Martyn Harvey: Autocrossing at British V8 2004
Martyn Harvey: Autocrossing at British V8 2004

Martyn Harvey's 1979 MGB LE, with Rover V8

Owner: Martyn Harvey
City: Waterloo, Ontario CA
Model: 1979 MGB-LE
Engine: Rover 3.5L

Engine: Rover 79 SD1 3.5 litre (215, 9.75 compression ratio Vittesse pistons, Isky 262 camshaft, Cloyes timing chain, balanced crankshaft, flowed heads and intake, Melling oil pump (50psi), 1964 Buick 300 water pump (part number P591).
Induction: Holley 390cfm 4bbl / Carter 400cfm AFB, Offenhausser intake.
Ignition: Rover distributor with Crane-Allison optical electronic sensor, Lucas Sport Coil, Taylor spiro 8mm wires, timing set to 12 BTDC with 35 degrees max advance (at 2500rpm)
Exhaust: Clive Wheatley stainless RV8-style headers and exhaust system.
Transmission: Rover 5 speed.
F. Suspension: 1974 MGB/GT coil springs, Spax adjustable telescopic shocks, 3/4 inch Ron Hopkinson sway bar, MGB V8 bushings
R. Suspension: MGB/GT leaf springs, Ron Hopkinson sway bar, Spax adjustable shocks, Towery traction bars.
Rear Axle: Ford 9 inch, 3.25:1 ratio, and limited slip differential.
Brakes: Standard MGB front discs. Rear drums. Kevlar cold stop pads and linings, braided hoses, silicon fluid.
Wheels/Tires: GB Minilite replicas (14x6), Yokohama A509 195-65 H
Miscellaneous: Pontiac Fiero seats with integral stereo speakers, Hella driving lights, Delco alternator, Snugtop hardtop, double roll bar, anti-theft system, louvered hood.
Weight: 2500 pounds.
Performance: Max Torque = 174 ft-lbs, Max Power = 174 SAE Horsepower at 6000 rpm. (as measured at-the-wheels on a DynoJet dynomometer)

Martyn Harvey: in Tennessee for British V8 2003
Martyn Harvey: Touring Tennessee after British V8 2003

HARV8: modeling a brand new convertible top
Modeling a Brand New Convertible Top

MGB V8 from the back

MGB V8 from the side

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

By: Martyn Harvey
City: Waterloo, Ontario
Model: 1979 MGB
Date of Conversion: Oct. 1995 - Oct. 1996

How It Was Done

Engine: 1979 Rover 3.5 liter from Rover SD1, 9.75:1 pistons (+0.020"), Isky 262 camshaft, balanced crankshaft and flywheel, True Roller timing chain, Holley 390 cfm 4-bbl carburetor, Offenhauser dual port intake manifold, Crane-Allison electronic ignition, upgraded oil pump gears.
Transmission: 1979 Rover 5-speed from SD1, new main shaft bearings, new seals and oil pump. New driveshaft utilizing Triumph TR6 with Hardy Spicer and U-joints both ends.
Bellhousing: 1979 Rover SD1.
Clutch Slave: 1979 Rover SD1, new seals.
Clutch: 1979 Rover SD1, relined.
Flywheel: 1979 Rover SD1, balanced.
Exhaust: tubular headers from the V8 Conversion Co.
Brakes: new MGB rotors and calipers, semi-metallic pads, MGB power assist, new master cylinder, new rear linings and cylinders, silicone fluid.
Tires/Wheels: Minilite replica (14" x 6") with Michelin XGT4 185/70 tires.
Suspension: Ron Hopkinson sway bars front and rear. Front bar is 3/4" diameter. New GT coils at front, new GT leafs ar rear. Nylatron rear shackle bushings. Spax telescoping shocks, front and rear.
Cooling: new heavy-duty North American core, twin electric cooling fans with a Chrysler thermostat switch built into the radiator.
Rear End: 9" narrowed Ford with Posi-Traction, 3.25:1 gears, MGB drums, Triumph TR6 U-joint adapted.
Instruments: original factory V8 tachometer. All instruments original 1979 MGB with chrome bezels.
Conversion by:   owner. Rear end and engine rebuilt by Forest Racing, Kitchener Ontario.
Estimated Cost; $7500 Canadian, excluding original car.

I have covered about 500km since getting the car drivable in October of 1996. One thing is sure - it ain't no "B" anymore!!! Needless to say, I am thrilled with my machine and cannot wait for next spring to arrive. The car has a 2-1/4" single exhaust pipe system, no muffler, but has two custom made resonators at the rear ending up and exiting through a double chrome tip. She is very throaty and sounds like Steve McQueen's Boss Mustang in the movie "Bullitt". She revs at 2300 rpm at 60mph in fifth with the 3.25:1 differential. The Ford Posi is really tight and I have to keep adding friction modifier. Since the car is still "running-in" I have not pushed her hard yet. I have installed a manual switch for the cooling fans and also wired in a security kill switch a la Roger Williams' book (How to Give Your MGB V8 Power). I intend to install Fiero seats over the winter and also change the front coil springs. I have a new pair of GT coils installed and the car is too high at the front. I am going to try a pair of used 1972 chrome bumper coils and see if I can get it down an inch.

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