a Quad 4 engine in an MGB

Alternative Engines

This article appeared in The British V8 Newsletter - Volume X, Issue 2

by Dan Masters

Cadillac Northstar:

All aluminumV8, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, 10:1 compression, 280ci, 300 HP, 295 lb-ft, all in a compact, light weight package - what's not to like about this engine? Until now only available in an east-west mounting configuration for fwd Caddies, it has become a very popular engine with the street rod crowd. You may not be a street rod fan, but street rodders drive the market, making aftermarket parts readily available for any engine that catches on with them.

What makes this engine of interest to us? Next year, Cadillac will be installing this engine, north-south, in an SUV! Who'll be the first to stick one of these in an LBC?

Cadillac Northstar II:

The above is not enough engine for you? Well, then, how about this one: a 7.5L, all aluminum, DOHC V12, with 750 HP and 450lb-ft torque? 400 lb-ft of that torque is available at only 1500 RPM! Go ahead, I dare you. Be the first one to stuff this engine into an LBC.

Oldsmobile Quad-4:

Iron block inline 4, aluminum cross-flow head, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, 2.4L, 180HP out of the box - Street Rodder magazine referred to this engine as "The Twin-Cam, Race-Bred Engine Even You Can Afford." Weighing under 300 pounds, with the potential for an easy 250 HP or more, this engine should be a natural for installation into an MGB. If you're interested, be sure to get copies of the May, June, and following issues of Street Rodder magazine, and follow along as they tell you how to develop this little engine into a real screamer.

For more information on improving this little engine, check with:

Quad 4 Rods
1001 E 75th Ave, Unit C, Dept SRM
Denver, CO 80229-6430

As a "teaser," I have included the above photo of a Quad-4 in an MGB. Look for a full "how-it-was-done" article on this nicely done car in the next issue of the newsletter.

 Please support the sponsoring companies who make BritishV8 possible, including:


How much does that engine weigh? A lot of numbers can be found at various sources, but none of them tell you what is included in the given weight. Here is a list of values determined by actually weighing the listed engines. These weights include everything required for the engine to run except oil and water - intake, exhaust, clutch, starter, alt, tranny, etc:

MGB with MG 4-speed plus OD: 495 pounds
Ford 302 with T5: 520 pounds
BOP/Rover with T5: 440 pounds


Starter problems: The aluminum nose version of the 215 stock starter can sometimes develop an annoying characteristic: it will not stop cranking even when the ignition key is released, as if the ignition switch were defective. After cutting off the battery power, the starter may then act fine for another one, ten or fifty starts. Replacing the solenoid does not seem to provide a cure. (This information is per Dan LaGrou, D&D Fabrications.)

Enjoying this article? Our magazine is funded through the generous support of readers like you!
To contribute to our operating budget, please click here and follow the instructions.
(Suggested contribution is twenty bucks per year. Feel free to give more!)

Transmission rebuilding: The popular T-5 transmission can be rebuilt by the home enthusiast... with care. To make the task easier, there are two T-5 Rebuild VHS videos available to show the entire process: Hanlon Motorsports at www.hanlonmotorsports.com or phone (610) 469-2695 (Tape price $16.95) S-K Speed Racing at www.skspeed.com or phone (800) 846-4252 (Tape p/n KLK5010 @ $19.95)

Refilling the T-5 Transmission: Refilling the T5 can be a harrowing experience because of the cramped quarters up in that hump. Here's a method that I've found to work pretty well. First, before draining the old fluid, make sure that you can remove the filler plug (both are located on the passenger side of the transmission housing). It's a real pain in the %#$ to find that the fill plug is seized when you've already drained the old fluid.

NOTE: Some people have tried to remove the large Torx-type fastener on the side of the casing mistakenly thinking it was the fill plug. Do not loosen this Torx fastener! Let me reiterate... Do not loosen this Torx fastener! This Torx fastener is the pivot pin for the reverse gear lever. If you remove this Torx fastener, you might as well go ahead and remove the entire transmission 'cause that's what it is going to take to fix your mistake.

With the fill plug removed, remove the drain plug and catch the fluid in a large pan. Watch out, the tranny fluid is pretty thin and shoots a good distance. You can help the last few drops of fluid drain by jacking (and supporting!) the driver's side of the car. Apply a little thread sealant (something like Permatex) to the drain plug and reinstall it. Torque the drain plug to 15-30 ft-lbs. Do not over tighten. The transmission housing is cast aluminum and can be cracked by over tightening the NPT threaded plug.

So far not too complicated, eh? Now you'll notice that the fill opening is in a pretty dastardly place to try and get a funnel or full bottle of fluid to. Go to your local do-it-yourself hardware store and pick up a drill operated pump and a washing machine fill hose (about $10 total). Cut the hose in half so that you have inlet and exit hoses for the pump. Pour 3-4 quarts of your favorite automatic transmission fluid (Dextron type) into a clean, dry gallon milk jug. The transmission actually only takes 5.6 pints, but you'll need a little extra for priming the pump and those nasty little spills. Do not use gear oil. Gear oil is much too thick for the T5 and can cause damage to the synchros.

Now jack and support the car from the passenger side. Crawl under and have your assistant (usually a wife or unsuspecting kid) hand you the exit hose from the pump. Insert into the fill hole and and kick the pump on. With a good pump and a 600 rpm or so drill, the entire contents of the jug are emptied into the tranny in about 60 seconds. Fill the tranny until a slight amount of overflow comes from the fill opening.

Put your catch basin back in place and slowly lower the car from the jack stands. As the car is lowered, the fluid level is automatically set. Apply some thread sealant to the fill plug and reinstall. Again, DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN! I've found this process to be much less frustrating than trying to worm a funnel and hose down from the engine compartment. I recommend trying RedLine Synthetic Dextron II or Mobile 1 Synthetic ATF fluids. I think they give much smoother shifts than your ordinary dino-oils.

Disclaimer: This page was researched and written by Dan Masters. Views expressed are those of the author, and are provided without warrantee or guarantee. Apply at your own risk.

British V8 Home:        Read the Magazine        Photo Gallery        Web Forum        Annual Meets        Contact Us        Site Map