Jos Minderhoud's 1976 MGB GT V8 with Rover 3500 Aluminum V8 Engine

Jos Minderhoud's factory MGB GT V8: restored, with Sebring kit!

as published in BritishV8 Magazine, Volume XIX Issue I, December 2011

Owner: Jos Minderhoud
BritishV8 UserID: Lesswood
City: Grijpskerke, The Netherlands
Model: 1976 MG (factory) MGB GT V8
Engine: Rover 3500cc V8
Built by: owner and his father

Features and Specifications

Engine: Rover 3500 V8 (ex SD1). Dual SU HIF6 carburetors on standard Rover SD1 intake manifold. Standard Lucas electronic ignition with 35DLM8 distributor. Remotely mounted oil filter.
Cooling: stock MGB GT V8 radiator and oil cooler. Stock dual electric fans, re-wired to a manual switch on the dashboard. Various aerodynamic modifications for cooling (see below.)
Exhaust: four-into-one block hugger headers. Home-made stainless steel exhaust plumbing, muffler, and tail pipe.
Transmission: Rover LT77 5-speed. Standard Rover clutch and slave cylinder, with custom made clutch hose. Home-made driveshaft (i.e. LT77 driveshaft rebuilt with small MGB flange at the back.)
Rear End: standard MGB rear axle (3.9:1).
Front Susp.: RHD To LHD conversion. Standard rubber-bumper MGB Front suspension with V8 bushings added, and with extra long lower wishbones to produce negative camber. Stiffeners added to steering rack brackets to suit bigger (15x7) front wheels.
Rear Susp.: standard MGB rear suspension with lowered leafsprings.
Brakes: (master) LHD pedestal and tandem master cylinder. MGB power brake servo.
(front) original V8 calipers and thicker rotors.
(rear) stock drums.
Wheels/Tires: special ordered Compomotive wheels (15x7J) with cast on bosses to accommodate Sebring body widening. Federal Super Steel 621 tires (205/65/15 front, 215/65/15 rear.)
Interior: RHD to LHD conversion. Mountney steering wheel. Custom made dashboard (LHD) with stainless steel instrument switch panel and chrome toggle switches. Dashboard mounted starter pushbutton. Tunnel console covered with foam and leather upholstery. Reupholstered seats (grayish dark blue leather) with small headrests. Wooden trim accents added. Rear seat removed and replaced with custom speaker and Pioneer amplifier installation. Sony 10 CD changer installed next to spare tire.
Instruments: standard MGB GT V8 instruments including 80psi oil pressure gauge.
Exterior: fiberglass Sebring wings. Modified bonnet with cowl-induction style hood scoop for engine cooling. Early model (1962-1969) MGB grille. Front valance (steel) raised one inch and flared at the ends. H2 fog lights, integrated in front valance. Sebring rear valance. Home-made replacement for the Webasto roof, installed on existing rails. Quick-lock (pop to open) fuel filler. Rally mirrors. Custom stainless steel license plate mounting and lighting. Custom modified stainless steel side trim strips on front and rear fenders.
Weight: 1030kg. (Weighed when registered.)
Performance: power and torque not yet tested. Gear ratios should result in 2150rpm at 100kph.
Completed: issued a Dutch license in August 2010. Driven ~500km since, as of July 2011.
Comments: MG Car Club of Holland named this car Winner of their Most Remarkable Restoration of 2009. (Awarded at the Houten convention, January 2010.)


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Engine Installation

Later model 3500cc aluminum engine, taken from a Rover SD1.
The original Rover V8 engine for this car has been replaced with a similar but
later model 3500cc aluminum engine, taken from a Rover SD1 saloon.

The most conspicuous difference between an original MGB GT V8 engine and a Rover SD1 engine.
The most conspicuous difference between an original MGB GT V8 engine and a Rover SD1 engine
is right up top. Although they both use dual S.U. carburetors, they're mounted on different
intake manifolds. The MG manifold (not shown) placed the carburetors lower and rearward, and
the axis of the throttle bores were oriented parallel to the crankshaft, not perpindicular.

With an original MGB GT V8 manifold, there's no need to add a bulge or scoop to the hood.
With an original MGB GT V8 manifold, there's no need to add a bulge or scoop to the hood.

Cooler air is denser air.
Cooler air is denser air. A vent in the hood can potentially improve performance by
providing more oxygen-dense air for the engine to work with.

Recirculation shields omitted.
Unorthodox approach: rather than building up shields to prevent airflow from bypassing
the radiator, Jos has taken the opposite approach. He has even removed original bracketry
on either side of the radiator in an attempt to coax more airflow into the engine compartment.
The vent at the back of the hood is primarily intended to let hot engine compartment air escape.

Tandem master and close-coupled booster.
Original factory MGB GT V8s only came with single-circuit master cylinders and remotely
mounted power brake boosters, which was all the home market required. Jos has updated
this MGB GT V8 export specification: tandem master and close-coupled booster.

Finesse work with a hammer.
Jos found that the inner wings required a little finesse work with a hammer to
provide clearance for the block hugger headers.

Standard Lucas electronic ignition with 35DLM8 distributor.
Standard Lucas electronic ignition with 35DLM8 distributor.

Dual SU HIF6 carburetors on standard Rover SD1 intake manifold.
Dual SU HIF6 carburetors on standard Rover SD1 intake manifold.

Stock MGB GT V8 radiator and dual electric fans.
Stock MGB GT V8 radiator and dual electric fans.

Breaking from tradition, and Lucas, original MGB GT V8s were built with Delco-Remy alternators.
Breaking from tradition, and Lucas, original MGB GT V8s were built with Delco-Remy alternators.

Tubular four-into-one block hugger headers.
Stock MGB GT V8s originally had cast iron exhaust manifolds. This one has
been rebuilt with tubular four-into-one block hugger headers instead.

Clean wiring.
Clean wiring.

A good view of the Rover LT77 transmission's aluminum alloy bellhousing.
A good view of the Rover LT77 transmission's aluminum alloy bellhousing.

Timing chain cover and motor mount.
Timing chain cover and motor mount.

A valley pan transmits more engine noise.
Instead of the intake manifold meeting the engine block all the way around, GM designed
this V8 engine to utilize a thin sheetmetal "valley pan". This approach saves weight.
Probably the biggest downside is that a valley pan transmits more engine noise.

Something to keep mechanics busy: multiple carburetors have long been favored in Europe.
Multiple carburetors have long been favored in Europe.

Oil lines and fan mounting.
Oil lines and fan mounting.

Remote oil filter mounting bracket.
Remote oil filter mounting bracket. To the right, two rivet holes where the car number
plate used to attach. (It's been relocated to the slam panel, as seen below.)

Oil lines from the engine toward the filter and oil cooler.
Oil lines from the engine toward the filter and oil cooler.

Starter motor.
Starter motor.

Four-into-one block hugger headers.
Four-into-one block hugger headers.

Home-made stainless steel muffler.
Home-made stainless steel muffler (going together).

Transmission mounts.
Transmission mounts.

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Front Suspension

Notice the ductwork around the oil cooler.
Notice the ductwork around the oil cooler.

Refreshed front suspension.
Refreshed front suspension.

Original V8 calipers and thicker rotors.
Original V8 calipers and thicker rotors.


Rear Suspension

Salisbury axle, and all the parts to install it.
Salisbury axle, and all the parts to install it.

Stock four-cylinder MGBs came with 3.909:1 ring-and-pinion sets whereas original MGB GT V8s...
Stock four-cylinder MGBs came with 3.909:1 ring-and-pinion sets whereas original MGB GT V8s
usually came with 3.07:1 gearing. Jos will use the MGB ratio, at least for awhile.

The 3.5L engine produces enough torque that first gear won't be needed to launch this lightweight car.
The 3.5L engine produces enough torque that first gear won't be needed to launch this lightweight car.

Filler paneling, custom made to fill the wheel arches.
Filler paneling, custom made to fill the wheel arches.

Special ordered Compomotive (15x7J) wheels.
Special ordered Compomotive (15x7J) wheels.

Cast-in bosses which alter the wheel backspacing.
Instead of using a wider axle or hub spacers, Jos ordered these wheels with special
cast-in bosses which alter the backspacing, and thus accommodate Sebring body width.

Body Restoration

A very rusty MGB GT bodyshell.
A very rusty MGB GT bodyshell.

Worth messing with? Maybe, but only because this is a rare factory MGB GT V8 bodyshell.
Worth messing with? Yes, but probably only because this is a rare factory MGB GT V8 bodyshell.

MGB front fenders don't carry much load, but the rear quarterpanels do.
MGB front fenders don't carry much load, but the rear quarterpanels do. This car will have
fiberglass quarterpanels, so the steel underneath needs to be restored to tip-top shape.

This photo shows off a great amount of skilled labor.
This photo shows off a great amount of skilled labor.

Modified bonnet with cowl-induction style hood scoop for engine cooling.
Modified bonnet with cowl-induction style hood scoop for engine cooling.

Newly installed traditional Sebring-style fiberglass rear fenders.
Newly installed traditional Sebring-style fiberglass rear fenders.

Building out the area beneath the taillamps.
If you compare this photo to earlier shots of the bodyshell (above), you can see how omission
of the original rubber bumpers has necessitated building out the area beneath the taillamps.

Shiny new paint.
Shiny new paint.

Transporting the painted bodyshell home, ready for reassembly.
Transporting the painted bodyshell home, ready for reassembly.

Interior

Right-hand-drive to left-hand-drive conversion. Mountney steering wheel.
Right-hand-drive to left-hand-drive conversion. Mountney steering wheel.

Custom made sculpted dashboard.
Custom made sculpted dashboard.

Stainless steel switch panel, chrome toggle switches, and starter pushbutton.
Stainless steel switch panel, chrome toggle switches, and starter pushbutton.

On either side of the radio console, there's a vertical slider for heater vents.
On either side of the radio console, there's a vertical slider for heater vents.

Tunnel console covered with foam and leather upholstery.
Tunnel console covered with foam and leather upholstery.

Wooden trim accents added.
Wooden trim accents added.

Home-made replacement for the Webasto roof, installed on existing rails.
Home-made replacement for the Webasto roof, to be installed on existing rails.

Installation of the Webasto sliding roof.
Installation of the Webasto sliding roof.

Jos Minderhoud
Jos Minderhoud, at home in the garage.


Exterior

MG Car Club of Holland named this car Winner of their Most Remarkable Restoration of 2009!
MG Car Club of Holland named this car Winner of their Most Remarkable Restoration of 2009!

MGB GT V8 car number tag (car 2341)
Factory MGB GT V8 car number tag. "GD2D1-2341 G" can be parsed and translated as follows:
G = MG, D = 3,000cc and over, 2 = two door, D = GT body, 1 = 1st series. 2341 is the
car's serial number. After prototype and pre-production cars, serialized chrome-bumper
MGB GT V8s were assigned serial numbers from 0101 through 1956. A first series of
rubber-bumper GTs were numbered 2101 through 2632, and later 2701 through 2903.

Dad lends a hand.
Dad lends a hand.

1030 kilograms = 2271 pounds.
1030 kilograms = 2271 pounds.

This is an early model (1962-1969) MGB grille.
This is an early model (1962-1969) MGB grille.

Front valance (steel) raised one inch and flared at the ends.
Front valance (steel) raised one inch and flared at the ends.

Sebring rear valance. Note: this car originally had big, black rubber bumpers.
Sebring rear valance. Note: this car originally had big, black rubber bumpers.

Quick-lock (pop to open) fuel filler.
Quick-lock (pop to open) fuel filler.

H2 fog lights, integrated in front valance.
H2 fog lights, integrated in front valance.

Rally mirror.
Rally mirror.

Rear seat removed and replaced with custom speaker and Pioneer amplifier installation.
Rear seat removed and replaced with custom speaker and Pioneer amplifier installation.

Custom modified stainless steel side trim strips on front and rear fenders.
Custom modified stainless steel side trim strips on front and rear fenders.

Federal Super Steel 621 tires (205/65/15 front, 215/65/15 rear.)
Federal Super Steel 621 tires (205/65/15 front, 215/65/15 rear.)

Jos reports he's considering upgrading to electronic fuel injection.
Future plans? Jos reports he's considering upgrading to electronic fuel injection.




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