This is a page from my first website for the MGB V8. I’ve added my comments to the right after 23 years of it being on the road.

04/16/98  – First 300 Miles ….

And now with my comments 23 years later –

Here’s the update for the past 2 months – it’s on the road! I’ve put about 300 miles on it and have determined it’s definitely worth it!!!

Got the new top put on (with the zippered rear window). What a difference that makes in it’s looks.

  • About 5 years after this I put another new top on – was in a hurry and novice at putting the top up/down the first year and put a couple rips in the original, stayed with the zippered rear window – great on a hot day.

The new wheel rims are on, wheels stripped and painted. Fire extinguisher mounted right in front of the drivers seat and one in the trunk. Had to get a couple defroster hoses. Put the new fan switch in and a new heater core.

Couldn’t find the voltage stabilizer for the temperature and gas gauge so I made one using an electronic chip. Found out it should be at 10 volts through a question on the BBS. Both gauges work great. If you need one, drop me a line, I’ll let you know what the circuit is, you can get the parts from Radio Shack for under $5.00.

    • The only communication available back then besides regular mail was through a BBS – Bulletin Board System. No Facebook, no google, no texting – it was pure hell 🙂
    • Still using the same voltage stabilizer I made out of a chip voltage regulator but alas, no more Radio Shack – Amazon or Jameco now.

The rear end gearing is a bit tall. It’s got 3.08’s in it, but 3.70-3.90 would be a bit better. Now that I’ve driven it I don’t have a problem with it, but in 5th gear I go along the expressway at just above idle doing about 65/70. A little bit higher ratio in the rear would give it a bit more off the line. It is kind neat to be going along at 60 in 3rd, not straining a thing and be able to kick the 4 barrel in. What a sound, it’s wonderful. I’ve gotten used to driving 4/6 cyl. engines that you run in the higher rpm range to get any torque out of them. It’s nice to have balls at 1500-2000 rpm, a very, very different feeling.

    • Same rear end – no problems with it – I’ve put thousands of miles on it cruising and have come to love it. Having had it a while I’ve come to appreciate it more – we do more cruising then jumping off the line.

The oil pressure runs about 30-35lbs at cruising speed. It has the modification described in an article from an old hot rod magazine that opened up the oil passage and uses a larger pickup tube.

    • Oil pressure – after the last rebuild runs 50-75lbs – along with the larger pickup Drakes opened up the passage and put in a bit heavier spring.

The shocks are converted from the he original knee to tube style. I didn’t end up with the tube shocks that came with the kit, so we ended up putting in a set that are for a Volvo 240. The seem to work good, but may be a bit stiff, have to put more miles on to really tell. Ending up taking the rear sway bar out, the mounting style they recommended was questionable and the bit of added stiffness wasn’t needed. The rear springs had been re-arched and stiffened a bit, it feels good now.

    • One year while replacing all the bushings with the stiffer version I changed the front tube shocks back to the original knee shocks – rebuilt by Apple. Work great, nice ride, didn’t see the need for the tube shocks and haven’t regretted it.

Per the conversation on the BBS I changed the transmission oil to ATF. Went out one morning, it was about 40 degrees and couldn’t shift out of second except to use 2 hands. The ATF work out real well. I’m learning to love the funky pattern of the T50-5, I like the definite feel of the close ratio shift pattern.

    • About 12 years ago I switched to a T5, no more T50-5. And not world class – just a plain old regular version. I had gotten used to the strange shifting pattern of the T50-5 (our other cars are automatic) and when I took a Skip Barber Racing School session I came around the turn at Sebring in a racing Miata and slammed it into the wrong gear and hit the wall. It was one expensive shift. But they did give me the emblem off the front of the car – 
    • It’s been over 12 years with the same non-world class T5 and without problems. When I bought the T5 I bought 2 used ones. Listening to the stories about how there was a World Class and non WC I was worried I would have problems soon and could replace it so I could put off paying over $1000 for a WC. So far I’m still running the Non WC that cost me $125. Maybe if you constantly slam it off the line there would be a problem but I’m not convinced.
    • Here’s a good article about the T50-5 and it’s weirdness –
    • And here’s the list of ratios/models of the T5

I’ve got a 180 degree fan switch in the top of the radiator and I had a 180 thermostat. That combo made the fans come on a bit too much, so I put a 160 thermostat in. I also wanted to see if the radiator had the capacity to keep the engine that cool, or was I running on the edge. Radiator is not a problem – as long as I’m moving, it stays right at 160, when I stop and idle for a bit it goes up and the fan switch kicks in and keeps it at 180. From that I get that the cooling capacity is there as long as air is moving over the radiator. I think I’ll change the therm. to 170 (it will run a bit better) and then make a temperature step switch so that the fans come on progressively.

    • Still run a 160′ thermostat, couldn’t find a 170′. Didn’t need the step switch – overthinking it. I have the largest electric fan I could fit and haven’t gone over 201′ in 4 years. Also with the Holley Sniper I think the timing and fuel adjustments help keep it from running too lean and worsening the overheating situation.
    • 2021 update – have played with the Air Fuel Ratio (AFR) a bit in the Sniper. We were doing a bit of cruising so I though I’d lean out the mixture a bit and see if I could keep performance and get better mileage. I targeted 14-15 at cruise – what was heralded as “lean burn” way back when. 14.7 is the stoichiometric point where all gas will be burned and without a lot of thought one may think the best for fuel economy. Checking the mileage I got 26 mpg but – during one long cruise on a 80-90 degree day we were going up a steep long hill and the temp went up over 212, something that hasn’t happend before. I’ve since moved the target back to 13-14 at cruise and the temps settled back down again. Did a bit a research (the “thought” part) and now I think that being on the richer side I benefit from the fact that the evaporation of the excess fuel absorbs and carries away some of the engine heat.
    • I do have an override switch on the fan and in messing around with turning that on and off at various points I’m narrowing down my on-off temperatures. With the Sniper I can program it in at what I want and will be doing the switch changes this coming season.

The carburetor was boiling over when I stopped after getting up to temperature, but I noticed it was boiling over only on one barrel. It was suggested and was correct that the float level was off, only on the side that was boiling over. Adjusting that seems to have taken care of it. We did have a day or two that it got up to 80F and I took it on a 40 mile trip with no heat problems.

    • Holly Sniper removed that problem completely. 

I don’t yet have a tach or speedometer. I’m working on a circuit for the tack to halve the pulses, if any one already has a circuit or ideas, please send them along to me. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the speedometer yet.

    • Have a tach and speedometer now. And with the Sniper have AFR and a bunch of other information available.

Had a gas smell in the car – age and sitting around got to the gas tank. The top of it had a few pinholes in it. Put some epoxy on it for now, but it will have to be replaced soon.

    • Replaced the fuel tank, float and sender a long time ago. I did have the replacement float twice develop a leak and fill with gas. The wire that holds it cracked the modling seam. That happened on two different replacement floats – Chinese made. I replaced it the last time with a brass float from some Ford model I found while browsing on line.
  • Things to do this coming year – 2021-2022:
    • I want to rewire the dash. Now with the changes that have happened the last 23 years I want to neaten it up a bit, put in dimmable led lights and get the lighting in the all the gauges consistent in color and intensity.
    • Pull the engine and clean up the bay. When I first got the engine back from the rebuild it had the wrong filter on – threads were almost but not correct. During one of the early starts it blew off and oil went everywhere. I don’t care how good try you can’t get it all and the dirt just clings to the oil film. Looks like crap.
    • Also have a slow drip from the far most header bolt when it’s under pressure – the bolt goes through the water jacket. I’ve tried 4 different sealers and they don’t completely do it. I think it’s time to address it properly. What I did figure out is that if I don’t run over or close to 210 there isn’t a need for pressure in the radiator so I’ve been running for the past 5 years with the radiator cap loose. I check the level every so often and am surprised that it doesn’t change hardly at all..

This is what other drivers will usually see.

This was the first “It’s Done” drive from Kurts Garage to home. My son-in-law Chris and daughter Jennifer were the first ones to drive it after it was done.


Summer, 2020