How to give your MGB V8 power
by Roger Williams
Veloce Publishing
£29.99 UK US$59.95 USA pp 221
This totally revised third edition of a book regarded for many years as the authoritative guide to V8 conversions is now even better. The content has been developed in many useful ways covering the enhanced range of engine and suspension options that is now available and the consequent performance increases. The book is both well written and set out so it is a pleasure to read. It is also a book of real substance with an intelligent approach to thinking through the range of options and strategic issues you will need to focus on and weigh up at the outset when planning a V8 conversion of an MGB - for example what car do you use and what engine and gearbox combination do you need?

The Buick-Rover aluminium V8 engines are still the easiest to install in the MGB and there are few cars you can transform so easily. The transformation on fitting a 3500cc 200bhp engine produces a 100% increase in power without an increase in weight or front-to-rear balance. Since the first book was first published some 15 years ago 3900, 4200 and 4600 engines have been produced offering the prospect of quite startling performance in an MGB. So an early chapter acts as a guide to the radical changes needed to transmit increased power outputs to the road and provide safe roadholding and handling.


The suspension options for the MGB have undergone major development over recent years, not least from the spin-off from RV8 production, but Roger Williams emphasizes you need to think in terms of compatible front and rear suspension combinations. Braking capacity requirements will depend on your choice of powerplant and wheel size may be determined by a need to accommodate larger discs. Front and rear suspension options are well covered and the Hoyle kits are described mentioning their useful features front and back, not least the ability to fit independent rear suspension using readily available Ford UK parts and even a Sierra LSD.

V8 conversions are particularly popular in the USA with the ready availability of Buick, Chevy and Ford V8 engines, so this new edition will provide just the source of information many enthusiasts will want there.

A final chapter on "UK rebuilt vehicle requirements" is a particularly useful section on how the system works, not least the vehicle test details and the points system for measuring the aggregate effect of the changes made to the vehicle. There is a natural attraction to retaining a tax exempt status which the book covers very well.

Equally there are complications where a V8 Roadster has been created from a Heritage shell
and an MGBGT as the donor car, so the book provides good information on the requirements for notifying DVLA of changes made to a vehicle. The chapter is essential reading before starting a V8 project.

Posted: 071122




This cross-sectional view of a late 4.0 litre Rover engine will help you appreciate why you cannot overbore the cylinders by more than 0.030in and why re-sleeving is possible but difficult and not cost-effective for the average V8 conversion. (Photo: Veloce)

The only weak point is the frugal index, sadly a common problem with many books today. A good technical book of this quality should have a far better index to help a reader trace information as the book will be used for reference far more than cover-to-cover reading.

The foreword to the book is written by Clive Wheatley, an acknowledged V8 conversions specialist, who mentions the V8 Register but sadly in the appended index of suppliers the author fails to provide a mention of the leading group for MG V8 enthusiasts, surely a serious oversight when the V8 Register was very prominent in the earlier editions.

Is the book worth buying? Well for the wealth of information and good advice most certainly yes, it is an excellent book. However it is fully priced at £29.99 in the UK compared with £12.99 for the original 128 page edition some 15 years ago.


Victor Smith

The Princess caliper increases the length of the pad that comes in contact with the disc by 12mm beyond an MGBGTV8 pad - which will improve braking, although the squeeze pressure on the disc is about the same. (Photo: Veloce)

Rover LT77 gearbox fitted with the essential V8 bellhousing necessary to marry it to a Rover (O Buick) V8 engine. (Photo: Veloce)

How to give your MGB V8 power
By Roger Williams
Veloce Publishing 01305 260068
£29.99 UK US$59.95 USA pages 221
ISBN 1-904788-93-9 softback

Roger Williams is well known for his earlier books in Veloce's Speedpro Series on "How to improve an MGB", "How to power tune an MGB", and "Your expert guide to MGB & MGBGT problems and how to fix them" a new Auto-Doc TM book. There is a review of that Auto-Doc book on the V8 website. More

Call Veloce on 01305 260068 or visit their website at www.veloce.co.uk where you can see other reviews of the book.
How to give your MGB V8 power
The content has been developed in many useful ways covering the enhanced range of engine and suspension options that is now available and the consequent performance increases. You can download a copy of the two contents pages and see the improved scope of the book. More

It is a book of real substance with an intelligent approach to thinking through the range of options and strategic issues you will need to focus on and weigh up at the outset when planning a V8 conversion of an MGB - for example what car do you use and what engine and gearbox combination do you need? These strategic issues are addressed in the first chapter and Roger Williams provides a most useful options chart as a handy guide to planning a V8 conversion. You can download a good quality copy of the chart below. More
V8 Register - MG Car Club - the leading group for MG V8 enthusiasts at www.v8register.net