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1977 GT Restoration project

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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
As we’ve only got one grinder, this got done today. I’ve got little plates made to go inside the front crossmember so all being well, we will get that done tomorrow.

The first picture here is an engine backplate for a Sherpa (plate A). I taped off the holes we don’t need, but used the bolt and dowel pattern that matched the Rover T Series block and transferred these onto some 10mm steel plate. The crankshaft oil seal and surrounding bolt holes were perfect for then centering Plate B. This is the MGB backplate which we need the gearbox bolt pattern and also starter motor position from. As the top two gearbox bolts aren’t able to take a nut on the back of the engine plate, these need threading / tapping.

Plate C is the engine plate from the Rover front wheel drive arrangement. This gives the crank sensor position and also locking pin hole needed for service work such as later changing the cam belt. Referencing this onto the Sherpa engine bolt up holes, meant our new plate could have the cathedral door aperture then cut out.

You can see where the fixing points originated from as I referenced each as A, B or C at their approximate locations on the steel plate used for making a custom backplate.

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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Using a marker pen to follow the shape of the MGB backplate and also upper section from the Sherpa backplate gave something to roughly cut to with thin discs in the angle grinder - horrible job, but Harvey didn’t complain.

Leaving a few millimetres from that line meant we could bolt the MGB backplate and use that as an accurate template to grind up to. This wasn’t so bad to do, but I hand finished this with a large file and then ran over the edges with 80 grit sand paper to remove any marks.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Really pleased with this as each bolt fitted perfectly into each fixing and the gearbox connected onto the Rover engine like a treat. What Harvey will need to do though, is countersink or recess the bolts that secure the backplate onto the engine. It’s fine for where we are mocking up and even temporarily starting the motor in the MGB parts car, but this plate is 2mm thicker than the MGB equivelant and they where also recessed, so this will get done.

The gearbox is bolted up to a scrap engine, so I’ll be using this for making brackets to pick up the original MGB mountings. Should get thevfront crossmember braced tomorrow, so these can get started straight after.

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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Here’s the front crossmember with the supports I’ve added. It will need a few drain holes drilling through the bottom, but I’m quite happy with this. We will make a lid and close it up once the engine plates have been made to be sure of plenty of clearance. The top will get slots cut out above these gussets in order for me to weld onto them.

Engine is sat roughly in place and the gearbox crossmember is bolted up. Just need to determine its height and get it positioned accurately. We made cardboard templates for the engine brackets, which shouldn’t take too long to make so that’s the next job.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Engine plates day today, although Harvey was at work until 12.30 and I had a visitor this morning, so they’re not finished yet.

Anyway, the first job was to cut out and drill a pair of flat plates that will bolt up to the standard MGB mountings. I picked up some 6mm plate, which looked more suitable against what I intended using being 4mm. By the time I’ve fettled and sanded these down, they’ll probably be nearer 5mm.

Next job was to make a pair of plates which bolt up to the front 4 x engine mountings on the Rover engine. Harvey clamped both plates together and drilled them at the same time, so they’re identical - there’s a purpose for this. I’ve also allowed them to be slightly oversize on the width as I can trim thjem down once tacked up. On the chrome bumper MGB, these plates conveniently line up with where they need to be against the rubber engine mountings.

Harvey loosely bolted on the front wings to the scrap engine bay that we are mocking the engine into and also fitted the bonnet. We’re going to fit an MGC bonnet later, which will give some extra clearance so we raised the engine until it met and sat against the centre brace on the standard bonnet with its timing cover. We could retain the standard MGB bonnet by removing the brace, but it would look nicer with the (expensive) MGC type.

Setting this front end level on axle stands and the front frame we welded up makes this part easy. Centering the engine and then raising it to the limitations of the bonnet gave us the height it needed securing at. Placing a short spirit level on the engine plates bolted to either side allowed us to wedge it plumb and this is where we are now. The cam pulleys are also level, so this was handy for resting the spirit level.

Both engine plates meet up on either side to the chassis mountings, with an even clearance and same angle - I wasn’t so sure how symetrical the cars fixings would be, but they’re spot on. This was why we made the two plates identical as this would show any variation.

Tomorrow will show how the plates will go together, so rather than try and explain now, I’ll post pictures when they’re finished.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-09 01:21 PM by Mark Burton.


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offroad4ever Avatar
offroad4ever Silver Member Chuck W.
Willamette Valley, OR, USA   USA
1979 MG MGB
Fun to watch this project, thanks for posting!



79 LE w/OD, HS 4 SU's,
D9, Schlemmerized Dist.

Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
With the engine sat in place we could get the welder out and tack in a middle section of steel to join the plates bolted on the engine block and Standard MGB rubber mountings.

Unbolting either bracket and then placing onto a workbench meant we could weld them up properly. As this is reasonably thick plate that I want to grind welds flush, I made ‘V’ type grooves on each joint. This ensures penetration and the joint isn’t weak when you fettle them back.

I thought I’d put a return edge onto the upper section where it curves down to the area that bolts to the block and also fitted a gusset to the middle of that part. They’re really sturdy and not too heavy, so another job done here.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Both brackets are identical in length, height and angles but just handed. The last picture shows one of the brackets on the good engine as it gives a better idea how they fit. They cleaned up nicely an we’re happy how these worked out.

Just need to finish fettling the left hand bracket and we can move on to the next job.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Something else we needed to consider while making these was an alternator mounting. The scrap Land Rover T Series engine came with an independent bracket assembly with also a belt tensioner and idler wheel. Alas, there’s not enough room for this in the MGB, which is a shame.

I cut off the upper section from this cast aluminium bracket and trimmed it up. This bolts up nicely and will still make a good mounting for the alternator. That said, we may need to machine this in order for it to sit closer to the side of the engine block as the bottom of the alternator will catch the inner wing. Plan is to make a manual type tensioner as on the MGB. It’s either that, or we get a compact / slimmer alternator. Trimming the bracket to keep the standard unit sounds more favourable, so I’ll spend a bit of time looking at what works best.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
Spent way too much time finishing these engine brackets off, but they don’t have that ‘home made’ look and fit really well. Here’s the engine, bolted into the mock up front end and the thing I was keen to look at was clearance around the exhaust manifold. I’ve seen these conversions done using manifolds from Turbo variants as that gives plenty of space, but I think this four branch type will work more efficiently.

It’s just a tad too tight against the chassis leg and I did think about re-shaping the leg to give enough clearance. I can get a few degrees machined from the bolt up face that connects to the head and this will kick it in where it needs to be.

The water pump on this engine was a combined type of system where it was housed with a power steering pump too. This was positioned around the four bolts I needed for the brackets and wouldn’t have fitted between the MGB chassis legs anyway. The forward core plug on the left hand side of this engine is used for a feed to the water pump. It has a few fixing points around this and the original cast aluminium multi-purpose bracket assembly from Rover just had a Rubber o ring for a seal. Harvey is going to machine some flat steel plate to match the second picture and I’ll weld an angled bend onto it. The best or easiest solution we’ve found to get around this is by using an electric water pump. I’ll update as we progress with this.

Something else I need to do now is make a duct to connect onto the throttle body. This is pretty close to the radiator diaphragm, but it is angled in such a way that this can be done ...... see next post



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-17 01:03 PM by Mark Burton.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
This old radiator diaphragm is rather scabby and will be swapped for a new panel that’s been put to one side. The oil cooler pipes won’t follow the same route as per the MGB, so I cut out the pressed area on that side of the panel. This made it a bit flimsy, but this will be addressed later.

Lining up a short section of steel tube, the same diameter as the flange on the throttle body gave an indication as to how I can make this work. I fixed this bit of tube in place by just tacking on a section of flat bar.

Before I start forming this in steel, it’s handy to establish exactly the shape needed and this was cobbled together in 15 minutes using card, tape, fibreglass chopped strand filler, plus a final skim of body filler. The stuff bodges are made of, but I can quickly get to the shape I’m happy with and then just replicate it in body gauge steel sheet.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-17 01:57 PM by Mark Burton.


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Mark Burton Avatar
Nottingham, Midlands, UK   GBR
This shows how it will work. There will be a short piece of rubber hose to join the throttle body onto the modified diaphragm panel and then an air filter will be sorted for the other side.

You could squeeze rubber hose through instead of doing this, but I think what we’re doing is a nicer option. The hose would likely rub, whereas this won’t.


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pinkyponk Avatar
pinkyponk Gold Member Adrian Page
Berwick, NS, Canada   CAN
I like the shape but do you not need some flex in the joint between the elbow and the throttle body to allow for engine movement?

Adrian



Home built Eaton M62 Supercharger with 7.6psi boost, 8:1 compression, custom "supercharger" cam from Schneider Cams, Mikuni HSR48 Carburetor, cold air intake, ported head, matched manifolds, CB Performance computerized ignition, Fidanza 9 pound flywheel, Maxspeeding rods with Teflon wrist pin buttons.

rocannon Avatar
rocannon Platinum Member Frank .
Clairvius Narcisse Township, Bokor, St. Kitts and Nevis   KNA
1967 MG MGB GT "GT From Hell"
1980 MG MGB "Restored By Photoshop Inc."
That’s my thought too. Mark does mention putting in a short piece of hose.
Off top of my head I’d say the panel duct will have to be reshaped to fit a hose that’s long enough to flex without putting too much pressure on the throttle body.

But we all know Mark will make it work. thumbs up

In reply to # 3893659 by pinkyponk I like the shape but do you not need some flex in the joint between the elbow and the throttle body to allow for engine movement?

Adrian



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thirdgenbird Casey F
*, IA, USA   USA
Fantastic.

I’ve been dreaming of a similar project with a VR6 backed by a CD009. If I had the space and this talent, I would do it...



1980 LE, chrome bumpers, lowered, Cobra classic rs seats, Moss Supercharger, APT supercharger cam, ARP studs, Advanced Distributors 25D, TT header and exhaust

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