Engine Fettling And Fitting

Published on 10 January 2023 at 16:16

I knew the Rover v8 engine for my Ford prefect project turned over ok but it was apparent that it was tired and had been sat around for some years without doing anything. I decided on a compression test, the results were not good. My first thought was worn cylinders but on removal of the heads they were in excellent shape. The valves on the other hand were not so good, the worst ones corresponding with my compression test results so I knew they needed regrinding. I did that and them put the engine back together with a nice new camshaft and hydraulic tappets, the cam I removed was very badly worn. On disassembly I noticed that many of the small oil ways were blocked with gunge, it took a lot of cleaning to get them to the point where I was happy. I have some wear in the rocker shafts, I will see how I go, if there is any rattling I will replace them - parts for these engines are plentiful and quite cheap. For anybody wondering this is the 3.5 version with 10.5 to 1 compression ratio and twin su carbs, it's from a p5 of approx 1972 vintage. I have since acquired the gearbox to match a 4 speed manual, quite a bargain at just 50 quid. Once it was all back together I trial fitted it in the frame and built the brackets for the engine mounts. It's mounted quite low - just low enough so that sleeping policemen are not a problem but the center of gravity is low enough to make handling pretty decent. 

Rover v8 engine trial fit in my hot rod project

A pair of exhaust manifolds turned up at another auto jumble, as did a new starter motor - the one I got with the engine turned out to be useless. The carbs looked excellent and polished up nicely, the manifold came out well too and got a coat of black on it to make it look nice. The rocker covers got cleaned up and painted the same colour as I intend t do the body, I think they look quite nice.

The oil filter turned out to be a massive problem as it hit the cross member where the steering rack fits. I could not change the position of the engine or the steering components so had to find some other solution. The answer came from America in the form of a 1976 Buick Grand National, weird, i know but bear with me. The Rover engine was originally made and designed by Buick, car manufacturers like to reuse stuff that works. In the case of Buick they were still using the same basic oil filter that they had used back in the 60's. the good thing from my point of view is the they had redesigned it so that the bit that bolts on the engine was the same but the part the actual filter bolts on is at a very different angle and using it in my application gave me the clearance I needed. Only cost about 30 quid, which was a bonus. Only down side is that the Grand National does not have an oil pressure gauge so I needed a take off so I can have a gauge and a switch for a warning light. Fortunately sandwich plates are available that do the job nicely. Sorted.

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