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View Full Version : T-Series Which Volvo engine fits in an MGTD?



Steve P.
11-09-2008, 09:26 PM
I've got a chance to pick up a rough MGTD sans engine
and transmission. Even though I really shouldn't, I'm
considering this as another project.

I remember hearing years ago that the engine/trans
from a certain model Volvo was a drop in replacement
for the XPAG. Can anyone confirm this, and tell me
which model Volvo I should be looking for? TIA

Steve

Steve_S
11-09-2008, 09:48 PM
Gotta ask... why not put the correct XPAG engine back in? They aren't that hard to find.

jlaird
11-09-2008, 10:04 PM
Oh for crying out loud do not screw up a TD. Please.

Still looking for one localy.

bill_young
11-10-2008, 09:58 AM
The common Volve swap into the TDs of the era came from the Volvo P444 or 544 in 1.4, 1.6, or 1.8 liter form. They're not a "bolt in" per se, but fit very well and you probably could do it in such a way that the car would be returnable to original if you wanted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo_PV
If you must I'd go for the later 1.8 unit from a post 62 P544 which was a 12 volt system so you wouldn't have to change the starter etc.

glemon
11-10-2008, 12:30 PM
I like original cars as much as the next guy, but the Volvo lump uses SUs as I recall, so doesn't look totally alien in the TD engine compartment. Also give a nice boost in power without pumping it up so much that it would be scary to drive without improvements to brakes, tires and suspension.

We had a Red TD with Volvo engine win people's choice for best in show at our all british show with 70 plus cars in attendence this year, so a few people must be OK with it (or just clueless)

Greg

RickB
11-10-2008, 01:13 PM
I used to have a Volvo 122 Amazon with the 1.8 litre and twin SU's.
I also had my 69 MGB at the same time with the same engine configuration, they looked very much alike and performed about equal IIRC.

vping
11-10-2008, 01:31 PM
I'm with Steve and Jack. Put her back to stock. You can find one...really!

bill_young
11-10-2008, 02:32 PM
Guys, I'm with you to a point about restoring it to original, but as Steve said it's missing both the engine and trans and I'd bet the driveshaft as well. If he can do a Volvo transplant without doing any damage then he could have a nice little driver while he looks around for the original driveline components and gets those rebuilt. I know I'd rather be driving a Volvo/TD than collecting parts while it sat in my garage. A good friend of mine has a TD with a Volvo engine and it worked out nicely, no mods that couldn't be easily returned to stock. I've also seen a TF with a little Ford as well, another clean swap without any cutting.

bob67bgt
11-10-2008, 02:52 PM
i say go for it! If MGB owners can put a V8 in then why not a Volvo in a TD? I have driven stock "T" cars and i do not like them...Its your nickel,spend it as you see fit. As long as its still on the road....NOW go drag that sucker home. Bob

Steve P.
11-10-2008, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the comments and info. I should clarify a
few things. This TD is just a rolling chassis with
the body tub and little else. No fenders, radiator, gas tank,
etc. While I have a few of these items, it'd be a big deal to get everything. The big problem is there
is no title. Yeah, it'd be nice to try to restore it
back to original condition, but I've already got
an dead nuts original (unrestored) MGTD.

* IF someone is willing to restore this back to
original, I'll be happy to pass it on to you *
Seller is asking $750, and its located just north
of San Francisco. Drop me an e-mail at
zarco@sonic.net if you want this.

I've seen a number of pics of TD's with modified
bodies, and that was what I had in mind. The Volve
engine/trans would be inexpensive, but period correct
for a highly modified TD.

bill_young
11-10-2008, 04:03 PM
I wish I was a lot closer, but even at that price it's too far from KC to Frisco. Sounds like the makings of a great little vintage racer runabout. Add some cycle fenders and you're off. I think you'll love it. I'm pretty sure that back in the early 60s there were probably several of these racing out on the coast at places like Torry Pines, etc.

jlaird
11-10-2008, 05:48 PM
They are always so far away.

Steve_S
11-10-2008, 10:57 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]...while he looks around for the original driveline components and gets those rebuilt. I know I'd rather be driving a Volvo/TD than collecting parts while it sat in my garage.[/QUOTE]There's no reason to think that it would take more time to collect and rebuild the TD parts than it would to collect and rebuild the Volvo parts.

PAUL161
11-11-2008, 07:09 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]...while he looks around for the original driveline components and gets those rebuilt. I know I'd rather be driving a Volvo/TD than collecting parts while it sat in my garage.There's no reason to think that it would take more time to collect and rebuild the TD parts than it would to collect and rebuild the Volvo parts. [/QUOTE]

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g273/PJ161/A-Icons/iagree.gif Amen to that!

chris roop
11-11-2008, 11:26 AM
You can also get a Volvo o/d trannie to go behind the engine.

bill_young
11-11-2008, 12:05 PM
My thought was that it would probably be easier to find an old Volvo in the bone yard than to find any part of a TD. One good donor car would set him up with the drive train, it might take months or years to source a TD engine and transmission along with all the other parts needed. I just checked craigslist and there is a listing for various Volvo 544 parts in Santa Rosa listed now. That's pretty easy to find compared to TD parts.

tony barnhill
11-11-2008, 12:29 PM
Bill's correct....I know where there's an old TD sitting in a cornfield but the guy thinks its restorable....has good fenders, complete engine/drivetrain but it'll need total rebuild.

swift6
11-11-2008, 01:44 PM
I know of a few TD's that have had the engines and transmissions pulled and replaced with an MGB engine and five speed transmission. The shop that did that still has the TD engines and transmissions as far as I know. The problem of finding the TD donor parts could be solved with a phone call or email. The parts are not THAT hard to find.

bill_young
11-11-2008, 01:56 PM
Shawn, you're right I suppose Motorbill has a couple. I'm LOL about that though, the thought that someone might install a Volvo engine is horrible, but I guess it's ok to install an MGB 1800 since it's "in the family". Personally I don't care, I'd rather see the cars on the road and being enjoyed than rusting away in some field. I went down this same road with the Ford Model A guys and the street rodders years ago, there were enough cars for both and I'm sure you can still find unrestored Model As around the country that no one has adopted.

swift6
11-11-2008, 02:00 PM
Yep, Motorbill's shop is the shop I'm talking about. The TD's that have had that treatmnet are LBC HotRods in a sense. Those TD's can cruise at 80mph at 5,000 feet in altitude and have no problems keeping up with traffic climbing mountain passes anymore. Especially the ones that also have MGB front and rear suspensions. Disc brakes up front and friendlier gear ratios for the MGB engine.

KLUTZ
11-11-2008, 03:53 PM
Then there is this piece of work....


http://brantford.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-classic-cars-HOT-ROD-W0QQAdIdZ77723928

Paul

tony barnhill
11-11-2008, 05:06 PM
I've got a friend who has one of those TD's with MGB drivetrain/suspension...he did it back when he was younger just for some of the same reasons (he had an old MGB &amp; the conversion was less expensive than redoping his TD)...fun car to drive/ride in but, now that he's getting older, he's wishing he'd not done it.

chris roop
11-11-2008, 10:20 PM
Still for sale huh? I wonder why it hasn't sold??

Steve_S
11-12-2008, 01:16 AM
TD engines are not hard to find. I come across them all the time. Gearboxes are not really rare either.

gblawson
11-16-2008, 08:56 PM
Just put an MGB engine/transmission in it... dime a dozen. Easy fit in a RHD and a bit tight on a RHD

Steve_S
11-17-2008, 02:51 AM
Better than a volvo I agree, but the lack of an XPAG block will definitely reduce the value of the car and change the way it drives.

tony barnhill
11-17-2008, 02:15 PM
:iagree: I'm with Steve on this one.

(Oh, Steve, how do you get your middle car out of your garage? Do you keep them all in neutral &amp; just pull them out by hand?)

Steve_S
11-17-2008, 05:09 PM
Oh, Steve, how do you get your middle car out of your garage? Do you keep them all in neutral &amp; just pull them out by hand?Yes, that's exactly how I do it! There is no room to get out unless you can climb over the cars, and I never run the cars in the garage anyway because I hate the fumes. I've become quite good at lining them up. At first I had to make several "runs" at it (gotta build up speed to get over the lift feet). After a while I could pull the car up to the garage door, open it and push the car right in. I usually push it in half-way to make sure it's good, and then push for real. The slightest variance would put one fender into another quite easily.

Now on the bright side, I no longer keep a car in the center except for special occasions, such as unusually bad weather or when I leave for a trip. The truck typically gets the center spot now.

CurtisJ
11-18-2008, 12:56 AM
I think there's a third and far more interesting alternative (besides sourcing all the MG parts to restore a car that doesn't make economic sense to restore, or sourcing Volvo parts to make a hybrid that has hardly any advantage in grunt and none in style compared to a stock MG-TD.) In the fifties and early sixties, there were lots of really cool MG-TD hot-rods and racecars... Why not build a one-off "special" that evokes the golden age of California car culture!

Just two hours south of San Franscisco, a hard-core MG enthusiast named Don Martine has an excellent TD-V8. You could arrange to visit him, and see his TD-V8 for some inspiration. It's shown on his website, here: (Don Martine's Website) (http://www.martineinnmotorsports.com/1952_MG_TD.html)

Here's another cool example... Paul Cunningham's "Terrible Tempest" MG-TC which had a Buick 215 (installed with the help of racing legend Mickey Thompson himself!) and which raced very successfully in California throughout 1962 and 1963:

http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Images-V15-3/PaulCunningham.jpg

TRMark
11-18-2008, 10:48 AM
If you think you really need to put a V60 in your MG, I will have a engine and driveline available late next year. The V60 flathead is much smaller and narrower than the V85, still a real lump of iron though. It will be out of a 39 standard I will be restomodding, not a hotrod.

Steve_S
11-18-2008, 02:48 PM
The only reason to stuff a V8 into a TD is because they are cheap and you can find them in any junk yard. Since TDs are no longer cheap cars that people are throwing away, it really doesn't make any sense at all. You can spend far less money and buy a better, faster car.

CurtisJ
11-18-2008, 07:59 PM
Steve wrote: "The only reason to stuff a V8 into a TD is because they are cheap and you can find them in any junk yard. Since TDs are no longer cheap cars that people are throwing away, it really doesn't make any sense at all. You can spend far less money and buy a better, faster car."

This whole thread is about a cheap TD that's missing too many parts to be worth restoring...

Of course you could "spend far less money and buy a better, faster car..." but that's also missing the point. It's FUN to build your own car, and it's not just about ending up with something that's technically "better" or "faster" than a TD - if what you want is a better and faster <span style="text-decoration: underline">TD</span>.

People are still building TD-V8's - even in 2008. I'm putting together an article on one right now. Here's a preview... lovely car! (Check out the triple two-barrel carbs!)

http://www.britishv8.org/Photos/TD-289-Preview.jpg

tony barnhill
11-18-2008, 08:27 PM
Steve wrote: "The only reason to stuff a V8 into a TD is because they are cheap and you can find them in any junk yard. Since TDs are no longer cheap cars that people are throwing away, it really doesn't make any sense at all. You can spend far less money and buy a better, faster car."

This whole thread is about a cheap TD that's missing too many parts to be worth restoring...

Of course you could "spend far less money and buy a better, faster car..." but that's also missing the point. It's FUN to build your own car, and it's not just about ending up with something that's technically "better" or "faster" than a TD - if what you want is a better and faster <span style="text-decoration: underline">TD</span>.

People are still building TD-V8's - even in 2008. I'm putting together an article on one right now. Here's a preview... lovely car! (Check out the triple two-barrel carbs!)

http://www.britishv8.org/Photos/TD-289-Preview.jpg

Think I saw that TD at the Chattanooga show last month.

Steve_S
11-18-2008, 09:51 PM
Of course you could "spend far less money and buy a better, faster car..." but that's also missing the point.
I don't feel I've missed the point at all, Curtis. Quite the opposite. Steve is considering a Volvo engine partly because it would be cheaper. Building a V8 modified MG TD is exactly the opposite of what he is asking about doing.

Hap Waldrop
11-19-2008, 05:50 PM
Steve telling Curtis to not V8 in a small car is like trying to tell the pope not to pray :smile:

billspohn
11-19-2008, 06:50 PM
Steve telling Curtis to not V8 in a small car is like trying to tell the pope not to pray :smile:

I think I once suggested that a V-8 isn't ALWAYS the best answer. He thought I was kidding......

Steve_S
11-19-2008, 10:24 PM
I'm not suggesting that Curtis refrain from shoehorning a V8 into a TD. I'm merely suggesting that it isn't always the right answer, especially for someone like Steve who is only looking for a simple, inexpensive way to get an engineless TD on the road.

We all know where Curtis stands when it comes to V8 engines. Lets just say I'm NEVER leaving him alone with my cars! :wink:

Hap Waldrop
11-20-2008, 08:00 AM
I love the above picture, everyone is looking at the the third guy from the left to see his reaction, he looks like he getting ready to throw up :smile:

bill_young
11-20-2008, 09:15 AM
Although I'm one of the ones from the "dark side" that likes to modifiy my cars I also agree with Steve S. that some cars should be preserved if possible. What we sometimes miss when we let our personal preferences into the equation is that we don't answer the original question posed. The original question was not wheither or not he should install a Volvo engine in the TD, it was which Volvo engine fit best! So far I think I'm the only one who tried to answer his question, the rest were opinions, and we're all entitled to share those, on wheither or not he should make the swap. I try to supply the information requested first, then add any additional commentary I feel is warranted, but above all, answer the question if I can. What we may be overlooking are many unknown factors that we are not aware of such as budget or time constraints that may make such a course of action preferable to the builder. I know that on my car building budget I might well opt for a cheaper engine solution than the original TD unit in order to take a derelict hulk and get some use from it. If that can be accomplished without damaging the car beyond redemption then all the better, and might well ask for information on which engine might fit best with the least damage.

AllenB
11-30-2008, 02:42 PM
Bear this in mind: the easiest place to find TDs with Volvo engines is often Ebay - where you look for very nice looking TDs with mysteriously low bid prices. That tells us something. It's going to take more effort than going stock, and you won't get that expense back in the market-place.

On the other hand, look on Ebay for MGB Rover V8 conversions. Quite a different story. I don't think MGB examples rationalize an engine swap in a TD. First, they made a half-million MGBs, and chewed-up old examples are still plentiful. Supply and demand still say it's your car, do whatever you want with it. Twenty years from now, this my not be the case. Also the MGB with Rover V8 has at least a hint of factory-authorized authenticity about it. In fact, on the late Bs, this is a bolt-in conversion.

But since you have a very original TD already, you know that half the fun is listening to that wonderful little XPAG.

IMHO, of course, and only FWIW,

Allen

AllenB
11-30-2008, 03:04 PM
Pardon me as I'm just getting used to posting on this forum. I read the first page of posts and used the "Quick Reply" form, thinking I had read the entire thread. NOT! In context, I find myself prattling on about stuff that had already been said, and adding my opinion immediately after Bill Young clarified the difference between opinion and answering the question.

With all that's been said, back in the early sixties my 1960 Volvo P544 with the B16 engine really felt like a factory hotrod. I can understand the appeal...

Cheers,
Allen