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Engine numbers

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:47 am
by Malcolm
Can anybody help, I seem to have 2 engine numbers...

The engine plate from my 1973 MGB has come detached from the engine. Fortunately I have the plate but the first number missing (corrosion). On researching the log book gives a very different number, can anybody help. The details are:
Engine plate (1)8V582(F)-H198 the number missing is the 1 and the F is stamped by hand and is not in line with the other numbers, almost an after thought. The engine number on the log book is 19843.
I am sure there is a reasonable explanation.. :!:


Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:14 pm
by Paul Scott
Everything before the F is your engine type.

I would say 19843 would be correct.


Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:35 pm
by Michael Barclay
Hello Malcolm
Iā€™ ll try and help with the explanation of your engine number plate.
18V - 1800CC Vertical in line.
582 - Engine type and correct for a 1973 car.
F -Twin carbs and crank venting.
H - High compression
19843 ā€“ Engine serial No
So your engine matches your log book.
Hope this helps.
Mike Barclay

Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:39 am
by Michael Barclay
Hello Malcolm
Forgot to add that 582F also indicates overdrive was fitted when it left the factory.
Best regards
Mike Barclay

Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:30 am
by Tom Brearley
Sorry to hijack this thread a little, but can anyone explain body numbers to me? I don't mean the chassis number or the commission number. I'm thinking of the number on the small rivetted tag on the inner wing. Thanks.

Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:37 am
by Peter Cresswell
Hi Tom,
A simple question but one that has a complicated answer. A full and complex explanation can be found in Clausager's Original MGB book but I'll try and give you a flavour here!
MG didn't build the body shells themselves, in common with other BMC/BL plants the bodies were made centrally within the group. In the case of the MGB body shells were initially built at 3 locations - Bodies Branch, Coventry; Pressed Steel, Swindon; and Pressed Steel Cowley. Each of these had a letter designation as a suffix to the Commission Number - F for Coventry; P for Swindon and Z for Cowley. Eventually Coventry production was switched to Swindon and Cowley, and from 1976 all bodies were built at Swindon. There are many pictures of bare metal bodyshells being transported to Abingdon and then stored outside until they were used on the production line.
For the Roadster Coventry bodies had two identities. The first related to the Commission Number using the suffix letter and the second is the alloy tag rivetted to the nearside inner wing, which starts with the MGB letters prefix. This identity was not recorded by Abingdon and can't be used to identify a car for example to enable correct ordering of spares. It is simply a number given to the bare bodyshell as it was completed. MGB prefixed numbers started at 101. A second number without a letter prefix was stamped on a steel plate and welded to the offside inner wing and this started at 1. In both cases the numbering ran to over 110,000 (so 220,000 bodyshells). On Roadsters built from 1969, with Swindon and Cowley bodies only the MGB prefix tag is used and from the introduction of the Mark 2 cars the MGB letters are followed by a fourth letter for some export markets.
For the GT The system is much simpler with only one body number being used. This starts with the letters GBD and has a suffix letter P.
Eventually, of course all the information was incorporated into the VIN plate but this came very late in MGB production.
The bottom line is that it is the Car Number that is the usually required equivalent on the Chassis Number and it is this that should appear in the log book and not the number beginning MGB or GBD.

Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:19 pm
by Tom Brearley
Many thanks Peter. As you say, surprisingly complicated!

Re: Engine numbers

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:20 am
by George Wilder
Mk1 MGBs did not have a commission number.

The roadsters shell was built up from Pressed Steel Panels as you say at Morris Bodies Coventry and then painted and trimmed there. Such that when it arrived atAbingdon it had Screen hood and loosley fitted seats etc. This practice was repeated athe theother body assembly plants.

All MGBs were painted at the body assembly plant - no unpainted bodies were delivered to production at Abingdon.