Rover V8 engine strip
We visit JE Developments to find out how to take this lovely lump to bits
Richard Eales takes you through the process
The Rover V8 is one of the true gems in British motoring history. Starting out as a Buick engine, the rights and tooling for the 215 cubic-inch unit were bought in 1965 and it started making appearances in Rover cars soon after.
An all-aluminium construction meant the V8 was very light and therefore well suited to Rover’s saloon cars – it weighed less than some of the four-cylinder units of the time. It didn’t take long for the company to realise that the compact and powerful Rover V8 would work well in a 4x4, and it debuted in the Range Rover when it was launched in 1970, with great results.
Since then, the venerable V8 has lent itself well to luxury, sports and race cars, as well as making up part of the engine option list in Land Rovers all the way up to 2004, being dropped when production of the Discovery 2 ceased. Because it ran for such a long time, the aftermarket is rich with rebuild and tuning parts, which is great for anyone hoping to refresh their engine or squeeze a bit more power out of it.
The engine we’re working on here is the 4.2-litre EFI unit, from the Range Rover Autobiography that James Taylor is documenting in the Big Project series. The Range Rover has covered just over 100,000 miles, and although the engine was running, there was a lot of top-end lifter noise. John Eales tells me this is quite common on engines of this mileage, and we can expect to find worn lifters, along with significant camshaft wear.
Once the engine’s stripped right down, the components will be sorted and we’ll determine what will be re-used and what will be replaced before all the good bits are cleaned up to as-new condition.