P6 Trans­mis­sion

Classics Monthly - - Staff Diaries -

When I took out the badly run­ning V8 from the Rover P6 3500 I looked at the cost of over­haul­ing and up­grad­ing and de­cided it would be cheaper to swap it for a later fuel-in­jected Range Rover mo­tor. A bit of on­line re­search showed I could go up to a 4.6 for only a cou­ple of hun­dred pounds. Dou­ble the power and bet­ter econ­omy... why wouldn’t you?

So I bought a mid ’90s GEMS 4.6 on­line, ap­par­ently in good work­ing or­der with lower miles than the P6 for just £325 de­liv­ered. All I’d need to do is swap the SD1 vis­cous fan front plate from the P6 en­gine, and some sug­gested the sump would need to be swapped to clear the front cross­mem­ber. The only big de­ci­sion was whether to fit the old SU car­bu­ret­tors (cheap), go for big per­for­mance carbs (less cheap) or find an ECU to man­age the en­gine (ex­pen­sive but the best re­sult), which af­ter more re­search I did.

How­ever, as it was all com­ing to­gether I chanced upon the fact that the 4.6 would shred my gear­box and diff. The Aus­tralian builds I’d been look­ing at on­line al­ready had tougher com­po­nents from the fac­tory. This is a very big span­ner in the works, and will take more head scratch­ing

and ex­pense.

Back to the draw­ing board and I’d re­ally like to use the car this year so as a less slow fix I or­dered a per­for­mance cam, new lifters, tim­ing parts and gas­kets and set about strip­ping the 3.5 V8. Hope­fully this will have it up and run­ning while I find parts to do the 4.6 con­ver­sion later, and I’ll still have a nice 3.5 to bor­row for any other projects. I built a dolly to move my 2-litre en­gine when it was out, but un­der the V8 with at­tached gear­box the cas­tors broke, so I bought some heav­ier-duty ones and smaller sec­ond cart to sup­port the box, mean­ing I can roll it out to work around it and tuck it back un­der the bench when I’m done.

It came apart eas­ily enough, and I’m care­fully keep­ing all the parts in or­der with plenty of card­board and scrib­bling. I’m cur­rently stuck on the front plate, aside from one bro­ken stud on the water pump and have taken out all the bolts I can find, even the ones hid­den un­derneath, but will it move? Nope, it may as well be welded in place - any sug­ges­tions to budge it will be grate­fully re­ceived!

As win­ter ap­proached I re­alised the Rover Tom­cat was the only one of my cars not un­der any cover and as it’s cur­rently rot-free, apart from a cou­ple of bub­bles start­ing on the arch cor­ners, I want to keep it in good shape so be­fore the weather turned too wet and frosty I called up Hamil­ton Clas­sic to get a breath­able out­door cover.

I’ve used one of their thick multi-lay­ered Mol­tex cov­ers be­fore and been im­pressed with it so wanted the same again to pro­tect the 220. It turns out the car is sur­pris­ingly large as it’s based on a fam­ily sa­loon plat­form and quite tall with its spoiler so I had to go for quite a large cover.

I gave the car a re­ally good wash, wax and pol­ish, dry­ing it off with Hamil­ton’s Ab­sorber chamois to get the damp out of the car be­fore win­ter. As I and oth­ers own­ers on the Tom­cat fo­rum had no­ticed these cars seem to get very damp in­side over win­ter, so I put in a mois­ture trap to col­lect con­den­sa­tion and keep the damp at bay.

As it was all com­ing to­gether I chanced upon the fact that the 4.6 would shred my gear­box and diff

P6’s orig­i­nal en­gine is out but planned 4.6 con­ver­sion has hit a snag.

Card­board has been used to or­gan­ise parts from the 3.5.

Re­place­ment valveg­ear has al­ready been pur­chased.

Sa­loon-based Rover 220 coupe re­quired a larger than ex­pected cover.

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