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
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.