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Engine upgrade?


Sam Russell

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I have an oil consumption problem with my Rover V8 in my stag.  I use about a pinr every 150 mile (or so).
I have an oportunity to buy an ex Range Rover 3.9 EFI unit complete for very little money, or I could rebuild my own.
The RR unit would require a lttle sorting (head gasket and whatever else)  It runs quite well and would require me to transfer all my own ancillaries.  I would not use the EFI at the moment as I would have to check the clearance under the bonnet.
A new engine would cost from £2000 for a recon 3.5 to £5000 for a new 4.6.
Reworking mine could cost from £1000 upwards depending on what is wrong.
Oil is £10 a gallon.
What do you think?

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I suppose its down to a personal preference of how much you like tinkering.

I've only rebuilt one engine, a ford essex v6, the cost was around £1000, simliar
to your estimate. But there is something satisfying afterwards about having done
it yourself.

Do you know where you are loosing the oil, is it bore wear? The engine may not
need a full rebore etc is its just a seal gone.

You also have the option of putting another used RV8 in which may be the cheapest
option in the short term and there seems allways plenty about on sale, but unless
you choose carefully it could be a lottery.

John

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I think the oil is going out the exhaust, compression is down in 6 of the eight cylinders, and it puffs blue smoke under load.  No oil on the driveway, no drips off the engine.
I've looked at a 2nd hand engine that will do, if it isn't burning oil the same way.  It needs a head gasket, but that is an oportunity to check out the bores.  But I can  do that before I fit it, and if it just a small amount of work, I will not be without the Stag for months.
It will also come with a complete EFI setup, for either resale or future upgrade.
The current engine is such that oil consumption is the limit on range, not petrol.
It would certainly be good for a short term, and possibly long term.  Worth a punt.

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I agree with John as with a 3.9 you also run risk of using water ie cracked block dropped liners if your not careful :o best to  buy one that you can see running. A sure sign but not infalable is a misfire from cold start up which clears up when warm also bubbles in expension tank from cold. Another sign take number 7 plug out and see if it's rusty and wet with water these are symptoms i have had on a few of my 3.9s over the years of invisible water loss (cracked block dropped liners). I am going to rebuild a known low mileage 3.9 thats sitting in my garage but again there is still no guarantee that it does no use water until i see it running ??) A real sure guarantee is stick a with a 3.5 no earlier than SD1 and rebuild or find a low mileage maintained one and away you go ;D    

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In the engine I am looking at,there is mayonaise in the filler cap, not a lot. What test should I run to make sure I am not buying trouble?
I intend to do a compression test.  I will check the plugs while I am at it, and will also check for bubbles in the expansion tank.
Anything else?

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Mayo is not good has the engine been standing :-/ take it on a looong run if poss and make sure it does not overheat or constantly misfire also check oil filler cap again check dipstick for mayo ??) A good indication of engine condition and if it's had regular oil changes no more than every 3000miles is to unscrew filler cap and look at the shafts. They should be nice and shiny with slight carbon build up and NOT covered in black sludge if they are it's rebuild time :'( Also it should be quiet at all revs a little rattle at start up is ok as long as it quietens down or cam/tapps are worn  and obviously look for grey smoke when revved other than that mate best of luck ;)

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I can't take it for a long run as it is ff the road.  It has stood for at least 6 months without running, and took a little coaxing to get to run (flat battery) but had lots of power when it did start. Not too noisy, but it is a pig in a poke.  Thanks for your ideas.

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