Terry Zweifel's 1970 MGB with Ford 302 V8

(originally published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume 6 Issue 2)

By: Terry Zweifel
City: Santa Clara, CA
Model: 1970 MG MGB
Engine: Ford 302 V8

How It Was Done

Engine: 1970 Ford 210hp 302 cid Mustang engine. 500cfm Holley, substituted with the stock Ford 290cfm carburetor for California bi-annual smog check. I did a smog check with the Holley and found virtually no difference in "real world" emissions.
Transmission: Ford "Top Loader" 4-speed, wide-ratio transmission from a Torino 390GT. Small block input shaft. Fairlane tailshaft housing with shift linkage 2" forward of Mustang housing: stock MG position.
Bellhousing: 1970 Mustang modified with aluminum block mount for clutch slave cylinder.
Clutch Slave: 1970 (?) MG Midget with 1" bore.
Clutch: 1970 Ford Mustang.
Flywheel: 1966 Ford Mustang.
Exhaust: stock cast iron exhaust manifolds so no body work modifications forward of the footwells were required.
Rear End: 9" narrowed 3.00:1 unit from 1979 Cougar. Axle shafts redrilled to 4-bolt 4-1/2" circle. Brackets for sway bar, axle wind up shock, and Panhard rod welded on.
Body: engine installed behind axle centerline. Stock sheet metal replaced with heavy gauge steel and bead welded. 1/4" steel boxed sub-frame welded from front cross member back from foot wells.
Suspension: (front) standard MGB roadster springs with steel core MG V-8 bushings, 3/4" sway bar.
(rear) re-arched springs with 3/4" sway bar and gas charged tube shocks, axle wind-up shocks and snubber.
Brakes: (front) standard MGB disks.
(rear) Ford 10" drums with 29/32" bore cylinders and adjustable proportioning valve.
Cooling: early Mustang (Falcon, Cougar, Comet) 17" x 17" x 3-row radiator. MG crossmember modified to allow lower radiator hose below steering rack. 16" puller fan, thermostat controlled.
Exhaust: dual 2" pipes to 24" torpedo glass-packs with single 3" collector.
Tires/Wheels: Continental 185HR/70 x 14 on Panasport 5.5 x 14 Minilite replicas.
Instruments: Sun V-8 tach, water gauge with real numbers.
Performance: 0-60mph < 6 seconds.
Conversion by: me, myself, and I (with occasional help of wife's hand or foot.)
Comments: (1) this conversion requires MAJOR body sheet metal changes. THINK, make the commitment, swallow hard and Do It Right! (2) Buy a complete donor car. Keep until patience of wife and neighbors wears thin. (3) When in doubt, over engineer. (4) Take your time. If I had to do it over again, I would spend (1) more money, (2) less time under the car, and (3) more time in the car.
Estimated cost: $3000 excluding original car... plus about 10,000 hours!

Weight Distribution:

(full gas tank, no driver)               (with 200# driver)
Left Front       598#       Right Front       605#       Front       1203#       51%       Front       1283#       50%
Left Rear 571# Right Rear 596# Rear 1167# 49% Rear 1287# 50%
Total 2370# 100% Total 2570# 100%

British V8 Home:        Read the Magazine        Photo Gallery        Web Forum        Annual Meets        Contact Us        Site Map