Robert Franzen's 1979 MGB with Buick 215 V8

(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 9 Issue 3)

By: Robert Franzen
City: Stevensville, MI
Model: 1979 MG MGB
Engine: Buick 215 V8

How It Was Done

Engine: a 215 ci aluminum V8 from a 1962 Buick Special, the engine has been rebuilt to stock specifications by Wolfies Competition Engines, and sports a Carter 500 cfm carburetor, a Mallory Unilite solid state ignition module, and a MSD 2 Master Blaster ignition coil. A heavy duty oil pump has been installed, pumping through an external oil filter.
Transmission: a Borg Warner T5 five speed transmission from a Camaro Z-28 is used, mated to a stock bellhousing. The transmission drives a shortened Z-28 driveshaft, modified to mate to the Ford rear axle.
Clutch/flywheel: the clutch, flywheel, and pressure plate are all by South Bend Clutch, operated by an internal throw-out bearing.
Exhaust: Towery Foreign Cars supplied the headers, made of stainless steel.
Brakes: front brakes are stock, with drilled rotors and heavy duty pads, while the rear brakes are stock Ford drums.
Wheels/Tires: tires are Michelin 185R 14 91T M&S, mounted on stock wheels.
Suspension: a heavy duty (7/8") sway bar has been installed at the front, along with V8 suspension bushings. At the rear, composite (graphite) springs have been installed, along with an anti-tramp bar from Moss Motors. V8 busings have been used here as well. Shocks are Spax air adjustable tube shocks. An upgrade is planned to add tube shocks at the front.
Cooling: the stock radiator has been modified, changing the outlets to match the V8. "Water-wetter" additive is used to help with the cooling chores, in conjunction with the stock electric fans. Water is routed in and out of the radiator via "Cool-Flex" hoses.
Rear End: the axle is from a Ford Falcon or a Mustang, narrowed to fit.
Instruments: stock MG speedo and tach bezels are modified to accept VDO instruments. Speedometer is electronic.
Conversion By: John Freeling, Bruce Wolf, Kurt Schley, Glen Towery, and the owner, Robert Franzen.
Sources: Moss Motors, Towery Foreign Cars, Kurt Schley, car shows, and other V8 owners.
Cost: total cost of the conversion, exclusive of the original car, was arount $2000-$2500.

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