Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
7/19/18 8:00 a.m.

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Story by Carl Heideman • Photos by Carl Heideman and Alan Dalman

According to the Internet, just about any engine can be swapped into just about any car on just about any weekend. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the Internet is also clogged with uncompleted swaps for sale.

These transplant operations aren’t easy, but proper planning and fabrication can separate a cool, running project from garage art on permanent exhibit. The right throttle linkages, ample cooling systems and functioning fuel delivery may not sound as exciting as the promise of a weekend swap, but these kinds of details will lead to a drivable car.

Instead of shoving a bigger, badder engine into a Miata, we’re going to upgrade a classic 1967 MGB GT with Miata power.

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7/19/18 8:37 p.m.

I think that is an excellent choice for a swap.   If things would have been different at Leyland they could have gone with a similar engine and kept building them for at least another five years.  I built mine a little different and used an old Big Block Chevy that I had laying around for 30 years.  I should have left it laying as it blew up shortly after this picture was taken!  It really was a lot of engine for that car but it was fun while it lasted!  It now has a little 350 Chevy in it and the engine bay looks positively huge in comparison.  I've bought another Big Block but I'm in no hurry to install it as it really is a lot nicer to drive with the small block.  Bill Cosby's description of his first ride in his King Cobra pretty much sums it up.  The engine was so loud that I couldn't tell that the engine was in destruct mode.  I thought a rocker had came loose or something.  This car has a C4 front frame clip merged into the MGB tub.  It really doesn't feel very front heavy but some of that is because of the late model GTO IRS. 

Patrick MegaDork
7/19/18 10:12 p.m.

My steps are:

1- sawzall what i think needs cut

2- mount new engine

3- weld in some of the stuff i cut out in step 1 because i cut too much

SkinnyG SuperDork
7/19/18 10:39 p.m.
JBasham HalfDork
10/31/18 1:14 p.m.

A few of us have been mounting Ford 302 motors in BMW sports sedan chassis. 

In setting up my motor mounts, I focused on getting the engine block bolt holes pretty much directly above the chassis mounting points. 

Others focused on getting the motor down and back as far as they could, and still more or less fit the tunnel.  That put the mounting bolts a few inches rearward of the chassis mounting points.

Seemed like no problem to build the brackets a little longer to bridge the gap.  But apparently the length is acting like a lever trying to jack around the mounting bolts.

In practice, the guys that took this approach have been breaking the mounting studs off their motor mounts, often enough that it's part of their periodic pre-autocross equipment check.  It really stinks to lift the motor, get a puller tap in there to pull the broken bolt out of the block, and put in another mount.

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
10/31/18 1:42 p.m.

I wish i had reread this article before starting in the 3400 swap in the miata. 

However, had i planned better i don't think i would have done it. 

So sometimes, for some people, NOT planning and thinking ahead works better.

By the way, dont take my approach. Its a lot of unnecessary work and aggravation. 

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