Lloyd Faust's 1965 MGB with Buick 215 V-8

(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 3 Issue 1)

Owner: Lloyd Faust
City: Placentia, CA
Model: 1965 MG MGB
Engine: Buick 215 V-8
Donor Car: 1961 Buick Skylark Sport

How It Was Done

Engine: 0.030" overbore. NOS crankshaft. Crower camshaft. Offenhauser intake manifold with 390cfm Holley carburetor. (Previously had a Buick 4bbl manifold with the Holley but didn't like it.) Uprated oil pump. Mallory distributor. Bronze valve guides. Stainless steel valves. NOS MG V8 valve covers. Balanced.
Transmission: 1992 Borg-Warner T5 manual 5-speed from IROC Camaro. Close ratio gearset and front case from IROC Camaro. Tailshaft housing and output shaft from Mustang GT. This is necessary to place shifter in correct location in MGB. Hurst shifter from 1992 Mustang GT.
Bellhousing: stock Buick 215. Transmission is a direct bolt-on because the T5 bolt-pattern is identical to the original Buick T-10 4-speed pattern.
Clutch Slave: Jaguar XKE 6-cylinder type slave cylinder.
Clutch: 10" Chevy diaphragm. Modified GM clutch fork.
Flywheel: Schaeffer aluminum aftermarket flywheel from early 1960s, redrilled from 9-1/2" Buick to 10" Chevy clutch.
Exhaust: tube headers with 1 piece flanges. 2" diameter pipes. Thrush CXV mufflers.
Brakes: stock MGB front. Series 1 Jaguar XKE discs on rear. (See "Rear Suspension".) Late model MGB master cylinder and booster.
Wheels & Tires: Minilite Sport wheels. 6-1/2" x 14", Yokohama AVS "intermediates" VR-rated, 205/60R14.
Front Suspension: 450 lb short coils. Uprated lever arm shock absorbers. V-8 lower control arm bushings. 3/4" anti-sway bar.
Rear Suspension: complete Jaguar XKE rear suspension assembly, narrowed 1-1/8" per side with new hubs machined for 4x4-1/2" MGB bolt pattern. Inboard rear brakes. Dana 44 ring gear and pinion. Limited slip differential. This set-up is unbreakable and unbeatable.
Cooling: 4-row coil 3" taller than stock to take 16" puller fan. '77 type MGB radiator tanks, mounted in V8 position with overflow tank, short shaft water pump from Jeep, runs at 180 degrees in hot Southern California. 11 louvers on each side of hood made the difference.
Rear End: 3.54:1 Jaguar XKE, originally had 3.08:1 but this was extremely tall with the Camaro 5th gear overdrive in transmission, so went to the 3.54.
Instruments: NOS MG V8 speedometer, tachometer, and dual gauge, original (late style) fuel gauge, Smiths voltmeter from '69 E-type Jaguar.
Notes: if your smog laws permit it, use a '77 or later car. Far easier to back date the body than modify the early engine compartment. Don't use just any old MG because it is available. The smog laws in California generally rule out anything newer than a 1965.

The car was originally converted in 1972 and rebuilt in 1992. The original swap was performed for a total cost of $1500. Two cars were converted at the same time, the other one being the '66 MGB of Jim Stabe - the car in Hot Rod Magazine's Engine Swapping Book (Peterson's Complete Book of Engine Swapping No. 4 - Ed.)

I lost track of Jim in the early 80's when he went to San Diego to work for Air Research on turbos. (If anyone knows where Jim is, please let me know. -Ed.) He did convert his "B" to turbo Oldsmobile power. It was very fast with 10:1 compression and turbo, running 152mph at El Mirage in street trim minus windshield. Jim ran water injection and 15psi boost, using of all things a 2" SU carburetor from an E-type Jaguar. I sold my MGB V-8 in 1982 and the new owner drove it into the ground, eventually using it as a dog kennel! By 1984 it was just sitting in the yard and my personal license plate "NOT A 4" was allowed to expire.(It is now on a Porsche 914-6 and the owner refused an offer of $500 I made for it!) I bought the car back in 1990 for $4000 and now have about $10,000 in it after the 1992 rebuild. I did everything myself with the exception of the internal machine work. The cost reflects my desire to get "Just the right stuff."

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