Time for the exhaust. Maria decided that she wanted Moe to have a bit of a bark, but nothing crazy-loud like the Cobra.
Mark at BCC offered headers as part of the swap kit and I opted for them. I stripped the paint and welded on 90 degree bends and ball/socket flanges, then had them powder coated at Powdercoat-It! in Roseville, CA. This is a high temperature coating called Cerakote and it’s beautiful.
I calculated the exhaust size at 2″ from each header collector feeding into a very nice Vibrant merge collector with a 2.5″ outlet. From there fumes flow into an oval Magnaflow muffler than into a 4″ round Magnaflow muffler and out below the rear bumper. I bought mandrel bends and cut/welded them to turn corners. The headers are mild steel, as are the ball/socket joints. Everything else is 409 or 301 stainless steel. This was the first stainless I’d welded and it took some getting used to. I have a little ways to go before I get to the “stack of dimes” type of welds, but I’m making progress and these welds are definitely solid with full fusion. Stainless requires a lot of gas coverage, as well as, a back purge of Argon on the back side of the welds.
I couldn’t find ball/socket joints in anything smaller than 2.25″ so I had to get creative with reducing the size. That’s the 3rd photo where you can see the little cuts. I made little tabs which I bent in towards the tube and welded all the gaps. I opted for a V-band clamp to connect the muffler to the Y tube. This whole thing should be easily removable.
Speaking of gas coverage, after some reading on the web, I discovered the large Pyrex cup for the TIG torch. This really worked well by providing a big gas envelope welds. I also found that welding with DC pulse (about 100Hz, 30A min, 80A max) worked very well to control the temperature.
End result? The exhaust sounds great! It’s not quiet but not obnoxious either. When you “put your foot in it”, it definitely has a business-like sound. Overall, I think it really achieved what we wanted and it should last more than the lifetime of the car.
Moe’s new powerplant install is coming along nicely. However, the carpet was in dire need of replacement. One big reason, the driver’s footbox carpet was loose and I really don’t want any throttle-stick sorts of problems with more power on tap.
After removing the carpet, I found the OEM sound insulation coming off in many places. On the passenger side, there was another Exxon Valdez oil leak, this time from the oil pressure line, due to a cracked flare nut. A bunch of solvent and a lot of scraping later, everything was removed. I coated the floor with POR-15 (great stuff!) and put foil-backed sound deadening on the driver’s side since the exhaust system runs.
Add a new carpet kit from Moss Motors, some new Apline door speakers and a Bluetooth compatible Kenwood receiver and the driving experience will be much improved!
The speakers were a bit of a challenge since the door isn’t conducive to deep speakers. I bought some 1/2″ spacer rings but that wasn’t enough so I made some 1/4″ spacers out of HDPE plastic. At some point, Moe could use some new door panels, but that’s a project for another day.
Or at least, cool the engine.
I saw a number of posts on various forums that talked about radiators for MG engine swaps. Several claimed that a 66 Mustang radiator would work. I found an aluminum radiator for a 66 Mustang on Amazon for $110 so I bought it. The early Mustang radiators came in 2 types – 6 cylinder and v8, which I didn’t realize when I bought this one. It worked out fine. The difference is the inlet/outlet size and location. IIRC, the 6 cylinder model has the inlet and outlet on the same side but the V8 unit has them on opposite sides. I made up these little mounts that bolted right to the MG frame. The radiator itself is isolated from the mounts with silicone grommets. I did have to trim the flanges on the radiator a bit but that was pretty straightforward.
As you can see, I had to angle the radiator to get it under the hood. The original MGB radiator support wouldn’t work so I just removed it. Fortunately, it bolts in. The only downside to this setup is that the radiator bottom tank is sticking below the front unibody structure. If you ran the car into a parking block hard, you’d probably break the lower tank. Such is the price we pay for V6 power! 🙂
With the radiator positioned, it was also time to start working out an inlet duct and the engine air intake plumbing. I decided to put the air filter directly in front of the radiator. I made a little shroud for it so it’s not directly in the air stream. This is a K & N filter that has a rubber flange so it’s just hose clamped to the aluminum tube. The tube is all off-the-shelf stuff I found on Summit Racing’s site, as are the couplers (Vibrant is the coupler manufacturer.)
Alternator is done! Also, got the water pump/crank pulley setup done. These parts were from a Fiero, though the alternator is actually a 3.1L Camaro part.
Again, thanks to Marc from British Car Customs because there’s a lot of mix-and-match going on here. Malibu engine, S10 bellhousing, Beretta Flywheel, S10 pressure plate, Mustang clutch disc, Mustang T-5 transmission, Fiero front cover, water pump and pulleys.
I’d started working on the intake plumbing and realized that I had no idea if this thing was going to fit under the hood, as advertised. A number of people have done this same swap and I’d never heard mention of any problems. Of course, the hood hit the throttle body.
As it turns out, it wasn’t the actual hood sheet metal that hit, it was the cross brace. So a bit of chopping was in order. I had to be careful welding this since the external (painted) sheet metal is right next to the weld. And for the record, I was very happy with the appearance of the welds. I should’ve marked where to start/stop to they had a consistent look, but in the end, they turned out fine and is plenty strong. Problem solved.
In projects like this, the number of little details really is amazing.
Since the MGB came with a carburated engine, there was no provision for fuel return plumbing or tank fittings. There are a number of possible solutions but my goal was to not have this become another 7 year project so I was looking for something simple but effective. Moroso has a nice little part that fits in-line with the fuel filler tube. It’s only offered for 2″ fuel filler hose and the MGB is 2.25″… well, that’s out. I decided to make a similar part. Rather than make it from aluminum, I opted for steel since the MGB has very little support of the cap-end of the fuel filler tube. I cut some tube, welded in a short chunk of line but still needed to create a bead on the tube to secure the hose.
Awhile back, I saw a post on garagejournal,com (excellent forum, BTW) where somebody made their own bead tool. I bought a cheap pair of vice grips (Harbor Freight), ground 3 pieces of 1/8″ steel and welded them to the jaws. This thing works pretty well! Yeah, it’s a bit slow but I only needed to make 2 beads.
The wiring is coming along nicely.
The cover photo shows the finished fuse/relay block and all the hidden wiring. The first photo below shows the wiring in progress which is actually more complete than it looks since the wires area all now running out one hole, which will be covered by a little plate that holds the relay/fuse block. In the 2nd photo below, you can start to see how cleaned up it is – the wires are run in loom at this point. That really cleans things up. Als
Speaking of the fuse/relay block… As wired from MG, there were almost no relays in the car. Now everything running through the ignition, headlight, dimmer, hazard & turn signal switches is run through a relay. This also did away with the old glass fuses. I also took the opportunity to put the main feed to the fuse/relay block on a circuit breakers. The British Car Conversions engine harness did the same thing for the ignition module, starter solenoid, fuel pump & injectors. These both use modern plastic auto fuses and plug-in micro relays.
In these photos, you can also see progress on the fuel plumbing, the upper intake is on, as is the throttle body and plumbing for the clutch. It’s starting to come together!