Jeff Stobbe's 1964 MGB with Buick 215 V8
(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 6 Issue 2)
By: Jeff Stobbe
City: Capitola, CA
Model: 1964 MG MGB
Engine: Buick 215 V8
How It Was Done
|Engine:||stock Buick 215 2-bbl model.
|Transmission:||stock Buick Dualpath air-cooled two speed automatic.
|Exhaust:||stock 1964 MGB mated to coated tubular headers.
|Brakes:||stock single-line MGB.
|Tires:||stock MGB wire wheels with Avon tires.
|Cooling:||MGB V8 radiator plus overflow tank plus louvers in hood, can drive easily in 104 degree weather.
|Rear End:||stock springs and shocks with Hopkins sway bar kit.
|Electric:||GM alternator, early large face electric tach converted to V-8, 1971 gas gauge,
1971 temperature gauge with voltage stabilizer, converted to negative ground, oil
pressure light - no gauge, late model fuel pump for more capacity, oveflow tube must
be attached to carb vent. A fuel cut-off switch is both handy and a theft deterrent
MGB speed drove fits into Dualpath with little change.
|Fuel Tank:||1971 12 gallon tank and sender.
I have finally finished my car and put a couple thousand miles on it. It is a dream to drive compared to a stock MGB and even in its original 2bbl/Dualpath configuration it's plenty powerful. I put everything in right out of the donor car (a 1962 Buick Special) just to get it all squared away. This winter the engine gets pulled and rebuilt, it's fairly worn out at this point. The Dualpath works fine, but the converter leaks down into the main trans body and it oveflows out the vent and dipstick. If I keep it topped up. A pint low and its fine.
I have already removed the Moss rear tube shocks, they are far too stiff, even with the soft setting, for me. They give the car a buckboard ride. However the Ron Hopkins sway bar kit front and rear gets my highest praise when coupled with the shock springs.
The most expensive part of the conversion is just restoring a 1964 MGB. I had to look for a pre SMOG car here in California, which means 1965 or before, just to avoid hassles. What I ended up with was a dented, three-owner, both sills rusted, $500 MGB. Two front fenders, 1/2 rear fender, doglegs, sills, and a fiberglassed floor later and it began to look like a normal MGB. It's a '64 with a '74 grille and '71 bumpers just because I like the look of those years.
The other expense was installing the 3.07:1 ring gear because the carrier had to be machined to accept the thicker gear. Some aspects went much easier than expected. I just cut a slit in the inner fenders, then folded and welded to make room for the headers. The steering rack had only to be lightly filed at the back bolts to lower its angle and clear the headers. A small extra shaft completed that problem. The driveshaft is 1/2 Buick and 1/2 MGB. The tube diameters are the same and a slightly thicker wall compensated for the increased length. No tunnel changes were needed for the Dualpath and being air-cooled, no radiator changes either. I've added a back-up light and a trailer hitch receiver. The receiver accepts a wire basket for extra stowage.
The racing stripes give me an extra 10mph sitting still!