View Full Version : What fits in a MGB?

05-06-02, 01:35 PM
I've liked the look of this car for a while, and was wondering what kind of engine would fit in it?

It's a pretty small engine space so i'd expect maybe a decent v6?

anyone have more info?

Thanks :)

05-06-02, 02:55 PM
the rover 3.5l V8 fits. its been done thousands of times.

05-06-02, 03:43 PM
The most common choice is the Rover 3.5 / 3.9 V7 also in the P76 at 4.4 litres.
Also: Ford 289/ 302, Nissan 2.0 ltr,Toyota 2.0 ltr, Mazda rotary all with and without turbo.
Check the archives under "Engine Conversions" as there was some lengthy discussion some time ago on this topic.

Edited to add:
Nearly forgot:
Email back here if you want a list of websites for this. I have it somewhere but it will take some searching to find it. Pete

05-06-02, 07:40 PM
The MGB was actually available new at some point in its production with a rover V8 factory fitted. Called, funnily enough, an MGB V8.
Peter Marr

05-06-02, 09:11 PM
Note that the MGB was designed before the term "structural rigidity" was invented... add 20-30 years of wear, tear and rust to the equation and I wouldn't be too confident about whacking a torquey engine into that shell, unless it's been significantly strengthened to cope!

British cars give me gas anyway. ;)

05-06-02, 09:25 PM
Yankee models with plastic bumpers and steel wheels have the 3.5lt V8???

The spoked wheels hate power transfer, if your gonna convert to a better engine get a steel wheeled version.

BTW:Norbie, if you hate pommy cars, your gonna hate my next project then.

05-06-02, 09:30 PM
The MGB is built to British standards .....read very poor. The other problem is that when they designed the MGB it was intended to be a short model run and therefore they looked saved costs by creating the body , floorpan etc from a lot of smaller panels rather than expensive pressing of larger pieces ...this creats a lot of hidden joins that are very prone to rust.

I also suggest you drive one or two before you get too excited ...they are pretty ordinary....what other car do you know that has lever arm shocks? The wire wheels literally fall apart or off the car. The brakes are piss weak and the electrics look like a primary school science project. I know there are a lot of MGB enthusiats out there but there also a lot of Barry Mannilow fans...does't make either of them good.

Any old Alfa/Fiat/Mazda/ Toyota will leave one for dead !

Note: the V8 was only available from the factory in the hardtop or MGBGT version...a special edition (softop) was done in 92-94 that had also had a V8 and the pumped up guards. These were built from repair shells that were bought from BL Heritage which makes shells for people who restore bucket cases. A few of these cars have found their way into Australia via Japan and seem to sell for about $50 grand.

05-06-02, 09:37 PM
I'm laughing soo hard!!

You hit the nail on the head.

Lever arm shock's, i forgot all about them.

Didn't the early MG have half-eliptical rear leaf springs?? Or was that on austins??

It is true about the wiring. I've got a AH sprite in the back shed, the wireing looks like a cheap stereo install.

05-06-02, 09:48 PM
I think most manufacturers gave up on lever arm shocks before the war....World War 1 that is.

A mate of mine had a very good original MGBGT V8 which was rather nice but overall they are not good cars.

Have you heard what poms call a coat hanger?.....a MG exhaust bracket.

05-06-02, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by TRD-KINGSWOOD
BTW:Norbie, if you hate pommy cars, your gonna hate my next project then.
Well I'm guessing it's British, and involves squeezing a turbo Toyota six somewhere it was never meant to go. Am I close? :)

05-06-02, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by spamgirl
I know there are a lot of MGB enthusiats out there but there also a lot of Barry Mannilow fans...
ROTFL! This quote belongs in the Performance Forums hall of fame... absolutely brilliant stuff! :D

06-06-02, 05:23 PM
I don't know what fits into an MGB , but I do know that with a few cuts in the right places, an MGB is a bolt in fitment to a typical Rubbish skip.
MGBs look like sports cars. Unfortunately thats the only similarity. A Lada Samara shows a better level of engineering coherence, quality control and reliability.
Spridgets are cool though, I drove one with a hot 1300gt escort motor (read twice as much grunt as stock, and some) and it was great, go kart handling, plenty of power and a nice gearbox (OK so it was all escort parts). Shame about the interior (or serieous lack thereof), the rust, having to wedge one knee into a gap between the door and dash to fit into the seats, the dodgy engine conversion where if viewed from above the engine and box were mounted at a slight angle to the longways centreline of the car....Personally, MGB's hit no.1 on my list of complete shitepiles, as on top of all the spridget's shortcomings, they don't go, stop, or handle and there are a million other odd little "english" problems. Then Triumph spitfires...-ever seen a 1 inch gap open up in your door gaps over a railway line? having to hold doors closed on rough roads is not pleasant....THen big Healey's....Then TR7's (look what happens when triumph tries to make an english celica....) Note a theme?
Don't even mention the electrics.....

07-06-02, 09:59 PM
I am currently converting a toyota 1uz-fe into a mark 1 1965 mgb roadster, with supra 5sp gearbox, soon either autronic motec and future bolt on supercharger. It has been done before by a guy in Canberra in a MGC but i have never been able to get in contact with him. I thought about rover 3.5 which it had originally but im only 16 and cbf with old technology, excuse my french.

I will post up some pics for you soon.

08-06-02, 03:12 PM
Pete_05- The MGC is really just an MGB with a dodgy heavy austin kimberly? six bolted in, a bonnet bulge, a little more torque, heaps more weight and way worse lead tipped arrow cortina six style handling. Shouldn't make much difference in the conversion process, though it would be marginally easier lifting the 4 cylinder and trans out of the B... :D Also, if you haven't got the car yet (though you probably have) it is easier and cheaper to start with a later rubber bumper model, since the engine bay is physically bigger. These can be fairly readily converted back to chrome bumper grill with repro panels and chrome bits. Also have the advantage of being a bit newer....if not *much* different (good development work bmc....)
Lexus donk sounds like an awesome idea, especially as the 1UZ should be probably a similar weight to the original 4 (rover v8 alloy donk weighed less than cast iron 4) and probably be able to be mounted far enough rearward to avoid handling probs.
And you probably already know this ,but you will need to do substantial chassis bracing and reinforcement (e.g integrated half cage, frame braces, cross braces, sill bracing.....4 link converison maybe...)and serious suspension mods (at least in the back) to make it handle and put the pwer to the ground, without the shell twisting into a mess...4 cylinder soft top mgs have seriously noticeable flex, at least that I've seen.
Sounds like a really cool conversion, as long as you thoroughly mod the chassis, brakes etc to handle the extra poke. As a good b series would be struggling to make~100hp, this should be mega exciting.

08-06-02, 04:01 PM
I am currently going through all the power steering racks eg. mx-5, subaru, etc. I am thinking about a jaguar IRS or holden live axle, my mate is fitting koni adjustable suspension, im adapting holden 4 pot brakes, I already have a roll bar but dont know wether i will use a half cage and thats all the mods almost lolz, i better win tattslotto

Regards Pete :)

09-06-02, 07:44 PM
There is a guy in England named Nick Smallwood who has done the Jag conversion.
His website is:
Might be worth a look.
Cheers, Pete