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Tribulations of V8 Conversions.

Stu Brierley writes on some of the hazards of buying a 4x4 with a back-yard V8 conversion job :-

The Bulkhead: There are many opinions flying around concerning whether or not this needs to be modified on a Series LR to get the [V8] lump to fit - mine was modified, extensively, and not very well to boot. The previous owner (PO from now) was a bit of a `-----------' if the truth be told. It was a case of 'is the hole big enough yet' ... 'yep, right that'll do'. He didn't worry about leaving some strength or rigidity in the damn thing. That particular repair took 9 hours on both days of the weekend to get it a little more rigid, I stripped all the foot-wells and gearbox covers out and then welded in new metal to the central bulkhead panel, and passenger foot-well ... it doesn't creak or rattle any more!

For your info, modification is required to give more clearance around the bell housing, both in height and in width, so you end up loosing a little of the passenger foot-well. The bulkhead central panel (over the bell-housing) used to move when you put the steering on full lock .... ahh!

Oil System: When a V8 is dropped into the engine bay of a SIII the spin-on oil filter comes very close the diff' of the front axle (depending on whose manufactured engine mounts you use). You need to send the oil to a remote filter housing, this can be done one of two ways:
1) Replace the filter with a sandwich plate (MOCAL do one for the V8) that transmits the oil up to the remote filter via hydraulic hoses It just spins on in place of a filter.
2) You can buy a unit that completely replaces the spin-on section of the filter. You remove the lower section of your pump (leaving the gears and main body in situ) and bolt on this conversion plate. This too transfers the oil via hydraulic hoses to the remote filter housing (mine's mounted on the inner wing). Two companies I know of sell them in the UK, they are Ian Ashcroft and J.E.Engineering. I use the Ian Ashcroft unit, but have seen one from J.E. and am very envious as it appears a lot nicer (and more functional).

I don't recommend option 1 because that was what was fitted to my LR originally, and whilst off-roading I crashed down a pothole and next thing I knew, my oil light was on and my mate in front was screaming "stop your engine, she's bleeding". I had sheared the sandwich plate clean off with the diff .... oops. Now, remember this: a Renault 5 (small town car here in UK) has a very slimline filter, that just happens to fit on a Rover V8 and leaves you about 2-3 inches of clearance from your diff when fitted-it gets you home though, I know, I have tried it.

- Stu Brierley email:S.W.Brierley@dl.ac.uk [5/'96]

Go to the Conversion or Land Rover engine conversion pages


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