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1977 GT Restoration project

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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
I got that Lower B post section finished today. This little panel really took some effort in getting it fit nicely. After forcing its profile to correspond accurately with the quarter panel, I had to insert an extra section to bridge a gap left on my original joint - I decreased its radius, thus creating a gap from where I’d scribed onto the cars door pillar or B post.

I also had to cut out a section of the lip on this little panel and add a piece that was 5mm deeper as it wouldn’t marry up to the existing panel on the car - well very almost and it would be hidden with the door seal fitted, but I didn’t like it, so carried out an hours worth of extra fiddling to make it right.

What I was pleased with, was the lip we added onto the rear quarter panel repair section met up very nicely for the plug welds onto this B pillar item.

As a summary for fitting these two panels, the rear lower quarter panel can be seam welded around the existing edge around the lower door area if sound, or the lip added as we have here which was straightforward enough. The little B pillar is a real challenging little thing. I very almost binned this one today in order to make one from scratch - adding extra steel on two sections isn’t ideal on such a small panel.

Harvey has been busy loading pictures and listings of parts from the Rover 820 on EBay today. I listed a pair of perfect front wings from it last Sunday, which have now sold so any funds from that will go straight into his MGB.

I’ve started making mounting plates for the roll cage today too, so will update on that short

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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"
So you weren't tempted to "fill" the seam between that little curve and the kick plate? I know not OEM but I liked the look and combined with filling both gaps either end of the sill I have a one-piece.



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 VW Golf flared guards, flush fit front and rear valances with front guards immovable. Front and rear seams removed,Torana XU1 vents, frenched indicators front & Mk1 rear lights. Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimaera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. All new interior with MrMikes covers on MX5 seats. Retro4 7x15 rims (zero offset) and 205/55 rubber. Colour: Jaguar Storm. Not for sale - it's my sanity!

Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Nope, wasn’t tempted to weld and fill that joint in....

I ran out of gas for the Mig today, but got a front pair of brackets made for bolting the roll bar onto. Never fitted one of these before and it’s just a road going car, so we’re not complying with any particular regulations. This old roll bar fits well and previously bolted into another GT that got scrapped, so we made some plates with captivated nuts that weld onto the top of the inner sill.

Using a paper template which suits either side - would be worried if there was any difference really, got traced around with a marker pen onto some 3mm steel sheet. This needed dishing slightly to match the curve on top of the sill, so big hammer had an outing today. I have some M10 weld-on threaded tube inserts that are 20mm diameter, so plug welded these to the underside of this plate as captivated nuts. The reason for using these was I could just drill out a round hole in the top of the cars inner sill for these to slot into nicely.

The plates that got cut out, sit over the sill and are plug, plus also seam welded around making a firm anchor point for the cage or roll bar to bolt up to.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-16 11:40 AM by Mark Burton.

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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
We had a day in the workshop this week and pulled the T Series engine that will be going into the MGB out of the Rover. (Yey Graham)

The automatic gearbox and front water pump housing are now removed, so we’ll get it ready for mocking up in the parts car soon. Not only is the front water pump assembly a little too large for fitment into the MGB, it also utilises the points which need using for engine mountings so it really does have to go. Harvey picked up a load of bits for this conversion some time ago, which also includes a decent electric water pump too.

I want to get a head start on this, so when the shells ready for taking the engine, it will be ready for dropping in. There will be a few more posts about this and then I’m back on panel work.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Here’s the Backplate on the Rover T Series engine. The crankshaft oil seal is the same diameter as the MGB type, but is housed or contained separately from the plate. We’ve had a good look at how best to adapt the MGB backplate onto the Rover and although a couple of mountings are in exactly the same location, one would be best welded up before being re-drilled. Also, the upper right part of the MGB plate doesn’t reach a fixing point, so short of welding a tab on and milling it flat it may be just as easy to make a new one from scratch.

As I may have mentioned before, Harvey has access to milling kit at school and he can use this exercise as part of his coursework, so this is the route we will likely take. We will also replace the Rover crank seal and keep that as a separate thing too - it’s fixings are smaller diameter threaded holes in the block and an additional seal on its joint face looks more favourable.

There are also location dowels on the back of the Rover engine, so we (or Harvey can) accurately transfer points from the Rover plate and incorporate what is needed for the MGB starter motor and bolting up the gearbox.

This engine was in an automatic car and we found the flywheel to be much smaller diameter than the MGB or manual T Series, which are both the same size. The gear ring also has slightly different teeth on the Rover, so an MGB starter motor can’t be used if we where to use that. So, with the automatic flywheel being smaller, so is the diameter of the reluctor ring on the back for which the crank sensor picks up from. A result from this is that the mounting of the crank sensor is right against the engine block, with plenty of clearance away from the Starter Motor.

Next job, we will swap over the sump for a rear wheel drive type and also fit the corresponding oil pick up pipe too.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-29 05:13 PM by Mark Burton.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
The first picture below shows the engine sat upright on its backplate. The oil pick up pipe from the Rover engine can be seen, as per its original front wheel drive orientation. The second shows a rear wheel drive type fitted which is further back. This bolted straight on and the bearing cap conveniently had a tapped hole just waiting for it.

The last picture shows the difference in the RWD sump now fitted, with the original transverse type sump at the side for comparison. I picked a scrap Land Rover engine up for little money, so these parts came in handy and are a direct fit. There will very likely be some modification to the MGB crossmember for clearance around the sump and front engine pulley, but we will address that once the gearbox is mounted.

The alternator on the Land Rover is mounted on the same side as the MGB, whereas the FWD Rover variants are housed on the left hand side amongst the water & power steering pump assembly. I have an ‘O’ series alternator bracket, but this landrover item may prove more useful - we will find out later on I guess.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Looking at the engine backplate again here - we picked up bits and pieces over the last year, which included a Sherpa backplate. You can’t beat a bit of forward planning can you. As previous installations using this type of engine have already shown, this plate lines up precisely with all of the fixing points at the back of the T Series engine block, as it does with the O Series. The picture below is the scrap engine, which is proving useful to have laying around. The crankshaft bearing seal, also conveniently lines up as one would expect, so this gives a perfect template for reference if adapting the MGB (which we aren’t) or making a new one (which we are).

It also corresponds with the tappings for the crankshaft oil seal, so after laying this over the MGB which coincidentally has them in exactly the same location, we can use this plate for referencing the MGB’s gearbox mounting holes and starter motor position.

Not such a daunting thing at all, but we’ll see how it fits up.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
What better thing to do on New Years Day, but clean 40 years worth of gunge from the MGB gearbox. Without doing this, we’d get filthy bolting it up onto the Rover engine and it needs doing in any case. I didn’t get a picture of what it looked like before I started, so here it is after a good degrease with a couple of litres of Jizer. Not used this for years, but what a fantastic product.

I have a large aluminium oil catchment tray, so sat the gearbox upright in there to contain the mess. Pouring some Jizer into an atomiser made application easier and a good paintbrush helped move the greasy, black, oily coating on the gearbox. A light rinse off with the hosepipe and then a dry off with an airline had it looking loads better.

We’ll change the seals and re-furbish the crossmember later on, but this is much better for working on. The nooks and crannies cleaned up a treat.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
While I was at it, I thought I’d tidy the bellhousing finish up. There had been some splattering of that lovely bitumin type underseal on the casting, so I removed that with some cellulose or spray gun thinners. You could still see evidence of this, so I applied some alloy wheel cleaner (nasty stuff) and again rinsed the gearbox off.

Using a brass wire wheel at low speed over a cast aluminium finish, doesn’t leave swirl marks as you’d get from a steel wheel and the finish isn’t far off what you’d get from vapour blasting. These wheels are hollow to the centre, so are good for encapsulating nuts and bolts to give a gentle clean up. Nice, even finish that I’ve given a dusting with WD45. It will dull down again, but the finish is consistent and the WD45 protects the surface.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Engine back plate should be finished this next week, so I’m back onto panel work again this weekend.

In the meantime, does anyone know exactly which filler caps and where are the following example on the images are sourced from? I’ve seen similar on Car Builder Solutions and various other suppliers, but it would be great if anyone on here knew which these are. I think they’re a 3.5” monza cap (yes, they’re expensive aren’t they). We don’t need one just yet, but I’d like to mount one to the rear pillar and get the hole cut out before getting epoxy primer on at Easter time.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
The engine back plate is nearly done now, so in preparation for having an engine and gearbox ready for dropping in we did some work on that donor front end.

This doesn’t sit quite level on the floor and rocks a bit, so Harvey cut up some heavy wall round tube and I welded it onto the tops of each inner sill. The tube then projects over where we had cut through the sills and they then sit nicely into a pair of axle stands. Dropping a spirit level across this indicates we are nice and level. I’ll later place a short spirit level across the bottom of the sump when we get to that stage so we can be precise in making the engine brackets.

We did similar at the front end, but also needed something the engine crane could manoeuvre around, plus allow removal of the front crossmember as that will be on and off a few times I’m sure. Again, placing a spirit level across the front chassis legs was used to set this up accurately. Harvey did a bit of welding on this - he’s not bad on heavier gauge steel, so this was a good practise.

A quick dummy run to see how the spare T16 engine would go in, went smoothly. I know roughly where it sits from looking at other pictures, but the engine plates look straight forward enough to make. I’ve had a think about how to get these looking like ‘standard brackets’ so will pick up some 4mm plate.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
The front crossmember met my cutting disc earlier today. This isn’t a ‘how-to’ guide for anyone else to replicate, this is just how we’re doing it. Call that my disclaimer if you like, but I’ve seen some terrible butchery on crossmember modifications to clear alternative engines.

We worked out that approximately 65mm needed removing from the top section, as can be seen on the first picture. This leaves the height of the crossmember, between the chassis legs at 40mm if measuring the upper section - it’s spot welded to a bottom plate.

Rather than cutting down vertically with square or right angled edges, I’ve run swept angles with also a curve to the lower edge. I think this will be stronger as there’s no point at which it could kink or flex. It’s unlikely it could do this in any case as the 4 x bolts anchoring the crossmember to the chassis leg with keep it sturdy, however I think this is the better way of doing it.

The third picture shows an open section within the crossmember, just below each chassis leg area. I’ve made a pair of blanking plates that fit snug inside here and are now fully seam welded in place. These plates are shown on the last picture..... I had to contour around the drain holes in the bottom section at either end, which was fun with 3mm plate. This probably isn’t necessary at all, but its a nicer job (you won’t ever know or see them though). The purpose for these is I will be adding gussets running internally and diagonally within the crossmember. These plates give a good anchor for adding extra rigidity, so that’s my reasoning behind it.

I’ll show how Im doing this in the next post, which will be next weekend.


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tampaguy Avatar
tampaguy Jack Shea
Elgin, OR, USA   USA
Mark let me begin by saying that you do outstanding work ! People don’t comment because they are probably just jealous of your abilities. Is that your son helping you ? I can’t wait to see the project completed...Jack

Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Thanks for the kind words Jack. Yes, my son is helping as it’s actually his car. He sold his motocross bike in order to buy the car we started with back in May 2017. He’s still at school but has bought all the parts we’ve used after getting a part time job. It’s his 17th birthday at Easter and he’s itching to get the MGB finished, but realistically it will be late summer 2020 when it’s ready. Plenty of expense to come once the bodyshell is painted too.

We’re planning a road trip over to Monaco or Nurburgring in it once finished and then it’ll be his weekend car.

I’m enjoying doing it with him - it’s good time together.

BrsMgbv6 Avatar
BrsMgbv6 Bryan Heidtman
SW ohio, USA   USA
1976 MG MGB V6 Conversion "Uknown Cost"
really is some metalcraft finesse, (and everything else!) you guy's have going on there.

nice thread and thanks for taking the time to document and share!

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