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Best K-series for a rwd application?

14467 Views 32 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  philfloyd
I'm hoping to drop a K into my MG Midget next summer, my old 1275cc is burning oil quicker than it drinks petrol! What should I be looking for in the purchase of an engine? I want the VVC unit for more power, but I'm told by others if i want to be making a lot of power I'm best going for normal 1.8 and then using throttle bodies and an emerald ecu but then we're getting expensive...

I know what I need to do to the car to make it ready for the engine but havent a clue how to prepare an engine for this conversion having never attempted anything like this :)

Its a 1973 chrome bumper model if anyone's interested, I've nabbed some 4pot calipers and big disks from a racing midget which stop it well, althought the suspension will need coverting to telescopic shocks all round.

Above is the dream MG Midget, V8 with AWD and looks so nice :) The guy who built is must love it.
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The most powerful 1.8 non VVC is 135bhp. The VVC is 160 out of the box and easily made up to over 170 without changing the ECU or fitting throttle bodies.

You can run either engine on throttle bodies with an Emerald ECU. So no difference there.

The VVC head has larger valves etc so to make decent power you will need the VVC head regardless.
Ok brilliant VVC it is then. I don't want to be going down the Emerald ECU route if possible, if I could get away with it i'd like to use the ECU out of the car the engine came from. What would be the best donor car for nabbing the engine and gubbins out of and then maybe sell the rest for parts?
Don't think a KV6 will fit without serious modifications like he did with the V8. The front end is a tubular frame to give more room in there.
MG ZR 160, MG TF 160 or MG F Trophy

One of those 3 really for the 160 engine.

Rover 200 Vi, Rover Coupe VVC, MGF VVC or Rover 25 GTi for the 145 version.
Whats the difference between the 145 and the 160 in terms of what is added to make the 160? Can the 145 be modded to bring it inline with the 160 cheaply? I'm leaning towards the Vi, so I could borrow some bits from it for my 220Di. Cheers for the advise
A lot of the gain is down to a better induction system that you will probably end up junking anyway.
Its not difficult to get the 145 engine up to 160.

As Chris sys a lot is to do with the induction and exhaust. Both of which you will be doing custom. The 160 has a 52mm throttle body, a mems3 ecu and a slightly different set of pistons and valves.

The Vi will have the stronger double tang con rods though.
Thanks thats confirmed what I was guessing. Hopefully I can get it working on the original ECU, otherwise I'm off to Emerald and get it fully sorted. Cheers for the help, I'll keep you guys posted nearer the time of conversion :D
As long as you have the original ECU AND the 5AS alarm unit and fobs then you will be able to get it all working together.

Hacking the loom apart to get it to fit the new chassis may be fun though.
If you don't want the immobiliser and alarm then Avon can sell you an interface that will disable this.
Better to have it than not though.

If you get a 98 Vi as the donor it is a CAT2 rated immobiliser.
Well thats a bit of luck, I just bought a 98 Vi yesterday from ebay at a decent price. An alarm may be more trouble than its worth in the midget with the softtop not fitting like a modern convertible. My dad drove the Vi back and said it was brilliant fun so I can only imagine what it'll be like in a car weighing under 700kg's.
Sounds good. Keep us up to date with the progress.

You need to start its own thread and keep it up to date with piccies etc.

Would be great to see.

Good luck
Just dug out the August edition of Retro Cars, they feature a Midget with a VVC engine. It uses a Caterham flywheel and 52mm TB and was said to produce 170 BHP. He got the wiring diagram form a chap in New Zealand so it maybe worth asking places like Frontline if they know of any contact details and also if you haven’t already have a look in the archives of the MG BBS as there is a section on there that is dedicated to K-series engine transplants.
Thanks I'll check out that BBS, I've got a copy of an old 04 edition of retro cars with a 190bhp K-midget using throttle boddies and an Emerald. They use the caterham bellhousing to join it up with a Ford Type 9 gearbox as it fits with only a bit of modification to the transmission tunnel. I'll keep you guys posted when I start the work probably after easter.

A short vid of a K-midget
Interesting project you have lined up Eddy. Good pointers above from some of the troops.

I had a 68 Mk II midget that I sold on as an unfinished project few years back. It had the standard engine and gearbox removed but never had the nerve to venture into the conversion.

Yes saw that 4WD midget before looks awesome.

I have the VVC in the F and thats where it is staying but considering buying something to tinker at.

Will look forward to any results.... Good Luck!
there is a midget with a madza rotory fitted in
you may have to google for it
the k has been fitted into the midget for years by a preston mg firm
Surely there is no contest between the non vvc 1.8 and the vvc 1.8? vvc is much faster isn't it?
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