LeRoy Barton's Ford/Yamaha Taurus SHO DOHC V6 powered MGB

LeRoy Barton's Ford/Yamaha SHO DOHC 24V V6 powered MGB

as published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume XV Issue 3, December 2007

Owner: LeRoy Barton
City: Lakewood Colorado
Model: 1972 MGB
Engine: Ford SHO V6
Conversion by: owner

Engine: 1989 Ford "Super High Output" 3.0L V6 engine. This model engine was developed for Ford by Yamaha. The engine has a sixty-degree iron block and aluminum cylinder heads. It's an "oversquare" design. In other words, the cylinder bore diameter (89mm) is bigger than the stroke (80mm). The engine is rated 220hp at 6200rpm, and 200ft.lbs. at 4800rpm, with redline at 7000rpm. (The electronic fuel injection system cuts off at 7300rpm.) The head design features dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. The SHO motor was developed mainly for front-wheel-drive applications, and in fact production was limited to the "Taurus SHO" model car. However, various Ford transmissions will bolt-up to the engine and the intake manifold is designed to be largely reversible (front to rear) which facilitates use in RWD applications. The intake manifold has variable length runners; their effective length is automatically adjusted (via electronically controlled valves) based on engine RPM to achieve optimized performance.
Engine Mods: although the intake manifold is nominally designed to be "reversible", LeRoy found it necessary to shorten the timing cover and to modify the induction hose in front of the throttle body for clearance. (Another option would be to custom machine a plenum spacer.) It was also necessary to lengthen wire harness leads to the fuel injectors. While modifying the wiring harness, LeRoy also removed some un-used wiring (e.g. leads to sensors that would've been on a Taurus power steering system.)
Cooling: 1964 Ford Fairlane radiator and late model GM electric cooling fan. Also, LeRoy custom-made the front air dam and the ductwork from it to the radiator core (as shown below.)
Exhaust: 2.5" exhaust system into one glass-pack muffler.
Transmission: Ford Ranger (Mazda "M5OD").
Rear Axle: narrowed Cadillac Seville (vintage 1977 or later) axle with 3.50:1 ratio, positraction (limited slip differential), and disc brakes.
Front Susp.: basically stock, except for polyurethane bushings and with the sway bar uprated to 3/4". The steering column is from a 1966 Chevy Corvair, and the steering wheel is from a GM S10/S15 pickup truck. Specially machined spacers were used to adapt the lug pattern.
Rear Susp.: stock MGB springs. Telescopic shock absorbers. The rear axle has been fitted with a "triangle link" that locates the rear axle side-to-side and also limits pinion travel. (It's fastened to the body with two Heim joints and the the rear axle with one rubberized bushing.)
Brakes: GM master cylinder. Four-piston front brake calipers (bought from Victoria British, but apparently they're an old BMW 2002 part. They're used with stock MGB rotors. Each caliper has multiple bleeder ports, and apparently it's critical which sequence you bleed them in.) Cadillac Seville rear brakes. Locar parking brake cable and junkyard (Chevy?) parking brake lever.
Wheels/Tires: aftermarket 16x8 (5x5 lug pattern) wheels with Toyo 205/55R16 tires.
Instruments: Ford Taurus SHO instrument cluster.
Chassis mods: extensive reinforcement of the frame and body including a rollover hoop with braces along the sides (beside the seats) and reinforcements under the floor. The firewall and transmission tunnel have been modified extensively for rearward placement of the engine.
Body mods: custom air dam and rocker panels. MGC hood (steel). Aftermarket rear spoiler. Enlarged rear wheel arches. (They've also been rolled, and inside the rear wheel wells the bump stop perches have been cut and plated back to provide increased tire clearance.) BMW jacking points have been welded into the reinforced floor structure. (Using the BMW scissors-jack under any of the four jacking points will lift two wheels off the ground without damaging or flexing the body.) High security door locks.
Paint: BMW "Titan Silver" (circa ~2000) PPG basecoat/clearcoat. (LeRoy advises that this is a particularly easy silver paint to work with: it doesn't streak like other metallic silvers and its comparitively easy to get a good color match if you have to do spot repairs.)
Interior mods: custom dashboard, made from an early model MGB steel dash (with an eyebrow fabricated from steel tube and covered with custom upholstery). The stereo radio is hidden beneath the old glove box lid, which incidentally features an octoganal aluminum knob. Custom door panels with map storage pockets and stereo speakers. Reupholstered Pontiac Fiero seats. Modern retracting seatbelts. Heater has been relocated to the trunk, with its ductwork routed forward along the driveshaft tunnel.
Electrical mods: the battery had to be relocated to the trunk to make room for the triangle bar (described above, under "rear suspension".) Almost all of the wiring has been replaced with Ford Taurus wiring. A modern fuse block has been fitted. LeRoy strongly recommends using soldered and heat-shrink covered splices in lieu of butt/crimped connectors!
Miles Driven: 20995 miles, between "completion" in 1999 and September 2007.
Comments: wherever possible LeRoy strongly recommends using OEM parts (new or from the junkyard) in lieu of "aftermarket high performance" parts. The aftermarket "performance" parts seem to provide far more quality problems.


 Please support the sponsoring companies who make BritishV8 possible, including:

1989 Ford Super High Output 3.0L V6 engine

variable length intake ports

firewall modifications

brake master cylinder and power booster

Ford Taurus SHO throttle body

itty bitty alternator

radiator mounting features

brake valve

Ford Fairlane radiator

mass airflow sensor

cam covers

Ford engine controller

ductwork into the Ford Fairlane radiator

glass pack muffler

floor pan and spring perch reinforcement

Cadillac Seville axle and rebound strap

GM pickup truck steering wheel

custom center console

Taurus SHO instrument cluster

headlamp switch

octoganal knob on glove box lid

hidden stereo head unit

Monster cable

Polk audio speakers

custom door panels with map pockets

Pontiac Fiero seats


roll hoop side braces

seat belt retractors

fuse panel, custom throttle pedal, Corvair collapsible steering column

battery and heater relocated to trunk

1972 MGB grille

MGC hood / bonnet

custom front spoiler / air dam for MGB

24V DOHC badge

MGB high security door locks

MGB rocker panels

MGB rear spoiler

Toyo 205/55R16 tires

In Process:

in process

All photographs (except the interior shot labeled "in process") were taken for The British V8 Newsletter by Curtis Jacobson (at Colorado Conclave 2007, in Arvada). Copyright 2007. All rights reserved!

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