Besides enlisting help from this board, I would search out a few books
on the subject. I'd first start with a MGA shop manual, and a reprint
of the factory tuning booklet. The second thing I would recommend is
that you join "The North American MGA Register." Their publication
"MGA!" contains technical articles to help you maintain and enjoy your
MGA. All past technical articles from "MGA!" are available as reprints
to members. Go to http://www.mgcars.org.uk/namgar/ for more
1. Is there any way to convert the front drum brakes to disk?
Yes, you need the complete front assembly (brakes, disks, swivel pin,
etc.) between the upper and lower suspension links (knuckles).
2. Is there any way to install a late model 5 speed on a 1600 engine?
Yes, but it may be easier and cheaper to install an OD especially if you
are also putting in the MGB's 1800 engine. Either option requires
modifying the floor, tunnel, and transmission mounts on the frame.
IMO: Unless you plan on using the MGA as a commuter car on the freeway,
the cost (A thousand dollars or more), work, and modifications of an
original car isn't worth it. If you will be using the car mostly for
fun and a few trips with total yearly mileage around 5000-7000 miles,
forget the changes. Put the money into fixing up the rest of the car.
3. Would wire knock-off wheels or steel wheels be better? ( the coupe
Steel wheels are easier to maintain and clean. Old wire wheels usually
need several hundred dollars EACH to true, paint, etc. to make them
safe. New wire wheels are several hundred dollars EACH. Most steel
wheels are usually straight and ready to repaint for use. Wire wheels
need constant maintenance to keep the spokes tight and the wheel true.
4. Would it be better to install performance parts in the 1600 engine or
install a MGB engine?
It depends on which 1800 engine you use. An early standard 1800 engine
will have more horsepower and torque than a standard 1600. Depending on
the tuning, a 1600 can have close to the same horsepower as an early
1800. A tuned 1600 will have about the same power as a 1972 and later
1800. The 1975 and later 1800 has a lot less power than a tuned 1600.
5. If the 1600 engine is adequate, what modifications would make it the
it can be.
There are factory recommendations and you can find them in several
books. Basically you need to fit flat top pistons and a high
performance camshaft, port and polish the head, get a very good engine
ballance, and blue print the specifications.
/// email@example.com mailing list
/// or try http://www.team.net/cgi-bin/majorcool