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Casey
Casey Crookston

(24 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2016 09:25PM

Main British Car:


Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: Casey
Date: December 09, 2016 10:10PM

Hi everyone, I've done quite a bit of research but I don't know if I'll ever get the information I need without asking the question directly. I would like to build a Rover V8 for a future project (I'm hoping for a Triumph GT6 but we'll have to see how that goes). So far the components I'm partial to are '64 Buick 300 heads, the Rover 4.6 bock, and a Leyland P76 crank. I have found sources for all of these parts and its looking like if I went ahead with them I would be looking at around $900.

I know the topic of building these motors has been covered extensively, but determining whether all these (and others) are the right components to go with is difficult by reading other's posts because I want to come in under $5000 for the total engine build--so yeah, Wildcat heads would beat the aluminum 300 heads hands down but I don't want to blow over half the budget on one component. I am looking for good low and medium range torque and good reliability (it would go in a weekend car that I want to have fun in, not a top-speed racer). As a side note, I haven't found solid technical info on how to make the P76 crank work either.

Thanks for the help, it looks like there are a lot of knowledgeable folks here.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3235 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 10, 2016 11:16AM

Just how set are you on this particular build? The premier Forum on Rover engine build is the UK based V8 Owners Forum.

[www.v8forum.co.uk]

Guess what, not much interest in this over there. It can be done, it has been. What you get for your money may not be what you expected. Investigate the machining costs, rods, & custom pistons.

The P76 mains are slightly bigger, so they have to be turned down or the 4.6 block line bored. Rear seal is bigger on the P76. Flywheel PCD is different. Counterweights must be machined. Oil pump will not be driven by the crank (like the 4.6). So, older front cover, intake, & cam with gear.

No way would I drop that much in a Rover engine without have tophat cylinder liners installed. I have friend that had an expensive Woody Cooper 4.6 that slipped a liner. I do not trust Rover blocks with their pressed-in liners.

A Chevy LS4 would be waaay better, cheaper, & more reliable.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5354 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: December 10, 2016 01:33PM

Interesting approach, to build the engine first and then get the car. It's usually done widershins. Possible though, if you just have a particular love for that engine.

The P76 crank has a 3.5" stroke. I'm guessing that is the attraction. With the 3.7" bore of the 4.6 that gets you to about 5 liters. With $5K in pocket you can certainly get there but is it really the best thing to do?

Where are you located? It makes a difference. Would you consider a car slightly larger than the GT6 such as the MGB-GT? Again it makes a difference. What sort of a car are you building? Corner carver, track day car, drag racer, grocery getter? Again, difference.

Jim


Casey
Casey Crookston

(24 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2016 09:25PM

Main British Car:


Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: Casey
Date: December 10, 2016 01:43PM

Thanks Carl (and Jim), I will explore things on the UK forum. I have always thought the Buick/Rover V8 was a neat motor, ever since reading about them in a 1970's Hot Rod Magazine. The longer stroke of the P76 is part of the attraction, but also the fact that it would be different (which always costs more money, and is less efficient). I figure starting with the motor can make sense, because I would rather have an engine sitting around for possibly years rather than an engine and a car...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2016 01:48PM by Casey.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4309 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: Moderator
Date: December 10, 2016 02:04PM

I generally agree with Carl... but I've been thinking of starting my own "Rover V8 Build $5000 Budget" thread.

My Buick 215 shortblock has been perfectly reliable since I built it over 25 years and ~60,000 miles ago. Occasional track days. Plenty of barnstorming on mountain roads. Long road trips. I don't think I'll ever wear out the bottom end. My original build wasn't anything special. Nothing about it was balanced or blueprinted. Mundane components. (0.030" over Silvolite low compression pistons, stock timing set and valvetrain, etc.). And my only complaint is that its always dripped oil on the floor. I love this engine's light weight, and I'm determined (through other projects) to get my MGBs weight under 2000 pounds.

So, I want to build the very, very best short-stroke BOPR short block and valvetrain possible. I'll swap my Rover 4.0 heads and custom EFI / custom electronic ignition onto it. Honestly, I don't care very much about horsepower or torque numbers. Throttle response, smoothness, reliability, and durability are much higher priorities. I drive my old Buick 215 right up to 6000 rpm more often than sensible. It goes there and back smoothly and without complaint. The new engine should be bulletproof even further across the tach.

What would the ultimate short stroke BOPR short-block look like? And what valvetrain would complement it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2016 02:18PM by Moderator.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 10, 2016 03:15PM

Curtis, I would start with a 3.9 block with top hat liners. 6" Chevy rods with 305 Chevy pistons. A cam like Carl has (Crower 50232)would be great in a 3.9. You could put your heads on with larger valves, Chevy Z28 springs and ported. Everything balanced and aluminum flywheel.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2016 11:48AM by mgb260.


Casey
Casey Crookston

(24 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2016 09:25PM

Main British Car:


Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: Casey
Date: December 10, 2016 03:45PM

I would have to say a Rover 4.0 or 4.6 block would be a better option (cross bolted mains to withstand higher RPMs). Supposedly the 4.6 blocks are less likely to have sleeve problems. Then if you stuck with a 215, 3.5, 3.9, or 4.0 crank you would end up with 241ci, with the shortest stroke possible without going custom.



mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 10, 2016 03:56PM

Casey, You are correct on the crossbolts. The later 3.9 had the caps but were undrilled. Also 4.0 went to larger mains and rod journals. My second choice would be 4.0 with top hat sleeves. I'm with Carl on the worry over the sleeves.


minorv8
Jukka Harkola

(121 posts)

Registered:
04/08/2009 06:50AM

Main British Car:
Morris Minor Rover V8

Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: minorv8
Date: December 11, 2016 05:41AM

Why the extra hassle with P76 crank ? Whenever you get into a serious machining it will cost money. And remember, P76 is an old engine and fining parts in good condition may be difficult. 4.6 litre engine is an easier choice, apart from the liner issue. And not all blocks suffer from it. I doubt that I have that much invested in my current 4.6 engine, albeit with the last winter´s EFI conversion it is pretty close to that number.

A nice 4.6 short block, nice heads and decent cam will provide an easy 250-280 hp which will move any GT6 pretty fast. The big problem is: if you can fit the Rover engine in a GT6.


tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(329 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: December 11, 2016 07:33AM

The easy button for good power is just build a nice 4.6L. Nothing over the top because you are limited by the heads anyway. Just top hatting a block alone will eat up $2K. There are +.020 pistons available now for the 4.6 for around $400. Find a 4.6, bore if you have to, grind the crank if you have to, and install a good cam. That will set you back $3K to $4K or so depending on what you pay for the engine. That leaves money for all the other stuff you will have to find in order to install it in a sports car. I've seen many "big" engine builds eclipse the $10K figure only to blow up shortly there after. If you really want to throw one in a GT6, just build a good old 3.5 and be happy with 200 HP. Then spend your money building a rear end that can handle that kind of power. There is a guy near me that built a GT6 with a Buick 215 and a T50 trans. Don't know what he did for a rear end thou. Its a real low budget build, but it goes pretty good.


britcars
Phil Ossinger
New Brunswick, Canada
(300 posts)

Registered:
02/02/2009 07:58PM

Main British Car:
1977 MGB Roadster, Rover 3.5 ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA!

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: britcars
Date: December 11, 2016 10:12AM

[The big problem is: if you can fit the Rover engine in a GT6.]

It's been done before, small block Ford, GM LS1 and Buick 215 :
[www.britishv8.org]
[www.carcentric.com]
[www.britishv8.org]


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 11, 2016 10:16AM

I think Curtis like Carl likes the 2.8 stroke the 3.9 has. Also if you think about it the later 3.9 can be crossbolted and has more meat down around the crank due to the smaller main journals. There is a guy on you tube that ordered the top hat liners and pulled his own to save machining costs. $600 for the liners and $500 to install. I just wouldn't chance the slipped liners.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5354 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: December 11, 2016 12:32PM

I'd still take the hit on the extra 80 lbs and go with the Buick 300. It would be more difficult to fit into a GT6 but for starters, that $2K that went for top hat liners is nearly enough to pay for fully assembled TA heads, or bare TA heads with aggressive CNC porting work. Just add valves and springs. (Buying the parts and a spring compressor is much less expensive than doubling the cost of the bare heads. BTDT) Then go the route Chris did with the crank, rods, and pistons and it would be pretty easy to complete the build within the budget. Shoot the block with silver powdercoat and it'd be a stealth engine that few could tell from a Rover, put Rover valvecovers on it and who would know? And it would be nearly bulletproof, understressed, and reliable.Even with a stock cam the output would be around 300hp. With a roller cam and those heads 500 would easily be within reach.

Jim


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 11, 2016 01:38PM

Jim B. I agree in regards to Casey. The T/A heads are great but expensive. The results on porting I've seen compares to the better Ford aluminum heads. Bang for the buck though, the 300 aluminum heads have been ported to 200 IN and 150 EX which is good to about 400 HP. Curtis mentioned valvetrain also. Years ago there was a discussion on hydraulic roller lifters on this site using 2.2, 3100 and 3400 FWD short roller lifters. Art had some cam blanks made. It is still being talked about on the Turbo V6 site. I also like the Volvo B20 steel adjustable rockers modified to fit the Rover shaft. Or the 5/8" by 1 1/2" plate with 7/16" stud rockers.

[forum.britishv8.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2016 02:20PM by mgb260.


Casey
Casey Crookston

(24 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2016 09:25PM

Main British Car:


Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: Casey
Date: December 11, 2016 08:28PM

Normally I get tired of posing a specific question and hearing a lot of suggestions that don't necessarily have to do with the question posed. I realize that its all in an effort to help, but if we all dictated our choices by what would be the cheaper/easier/more effective route everyone on this forum would be driving a Miata with a SBC to get their small, powerful car fix. This talk of doing a 300 build instead though has caught my interest, is it really only an 80lb difference between the blocks? Are there considerable dimensional differences? The man I'm speaking to about his '64 heads has them on a complete engine and has an aluminum 4 barrel intake he would sell with it, maybe it would be better just to pick up the whole package...



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3235 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 11, 2016 09:34PM

Yes, Casey. That would be a much better route than what you originally proposed.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5354 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: December 12, 2016 02:11AM

I've weighed the 215, 300, and 340 blocks. The 300 is 80 lbs more than the 215, the 340 is 82 lbs more. Some say the late rover blocks are 30 lbs more than the 215 which would make the weight difference only 50 lbs.

The decks are 9/16" taller.

Jim


Casey
Casey Crookston

(24 posts)

Registered:
12/09/2016 09:25PM

Main British Car:


Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: Casey
Date: December 12, 2016 08:56AM

Thanks Jim, that's the info I needed. I was curious about why 300 and 215 heads were interchangeable but not intakes, the increased deck height makes sense of it.


tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(329 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: December 12, 2016 09:43AM

That 300 is a cheaper better way to go for sure. Finding a four barrel and aluminum heads to go with it is a great score. Now you just need a flywheel and a bell housing and an older Chevy pattern T5. Bell housing is easy. Anything with the BOP pattern will fit. All over eBay for under $150.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3235 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Rover V8 Build, $5000 Budget
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 12, 2016 09:57AM

Mike Moor says the 300 is 3/4" taller than the 215 as measured to the intake manifold carb flange. It's a bit wider, as well. The Buick 215/Rover V8 headers will work on the 300.
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