MGB front crossmember cut open     MGB front crossmember reinforced

The Sump of All Fears

This article appeared in The British V8 Newsletter - Volume XII, Issue 2 - May 2004

by: William M. Lane and James Jewell
researched by: Steve Carrick

Serendipity is one of those big words I like to use now and again to feel smart or creative. So imagine how I felt receiving a series of detailed photos and schematics for notching the MGB cross-member from William Lane just a few days after laying out Greg Myer's article on the challenges of fitting a Ford 302 into an MGB. Serendipity, Baby!

While William documented this mod as part of his own Ford 302 conversion, it really opens up the MGB to a whole world of engine transplants. Anyone who knows me has heard me go on and on about the all-aluminum 32-valve Cadillac Northstar engine as a possible powerplant for our beloved LBCs. Well, the Northstar as well as some Mopars, and who-knows-how-many-other Hi-Po 4, 6 and 8-bangers have the deepest portion of their sumps up front. The dimensions in these drawings, originally provided by Steve Carrick, are a rough starting point and can be tweaked as needed for a given application. You will see from the following plans and photos that an actual cross-member is a bit more dimensionally complex than can be easily represented with simple drawings; however this should not pose a great challenge to the average do-it-yourselfer.

The Sump of All Fears
Simplified front or rear view of the cross-member showing approximately how much material can be removed.

Steve and William's plans call for notching the cross-member and replacing the lost rigidity by welding in 2 sections of angle-iron. Others have gotten away with just welding a flat plate across the top of the notched crossmember. While both methods have been shown to work, the method presented here will produce an extremely rigid cross-member.

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boxed-in ends
Close-in the ends of the notch too.

boxed-in ends

Disclaimer: This page was researched by Steve Carrick and written by William M. Lane and James Jewell. Views expressed are those of the authors, and are provided without warrantee or guarantee. Apply at your own risk.

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