Elva Cars Members

Courier Engine Numbers
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Author:  bbennett [ Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Courier Engine Numbers

Does anyone know of a resource that links MG engine numbers to production date?
I've seen links of engine number to MGA car number and indirectly to date.
I have seen dates cast on the lower right side of 1500 blocks but not 1600s, anyone know when/why this changed? My 1600 MGA head has 15 cast on top at the rear but appears to match the 1600 block. How do you tell a 1500 head from a 1600 or 1622 aside from the valve size in the 1622, was the combustion chamber different?
Finally is there a Courier owner out there in the 100/70 or 100/80 range willing to share engine details? I'm looking for original engine numbers near 15GBUH 51784 which I think is early 1959.

Author:  steward [ Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers


Have you tried www.mgaguru.com ? They should have it, or a link to it. Check out their MG Tech Index. If nothing else, it's a good site to spend hours checking out all they have to offer.

Author:  sphiliben [ Tue May 11, 2010 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers

My engine is 48G157RS16377

Which defies convention for BMC

and indicates potentially a special engine for Elva

Who knows

Author:  steward [ Tue May 11, 2010 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers


142 L's engine (1600, with 1500 head) is 48G 157 RSI 3894. ( my I may be a 1..... I'll have a closer look). I'm told #'s 48G 157 denote a factory rebuilt. MG released the 1600 engines in late 59, for use in the 1960 market of MGA's. Supposedly, all 1600's utilized the 1500 head until the intro of the 1622, at which time heads stamped 1600 appeared. The 1600 stamped heads are different (as Bill indicated). My fantasy on engine #'s 48G 157 XXX XXXX: These were test mules stuffed into late 58, early 59 A's which cavorted throughout Europe, unbeknown to the luck few. These mules were recalled to the factory, torn down, examined, rebuilt, and sold to whomever. Frank probably got a fantastic deal.

Anyone else have a 48G 157 XXX XXXX Frank/ factory installed engine ? Be interesting to know, how many, and approximate market year(s).

Just a thought/ fantasy.


Author:  kenmg [ Fri May 21, 2010 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers

Re Courier engine #s. I raced a MkII Courier for somthing like 14 seasons. The car was a "street car"--- 2nd owner when I acquired it. Car was # 147 L Engine # 48G157RS16370. The BMC B series engine was used in everything from tractors to Nash Metros. Perhaps the "48" engine numbers were those engines supplied to outside constructors--TVR--Elva etc. As for heads-- yes, the MGA 1500and1600 all had the 1500 head with 15 cast in the top of the rear. The 1622 MKII MG had the later head with 16 cast into it. Early Bs had the same head as the 1622-but had 18 cast into them. Foot note-- my courier engine had never been apart-- I found it had really low compression pistons ( can't recall exactly what.) That would suggest something other than a performance car as its intended application when it left BMC. Cheers. Ken

Author:  bbennett [ Tue May 25, 2010 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers

Hey Ken,
It's interesting that 147L and 142L both had rebuilt engines. I wonder what was going on at Hastings at the time to warrent rebuilt rather than new.
How much information do you still have about 147L? I'm sure that Gary would like to at least partially plug that hole in the Courier Registry. Thanks,

Author:  steward [ Sun May 30, 2010 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers

Ken your correct about the MG, Midgets, Sprites, etc. engines being ag/ industrial engines. The were used in assorted applications, according to a friend of mine from the UK. As he put it they were everywhere, and in most everything requiring an engine. Maybe that's why the basic (stock) MG engines are so forgiving. No ill effects if "lugged, or redlined. I found the rebuild info (#'s 48G157XXXX..) on line, I believe at MG guru. I'll check. As you know that site (MG guru) has a wealth of technical info regarding MGs. I need to run a compression check on my engine, within the week. I ll post what I find.


Author:  bob_renke@yahoo.com [ Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Courier Engine Numbers

Had similar issues trying to find engine info, ENTER. Neil Cairns. Author of a interesting and informative book about BMC engines. Should help answer a lot of questions

I will gladly share, as I have permission from Neil to so.

Can’t figure out how to post it here yet, but will gladly forward a copy in email. Until we get it posted here


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