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Putting C230 mechanicals in a MGB GT

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by Skiday, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Skiday

    Skiday Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Whilst I no longer own a Merc, I did have a C230K Coupe for a bit, and the best thing about it was the engine. I'm a big fan of smaller forced induction engines over big normally aspirated engines. A little while ago I bought my wife a 1971 MGB GT. It's a lovely car, but to use an old expression, it couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding. There are three engine swop options that have been tried already by others, the Rover V8, Rover K-series and the Mazda MX5 engine. None of these get any more than 150bhp without tuning. When thinking which other four pot cars have a traditional layout of in-line engine - gearbox - rear drive, the C230 is the one that seems for me to stand out as the obvious choice. Room is not a problem as the MG engine bay is very generous (big enough for a V8). In standard tune you have 192bhp and you can chip it to 220 and (I would find a manual) a 6-speed gearbox. Together with new design suspension, this could make the ultimate MGB GT!

    The only thing that really bothers me is the electronics. MBs are so complicated electronically, could the drive-train be extracted and put into another car and be made to work, bearing in mind you won't have ABS brakes, traction control etc. Obviously no one can be definitive about this without actually doing it, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Does anyone have photos of a C180/200/230K engine out of the car (pref with gearbox attached)?

    One other thing – what’s the difference between the engines of the 1800cc C180K C200K and C230K? Is it just the mapping of the chip or is it much more than that? My friend has a C230 Chipped to 220BHP, what can the C180 and C200 be chipped to?

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  2. st4

    st4 Banned

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    I think with some ECU modding and some welding this project could work
     
  3. bigasotonuk

    bigasotonuk Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Agreed the 230 engine I think would suit the MG, if you source your engine and gearbox from a prefacelift 202 230k (pre 97) there will be a lot less electronics to worry about.
     
  4. Bolide

    Bolide Senior Member

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  5. star

    star Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    It would be cheaper to buy a whole scrap car and the take what you need and sell anything left. Sounds like a great tail happy car in the making.
     
  6. mr-torquer

    mr-torquer Senior Member

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    I'm going to swear now.

    How about a 32 valve 4 Litre V8 from a Party Frocked Toyota.

    You can buy the whole Barge for Buttons. The Engine is Bullet Proof and if you get a MK 4, then you get VVTI, 280BHP as standard and a 5 Speed auto.

    There is a company in New Zealand doing Lexus into MX5 conversions. The MG should be easier.

    I have never owned an MGB as yet. Always loved them. Always will. My most Bonkers car was a TR7V8.
     
  7. Benzworx

    Benzworx Senior Member

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    Not a good idea am afraid it would take a lot of work and fabrication plus cost of parts,
    just go and buy a C43 cause by the time you do this you could have bought one lol
     
  8. OP
    Skiday

    Skiday Member

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    Thanks for the various responses. My preference is for a small blown 4 cylinder engine definitely not a V8 and I would defiantly buy a whole donor car, not try to cobble it from bits, and there would be good salvage to sell on and recoup some of the costs, which when compared to getting the max out of a B-series engine, which is about £3k and you've still got a thirsty engine and a 4 speed box.
     
  9. OP
    Skiday

    Skiday Member

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    A strange thing seems to have happened. I have been monitoring Auto Trader's site and up till now all C-class coupe C230k cars have been (like mine was) 1.8l. Now it comes up with 6 or so that all claim to be 2.3l with 4 cylinders and none with 1.8l. Surely the 2.3 was the V6. I can't think MB made 230k coupes with a choice of 1.8 and 2.3 both with kompressors and only 5 bhp difference - there must be some mistake, no?
     
  10. kth286

    kth286 Senior Member

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    the supercharged 4 cylinder (2.2 litre) engine was a (slightly) more economical configeration
    in the W208 coupe (for example) compared to the V6 3.2 litre in that same model.

    There are loads of these (kompresser) engines about.
     
  11. NW_Merc

    NW_Merc Banned

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    There was a guy (I'll try and find the link) who put a kompressor engine into a 190 but it did require quite a bit of fabrication. He also used standalone fuel management with the engine mated up to a getrag gearbox. So what you're suggesting is possible but it's not straightforward. I would as some have suggested investigate all possibilities and expect it to be a steep and sometimes expensive learning curve. :D
     
  12. NW_Merc

    NW_Merc Banned

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  13. jibcl500

    jibcl500 Senior Member

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    If you move on this project quickly I might be able to help as I have a complete SLK 230K breaking for parts.

    Engine and box(auto) and all looms and ECUs etc.



    jib
     
  14. Bolide

    Bolide Senior Member

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    I wonder what a B would be like as an auto?

    I think it'd be better with an engine with a bit of grunt as it'd give it the traditional British sportscar vibe. I suspect anything too smooth or too bland might miss the point

    I was wondering what engines would suit it best. Thinking about engines I know it suddenly came to me - a BMW M10 straight four as used in the 2002/E21/E30! Available as a 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 or 2.3 (M3), eight or sixteen valves, single carb, twin carbs or injected and a four or five speed getrag box.

    It's a tough, grunty engine with torque, unbreakable, simple, cheap. All the carburettor versions need is a throttle cable, fuel, 12 volts, exhaust and two engine mounts

    Nick Froome
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  15. Bolide

    Bolide Senior Member

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    Here is an ideal candidate: M10, gearbox, Weber carb, inlet manifold, air cleaner, alternator, power steering pump (looks like), distributor and HT leads. Carb & distributor so no ECU. I assume that it is a 5-speed though I believe some E30s were 4-speed

    You'll need a throttle cable setup, radiator, engine & gearbox mounts and some way of mating the prop.

    £270 buy now
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E21-E30-E28-ENGINE-M10-WEBER-CARBURETTOR-GEAR-BOX-/170952009790

    Nick Froome
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  16. S80

    S80 Senior Member

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    Almost anything can be done - if you're prepared to spend enough time and £££ on it :p

    If no-one's done such a conversion before, then you could be in for a a lot of 'gotchas' on the way. If you can do all the work yourself then it might be do-able, but if paying for someone else's time then the cost could be painfully high.

    The downside of such cost is that you might never impress the 'purists' should you ever decide to sell - no matter how good the conversion is. Similarly, you could probably replace the steam-driven gear on an old LNER locomotive with diesel power - but that would never do, old boy ;)
     
  17. SteveX

    SteveX Senior Member

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    It would go very well indeed with the 230k lump, however, slightly off topic, have you not thought about a KV6?

    Smoother power delivery and nearly 190hp / 190 ft lb on tap if you plucked one from an old ZT 190 (that can be had for peanuts). You get get a whole car for about 1k and have a ton of other goodies you may be able to use. The issue you would have though is getting power from the box to the rear in a transverse mount.

    Pretty strong engines if looked after, I had one in a ZT and ran it from 40k to 100k only having to change the thermostat and belts (+the odd oil service here and there).

    Had the same block in my ZS, again thermostat replacement and that was about it (the plenums can go though, so you would need to hear one running).

    Anyway just a thought, keeps it all MGR as well! Although appreciate it would be a headache trying to get power to the wheels.

    You could always go two-sixty, but they aren't cheap!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  18. jibcl500

    jibcl500 Senior Member

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    OR just fit a 4.6 RR V8 and be done with it.

    jib
     
  19. bigtwin

    bigtwin Banned

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    I have a 76 MGB GT.

    I really hope you have left some cash aside for braking and suspension/handling mods? Putting stuff like that in anything vaguely standard would scare me witless on the road. As they rolled out the factory, the engine was pretty well matched for capability with the rest of the car!
     
  20. Dangem

    Dangem Active Member

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    Dont forget the the axle ratio(ex MGOC member). Also if you have wire wheels the spokes will loosen with the extra torque. I found this out to my cost when I fitted a Rover p6 3.5 V8 with a MGC axle. 15" wheels, original 14".
    Also check the weight of the new engine. The 1.8cc lump is quite heavy, the Rover V8 is only 60lbs more. Hope this helps :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

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