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V8 into swb series 2


Ben Spray
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Hi all...

Ok so as some may be aware I was looking to swap the engine on my 2a, I had the choice of a 200tdi or a v8, well the tdi has now gone so Im left with the v8 (I still feel the tdi would have been a better conversion for my use but hey looking forward to that v8 burble :-)

So before I even start I have some questions regarding the conversion, I have bought a (full hopefully) conversion kit second hand - not sure of its make but looks the same as most I have seen before with extended engine brackets, the usual alloy adapter ring, spigot bush, re-drilled flywheel, and what I believe to be a 101 oil pump housing ie turns the oil filter away from the front diff....

So my questions to get this totally straight (Ive read so many other posts but got a bit confused by all the options.. :-) and possibly compile a bit of a faq for V8 fitting in a series 2.

Currently the 2a is in original (read knackered) condition, its a Jan 1962 model, I plan to keep it looking as near to standard as poss but dont mind what mechanicals are underneath as such, Id basically like to rebuild it using the strongest series parts that I can whilst retaining its true ID as far as the DVLA are converned...

So Engine:

1) Do I need to remove the battery tray and filter tray thing..

2) I currently have quite a thick brass topped rad in there - do I need to change this? whatever I do rad wise I guess I will need to fit a 16" blower fan on the front.

3) on the v8 (3.9 out of a 1992 range rover) can I get away with a standard Range rover timing cover and water pump or do I need to source a p6 water pump and crank pulley etc, ie for clearance issues??

4) Am I likely to need an oil cooler for off road use just rtvs etc really, but could mean lots of slow driving so may lack cooling?

5) I have this spigot bush with the kit, do I still need to modify the crank on the v8?

6) I currently have the RR 3.9 cast headers and also a nice set of P38 stainless headers are either of these usable?

Drivetrain:

7) I have the standard 2a gearbox, I have heard that I have to get a series 3 bellhousing for the conversion? something to do with the clutch slave cylinder arrangement? if so what parts do I need to source and what is involved?

8) Sticking with standard gearbox / diffs but larger 7.50r16 tyres is it likely to be usable, ie top speed / comfortable speed etc for road use or do I need to look for an overdrive (are there any good ones left!) or perhaps an ashcroft high ratio transfer kit..? I dont really want to use range rover diffs even though I have a spare pair as I want to retain the low ratio for off road use.

9) How much power is the gearbox and drivetrain good for, I will be using a 3.9 with a 4 barrel weber, mallory ignition, torquemax cam etc am I likely to get trouble (went through the whole depends how you drive it thing with the tdi and general consensus was that a v8 is kinder to the drivetrain than a tdi but how much kinder :-)

10) Current plan is to get some later axles or at least just fit 11" brakes onto the current ones, are the later axles ie post 81 series 3 axles any stronger?

11) I looked into fitting the spare range rover axles (with series diffs) but looked far too much hassle (plus at that stage potential DVLA issues) so sticking with series axles are there any usefull parts off the range rover axles (ie calipers, hubs etc etc) towards a future disc brake upgrade that I should remove before I sell / scrap them.

Body mods

12) Is anything other than trimming the footwells required?

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Ben, a quick click of the "SEARCH" button could yield a lot of useful info :P

1) Do I need to remove the battery tray and filter tray thing..

Yes.

2) I currently have quite a thick brass topped rad in there - do I need to change this? whatever I do rad wise I guess I will need to fit a 16" blower fan on the front.

Probably - I ran a 3.9 with a reconned Series 3 rad and it just about coped, had 16" Mondeo fan on the front. A rad upgrade was high up the "want" list before I started the rebuild.

3) on the v8 (3.9 out of a 1992 range rover) can I get away with a standard Range rover timing cover and water pump or do I need to source a p6 water pump and crank pulley etc, ie for clearance issues??

Depends how you fit the engine & rad really - tape measures are wonderful things ;)

4) Am I likely to need an oil cooler for off road use just rtvs etc really, but could mean lots of slow driving so may lack cooling?

You can't have too much cooling. It's amazing how much difference they make too - a mate has a V8 110 which had a new engine, the garage (who shall remain nameless) didn't refit the oil cooler from the old engine and it overheated bigtime off-road.

5) I have this spigot bush with the kit, do I still need to modify the crank on the v8?

That depends on what "this spigot bush" is, again measuring is your friend :P

6 & 7)

See previous answer :rolleyes:

8) Sticking with standard gearbox / diffs but larger 7.50r16 tyres is it likely to be usable, ie top speed / comfortable speed etc for road use or do I need to look for an overdrive (are there any good ones left!) or perhaps an ashcroft high ratio transfer kit..? I dont really want to use range rover diffs even though I have a spare pair as I want to retain the low ratio for off road use.

I found mine was still revving more than it needed to with 3.54 diffs, overdrive and 7.50's... not sure what the answer is after that! Well, LT77/R80 and LT230 is my answer...

Low ratio was a little bit too high off-road for me with the 3.54 diffs.

9) How much power is the gearbox and drivetrain good for,

About 11hp. No, honestly - clicky.

...I will be using a 3.9 with a 4 barrel weber, mallory ignition, torquemax cam etc

Weber = will stall on side-slopes and use more fuel than concorde, not as powerful as even the Lucarse EFi either. Sell it to a racer (they still think EFI is the work of the devil) and stick a flapper EFi setup on (and then MegaSquirt it with the change :P )

Mallory = twice as complex/expensive as stock and from what I can find, they're no more reliable, just more bling. :( Fit 35DM8 and replace the external amp with something else, or a 35DLM8 from a Range Rover with the amp on the side.

...am I likely to get trouble (went through the whole depends how you drive it thing with the tdi and general consensus was that a v8 is kinder to the drivetrain than a tdi but how much kinder :-)

It does depend how kind you are, you can blow a gearbox in a day if you try, mine lasted years (god knows how) but as has been said they were designed for 11hp not 180.

10) Current plan is to get some later axles or at least just fit 11" brakes onto the current ones, are the later axles ie post 81 series 3 axles any stronger?

Not that I'm aware of. I have a set for sale (Stage 1 V8) with the bigger brakes, but the rear is a Salisbury (strong but won't bolt straight onto a SWB) and they are 3.54:1.

12) Is anything other than trimming the footwells required?

You will probably have to notch the chassis where the exhaust goes past on the LHS, new engine mounts (unless the kit has them), battery moved under the seat, new air filter (use a 110 V8 one they're huge).

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1) Do I need to remove the battery tray and filter tray thing..

Yes - relocate battery to under passenger seat.

2) I currently have quite a thick brass topped rad in there - do I need to change this? whatever I do rad

wise I guess I will need to fit a 16" blower fan on the front.

A series rad will just cool a v8, but only just! Its fine on the road, but off road my series always ran hot. Especially so when the rad was caked in mud! Even with a 16" kenlowe mine struggled. A flexi fan bolted to the water pump helped but the rad wasnt really big enough! Fit a 90 front end and you can fit a 90 radiator and end of problem.

3) on the v8 (3.9 out of a 1992 range rover) can I get away with a standard Range rover timing cover and water pump or do I need to source a p6 water pump and crank pulley etc, ie for clearance issues??

Yes it'll be fine but you'll need to cut the threaded boss for the viscous off if running the series rad as its too close for comfort.

4) Am I likely to need an oil cooler for off road use just rtvs etc really, but could mean lots of slow driving so may lack cooling?

Not really - see above - oil cooler will make bugger all difference at walking speed. It needs a bigger rad really!

5) I have this spigot bush with the kit, do I still need to modify the crank on the v8?

Yes, you still have to hacksaw the end off the crank. A horrible bodge IMHO. A better way to do it is to machine down the input shaft of your gearbox to fit the V8 spigot bush.

6) I currently have the RR 3.9 cast headers and also a nice set of P38 stainless headers are either of these usable?

No. You need the single outlet ones carbed ones. You can then buy an off the shelf exhaust to fit. Be warned that the Jake Wright system is the ONLY one that fits properly. Otherwise you're into making one up to suit.

Drivetrain:

7) I have the standard 2a gearbox, I have heard that I have to get a series 3 bellhousing for the conversion? something to do with the clutch slave cylinder arrangement? if so what parts do I need to source and what is involved?

Bellhousing, clutch release assembly - fork, push rod, bearing, slave cylinder etc. Suggest fitting a complete new clutch aswell.

8) Sticking with standard gearbox / diffs but larger 7.50r16 tyres is it likely to be usable, ie top speed / comfortable speed etc for road use or do I need to look for an overdrive (are there any good ones left!) or perhaps an ashcroft high ratio transfer kit..? I dont really want to use range rover diffs even though I have a spare pair as I want to retain the low ratio for off road use.

Rangie diffs are alot stronger than series ones and will correct the gearing. I ran 4.7's with 33" tyres and mine was under geared. Its fine with a 5th gear however.

9) How much power is the gearbox and drivetrain good for, I will be using a 3.9 with a 4 barrel weber, mallory ignition, torquemax cam etc am I likely to get trouble (went through the whole depends how you drive it thing with the tdi and general consensus was that a v8 is kinder to the drivetrain than a tdi but how much kinder :-)

About the power of an elastic band! The series 2 trans is stronger than a series 3 one and they're made of chocolate! I broke 3 in less than a year! Transfer box is bullet proof however. Thats with a standard 3.5 on Su's. With a tuned 3.9 your tranmission and axles wont last long........

10) Current plan is to get some later axles or at least just fit 11" brakes onto the current ones, are the later axles ie post 81 series 3 axles any stronger?

You will snap rear halfshafts like twiglets! Later (24 spline outer) ones are stronger but not that much stronger. Late 24spline outer fronts will be fine. Otherwise look at a salisbury back axle.

11) I looked into fitting the spare range rover axles (with series diffs) but looked far too much hassle (plus at that stage potential DVLA issues) so sticking with series axles are there any usefull parts off the range rover axles (ie calipers, hubs etc etc) towards a future disc brake upgrade that I should remove before I sell / scrap them.

Rangie rear parts can be used to disk brake convert the series back axle, but not the fronts. If you're gonna invest in a front end disk kit then they're worth holding on to. Otherwise unusable.

Body mods

12) Is anything other than trimming the footwells required?

No.

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Fit a 90 front end and you can fit a 90 radiator and end of problem.

You're sick :o

I'm sure there's other ways to get extra cooling without resorting to such distasteful practices on an innocent Series. And is a 90 rad be that much better when caked with mud? I'd go for a custom made one like Nige's, made to fit snug with the Series front end.

You will snap rear halfshafts like twiglets! Later (24 spline outer) ones are stronger but not that much stronger. Late 24spline outer fronts will be fine. Otherwise look at a salisbury back axle.

Preferably look at MY Stage 1 V8 Salisbury back axle what I'm selling :D

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You're sick :o

I'm sure there's other ways to get extra cooling without resorting to such distasteful practices on an innocent Series. And is a 90 rad be that much better when caked with mud? I'd go for a custom made one like Nige's, made to fit snug with the Series front end.

how can u say this isn't cute :huh:

ygkq92.jpg

td rad in front of series

ykdye3.jpg

this allows plenty of room behind rad to get twin fans in because i've removed the series radiator panel, this isn't mine btw

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how can u say this isn't cute :huh:

Awwwwww :rolleyes: I didn't say it wasn't cute (have you injected some kitten DNA into the EP90 to get it to pose like that?) just that there's a reasonable gap in a Series front end if you chop the cowling about to get a much larger rad in, and Series rads are not great at the best of times.

If it's a soft-top or truck cab I'd be inclined to stick a rad in the back, not gonna get clogged up. Mike B seems very happy with the one in his TC, and Petal's one cools the 2.8 nicely despite being (relatively) tiny:

ladoga_06_0377.jpg

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mine has a s3 diesel rad, which appears to help. Ive also got the electric fan and bonnet cutouts like D90.

Still doing shakedown runs at the moment, but it worked ok with a standard petrol rad (3core) so the diesel rad (4core) should help nicely.

Dont go down the 90 front end route, they look pants :D

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My recent conversion V8 for the Tonka

You'd never know it had a V8in it from looking at it:

IMG_6228.jpg

...the sound on the other hand.

I've got a RRC rad (narrowed) and integral oil cooler in there - and kept the engine driven fan. Hasn't shown any sign of overheating yet.

P9200246.jpg

P9200253.jpg

to do that, you need to go power steering as well. Mine is a Toyota box from a Cressida (80's predecessor to the Camry) and I believe they will be readily available in the UK. U-joint where the Series box is - out to PS box and a new pitman arm. I used the Toy PS pump and ran it off a double pulley on a military fan. Then you remove the Series relay (shag!) and sit the narrowed rad on the crossmember keeping the rad panel in stock position.

I think the Series gearbox will take the V8 as long as you treat it nicely. No need for all the tuning. Keep the stock cam and run the composite gasket. Run it on low octane petrol. Save the money and buy a cherry bomb "silencer" with the change... If you are hammering it at full welly through a mudpit, the box may well go 'boom' - but right now, it's your axles that will go 'ping' first.

It may work to pick up those Stage 1 axles. Better brakes and you should be fine with the Sals out back. I think you will find the 3.54 diffs too tall in low range though.

Alternatively, keep your existing axles and upgrade them to HD thru-hardened 4340 chrome-moly 30 spline halfshafts! (along with Toyota diffs and e-lockers!) Seriestrek 30 spline HD halfshafts

Seriously, for the money you get very strong halfshafts and a run down the scrappy will score you a set of Toy diffs or for not a huge amount more (less than Detroits) Toy diffs fitted with electronic lockers. You should be good through 35" tyres with these.

30spline.jpg

30front1.jpg

frontjoint.jpg

I know Jim Young (he of Seriestrek HD axles) and he is a top bloke and has done great work on these.

The Weber has issues. That's what I have (the carb and the issues). It runs rich and takes a lot of tweaking to tone it down and with factory needles and seats is sh1te off-camber. There are offroad needles and seats (8 quid) as well as a float adjustment (free) designed to address the latter. This weekend will be my first offroading "post adjustment" and I'll let you know how it goes.

Enjoy!

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Awwwwww :rolleyes: I didn't say it wasn't cute (have you injected some kitten DNA into the EP90 to get it to pose like that?) just that there's a reasonable gap in a Series front end if you chop the cowling about to get a much larger rad in, and Series rads are not great at the best of times.

If it's a soft-top or truck cab I'd be inclined to stick a rad in the back, not gonna get clogged up. Mike B seems very happy with the one in his TC, and Petal's one cools the 2.8 nicely despite being (relatively) tiny:

Diesels for some reason always seem to run cooler. My series on the origional rad never actually boiled up, but on a hot day it got very very hot, and when the rad got full of mud it again got very very hot. The 90 rad is better simply because it increases the cooling capacity so much!

Custom rads are all very well, but you need to supply suitable end tanks for them to build the core into. The other point is that a TD rad from paddocks is about £110. Phone anglo-european up for a quote on a custom rad, but make sure you're sitting down first! Niges IIRC was in the region of £300.......

Jon

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90 front end on a series? why not buy a 90 & put series doors on. same weird 'built from a pile of bits look' with less work. sorry but NO a series is a series, a 90 is a 90 dont mix them.

id expect an oil cooler to help the engine stay cool & work better when its hot as the oil will be closer to the correct temp. make sure the oil cooler is inline with the fan/got its own fan for maximum effect though. plus the extra oil to fill a cooler will help slow down how quick it heats up.

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90 front end on a series? why not buy a 90 & put series doors on. same weird 'built from a pile of bits look' with less work. sorry but NO a series is a series, a 90 is a 90 dont mix them.

id expect an oil cooler to help the engine stay cool & work better when its hot as the oil will be closer to the correct temp. make sure the oil cooler is inline with the fan/got its own fan for maximum effect though. plus the extra oil to fill a cooler will help slow down how quick it heats up.

They have little effect at low speed however and the fine gills in a mocal type cooler block with mud very easily.

Jon

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