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130 V8 runs like poo...

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Hello all!

Right, our work vehicle is an ex army 130 3.5 v8 1990 now converted to a tipping back (tree surgery truck) she's an old dog who's worked very hard (currently on about 100k miles) the engine seems to be lacking a lot of power considering its a v8 and im pretty sure she could be improved. What im wondering is how and where do I start to tune it up to get maximum power out of it? Is it worth taking it to an expert to sort it out? Its cuurently running on gas as the petrol does not run properly, something to do with the carb needles apprantaly. Id love to restore her back to her former glory and get her runninmg at full strength otherwise we might have to start looking at a new vehicle... :(

Any info would be greatly appreciated as I know very little about the v8 engines. She's always carrying a lot of weight probably pushing its 3.5tn limit as well as towing a chipper so having a sluggish engine means it struggles, or is this normal for the engine?

Cheers!

Tom.

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Give it a proper service, set everything up properly (carbs & dizzy included) and see if that helps.

If it's still carp then something's worn out.

If it's still too slow after that, join the 20th century and MegaSquirt it :P

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Hello all!

Right, our work vehicle is an ex army 130 3.5 v8 1990 now converted to a tipping back (tree surgery truck) she's an old dog who's worked very hard (currently on about 100k miles) the engine seems to be lacking a lot of power considering its a v8 and im pretty sure she could be improved. What im wondering is how and where do I start to tune it up to get maximum power out of it? Is it worth taking it to an expert to sort it out? Its cuurently running on gas as the petrol does not run properly, something to do with the carb needles apprantaly. Id love to restore her back to her former glory and get her runninmg at full strength otherwise we might have to start looking at a new vehicle... :(

Any info would be greatly appreciated as I know very little about the v8 engines. She's always carrying a lot of weight probably pushing its 3.5tn limit as well as towing a chipper so having a sluggish engine means it struggles, or is this normal for the engine?

Cheers!

Tom.

Hi Tom,

You shouldn't have any trouble with a health V8 in an ex-army 130 even at 100K miles (should be good for double that) if it's been looked after. My 1994 Defender V8 130 will cruise quite happily at the legal limits on the flat full laden and towing a Range Rover on a Trailer. It does pay to keep the revs up a bit (about 2500rpm) as you approach hills, so you need to change down in plenty of time. If it gets below 2000rpm it tends to bog down a bit and struggle to get back up to speed. But it will chug up even some of the steeper hills we find in Cumbria at a fairly respectable 30mph in 2nd, if you have to drop into 1st it can be a struggle to get the revs up high enough to make the change to 2nd without bogging down, so from a standstill on a hill it can be wise to use Low Box until you clear the hill (but be careful you don't spin the wheels in 1st if you have Mud Tyres like me).

If it doesn't like running on Petrol as well then you must have problems somewhere. If you run it a lot on LPG I have heard that the various moving parts in the Carbs can wear out because they are not being washed in Petrol. I have heard this can be a particular problem for people who experience fine dust (that gets past the filters). I have noticed this myself, after a long time running on just LPG it doesn't like Petrol for a while until the Petrol has cleaned off all the rubbish (a bit of a Catch 22). But if it isn't running well on LPG then you must have problems elsewhere as well (assuming the LPG is set up correctly).

Another possibility at 100K miles is that the Cam is worn, shouldn't be a problem if it has always had the required Oil changes with a decent Oil but I have heard of some batches of 'soft cams' being about. It should be a fairly simple job for someone who knows what they are doing to check you are getting the right amount of lift at the valves.

That's about all I can think of for now, apart from the giving it a total service.

I like FridgeFreezers idea of MegaSquirting it ;) to solve the problem, how does that work with LPG?

Hope you get it sorted, the RV8 is an excellent engine (when it's working as it should).

Colin.

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I remember driving an Army V8 110 in my youth. I was very dissapointed with it's performance considering it was a V8. It just didn't seem to rev above a certain limit. I seem to remember someone said that the Army fitted restricters to the carbs to stop enthusiastic driving. Quite what the restrictors were I do not know but, it's worth a look.

HTH

Ivan

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If it doesn't like running on Petrol as well then you must have problems somewhere. If you run it a lot on LPG I have heard that the various moving parts in the Carbs can wear out because they are not being washed in Petrol. I have heard this can be a particular problem for people who experience fine dust (that gets past the filters). I have noticed this myself, after a long time running on just LPG it doesn't like Petrol for a while until the Petrol has cleaned off all the rubbish (a bit of a Catch 22). But if it isn't running well on LPG then you must have problems elsewhere as well (assuming the LPG is set up correctly).

Depending on the LPG setup, you may have a vacuum pipe connected to the top of each carb. The purpose of this is to lift the needle clear of the jet when running on gas. As mentioned, if the needle is in the closed position in the jet and no petrol is present it will rattle around and wear the jet to an oval shape. Consequently when you try to run on petrol the mixture will be very rich and it'll run like a pig.

I like FridgeFreezers idea of MegaSquirting it ;) to solve the problem, how does that work with LPG?

I am not that knowledgeable on MegaSquirt yet, however I think that if you run carbs and LPG MegaJolt might be more useful/simpler.

Hope you get it sorted, the RV8 is an excellent engine (when it's working as it should).

Totally agree :)

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I remember driving an Army V8 110 in my youth. I was very dissapointed with it's performance considering it was a V8. It just didn't seem to rev above a certain limit. I seem to remember someone said that the Army fitted restricters to the carbs to stop enthusiastic driving. Quite what the restrictors were I do not know but, it's worth a look.

HTH

Ivan

Yes Ivan, I think you are right about the Army V8 110's, they had restrictors (i think they were just metal rings fitted to the Carb inlets to make the Carbs perform like smaller ones).

However I was under the impression that the Rapier Tractors (being heavier and expected to tow/carry much more weight) were left un-restricted) but I may be wrong.

Perhaps a REME (or ex-) VM would like to confirm this (or let me know I don't know what I'm talking about ;) ).

Colin.

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Ok so a service is the first step as I know for a fact it isn't serviced regularly. The lack of high end revs is true, and I was quite dissapointed at its performance. It runs ok on gas, but it never gets run on petrol so it makes sense what your all saying about the carb needles. When is cold its completely rubbish, cuts out when the revs drop, once warm its not too bad, but as soon as the engine cools down its coughing and spluttering.

What is megasquirt andmegajolt? ive never even heard of them. Ive only had diesel landrovers so i know nothing about petrols, apart from ive heard the v8's are meant to be good engines when running properly!

Tom.

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Ok so a service is the first step as I know for a fact it isn't serviced regularly. The lack of high end revs is true, and I was quite dissapointed at its performance. It runs ok on gas, but it never gets run on petrol so it makes sense what your all saying about the carb needles. When is cold its completely rubbish, cuts out when the revs drop, once warm its not too bad, but as soon as the engine cools down its coughing and spluttering.

What is megasquirt andmegajolt? ive never even heard of them. Ive only had diesel landrovers so i know nothing about petrols, apart from ive heard the v8's are meant to be good engines when running properly!

Tom.

When you say 'as soon as the engine cools down its coughing and spluttering', do you mean after it has warmed up & been running a while? or just when you stop the engine and let it cool down?. If the former it sounds like you have an over cooling engine that needs sorting, let us know & I'm sure we can all put our collective heads together & suggest a few remedies.

I have trouble running from cold during very cold or very damp weather but once the temperature is up it runs fine and stays that way until it gets very cold again. In very cold or very damp weather I often resort to running on petrol for a few miles (but watch out for the 'Catch 22' I mentioned earlier).

From what I've read 'Megasquirt' is a modern Fuel Injection system and 'Mejajolt' a 'state of the art' ignition system but their are a lot more qualified people around here than me to tell you about both of them.

Colin.

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I remember driving an Army V8 110 in my youth. I was very dissapointed with it's performance considering it was a V8. It just didn't seem to rev above a certain limit. I seem to remember someone said that the Army fitted restricters to the carbs to stop enthusiastic driving. Quite what the restrictors were I do not know but, it's worth a look.

HTH

Ivan

Possibly fitted with one of these:

f496_1.JPG

Speed limiting rotor arm. Made by Lucas part No 54424875

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would it make any difference if someone had swapped it for a low comp 3.5?? its the kind of thing that happens.

my mates ex mil v8 is unhappy working at low gear and revs if its been running alot of lpg.

also, who did your tipper conversion? i wouldnt just bin her as they're a damn good machine-much better then the new ford transits. just change the engine.

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would it make any difference if someone had swapped it for a low comp 3.5?? its the kind of thing that happens.

my mates ex mil v8 is unhappy working at low gear and revs if its been running alot of lpg.

also, who did your tipper conversion? i wouldnt just bin her as they're a damn good machine-much better then the new ford transits. just change the engine.

they definately have restricters in them i will ask where( i thought in the exhaust manifold ).we always had trouble withe the heal on the points wearing out every five minites and therefore the points not opening the correct amount but they would miss and spluter and on ocaision explode the rear silencer like a bannana.

spot on about the fuel not lubricating the carbs when running on lpg (runs hotter too)you should run on petrol occaisinally.i have also seen the carbs bunged up witha sort of laquer residue from the old petrol which has evaporated from the float bowl.

some one told me when on lpg the timing is retarded or advanced either way is is optimen for lpg but not petrol so probibly altered automatic on modern stuff

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they definately have restricters in them i will ask where( i thought in the exhaust manifold ).we always had trouble withe the heal on the points wearing out every five minites and therefore the points not opening the correct amount but they would miss and spluter and on ocaision explode the rear silencer like a bannana.

spot on about the fuel not lubricating the carbs when running on lpg (runs hotter too)you should run on petrol occaisinally.i have also seen the carbs bunged up witha sort of laquer residue from the old petrol which has evaporated from the float bowl.

some one told me when on lpg the timing is retarded or advanced either way is is optimen for lpg but not petrol so probibly altered automatic on modern stuff

I still seem to remember hearing that the Rapier Tractors were un-restricted due to their role and that they were intended to be driven by more responsible drivers (that may have just been a wind-up or an 'in joke' as that was not my field of expertise). Of course that doesn't mean to say that some didn't get restricted engine if they were ever in short supply of un-restricted ones.

Yep your right about timing, ideally LPG needs about 6 degrees more advance to run at it's best because it's slower burning and higher octane that normal '2 Star' petrol that they were intended to run on. I think the Military engines were even required to be able to run on some decidedly dodgy fuel.

Colin.

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I still seem to remember hearing that the Rapier Tractors were un-restricted due to their role and that they were intended to be driven by more responsible drivers (that may have just been a wind-up or an 'in joke' as that was not my field of expertise). Of course that doesn't mean to say that some didn't get restricted engine if they were ever in short supply of un-restricted ones.

Yep your right about timing, ideally LPG needs about 6 degrees more advance to run at it's best because it's slower burning and higher octane that normal '2 Star' petrol that they were intended to run on. I think the Military engines were even required to be able to run on some decidedly dodgy fuel.

Colin.

FWIW:

I have an ex-Navy 127 Ambulance with a V8. It goes as fast as my bowels and wallet want! The army ambulances were restricted.

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Sorry for the late response, ive been working away (in the truck). The bloomin thing ran out of gas in the week and it wouldn't run on petrol so had to get recovered :angry: but its clear now why it wouldnt run on petrol.

My colleague was telling me that when it does run on petrol it runs much better, so does this tally with what your saying? Any ideas where this restrictor might be?

To be fair to the machine it did well this week and I was starting to like it, until I discovered nowhere sells LPG, then I fell out with it again.

Not sure who did the conversion on it, it was bought as it is. It holds a lot of stuff but when its fully loaded its over the legal weight limit, so it seems a bit pointless to be able to carry it, which is why I would prefer a 110 (diesel).

Just out of interest any ideas of how much it would be worth?

Tom.

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restrictor is in the carb. i wouldnt worry about overloading it-no one else seems to

are you running it with a chipper or dicing in the back of it.

value wise its hard to say. dependant upon condition etc. but theres a company selling newly converted 130 tipper backs for 8 or 9 grand plus vat. thats with a 300tdi or td5 i believe. you do see them going second hand for as much as 6 grand but its a bit fickle.

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Get it serviced, then get it to an expert on carbs.

The biggest enemy of a V8 is a poor service regime. The carbs can be ficcle and should be checked reguarly wit hsomthing along the lines of a colour tune, two colour tunes, one in each bank is easiest.

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If it has restrictors fitted (which to my knowledge - EX REME Tiffy - it will) they are in the inlet manifold just inboard of the carbs, (one each side) - they are a cast steel lump with 4 small venturii's cast into them to reduce the volume of the inlet and thus the amount of air/fuel mix it'll gulp down. They are held in with snap rings and sharp tug with some pliers will have them out - BUT you will definately need to get the carbs re-tuned after doing it - it will run like a total dog otherwise - based on experience of both military trucks and my own Stage One V8 that was also 'de-restricted' by me.

I've still got one of the ones from my S1V8 in the shed so can take a piccy of it if you need to see what you're looking for.........

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If it has restrictors fitted (which to my knowledge - EX REME Tiffy - it will) they are in the inlet manifold just inboard of the carbs, (one each side) - they are a cast steel lump with 4 small venturii's cast into them to reduce the volume of the inlet and thus the amount of air/fuel mix it'll gulp down. They are held in with snap rings and sharp tug with some pliers will have them out - BUT you will definately need to get the carbs re-tuned after doing it - it will run like a total dog otherwise - based on experience of both military trucks and my own Stage One V8 that was also 'de-restricted' by me.

I've still got one of the ones from my S1V8 in the shed so can take a piccy of it if you need to see what you're looking for.........

Piccys are always nice :D . I wouldn't mind seeing what they look like just in case I have the mis-fortune of getting a restricted one some time.

Colin

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I am almost certain the rapier was like some other rare models, and were supplied un restricted. the resticters are in the air intake of the Carb, and will either need machining out, or replaced with a set of carbs off of a range rover, unfortunately I no longer own any v8's so cant help with a photo.....

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Possibly fitted with one of these:

f496_1.JPG

Nah mate they only go in FFRs, well as far as my guinness adlled brain recalls :lol: Besides, any Army mechanic worth his salt would have taken a yellow hand-bag off the crew and aralidted the sliding contact in place many years ago! Ahem, not that I would kow anything about that kind of thing you understand.........

As for the restrictors, they look like this: First one shows it from the front - crikey - how much volume is lost there then, a good 60% I'd say! Second shows the snap ring, third shows the back end, fourth something less interesting, possibly the overall lenght of the things. They just pull out with long-nose pliers in 2 of the holes and yank.........

post-2722-1239120207_thumb.jpg

post-2722-1239120221_thumb.jpg

post-2722-1239120238_thumb.jpg

post-2722-1239120249_thumb.jpg

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Nah mate they only go in FFRs, well as far as my guinness adlled brain recalls :lol:

As for the restrictors, they look like this: First one shows it from the front - crikey - how much volume is lost there then, a good 60% I'd say! Second shows the snap ring, third something else, fourth the back side. They just pull out with long-nose pliers in 2 of the holes and yank.........

Cheers great pics.

Blimey, they are restrictive, I guess there is no missing the fact they are fitted with the effect they must have on performance.

I should think you could just have a Switch for the Throttle either On Full or Tickover.

Colin.

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Yeah spot on - thats why I used to get so handsomely rewarded for taking the damn things out! Same with the rev-limiting rotor arm - crews would always be asking for us to glue them in so they could get a bit more out of the trucks when towing Rapiers........

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