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Re: V8 conversion Tools

To: "Dodd, Kelvin" <>
Subject: Re: V8 conversion Tools
From: Jim Stuart <>
Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 22:46:29 -0400

An awfully lot of what Kelvin has said is true, especially that each of us owns
the perfect conversion, much better than the others, Oh by the way, I'm getting
ready to change the.......

Many sources are used, as Kelvin says, & only experience tells the "best way", &
that is subject to change, especially dependant upon what is available. I have
215 bell housings, 4-speed, so I  use Chevy trannies. I also have a 3-speed 215
bell housing, so I may use a Ford T-5 with adapter for the next one. If someone
offered me a 3500 Rover sedan, with 5-speed, well.....maybe........

If you start with a rubber bumper car, you do not have to weld to do the
conversion. You may have to weld to fix the body work, but not to convert.

Conversions can be done by the average MG owner, if the owner is now doing all
his/her mechanical work now. Can you/have you removed & reinstalled an engine &
tranny, done a clutch job, did it run afterwards? Have you done a complete brake
system replacement/ overhaul, or re-done the front suspension? Can you overhaul
your carbs & have the car run afterwards? This is the level of mechanical
difficulty involved.

More than the mechanical, you need to be a "finisher". You can acquire skills,
but it is unlikely you will change your personality.  The project may be
completed in months, but more likely, a year or 2 (or 3). If you can't stay with
the project, buy a completed V-8 car, upgrade it as you wish. Be realistic about

You must be a planner, a thinker. I did my last conversion in 27 days of
weekends & nights after work, because I had the use of a shop with lift for 1
month. I spent 2 previous years planning & buying parts. Everything was on hand
when I started, & I knew exactly how everything was to be done, & I had a step
by step written plan. I would have rather worked along for 2 years rather than
thrash, but even then, without a plan, both time & money are lost, & the project
may fail.

You must have money. Period. Money. Money.  Those who think the conversion can
be done cheap will probably fail. I know there are exceptions, the $1000.00
conversion, etc., but investigation usually shows some unusual circumstances, a
$50.00 donor car that had a perfect drive train, a mechanic that traded for
parts & labor, etc. For the average guy/gal who wants to do this, the cost
minimum is MG + ENG + $3500.00 = Finished(almost) Project; where MG = the cost
of the car to be converted, including paint/rust repair, interior, top; ENG =
the drive train- engine including overhaul if required, transmission, rear end

Enough rambling & preaching.

Jim Stuart

"Dodd, Kelvin" wrote:

> Mike:
>         Unless you plan on learning much more about automotive systems I
> would suggest getting the conversion done by a specialist.  If you are
> intending to convert your 74 MGB I would go further and try to disuade you
> from making the conversion.
>         Installing a V8 into a B is a substantial undertaking to do right.
> Anyone can stuff a big motor in a car.  Getting the braking, handling, gear
> ratios, exhaust, etc right so that the car is fun to drive is a lot more
> involved.  For a lot of people that is the fun part (myself included).
> Without the appropriate tools, money, knowledge, attitude you can easily end
> up with another "butchered, accident waiting to happen"(BAWH).  The 74 B is
> a sweet little roadster, stock.  Any modifications made to it take it one
> step closer to being a BAWH scrap pile.  If you are not ready to make a
> conversion correctly, please don't start.  If you are ready to make such a
> commitment, plan on learning how to use a MIG welder, oxy/acc gas torch.
> Read all the back issues of the V8 newsletter.  Become best friends with all
> the V8 conversion nutters (Hi friend).  Be prepared to make choices, cos
> no-one does it the same way.  Get to know the speciality companies in town
> for TIG welding, cad/chrome plating, drive shaft fabrication etc.
>         I have yet to find one company that can supply all the bits that
> work together well.  Most parts from different suppliers will conflict as
> there is no "one" way to do a conversion.  Converters IMHO tend to be
> individualistic, opinionistic b*****ds, and as such are the salt of the
> earth.  Take everything you hear or read with the same mineral.  E-mail me
> privately and I will happily tell you the correct way to do the
> conversion....this week.  Next week, who knows maybe a T5 transmission and
> concentric t/o assembly will fall in my lap.
> Hope this helps you in your decision.
> Kelvin.
> Accumulating knowledge and greasy bits for two conversions.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: []
> > Sent: Monday, May 24, 1999 4:05 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: V8 Conversion Tools???
> >
> >
> > Other than time, money and patience. What tools and
> > mechanical expertise do
> > you need to do a V8 conversion. If it bolts on I can do it
> > but I have never
> > welded. It seems to me like I would need a torch and a
> > welder. I understand
> > MIG welders are fairly simple to learn but is it sufficient
> > for the job if
> > welding is needed.
> > --Mike Quinn
> > 74 MGBCB
> > 67 Triumph TR4A
> >

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