MG Engine Swaps Forum

'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.


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