David Griffith's 1977 MGB with Rover 3.5 V8

(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 6 Issue 2)

By: David Griffith
City: Houston TX
Model: 1977 MG MGB
Engine: Rover 3.5 V8

How It Was Done

Engine: 1981 Rover SD1 3.5L. Balanced, blueprinted, polished inner block, ported and polished heads, cam grind from The Wedge Shop, 10.5:1 compression, lightened flywheel, Holley 450cfm carburetor, Offenhauser intake manifold, Crane HI-6 ignition.
Transmission: 1981 Rover SD1 5-speed. Rebuilt twice. Note! Do not tow even a mile with driveshaft in place, transmission will seize!
Bellhousing: 1981 Rover SD1.
Clutch Slave: 1981 Rover SD1.
Clutch: 1981 Rover SD1.
Flywheel: 1981 Rover SD1.
Exhaust: MGB RV8. (Block hugger type hit steering shaft.)
Brakes: cross-drilled rotors.
Wheels/Tires: 14" Datsun 280ZX wheels with 195/60 tires.
Suspension: fiberglass rear springs (are great and light!), Panhard rod (British Automotive, rebuilt shocks, factory rear sway bar w/ nylon bushings, chrome bumper front crossmember, negative camber A-arms, MGB-GT V8 front springs, 3/4" MGB-GT V8 front sway bar with nylon bushings.
Cooling: RV8 radiator, stock electric fans, Buick V6 water pump, Chevy V-8 billet pulley.
Rear End: stock 3.9:1. Will put in 3.07:1 once I have another $1000 handy. I want to keep this as much MG as possible, so U.S. rear end is not an option.
Instruments: tach converted to 8 cylinder (Glen Towery.)
Conversion By: owner in 10' by 25' storage unit... what a pain in the #@$%&$#!
Sources: D&D Fabrications, The Wedge Shop (great engine source), Glen Towery, Bob Hyclack.
Recommendations: Don't use set back A/C style engine mounts if you use chrome bumper crossmember. Send engine to a specialist, it will be most cost effective and save you time aas well as running around. I recommend The Wedge Shop (508) 880-5448. I got good price on parts and labor for the heads I sent them. PJM Motors (England) has a great RV8 interior, complete for $1500.
If Done Again: NEVER two Rover 5-speed ANY distance with driveshaft in as trans will seize. My checkbook is now $300 lighter. Again, if you use the chrome bumper crossmember and rearward engine location, be prepared to do a lot of fitting.
Conversion Cost: $16,000, excluding original car.

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