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Help me decide my conversion

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Colin C Avatar
Colin C Colin C.
Elkton, MD, USA   USA
Hello Everyone,
I have been reading this thread a lot lately and I have got to say there is a wealth of knowledge here and that is why I need your help. Since you guys are the experts I was hoping to tell you what I want out of a conversion and get your input in what best fits my needs.
I am looking for these things in a conversion
1. Around 150 to 250 HP possible more
2 Decent gas mileage
3 I have around 5,000 to do the bulk of the conversion (Motor, trans, conversion kit)
4 Easily attainable parts
5 Automatic would be ideal (Just retired from army and 20 yrs of abuse to back and knees means automatic driven lots stick occasionally with a handful of Ibuprofen)
6 Least amount of modifications
I realize not all this is most likely possible but it is a wish list. I've been a mechanic for about 30yrs, 10 before and 20 with the Army. It will be going in a 79 MGB. Also I have an 8.8 posi, disc brake rear end out of an 87 tbird and would like to use that if possible.
Any and all help would be appreciated.
Thank you all for your time and input

Colin C.

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Dwightt576 Dwight Taylor
02538, USA   USA
For your power goals, reliability, and ease of finding parts. The exact setup I want to do is NA K20/24 Honda engine mated up to a 6spd Miata transmission. Pretty sure they also offer an auto. with the right combo of oem Honda parts you should get close to 250. KMiata already makes an adapter plate and flywheel to mate the two together. As far as it coming to taking measurements etc for the swap, I have no idea, but I'd think it should fit.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-28 01:37 AM by Dwightt576.

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billymgb1000 Avatar
billymgb1000 Silver Member william gaulin
harrisville, harrisville RI, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB
1974 MG MGB V8 Conversion "Sweet Thing"
Hello and welcome to the Dark Side my Army brother. What you want to do can be done a lot of ways. I too have a wrecked back, so I have a auto in mine. I went with a 2001 4.8 LS from a 2001 silverado pickup. Got rid of the computer and bolted a 1986 turbo 350 to it lots of HP (325) or so. And lots of fun. Anyways you should go to britishv8.org check out the how it was done section and really look at what they did and I think that will help you decide. I think all of us have our favorite set up and it's up to you to decide what you want. Keep us informed on what you do and don't be afraid to ask questions. Good luck.
Bill G

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Mustangsix Avatar
Mustangsix Gold Member Jack Collins
Orlando, FL, USA   USA
I think the HP goals and the automatic point to a V6 conversion. With a 700-R4 you can keep the stock rear end for now, simplifying the build and the stock brakes are really good just as they are.

This would be a fairly quick and easy swap and there's a ton of support on this forum and the aftermarket to make it as wild as you want down the road.


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Ceres Motorsports specializes in the repair, restoration, and customization of classic British cars including MG, Triumph, and many other makes.
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NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
Quote: I have around 5,000 to do the bulk of the conversion (Motor, trans, conversion kit)

Least amount of modifications

This puts you in the 3.4 V6 out of the Camaro. Meets all of your requirements. Requires no innovation (no fun in my world) and if you stay away from vendors and DIY everything you could possibly stay on budget. Realistically, most swaps eat a hole in 10k without too much trouble. The nickle and dime stuff in a swap is hard to believe until you have been through the experience!



There are other options that might arguably be "better" but your budget and your desire to not do a lot of fabrication eliminate any that I know of.


Pete

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BMC Avatar
BMC Gold Member Brian Mc Cullough
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA   USA
First, as a newer poster- welcome to the MG Experience!

I agree $5k is a very tight budget. Whatever we think we should budget for is about 20 years too late, that's what I'm finding with home projects, car projects and everything else.... Whatever I want to spend is the Perfect amount for about that many years ago.

As a Vendor, I would say what Pete said: "if you stay away from vendors and DIY everything you could possibly stay on budget" has some merit, but as a Vendor and Enthusiast, I would still say- talk to me and get a list according to your requirements. Education before beginning a project is the best way to not sell it for next to scrap prices on craigslist! I see very few projects that started with our products end up on craigslist, but those that don't start through us are more apt to end up on CL because they didn't bother to learn what it really takes.

Can you, here in 2019, build your car for less than $5k?

For an LS, Rover, or Ford: Maybe but it will be an up the wrong side of the mountain battle- which is no problem when you have a heated/air conditioned, well lit and VERY clean shop.... that has no less than $50,000 in tools and equipment in it. A craigslist welder on its last leg under a 60w bulb in your tiny apartment one stall garage with a hammer and a adjustable wrench? Well, your better skilled than I am! :-)

For a 3.4L with an automatic- if you know exactly what you need up front then yes, perhaps you can if you fully educate before purchasing a single bolt!

Is that Ford axle in the $5k budget? Chances are NO. That can be done as a phase 2, but likely it really is unneeded.

Also, not knowing whether you have a 1965 or 1978 MGB, as of the moment, I couldn't tell you if you have a cooling system that's perfect or will need replacement, if the engine bay sheet metal is going to need a little or no adjustments, if the tunnel will be a fight to fit an automatic or fairly easy, if the rear axle will hold the power for 5,000 or 500,000 miles, and so on.

Here is a photo album. Most of these are averaging 30+ mpg, can hold a very high freeway travel speed (and do it extremely comfortably for hours if you keep your exhaust quiet= fast engines do not need to prove they are fast by loud exhaust!) and freeway and around town are Very fun to drive:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/bmcautos/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10153925012015838

If you are interested in learning about the DIY parts of the 3.4L, call me so we can discuss a lot about your project and you can decide how much you want to build, alter, or which direction you will go.

-BMC.



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Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
Hi Colin, and welcome. Your goals are reasonable. The '79 MGB is a great conversion candidate and will need little if any modification. Your T-Bird axle should work once it has been narrowed but may require removal or modification of the battery box.

Your goals put you solidly into 300 Buick territory, specifically the hp target and the automatic. The V6 has an automatic but is towards the lower end of the range, fitting the Rover with an auto is problematical, and the 302 swap is costly because of the need to buy the kit. With the 300 you will have to do some searching and make your own motor mounts but the 2004r (overdrive 4 speed w/lockup) transmission bolts right up and should fit in the tunnel with minor bumping if any. (This tranny also has very good gear ratios, unlike the 700r4).

With alloy heads and intake this engine is 50lbs heavier than the 1800 which will be offset by the heavier axle. You can use the iron head engine as well, that costs you an additional 50 lbs. Best of all, 300 Buick engines are cheap. You can buy one with low mileage for under $500 if you take the time to look. The 2bbl version has 9:1 compression making it quite usable and solidly in your target range. So that engine, at the cheap end of the spectrum gives you plenty of overhead for future upgrades. Finally, unlike the Rovers, the 300 was renowned for durability.

The engine will easily fit under the hood. Terry Senneker's '69 has no bulge or scoop and you have an inch more clearance than his does.

Jim

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BMC Avatar
BMC Gold Member Brian Mc Cullough
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA   USA
I missed this is a 1979. Good to know.

Which-ever engine is used, it cannot be Properly rebuilt for reliability -and- keep the entire project kept under $5,000.

If headers, wiring, mounts and everything are built without outside assistance, than a driveline could be built for less, but it is really tough keeping things to $5,000 at this point. I advise knowing all your items up front- every nut and bolt planned ahead.

As far as the rear axle- that can't be in the phase 1 budget.

A Detroit diesel with enough time and free salvage yard parts can be built for under $1,000 and installed in an MGB... Not including welding supplies and all kinds of other 'hidden' costs.

-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
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Colin C Avatar
Colin C Colin C.
Elkton, MD, USA   USA
Brian,
I should have been clearer with the money. I have 5000.00 to spend on engine trans and a conversion kit for mock up. Once it is mocked up I will have them machined and or rebuilt accordingly. As for tools I have been a mechanic for 30yrs so I am fairly sure I got that end covered. As for fabrication work I have a Lincoln mig/tig welder, esab plasma cutter, 80 gallon 2 stage compressor, drill press, metal band saw and such in a 30x30 steel garage that is heated and air conditioned. I expect to put about 15,000 in the car over an 18-24 month period. All help will be appreciated and I will definitely be calling you later in the week. I appreciate the time and advice.

Thank you,
Colin C.

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NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
The secret to keeping the budget under $5000 is to go into total denial about the cost of the last 10% or the project! Works for me!

Here is a link to some inspiration and to keep you motivated I will include the tieline to complete the job!

https://2000challenge.com/

Quote: Think you can build an awesome car for just $2000? Fine, prove it—and have a fun weekend at the same time. The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge presented by CRC Industries sets the stage for some of the most spectacular budget builds you've ever seen. We're talking 9-second quarter-mile times and cars that could dominate your local autocross, each built on a $2000 budget.

When
October 18-19, 2019

I will be there so see ya then

Pete

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bleteaches6 Avatar
bleteaches6 Silver Member Lee Orphan
Bonney Lake, WA, USA   USA
Colin
The V6 auto route out of a 95 is pretty straight forward arrangement.
Brian can indeed get you set up with the bits that you will need.
Best of luck

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mjoeb Avatar
mjoeb joe doornenbal
scio, OR, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB "Magdalene"
That $2000 challenge looks like a blast!

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NOHOME P P
O, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
In reply to # 3900784 by mjoeb That $2000 challenge looks like a blast!

I am counting on it.

My ride: Volvo 760 with a Ford 302 and AOD gearbox. Hope to be one of the few who arrive and drive home under their own power.


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Rick Fawthrop Avatar
Rick Fawthrop Richard Fawthrop
Langley, WA, USA   USA
Colin, what do you like?
I like the Ford 289/302 swap. But am motivated by nostalgia.
I was playing with the small block Fords when I was a teenager.
And later became a Ford dealership tech.
So I like the early 289 and the 1989 era roller cam motors. Mustang GT and Lincoln LSC.
The GM. V6 is popular.
The LS swap has some appeal because it is current. I see more showing up at cars and coffee and other shows.

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Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd, Florence, KY, USA   USA
Bang for the buck, simplicity in the conversion, and time to completion are usually big concerns. The reason we are beginning to see more 300 conversions is because it ticks the boxes. BUT, first and foremost, of the options available, pick the engine you like best and then decide if the outlay is too much.

Jim

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