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Harrison Manell's Buick V6 MGA

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mg.gif (63238 bytes)This project began as a 1960 MGA English sports car. Add to that date another forty years. During this time two stock engine rebuilds, two Buick V6 engine conversions, and many other extensive modifications took place. There is currently very little left of the original running gear which did include a 1600CC engine that cranked out a reliable 80HP.

It was the summer of 1969 as I watched my friend Brian extract the 198 cubic inch odd-fire V6 from his 1963 Buick Skylark. This engine ran fine, but like may of us car nuts, he wanted more power. The four banger in my MG needed rebuilding for the third time and I thought, hey, why not drop his V6 into my car? After all, it shouldn't be too much work, since the Buick mill didn't need rebuilding. Just drop it in. A piece of cake, so I thought. Wrong!! Modifications included replacing the stock rear-end with a cut down 8" Ford with a 3.00:1 gear ratio and chromemoly steel axles. A 1961 M-21 Munsey transmission from a Corvette was bolted to the Olds bell-housing and clutch assembly that mated to the V6 block. The entire engine compartment was gutted and the original wooden floorboards with supporting frame work were removed completely. Some of the frame cross-members were also cut away along with the original transmission mounts. The new drive train was lowered into the engine compartment and the entire car was re-built around the new power plant. Rubber cushioned engine and transmission mounts were added as well as a removable frame cross-member under the transmission. The steering shaft was re-routed around the engine block with the use of an additional u-joint and a frame-mounted steering center shaft support bearing. New flooring supports were welded to the frame and fresh plywood floorboards were cut and installed. A new tunnel cover was hammer-formed from several pieces of soft aluminum sheet that were pop-riveted together. After 2 years and gazillions of man hours, I finally drove the car for the first time with the engine conversion completed. Since the major mechanical work was finished and fine tuned, I decided to re-style the body to look like a Cobra sports car. The original MGA body style had lines similar to the Shelby Cobra and with the help of a local body shop, the mission was soon accomplished. At that time the car was painted Corvette yellow with white pearl mixed in. The cops could see it coming from a mile away.



Detailed Specifications

Engine: 3.8 liter 1982 even-fire Buick V6

Crank: Stock, ground .010, balanced and case hardened by New Performance/Santa Ana, CA

Pistons: 9.5:1 CR Kenne Bell Cast Hypereutectic 3.83 bore

Rings: Speed-Pro chromemoly

Rods: Stock, machined, shot-peaned, balanced & straightened by New Performance/Santa Ana

Heads: Stock cast iron w/stainless valves. Flow ported by Flow-tech Engineering, Garden Grove, CA

Valve springs & retainers: Kenne Bell

Rocker arms: T&D billet aluminum, roller bearings, 1.6:1 ratio

Rocker Shafts: T&D solid shaft

Push rods& Lifters: Kenne Bell

Cam: Kenne Bell Mark 2X. Lift: IN .478"/ EX .494" Duration IN 260? / EX 280? Lobe Cntr:112?

Oil Pump: Stock w/Kenne Bell booster plate.

Oil pressure: @ 2500 rpm 70 PSI

Timing chain & gears: Kenne Bell double roller

Intake Manifold: Edelbrock Performer #5486, aluminum

Carburetor: 4 bbl Carter AFB 9410 400 CFM

Gaskets: Fel Pro

Engine machine work & balancing: New Performance/Santa Ana, CA

Ignition: HEI by Ignitioneering, Fullerton, CA

Engine Assembly.Bolts: ARP

Engine Assembly: Harrison Manell

Oil Cooler: Mocal 13 row

Radiator: Hoffman, Orange CA

Coolant: Evans NPG 370? boiling point at zero pressure

Engine Cooling Fans: 1ea.Spal 2000 CFM & 2ea. ducted fans mounted under cowling vents

Headers: Mark Weiss, Costa Mesa

Header Coating: Spray on ceramic by Jet Hot

Exhaust system: Dual low-profile oval glass packs, Mesa Muffler

Alternator: Powermaster 100 Amp single wire Delco style, internal regulator

Transmission: 1967 Muncie M21 close ratio 4 speed. Aluminum case

Flywheel: Hays steel billet

Clutch: Center Force

Throw out bearing: Internal Weber Hydraulic

Driveshaft: Driveline Specialties. GM on transmission end, Ford on rear end

Rear End: Ford 8" Housing cut down by Cooks in LA. 3.00:1 ratio built by Unitrax, Anaheim, CA.

Brakes: Front, stock disc. Rear, Ford drum Brake Proportioning valve used to balance front-to-rear brake lockup characteristics

Hood scoop & front-end modifications: Color Custom (1978). Tiki at Andy's Restoration (2000)

Fender Flaring and body modifications: Color Me Custom (1978) then Coachwerks (2000)

Body & paint: Coachwerks, Long Beach, CA

Paint: PPG DCC Acrylic Urethane. Color was custom blended.

Interior sewing & leatherwork: Jesus Ridallo, Costa Mesa

Carpet & interior: Harrison Manell

Dash board: Carbon fiber laminated to wood, then polished.

Steering wheel: Moto-Lita Black anodized aluminum with black leather grip

Wheels: Intro Custom 17"x7 custom designed billet aluminum. Front 4 bolt, rear 5 bolt Ford.

Tires: Sumitomo 215/50x17, 25-1/2" Diameter

Design suggestions & inspiration: Jack Rawlings, Dick New and many others



This site is maintained by Mike Barnes
The button below enables you to contact me whenever I am on line or leave me a message when I am not.
Please note that I cannot give technical advice on V8 conversions but I can help you with any aspect of this site.

This site forms part of MG - The Classic Marque