TD not a TF but the MGB engine with the Moss 5 speed kit works reasonably well.


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TD6.jpg

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
That flathead looks nice in there! It's more of an old-school hotrod approach. Tell me he's not using a crash box for a tranny...

I'm kind of torn between doing a major mod, or just trying to squeeze more HP out of the stock XPAG. When I hear all the stories about broken crankshafts, I don't see anything that makes sense economically. Five grand for a supercharger to get an extra 20-25 HP and maybe break the crank doesn't seem like a good option, and the Moss crank is another three grand. The engine that's in the car now isn't the one it came with... the numbers are different. I don't know how much that matters to most collectors, but I imagine that's at least a minor hit on originality to a finicky buyer. Anybody have any ideas on how much an engine swap would hurt me on resale value? I'm guessing 3 or 4 grand.

Mustangsix Avatar
Mustangsix Gold Member Jack Collins
Orlando, FL, USA   USA
In reply to # 3163285 by Checkmate .....Anybody have any ideas on how much an engine swap would hurt me on resale value? I'm guessing 3 or 4 grand.

Or maybe not. Two different kinds of buyers at play here. A buyer looking for originality would likely dismiss an engine-swap car altogether. The guy looking for a fun driver might pay a premium for a very well executed swap like the Volvo or Flatheads we've seen here. A v8-60 swap might add $5k or more (that's not a cheap engine to build).

Personally, I think the B-series makes pretty good sense. Easy to find, not that expensive. Looks the part with all the MG logos and has the same heritage. Even a stock 1800 B-series effectively nearly doubles the TF's hp, and with OD or 5 spd plus an MGB rear it would have legs to go 80mph without any issue. I would swap the MGB front spindles and brakes too.

It can be made to look very clean and factory-like and without much surgery to the body or scuttle. Hydraulic clutch conversion is likely the biggest effort, but all this has been done before.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-04 08:54 AM by Mustangsix.


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Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
> Tell me he's not using a crash box for a tranny...

I think he said he was using a T5.

Jim

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
I think you're exactly right on the two kinds of buyers, Jack. I started driving back in the sixties, mostly TR3's. It wasn't uncommon at all to see swaps in the Big Healeys, and Jaguars with 350 Chevys in them due to the notorious problems with the Jag engines. I had a friend with a T-series powered by a 350, and that thing was crazy fast... until it literally puked spider gears all over the road one day. I saw a TF 1500 go for 3-4 grand less than normal, while checking the "sold" listings. I was cursing my luck for missing it, because it went for probably 3-4 grand less than "normal," but then I noticed that the 1500 that was in it was a B-series. Hell, if you're going to do that, why use the smallest displacement of the B series, when a slightly modified 18GB would be much quicker and take no worse of a hit on originality than the wrong 1500 engine?

geezer Avatar
geezer Silver Member charles durning
Magee, MS, USA   USA
1958 MG Magnette ZB "Chick Magnette (sold)"
1967 Morris Minor 1000 Saloon (2-door) "Marvin"
1974 MG MGB GT "Foghorn Leghorn"
These guys have an interesting resource for modern engine swaps. Though I really like the v-8 60 Ford engines. Nothing sounds as sweet as a flat head.

http://www.quad4rods.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=17

Mustangsix Avatar
Mustangsix Gold Member Jack Collins
Orlando, FL, USA   USA
I really like the Duratec/Ecotec/Zetec but think there's a vintage appeal to using something like a B-series MG, a B18/20 Volvo, a flathead, or even an old Alfa engine. They seem to suit the character of a TD/TF better than one of the newer DOHC engines.


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Edd Weninger Avatar
Arizona or SoCal, Overgaard AZ or H. Bch. CA, USA   USA
I think a Rover aluminum V8 in the TF would be a nice ride. Sorta parallel to the Morgan 8s.

The 3.5 L with LT77 5-speed weighs less than the B series and Volvo B18 with tranny. It can be built in mild-to-wild configurations up to 5.0 L.

Can be fitted with a simple, but competent and reliable 14CUX EFI for a more modern touch. Use an MGB 3.9 rear axel, plenty strong for a mild 3.5 L. build.

MGB front discs and MGB drum rears would work fine for a street ride.

Just described my '77 MGB.


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MGB small.jpg

Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
In reply to # 3163582 by Edd Weninger
Use an MGB 3.9 rear axel, plenty strong for a mild 3.5 L. build.

MGB front discs and MGB drum rears would work fine for a street ride.

Just described my '77 MGB.

That brings up a good question: Is the MGB axle the same width, including spring perches? Which is stronger... banjo or tube-type? I know the T-series axles aren't terribly strong.

BMC Avatar
BMC Gold Member Brian Mc Cullough
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA   USA
In reply to # 3163285 by Checkmate Five grand for a supercharger to get an extra 20-25 HP and maybe break the crank doesn't seem like a good option, and the Moss crank is another three grand.

Going back to part of my writing that probably did NOT make it (Dohh!) I would look into the Roller camshaft which is supposed to add about the same amount of power as a supercharger, has less pressure on the engine and costs Less than Half that of the supercharger.

The rear axle- something else I wrote about and was mistakenly deleted...

You can swap out to 6 different rear axles, I don't recall if spring perches are in the same location but if you need some, we sell a really nice replacement spring perch set for the MGB.

MGA has many different gear ratios and brakes that are not as nice as the MGB but the MGA has two different rear axles:
wire and disc wheel axles. Not as good of brakes plus not as high of rear end gear ratio but would work.

MGB 62-67 banjo axle 3.909:1 ratio (others available)
wire
disc

MGB 1968-80 Salisbury axle 3.909:1 ratio (others available)
This axle is heavier and NOT required for the power produced by any XPAG or B series engine for the way you will drive the light MG TF.
wire
disc

If your car is a wire wheel car, I would still go for a disc axle and then, depending on the axle, place adapters on it for wire wheels. This gets a bit complex.

If your car is a solid (disc) wheel car, this gets complex for wheels in a different way.

Note: Wire vs. disc axles are different widths. I believe a wire wheel MGA/B rear axle is narrower than a TD/TC axle but i have not measured them.

-BMC.


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Checkmate Avatar
Checkmate Jim R
None, Left Coast, USA   USA
Yes, the wire wheel axle for the MGA is 7/8" narrower. I just put one in mine last year. I'd prefer to use an MGB wire wheel axle, because I have wires on the car now. Quite honestly, I'm halfway tempted to just sell the TF and be done with it. I knew they weren't very fast, but the performance is still disappointing, and there are a lot of hills around where I live.

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