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MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/17/24 7:21 a.m.

What is up my dudes.

 

long time watcher, first time poster.

 

This will be a project log + motivator for my MGB.  A few other projects either belonging to me, my dad, or friends will probably pop up along the way.

 

This is my 1969 MGB GT.

 

Originally British Racing Green it was repainted a champagne pink sometime in the 80's and eventually sprayed a phenomenal Baby Food Yellow in the early 2000's by some of Maaco's finest.

Here it is in its natural habitat.

99% joking.  Both tow truck trips were a result of me not checking the fuel filter for crud.  A new 16 gallon tank and fresh filter had it running great.

 

Brake rebuild

 

Met up with Tanny from the MGEXP forums and he showed how a well sorted MG can perform.  Really cool dude, we got lunch and had a 3 hour conversation and haven't talked since.

Here's his video with Matt Farah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOBGQKHxPLs

 

With by buddy's Miata powered Opel that has since been sold and wrapped sideways around a pole.

 

I purchased the car for $3500 in 2020.  I was looking at Mustangs and Corvairs but my then girlfriend's dad was into MG's so when this popped up I grabbed it for the brownie points.  Said GF liked to mix other dudes with her drinks so that relationship ended and I lost motivation to work on the car but liked it too much to sell.  After a few months of driving it around it got parked next to the garage where it has sat ever since.

 

For a while the plan was to do a 302 with 4 webers on top of a miata suspension swap.  Removing the heater and massaging the firewall a bit would have let me push it way back in the engine bay giving plenty of clearance with a stock miata subframe.

 

 

But, if more power is better then why stop at a 302, right?

 

An LS3 actually fits in there pretty dang nice.

 

After comparing P/W ratios with supercars, considering my driving capabilities, watching some 60's crash tests, thinking about how much I like working the gearbox and how little I like speeding tickets, I decided against those options.

 

The current plan is to rewire the car, strip the paint, do a basic tune up on the current engine, then run around in it for a few months.  Meanwhile I can start collecting parts for a...

 

 

2.0 Ecoboost swap! (Thanks to enginenerd for the 2.0 and engine bay scans)

 

It's not as cool as a 4 stack Weber 302 and not as radical as an LS3 but it should retain more of the sports car feel that I really enjoy about the MG while still pushing out plenty of power.

 

Here is where we are right now.

 

 

Stripping the paint was an absolute chore.  the non MEK paint strippers wouldn't touch it and it was gumming up sandpaper after 30 seconds so I had to take drastic measures.

https://youtu.be/J9pCaSe98Pw

 

Thankfully that dirt pile is only 5% rust, most of it is just road grime and dirt that sits on the handy shelf Morris engineers included.

https://youtu.be/YFQ4W2TfIJ8

 

Here is my first ever patch panel/sheet metal weld.

Fit up wasn't nearly tight enough but it's good enough for me.  Grinder  + DA + a little hammer work finished it off nicely.

 

There are 2 other rust spots in the usual spots where the wings attach but they're honestly not bad. 

I'm going to replace the bolts with some stainless hardware and coat the whole thing with some undercoat when it goes back together.

 

My next step is fixing up the hood.

 

I wish I had stocked up on some 50 gallon barrels of paint stripper prior to the MEK ban because the current stuff just does not work.   I ended up using the paint stripping drum on the Harbor Freight Surface Conditioning Tool (definitely not made in the same factory as the Eastwood SCT) and it worked phenomenally.  I was worried about damaging the aluminum initially but it barely scratched it.

 

After following up with 220 DA -> scotchbrite drum on the SCT.

 

Side note - The SCT is probably my favorite tool ever, you should buy one.

 

Now I need you all to prepare yourselves to see a 5th degree black belt bondo master's work.

I joke with friends about finding a half inch of bondo when anything has more than a skim coat, this was honestly impressive.

 

The aluminum is definitely work hardened in this area so it's going to be a pain to get it  back in shape.

 

Now I need to remove the front section of the hood/bonnet's frame to get access to the damaged skin.

The first step is to start drilling out the spot welds holding the pieces together, the second step is to realize you literally just bought a spot weld drill and you just doubled the work on reassembly...

There we go.

 

Checking with a sharpie/some sandpaper on a backer.

 

Dykem then the first pass with a slapper/dolly

 

2nd pass with slapper/dolly. 

 

3rd pass

Those small divots aren't from me, it looks like the previous owner went at it with a shrinking disc and a framing hammer before remembering he had 2 gallons of body filler.

I'm avoiding the areas to the side of the center hump since there's so much deformation there.  I want to have the surrounding area sorted so I can focus on just slowly popping that up.

 

I'm going to finish the top of the hood tomorrow and then worry about re-forming the front lip.  The frame is warped as well so I'll have to beat that into shape once the skin is done.

 

Also, I am 100% self taught/youtube university when it comes to panel beating so if you see anything I'm doing wrong or that could be done better please let me know

 

 

The old armstrong shocks were absolutely shot, I purchased remanufactured ones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EwziV_fuFs

 

I wanted a better steering wheel but the 68 and 69 MGB's have a funky spline and the only hub adapters at the time were for moto-lita wheels which have a massive center hub.

Absolutely garish proportions.  Grotesque, rotund, unsightly, generally unpleasant to look at or even be in the same room with it.

 

So I modified the hub and made an adapter for 70 and 74 mm PCD wheels.

 

CAD pics since I don't feel like going outside right now.

The holes in the side are for bolts since I didn't have a TIG welder at the time.  The plan was alum-bond + bolts and the just never yank on the wheel too hard.

 

A custom hub needs a custom wheel, right?

 

I saw this wheel in an article about a MOMO wheel anniversary party.  It was in some multi-million dollar ferrari but I couldn't find any info about the wheel so I made one.  The top and bottom of the steering wheel sandwich will be leather wrapped leaving the aluminum ring exposed on the perimeter.  It'll burn my hands a bit in the summer but it'll look cool so it balances out.

 

Re-designed gauge cluster

I need to make a matching Smith's face for the round oil pressure gauge.  I'm not completely sold on this layout and may end up just going with an older style B dash.

 

This custom finned side plate looks really cool!  I'm glad I spent 2 days on it!

indecision

Those manifolds covered  a lot more than I thought.  Oh well, it'll look nice when it's polished along with the intake.

 

If I was going to keep the stock engine I would either get this cast or make a 5 piece weld-together setup.

 

Now you may have noticed I didn't put paint on my to-do list after strip the paint.  I'm thinking something like this would look awesome.

Scotchbrite, wax, and then gibbs lubricant rubbed in keeps it rust free.  A brushed finish on the aluminum hood with a black nose

 

But I'm torn between that and a nice Porsche Irish Green.  BRG generally has too much blue hue in it for my taste.  It reminds me of the acrylic paint you use in pre-school

 

I think I'll finish stripping the paint and see how I feel about it.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
1/17/24 7:40 a.m.

Love MGB-GTs. I'll be along for the ride on this one. It's looking pretty interesting so far, especially your idea for the steering wheel.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/17/24 8:06 a.m.

Here are a few of the projects I'm thinking about or have worked on recently.

 

 

Bonus points if you know what this is.

 

I pieced together the frame from a couple pamphlets, magazine articles, and miniatures in the promo film.

 

I'd like to make one "replica" with a composite body and the mid engine v4 (available in Saabs) and then make a body to fit on a vw pan.  The wheelbase and track width are extremely close and you can fit a reversed vw engine + transaxle under the body work.  Cooling might be an issue but I'm sure you could solve that with some clever ducting.

 

The transporter would just be super cool.  Definitely inspired by Mercedes.

 

-----

My Dad's El Camino.

 

This was primed, blocked, and ready to roll into the paint booth one month before I was born.  My dad was crawling under the back and looking at the tires and my grandpa asked him if he had though about doing bigger wheels.  After that the body came off and got boxed up in my grandpa's garage and the frame got stuck outside.  We pulled it out ~2 years ago to cut and weld the frame for the ladder bar and bigger tires. 

It's currently at our house getting worked on.  OPG suspension up front and a pretty built big block is currently in the works.  My dad just needs to decide how much work he wants to put into it, show car or drag strip car or sunday driver.

-----

My friend's 74 XJ6 that I told him not to buy.  Garbage bodywork, rear window is ready to pop out, engine did not sound good, owner was sketchy.  However we were 6 hours away from home with a uhaul trailer so it ended up leaving with us.  It had the sbc swap and right now it's at a shop getting an LS + automatic transmission.

Once it's back it will be getting a lot of body work and then paint.  I managed to talk him out of painting it black (do you want a paint job or a career in detailng?") but he still has his heart set on a dark metallic. We'll see how strongly he feels about it after 4 hours of block sanding.

 

Same friend's right hand drive jeep with a blown (as in not working, not the cool way) I6.  The plan is small block chevy swap once he's back from training.

 

Same friend's Piper Apache 160 that he managed to get for an absolute steal.  It looks bad but the engines are good and all the systems are intact.  His A&P gave it a thumbs up (not just because he'll be getting paid to work on it, hopefully)

he should be into it for under $40,000 (with a full glass cockpit) once it's airworthy.  A twin engine with a glass cockpit for under $40,000 is absolutely insane. 

I'll be making new bezels for the instruments and a new faceplate for the dash when he gets the glass cockpit in.  We're also going to be stripping the paint and possibly painting it depending on how schedules line up.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
1/17/24 8:13 a.m.

Long time MGB offender. Yours looks like a much better starting point than the one I am currently working on.

 

Word of advice: When it comes to re-installing the inner structure on the bonnet nose, just use panel adhesive. Much easier than trying to TIG the spotwelds back in place.

 

Very little that I have ever done to an MGB engine makes it a more pleasant or capable lump. I actually found that stock was about as good as it gets for an MGB  engine that is driven on the street on a regular basis. Over 40 years, the only modification that impressed me was the 4 link coil-over suspension kit sold by CCC.

As the owner of a Miata chassied hybrid, looking forward to how you integrate the Miata K-member into the MGB chassis.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/17/24 8:14 a.m.

I believe you can still order MEK.  You just can't get it in paint stripper.

Time to make your own?

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/24 9:48 a.m.
MNIMWIUTBAS said:

Said GF liked to mix other dudes with her drinks so that relationship ended and I lost motivation to work on the car but liked it too much to sell.

perfect setup for so many one-liners:

  • still salty about that?
  • that'll leave a bad taste in your mouth!
  • i'd like to buy her a drink!
  • etc.

seriously though, your work looks top shelf, and i'm in for updates.

Nukem
Nukem GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/17/24 10:07 a.m.

I want your scan / CAD data of the GT shell. :)

If I were doing this again I'd probably be going with an Ecoboost swap instead of the 302 I've got going into mine.

Also, welcome!

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
1/17/24 10:41 a.m.

Bonus points if you know what this is.

Mustang 1.  I seem to recall it used some Lotus bits, wheels or suspension parts.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/24 10:57 a.m.

this thread delivers!

enginenerd
enginenerd HalfDork
1/17/24 1:27 p.m.

Very cool! Glad to see those models being put to use...will be following along (and likely copying some of your homework)

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 12:40 a.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

Love MGB-GTs. I'll be along for the ride on this one. It's looking pretty interesting so far, especially your idea for the steering wheel.

Thanks!  Here's the picture I stole the design from.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 1:12 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Ouch,

And yeah, I'm planning on patching the outer skin with TIG and then 3M'ing the frame back in place.

The MG world was a bit of a culture shock coming from the small/big block Chevy world where you can always make more power.  At least they sound decent.  My Tune up will just be gaskets and a paint job.

I'm not 100% sold on the Miata suspension, if you look at Keith Tanner's LS/Miata MGB GT http://www.britishv8.org/MG/KeithTanner-MGBGT.htm I don't like how far out the wheels sit.  I need to figure out how wide I can go and how much of an offset I can run without messing up the steering geometry.

The Sebring MG's capture the look I want with regards to how the tires sit. 

https://motorsportshowroom.com/specialist-cars/1976-mgb-gt-sebring-evocation

The 4 link witha ford rear and + FastCars front suspension are both in contention alongside the Miata swap.

I think I read through your P1800 thread 2 or 3 times and I liked your method.  I'm torn between using one to make a jig for a custom tube setup or just welding in the stock one.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 1:13 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:

I believe you can still order MEK.  You just can't get it in paint stripper.

Time to make your own?

It's much easier to complain about it.

And I haven't thought about that, I may look into it when we start to strip the plane down.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 1:14 a.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:
MNIMWIUTBAS said:

Said GF liked to mix other dudes with her drinks so that relationship ended and I lost motivation to work on the car but liked it too much to sell.

perfect setup for so many one-liners:

  • still salty about that?
  • that'll leave a bad taste in your mouth!
  • i'd like to buy her a drink!
  • etc.

seriously though, your work looks top shelf, and i'm in for updates.

What in the world makes it seem like I'm salty about it? /s

Thanks!

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 2:13 a.m.
Nukem said:

I want your scan / CAD data of the GT shell. :)

If I were doing this again I'd probably be going with an Ecoboost swap instead of the 302 I've got going into mine.

Also, welcome!

I ripped it from Forza.  It's not accurate but it's close enough.

fusion model

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/255c74s707j4qtirxdatz/Simplified-Model.f3z?rlkey=m686e42682nxzk5x21xh1og1j&dl=0

Blender

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/yvh1dlnvi22s61je4wuza/MG-Blender.blend?rlkey=oi9x974pr79n2lsnpai3o2uko&dl=0

You'll be glad you went with the 302 every time you hear the exhaust note.

Thanks, reading through your thread got me motivated to start working on mine.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 2:16 a.m.

The hood is getting closer to good enough so I decided to strip the other wing.  This was ~20 minutes with the SCT paint stripper drum.

I'm going to roll the MG out tomorrow and see how it looks with the raw steel/aluminum.

Piguin
Piguin Reader
1/18/24 5:04 a.m.

This is looking amazing.

 

I'd vote for the 'naked' body since it would instantly stand out between the various hues of green GT's.

Then again, I am not the one that will have to make every panel as close to perfect as possible...

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 8:06 p.m.

In reply to Piguin :

Thanks!  I'm aiming for a good 10 footer, I don't have the patience to work out every single dent and there are a lot of spots that would need panels drilled out like the hood to get to them.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/18/24 8:17 p.m.

Caught the last few minutes of sunshine for some photos.

Dark spots on the right side are from some rust intrusion under the paint.  I'll do a chemical rust treatment on those spots and then go back and sand it.

 

I also remembered I had a british bachelor's lean (lower on the right side) that I never diagnosed.

It has new leafsprings in the back so I'm not sure what's causing it.

Shavarsh
Shavarsh HalfDork
1/18/24 11:33 p.m.

Awesome build direction. I think the choice of engine is spot on. Also put my vote down for the miata IRS!

Nukem
Nukem GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/19/24 3:13 p.m.

In reply to Shavarsh :

I vote again Miata IRS only because I regret not doing it on mine.

FedEx messed up so I actually ended up with two sets of axle brackets for my 3 link setup. Free if anyone wants them.

twentyover
twentyover GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/19/24 6:00 p.m.
Nukem said:

In reply to Shavarsh :

I vote again Miata IRS only because I regret not doing it on mine.

FedEx messed up so I actually ended up with two sets of axle brackets for my 3 link setup. Free if anyone wants them.

Interested if no one is in front of me

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/20/24 12:54 a.m.

I guess the council has spoken on the suspension.

 

I removed the windows and trim from the driver's side

Most of the trim is held in with rivets,  The door trim ones drilled out easily enough.

but my drill started to walk on most of the rest.  The drip rail trim is unobtainium so I took my time with a die grinder and mini belt sander to get them off without damaging it.

So far there's only 1 spot with filler, we'll see how the rest of the driver's side looks tomorrow.

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/20/24 11:04 p.m.

Had some rain so I wasn't able to get much done today.

I strategically avoided sanding the sills, partially because I didn't want to lay down in a puddle but mostly because I don't want to know if they're rusty just yet.

Tomorrow I'll pull the bumpers off and try to diagnose the lean.  Engine/transmission may go as well depending on how motivated I am.

 

MNIMWIUTBAS
MNIMWIUTBAS GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/21/24 12:55 a.m.

I ordered poly bushings for the front suspension, the rear already has poly from the rebuild.

And I pulled out these Enkei Compes that I scored for $100.  They were spraypainted bright red before getting stripped.

 

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