What's involved in a major rebuild of an MGBV8?

Following a major restoration of an MGBGTV8 previously owned by Dugald
McNeill, Mike Macartney met up with his old friend and as Dugald was so attached to the car, Mike generously let it go back to him! But Mike had thoroughly enjoyed driving the V8 so the MGV8 bug had bitten him! We soon heard Mike had bought another MGV8 for restoration, a V8 Roadster conversion. As he was preparing the car to start the restoration Mike then offered to send in regular reports of the restoration which you can follow here. See the latest report & Index
See our reports of earlier rebuild projects. More
Reports on the rebuilding of the V8 Roadster

Rebuild project begins
Mike Macartney with Teal Blue 1334 in a sad state before a major restoration.
130601 More

Project completed
Mike proudly had the MGBGTV8 on display at a car show and then at MGLive! 2014. 140603 More

Rebuild report 1
Mike's report on buying a new restoration project, a V8 Roadster. 150104 More

Rebuild report 2
Initial clean up begins with the boot and engine bay. 150115 More

Rebuild report 3
Filler was not covered immediately with a waterproof paint coat during previous repair. 150119 More

Rebuild report 4
Checking with plasticine that the EFi bits will fit under the bonnet.
150120 More

Rebuild report 5
Removed sound deadening tar from the floor to see what lurked beneath. Guess what I found? - rust.
150121 More

Rebuild report 6
Best bit of kit I have ever bought for £300 is a Hydrovane compressor, Gunson bead blaster and filter system.
150122 More

Rebuild report 7
Work resumes on inner wing holes for the exhaust, the steering column and rust under seam sealer.
150130 More

Rebuild report 8
Managing the nuts and bolts is essential - bag them up and mark where they come from.
150204 More

Rebuild report 9
Checking wheels and suspension geometry, tyre choice and a new RV8 engine & gearbox.
150208 More & Drawing

Rebuild report 10
Removing the dashboard, heater and legwell trim, marking the parts and cleaning up ready for welding.
150211 More

Rebuild report 11
Problems with an interior light, sorting parts and preparing for an engine-out.
150220 More

Rebuild report 12
Engine comes out and then cutting the bulkhead to make room for the engine.
150224 More

Rebuild report 13
Attacking the rust in the floor pan and preparing to fit the new engine mounts.
150226 More

Rebuild report 14
Serious welding and discovery of rust sections.
150226 More

Rebuild report 15
Trial fit of the engine, visit to Stoneleigh show and rear GRP valance panel.
150303 More

Rebuild report 16
Checking the RV8 wiring loom and tracing a wiring diagram. Tidying up the workshop.
150307 More

Rebuild report 17
Steering rack, gearbox mountings and cutting a hole in the inner wing for the exhaust.
150311 More


Rebuild report 18
Grinding off incorrect rack mounts and useful WIP photos of Dougald's V8 rebuild.
150315 More


Rebuild report 19
Fellow V8 member has an spit idea and progress with the steering rack.
150319 More

Rebuild report 20
Repositioning the remote oil filter, cooling fan options and dealing with rack issues.
150323 More

Rebuild report 21
Sorting out the wiring & ensuring a clear area behind the grille for good cooling.
150325 More

Rebuild report 22
More sorting the wiring, twin fan brackets and more on the wiring loom.
150401 More

Rebuild report 23
ECU brackets, panel beating tools & engine mounts.
150404 More

Rebuild report 24
Engine mounting plates, gearbox crossmember points and spit arrives.
150409 More

Rebuild report 25
Kurust at work, more spot welding &removing sound deadening to check for rust.
150412 More

Rebuild report 26
Positioning the rack and checking the exhaust manifold clearances.
150415 More

Rebuild report 27
Fitting the ECU mounting rivet nuts and setting up the exhaust mounting.
150419 More

Rebuild report 28
More work on the exhaust pipe routing and Kurust treatement before primer.
150422 More

Rebuild report 29
Back to the exhaust system and the rubber mountings and how to fix them.
150427 More

Rebuild report 30
More on fuel injection wiring, bonnet hinges and exhaust mounting clamps.
150430 More

Rebuild report 31
Removing spot welds, tail pipe mounts and a mounting plate for the fuse box.
150503 More

Rebuild report 32
Treating rust areas by the battery box, fuse box mounting and exhaust.
150509 More

Rebuild report 33
Took off the RH front wheel cylinder, found the pistons seized solid.
150519 More

Rebuild report 34
Making an air filter collar and a hole for it through the radiator mounting panel.
150529 More

Rebuild report 35
Using a plastic battery box, fitting oxygen sensors and several useful tips.
150605 More

Rebuild report 36
Made a decision to run the battery cable and other cables inside the car.
150612 More

Rebuild report 37
Patch with collar welded into it for the oxygen sensor on the exhaust down pipe.
150614 More

Rebuild report 38
Making swirl pot on the lathe and the outlet in the section of exhaust pipes.
150618 More

Rebuild report 39
Swirl pot set at an angle so the petrol does not have to go up hill.
150623 More

Rebuild report 40
Making a mounting plate for a battery cut off switch & pressure testing the swirl pot.
150707 More

Rebuild report 41
Dugald helps put the "spit" together but where are the assembly instructions?. 150717 More

Rebuild report 42
More progress putting the spit together, welding up and fitting castors.150721 More

Rebuild report 43
Modifying the bonnet is underway - but a crab lunch was very tempting. 150725 More

Rebuild report 44
Adjusting the doors so that they open & close nicely and a list of what's to be done. 150803 More

Rebuild report 45
Good news, rebuild is underway again setting up the spit mounting brackets. 160528 More

Rebuild report 46
Adjustments to the spit and cleaning the underside of the shell. 160606 More

Rebuild report 47
Time to start attacking the underside of the body. Drilled the holes for the oil filter 160608 More

Rebuild report 48
With the shell away for soda blasting, progress with some of the other work. 160612 More

Rebuild report 49
Shell has returned from Soda Blast with a free two pack undercoat.. 160620 More

Rebuild report 50
Continuing cutting and welding work on the area around the splashguard. 160623 More

Rebuild report 51
Dugald visited me for a couple of days and did his first bit of welding for 50 years! 160628 More

Rebuild report 52
The next major part to rebuild is the area at the top of the RH front inner wing. 160701 More

Rebuild report 53
Jacking points are another area for mud to build up.. 160702 More

Rebuild report 54
More repairs to areas of the bodyshell continue.. 160708 More

Rebuild report 55
Continuing to make the panel that will meet the glass fibre rear bumper. 160710 More

Rebuild report 56
Lurking underneath is 'Golden Body Lightener' better known as RUST. 160714 More

Rebuild report 57
Mounting for the Panhard rod, part of the Frontline suspension upgrade kit. 160717 More

Rebuild report 58
Mike often mentions his muleskinner - it's a wire brush encapsulated in resin. 160721 More

Rebuild report 59
Work on the Quaife and then Mike is back on the rear bodywork again. 160725 More

Rebuild report 60
Mike starts making plates to bolt to his new engine mounting points. 160730 More

Rebuild report 61
Getting a good fit for the chrome grille and fitting the valance.160802 More

Rebuild report 62
Bodywork painting set for 12th September so on with the repairs to the shell. 160804 More

Rebuild report 63
Sorting out the grille opening and fitting the glassfibre valance unit. 160806 More

Rebuild report 64
More work on the grille fit and bonnet and Dugald due to visit for fitting the suspension. 160810 More

Rebuild report 65
Dugald preparing the rear axle ready to fit the 5 link rear suspension from Frontline. 160814 More

Rebuild report 66
Some door adjustment is available on the hinges, but it is limited so more work. 160818 More

Rebuild report 67
Much going on including remaking the area where the indicators & side lights will fit.160821 More

Rebuild report 68
Ready to cut the front wing to bring it to bonnet level. The grille fit looks good. 160825 More

Rebuild report 69
Welding suspension mounts and making patterns for sidelight fixing holes. 160826 More

Rebuild report 70
Filler applied to the boot lid and rubbed down with grit production paper. 160831 More

Rebuild report 71
Rubbing down the primer on the underside, and inside of the bodyshell. 160908 More

Rebuild report 72
Thought it would be useful to try this product and report how I got on with it. 160911 More

Rebuild report 73
All ready on the trailer to go to Jaymic for painting the bodyshell in Teal Blue. 160913 More

Rebuild report 74
Bolted all the 'U' bolts to check the brackets settled into their correct places. 160916 More

Rebuild report 75
Next jobs are what to do with the dashboard, instruments and other bits. 160921 More

Rebuild report 76
The shuttle valve finally blown out of its bore with compressed air.160926 More

Rebuild report 77
Plenty of rubber grease for pushing the new calliper pistons into the bores. 161004 More

Rebuild report 78
Shell is back painted in Teal Blue and ready for continuing the rebuild. 161007 More

Rebuild report 79
The painted bodyshell is now back in the garage - now where to start?161010 More

Rebuild report 80
Two stainless steel caster reduction plates on the crossmember. 161014 More

Rebuild report 81
Heater appears to have a two speed fan. Casing was given the Kurust treatment. 161021 More

Rebuild report 82
Dugald bolting the drilled angle brackets onto the spit's swivelling part. 161024 More

Rebuild report 83
The foam ring that glues to the heater casing seals the heater casing from the bulkhead. 161026 More

Rebuild report 84
The door switch for the interior light fitted to the A-post with stainless steel screws. 161029 More

Rebuild report 85
At last I am ready to start injection the Waxoyl cavity proofing on the bodyshell. 161101 More

Rebuild report 86
This was the first section of sound deadening material called "Peace Mat". 161102 More

Rebuild report 87
All the bulb sockets and springs have been brushed with Vaseline. 161106 More

Rebuild report 88
The plastic headlamp buckets problem - I decided to solve the problem. 161108 More

Rebuild report 89
The next job is to fit the fuel pump, filters and fuel lines. Not a lot of spare space. 161109 More

Rebuild report 90
Tube bender will take three different sizes of tube for the fuel & brake lines. 161114 More

Rebuild report 91
Pleased with the results of the 'plumbing' but it has taken more time than I expected. 161116 More

Rebuild report 92
Fitting the vinyl trim, Jane used a roller to push it onto the scuttle panel. 161118 More

Rebuild report 93
Steering column - three bolts that support the column were tightened up. 161120 More & Note

Rebuild report 94
New crossmember end plate - who needs fireworks when you've a MIG welder?161121 More

Rebuild report 95
Front cross member bolted to the chassis rails, easier with the body on the spit. 161125 More

Rebuild report 96
Dugald helps make good progress. Switch for the boot interior lamp cleaned up. 161127 More

Rebuild report 97
Cutting & fitting sound deadening panels which were stuck in place. A long job. 161130 More

Rebuild report 98
The bolts holding the pulley on the water pump were very tight. 161205 More

Rebuild report 99
Water pump pulley and crankshaft belt pulley were blasted and treated with Kurust. 161209 More

Rebuild report 100
Cleaning the rocker covers, petrol tank and steering column and rack. 161217 More & 100

Rebuild report 101
It's starting to look more like a complete RV8 3.9 EFi engine. 161219 More

Rebuild report 102
Only one of the five screws on the windscreen would unscrew. 161221 More

Rebuild report 103
No LT77 gearknobs available I found a VW one at £3.50! 161222 More

Rebuild report 104
Sound deadening fitted inside the boot lid. 161227 More

Rebuild report 105
Propshaft bolted to the diff with new SS Nyloc nut. 161230 More

Rebuild report 106
New steering column mounting bracket ready to be fitted. 170104 More

Rebuild report 107
The steering rack fits the new mounting brackets. 170106 More

Rebuild report 108
Broken bracket of the anti rattle cap of the gearbox remote. 170109 More

Rebuild report 109
Arrow to the Adjustment screw on the Mass Airflow Meter. 170112 More

Rebuild report 110
Sender unit locked in place using with locking pegs. 170114 More

Rebuild report 111
Brake pads with retaining sprung clips in place. 170118 More

Rebuild report 112
I laid it out the carpet set from Moss to see which bits fitted. 170122 More

Rebuild report 113
Jane helped fit the bonnet release spring to the alloy bonnet. 170127 More

Rebuild report 114
Jane fitted the stainless bolts to fix the centre of the screen. 170131 More

Rebuild report 115
Few problems bolting the hood frame to the bodyshell. 170203 More

Rebuild report 116
Not too happy about the fit of the rear carpet. 170208 More

Rebuild report 117
Front of the boot lid, the lid is sitting about 1/8" too high. 170211 More

Rebuild report 118
Centre console gear stick hole with a strengthening plate. 170216 More

Rebuild report 119
View of the brake fail switch on the dual master cylinder. 17019 More

Rebuild report 120
Broken plastic on the vacuum pipe for the distributor. 170222 More

Rebuild report 121
Sealant under the front lip of the rubber windscreen seal. 170224 More

Rebuild report 122
Manifold wrapped with black exhaust paint. 170226 More

Rebuild report 123
Mesh grille to stop leaves blocking the drain pipe. 170302 More

Rebuild report 124
Relays save high electrical loads on switches. 170305 More

Rebuild report 125
Two springs were moved over the prongs on the gearstick. 170311 More

Rebuild report 126
Photo shows the wires connected to the relay. 170313 More

Rebuild report 127
Inside the indicator switch unbolted from its backing plate. 170320 More

Rebuild report 128
A new indicators switch arrived but the hole is too small! 170328 More

Rebuild report 129
Sketching out a section of the wiring diagram. 170331 More

Rebuild report 130
Yellow and white wires go to the speed transducer. 170401 More

Rebuild report 131
Drawing the wiring loom I noted the positions, colours & destinations of the wires. 170412 More

Rebuild report 132
One of the circuits I did not check was the light switch on the steering column. 170423 More

Rebuild report 133
Dugald's plan for how to wire an override switch for the radiator fans. 170507 More

Rebuild report 134
Arrow points to the voltage stabiliser. Note that it is the old one. 170513 More

Rebuild report 135
New bracket for the washer bottle was made and bolted in position. 170520 More

Rebuild report 136
Next, I have to cut the hole in the carpet for the gear stick. 170423 More

Rebuild report 137
Positioning the front numberplate supported by bespoke brackets. 170524 More

Rebuild report 138
With the contact adhesive touch dry the carpet edge was folded over. 170525 More

Rebuild report 139
The cables can now be attached to the heater control switches. 170528 More

Rebuild report 140
Problem - spotted the 'ear' on the radiator cap would foul the bonnet hinge! 170530 More

Rebuild report 141
Radiator cap adjusted to remove the fouling with the bonnet hinge. 170602 More

Rebuild report 142
Iinside is now virtually complete. Next job is to fit the steering wheel. 170607 More

Rebuild report 143
A battery powered air fed mask for painting suspension parts. 170608 More

Rebuild report 144
Photo of the MG gives me some motivation to get on with the rebuild tomorrow. 170611 More

Rebuild report 145
Lubricated the pivot bushes with silicone grease before fitting them in place. 170614 More

Rebuild report 146
New oil pipe from the dashboard oil pressure gauge to the oil filter fitted. 170616 More

Rebuild report 147
Bleeding the brakes using the Gunson EEZIBLEED system is quite simple. 170621 More

Rebuild report 148
The engine started on the first turnover. What a relief - the V8 exhaust note. 170624 More

Rebuild report 149
I surrounded the clutch master cylinder with paper roll in case there's a brake fluid.170627 More

Rebuild report 150
Clipped the heat shield onto the exhaust pipe and used stainless steel locking wire. 170701 More

Rebuild report 151
In the degreaser bath, a scrub with a brass brush and window regulari looks new. 170705 More

Rebuild report 152
These new striker plates look as if they be better than the originals. 170707 More

Rebuild report 153
I started fitting securing pin to the handle before I fitted the handle to the shaft. 170711 More

Rebuild report 154
After an hour trying to fit the heater controls I gave up and let Jane have ago. 170714 More

Rebuild report 155
With more or less equal door shuts the screws could be finally tightened. 170717 More

Rebuild report 156
New door locks arrived yesterday. The method of fixing seemed to me a lot better. 170722 More

Rebuild report 157
Make sure this screw has plenty of Copperslip grease on it to stop it seizing up. 170725 More

Rebuild report 158
The hood isn't brilliant but it will do for the time being with a few years life left. 170729 More

Rebuild report 159
Today is MOT day. I still get nervous taking cars in for an MOT test. Passed. 170801 More

Rebuild report 160
Jane's first drive of the MGB. I think the big smile says she likes it!. 170810 More

Rebuild report 161
Mike has produced a 10 page detailed index to his series of reports.170823 More

Rebuild report 162
Next progress report. 1708NN More

Rebuild report 163
Next progress report. 1708NN More

Rebuild report 164
Next progress report. 1708NN More

Rebuild report 165
Next progress report. 1708NN More

Rebuild report 166
Next progress report. 1708NN More