MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

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Posts: 33
Joined: July 2nd, 2006, 7:22 pm
Location: Denham, Bucks, UK

MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

Post by Wal » February 6th, 2021, 1:23 pm

Dear all,
Just thought I’d post a few shots of the state of my lack of progress during the lockdown and the sorry state my poor cars are in.

Unfortunately I don’ have a garage of my own so have to do all my build work at my parent s which is why no progress has been made since lockdown started. So my Morris sits languishing in its temporary shelter used usually just for winter and next to it the project I managed to complete just before lockdown, installing a V8 in an MGB.
Morris languishing.jpg
Morris languishing.jpg (86.49 KiB) Viewed 273 times
MGB languishing.jpg
MGB languishing.jpg (73.78 KiB) Viewed 273 times
I managed to complete the MGB V8 conversion just before the start of lockdown last March. As you can see it has to sit on my car trailer as I don’t have any other space and it really needs a clean.

The engine is a Rover V8 3.5 Litre, with a slightly hotter cam (though I can’t remember the exact make) and SD1 heads. I also utilised the RV8 exhaust headers and these run down through the inner wing rather than the block hugger type. The front benefitted from grooved and drilled discs and stainless hoses with reconditioned V8 brake calipers. It also benefited from adjustable coil overs at the front and adjustable anti roll bar. Whilst the rear got a telescopic damper conversion. One thing I didn’t change was the diff to the recommended 1:3.07 ratio, so far this hasn’t been an issue as I don’t see this as a long cruiser for me but then again I’ve hardly been able to drive it.

Couple of photos of the build below. The main issue was the previous owner was going to fit a Sebring kit and had cut out the rear quarters and this had to be fixed. Plus to fit the Rover V8 gearbox (LT77 or R380) requires the gearbox tunnel to be cut and raised by around 2 inches. Other main problems are the gearbox selector plate is very sensitive to positioning and, as I discovered, if not properly aligned means you can’t select all the gears. Bit of a disaster when first encountered before you find out about the selector plate positioning.

Use of the RV8 exhaust headers, I thought, was going to be easier than installing the block hugger exhaust because avoids running ridiculously close to the chassis rails, the engine itself and right past the starter motor. However, whilst avoiding these issues it has problems of its own not just from having to make cut outs to the inner wing, which due to routing of the manifold end up being bigger than you think. There is also some potential conflict with the front brake pipe mountings and pipe routing that needs adjustment. Along with the fact that you can install rover exhaust manifold gaskets the wrong way round and have a blowing exhaust, all a learning experience for me.

Other problem areas include the oil filter housing on the rover V8 as this has to be replaced with a new item to avoid issues with the steering rack.

Radiator and fans for cooling also takes a bit of thought as the room for the fan blades is tight and the top hose route can be tricky. You can see mine is still a bit of a mess.

Easier items are the propshaft conversion as there are plenty of engineering firms that can do this and converting the Rev counter to V8, which you can do yourself but again there are good companies who can do this at a reasonable cost and I chose that route.

Any way you can see the engine below and some build pictures:
V8 installed.jpg
V8 installed.jpg (70.99 KiB) Viewed 273 times
Gearbox  tunnel cut.jpg
Gearbox tunnel cut.jpg (56.78 KiB) Viewed 273 times
Rear quarter repairs.jpg
Rear quarter repairs.jpg (27.62 KiB) Viewed 273 times
MGB front suspension.jpg
MGB front suspension.jpg (54.51 KiB) Viewed 273 times
MGB on side.jpg
MGB on side.jpg (54.57 KiB) Viewed 273 times

Posts: 18
Joined: September 16th, 2020, 3:54 pm

Re: MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

Post by UKM » February 8th, 2021, 4:57 pm

I look forward to reading this Steven !
Great to have new posts ! Matt

Posts: 145
Joined: August 1st, 2009, 6:55 pm
Location: Leicester

Re: MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

Post by Simon » February 8th, 2021, 11:35 pm

Looks like a couple of interesting projects there Wal, and great to see some new activity on the site and looking forward to following your progress. I've had similar lockdown frustration in that I've had more time on my hands but my projects and parts are in inaccessible locations!

Posts: 585
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 3:50 pm
Location: Dumfries, Scotland

Re: MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

Post by Will01 » February 17th, 2021, 3:01 pm

That looks like it would be really great fun and catch out a few unknowing members of the public

Posts: 197
Joined: March 20th, 2007, 1:20 pm
Location: Midlands UK (A)

Re: MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

Post by 4v6 » March 4th, 2021, 2:15 pm

I was just wondering if youve considered a different V8 engine?

Specifically the toyota 1uz-fe engines from the lexus ls 400 which is a quad cam unit, fuel injected etc.
These make in standard trim around 190kw and are 4.0 litre displacement, theyre also quite common and cheap too.
Heads are similar to the 3vz-fe v6 engines that you can get an easy 30 hp from by some minor reworking of the heads, same applies to the 1uz-fe engines.

Still an interesting project all the same though, keep us updated on it.
Tony Warren. GC #96.

Posts: 33
Joined: July 2nd, 2006, 7:22 pm
Location: Denham, Bucks, UK

Re: MGB V8 and Morris in Lockdown

Post by Wal » March 6th, 2021, 3:35 pm

I really didn't think of using any other V8.

Probably because the Rover is readily available and relatively cheap. Plus I knew it could fit.

I wasn't really after anything with massive power because I wasn't upgrading the brakes and suspension overly much.

I'll have a look at the engines you suggest for the next one, though I still have a spare Rover V8 so maybe the one after.

The biggest problems will probably be around the exhaust headers, steering rack placement and possibly height.

If you have any dimensions on these engines you can point me too that would be appreciated.


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