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Old 11-10-2008, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default LS1 into a 1972 MGB GT

Short form. The plan is to put this:
Click the image to open in full size.

into this:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:01 AM   #2
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My wife Janel and I were at the track testing our Targa Newfoundland car when a Rover-powered MGB dropped it. It was running open headers, and Janel decided that she needed a cute little car that made a noise like that. Fair enough, I've always liked the looks of the MGB GT.

I drove the Rover car and while it sounded great, a stock 1.6 Miata would have beat it in a drag race. I decided a Ford 302 was a better idea. We picked up our black GT and I put the project aside for a while until I had a bit more time after the race.

In the meantime, I helped put an LS1 into a 2002 Miata. I decided I really liked the lighter, better packaged engine so the plan for the GT changed.

It's not just going to be a horsepower upgrade, though. I'm going to graft Miata suspension under the car front and rear so that it rides and handles well. That'll give me modern brakes and steering as well. The body will get some subtle flares to fit the wheels. Otherwise, the body is going to stay as stock as possible. It's going to be a bit of a challenge, but anything's possible with a welder.

The final weight should be around 2500 lbs. That's what I'm hoping for, anyhow.

Updates will be posted here occasionally (along with a bunch of questions, no doubt), and the build will be fully documented at http://www.slowcarfast.com/MG .
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:04 AM   #3
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The donor is a 1998 Z28 with an engine that was rebuilt 30,000 miles ago. It's fitted with a Comp XR259HR cam, a lifter kit and has some headwork. There are a few other bits and pieces that I won't be able to use. I was able to pick up the complete car for $4500, and could have driven it home if it hadn't been for snow in the mountain passes. The Camaro's going to get parted out, but a lot of it will end up stuffed into the MG. Wiring, instruments (behind vintage gauges, of course), battery, fuel parts, clutch hydraulics - anything I can use. The car also came with two spare F-body oil pans, an oil pump and a brand new OBX header.

The original plan was to use an L33, but the price of the Camaro convinced me to simply use that car instead.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:41 AM   #4
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Of all the swaps and projects that I've done over the years, the one you're doing is what I'm really looking forward to doing myself. I had a BGT myself years ago, cept it was green and had the wire wheels. I'd love to find another one some day and put an LS motor in it. The suspension changes sound great too.

Will definitely be following your build. Best of luck.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:26 AM   #5
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+1 on the MGB-GT.. I had a 68' myself..but i had to get rid of it before i broke it in 1/2 !.. I blew the Engine twice and the transmission once.. .LOL>. it just could not take the power shifting I was used to after driving my 57' chevy!... so that ended my 1st try at sport cars.. It was a great fun little car.. as was my 60 Bugeye.. I think that would be a great swap too !..

I will be looking forward to your project.. keep us posted !
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:28 PM   #6
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I'm paying attention to this one cause I've been wanting to do the same eventually with my 402/T56. I've pondered the idea and I'm very interested to see how yours turns out.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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Wow How did I miss this. I love my MGB GT with just a rover V8 in it. I have been waiting to find a nice Chrome bumper GT to put a LS1 in. Keep us updated!!!!!
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:02 PM   #8
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Subscribed. I loved my '80 B LE 46hp,rubber bumpers and all, but loved my '73 TR6 more.
Always wanted to stuff a V8 in one of these, besides the 3.5 Rover. Good luck
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:32 AM   #9
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I'm busy cleaning out the garage so I'll have room to take these cars apart, but I did park them side by side for a photo op yesterday. Looks like I'm going to need a bigger hammer to fit that Camaro inside the MG.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I've also been working on flares for the MG's body, as it's going to get a track about 4" wider than the current one when I'm done.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:40 AM   #10
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10lb of **** in a 5lb bucket comes to mind

Should move out good!
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:55 AM   #11
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What do you want for the shell?
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:20 PM   #12
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Bravo!! My dad used to restore MG's and I was always trying to talk him into a V8 swap. I'm game. G
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:49 PM   #13
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come on more man. **** can I come over lol?
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:15 AM   #14
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I wonder how it would be in a convertible one..
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:36 PM   #15
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I'm not sure if I'm going to sell the whole shell as a roller or part the car out. I'll probably wait until I'm almost done with the MG before I look to get rid of the chassis, just in case I need something. There are going to be a LOT of GM parts in that little car when I'm done.

I went with the coupe because I like the look of them and it should be a bit stiffer.

The garage underwent a major re-org this weekend so I'll have room to do the work. Next, the MG comes apart. I might pull the engine from the Camaro at the same time for test-fitting while I build the new suspension. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to approach this. Much welding is in my future.

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Old 11-23-2008, 08:47 PM   #16
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MGB LS1, I like it!
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:24 PM   #17
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The engine and front subframe are out of the MG.

Click the image to open in full size.

Yes, some fabrication will be required to squeeze the engine in there!

I'm seriously considering keeping a live axle in the rear. I was going to stuff a Miata independent rear in there, but since my donor Camaro has an LSD I might just keep it. I've been told the Camaro rear will fit into the housing from a 2WD S10, which is just about the perfect width already. Comments from those who know? I don't plan on any engine mods, just the standard LS1 power should be fine in this little guy.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:02 PM   #18
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Nice work! Should be a fun car.

Personally Id throw a good sized cam in the LS1 while its out. It'll be easier to do that cam and valve springs while the motor is out, and eventually your going to want it to be faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Tanner View Post
I'm seriously considering keeping a live axle in the rear. I was going to stuff a Miata independent rear in there, but since my donor Camaro has an LSD I might just keep it. I've been told the Camaro rear will fit into the housing from a 2WD S10, which is just about the perfect width already. Comments from those who know? I don't plan on any engine mods, just the standard LS1 power should be fine in this little guy.
Yes the diff from the camaro will fit in an s10 housing.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:05 PM   #19
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You need to use a 2wd S10 rear from a 98 up S10. That will have the 28 spline axles already. the older ones had 26 spline axles and wont go into the later model diff. 4WD S10 housings are 4" wider than the 2WD ones. I believe they are close tothe 60" hub to hub width that you will need for the B. Yea I looked into this with my 72 convertible body B already. just through in an 04 ZO6 cam and springs. best bang for the buck in a body that light.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:09 PM   #20
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Thanks for the info, that'll make my life a lot easier. I'm working off the published track widths of the trucks, not hub-to-hub. Anyone know what the offset of stock S10 wheels is?

The engine's already got a XR259HR Comp cam and a Comp cam "RPM kit" along with some sort of headwork. I know, not the hottest cam in the world, but I'll try working with that before I start looking to upgrade.

This thing isn't going to be the fastest car in the garage, it'll be a thousand pounds too heavy for that

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Old 12-01-2008, 02:09 PM
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