Slow Car Fast

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Rear suspension

Hi Keith,
Since you used so many Miata parts have you ever tought on using the IRS from a Miata ?
I am in the process of rebuilding my B 77 with EFI Rover 3.9L
Got the new front suspension from Hoyle engineering.
I would like to experiment with the rear suspension from a Miata. Any sugestions ?
Werner Van Clapdurp, January 1, 2013
Reply: I thought about it, but I didn't like what it did to the rear structure of the car. I also expected it would be more expensive given the rear end I would have used.
In retrospect, I probably should have given it a try. It would have meant stripping down the car further, but the end result would have likely been worth it. Trying to get that big live axle properly controlled is a challenge.

I have a 79 MGB LE
Always wanted to do an engine swap to have more power.
Really interested in an LS1 swap but Im just concerned about how long it would take and how much work would be involved
Jake Daugherty, June 4, 2012
Reply: That's a reasonable concern! It's not a simple drop-in. The Fords are a lot easier.

MG Paint Job

Been following your tranformation since the start. I hadn't looked in a while since you started the body work, Wow the paint looks great. Is black hardly to get right as the flaws are easier to see ? Thanks for documenting all you did. Someday in my dreams I'll do this.
Kurt, June 28, 2011
Reply: Black is definitely an unforgiving color! Because it's so reflective and dark, every little ripple shows up. My first paint job was a white race car, that's about as easy as it gets.
Glad to hear you're enjoying it!

Why do the recent postings remind me of an Iris Blue 1963 MGB? I can assure you that a good Ice-cream cone helps!

Laura , June 26, 2011
Reply: For those who haven't grown up listening to my mom's stories about overheating Lucas fuel pumps on her MG, this comment probably doesn't make much sense. But of all the things to give trouble on my car, it would be the fuel pump...

Looks Great

Wow Keith! The GT has sure come together nicely. I suspect even the hard core British club guys would agree...after a pint or two.
Jake, June 21, 2011
Reply: Might take a few pints for some of them, but I hope so!

Paint looks great!

Keith - your new pictures of the painted car outside look great! Congrats, you have done an amazing job. I hope Janel lets you drive it once in a while!

Steve Casagrande, June 21, 2011
Reply: Magic 8 ball says: it is unlikely :)



Coming together nicely - I've admired you work for years. I once saw an 8mm film of an Italian making a front fender for one of the sixties Italian low production specials - he used a big hammer, sheet steel and a well worn tree stump - it was an amazing transformation. It was common for those cars to look really good on each side but not be exactly the same. If yours ends up that way you are following in the wake of some great craftsmen - celebrate diversity!
John T, April 6, 2011
Reply: Thanks for the pep talk! I'm not sure I'm quite in the same league as an Italian craftsman hammering a fender out or raw aluminum - but I'll take what I can get.

Exhaust and rumble at 1500

I think you can make a couple of very minor changes to your grocery getter and enjoy it even more. Mount flex pipes in the exhaust as close to the front as possible. The rumble at 1500 RPM will disappear. Place an 8" to 12" round resonator in each of the rear pipes just after the X-pipe and the exhaust will quite down immensely. Another way to change the pitch is to use resonated tips. Check out our web site listed in the link above.
Steve C, February 2, 2011
Reply: Thanks for the suggestions, Steve. I wish there were room for resonators after the X-pipe, but it's just too tight down there. The flex pipes are an interesting idea and I'll look at that possibility. Right now, I'm still chasing down a few situations where the exhaust leans up against a hard point on the body.

Congrats on the look of the MG

Hi Keith, I just wanted to say how much I love the way the MG looks now. That thing is so nice.

I really like the work you did with the car. (As a MX-5 owner I naturally love all the MX-5 parts you used....)

Greetings from Germany
Sven MX-5, December 21, 2010
Reply: Thanks!

MGB-GT Build

Thank you for the update on the BGT. I can't wait till it's done. I have one and want to duplicate your build if it's ok? Please send me details, and cost of instructions.
Thanks, John
John Hendrix, December 18, 2010
Reply: You can go ahead and duplicate any ideas or solutions you see here, but I'm not going to be producing an instruction set. This website is as good as it gets, but the price is right! There's a lot of heavy fabrication involved and every aspect of the car is modified, so it's not for the faint of heart or a good choice for a first project.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop me an email and I'll help as best as I can.

RSS Feed not working

Not sure if it's only me but i can't get RSS feeds to load. I can view everything from the site but can't subscribe.

Just wanted to let you know.

Love the build i read just about every build on the site.
Roy, November 30, 2010
Reply: It's working on my end, but I'll see what I can figure out. Thanks for the heads-up.


Finally I get to see it done! Congrats on the great build! Cant wait to see mine that far in the build process.
Joey B, November 27, 2010
Reply: "Done" is a bit optimistic for the current state. "Mostly operational" is probably more accurate! But it's a great feeling to be working on sorting it out instead of working on the fundamentals of the swap.

Tach irony

I love how the tach actually says "4 CYL" on it! How many cars have any sort of writing inside the vehicle to indicate engine size? Every time you see that, you can chuckle knowing just how much more it REALLY has.

Congrats on the first drive!
Mark Stenner, November 9, 2010
Reply: Ha, good point! Just one more thing to make me smile when I drive it...

Nice to see it on the road!

Congrats on getting it rolling and your first trial run (without incident). Now you are in the home stretch. Momentum is now on your side. Keep posting your progress.
Shane R, November 8, 2010
Reply: Thanks Shane! There's still a very long to-do list, but the fact that I can road-test the car after each step is a big motivator.


Really love the idea of a modern drivetrain in an old car! Have been dreaming of doing something like this for years. Although not with a MG or a GM engine... But the idea i simply love. Gongrats on it being "alive" Good luck!

Oscar, Sweden
Oscar Stjernfeldt, October 20, 2010
Reply: Thanks Oscar!

Woo Hoo

I guess my previous woo hoo was only a little premature. Well done! Can't wait for more video. I;m sure you know there are a bunch of us living vicariously through your exploits.

Jake Jacobsen, October 12, 2010
Reply: I find myself firing up the engine on a regular basis just so I can "check the gauges" or something.

Woo Hoo Indeed!

Glad to hear you powered up and kept all the magic smoke inside! Guess you got rid of enough Lucas electrics.

Well done!
Jake Jacobsen, September 9, 2010
Reply: Well, I'm not done yet!

Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying this build following your progress. I always loved the old MGB's look and with this power added it will be a great car! Thanks for sharing the experience!
Rick, June 19, 2010
Reply: Thanks, Rick! I'm hoping it'll be a fun final result

Single shear?

Looking great so far! I enjoy reading your build updates.

One comment/question: Are you concerned about the single shear mounting for the rear struts (entry 314)? It looks like it has the potential to bend that bolt (even though I see from your earlier post that Fast Cars mounts it like that).

Have you considered turning the lower strut mounting eye 90 deg, and bolting through two triangle support plates welded to the axle (similar brackets to the ones in entry 208)?

You could also do similar (turn the bracket 90deg) for your panhard bracket on the diff, which while not technically in single shear at the moment, is not really in double either. Although rotating the bracket assumes that your rod end has enough articulation. You could also just box it in by adding a small plate to the top and bottom if that leaves enough clearance throughout the range of travel.

I'm not trying to be a back-seat-builder, but I thought I'd ask about it. :)
Craig Nowak, March 17, 2010
Reply: I agree, it's not my favorite part of the design. However, it's a fairly normal way to do things if you look at other setups.
Since the bumpstops are on the axle and not on the shock, that will take some of the shock load off that bolt when the suspension bottoms out. The bolts are 1/2 Grade 8 so should have a shear rating of nearly 4500 lbs - although the heat of welding them on probably diminished that.
I'm not using rod ends anywhere on the suspension, so turning the shock and the Panhard bar 90 degrees would mean that any suspension movement would require significant deflection of a urethane bushing. Not really good for either binding or longevity. I've tried to position all the fasteners so bushing deflection is kept to a minimum and the parts can rotate around the fastener instead twisting. The only deflection should be in the trailing arms in single-wheel bump.

Great car!

Fantastic job on the car. I, too, am looking to do a conversion on my Stag sometime next year and appreciate all of the work you have done documenting your car. I look forward to the updates and have gotten great joy out of watching this build.
Shane R., March 5, 2010
Reply: Thanks Shane! I have to admit this documentation is as much for my own benefit as anyone else, but it's good to hear other people enjoy it!


Hi Keith. When I was dreaming about a TR6 I found this place that specializes in modern wiring harnesses for old british sportscars. good luck!
Kelly, February 11, 2010
Reply: Thanks for the link! Right now, I'm looking at the wiring for the engine. The wiring in the rest of the car for lights, etc seems to be in pretty good shape.

On the road this spring???

I have your books on Miata and a few stock Miatas and MGBs . Enjoyed this build up , second guessing rear end set up ... how would the stock Camaro rear link suspension work ? As an aside later model Blazer and S10 4x4 had rear discs . Looking forward to the driver .
Paul, February 6, 2010
Reply: I decided to go with the three link because I had some good references on how to fit it in the MG and it's less prone to binding from what I understand. A custom four link might have packaged better - I was just about to post something along those lines.
The rear axle I used originally had rear discs. However, that meant I would have been stuck with the GM bolt pattern and rear caliper. I wanted Miata parts.

Go Find Moss Motors

Great Car! Horrible Treatment of it!

Take the time and invest the money, and make this the car it should be. Moss MOtors and Roadster Factory ( have every single part you would ever need to rebuild this to it's glory.

We have done a luscious 1972 TR6 as a restoration/race mod this way. Total sleeper - all restored exterior, nasty suspension, motor, brakes and rear end. It's a ball to drive, and a total head turner, just like the BGT.

Good Luck, and don;t believe the rumors about Lucas or Strombergs or SU's. Solder the connectors, tune the carbs, and they run fine!
Jeff Baker, January 7, 2010
Reply: Thanks for the suggestion. I've dealt with Moss in the past, and I think I have sourced a couple of parts from them for this car.
However, I'm not sure how far you've read through the site. The car's getting a Miata front suspension, a custom three-link rear and a 350 hp all-aluminum Chevy LS1 engine. Moss is a little thin on parts for those for some reason.

Hope this one becomes a book, too!

Dang Keith, you're everywhere. Been running into your projects on the web since I was a young Miata modder back in the late '90's and here we are again. I'm thinking about a project I'd like to tackle, do a little research, and like the fifth link I hit, guess what: You're already way ahead of me.

Hope you can make this one into a book too. I've enjoyed the heck out of your others. And thanks for always answering the random questions I've emailed over the years, you're a class act.

Mike H, October 1, 2009
Reply: I don't know how big the market is for a book that starts with "cut your frame rails off at the firewall", but you never know :) Thanks for the kind words.
In a few weeks, I'll be back on the project and we'll start to see something happening again!


That's a fine looking MGB GT - look forward to seeing some update photos to see how she's progressing
bootrack, March 30, 2009
Reply: Soon!


dude whats with the lack of updates man you okay? just hope everything is cool in the tanner camp.
curtis, March 24, 2009
Reply: Everything's cool, I just got sidetracked by Real Life for a while there.

Yes, you have to... You shouldn't need to ask. Really.
Cruise Control
Chris, January 27, 2009
Reply: Oh, it'll happen! I just have to figure out how to make it disappear from sight.

asphalt sound deadening

If I remember correctly the easy way to remove asphalt sound deadening from the floorboards is dryice. I think freezing it makes it brittle and come off real easy.
I can't remember which build site I saw that on...I guess it could even have been one of yours :-P
Michael Neisius, January 16, 2009
Reply: Wasn't mine, but it sounds plausible. Thanks for the tip! I picked up an air hammer today for $4.50, I figure it's worth trying. If it doesn't work, I'll try the dry ice.

Chevy V8 Flag Badge

The V8 badge you have was used on late 60's Chevy cars from the Nova to the Impala. To denote the bigger sizes, they would put the size just above (i.e. 283, 327 or 350).
Eric Vance, November 5, 2008
Reply: Thanks Eric. It seemed appropriate for the age of the car, even the engine will be a lot more modern. I guess I'll have to find a 346 badge now!

Why do I do this to myself?

You did it to me again! I'm just glad I only missed the first 60 entries, as opposed to the first 5000 for the Seven, and the first 450 of the Targa. All joking aside Bon Chance, and I look forward to following along on this one as well.
Jason (or treadhead1944, you pick), June 6, 2008
Reply: This one's going to be a slower build. Hopefully. Unless the obsession kicks in.
Thanks for the note!

Ford 302

Are there plans to modify the 302 motor in some way or is it just going to be bone stock? Either way, that is some serious muscle in a small car. I should expect the MGB GT to a wild ride when completed. I am going to enjoy watching this build...
Chris, May 31, 2008
Reply: I don't have any plans to modify the 302 at the outset. There will be enough of a challenge just getting everything working.
Who knows what will happen down the road though! I'd like to get a set of aluminum heads for it someday to shave off a bit of weight, but since this is primarily meant to be a cruiser that's not critical.

The Mongrel

Keith and Janel;
The Ronal wheels, the black badge, the black grille: they all look great. With the changes though, your GT is going to end up a mongrel, but in a very nice way. The changes while subtle, reveal a keen aesthetic sense. Nicely done!
Mark Blusiewicz, May 19, 2008
Reply: Thanks Mark!

Congrats on the new addition!

Janel picked a good one! It's fun seeing you approach the initial sorting. Can't wait to see what happens with some V8 power!
bluej, May 15, 2008
Reply: I expect many trials and tribulations - but it's going to be a very cool car when it's done. Thanks for the note!