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ozeight

SEight 3.5L V8 engine failure - repair / replace?

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ozeight

So as you can tell from the title, yesterday did not end well... 

I've had my SEight for 6 months now and in that time have uprated the cooling system, sorted the brakes, fitted new wheels and have done a basic service - oil, filters etc. Not done anything on the engine apart from that. 

However while cruising home after a great day at Bedford Autodrome, the old V8 punched a hole in the side of the block, spitting lumps of metal on to the road. Presumably some sort of con rod failure - the RAC man suggested possible blocked or oil starved con rod bearing.

 

hole V8

hole

engine block failure point

engine Bay

 

 

- Is it worthwhile or even possible to repair the damaged block and rebuild the bottom end?

- If not, is it worth sourcing a new block and rebuilding the engine using my existing parts?

- Are the cylinder heads in my car completely standard, or uprated in the Westfield builds? How can I tell?

- Could I find a fully build engine and fit the cylinder heads etc from my existing engine? 

- Where's the best place to find spares / whole engines?

 

I do love the drama and performance of the V8 but more modern engines could 'add lightness' whilst providing a similar power output. As another option, how complicated would it be to replace it with a 2.0L Duratec for example, but keep the existing LT77 5-speed gearbox?

 

Anyway, I don't have the work space or time for a long term perfect rebuild project, I would just like to get it back on the road as soon as possible, hence coming here for some advice!

This is my first kit car so go easy on me, I have much to learn and any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers, Oscar

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pete g

look on ebay for rover v8 engines or even buy a complete discovery v8 cheap. would think your engine is scrap now

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Lawrie

As there are loads of old Rovers V8s about, a new half engine would be quick and simple.  One of the specialists could recommend uprated cams etc to make a serious difference, if you want to go faster (silly question)

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pete g

what you need also is a baffled sump if your tracking it probably why if failed they run very low oil pressure and you would have got oil surge

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6carjon

Hi Oscar. I did this to my car on a track day. If you can afford it then get v8developments to build you a new engine and definitely a baffled sump. If you want to save money then buy a standard engine and drive slower on the track and don't use sticky tyres ?

Bad luck and commiserations

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simon besant

I have a virtually new 4.6 short engine with high compression pistons in it

It made 333hp with a mild cam and some worked heads on

It knocked a big end out at Leyden hill a few years ago but I have got a new rod fitted and the crank has been reground

Pm me if your interested

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Lyonspride

You could get yourself a another one going dirt cheap (even scrap), but with a good block, strip it down to the block, take the block and your old engine to an engine builder. He'd be able to use whatever is still good and replace whatever is shot, drop it all into the new block and hopefully it won't cost as much as a full replacement.

 

This ^^ is what I did with the crossflow not long after I bought it (less than a week), some idiot had replaced a K&N spacer pin with 2 half sized pins (suspect R/R tuner that worked on it before I bought it), which then worked loose and found their way down to a piston. The result was a cracked block, 1x bent con rod, 1x destroyed piston, 2x broken valves and a fist sized hole in the alloy sump.

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SootySport

You'll loose all the lovely V8 noise and torque if you change over to a modern 4 pot engine.  It would also be a hell of a lot more work and expense.   This doctor says you need a V8 transplant, it's gonna be the quickest and cheapest even if a garage do it for you.

 

Sorry about the mishap on the old engine, you are not alone if you read through the Forum.

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Captain Colonial

Definitely replace with another V8.  The change to a four-cylinder would be expensive, time-consuming, and fraught with hidden costs mechanically, electrically and suspension-wise (it's currently set up at the front for something far heavier).  Also doable in 1 or 2 weekends, especially if a local member or two can help for beer tokens.  As said, baffled sump definitely required for track work to avoid repeats.  Sorry for your misfortune. :(

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ozeight

Thanks for all the informative comments, it sounds like I'm not the first to be in this situation by any means. 

Looks like I'll be sticking with the v8, but whether to rebuild myself or have an engine builder do the job, that is the question. 

How difficult is it to disassemble and rebuild one of these? With a build manual is this relatively straightforward or does it require lots of specialist knowledge and tools? I am an automotive design engineer by day and quite mechanically minded, but I don't have any experience of engine rebuilds.

 

Any ideas on where I could go to get the engine removed from the car, as I don't have an engine hoist unfortunately. I am in Essex, near Basildon.

 

Simon, PM sent. 330bhp would be hilarious...

 

Cheers,

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ozeight

You could get yourself a another one going dirt cheap (even scrap), but with a good block, strip it down to the block, take the block and your old engine to an engine builder. He'd be able to use whatever is still good and replace whatever is shot, drop it all into the new block and hopefully it won't cost as much as a full replacement.

 

This ^^ is what I did with the crossflow not long after I bought it (less than a week), some idiot had replaced a K&N spacer pin with 2 half sized pins (suspect R/R tuner that worked on it before I bought it), which then worked loose and found their way down to a piston. The result was a cracked block, 1x bent con rod, 1x destroyed piston, 2x broken valves and a fist sized hole in the alloy sump.

Very unfortunate, what happened to yours.

Sounds like a good plan to have an engine builder put it all back together, replacing the bits that need it. Any idea what this might cost on a v8 unit?

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ozeight

what you need also is a baffled sump if your tracking it probably why if failed they run very low oil pressure and you would have got oil surge

Does anyone use higher pressure oil systems, or does a baffled sump simply fix the problem completely?

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SootySport

I have a hoist and engine stand, just down the road from you.   Do you have a garage?

 

Smiths engines are at Burnt Mills and Benchsound are at Stanford le hope, ask them if they are familiar with Rover V8's. Maybe they'll give you a ball park figure for a re build.

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pete g

I have a 4.6 v8 developments engine spare in my garage that I might sell soon . 272bhp. :d

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6carjon

A baffled trap door sump works for most with track day tyres , mine was fine. If you want slicks then dry sump would probably be the best but its very expensive and removes passenger foot well or seat space !

Cheers jon

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