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Turbo Charging the Range Rover 3.5 V8 Engine


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Turbos generally lend themselves to easier packaging, and much easier routing of pipework for intercoolers etc. They also tend to provide a much nicer power curve for a landrover IMO. A supercharger will tend to give a very linear climb, making it a bit "top-endy". A turbocharger (thats sized correctly) will spool hard around 2k and give you a huge wodge of torque from there on.

A pair of tiny turbos, something like the K03 used on the VAG 1.8T engines, or maybe something even smaller if you can find it, will provide a lag free 300hp with ease.

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Aragorn, we seem to have touched on this before somewhere, albeit in a diesel sense, but depending on type of supercharger you get torque from low down easily... but I digress.... :)

 will provide a lag free 300hp with ease.

Yeah, and a free plastic bucket to pick up what's left of your V8!

Getting 300BHP out of the Rover is hugely expensive, really really not worth it IMHO.

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you dont think the block would handle 300hp?

I've heard people say 300hp was expensive to achieve, but i assumed that meant trying to get it thru natrually aspirated methods of tuning, rather than the block itself being unable to handle it.

Decent spec N/A 3.5's can make 170-180hp, you probably wouldnt even need to push a bar down its throat to get 300hp from it, assuming the block itself didnt self-destruct.

I just dont really like superchargers, and while yes it might be possible to get torque from a SC, i just find turbos give a much better all round package. Your using waste energy to drive them, they're easier to control and shape the boost curve with, generally more efficient, and easier to intercool.

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I would be relatively certain non-crossbolted mains, the smaller con rod bearings and stock pistons wouldn't handle it.

In fact, I knew I had seen something somewhere..... TVR Power supercharge your stock cross-bolted 4.0l to 275BHP, if they could safely get more I suggest they would :) 

And don't start that 'turbos using waste power argument again', that was done to death ages ago ;):P

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Dont agree.

The RV8 will take 300 BHP no problem at all (either cross-bolted OR non cross-bolted). The size of the mains have nothing to do with it. What will kill the standard engine (small OR big mains) is excessively high revs.. If you can make that 300 BHP keeping within reasonable revs ie 6000 - 6500 RPM you will have NO probs..

Im sure a few 4.6 owners on here will testify to that..

What you need to take care of if you plan to turbocharge is to make sure you have low enough compression or you WILL need that plastic bucket for the broken parts...

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Isnt the compression ratio spectacularly low on these engines anyway?

A lot of OEM's seem to run around 9-9.5:1 on factory turbocharged engines, and even the "high compression" landrover engines are only 9.6:1?

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What you have to remember is that these engines turbocharged from the factory are designed from scratch to run with these pressures in mind.

The RV8 was not...

9.5 : 1 is a very healthy compression ratio for a standard RV8 but i guarantee you, if you attempt to turbo at this compression you may as well weigh-in what you have left to the scrappy because you will be left with a bucket of bits...

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If you want big BHP then start with something that makes big BHP, otherwise you're into the law of diminishing returns. If you believe the hype, the 4.6 will make ~280 with a few tweaks but beyond that it's really not worth throwing money at the thing when you can buy something like an LS, Vortec etc. which makes loads more power out of the box with no stress.

Sure there are racers claiming more from Rover 8's and there are even some that I would believe, but that doesn't make it a practical prospect.

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Even the '90's Chevy 5.7 Vortec makes 255bhp / 330lbft and can be purchased for beer money. Ok, it's all iron and weighs the same as several RV8s, but you'll work hard to get that torque out of a Rover, and by the time you have you could have alloy heads for the Vortec, or an LS producing over 400bhp.

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There is no reason you can't reliably turbocharge the Rover V8 even starting from an early 3.5 lump,

Just ask Nick Mann who squeezed about 500 ponies out of his in the early 80's,

But you pay for what you get!!

People calling anything about modded Landrovers Practical are missing the point or under some illusion :lol::lol::lol:

Come on, LANDROVER!!! :lol::lol:

It seems that as you want to turbo your RRC the purpose is not to build a race car, but just to have some good power?

If this is so then you could get away with running low boost of say 0.5 bar on a fairly standard engine, (read: freshly built to standard 8:1cr spec and "Felpro" head gaskets) but you would need to be careful with ignition timing and fuel mix etc. and Use and intercooler!!

Over this and you will be looking at special pistons as a minimum, and going toward the need for the later heavy duty TVR type blocks etc if you want to go further.

It is possible if you want a lot of work and it would be fun but as others have said, there are easier ways!!

Personally I would go buy a 4.6 from a scrappy, have top hat liners fitted and rebuild it well etc. 250bhp and a good bit of torque would easily be found and your RRC would be a dream drive coupled to a good ZF auto box!! You could even run it with Carbs if you wanted!!


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My Dad once went along as an extra pair of eyes to see a 101 for sale with someone looking to buy their first one. It turned out it was running LPG only (I think) and was turbo charged.

Not sure where it was located though, but might be interesting to find out :D

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

Janspeed did quite a few.

I have a Janspeed Single Turbo that has been very reliable, thirsty though. I did 5000 miles last year with it and had no problems. being a single turbi it has quite a bit of lag put the boot into it and wait then it hits you pretty hard. Mine has an aftermarket top mount intercooler on it.


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