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Old 10-04-2006, 12:14 PM
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MG Midget swap ideas wanted!

The other day I brought a 76 Mg Midget convertible with a removable factory hardtop home. Originally I had planned to get it running and use the original motor. Well I've got it running pretty well but at 66hp I've already lost interest this motor. I've found a few sites that use V6 GM motors for swaps. They used 2.8 or similar displacements. How close is a 4.3 Vortec to the earlier V6's physical dimensions? I think 200+ hp would wake this 1500 lb sports car up. If anybody has any ideas on which way to go with this project I'd REALLY appreciate the input. Thanks
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Last edited by bigkid; 10-04-2006 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:34 PM
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I would consider a Buick 3.8, with the distributor in front it would only help.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:53 PM
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cool

I did one of these many years ago put a small block Chevy lots o cutting to fire wall. small block ford would be easier with the distributer in front try to get the engine as far back as you possibly can. Ill try to dig up old photos of mine I know I had to modify oil pan slightly and fabed up my own headers had trouble with stock exhaust manifolds. coool
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:59 PM
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3.8 Buicks are popular to swap in them but I would suggest against it, the transmission is so long, the shifter will be behind the seats, I'v seen plenty of manual/ auto's with long bent over shifters because there so long. why not put a triumph 6 in it? would be a bit better than the little Massey Fergason 4cyl, altho I do have to say, those little engines sound unique. MG, Triumph and I think Austin Healey used the Massey Fergason engines.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:45 PM
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The 4.3 V6 is a small block chevy minus two cylinders. Pretty big, very heavy, and not very well suited in my opinion The rest of the drivetrain won't handle it, and the balance would be downright dangerous. The big draw (for me) about those little brits is their handling and niche appeal. The big drawback about the brits is that they aren't very reliable.

I always wanted to build a reliable brit. I was going to get a spitfire and swap in a Toyota I-6 or I-4 or maybe a BMW I-6. Good reliabilty, good power, and it will actually start on a cold morning.

My suggestion (since you asked ) is to find yourself something like a BMW M20 engine. That is the 80's/90's 2.5, 2.7L 3-series motor. The ETA engine (which is the 2.7L found in the 325e) makes less power, but is larger displacement so using the "i" head, some performance cams, and even a turbo might make that little midge fly. The 2.5i motor was 170 hp stock and will easily make 200 with a 2.7 bottom end, chip, headers, and bigger exhaust. Add to that 300,000-mile reliability, lightweight aluminum package, simple EFI, compact size... sounds like a winner to me. Parts for them are dirt cheap if you get them from the internet. They also came with the Getrag 260 gearbox which is darn near bulletproof. The Getrag 240 came behind the Eta engine and it is still very strong and might be a bit smaller in size; something to think about in that small tranny tunnel.
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:42 PM
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My first thought would be a 4 banger with a turbo, something light and could easily put out 200-300hp. Maybe something from a eclipse or merkur? At any rate it would weigh alot less and your handling and braking wouldn't suffer as much. I would be willing to bed you could get 35mpg easily.

I did a 0-60 calculator.... 1600lbs, 250hp = 3.36 seconds
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxllmm4
My first thought would be a 4 banger with a turbo, something light and could easily put out 200-300hp. Maybe something from a eclipse or merkur? At any rate it would weigh alot less and your handling and braking wouldn't suffer as much. I would be willing to bed you could get 35mpg easily.

I did a 0-60 calculator.... 1600lbs, 250hp = 3.36 seconds
I was thinking the same...maybe a 2.3L turbo 4 out of a Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. I'm a big fan of GM's Ecotec 4 (currently used in the Pontiac Solstice and a bunch of FWD vehicles), but that would probably be a crazy amount of work. My Ecotec powered '04 Malibu with an auto moves along pretty good and I imagine it weighs a bit more than an MG.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:57 PM
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there is a guy in vegas that stuffed a 350 sbc into one of those things
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:21 PM
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If you want the V8 sound and only 300 lbs,BOP 215 from 61 to 63.All aluminum.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:31 PM
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ideas

um...imay get flamed out for this,but how about something like k20 out of honda s2000? small, lots of aftermarket parts/support, and it'd be a rocket..
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:21 PM
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Wow

I wanted some ideas and you guys are really coming through! Its a hard decision. I love the rumble and power of cubic inches BUT with gas prices as high as they are 30+ mpg would be sweet. It might be time for me to open my mind up to the world of 4 bangers . The first thing on my list is to tie the front and rear frame sections of this thing together and figure out how to hang a stronger differential under her. This cars body is only 54" at its widest point! I have a couple of 10 bolt truck rears that I could shorten. They should hold up well in something this light. Going to an automatic would cushion the blows of gear changes a little as well, plus with me being 6'1" and 250lbs with size 13 shoes, not having to find the clutch up under that dash would be nice, BUT grabbing gears the old fashioned way is awfully nice to! KEEP THE IDEAS COMING. I really don't want to rush into this project, I think it could be a really fun and different little ride when it's done. Cool looking one at this link. http://www.british-cars.org.uk/kimbe...billyoung.html

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Old 10-04-2006, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo 1
If you want the V8 sound and only 300 lbs,BOP 215 from 61 to 63.All aluminum.
This is a pretty popular swap, or was. I've seen more of them than anything. Its a "Buick" engine, so the Distributor is up front. These motors couldn't weigh much, but the one I have makes around 120 or something at the rear-wheels, I'm guessing, but thats with single-exhaust and a 2-bbl, but still, it isn't going to be a monster.

Also, supposidly the aluminum engines were pretty easily destroyed whenever they ran hot, or atleast thats what I've heard from people around here.

Their also called a "Rover" engine in England, or atleast I'm pretty sure, and I have seen a few of these swapped into Chevettes, and MG's. Either way, a small V8 would fit, but I'd go with a V6 or something smaller.

The only thing I'd see wrong with a straight-engine, would be cutting on the hood, or firewall.
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:56 PM
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Ideas

A tbird engine is a tough engine 300HP is only a few mods away, its a T-5 or C4 trans as the AOD is not reliable from what I hear.

An Ecotec would be my choice, all aluminum DOHC easy hopup. RWD stuff should not be to hard to find, and they even have direct injected with turbo in the pontiac version. Its a computer tune away from 325HP, that in a 1500lb car would be VERY quick.

The 4.3 is a bit heavy, and lacks good performance heads other than very expensive one.

If you can't live without the V8 rumble use an LS1
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:29 AM
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Now, forgive me for going the totally opposite direction, but hear me out...

VW 1.9L TDI. You can really hop them up to a pretty safe 160-180 hp and still get well over 50 mpg in that little midg. Talk about not seeing that one coming. I'm a HUGE fan of diesel and I could help you set it up... or even better, head on over to tdiclub.com.
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Old 10-05-2006, 04:51 AM
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http://www.britishv8.org/
http://www.mgexperience.net/phorum/index.php

My uncle had a nice MG when I was 15, I always wanted to buy one and play with it. I ended up with a Fiero
I would bet that a Quad 4 would fit nice.
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