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That's a lot of modifications on an MGB. It would be easier to start with a Miata!

We're going to stick with the stock rear for now. The 3.909 ratio works well with the T5 we have. No need to over complicate the build with an IRS at this point. The 7.5 and even the 8.8 is also an option but we really don't need the strength for what we have planned. The MG rear will easily handle the ~170-180 hp we are shooting for. RX7 is too wide and will need to be narrowed anyway, and there is a lousy selection of ratios and gears for that rear end.

The Quad-4-rods bell is easy, but pricey. The 2.3 Mustang unit works for us.

The MG sounds neat partly because of the low revs. Any higher revving engine is going to sound "un-MG" just because it's turning faster, not necessarily because of the exhaust layout. Keeping a similar exhaust layout would preserve some of the characteristic sound, but I'd get some second opinions on that Ashley header - I've seen bad reviews on quality from that company.

I think you are completely on your own for a RWD supercharger for a Zetec. A dry sump is totally not needed and on this chassis/engine can get real complicated. You have to drive the oil pump, plumb it, the pan, pickups, oil filter, add an oil tank,etc........the only thing you gain is the ability to add a "Because Racecar" sticker.

As far as the water pump, I think you may be confusing applications for the CVH and the earlier Zetec Silvertop. The cam belt tensioner arrangement is different so the later Zetec pump is pretty much all that will fit.

I think that at some point you can do so many mods that the car is no longer what you started with. The original character of the car gets lost. Ours is just an engine swap - basically a more powerful MGB. The original car is so nice to drive, but underpowered. We really don't want to lose the vintage feel, but want more power.
 

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Thanks for the response. You are right it would be easier to just start with a vehicle built for performamce. I was just throwing out a wish list. My original plan was a 302with solid axles. But i want something that is better matched. I heard about a stroker kit too. Thst may be the better option for soumd. Just throwing things out. The body is down to metal now and lots of patchwork is being done. Plus i have a huge crack at the rail by the motor mount. Someone covered it up with bondo amd left the crack there.

What exactly did you do to that bellhousing to make it work?

How are you going to address the gauges? I want to keep the mg stock gauges.
 

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MG owners of the world unite!!lol

I still have the 1.8 liter in mine but the Zenith "Strangleburg" was 86'd and replaced with a Weber DCOE sidedraft carburetor. The car can hold its own(and then some) depsite being 37 years old.

Was V8 powered considered for your MGB?
 

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I voted for a 4.0 Rover, but was outvoted by the owner! I personally like the B-series Austin engine. Not the most powerful, but it is a good performer in such a lightweight car. It only needs a little help with compression and intake to make it more lively, but Zetec is the path we are on now and I think its going to work out great.

The 2.3 bellhousing needs a little work to make it usable, but the alignment dowels are in the correct location along with one other bolt hole, so you have a good start.

To use the bell housing:

1. We are using a 1.9 Escort flywheel with a 2.3 Mustang clutch and pressure plate. Same diameter, but the clutch height matches the stock Mustang bell clutch release mechanism (which we decided not to use). The Escort 1.9 flywheel is several lbs lighter than a Zetec as well. Drill the flywheel bolt holes from 10mm to 11mm (7/16) and use the 11mm Zetec flywheel bolts. Ditching the Zetec flywheel means you will have to move the crank position sensor and add a 36-1 toothed wheel for the ignition pickup. It might be possible to use the zetec flywheel with the Mustang 2.3 T5 clutch disc but I haven't measured that combo. If that works you don't need to move the crank sensor.

2. You will need the sheet metal block plate that fits the 2.3 bellhousing. It is needed to help index the starter position. Trim it to clear the Zetec crank seal retainer.

3. Fabricate some stepped dowels. The locating dowel diameter on the Zetec is .501 inches; the 2.3 dowels are .601 inches. Make them about an inch long, total. Drill a 10mm diameter thru hole and bevel the ends to help inserting them. This is a quick job on the lathe; steel or aluminum will work. Tap the small end into the block.

4. You need to add at least one more mounting hole to the bell, preferably two. There are two ways to do this. You can either drill the block to match the top holes in the bell, or you can weld a little additional material to the bell to pick up the Zetec holes. The Zetec pattern is already in the block plate for some reason so you have a template to guide you. We chose to weld because the top two holes would have come very close to the back two head studs. I would rather leave the material there and not risk drilling into the stud.

5. The stock Mustang 2.3 uses a cable clutch. If you keep the stock release arm you could adapt an external slave cylinder. We are going to use a Chevy LS1 hydraulic slave that I'm adapting to the bearing retainer and matches well to the stock 3/4" master.

6. The T-5 transmission shaft for a V8 trans is a tad too short to work properly. It barely engages the pilot bearing. You will need:

a. a longer custom pilot bearing (not hard to make from oilite bronze), or
b. use the 4cyl t5 trans (bad first gear ratio), or
c. modify a V6 input shaft (good first gear, simple machining). The V6 shaft has to be shortened by .400 inches and the snout diameter needs to be turned down to .590 inches to fit the Zetec pilot.

7. The "ears" on the Zetec pan have to be sawed off to make room for the 2.3 starter. There's a lot of aluminum on the rear of the pan that's not needed so all of it can be taken off. We used a large bandsaw, but a sawzall or cutoff wheel works too.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, frankly, it is. This is not a simple bolt on, but the parts are very adaptable with some welding and machining. If you don't have all this capability available like we do, it may actually be better to suck it up and buy the expensive ($500) bell from Quads or D&D or TSI. You could end up paying someone way more than that to do all the work.

So some easy stuff - retaining the MG gauges.

1. The oil pressure gauge is mechanical. We just screwed an AN3 to 1/4" NPT adapter into the block and will run a line to the gauge oil line.

2. On our late model the water temp gauge is electrical. We tapped a spot for the MG sender on the LS1 water outlet adapter. The Zetec sender location gets blocked by a 10mm bolt and washer.

3. The MG tach can be driven by the Zetec coil outputs. See the Megasquirt site for the EDIS tach adapter. It's two zener diodes with an output that will feed the original tach pickup wire.

4. The speedo cable just screws into the trans output. A stock T5 will need a 23 tooth driven gear to work with the stock 3.901 rear end. I think we will swap the 8-tooth drive gear for a 6- or 7-tooth gear in order to use a more durable 18 or 19 tooth driven gear.

5. No changes to the fuel gauge or the clock, obviously.

We'll get more photos posted up soon tpo show what all this stuff looks like.
 

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Great writeup. Thanks for sharing all this. Without a lathe and TIG it looks easier to shell out for the Quad4 bell. Good news in the input shaft though. It looks like taping the crank is easy and ill probablu do that one myself. I also want to use a hydraulic slave. Without the engine tranny and bell im just guessing at what needs to be done. Let us know how the slave adaptor works out. Is the throw the same
 

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I'm guessing that the clutch travel will be about the same as stock. What I intend to do is run an -AN line from the master to the engine/trans assembly on a cart next to the car. Then we can actually measure the slave travel and pedal travel. If necessary, we can add a pedal stop or make a linkage adjustment before the thing goes into the car.

The one thing you absolutely do not want to happen with a hydraulic throwout is to either overtravel the slave or the master. That's the source of most people's issues with HTOB's.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Hey guys. Hope everybody has been doing well. We've made some more progress with the car in the last couple weeks. Dad's been diligently working on mating the engine and transmission while I've been tinkering with some other stuff on the MGB.

I ordered a simple 4 blade fuse block made by Hella to replace my old glass fuse block. I had to modify it with a jumper on the back and soldering multiple leads to each contact. It helps to make things MUCH more compact and should be more reliable compared to the old Lucas fuse block. I never had any real issues with the Lucas fuse block except for the fuse terminals oxidizing and becoming intermittent. I don't want to over complicate my wiring with unnecessary relays or additional fuses but I do plan on adding some relays for my headlamps and cooling fan in the future.



I also pulled the heater box and pedal box out from the car. The metal didn't look too bad when I pulled the pedal box. Mostly light surface rust. It looked like old brake fluid had seeped into the paint over the years and ate away at it. This is pretty much the worst of the engine compartment. It should be pretty easy to clean it up before repainting.


Here's a view of the entire compartment now after a little degreaser. I can't wait to test fit the Zetec in it.


I'll post more this week from the work we're doing on the engine and transmission.
 

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Keep it up!!
 

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I really admire the way your project is unfolding, gents. My canary-yellow '79 Spitfire with the 1492cc 71hp motor is unceremoniously rotting away in some abandoned Midwest junk yard, crying tears of envy.

Not to rush you on this job, but I was hoping you could have it wrapped-up and dyno'd by July or at the latest August, so that I can borrow it for a couple of weeks for a road trip. September won't work; this far north, the air can get a little too cool for long trips with the top down.
 

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Discussion Starter #131
Thanks for the support! I really like this forum and I'm glad people are enjoying the build. [headbang] I have a lot of stuff I'm going to tackle this weekend. My goal is to get around to test fitting the engine and transmission.

Also, I ordered some single stage paint from TCP Global. My dad has used their paint a couple times before and their prices are pretty hard to beat. It's a stock MGB color from 1960's call Blue Royale (I prefer it to the original Pageant Blue color). I photoshop'd an image to show what look I'm going for when the car is complete.



I'll try to keep you guys posted on the progress from this weekend!
 

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Its cool to read about something a little different than most of the builds on here but still related to these cars. Keeps us posted [thumb]
 

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Discussion Starter #133
We got the engine mocked in the compartment today! It looks so nice in there. It's definitely motivated me to get it done faster.


The Zetec didn't fit quite as planned so we had to make some modifications to the MGB. We were stuck having to decide between heavily modifying the crossmember or cutting back the firewall where the heater box is located. Since I wasn't planning on using the heater on my MGB, I decided to modify the firewall. It's not a huge deal since I've never used the heater since I've gotten the car. God bless Florida winters.

There's still a little bit of cutting that need's to happen on the firewall but the thermostat housing and hose should clear it without any problem.


 

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I think this is going to work well. At first I really didn't want to cut sheetmetal, but my son is right. That puny heater is of no use here in Central FL and is worth some decent $$$ on Ebay.

Also, modifying the front crossmember would have been a lot harder, plus, by shifting the engine back, the T5 shifter comes up thru the existing hole. It'll look like stock when we get it finished.

Next step is to decide how we want to build the motor mounts. We have several options on placement and style of mount. My preference is to build something that looks OEM but gives us plenty of serviceability if we ever need to pull it out again. If possible we want to reuse the OEM rubber biscuits, so that sourcing replacements is easier.

Next step is to cut a bunch more cardboard for templates. After that, we'll see how close we are on driveshaft angle so that we can get the trans output and pinion parallel. We'll adjust the motor mounts and trans cross member height to fix that.
 

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I think we'll go grab an engine this weekend. We found a few nearby for a decent price.

We need to get a contour oil pan, too. The stock focus pan might be a little tight against the front crossmember. I'd rather not modify that, so the shallower Contour pan might be a good option.

My son has been mocking up the bike carbs and exhaust so we can get an idea of intake runner length.
Did you end up using a contour oil pan?

I was looking at this but its $$$.
http://www.retro-ford.co.uk/shop/content/zetec-rwd-wet-sump-z007
 
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