Ron Howard's 1974 MGB/GT with Buick 215 V-8

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

Owner: Ron Howard
City: Raleigh NC
Model: 1974 MG MGB/GT
Engine: Buick 215 V-8
Donor Car: 1961 Buick Special

How It Was Done

Engine: high output oil pump. Kennebell Mk1XA camshaft (0.462" lift, 260 degree duration). K-Bell lifters and alloy pushrods. K-Bell double row timing chain and gears. Isky double wound valve springs. Offenhauser dual port, dual plane intake manifold. Holley 390cfm carburetor. Engine balanced. Heads ported and "touched up". Mallory Unilite distributor and coil. TRW rocker assemblies.
Transmission: MG 4-speed with overdrive. Had to "relieve" (Brit talk) a chunk out of the bellhousing to make way for the MG starter nose.
Clutch Slave: 1974 MGB.
Clutch: Rover 3500 SDI or Triumph TR8 QH type P/N C8865.
Flywheel: 1974 MGB. The clutch plate surface must be reduced to the bottom of the groove (approximately 1/8"). The recessed area to accommodate the centrifugal spring must be enlarged another 1/4" to hold the larger springs, new 10" clutch pressure plate mounting holes must be drilled and threaded.
Exhaust: the usual Rover/MG headers. Learned the hard way not to wrap with thermal insulation! (This will cause carbon steel headers to crack after a time because of the elevated temperature the steel must endure. - Ed.)
Brakes: (front) drilled rotors and oversize pads.
(rear) Lincoln disc and calipers. Stainless steel braided lines.
Wheels & Tires: Minilite replicas (5.5 x 14) with 185/70 Goodyear Eagle GT+4's.
Front Suspension: negative camber lower control arms. 3/4" anti-sway bar. Short N-D springs. V-8 bushings. (Next project: Ron Hutchinson's coil over shock system.)
Rear Suspension: 3/4" anti-sway bar. KONI shock absorbers. Urethane bushings on bar.
Cooling: custom built radiator consisting of approximately 3/4 of a 5-row big block Chevy unit.
Rear End: 3.0:1 narrowed 8" Ford with locking differential, built by Currie Enterprises.
Instruments: MG tachometer converted to 8-cylinder and speedometer cable reducing gearbox, both done by Nichols Speedo and Instrument Co, PO Box 5051, 1336 Oakland Ave., Greensboro NC 27403.
Conversion: by owner, in 1990.

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