Adrian Akhurst's 4.5L Rover-powered '78 MGB-V8

Adrian Akhurst's 4.5L Rover-powered '78 MGB-V8

Owner: Adrian Akhurst
City: Adelaide, Australia
Model: 1978 MGB Roadster
Engine: 4.5L Rover V8
Conversion completed by: Adrian Akhurst at AA Automotive

Engine: Adrian started with a Rover 3.5L V8 engine from an SD1 saloon, but he bored and stroked it to 4.5L capacity. It was rebuilt and balanced. Forged Hepolite pistons with short skirts were selected. Compression ratio was raised from 8.3 to 9.5:1. Heads were ported and polished, and the intake manifold was match-ported. An Isky cam and adjustable timing gear were fitted, as was a high-flow oil pump. SD1 engine mounts were used.
Induction: A Land Rover Discovery EFI system was fitted, but instead of using Rover's Hot-Wire Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor and electronic controls, Adrian instead fitted a "Wolf 3D" engine control system, which uses a manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor in lieu of MAF. A Bosch electric fuel pump was located in the battery box.
Exhaust: Adrian fabricated tri-y headers with 1 5/8" primaries into 2.25" pipes. He wrapped them in Thermo Tech insulation. They feed into four mufflers. The fuel tank was centered so that dual exhaust could exit on either side.
Cooling: MGB "V8" radiator (extended core) with twin electric fans, supplemented by a 16-row oil cooler.
Transmission: Adrian used the Borg Warner Type 65 3-speed automatic box from the Rover SD1.
Rear Axle: 3.07 MG axle (open differential)
Suspension: Adrian modified the rubber-bumper MGB front crossmember to lower the car, and in lieu of coil springs he fitted MGC-style torsion springs. He also fitted gas telescopic shocks, and a big sway bar. He set up the front suspension with negative static camber. In the rear he fitted stiffer rear springs, anti-tramp bars of his own design, and gas shocks. He used urethane bushings everywhere.
Brakes: In the front Adrian fitted DBA vented, drilled, slotted 276mm rotors and Volvo 260 4-pot calipers. In the rear he's using the stock MGB drum brakes.
Wheels/Tires: 16x7 CSA wheels with Bridgestone 205/50 tires
Bodywork: Adrian crafted his own fiberglass bonnet and bumpers. He painted exterior trim such as the windscreen surrounds flat black. The main paint color is a factory RV8 color called "White Gold".
Interior: Honda bucket seats, RV8 steering wheel, SD1 gauges, and a custom carbon-fiber right-hand drive dashboard
Interesting factoid: Adrian imported this 1978 MGB from the US to Australia. Reportedly, "good" MGB project cars are hard to find in Australia. This decision is especially interesting for two reasons. Australia never received their own rubber-bumper MGB's, plus they drive on the left side of the road, so Adrian converted the car from left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive.

no bumper lines
No bumper lines.

ceramic coated headers for MGB V8
Ceramic coated tri-y headers. (Note: the header shown here actually belongs on the opposite side
of the engine for proper performance and fit.)

ventilated front brake rotors for MGB
Ventilated front brake rotors.

clean MGB undercarriage
Clean undercarriage.

MGB telescoping rear shock and traction bar
Telescoping rear shock and traction bar.

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