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'99 Land Rover 4.0 Engine

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Jim Lema Avatar
Seattle, Washington, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB
On a non-running Rover engine I would remove the spark plugs and using a borescope take a look at the top of the pistons. If they are all black with carbon it could be a good engine. If one of the pistons appears to be clean, then you have coolant getting into the cylinder. If the engine looks good inside I would ask if the head caskets have ever been replaced (not a good sign). The problem that happens with some of these blocks is a slipped liner or getting a crack between the liner and the water jacket. Not all Rover engines are bad. Stay away from any engine where there has been problems with overheating. Rovers don't like being overheated.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-07 01:00 PM by Jim Lema.

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AGlass0fMilk Avatar
AGlass0fMilk Don Beckstein
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT "The GT"
1980 MG MGB Limited Edition (LE) "Elli"
So the seller got back to me. He's looking to get $500. It doesnt have a computer with it so I can't run it. It looks like it's been sitting outside for a bit.

Pictures attached. Looks like the GEMS EFI type engine. I'm probably heading up his way in the next few weeks anyway so I might swing by and check it out. Crank it by hand and take out the plugs, view in the cylinders. I'd probably offer $300 to start.



1980 MGB Limited Edition (Car No. 2744)
"If anything's gonna happen it's gonna happen out there!"


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pjkbrit Avatar
pjkbrit Peter Kelly
Bedford Hills, New York, USA   USA
That's almost certainly going to need rebuilding and because there is no verification that it runs you'll need to pull the heads off to check for slipped liners...but you'd do that anyway right? Probably full of water if it's been outside or worse...steam cleaned like my yard engine was).
It's a 4.0 so you may well have issues with crankshaft length, you'll definitely need a new timing cover and camshaft etc for the use of the external oil pump to avoid issues with the steering rack. D&D offers good advise IF he ever answers his phone... (I gave up after buying a pile of parts from them). NEW high quality timing covers/oil pump etc can be bought at a good price from TA Performance...they are VERY helpful and have plenty of BOPR quality parts. Do NOT buy an old used cheap timing cover from eBay...they wear and the oil pump alignment is very important to get right. $3-500 is about right...if it's slipped a sleeve it's useless except for parts. You must be VERY VERY careful placing new bearings into these so as not to damage the interference fit of the main bearing caps....this block will be crossbolted so the fretting issue will not apply BUT you WILL need a new (old style) sump for the timing cover you get as the aluminium sump that THIS motor has won't fit easily into the MGB anyway.

Lotsa luck.....just finished doing mine and but for a few oil leaks it's a blast to drive.

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billgknapp Avatar
billgknapp Silver Member Bill Knapp
Rochester, Michigan, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB "Nigel"
As Peter points out, it should be rebuilt. And agree with with being careful buying old parts, as porosity or cracking can be an issue. You can get some great buys on New Old Stock parts on eBay though. And Summit Racing matches anyone's advertised prices (Hydraulic throwout bearing, air cleaners, etc.) In addition to D&D and TSI, Glenn Towery is a great source of parts and advice. (302-734-1243)

As for oil leaks, make sure to use the red RTV around the rear main seal, and the black RTV around the ends of the valley pan seals.

There is a good video YouTube - something like "Building the Bottom End of a Rover V8" which gives great step-by-step instructions for installing bearings, gaskets, torque specs, etc. I must have watched it 10 times before I dove in.

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd., USA   USA
Unless it can be verified that the engine ran recently what you are buying is a core. Negotiate accordingly. Whatever cores bring in your area would be a fair offer. Might be $100, might be $300. Doubtful it'd be more than that anywhere. The seller's assurance that it ran is really not good enough unless you know him well and trust him.

IF you are allowed to run a leak-down test, good results there could justify a better offer. But don't assume there will not be problems, even if the test is good. A slipping liner may not show up.

Jim

AGlass0fMilk Avatar
AGlass0fMilk Don Beckstein
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT "The GT"
1980 MG MGB Limited Edition (LE) "Elli"
I went and checked it out. The entire body of the Land Rover is gone. He said his friend's wife used to drive it and got into an accident. Looked like a front end T-bone from the way the radiator was shifted to the side.

Engine looks like it has been sitting for a while - didn't have any oil in it. He runs a junkyard and insists it is worth $500. I told him I'd give him $225 at most. He's going to put it into storage and said he'd let it go for $300. I don't know if I should pay that much for a engine I will be rebuilding anyway...

Attached is another shot of the engine/drivetrain



1980 MGB Limited Edition (Car No. 2744)
"If anything's gonna happen it's gonna happen out there!"


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00A0A_dSQDv0FT5vT_600x450.jpg

billgknapp Avatar
billgknapp Silver Member Bill Knapp
Rochester, Michigan, USA   USA
1977 MG MGB "Nigel"
I'd tell him you'll give him $250 and he can keep the trans. You have to replace that anyway and it'll lighten your load

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AGlass0fMilk Avatar
AGlass0fMilk Don Beckstein
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT "The GT"
1980 MG MGB Limited Edition (LE) "Elli"
No the $300 is just for the engine. He already passed on $225.



1980 MGB Limited Edition (Car No. 2744)
"If anything's gonna happen it's gonna happen out there!"

V8B Avatar
V8B Michael Solomons
Perth, Western Australia, Australia   AUS
To be honest the $75 you are quibbling about will soon fade into insignificance compared to how much you will eventually spend if you are doing this conversion, I did mine 20 years ago and spent the equivalent of around UKP5000 then for the whole conversion including buying a motor and manual 5spd box for UKP200 from a scrapyard, at the time I just stripped and cleaned it and put it in and ran it for quite a few years, I blew that motor and picked up another scrap one from a disco which lasted about 8 years until I overheated it and had a slipped liner, I have just spent around A$7000 fully rebuilding the motor (and increasing capacity to 3.9L).



Cheers
Mike

78 MGB 3.9l V8 Conversion

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AGlass0fMilk Avatar
AGlass0fMilk Don Beckstein
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB GT "The GT"
1980 MG MGB Limited Edition (LE) "Elli"
You have a point eye rolling smiley

Thanks for enabling me everyone smileys with beer



1980 MGB Limited Edition (Car No. 2744)
"If anything's gonna happen it's gonna happen out there!"

Jim Blackwood Avatar
Jim Blackwood * BlownMGB-V8
Gunpowder Rd., USA   USA
$300 may be fair. At the very least you should hook a battery to it and spin it to see what it sounds like. Don't overdo it since there is no oil (or you could put some in) just crank it long enough to make sure it sounds right and has some compression.
But why is the oil out of it? I'm afraid that doesn't make sense or sound encouraging. There is no good reason to drain it unless he was planning to store it upside down or something. It's a red flag and he'll need to explain that.

But, if it sounds like it has compression when cranking it may be OK. Since there is no oil, there is no reason not to pull the pan and maybe a couple of the caps to check the bearings. Rear main and maybe #3 rod. Check plugs too.

A leak-down test is still your best indicator of engine wear.

Jim

ValveCoverGasket Avatar
Portland, Oregon, USA   USA
In reply to # 3587892 by V8MGBV8
In reply to # 3586806 by MGB567 By good/bad I was referring to Wiki's "The engine was revised in 1995 (and thereafter referred to as a 4.0 to differentiate it from the earlier version, although displacement remained the same at 3,946 cc) with a new intake and exhaust system, extra block ribbing, revised pistons, and larger cross-bolted main-bearings."


The bad ones are the ones with a slipped cylinder liner and/or a crack in the block behind the liner. winking smiley

The latest Rover V8s with larger crankshaft mains & cross-bolted main bearing caps are overkill for everyone excepting competition use. The older engines are just fine for 99% of use.

also the early 2000s, particularly 2003, units with factory misaligned front covers and pumps. awful engines.
but i guess that was the 4.6, not the 4.0 being discussed... anyway, avoid those! hah



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mgb281 Philip Waterman
Taunton, Somerset, UK   GBR
Hello Don
You have received a lot of good advice, perhaps the best bit was to buy a copy of "how to give your MGB V8 power" in there you will find a huge amount of info regarding engines, transmissions, brake and suspension upgrades. Also it gives information regarding body mods not only for the Rover V8 but Ford and Chevrolet engine. Also covered are the different front engine covers and what to source from which variant.
There is also a lot of information that circulates around the web about how bad these 4.0 and 4.6 engines were. The truth is they are not as bad as their reputation gives them. The early 4.6 engines did have problems, they were nearly all fitted in Range Rovers which had an inbuilt design fault, the top hose from the engine to radiator would air lock and the engine would overheat. When this happened repeatedly there were numerous cases of slipped liners.
Land Rover came up with two solutions the first was simply to change the top hose to a better design, the second was tho measure the thickness of the cylinder bore walls. There were three grades which I will call thick, medium and thin. All 4.6 engines had thick wall blocks and when they were in short supply mediums. the 4.0 had thin and medium wall blocks. This does not mean that the 4.0 was worse than the 4.6, it is simply the extra stroke puts more strain on the block. I have many friends with Range Rovers and not one of them has had an engine failure. Two of them have run them nearly twenty years with no problems. I am sure the extra heat stress in the USA or OZ may have made the situation worse there. No one can advise you whether to buy a $300 engine, but where the history and mileage is unknown and the ECU and loom is missing it does not seem to such a good deal to me, better to pay more and have an engine that you can check out running.


This conversion is the easiest (and best?) in that;
a, The factory did it
b, parts are available the world over
c there is a huge availability of custom parts at reasonable prices. such as this one http://mgv8.homestead.com/v8con.html
best of luck whichever way you decide to go
Philip

MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
"until I overheated it and had a slipped liner, I have just spent around A$7000 fully rebuilding the motor (and increasing capacity to 3.9L)."

I feel your pain Michael but I shall revel in it too - that's only slightly less than a machinist (whom I trust) ball parked a "worst case scenario" when I was looking at a "used" LR motor for my GT. So reading that figure starts to make my rebuilt with all the kit 5litre for $10k about right. Yes I know you Cousins would balk at that price but machining and parts cost a motza here.



Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell (with extensive bodywork to come). Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. And a whole lot more to yet to come. Stealth is the word.

Peter-Sherman Avatar
Peter-Sherman Peter Sherman
Melbourne, Australia   AUS
Compared to the 3.5's the 4.0 and 4.6 had better heads, bigger bearings, stronger block and cross bolted bearing caps. So it is the one to get. However you need the earlier 3.5 front so as to fit the remote oilfilter kit and distributor. There is a little spacer for the bottom pulley bolt you can get (which doesn't cost much) that takes care of the longer crank. As mentioned you need the 3.5 sump to clear the MG front crossmember. Plus the 3.5 (or 3.9) air intake plenum so it goes under the MG bonnet. You have to machine down the trumpet tray about 30mm anyway, Glenn could sell you one already done. Along with mount brackets as well if you want to speed things up. Details here http://www.britishv8.org/articles/rover-hot-wire-efi.htm
All of these 3.5 bits bolts right on and is worth doing for the 4.0 and 4.6 advantages. The reason behind the crossbolts (normally a racing only feature) was because the 3.5 cap bolts would loosen if the motor was over heated just a little, regularly, and the crank would move and crack the block. The cure here was to either fit studs in place of the bolts or more cheaply use stud thread locker on the cap bolts. The Buick motors are similar to the 3.5's, which is not surprising as that's what the rover motor started as. The Buick short water pump makes the swap easier and the Buick front is much the same as the Rover one, so it is easy bolt on. The Range Rover front is different to the Rover front.
Although I have a Supra gearbox, if I was doing it again I'd use a T5, better ratios for the 3.9 diff, which is easily strong enough and I think better than a 3.07 diff. With the 3.9 you can easily accelerate from standing in second. First gear is for drive ways, car parks and peak hour traffic etc.

You will more than double your BHP and torque. You will probably want to fit a thicker front antisway bar (3/4 or 7/8) and you will need some form of antitramp bars (or Bills half a helper spring). You may want to fit a Quaife LSD

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