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V8 conversion for Excel


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I've heard the story about the bore centres once before, might have been on the previous forum. I don't know if it is true, but I wonder if it might have sprung from people seeing the picture above and coming to their own conclusion?

I would imagine that the 909 is more of a screamer than a torquer given its 16 valve configuration and wide port sizes. It's power band and upper rev speed is probably much more in keeping with the gearing of the eclat/elite than the Rover V8 is.

The Rover V8 head design doesn't flow that well and limits the engines high speed breathing. Coupled with the requirement for a low rise manifold to fit it in under the bonnet, it tends to keep the bulk of the usable power under 5500rpm. Very few Rover V8's are screamers and those that are use tall single plane inlet manifolds.

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If I was too change the engine, I would look for something the returns some decent mpg figures also.

Though I like anything original, the 912 engine does nothing to inspire me enough to keep it.

I have just spent the money and uprated it to around 200+ but even after that the mpg is still very very poor and the power curve is very short, no torque, carburetta coughing occasionally. Going for an alternative engine is a wise long term choice and no more expensive than a real re-build of a 912. The Rover is nice weight, size is right, but still thirstier than some. My personnaml choice for flair would be an Alfa V6 and for my serious head a 4cyl Audi, but didn't look too deep into it.

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Andy, as you have already uprated your engine, then to improve the economy and cure the coughing, fully mapped sequential injection would be the answer, Properly mapped you'd probably get more power, better driveability and improved fuel cosumption. Pricey though...

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

this could be a decent starting point for a VERY cheap conversion....

it's got a webber/edelbrock 500 and P6 manifolds. Its a later (post 76) higher compression SD1 type engine.

It is an earlier 10 bolt engine of 3.5, which isn't as good as the later 10 bolt 4 litres and 4.6's, but for a conversion on a budget could be worth a look?

NB The engine number shows it to be a 3.5 SD1 spec factory recon unit from 82-87

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Rover-V8-Engine_W0QQitemZ160425154542QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM?hash=item255a1597ee

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  • 2 weeks later...

I met the person I bought my Rover V8 converted Elite from in 2002 recently again at a show. Nowadays the engine is safely and completely beneath the bonnet. This was not always the case however.....

I remember him showing me photos in 2002 of a time when the car also had a massive blower sticking up in full "Mad Max" style.

Here are a few pictures of the engine he has just sent me, as it was around 2000. He later removed the blower as he told me he couldn't actually see where he was going whenever he tried to turn left.

Not one for the purists but entertaining nevertheless!

John

post-2089-127309899852.jpg

post-2089-127309901513.jpg

post-2089-127309902407.jpg

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Brilliant! Very wacky racers!!!! I think I can see why the 'original is best' guys would freak out about that one!

Out of interest - do you know what colour code that red is? Did you do the respray or was it on when you got it?

Cheers, Mat.

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wow...

I have thought of supercharging, but to avoid the bonnet tower, it would have to be a remote "blow-through" arrangement which would necessitate a different carb that could be pressurised. Decided it was too much hassle for now.

It amazes me that guys with superchargers sticking through the bonnet manage to get an MOT when they just can't see anything on the other side of their scoop!

D

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On the subject of things popping out like superchargers... Pop up headlights have been phased out now, some people say because of aero dynamics, others say its because of health and safety as it injures pedestrians, I personally would go with the later due to some european rule, That said how come you cant build a new car with pop up headlights but stick a whopping great big metal object on the bonnet that the pedestrian will hit when he goes over the bonnet......

Very strange, bring back pop up headlights!

Regards danny

A

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Guest mkelite

just curious to know was the belt tension on the 'blower' checked with the 'twist test' or a Burroughs or Clavis gauge......................? DC.

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I hadn't heard anything about regulation against pop-up headlights, I assumed it was just a shift in fashion. With current technology and regulations, manufacturers have options not available even in the early nineties. Here in the states, sealed beam headlights were required until 15 years ago, since then most car companies have exploited the ability to make curved lenses. In the long run, cheaper & lighter than the pop-ups. I wouldn't be too surprised to see pop-ups return though, as most styling seems to come around again every other generation.

Cliff

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Pop-up headlights didn't become illegal as such (here in the UK) they just became really difficult to conform to other safety requirements around pedestrian safety, so dropped from favour.

Edited by andydclements
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  • 11 months later...

Back in the days when the Elite and the Eclat were some what so so... I built my 2ltr Elite into a fire breating Rover V8 powered animal... it had a John Eales Rover engine 4ltr, 4 downdraught dellorto's.. genuine 275bhp..that was in 1989....I had it up to 160mph once........0-60 was 6.2 sec's back then

sold in 1998 to fund the first Esprit V8...watch the Elite on Utube and also my 2nd Esprit V8 as well.. look up.... "damfastgang".. the Rover Engine is still a very good motor, but then I'm biassssed.. Rob C

damfast35nut@talktalk.net or 07976 609881

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Hi Rob,

I managed to lose your email address after our chat at castle combe, tried the one in the footer above (damfast35nuttalktalk.net) but it rejects and tried pm'ing you via the forum to say hello, but it seems your not set up to recieve messages?

Hope to catch up for a chat at castle combe this year and hear about the esprit. I'm assembling the parts for a supercharger install. I won't be happy till I break something! lol

D

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  • 5 months later...

yess bibs, the lotus etna concept car is here in holland, and that men works on it to make it drive and brake..

i know that person, he also owns many special lotus cars (and formule cars) also a 504 elite s2 LHD (and there are not many.. LHD)

that person is also the main person for the lotus club holland...

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's cool - I didn't realise the etna still existed outside of photos and drawings.

I have seen pictures of a europa with a Rover V8 in one of the Robson books, maybe that is part of the confusion? But the v8 was always built up out of the 907, and the decision to go with a 4 cyl slant was because it supported the future development of the V8.

Mat.

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The etna was on display at the festival of speed in 2010. It has a different intake system on the 909 now than in the pic in this thread though, probably modded to get it to fit the etna?

I took pics if people are interested - I can post them to the TLF facebook page

D

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Hi Dunc,

I'd be interested in seeing the pics. The only pics I've seen were just concept / fake outline type pics, and the engine pictures showed it had no fuel system, just intake runners crossing over with no carbs or throttle bodies.

I rmemebr when I was a kid my dad telling me it was going to be at the Earls Court motorshow, can't remember if it wasn't there or we didn't go that year.

Can you put pictures on here?

Cheers, Mat.

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  • 3 years later...

Well I, for one, like very much my Elites conversion to a V8. IMHO, the car is massively under powered and not very reliable. Big improvement for sure. :thumbsup:

I used the grandpa of the Rover V8, the much loved and used for all kinds of cars, including many racing cars, the Buick 215. 215 for cubic inch displacement of course but before I could get one, I found an expert on the engine who had modified and built up more than 100 of these very light ( mine is just under 300 lbs ) and cool motors. I had mine punched out to 298 cid or 4.9 L with around 310 hp and approximately 360 ft lbs of torque. I built it for the street with every opportunity to get max torque. There is lot of power low down in the rev range. You can even easily start out in 4th so there isn't a need to do much shifting ever, unless you are in a big hurry. lol

Buick only built this engine for 3 years (1961-63 ) before selling the rights to Rover and of course the rest is history as most gear heads know.

In 1964, Buick enlarged the engine to 300 cid but made it an iron block because of all the trouble they had with the manufacturing of the 215 aluminum block .

I took the crank and the aluminum heads of the 300 ( they flow much better than the smaller 215 heads ) and mated them to the 215 block. Stroke increased from 2.8 to 3.4 inches ( easily felt with a good push on the throttle and changed the geometry to a near perfect stroke to rod ratio ( according to at least one engine expert and world record holder builder here in the USA ) to 1.67 not far from 1.75 being their perfect number. This enables the engine to develop max torque which is the characteristic of all killer engines.

I picked this engine because it easily fit, was already converted by someone else before me and was also available a good price. I found an expert engine builder who specialized with the engine and most of all, it didn't change the near perfect weight distribution, the Elite has. And it fit with more access than the original 4 banger. 0-60 is estimated to be under 4 seconds with 100 mph coming under 10 seconds but the real advantage of the combination is the ability to pass another car very quickly and safely. A great road trip car ! I figure top speed to be some where on the positive side of 190 mph although I will probably never push it that hard to find out.

Just my take on why this car should have always had a more powerful engine. My 1600 cc Ford Fiesta was quicker to 60 than the original Type 75 Elite. Kind of embarrassing to be frank.

Richard

Thanks for those thoughts, Richard. How much did the conversion end up costing you, all in all?

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Thanks Dave.

 

I spent around $20,000 including $5,000 for the car. And that is for parts only as I did all the work myself with the exception of stitching the leather interior together which I took to a professional and only cost me around $5,500 and I had my engine built by a pro as well for about the same.

 

It took a good number of years of work so it wasn't like that much out of my pocket at once of course. After a while, these kind of projects, one doesn't want to keep track. And I made this for myself to drive, not to sell and make a profit.

 

And for me and probably most who indulge in restorations like this, it was and still is a passion, not only of excellence but pleasure and a way to escape reality for a brief time each session I spent on the car.  Helps me to keep some kind of sanity. lol But of course, the end result it gives far out weighs the trouble as these cars are so fun to drive. My car can out perform most so called high performance cars especially in the handling department which is the best part about it. Now my car has the quickness that compliments the handling.

 

What kind of car can perform like the Elite for $20k? You would have to spend a lot more to equal this kind of performance.

 

I think that Lotus cars are some of the most difficult to work on but they also give more smiles per mile.

 

I would have posted a picture of my engine but I can't seem to find how to do that just yet.

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The 5 speed transmission is built by Tremec (Borg Warner), and is now a major player here for both Ford and GM cars as well as many other exotics like Aston Martin, Dodge Viper and the Mustang Cobra. It was an after market design, on the outset, for drag racing in 600 hp Mustangs who would drop the clutch at 8,000 and could do a 10 second quarter mile. The original 5 sp in the Mustang simply wouldn't last but a few passes before second gear was toast. They made 170 passes without breaking down so this is one tough transmission I won't even stress with my power and weight.

 

Tremec TKO is what I put in and they make both a five speed and six speeds that I know of. Mine is the

http://www.tremec.com/menu.php?m=103

Edited by Elite 4.9
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