The MGA With An Attitude
MGAguru.com MGAguru.com
BMC, M.G., & Morris Engine Codes - BE-100
References: <www.mgcars.org.uk/engine/mgenginehistory.rtf>
<www.ime.org.uk/ime/e/BMC_MG_&_Morris_Engine_Codes.pdf>

This list covers the 1936 and later Morris engines, and the 1952 to 1990 BMC/BMH/BL/Austin Rover 'A', 'B', and 'C' series engines you will find in the companies cars. It is intended to help identification of an engine.

1936 to 1956

Consists of four letters, followed by the engines number.
(1) MODEL            (2) Valves    (3) Bore & H.P.  (4) Make
U  Morris 8          S  Sidevalve  H  57mm 8HP      M Morris
M  Morris 10/4       P  OHV        J  63.5mm 10HP   G M.G.
X  late Morris 10/4  C  OHC        A  66.5mm 11HP   W Wolseley
T  Morris 12/4                     B  69.5mm 12HP   C Commercial
Q  2ltr 6 cyl                      E  72mm 13HP
O  3 1/2 ltr 6cyl                  D  75mm 14HP
A  Austin A30                      D  61.5mm 6cyl
                                   H  69mm 6cyl

ie; XPAG  1250cc  MG TB              OHV engine 11HP
    XPJM  1140cc  Morris 10/4        OHV engine 10HP
    XPJW  1140cc  Wolseley 10/40     OHV engine 10HP
    USHM   918cc  Morris Minor MM    SV engine   8HP
    XPEG  1488cc  MG TF              OHV engine 13HP
    MPJG  1292cc  MG TA              OHV engine 12HP
    MPJM  1292cc  Morris 12/4        OHV engine 10HP
    MPJW  1292cc  Wolseley 12/48     OHV engine 10HP
    APHM   803cc  Morris Minor MM    OHV engine  8HP (first 'A' series)
    APJM   948cc  Morris Minor 1000  OHV engine 10HP
    TPBG  1549cc  MG VA              OHV engine 12HP
    TPDG  1705cc  MG 'Cream Cracker'  TA engine
    QPJG  2322cc  MG WA              OHV engine 18HP
    QPHW  2561cc  Wolseley 18/80     OHV engine 18HP

BMC 'B' Series, 1947 to 1981.( First real 'B' series was in 1953.)

With the arrival of Austin based 'A' & 'B' series amongst those used, a system of engine 'cc' was added. It basically followed the post 1956 system, but put 'BP' infront to denote 'B' series, 'P'ush rod ohv.The first car to use the 'B' series was the M.G. Magnette ZA, in 1489cc form, in 1953. The earlier Austin A40 Devon 1200cc unit was that developed into this later 1489cc and 1200cc 'B'.

ie. BP15M  was a 1489cc Morris Oxford.
    BP15GA was the ZA Magnette of 1489cc.
    BP15GC an improved ZA Magnette, with full flow oil filter.
    BP15GB was the first MGA 1489cc engine,
    BP15GD followed it.
    BC16GB was the MGA Twin Cam, 'B' series, 'C' camshaft.


1956 to 1970 'A', 'B', and 'C' Series engine Prefix

The 'BP' prefix was dropped once BMC had its three engine types, A, B, and C. Again, there is a prefix, consisting of a number, then letter/letter/letter, then the engine number.

Cubic capacity    Make             Type     Ancillaries            Compression

 8 =  803cc    A = Austin          A to Z  A = automatic           H = high comp
 9 =  948cc    B = BMC Industrial    ,,    M = manumatic clutch    L = low comp
10 = 1098cc    G = M.G.              ,,    P = police spec.
12 = 1200cc    H = miscellaneous     ,,    U = central gear change
12 = 1275cc    J = Commercial        ,,    N = column change
15 = 1498cc    K = IH Metro Mite     ,,    O = overdrive
16 = 1588cc    M = Morris            ,,
16 = 1622cc    R = Riley             ,,
18 = 1798cc    V = Van den Plas      ,,
22 = 2200cc    W = Wolseley          ,,
25 = 2500cc    AC, AD, AE, HLC, J, K, ML, Y, Z = Comercial
26 = 2600cc    AMW = Austin-Morris-Woseley
29 = 2912cc    C = Farina with alternator
               C or F = Metropolitan

ie, 15W / U / H 1234  1489cc Wolseley 15/50, central gear change, high comp.
   15GE / U / H 1234  1489cc M.G. Magnette Mk3, central gear change, high comp.
    15F / N / H 1234  1489cc Metropolitan column change, high comp.
   16AMW / U / H 1234 1622cc Austin, Morris & Wolseley Farina, central gear, high c.
   16GA / U / H 1234  1588cc MGA 1600,central gear change, high comp.
   15AC / N / L 1234  1489cc Austin 15cwt van, column change, low comp.
   18GA / O / H 1234  1798cc MGB 3 main B. with overdrive, high comp.
   29WA / O / H 1234  2912cc Wolseley 6/110, overdrive, high comp.
   29GA / A / H 1234  2912cc MGC GT, automatic, high comp.


1970 onwards

After 1970 the system was again changed, and simple types were just numbered.

 85  848cc    99  998cc    10 1098cc    12 1275cc
 16 1622cc    18 1798cc    22 2200cc
with either a 'V' or an 'H' after it. 16V meant vertical, (in-line), as in the Sherpa van, or 18V as in both the later Sherpa and MGB, and Morris Marina 1800. 12V would be in an Ital, and 12H in Metro, H meaning horizontal, (FWD.) It was the group of numbers/letters after that denoted the fitment, ie, 18V-584F for a UK specification engine on the MGB. 18H was in the FWD 1800.

As an aside, the big BMC 6 cylinder 'C' series was a Morris Engines design, where as the 'A' & 'B' were Austin designed.

************

BMC 'B' SERIES ENGINES USE (1953 to 1981)

 Model                      cc   Prefix             BHP/RPM Torque 

Austin A40 pre-1953        1200  1H *
Austin A40 Devon           1200  BP12A              40/4500 58lb/ft
Austin A40 Somerset        1200  BP12A              42/4500 58
Austin A40 Sports          1200  BP12A              42/4500 58
Austin A40 Sports          1200  BP12A              46/4500 58
Austin A40 Cambridge       1200  BP12A              42/4500 58
Morris Cowley series 1     1200  BP12M              40/4500 58
Austin Metropolitan 1200   1200  BP12A              42/4500 58
Austin Metropolitan 1500   1489  BP15M              52/4500 70
Nash Metrpolitan 1500      1489  15F (USA only)     52/4500 70
Massey Harris combine 
                harvester  1200  1HLC               40/4500 50
Morris Oxford series 2     1489  BP15MH             50/4500 70
Morris Oxford series 2     1489  BP15ML             45/4500 65 (LC)
Morris Cowely series 2     1489  BP15M              50/4500 70
Morris Oxford series 3     1489  15M                55/4500 72
Morris Oxford series 4     1489  15M                55/4500 72
Wolseley 15/50             1489  BP15W              50/4500 70
Wolseley 15/50             1489  15AMW              55/4500 72
Wolseley 1500 Mk1          1489  BP15LAW            50/4500 70
Wolseley 1500 Mk2          1489  15W, 15WA          55/4500 72
Riley 1.5 Mk1              1489  15R, 15RA          60/4800 77
Riley 1.5 Mk2              1489  15RB               66/5200 82
M.G. Magnette ZA           1489  BP15GA             60/4800 77
M.G. Magnette ZA & ZB      1489  BP15GC, 15GC       68/5200 82
M.G. Magnette ZB           1489  BP15HGC, 15HGC     68/5200 82
M.G. MGA                   1489  BP15GB, 15GB       68/5200 82
M.G. MGA                   1489  15GD               72/5500 85
M.G. MGA 1600              1588  16GA               80/5600 87
MGA Twin Cam               1588  BC16GB             108/6700
Austin/Morris 1/2ton,      1489  BP15ML,
             van,pick up         15AC, VS15C        50/4200 74 (LC)
Diesel Engine              1489  BP15J,15Y,15J,15Z  40/4200 90
Austin A50 Cambridge       1489  1H                 50/4500 70
Austin A55 Cambridge       1489  15                 55/4500 72
Austin A55 Mk2 Camb.       1489  15AMW              55/4500 82
Morris Oxford series 5     1489  15AMW              55/4500 82
Wolseley 15/60             1489  15AMW              55/4500 82
IH Metro Mite              1489  15K                ??/???? ?? (similar to Met)
Riley 4/68                 1489  15RA, 15RB         68/5200 85
M.G. Magnette Mk3          1489  15GE               66/5200 85
Morris Oxford series 6     1622  16AMW, 16AA        61/4500 90
Austin A60 Cambridge       1622  16AMW, 16AA        61/4500 90
Wolseley 16/60             1622  16AMW,16AA         61/4500 90
M.G. Magnette Mk4          1622  16GE, 16GF         68/5200 89
Riley 4/72                 1622  16RA,16GF          72/5500 90
M.G. MGA 1600 Mk2          1622  16GC               90/5500 97
A60 commercials            1622  16AC,16AE          61/4500 90
Farinas with alternators   1622  16C (1971 only)    61/4500 90
BMC 1/2 ton van            1622  16AD               61/4500 90
Sherpa van                 1622  16V                58/4500 82 (LC)
Sherpa van                 1798  18V                80/5000 85 (LC)
Morris Marina 1800         1798  18V                85/5000 90
Morris Marina 1800TC       1798  18V                95/5400 110
Austin 1800 Mk1            1798  18C,18AMW          80/5000 90
Morris 1800 Mk1            1798  18C,18AMW          80/5000 90
Wolseley 18/85             1798  18C,18AMW          80/5000 90
all 1800 Mk2               1789  18C                86/5300 92
all 1800 Mk3               1798  18H                86/5300 95
Austin 1800S               1798  18H                96/5400 106
M.G. MGB  (3 mainbearings) 1798  18G,18GA           95/5400 110
M.G. MGB* (5 mainbearings) 1798  18GB,18GD,18GG,
                                 18GH,18GF,18GJ,
                                 18GK,18V           95/5400 110
                             (power down to 84bhp by 1975 for USA.)
Hundustani                 1489   ?                 50/4200 74
Navigator Marine           1489   ?                 42/4200 60
Navigator Marine           1622   ?                 58/4500 85
Massy Harris Combine       1200  1HLC * 

* Austin A40 cars built prior to 1953 used the earlier type 2A engine ranging from 800cc to 1200cc. This was not a B-series. Although it looked similar, the earlier engine was shorter length, lighter weight, and has a smaller (weaker) crankshaft.

Differing compresion ratios gave different BHP/Torque figures. (LC) indicates low comp, usually about 7.2 to 1, the normal, or high comp, was usually 8.3 to 1. Later cars such as the MGA & MGB ran with 9 to 1 and 9.5 to 1, as did some 1800 fwd cars. An 'H' or 'L' in the number is usually a clue to the ratio, though a simple change of pistons will change the ratio if the 'dish' differs in the crown.

48G is a 'B' series Gold Seal reconditioned unit. The 'A' series was 8G, and the 'C' series 68G. (** All pre-1956 reconditioned engines were prefixed 8G, only when the Gold Seal Exchange engine arrived, was there any difference). On a late note, BHM 1109 turns out to be a Marina 1.8-GT-Special MK 2 exchange engine (Austin Marina in the USA).

The MGB used the 1800 for a long time, so there were codes to denote the differences between the engines, peculiar to MG;-

prefix  bearings  model      market     dates if known

18G       3    Mk1 GHN3/D3   all        Oct 1962/April64
18GA      3    Mk1 GHN3/D3   all        April 1964/Oct64
18GB      5    Mk1 GHN3/D3   all        Oct 1964/67
18GD      5    Mk2 GHN4/D4   UK/Europe  Oct 1967/69
18GF      5    Mk2 GHN4/D4   USA        Oct 1967/69
18GG      5    Mk2 GHN5/D5   UK/Europe  Oct 1969/71
18GH*     5    Mk2 GHN5/D5   Europe     Oct 1969/70
18GJ      5    Mk2 GHN5/D5   USA        Oct 1969/70
18GK      5    Mk2 GHN5/D5   USA        Oct 1970/71
18V**     5    Mk3 GHN5/D5   see below  Oct 1971 onwards

* After 18GH there were extra letters after the prefix, 'U' still meant central gearchange; 'RU' now meant overdrive; 'We' all synchromesh gearbox; 'RWe' all synchro with overdrive; 'Rc' automatic gearbox.

** 18V was followed with a code for the market, such as if a 'Y' appears in the prefix, it is a Europe spec car; if a 'F' a UK spec car; if a 'Z' a north America spec car. An 'AE' after 1975 is a car with a catylist fitted for California. The emmission controls, timing changes, etc, require a workshop manual to identify the huge numbers of changes.

************

BMC 'A' Series Engines ( 1952 to 1999)

Just like the 'B' series, BMC used the same system as above to denote the use of the engine.

  Car Model                                 Engine cc  Prefix number  

Austin A30                                      803cc  2A
Austin A35                                      948cc  9A
Austin A35 van (optional)                       848cc  8G ( post 1962 all GPO.)
Austin A40 Mk1                                  948cc  9A or 9D
Austin A40 Mk2                                  948cc  9DB
Austin A40 Mk2 1100                            1098cc  10D or 10DD
Austin Healey Sprite Mk1                        948cc  9CG or 9CC
Sprite Mk2/ MG Midget Mk1                      1098cc  10CG
Sprite Mk3/ MG Midget Mk2                      1098cc  10CC ( 2" main bearings.)
Sprite Mk4/ MG Midget Mk3                      1275cc  12CC or 12CE home market
.. .. ..                                               12CD or 12CJ N. America
.. .. ..                        after Oct '72,         12V/586F/H home market
.. .. .. ..                                            12V/671Z/L N. America
Austin Allegro                                 1275cc  12H/A ( same as Metro)
Austin Mini                                     848cc  8A
Morris Mini                                     848cc  8MB
Austin & Morris Mini after 1962                 848cc  8AM
Austin/Morris Mini automatic                    848cc  8AH
Mini Automatic closed circuit breather          848cc  8AK
Mini floor change closed circuit breather       848cc  8AJ
Mini GPO saloon & van                           848cc  85H ( 1" restrictor in carb.)
Mini Clubman                                   1098cc  10H
Mini 1000                                       998cc  99H
Mini 1000 unleaded high comp                    998cc  99HE20
Mini 1000 unleaded low comp                     998cc  99HE22
Mini 1000 Automatic                             998cc  99HB82P
Mini 1275cc                                    1275cc  12H
Mini Moke                                       848cc  8AC
1275GT & Cooper Mk3 'S'                        1275cc  12H
Later Cooper models                            1275cc  12A
Wolseley Hornet, Riley Elf Mk1                  848cc  8WR
Wolseley Hornet, Riley Elf Mk2                  998cc  9WR
Austin, Morris, Wolseley fwd 1100              1098cc  10AMW, 10H
.. .. .. ..                                    1098cc  closed circuit breather 10AH
Austin, Morris, Wolseley 1100 Automatic        1098cc  10AG
.. .. .. ..                                    1098cc  closed circuit breather 10AJ
MG 1100 Mk1 & Mk2, Riley 1100                  1098cc  10GR
MG & Riley 1100 closed circuit breathing       1098cc  1965 on 10GRB
Vanden Plas 1100                               1098cc  10GR, 10V
MG 1300 Mk1                                    1275cc  12G (single SU.)
MG 1300 Mk2 , Riley 1300                       1275cc  after April '68 12GR
All fwd 1300 Automatic                         1275cc  12A
Vanden Plas 1300                               1275cc  12GR, 12V
Austin 1300 'S' Mk1, Mk2                       1275cc  12FA
Austin 1300 'S' Mk3                            1275cc  12H
Austin Maestro/Montego 1.3                     1275cc  12HA ( 'A' Plus)
                                                     (Uses Marina 1.3 type block.)
Austin Metro 1 ltr                              998cc  99HA ( all 'A' Plus)
Metro 1 ltr1985 on                              998cc  99HA, 99HB, 99HC, 99HD,
                                                       99HE, 99F.
Metro 1300 HLE                                 1275cc  12HA08AA
.. ..                                          1275cc  12HB, 12HC, 12HD, 12HE,
                                                       12HF.
MG Metro 1300 leaded fuel pre 1989             1275cc  12H996AA, 12HD24
MG Metro 1300 unleaded post mid-1989           1275cc  12HF01
MG Metro Turbo leaded fuel pre 1989            1275cc  12HD26
MG Metro Turbo unleaded                        1275cc  12HF01
Austin Metro Sport ..                          1275cc  12HF02
Austin Metro GTa ..                            1275cc  12HF02
Austin Metro's with unleaded engines,          1275cc  12HE24, 35, 39, 40, 41,
                                                       42, 67 up to 75.
Morris Minor Series 2                           803cc     APHM
Morris Minor 1000 series 3                      948cc     APJM
Morris Minor 1000 series 4 after 1956           948cc     9M
Morris Minor 1000 series 5                     1098cc     10MA
Morris Minor series 5, close circuit breather  1098cc     10ME
Morris 1000 GPO van                             948cc     8AG after 1962
Morris 1000 van, low compression               1098cc     10AB
Morris 1000 van closed circuit breather        1098cc     10V
Morris Marina 1300                             1275cc     12V639-EHZnnnnnn
                                                          12V923-EHZnnnnnn
                                                          12V925-EHZnnnnnn 
Specialist engines...
Mini Cooper                                     997cc & 1070cc 'S' 9F/SA/H comp 9.1
Mini Cooper                                     997cc      9F/SA/L 8.3
Mini Cooper                                     970cc 'S'  9F/SA/X 10
Mini Cooper                                    1275cc 'S'  9F/SA/Y 9.75
Mini Cooper                                     998cc      9FA/SA/H 9.1
Mini Cooper                                     998cc      9FA/SA/L 8.3
Mini Cooper                                     970cc 'S'  9FC/SA/H 9.1
Mini Cooper                                     998cc      9FD/SA/H 9.1
Mini Cooper                                    1070cc 'S'  9FD/SA/H 9.1
                                                 (engine 33661 to 33948)
Mini Cooper                                     998cc      9FD/SA/L 8.3
Mini Cooper                                     970cc 'S'  9FD/SA/X 10
Mini Cooper                                    1275cc 'S'  9FD/SA/Y 9.75
Mini Cooper                                     970cc 'S'  9FE/SA/X 10
Mini Cooper                                    1275cc 'S'  9FE/SA/Y 9.75
Mini Cooper                                    1070cc 'S'  10F 8.3

Still being fitted to the 1275cc Mini as 12HE...................( 1999)
Neil Cairns, MG Engine Information Service <neil.cairns@virgin.net>

************

BMC 'C' SERIES Engines
(Not a complete list)

1954 Morris Isis                         2639cc  C26M   85 bhp
1954 Wolseley 6/90                       2639cc  26W    95
1954 Austin A90 Zenith carb              2639cc  26A    83
1956 Riley 2.6                           2639cc  26R    95
1956 Austin A105                         2639cc  26A   102
1956 Austin Vanden Plas A105             2639cc  26A   102
1956 Austin A95 Westminster              2639cc  26A    92
1956 Austin Healey 100/6                 2639cc  26A   102
1959 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1              2912cc  29A   124
1961 Austin Healey 3000 Mk2              2912cc  29A   132
1963 Austin Healey 3000 Mk3              2912cc  29A   150
1959 Austin Westminister A99             2912cc  29A   103
1959 Wolseley 6/99                       2912cc  29WA  103
1959 Vanden Plas Princess Mk1            2912cc  29VA  103
1961 Austin Westminister A110 Mk1 & Mk2  2912cc  29A   120
1961 Wolseley 6/110 Mk1 & Mk2            2912cc  29WB  120
1961 Vanden Plas Princess Mk2            2912cc  29VB  120
1967 Austin 3 Litre ( 7 main bearings,)  2912cc  29AA  124
1967 MG MGC         (  ,,   ,,  )        2912cc  29GA  145

The Austin models used Zenith carbs up to the farina Westminster in 1959, then they had SU's as all the others used all along. Healeys had different cylinderheads, separate manifolding, and camshafts.

************

GOLD SEAL EXCHANGE ENGINES

BMC like many firms did an exchange scheme for worn engines, one was the Gold Seal engine, a complete engine ready to fit and painted gold in colour. The other was the Silver Seal exchange engine, basically a short-block for the owner/garage to fit the old head,sump, and ancillories onto.

Both used a similar system of engine numbering, the original number being struck off.
Initially all engines in the scheme were prefixed 8G, soon a better system followed:

'A' series engines were prefixed 8G,- 803cc, 848cc, 948cc, 1098cc, 1275cc.
'B' series were prefixed 48G,- 1200cc, 1489cc, 1588cc, 1622cc, 1798cc.
'C' series were prefixed 68G,- 2639cc, 2912cc.

The code after was to do with rebore/regrind sizes and a job number.

************

HomeBackTopnext
Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
© 2008-2013 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information