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Are RV8's really that good?


FridgeFreezer
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I've been mulling over different engine options for the 109 (yes I know the damn thing's not built yet!) and eyeing up the 4.6 that's going to go into it.

Now, that's a lovely engine - low-mileage factory recon 4.6 into which Nige and I have stuck a hi-torque cam, head studs, duplex timing gears, new lifters, pushrods, composite gaskets, and it will have tubular headers. It should be good for a relatively stress-free 250bhp/275lbft if you believe specs on paper. I'm hoping the liner-slip issue won't rear its ugly head as I will be fueling it with MegaSquirt not the factory emissions-conscious ECU which is said to cause lean running which leads to liner slippage.

The thing is it hasn't actually cost me anywhere near what it would sell for on eBay - and would give me a pile of cash which would more than cover a more interesting engine choice from a scrapper car like an old Jag or bimma.

Now on paper that sounds great - sell the 4.6 for strong money, knock a chunk off the credit card bill and buy a ratty old jag with a 3.6 I6 in it for a couple of hundred notes. Something different, cheap, modern, and powerful.

But.

I can find nothing of that ilk that makes as much sense as the V8 - this is helped by the low cost of replacing it if the worst should happen - £200 would get me a turnkey 3.5 and a few pennies more would bring a 3.9.

Looking at alternatives, none really better the power of the V8 - Jag 3.6/4.0 comes close at 200/200 and the BMW 3.5 I6 hits a similar spot - but then they're not designed for mud, neither are 100% bulletproof (is anything?) and I'll put money down that new bits for a BMW lump are going to cost more than the average order from Paddocks. Both are tunable to give more than the Rover, but that eats into the financial advantage somewhat as things like cams can't be whittled out of thin air.

Then you've got to hang the thing on a gearbox - easy with the Jag if you want the ZF Auto, not so easy if you want manual (I do). That could mean a lot of arse ache or a lot of money, and again you may end up with a box that is harder to replace than the average LR one. Sure an R380 isn't the ultimate box but then you're never more than a call to Ashcrofts away from a new one landing on your front doorstep for reasonable money.

My current thoughts are to super or turbocharge a Jag six-pot as they were designed as a diesel so are plenty strong enough, but does anyone know (given the close jag/LR heritage and their sharing of the BL parts bin) if it's reasonably possible to bolt the lump into a landy and keep a manual box within the realms of sensible money?

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flog the RV8

buy and import an LS1 for not a lot of money- although get a second hand 4L80e not the normal 4L60e that comes with most LS1s

if you ever wear it out then flog it as a rebuild job to the Cobra lot for not a lot less than you paid for it.

then either buy an adaptor to mate the 4L80e to the LT230 or have a look at these guys who seem to have a conversion to mate the LS1 direct to the ZF4 boxes.

clearly this plan doesn't come close to anything you mentioned above, but it is another option at least!

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I had considered an LS1, but that doesn't leave me with much, if any, change from the 4.6 byt the time I've joined it to a suitable gearbox - admittedly it leaves me with a lot more power, but I like the idea of something that's sub-£500 to replace and a wad of cash in the bank.

I also think the amount of power an LS1 has would lead to drivetrain upgrades, which means more £££.

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Jon, I stuck a jag 4.2 in front of my series box, still got the adapter kicking around that I made up for it somewhere. It was fun but not too difficult as I recall.

That said the big downside of the jag 6 is its length which on mine meant it overhung the front axle, I was then onto longer bumpstops or jacking the front of the engine up to ensure clearance on heavy landings. Shame really as the twin cam covers and triple SUs looked sweet in the engine bay. It is also quite a heavy lump.

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Ally LS1 very nice but as you say, there's a premium. Get an iron block 350 rebuild from a reputable US shop an you can easily get a 300/350 (all those cheap bolt ons this side of the pond) or RV cam it for torque, and the exchange rate alone will pay for the shipping. It's not that much heavier that a diesel 4 pot. Engine mounts available from Timm Cooper (wherever he is these days) and others. I'm no SBC fan but its power for money and there's no way you can't get a good'un for a lot less than a built 4.6.

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got a couple of friends in Utah, one runs an injected SBC and the other an LS1, they've got them sussed to the point they can almost run upside down :blink:

why not run an electronic auto on paddle shift? less ar*eache, that way you can have selctable lockup for launch and hill descent, pop gears as fast or slow as you like or flick it back into "lazy get" mode. If you are set on LS and manual then pick one up with a T56 already attached, shove a divorced LT230 in or buy an NV4500 and NP205/Atlas/Stak/Dana 300 family combo meal?

the stock 4L60E isnt as strong as a 4L80 but is effectively a more modern 700R4 so its not exactly feeble. I think issues come from septics re-powering 55 tonne US "sports" cars with LS1's and 4L60E's designed for 2000kgs and then tuning the potatoes out of it for more power.

or a cheap and cheerful Lexus lump? £900 gets 4ltrs of modern V8 and box with all the ECUs to go with it? or speak to schram and get another on the boat? there are a load of septic wierd motors that could be fun, fiero 3.6 supercharged V6? northstar? explorer? have a nose HERE

or you could see the light and get a proper engine - with economy, waterproof, sensible, epic sound on a straight through stack... you know you need diesel... 5.9 cummins or a Duramax? (HERE)

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I've been mulling over different engine options for the 109 (yes I know the damn thing's not built yet!) and eyeing up the 4.6 that's going to go into it.

Now on paper that sounds great - sell the 4.6 for strong money, knock a chunk off the credit card bill and buy a ratty old jag with a 3.6 I6 in it for a couple of hundred notes. Something different, cheap, modern, and powerful.

Have you been reading Practical Performance Car Mag then and their in-line 6 article for small dosh! ;)

Personally reckon the Jag V8 supercharged engine would be a nice swap - toyed with the idea of doing it to mine, but it would currently put it in the Proto classes. You can pick them up for approx £700 and they have more than 400BHP as standard. Bit heavy and a bit big, though.

H

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Schram? yes, really helpful guys. if they cant lay thier hands on something you need immediately they'll get it pretty quickly. usually have a lot of ultra low mileage stuff, the GTO they are shipping me at the mo is 1200miles on the clock.

I looked at the Jag charged 8s for a bit, they look pretty good but my (lack of) budget put me into the "can only afford an engine with nikasil liners" bracket, Aptec used to put a ceramic matrix on our nikasil linered bike race engines so getting round nikasil issues wasnt a technical problem, what was the issue was the £100 a barrel it would cost if the Jag 8 turned out to be a munter - too risky for me. Physically they are as big as a 2 bedroom bungalow (with detached garage). Add the price of a box that can cope and it was going to be around a Billion pounds to get sorted :( LS just did it all for peanuts

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I looked at the Jag charged 8s for a bit, they look pretty good but my (lack of) budget put me into the "can only afford an engine with nikasil liners" bracket, Aptec used to put a ceramic matrix on our nikasil linered bike race engines so getting round nikasil issues wasnt a technical problem, what was the issue was the £100 a barrel it would cost if the Jag 8 turned out to be a munter - too risky for me. Physically they are as big as a 2 bedroom bungalow (with detached garage). Add the price of a box that can cope and it was going to be around a Billion pounds to get sorted :( LS just did it all for peanuts

one more to add to the to do list then for ya then :)

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Following on from Jez's comment about Lexus V8's, also dont forget the BMW 3.0 and 4.0 V8's that replaced the old 3.5 straight sixes, from the mid 90's.

Also worth a possible punt would be a merc V8, aka the G Wagen 500?

Big old S class Merc Donors are peanuts on ebay!!

Another alternative big six would be the 2.5 & 3.0l Volvo 960 24v motors, again rwd, have a good reutation for lasting and i believe went on to a ZF.

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Have you been reading Practical Performance Car Mag then and their in-line 6 article for small dosh! ;)

Personally reckon the Jag V8 supercharged engine would be a nice swap - toyed with the idea of doing it to mine, but it would currently put it in the Proto classes. You can pick them up for approx £700 and they have more than 400BHP as standard. Bit heavy and a bit big, though.

H

So would that affect my Tomcats class.

mmmmmmm 400bhp mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

you may need more Ambulances for the BORC

:lol:

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So would that affect my Tomcats class.

mmmmmmm 400bhp mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

you may need more Ambulances for the BORC

:lol:

Spot on for you Jules - I just want to stay in the Super Production classes. :D

Good point about Nikosil liners though, it could get a bit pricey if you bought a dud-un. Good value power if you get it right though.

H

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All these are good on paper - but I don't like having too much invested in any major part of the vehicle as then if something Bad happens you're not staring down a big bill. A Jag lump, like a RV8, can be replaced with something that runs for <£500 from eBay/Freeads/Scrappy. An LS1 is a chunk of cash and an agonising wait for the container ship to be beached on the south coast :ph34r:

Wankels are different but revvy, IMHO a good choice for a SWB or lightweight "thing" but I think I'd want more grunt personally.

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thats the only disappointment I can forsee with an LS1 John - reliability, theres no fun in an engine that wont randomly breakdown for a variety of quaint and charming reasons, although if it happens Fedex can ship in 2 days anywhere in the world - theres rumours that soon we will be able to talk to the colonies via an eletrical/pneumatic device called a "telphone-a-vator", cant see it myself but you never know

luddite.... hurse building.. ox cart...

did you still want the bailing attachment or plough?

:P

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