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5k budget to spend on engine upgrade...what would you do?

 
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Boatmad



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Warsash, Hampshire

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:43 pm    Post subject: 5k budget to spend on engine upgrade...what would you do? Reply with quote

Hi All,

After a year of 50th ownership and lots of minor upgrades/gradual restoration, I am starting to think about an engine upgrade/swap.

The current 4.0L engine now has around 128k on it and is running perfectly, few oil leaks but generally sound, no knocks, perfect idle etc. She already has tubular 4 branch headers, a stainless exhaust system and the viscous fan has been removed in favour for a high capacity Kenlowe unit but is otherwise standard.

Lots of research on the Internet but I can't seem to draw a conclusion. Obviously as a special edition vehicle, taking it away from standard may hurt the desirability but equally a well done conversion / subtle upgrades still have appeal. (I didn't buy it as an investment, more so because I particularly wanted a v8 and auto combination, everything else about it is a bonus)

I'm thinking of a 5k budget for the engine. The transmission and diffs/drivetrain will be sorted in a separate pot once I have decided which route to take.

The car is in regular use but I have a couple of others so it can be taken off the road for say a couple of months. I have an undercover area to work in and most typical garage equipment. (excluding a 4 post lift) My skills are pretty reasonable in so far as lots of previous engine swaps in minis/Peugeots back in the days that I used to rally but I wouldn't go so far as to be confident in building up a bare engine from scratch. (Could probably do it but never tried)

It does most of it's mileage on road but I do occasionally tow our boat and basic offroading during the winter when shooting. (We have a Navara for long distance towing)

My target HP is 300hp with a healthy torque curve as this still seems to be in the realms of reliability with the auto box (will be rebuilt) and probably some updated diffs/shafts.

I don't thrash it but do enjoy "spirited driving", she already has updated brakes, updated suspension and slightly more road orientated tyres than when supplied from the factory. She now handles quite well for a 4x4 (better than my l322 rangie) but just lacks straight line grunt.

So from my research thus far, it seems that rebuilding / modifying the existing engine can be done easily but tuning the Rover V8 is an expensive process and results are not that exciting. (Cam/heads/increase cr/intake system etc)

Next we have an upgrade to a later 4.6 engine from someone like Turner engineering, complete with flowed heads and a decent camshaft these seem to be around 240hp....moving in the right direction but still someway off the target.

Moving away from the simple swap out then seems to open up options such as a 350chevy/5.7L as used by Overfinch or possibly an LS series v8 but I perhaps don't have the skills for the fabrication work needed to make it fit. (I can get my hands on a Chevy v8 and box at reasonable cost)

Superchargers/turbos seem to come up on ebay every once in a while but research seems to suggest that these never worked that well with the single plenum and as a result reliability isn't great.

The video of Parbs supercharged 50th is one of the deciding factors that persuaded me into Defender ownership so this would be my ultimate dream, however the budget probably won't stretch that far. I have a supercharged classic mini and never tire of the charger wine...even with an average 8mpg!

So from those of you that have experience, what would you suggest? Reliability is key, it needs to be able to sit in traffic with a reasonable tickover, no overheating issues, occasional motorway use but mainly a/b road stuff. I am not overly concerned with fuel consumption, it currently seems to average around 14mpg with a mixture of driving, (worse if just using it locally) but I'd like to try and stay in double figures.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.....

James
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colin700



Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: victor Reply with quote

time for victor to step in Very Happy
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griffman500



Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 202

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James

I have a solution for you hat will come in within your 5k - you will get great torque from take-off, more bhp than you can use(academic anyway in an auto), and keep the originality of your car.

If you want to keep your block for numbers matching etc, we can liner it and then send it off to our man for his magic, or you can have a BRAND NEW 46D cross-bolted block, hand-picked by him in 2002(grade A) when the last genuine blocks were made.

either way it would be internally balanced, with a Dakar-spec camshaft custom ground by piper.

we do some work on your heads as well, again with torque in mind, and the rest is then down to induction, exhaust and ecu.

we are not a business, just enthusiasts, and we are just about to start the second car with this set-up. you will pay all bills and if we help you all we ask for is a small donation to charity and reimbursement of any costs we incur on your behalf

we can also arrange fitting and engineering work at a lr guru in west sussex.
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WilkoW



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Oxfordshire

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be tempted to retain as much originality as possible, so with that in mind why not look at boosting the torque (rather than power) of the RV8 lump which would, I assume, retain the existing engine mounts and drivetrain locations?

The existing lump is gutless and I'm not that impressed with the slush box but there must be alternatives (4.6 conversion/revised gearing or final drive) that solve the issues without resorting to panel beating? How about Turner Engineering or similar? I had a RRC a few years ago with one of their lumps that worked well!
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colin700



Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Upgrade Reply with quote

Rebuild it with 4.6 crank and a bit of head work lager throttle body and a new cam happy days
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WilkoW



Joined: 26 May 2013
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Location: Oxfordshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What would the costs be for that conversion?
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colin700



Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 246
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pm sent
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Boatmad



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Warsash, Hampshire

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, keep the suggestions coming.

Does anyone know if the AJV8 Supercharged 4.2 will run on an aftermarket Motec/Emerald type ECU or is it too advanced for that?
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craigmac911



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 44
Location: Basingstoke Hants

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James

Just following up on your old post as I am considering similar options to upgrade GB40. What did you decide to do in the end?


cheers
Craig
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