Jack Allen's 1968 MGC/GT with 1982 Camaro 2.8L V6

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

Owner: Jack Allen
City: Ormond Beach, FL
Model: 1968 MG MGC/GT
Engine: 2.8L V-6 from a 1982 Chevy Camaro
Converted: 1993

How It Was Done

Modifications: headers and motor mounts.
Transmission: 1982 Camaro 3-speed automatic.
Exhaust: homemade headers.
Wheels: stock MGC.
Suspension: front end lowered 1-1/2" by adjusting the torsion bars.
Cooling: stock MGC.
Rear End: stock MGC.

Tips and Recommendations

I am the second owner of my 1968 MGC/GT. Wanting to restore the car to original condition for years, I finally gave up on the idea and decided to convert to an American made power plant and transmission. The MG was originally an automatic with wire wheels and air conditioning and living in central Florida or ever visiting here you know what a plus AC is.

The engine compartment of the "C" model is much larger than the "B" and the heavier suspension is just waiting for the 2.8L Chevy V6 and 3-speed automatic out of a 1982 Camaro. I wasn't looking for an '82, it just "fell into my lap." The engine had recently been rebuilt and ran very well.

The complete MGC 3.0L straight six and automatic transmission weighs in at a very horsepower consuming 704 pounds versus an impressive 470 pounds for the Chevy conversion. The installed engine sits completely behind the front crossmember. With such a large loss of weight in the front, torsion bars had to be adjusted to lower the the front a full one and one-half (1-1/2) inches. With this weight loss and the entire weight of the engine being shifted behind the front axle the car now handles like a dream, almost like power steering.

The headers are homemade at this time with plans to have a good set made in the near future. The original muffler was removed and the original y-connection, after sawing off the bends on the header pipe, was used to connect the 1-1/2" header pipes to a single pipe. This configuration mounts to the existing hangers and to the existing resonator which now acts as a muffler. Surprisingly, the car is quiret but when you want to hear the power of that little V-6, a little more than necessary throttle will let you know it's there in sound and acceleration. It reminds me of the sound the Plymouth Roadrunner made on acceleration in the late 60's and early 70's.

I found no need to modify the brakes, tires, or wheels. This is a plus since I wanted to keep the original MGC appearance.

An electric fan from an unknown car that I found in a salvage yard was adapted to the radiator and looks as if it was made for the car. The biggest shock came when I was installing the radiator hoses and realized that the MGC does not have a filler cap on the radiator. I removed the filler bracket from the "C", took a thermostat hose connector off a "B" model, and mounted it to the bottom of the "C" bracket.

I then made a bracket to secure it above the radiator and connected a hose to the engine and another hose to the radiator. Why did I go to this trouble? Simple economics plus if I had a filler cap installed on my radiator the hood would not close.

All of the original sending units off of the "C" engine were used on the V-6, therefore all of the gauges work with no problem. I did have to make an adapter for the oil pressure unit to clear the motor mount.

I used the Chevy driveshaft cut down with a new yoke welded to it. U-joints were no problem as the MG joints matched the Chevy's.

The MGC motor mounts were used after much modification. I suggest going to a good welding shop, give them your drawings, and let them do all the cursing and wondering what kind of derange person wants this impossible piece made.

All in all, it has been a lot of fun. The engine and transmission cost $636. I also got an extra blown engine that I used to salvage metal for homemade brackets. The driveshaft work including balancing was $97. Exhaust pipe bends and brackets were $70 for a grand total of $803. I have my Porsche killer. 0 to 60 under 6 seconds, an unknown top end... (Cluck, Cluck!) I do get great satisfaction in pulling away from young kids in the so called fast cars, but only to the speed limit which comes up so soon now.

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