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r2b253
randell bradford

(6 posts)

Registered:
07/18/2008 05:48AM

Main British Car:


215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: r2b253
Date: December 08, 2008 10:42PM

I am putting a buick 215 V8 in My spitfire. I have been accumulating parts and I have heard .. that you can use the range rover 4.2 heads (because of the bigger valves and better flow work ) for a performance boost. Does anyone know .. if this actually works? would I gain performance over the stock heads ? Does anyone know if there are any differences in bolt patterns or anything like that ? Any thoughts/suggestions/ideas will be appreciated !

Randy

80 triumphspitfire
74 norton commando 850
72 dunstall 750
71 triumph bonnieville


NixVegaGT
Nicolas Wiederhold
Minneapolis, MN
(659 posts)

Registered:
10/16/2007 05:30AM

Main British Car:
'73 Vega GT 4.9L Rover/Buick Stroker

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: NixVegaGT
Date: December 09, 2008 08:00PM

I don't think the heads are different. I'm pretty sure the volume is the same too. I think the newer 4.0/4.6 have a 29cc head. You could increase the compression that way for a performance boost.


hoffbug
Tony Hoffer
Minnesota
(290 posts)

Registered:
10/15/2007 05:25PM

Main British Car:
Land rover 4.6 Buick 300 hybrid ( in progress)

Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: hoffbug
Date: December 09, 2008 10:26PM

Apparently the port sizes are almost identical on all Rover heads..
The 1988 to 2004 heads have ever so slightly larger ports. 1/16 on the intake and 3/32 on the exhaust.. but they do have larger valves..


Dan Jones
Dan Jones
St. Louis, Missouri
(253 posts)

Registered:
07/21/2008 03:32PM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5L Rover V8

Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Dan Jones
Date: December 10, 2008 10:35AM

> I am putting a buick 215 V8 in My spitfire. I have been accumulating parts
> and I have heard .. that you can use the range rover 4.2 heads (because of
> the bigger valves and better flow work ) for a performance boost. Does anyone
> know .. if this actually works? would I gain performance over the stock
> heads?

Not much difference in the Buick 215 and Rover heads upt through the
3.9L and 4.2L. Later 4.0L and 4.6L heads were milled to reduce the
combustion chamber volume to offset the use of a thicker composite
head gasket. They also change from 5 head bolts per cylinder to 4,
the same as Buick 300 heads. The Buick 215 heads do not have accessory
bolt holes. The Buick 300 and Rover heads have bosses and bolt holes
for mounting accessory brackets. I've not had the 4.0L/4.6L heads on
the flow bench but I'm told they have the same size valves but with
narrower stems underneath the head. You can use them on your 215 or
just mill the heads you have for a compression boost. You may need
to mill your intake to maintain port alignment, though.

Dan Jones


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4308 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Moderator
Date: December 10, 2008 09:52PM

Buick215/Rover3.5 combustion chamber volume = ~37cc

As Nicolas said, Rover 4.0/4.6 combustion chamber volume = ~29cc

(Lucky me, I already have a set of 4.0 heads laying around!)

Here's a nifty online tool: [www.rbracing-rsr.com]

Playing with it, I see that I could bump my compression ratio from about 8.8:1 to about 10.2:1 by installing late-Rover heads. (Warning: results would vary depending on head gasket thickness, piston dish volume, etc., etc.)

With bigger valves and better flowing ports in the bargain, it looks like a pretty good idea to me!

---

Here are a couple more numbers courtesy of Des Hammill...

215 and all pre-1976 3.5L valves: 1.50" intake, 1.312" exhaust

1976-and-later-3.5/3.9/4.2/4.0/4.6 valves: 1.570" intake, 1.350" exhaust

(From 1982, Rover valve stems were "waisted" for even more airflow too)

---

What else should be considered?


74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(1111 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6 / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: December 10, 2008 11:37PM

Hi Randell,

I was wondering if you had any photos to share of your 215 going into your Spitfire?

My son and I just picked up a 73 Spitfire for him last week. How funny it is that I'm curiuos of what to swap in it already. I have been looking at all the spitfire swaps in the spitfire section on this site. These Spitfire's are a kick to drive in the corners, but lack very big in the pony section.

Calvin


V8Tech
Shaun O'Donnell

(19 posts)

Registered:
01/12/2009 11:37AM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: V8Tech
Date: January 12, 2009 12:31PM

There is actually a very small advantage of the later heads. The ports are slightly straighter .. and it is only slight .. but can make a difference, especially if you intend to port them.
Cylinder head bolt pattern is the same apart from the missing bottom row of bolts which I would recommend that you leave out anyway (or at least do not toque them down) as they have a tendancy to warp the heads and cause them to blow into the valley.
Other differences include;
4.0 / 4.6 heads (10 bolt) are 29cc as standard
3.5 / 3.9 / 4.2 heads are 35 - 36cc as standard
4.0 / 4.6 have some extra metal on the end faces with a drilling to take the late type alternator mounting (but you don't need to use them)
4.0 / 4.6 heads have slightly uprated springs (but again it is only a slight difference)
4.0 / 4.6 always have the guid tops machined for the late type neoprene stem seals .. which are much better!
Other points of note ... the tin head gaskets occupy about 3cc of chamber and the composite head gaskets occupy around 9cc of chamber .. so the heads are interchangeable as long as the correct gasket is used, or equaly you can alter the compression ratio easily by just swapping gasket type.
Shaun



Jperkins
Jody Perkins

(3 posts)

Registered:
04/10/2009 01:36PM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Jperkins
Date: April 10, 2009 03:36PM

Howdy Fellas. I'm new here, and to avoid starting a whole new thread to discuss heads for the 215 engine block, i figured this would be the more appropriate place to ask this question.

I am located in oklahoma city and i can't find a set of 215 or 300 heads anywhere. I think the guy at the rover dealers parts department wants to kill me by now for calling trying to find a set. So here is the question. The gentleman i got the 215 block from said that a set of ford 302 heads would fit these engine blocks, but he wasn't sure. will the ford 302 heads mate up to the 215 block? and if not, are there any other heads that will fit the 215 block other than the buick/oldsmobile/pontiac/rover heads?

performance heads are great, but right now i would settle for any heads that would function with this block, seeing as how i have none at all at this particular time and can't seem to aquisition stock replacements or any others expressly made for this block within the local area.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4308 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Moderator
Date: April 10, 2009 04:06PM

Ford 302 heads definitely won't bolt onto your block... but don't get discouraged! A lot of Range Rovers and Discoveries are being retired these days. Decent used engines are getting easier and easier to find. Sometimes when the engine blocks aren't rebuildable, sellers are willing to let the heads go at a bargain price. Just last week I sent a pair of Rover 4.0 heads to the machine shop - they'll be a nice upgrade for my old Buick 215. Since my preferred machine shop isn't local, I had to ship the heads - so I can tell you the weight for a pair of Rover heads (with valves, springs, and appropriately protective packaging) comes to about 56 pounds.


NixVegaGT
Nicolas Wiederhold
Minneapolis, MN
(659 posts)

Registered:
10/16/2007 05:30AM

Main British Car:
'73 Vega GT 4.9L Rover/Buick Stroker

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: NixVegaGT
Date: April 10, 2009 04:58PM

I've heard that about the 302 heads before. Is the bore spacing for the 215 and 302 similar or something? The other problem there is the need to fabricate something for the intake.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4308 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Moderator
Date: April 10, 2009 08:50PM

The sequence of ports from one end of the head to the other end is different. How best to explain it? On the BOPR aluminum V8, the intake ports of cylinders three and five (or two and four, if you're looking as the passenger side) are side-by-side. As I recall, on a small block Ford the pattern simply alternates intake-exhaust-intake-exhaust all the way down. As I recall, on a small block Chevy the intake ports of cylinders one and three are side-by-side, as are the intake ports on cylinders five-and-seven. So, even if Ford or Chevy heads bolted onto a Buick 215 block, cam lobes and manifold ports would still be mismatched to valves and head ports respectively, right? Someone jump in here and correct me if I'm confused.

In the meantime, here's a photo of a Ford (aftermarket) head, courtesy of our friend Pete Mantell. You can see the intake ports, and that they're pretty-much evenly spaced along the head. On a Buick/Rover head, the two middle ports would be closer together.

http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Images-V15-2/TechSession3-M.jpg


Mr. T
Tony Andrews
Kent Island, Maryland
(153 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:59PM

Main British Car:
'75 mgb, '74 grille, morspeed bumpers Rover 3.9

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Mr. T
Date: April 10, 2009 10:47PM

Jody - My rover 3.9 has buick 215 heads (8k miles on rebuild). If I can find some decent 4.0 heads, I'd be happy to sell you my buick heads.


Jperkins
Jody Perkins

(3 posts)

Registered:
04/10/2009 01:36PM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Jperkins
Date: April 11, 2009 02:33AM

I must have finally gotten someone who knew what they were doing at the rover dealership because they sent me to a sport and classics shop here in downtown OKC. here's the price comparison for you fellas.

Dealership set of stock, bare bones 215 heads: $3600.00 shipped in from Pennsylvania.

Sport & Classics set of 215 heads with all the goodies included/installed, already on hand: $300.00

if thats not a mixed signal on head value then i don't know what is.

Thanks Mr.T. If you find a set of 4.0 heads, then let me know and i'll take those 215 heads off your hands. i don't mind rebuilding a set of heads, just need the heads to rebuild. and i could always use a spare/back-up set, just incase Sport&Classic is jerkin my chain.

You fellows have been alot of help. just reading through the forums and your responses to my questions. I'll probably have more questions to come as i get deeper into the rebuild for this engine.


NixVegaGT
Nicolas Wiederhold
Minneapolis, MN
(659 posts)

Registered:
10/16/2007 05:30AM

Main British Car:
'73 Vega GT 4.9L Rover/Buick Stroker

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: NixVegaGT
Date: April 11, 2009 11:21AM

Yeah but just use a Ford 302 cam and your golden! LOL.


Sir Shelby
Markus Nolting

(1 posts)

Registered:
10/13/2017 03:01AM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: Sir Shelby
Date: October 13, 2017 03:07AM

Just for my understanding:
Does tha mean that all Buick 215 intake manifolds will fit on the 3,9 ltr. RV8 as well?
Thanks for any Feedback in that.

Regards
Markus



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3232 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 13, 2017 10:58AM

Yes, the Buick & Olds 215 intake manifolds are interchangeable with the Rover 3.5-4.6 manifolds.


jonpotvin
jon potvin
marietta, georgia
(10 posts)

Registered:
10/11/2017 09:49AM

Main British Car:


Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: jonpotvin
Date: October 13, 2017 07:11PM

Saw a reference above to Buick/Olds/Pontiac/Rover. The Olds heads are definitely different and that Ford head stuff is probably a corruption of a reference in the March 1985 Hot Rod Magazine article "Affordable Aluminum V8" to using Ford small block valves in the aluminum V8 (available on-line). That reference was for the Olds head. Good advice as the Ford valves were 1.67/1.44 and dirt cheap. Some Buick stuff. Dated material but a good pre-Rover read anyway.


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(57 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: 215 V8 engine heads VS range rover heads
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: October 18, 2017 03:36PM

Good advice for anyone looking for Rover V8 cylinder heads is to look on;
[www.ebay.co.uk]
or
[www.ebay.co.uk]
If Curtis is correct with the weights of the heads shipping would be;
[www.parcel2go.com]|75|30|30"etype=Default#/results

It looks like it would be possible to buy a pair of 3.5 heads and ship them to the USA for about $140
Philip


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