My first engine build - 4.0 Rover V8
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  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict zephyr's Avatar
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    My first engine build - 4.0 Rover V8

    Never built an engine before, but here goes.

    The plan was to replace the 3.5 Rover in my MK3 Zephyr with some a bit more powerful. The current block is an old P6 lump with small valves and as far as I know a stock cam. I've fitted an MSD ignition, Edelbrock dual plane inlet maifold and 500cfm carb and got a best of 15.10 @ 88 mph.


    I've been collecting parts for a 4.6 for ages, but when a good 3.9 turned up in a scrapyard Discovery I thought it would be simple to swap it in and get some perfromance right now. Here's the engine up on a stand.


    It's pretty oily, so I figured that a few of the gaskets if not all were leaking - I decided to rebuild it. I was keen on this engine as it's a '95 interim version with a serpentine belt and crank drivern oil pump, but still with a dizzy. It also has the big main caps and bosses to allow for cross bolting of the main caps. You can just see them here, half way between the top of the sump and the two engine mount bolts.


    The stock compression is 9.35:1 on these, so I looked for flat-top pistons. This was entirely fruitless until a set turned up on eBay. Came in at a good price, new, unused. The only drawback was the bore: 95mm - I'd need a .040" overbore on the liners! So I tore the engine down and sent it of to have the boring and cross bolting done, as well as a general clean up and rebalancing. I hadn't really thought through what balancing would entail - the flywheel and clutch cover are needed (it runs an SD1 box)! As the Disco was an auto I had to find a flywheel and bought a new clutch kit as I wanted to keep the Zephyr on the road while this was happening.

    The parts are back now and I'm right at the beginning of putting it together again, which I guess will be the interesting bit. Please chip in if you think I've missed anything or I'm doing something wrong! From here on, I'll try to keep this up-to-date on a day by day basis as I do the work.
    The Butty Run - Warwickshire breakfast meet, 1st Sunday of every month
    http://butty-run.com

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  3. #2
    Official RnS Addict zephyr's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention I had the cam bearings replaced as they showed some wear.


    First job - replace the core plugs. Remeber I haven't done this before - it's all a big deal to me! Aluminium soft, core plug hard - I can't just pull them out like you do on an iron block, right? So I knocked them in, turned each on it's side and gently put a dent on the lip - no wrestling then out leaving score marks on the opening in the engine block, instead you can just lift them out.


    While I'm at the Land Rover shop getting the plugs, I figured I'd buy the cross bolts too. Here's how the cross bolting looks.


    As I said before I'm collecting parts for a 4.6 too and I've ended up with two 4.6 blocks which I can use as reference material as they came from the factory with cross bolted main caps. The bolts are 8.8 high tensile items and come with part rubber, part metal washers.


    To give clearance where the starter bolts in, allen bolts are used.


    The allen bolts are 10mm shorter than the others. I had a look at the two 4.6 blocks and found one had a matching pair of these for the rear main cap, whereas the other only had one on where the starter was. I tried the regular bolt in the rear opposite the starter and found that it was the correct length, so I bought 9 bolts and one allen bolt. Note that the allen bolt uses a different sized washer and the Land Rover shop will normally sell you 8 bolts and 2 allen bolts. Here's how the bolts look without the main cap.

    Not much meat between the bolts!

    With the plugs in....
    ....I then chased out every threaded hole on the block.

    My thoughts now turn towards the fitting the crank. First thing I've noticed, is the little step on one side of the main cap registers.


    With the bolts in I can slide a 0.002" feeler in there. I remember somebody recommending a shim. The caps are just under an inch across and theres about 1.5" from the step to the top of the cap. So I need a 1" x 8" of shim stock. Most places want to sell me rolls of material 10 or more feet long, so I'm going to try some .5" wide shim material....
    The Butty Run - Warwickshire breakfast meet, 1st Sunday of every month
    http://butty-run.com

  4. #3
    Official RnS Addict zefa46's Avatar
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    Its funny how you never have enough power , bought my zephyr
    to tool around in while my estate gets rebuilt and was happy with
    its 3lt v6 untill I threw it down the strip and it doesn't seem so fast
    now , keep looking at the 302 sat in the corner
    hope you soon have the benefit of your labours
    Mike

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    Good stuff!!
    When the flag drops, the bullshit stops.

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    Official RnS Addict fozwanger's Avatar
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    Glad to see you're getting stuck in, you'll only learn by trying.

    Looking good, and remember, attention to detail is paramount, and no, you can never have enough power. I popped a pair of turbo's on my rover V8 that was in my minor, then when I got "used" to that I looked at a 4.6 with the turbos and ended up buying a 625 hp viper V10 for my minor instead (Ploppy pants............)

    Also, all engines are basically the same inside so don't be afraid of "having a go"

    :-)

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    Official RnS Addict Stitch's Avatar
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    Great job mate and as foz says you only learn by having a go , you've made a good start by documenting your rebuild on here as you'll have plenty of experienced people to guide you along the way .

    I know nothing of Rover engines ... will it not need line boring after fitting the crossbolts to the main caps ?
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    Official RnS Addict zephyr's Avatar
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    Cheers for the encouragement, chaps!

    The machinist who did the work used to work for TVR, so I'm going with his advice on this one: he reckons align-honing is a pig of a job on a Rover as there are few reference points when you turn one upside down. Reckoned I could do without it. A Rover specialist said something similar, so it's not been done.

    Fozwanger, have you seen this? It was at the Mopar Nats this weekend.


    The black tube running over the centre of the engine is the gear shift linkage.
    The Butty Run - Warwickshire breakfast meet, 1st Sunday of every month
    http://butty-run.com

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    Official RnS Addict Stitch's Avatar
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    Hah that's mental , I bet it goes like a rocket and handles like it's on rails with what looks to be a very low cg ... very nice indeed . Can't help thinking it would look nicer with a resto style 2 tone paint job and Fuchs wheels tho' .. jmho .
    Champagne for my real friends,Real pain for my sham friends

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    Official RnS Addict fozwanger's Avatar
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    No Ihadn't but it looks cool. I was hoping to be the first to put one in a rod over here, I know there's one in a Lotus &7 style kit car.....

    At least he's only got the 400hp version Ha ha

    That actually looks as if it's based on a viper chassis, you can buy them rolling, steering, running etc etc from the states for about $10000. Just think, you need nothing except to graft your shell on so it's cheap.

    My engine looks considerably different, the inlet plenum looks like a shot gun scoop. There a pic of the motor in the Grage section.

    Abyone reckon there might be a grudge race in the making?

    :-)

  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict zephyr's Avatar
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    I've been busy, but not on the engine!

    I've been a bit worried about main caps or more specifically the main cap registers in the block. As the block is aluminium and the caps are steel, I understand that it's relatively easy to wipe out the main cap registers by forcing the caps on. As I'm going to be installing and removing the caps a couple of times at least, I'm completely paranoid about killing the block.

    I've read that you should never seat the cap by tightening the bolts. But all the pictures and instructions on how to fit main caps that I've seen seem to assume iron blocks with no skirts, so you can fit the main cap at an angle by hand and tap the other side into place with a mallet. You can't do this on this block, because the skirts are way too deep.

    A couple of people suggested spreading the engine so that the caps could be more easily placed. This seems like a good ideo, so I cut a piece of threaded bar to length and placed a couple of old tappets (with all the innerds removed) over the ends. Two nuts allowed me to force the tappets outwards, spreading the block. The main cap could then be placed into position by hand.



    I'd positioned the spreader next to the first main cap, but found that I could place the second journal in too, without moving the spreader. This seems like a stress-free way to do things!

    I was given some shim stock by the chap that did the machining on the block, although it's .025", not the .020" I thought I needed. Turns out .025" shims fit nicely.




    Like I said - I've been busy, so that's as far as it goes today. Stay tuned!
    The Butty Run - Warwickshire breakfast meet, 1st Sunday of every month
    http://butty-run.com

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