The Rover V8 began life as the Buick 215, an all-aluminum OHV push rod engine. It was introduced in 1960, for the 1961 US model year, though it had been on their drawing boards since the late 1950’s. In 1964, Land Rover bought rights to this motor from Buick and had their way with it.
Over the years, Rover group played around with cylinder bore size and stroke, changing the engine from 3.5L to 5.2L. You could find a Rover V8 in some form or another in almost any Land Rover from Series 2, Rover V8 Light and Compact, right up to the 2004 Land Rover Discovery, however, they have many potentially problems.
Depending which engine is in your vehicle, you could be open to a series of short falls and reliability issues. Luckily, all the factory issues can be cured with a little TLC. When built right a Rover V8 is extremely reliable and long lasting!
What are the Issues?
The answer to this varies greatly depending on the vehicle and year of production. One universal issue with Rover V8’s is head gaskets. Since these are all-aluminum engines, there is a huge amount of expansion and contraction between the heads and the block during each and every heat cycle. Thanks to today’s composite head gaskets and ARP head studs to limit bolt stretch, we have seen rebuilt heads last twice as long as factory motors. By combining new tech and parts with good workmanship, ensuring that both the block and heads have a mirror finish, you can safely expect over 200,000KM on your head gaskets!
Here is a issue that keeps both Discovery 1 and 2 owner up at night. (Though more common in Disco 2’s) Slipped lines and cracked blocks. It’s clear engine production at Land Rover had some rough stages. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the cracked liner issue.
What is this and how do you fix it? This issue presents itself in 2 ways. You may have a cylinder liner come loose and cause knocking inside the motor. This may or may not be accompanied with overheating. Or you have a overheating issue. This may come and go, happening at odd times with no real explanation.
Since this presents very much like a head gasket issue, most mechanics would stop looking there but those in the know will question whether the block has cracked behind the cylinder liners allowing exhaust gases to fill the cooling system causing an air bubble which stops coolant flow though the top hose.
When we build engines, we don’t take the risk! We correct this on all 4.0 and 4.6 engines we work on by installing T TOP liners. This means that the head gasket seats to the steel of the liner VS seating to the block. As a result, exhaust gases can no longer escape into the coolant. This also means that the cylinder liners are clamped into place so that slipped lines are no longer possible.
There are many other common issues that haunt the Rover V8 but we are familiar with all of them all and equipped to correct them. We will seriously improve the odds that you will have a great, long lasting, and positive experience with your Rover V8.
Prices: Range From 4500-7500$ CAD depending on the block and application. We also offer performance builds. Please visit the contact us to request more information!