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4.6 V8 rebuild.

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I've just bought a P38 needing engine work. It's been using water for a while but what finally stopped it was tappet noise which a garage diagnosed as a loss of oil pressure.

I decided that a full engine rebuild was the only way to go. I've not worked on a P38 before so was a bit aprehensive but it's actually not too bad to work on.

After stripping the top off the cause of the oil pressure loss and rattle became obvious;


The rocker wasn't seized on the shaft, so just a bad shaft I guess?

Spare nut also found inside!


A brand new M6 nyloc. I can only think it got in there when the lpg was fitted, and that was 35K ago!

Engine up and out. Surprisingly easy too.


Heads look in good order.


Head gasket blowing here.


Block cleaned off and pressure testing kit attached.


Lower away!


40 psi and no bubbles.


We'll try it in the hot tank tomorrow and see what that shows. Fingers crossed!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

More progress.

Liners are in and bored/ honed to size.

post-2781-127447612888_thumb.jpg post-2781-127447614286_thumb.jpg

Block faces skimmed flat true to the main bearings.


Valve guides fitted, heads skimmed, seats cut and valves ground.


Hopefully I can start cleaning and assembly tomorrow.

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Good work.

When i started reading it, my first thaught was "oh no, hes not going to do all that and not bother to install new liners" as these engines are that bad that its basically a case of when rather than if the cylinders start leaking.

As it turned out you had to anyway as it had already gone, so thats a good thing!

Its a bit of a shame really, as due to the block issues you basically need to do this work if you want a decent reliable 4.6 engine, and it really hurts the RV8 as a "good donor engine" in my eyes. The older ones are all worn out and arent particularly powerful, the newer ones all have block issues. Clearly now all this work is done it will be a good engine, and hopefully provide many years of pleasure.

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