CarDomain Network: CarDomain Autoholics
What Engine Should I Swap Into My MGB?
Posted On: 6/12/2012 10:34AM

A few years from now, my dad and I will be embarking on an engine swap for our 1973 MGB. I have tossed around a few ideas, but honestly have no idea what I want to do. I have never done a swap before, and do not know very much about the process, but with help, I think I am capable. I have considered several engines, including SR20DET, any model skyline engine (providing the straight 6 will fit), a WRX motor, a honda s2000 motor or a supercharged GM 3.8 (L67). I like the idea of keeping a four cylinder in an effort to minimize weight, but I also would love the L67 because my old GTP had one. Any opinions on these, or other engines, would be greatly appreciated! And I must admit, the SR20DET looks pretty badass in this engine compartment.

Comments (14)
Avatar By: cknarf
6/12/2012 10:52 AM

GM 3800 FTW.

Avatar By: jbrinkcivic
6/12/2012 11:05 AM

Go for the WRX motor, they're probably the best balance of performance and reliability. If you used an STi engine, or a WRX one with STi aesthetics, it would also look amazing (the intake manifold has a crackle red finish). Plus they have a really unique and understated sound; I feel like a shrieky, high-RPM sound like an S2000 engine would seem out of place in a classic car like an MGB.

Avatar By: thrasher86
6/12/2012 11:30 AM

ever think about doing a s2k swap?

Avatar By: TDWPgtp
6/12/2012 12:54 PM

ya that was one of the ideas i had. ive read of several people doing it, but havent seen one. and jbrinkcivic- thats part of the reason i was thinking of doing a higher revving engine. it would be different and surprising to people. also, i do not know much about AWD drivetrains...can that be converted to just a RWD system, or how hard would it be to convert the B to AWD

Avatar By: TDWPgtp
6/12/2012 12:57 PM

i forgot to mention: i would prefer not to have to alter the hood in any way. if worst comes to worst, i will put a MGC hood on (allows a little more clearance). any turbo subaru engine requires a hood vent, which i would prefer not to have

Avatar By: 471Magnum
6/12/2012 4:06 PM

There was an MGB on the Power Tour with a 455 Buick.

Avatar By: Jperry3
6/12/2012 6:26 PM

Would a Toyota Supra motor work?

Avatar By: NewbernD
6/13/2012 3:04 AM

Turbo rotary.

Avatar By: asb2106
6/13/2012 7:25 AM

you could always look at a 4G63 too. a great platform to make serious power on. and there is plenty of people who have mounted them the "proper" way

Avatar By: Barrow88
6/13/2012 9:34 AM

Like Jperry3 said have you thought about a 2JZGTE or even the 3SGTE?

Avatar By: bustedwheel
6/13/2012 10:51 AM

I have an MGB and have thought about this alot! -S14 engine from the first generation M3. I have seen the swap with with the M42 out of the later 318TI, and it is supposedly an easy change. The s14 puts out just under 200HP, and the M42 is lower (i think 140ish) but would still be enough for the MG. Just adding the 5 speed from one of these cars would make the world of difference. -I would love to put any BMW straight six in it, but straight sixes are harder than V8 or four cylinders because of their length. The MGC had to totally redesign the front suspension to accommodate. -Rover V8's are supposedly an easy swap, and are very similar to a Buick V8. -I would think you would have to stick with something meant for a Front Engine RWD layout

Avatar By: TDWPgtp
6/13/2012 12:28 PM

Ya I hadn't thought about how they had to do some work on the MGC to make that 6 fit... But as far as the v8s go, Im trying to stay away. I would prefer to do something a little different and more unique than a v8, especially the rover and Buick 8s. Thanks for your thoughts!

Avatar By: cknarf
6/13/2012 8:00 PM


Avatar By: boatdude13
6/14/2012 3:54 PM

The problem with supra engines is that they are tall, especially N/A. I thought that the 3.8 supercharged GM was only FWD? can you flip that motor the right way? Skyline GT-Rs are awd too so you have to get a 2.5L out of a GTS-T. Basically the same thing. Would a small V8 or a boxer engine (Subaru) fit between the rails? Also bear in mind that smaller displacement =/= smaller motor. DOHC heads on smaller motors are massive in comparison to pushrod so keep that in mind. Make sure that whatever engine you choose has a factory manual option that is easy to find, cheap and reliable. (Stay away from toyota W 154 or whatever came with some of those supra engines). Also, Impreza transmissions have a delicate reputation. Hope this helps! P.S. get on the forums!!!


Please wait while we load the comment form...