YT 3208 - a YT(B)
Richard Prior has modified his YT by adding a B
Series engine from an MG B. Here are his comments and some photographs of
MG Y/B TOURER 3208
The pundits will be very quick to
point out that the factory never produced a tourer version of the YB saloon. However the “B” in
this case represents the MGB components used in what has become a very reliable
highway cruiser and competition special. The car is very much a wolf in sheep’s
clothing but I am sure Cecil Kimber would have built a similar car if he and the
parts were there at the time.
This story begins in the mid
seventies with two little children who found it increasingly difficult to
squeeze into the back of our 1950 TD so what better than a Y Tourer. A very
dilapidated and dismantled YT was available with TD running gear, no engine and
gearbox and of course standard options with Y Types no spare wheel compartment,
boot or sills.
From the outset the car had to have
the reliability of a modern MG and the capacity to cruise all day at 70 MPH and
not brake a crankshaft. The extra performance was icing on the cake. The bottom
line it had to be all MG, look like a YT and structural changes minimal and
An MGB 18V series 5 bearing engine
with 4 synchro OD gearbox was fitted to the standard Y front engine mount by
fabricating a new “U” shaped bracket. The engine was positioned as low as
possible with only 12mm of clearance between front corners of the engine and
front cross member and similar between the back of the engine and firewall. A
section of the tubular chassis member that supports the gearbox was removed and
relocated a little lower and a bracket fabricated to support the “V”
configuration of the gearbox mount. Lowering of the gearbox was necessary to
give a direct line to the back axle. The overall location brings the gearstick
directly below the dashboard - just right and the only structural change
required to the whole car including body work. However, a new gearbox cover,
tail shaft cover and toe board were fabricated to accommodate the larger gearbox
with overdrive this also means new floor board support rails and floor boards. A
shortened Wolseley 4/44 tail shaft completed the drive train. The few original
bits that came with the car were put aside.
The rear axle is standard MGB wire
wheel banjo type with standard YT springs. The axle tube spring mounts were
removed and new ones fabricated incorporating Jackall and Panhard rod mounting
points and refitted 12mm further out each side to accommodate the wider Y spring
spacing. I used 50mm spacer blocks to achieve the required ride height. These
could be built into the spring mounts but spacers enable adjustment. The backing
plates where refitted to their opposite sides and rotated so that the handbrake
levers line up in the original position for Y type. Lengthening the handbrake
levers improves mechanical advantage. The original hand brake is retained and
cables made by a local supplier to suit. Not having original rear dampers Mini
front gas telescopics were used to fit the narrow gap and brackets fabricated
using the original chassis mount holes to locate them in the vertical position.
These dampers (shock absorbers) do not have a lot of travel so their location is
critical as is location of the bump stops.
The front suspension employs
standard Y bottom wishbone and spring pan with MGB lever dampers, king pin
assembly and disc brakes. The springs are shortened MGB. The only work required
to fit the MGB bits is drilling two new holes for the dampers. The out board
holes are further apart and also foul the top of the spring therefore a 10mm
plate is sandwiched between the top of the spring and the underside of the
cross-member which is drilled and tapped as captive threads. MG midget tie rods
fit directly to the Y rack and pinion and are the right length to pick up the B
steering arm and ball joint. The other addition to the front end to control that
Y Type body roll is a 24mm anti sway bar. Mounting brackets and Nolathane bushes
are off the shelf from a good suspension shop.
There are also some shots of rear shocker conversion below. I
will try and give an explicit description of the shots
below so that they make some sense. First of all no apologies for all the dirt, I haven't washed the
underneath for a while but the YT is a well used
machine and we often travel on gravel roads.
Mounting bracket template.
This is my cardboard template of the mounting
bracket. The two 3/8" holes at the bottom marry up with the original shock holes in the chassis. The large oval hole in the middle
is for the handbrake cable and allows for up and down
travel. Ignore the two small holes, the one at the
top is top mount for the shocker. The bracket is 10mm
thick and the shape allows it to sweep up and to the rear of the car up into the cavity above the axle housing. The brackets are the same for both sides and fit on the outside of the chassis. As viewed in the photo they would fit looking across the car if the front of the car is on your left and the rear on your right. Normally I would refer to the nearside
and offside of the car but I am not sure if this is
the same in the US.
Rear suspension #1.
This shot is looking rearwards on the passenger side of a right hand drive vehicle. You can see in this shot how the bracket leans rearward
up into the axle cavity and keeps the shocker vertical
and in front of the axle tube. The bottom bracket is
simply a piece of shaped angle iron mounted via the
axle U bolts underneath the original base plate. The bottom shocker pin is forward of the U Bolts.
Rear suspension #2. This is
drivers side (RHD) looking rearward. In this shot you can see the extension for the handbrake cable anchor. This rather lengthy
extension was necessary because I have also lengthened
the handbrake levers to try and improve mechanical
advantage which is still fairly ordinary.
Rear suspension #3. This is
also the drivers side (RHD), here you can see the handbrake cable passing through the cut out.
Rear suspension #4. This
shot is looking from the middle of the car across to the drivers side (RHD). Here you can see the shocker bracket reaching back up into
the axle cavity. You can also see the more
substantial axle bump stop and hoop I fabricated and
the hand brake cable coming through the bracket. The other business in the foreground is a modern electric fuel pump and fuel filter that pushes the fuel through the original SU pump that is still in place
the electrics disconnected. The other smaller device is a suppressor for the CB radio.
Brakes as previously mentioned are
standard MGB and because a clutch master cylinder was also required the original
and almost non existent pedal box was removed and an MGB one welded into
position upside down. A friendly machinist made a new and longer pedal shaft to
suit the new pedal spacing and a supporting bush fitted at the inboard end. The
clutch and brake pedals (standard Y) are now further apart operating MGB master
cylinders. In hindsight an MGA twin cylinder unit would have been a better
option but they don’t grow on trees.
Returning to under the bonnet the
original MGB twin SU carbies where initially used with ZB Magnette air cleaner
manifold and oil bath air cleaner to give the engine bay a period appearance and
confuse the experts. The front of the manifold required a large chamfer to fit
inside the bonnet side but it was concerned that this may have been restricting
air flow to the front carbie. Recently long sweeping induction tubes where
fabricated by son Luke (one of the kids who was supposed to occupy the back seat
but was 20 before it was finished in 1992) to accommodate a 45DCOE side draft
Weber carbie that is located over the rocker box. This configuration works
extremely well looks fantastic and the petrol heads nod almost speechlessly in