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TR7V8mike

Old 3.5L RV8

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Hi,

 

I have what appears to be an old-ish 3.5L RV8 in a TR7 body. It took a while to sort out because the engine number is not on the plinth beside the oil stick but on the rear flange of the block. The engine number is 42516115, which, I think, makes its heritage from a 1967-1976 automatic P6 Rover. It also has the CR (10.5:1) stamped beside the EN.

 

The car is my daily ride and I want to continue to develop it as a fun track-day and hill climb car. Of course, I have received masses of conflicting advice on how to do this, but I have distilled it down to increasing the capacity to 3.9L which will give me new pistons and linings, adding a stage 2 header and sports cam. Carb and manifolds are OK for the moment, I think.

 

My biggest question at the moment is "Is there any reason why I shouldn't modify an engine of this vintage?"

 

If anyone knows about the origins of the these engines, I would be pleased to hear about it. The unit has found a happy home in Sydney.

 

Thanks

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

P6 3500 auto is correct.

 

Start off with the 3 decent books on the topic to gain a better width and depth of understanding

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Rover-Engine-David-Hardcastle/dp/0854299610

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuning-Rover-Engines-Performance-Competition/dp/0854299335

 

http://www.veloce.co.uk/shop/products/productDetail.php?prod_id=V217&prod_group=Performance%20Tuning%20&%20Modification

 

You can find them all on eBay regularly for reasonable prices.

 

Then talk to John Eales, who probably knows as much about Rover V8s as everyone else put together . . . . . and won't bullship you just because you're 12K miles away, he's one of the old school. Best caught on the phone at around 0830-0900GMT . . . .

 

http://www.johnealesroverv8.co.uk/index.html

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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First the 3.5 block is different to 3.9.

Although it is possible to drill out the 3.5 to 3.9 and fit new liners

this is not recommended.

 

Second the availiable 3.9 blocks tend to crack more often than the

blocks used for 4.6 which are virtually the same.

Remedy is to use a top flanged liners especially recommended for tuned engines

what many companies do and why than not switch to 4.6 or 5 litre instead

of tweaking a small 3.9 to higher levels.

 

Third the biggest gain in power is the swap from carbs to fuel injection

what on a modified engine is good for +30hp.

 

From that I would tend to use a Rover SD1 Vitesse if only a smaller increase with

not too much detailed tuning is envisaged. It has 190HP with no trouble

or alternatively a complete Range EFi engine might be a good idea.

 

There are several companies to deal with the Rover, unfortunately they

are all ocated in GB. I personally was happy with Real Steel and there with their

Merlin cylinder heads because that is the bottleneck for a modified Rover.

http://www.realsteel.co.uk/section1.pdf

 

John Eales is a good adress if you want to have a package and there

maybe a nice 5 litre is a good idea.

 

The mentioned flanged liner blocks can be bought here:

http://turner-engineering.co.uk/html/V8blocks.html

 

Not to forget the famous Chris Crane and his RPI Engineering

http://www.v8engines.com/

 

Also some good reports come from here, although I never tried that out:

http://www.v8developments.co.uk/index.shtml

 

There is also an Australian version, very rare in in this area,

and as I have two of them I can recommend them if they fit.

It is the V8 of a light truck maybe named Harrier and is a 4.4 litre

based on the small bore and a long stroke crank.

 

In addition the block is a little bit higher what makes it difficult to get a modified inlet manifold

but if you can solve that problem it is a very nice engine with strong torque from idle

and maybe easier to get in Australia. As the 3.5 block can not be kept for displacement increase

this might be an alternative instead let the new block travelling half around the world.

Edited by TriumphV8

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Hi Mike,

 

another useful little book from Jon Wolfe, his tuning guide for the 7V8 . . . .

 

http://www.wolfitt.com/

 

 

Hi Andreas,

 

shipping to Oz costs an arm and a leg . . . . serious money.

 

Mike has an engine already in his car, it's a good starting point.

 

Back in the day the P6 engine could be made to give a lot of power, therefore it still can today - and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.

 

It's easy to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars - many of us have only hundreds to spend on a few judicious improvements in order to have a bit more fun !

 

If one is trying to achieve improvements on a modest budget, John Eales can be more than helpful - good man.

 

Unfortunately some of the other V8 specialists don't seem to be remotely interested unless you're spending loadsamoney.

 

Meanwhile, I'd suggest Mike would do well to read around the subject and gain some background knowledge before spending too much of his hard earned.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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I agree with Alec, unless you are racing the car and therefore need every single BHP you can squeeze out of the engine, step back and think about value for money ... i.e. how much will it cost and what will be the benefits / risks?

 

John Eales will serve you well as a sounding board for ideas.

 

Above all - enjoy the car!

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shipping to Oz costs an arm and a leg . . . . serious money.

 

Mike has an engine already in his car, it's a good starting point.

 

Back in the day the P6 engine could be made to give a lot of power, therefore it still can today - and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.

 

 

You are right, but he aims for the 3.9 what should not be brought into the smaller block.

 

Also these used 3.5 engines have often a oil pressure problem and damaged cam what

also spread the dwarf from the worn cam in the engine.

 

Good for some friendly miles more but not for tuning with sports cam

It will break very soon and performance is diappointing.

To tune that engine to a nice state will soon get more expensive than

starting with the 4.6

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Thank you Alec, this is just what I was looking for. I have ordered the books and will call John. BTW, did you know (probably not) that John Eales was the name of one of Australia's best ever Rugby players. He led the Wallabies to a World Cup win. Just a bit of useless information for you.

 

Best regards

 

Michael

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Hi Michael,

 

The way I recall his career, John Eales led the Wallabies to a lot more besides ! All Blacks All Whitewash wasn't it ? !!! Bloody good player and captain.

 

Glad my thoughts were of some little assistance. The old P5 and P6 engines can still offer one hell of a lot of fun for a modest outlay, and if you can better afford the time to do things carefully rather than being able to throw cubic money, they're good value. I'd suggest you do some background reading first, then chat to John. Lovely guy, hugely knowledgeable, and sympathetic if you're on a shoestring budget - yes he can be tetchy if he's overworked, but then so can we all. Say hello to him from me !

 

Shipping to Oz can be damned expensive - I've helped a few Australian TR guys over the years with finding the most economical deals, and having various smaller bits land here then collating into a bigger package and forwarding to Perth or Melbourne or wherever. No problem if you need a hand - feel free to ask. You'll find me as captaintr at hotmail of the dotcodotuk variety.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Hi lads,

I mentioned above that I have an early 3.5 block. Its going to be cheaper to bore that and insert new liners than buy a new short engine. Are there any critical reasons why I shouldn't do that? Alec, I haven't heard Andreas' comments before about not boring out the 3.5 block. What is your opinion?
How important is cross-bolting the block?
After reading David Hardcastle's book I have decided to go with EFI and, probably, turbo-charging. Keeping the original block leaves more cash for stage 2/3 cylinder heads and EFI. Does this seem reasonable or am I on a road to disaster?
Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

Shoot foot, open mouth, swap feet, shoot other foot . . . . . you could perhaps try something a little less costly, like develop a taste for Havanas and light 'em up with 20 dollar bills ? :rolleyes:;)

 

If you're going to turbocharge a V8, the P6 engine is not the ideal starting point, and nor does it lend itself kindly to an increase in capacity beyond the usual overbore to compensate for wear.

 

Rather than clogging up the Forum with reams of contention, I'll send you my email address by PM - Personal Message, see the little envelope symbol top right of your screen, click on it . . . . .

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Hi Chris,

 

if you look at post #6 Andreas made a typo - he wrote of dwarf from the worn cam rather than swarf . . . . . .

 

Jo was having a joke about small people running round in the engine and causing a little trouble . . . . .

 

English humour . . . . . :rolleyes:

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Good to know that now.

I thought I missed something in my engine vocabulary.

But I really missed the joke - damned and I normally enjoy British humor.

I was convinced that something like dwarfs are causing trouble in engines.

Maybe that's a new joke on its own - Germans and engine dwarfs.

But I've heard about Gremlins in engines too...but they seem to be more evident in USA regions.

 

Cheers

Chris (who is hoping on Spax dampers for the IMSA car - if Spax agree to make them for me)

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