James Kaiser's 1979 MGB Roadster with 1961 Buick 215 V-8

(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 4 Issue 1)

By: James Kaiser
City: West Olive, MI
Model: 1979 MGB Roadster
Engine: 1961 Buick 215 V-8

How It Was Done

Engine: the 215 was bored out to 0.030" over. Front cam bearings replaced, oil galleys drilled out and an oil pick-up out of a V-8 Buick was installed. Heads completely rebuilt and milled 0.030". Crower mid-range cam installed. Used stock distributor and ignition. Also installed a high volume oil-pump using a V-6 Buick oil pump base (Metric). Used stock 4 barrel intake manifold with a Carter 500 cfm carburetor. Installed stainless steel headers, purchased from Glen Towery.
Transmission: 1985 Mustang GT T-5 5-speed. I made an adapter plate to mount the transmission to the GM bellhousing (bolt pattern different and the pilot shaft on the Ford is 3/4" longer). Pilot bearing must be reamed to fit Ford pilot shaft.
Slave Cylinder: I used a Weber adjustable hydraulic throw-out bearing. This was very simple to install and get working.
Cooling: used stock '79 radiator, but turned it 180 degrees and plugged the existing holes, installed new holes where we needed them. Only cost $40.00 to do this. Used a 12" flex fan, may go to a 13" or 14" if necessary.
Brakes: still stock but will upgrade soon.
Suspension: the only plans I have right now are to install torsion bars from Glen Towery.
Coming Soon: roll bar and dual exhaust.
Comments: the conversion was simple and fun. It took only one week from when I took the four cylinder out to having the V-8 installed and running down the road. I would highly recommend contacting Glen Towery before doing the conversion. Glen really knows how to do these, and has a wealth of knowledge along with all the parts you are going to need.
Cost: $3500.00 - 4,000.00. (Don't tell my wife!)

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