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V8 Powered Triumph TR3


We would never encourage the act of swapping a V8 into perfectly good classic, but if someone already started the job, why not finish it? The owner of this TR3 passed away before he could finish the task of shoving a Rover V8/5-speed combo under the hood. It will take a lot of engineering to finish the job, but the idea of a 200 horsepower TR3 is tempting. Luckily, the original engine is included with sale in case you chicken out. Find it here on craigslist for $5k out of Littleton, Colorado. Which route would you take with this project?


  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    I think the buyer of this would be faced with a challenge to say the least. The stock 4-banger is enough of a tight fit. It’s sure going to be interesting if the transplant continues to completion. I’d like to see some pics when the job is done.

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  2. Chris Bater UK

    Hello again. I have owned an MGBGT since 1979 and been a member of the MGOC ever since. I,ve driven several MGBV8s and a host of other cars with the same engine, in my experience, clearance on the exhaust manifolds is always the problem when shoehorning this block into a narrow engine bay. Even BLMC had this problem with the MGBV8 and had to settle for an inefficient cast iron design which tended to heat stress crack and blow. Even the fitment to the Landrover Discovery 300 (1994-1998) suffered similar problems. Experiments with tubular manifolds which pass through the inner wing (fender???) had some success, (MGBRV8 around 1990) but the engineering was complex. Even a superb
    Pilgrim (Kit build) Cobra that lives local to me had real problems routing the exhaust gases. I,ve got a looming Rover V8 into a TR6 project in the planning, and I,m sure I will experience all the usual problems. There used to be a company in London called ” V8 into anything” which we used to transplant a V8 into a Volvo 260 estate (which had the nasty PRV V6 engine,) they where very helpful and the transplant was very successful, what a rocket that was! I think the company is still in existence, I might need them soon. Brakes and suspension may also be an issue on such an early model.

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    • Dolphin Member

      I had the same thought about the problem of exhaust manifold clearance in a TR3, especially since there isn’t any clearance, from the photo in this listing.

      Your comments about the problems with the exhaust in the MGB V8 were especially useful, because earlier today I was looking through a book on the MG that had a section on the V8—but it never mentioned the manifold problem that you brought up, Chris. And I don’t think I’m up for fabricating tube manifolds for an MGB V8.

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  3. Patrick Calhoun

    Why mess with it. Sell the rover mill and bolt in a Busa V-8 and have done with ti….

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  4. joelonzello

    Just throw a modern 4 banger in. Why hassle with old iron ? Solves alot of problems.

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  5. Brooklands

    I thought that the TR3 production ended in 1962 with the TR3B, which was a 100 hp. I really doubt it is a 1963. This looks like more work than it is worth at $5000.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      You’re right! We didn’t even check on the date. You had better see if they even have a title before buying this one.

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  6. rancho bella

    This was a bad idea………..and remains so. Put the correct lump back in it.

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  7. paul

    Lost me, hate when people do this.

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  8. Tim H

    I love engine swaps in sports cars but it seems like it would take a lot to bring the car to the point you could handle 200 hp.

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  9. rustylink

    That’s quite a lump up front, definitely would need to rework the front end or its probably going to be handful to drive.

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  10. jim s

    can not tell from the picture if any cutting has already been done. if it could be put back to stock might be interesting. i see no reason to finish the swap, as the V8 would not make it a very nice driver, i thing. would need more photos and then maybe a PI if someone was realy interested. still a nice find

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  11. buk

    I like TR3’s, but can think of much better things to do with 5k…

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  12. RIC Parrish

    I am a serious TR3 fan, even had one on Guam. Lost two very nice ones in a divorce. (Had to ‘get’ me one last time). But I also grasp the fact that they corner like a three legged camel and with total suspension movement of just a few inches, adding a V8 is tantamount to suicide. As a Mechanical Engineer, I suggest using the V8 as a boat anchor and putting a Team Fergy back in it.

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  13. DR. Costello

    I have done many v8 swaps like this and if engineered correctly with upgraded brakes, rack & pinion steering, and lightest engine choice available, you can end -up with an excellent conversion. I just completed another one, ford 302 with aluminum heads and a tremac 5 speed, this combination weighs 60lbs LESS
    than the TR6 unit !

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