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Joined: Jun 17 2018
Posts: 611

I've been pouring through some lesser forums ;)

And there are quite a few engine upgrades available.

Mustang Injectors which i think are Bosch Gen III units.

Tornado Chips

Cylinder head porting/polishing

And High lift cams

Are the above upgrades worthwhile?

People have said 300hp is possible with a healthy engine..

They've also said Fuel economy has improved slightly..

Is this to be believed or is it all hearsay?

H

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Joined: Jun 16 2018
Posts: 80

Personally, unless you have cash to spend on a pure project basis, I can't really see the value.

Whilst I fully accept that 'a lot' of the perceived engine failure issues around the famous (or infamous?) 4.0/4.6 lt engines relate to a lack of historical maintenance, you can never be overly sure of 1. The service history of your engine (and therefore internal condition) and 2. The additional stress that the so called 'improvements' bring to bear on an older engine.

Unless you are carrying out a full rebuild (with possibly Top Hat addition) I would suggest that any works done may well bring about the demise of an engine sooner than if it had been left stock (but well maintained).

Just my 2p worth but each to their own....

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1963

You can always improve on the rover V8 but I'd be sceptical of big power claims this side of forced induction. The bigger question is how fast do you want to go, and are the transmission, drivetrain and suspension suitable?

If you've got the cash and access to a dyno, it would make an interesting thread!

Of course, by the time you've spent enough money to get a 300BHP P38 reliable and the handling sorted you could probably have bought yourself an MX5 or something else sporty for not a huge amount more.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Injectors are injectors and the amount of fuel they inject is controlled by the ECU so changing them won't make a jot of difference. Unless of course you are in the USA where everything made there is far superior to anything made elsewhere.

Tornado chips work, see http://www.tornadosystems.com/ but not cheap.

Porting and polishing will give a benefit on any engine although on it's own you'd be unlikely to notice any difference.

Cam changes will make a difference but again, you won't see much of an effect when hauling over 2 tonnes with the aerodynamics of a large shed around. Turners do a Kent cam that seems to work well. I know one car with it fitted and it does feel marginally quicker.

Well over 300 bhp is possible if your pockets are deep enough, see http://www.v8developments.co.uk/products/engines/long_engines/5.4_litre/dominator/index.shtml

Fuel economy depends almost entirely on your right foot.....

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Joined: Oct 17 2016
Posts: 51

With respect to the injector upgrade - this only applies to GEMs engines. The point of the upgrade isn't to have "bigger" injectors but to upgrade from the older style single pintle injectors to the Gen III 4 pintle injectors. The later injectors atomize the fule much better than the earlier ones which tend to shoot it out in a stream. In theory you should see slight gains in fuel economy, engine responsiveness and emissions. Of course, unless you've recently had your standard injectors overhauled and cleaned, it's possible that much of the gains are simple due to swapping fresh injectors in place.

I'm going to be swapping some Gen III injectors out of my old 4L into my HSE and will let you know what sort changes I see - I can't tell you whether or not they improved the old engine substantially as it also got a cylinder head swap and new camshaft at the same time. After much research I found the best match for flow and the correct impedence were a set of injectors out of a Volvo 960 24v straight six.

If your RR has the Thor engine, it will already have the more modern injectors.

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Joined: Jun 17 2018
Posts: 611

She's on the original engine!

125k

I'm not looking at tailing racing cars in my Range Rover lol

Just aiming to give her slightly more grunt. :)

I plan on doing a top end refresh in the future hence the heads and cam queries, just wondering whether its worth "upgrading" while it's apart..

H

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 1004

A very easy way to get perfect atomisation, new injectors better emissions, lower running costs and easy fuel mapping is to convert to LPG ;-)
If you really want more power, realistically you're looking at changing engine hardware parts and have to bear in mind that engine power mods usually involve compromises i.e. more power at the top end at the expense of torque at the bottom end.

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Joined: Mar 31 2018
Posts: 22

I've installed a Tornado chip along with the ACT inlet trumpets on Mark Adams recommendation.
I didn't want speed but torque for towing our twin axle tin tent.
The car is more responsive and along with the fuel management changes it also now changes down earlier on hills making for a much smoother ride.
Yes it can be slightly more economical (approx 2mpg) but as has been said, you can't have both power and economy.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
Posts: 493

At risk of 'flak' have you told your insurance company you modified the car like this ?

Being a bit reactionary perhaps but I fully agree with #2 on this: LR did not make a 'perfect' car by any stretch of the imagination but they did optomise it for a wide range of uses. Perhaps I should mention here that I have had this kind of "ECU re-mapping" debate with other makes and (eventually) concluded that many of the 'improvements' are more or less illusionary; As you imply 'you can't get something for nothing. !

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Joined: Mar 31 2018
Posts: 22

No I haven't and I must admit to not even thinking about it.
As it's not a "performance" car I doubt they'd even look but I went for the exchange ECU so if it all went pee tong it's only two connectors to remove and replace.
I do think that a lot of the people who state that the chip upgrades don't work have never actually had ones fitted but I went in with my eyes wide open. There was no way that a two ton brick was going to transform into a fast handling sports car but it has done what I wanted (and asked Mark Adams to provide) which was more torque on the hills and a smoother towing ability.
Might rethink letting the insurance know on the next change :)

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
Posts: 493

Sorry, rhyl146, did not mean to offend - I renewed my insurance just last week and they asked 'is it modified in any way ?'. Don't know the implications if I have a bender and they found something 'non-standard'. Again as in #2 it's all your choice (Legality/Emissions/Insurance/etc permitting) !

Overall I think I have been over-sensitised to the topic, in part due to all the 'snake oil' stuff that folks sell; You know the kind of thing, magnets in the fuel line/tank, devices to produce a 'better' intake vortex, extra ECT resistors to 'fool' the ECU into thinking it is cooler than it is etc - and lots of other ways of wasting money....

Then there are the 'second tier' of devices, inlet filters, different exhaust systems and so on. Not sure of the 'value for money' on many of these either but they do at least make the car sound 'faster' / 'better' (and I would be really interested to see how the Emissions levels changed before/after too...

The Tornado chip approach is at least the most effective way to 'improve performance' but at what cost ?

If we were talking about a new car (not our 100K+ miles examples) I could probably understand it better.......
Perhaps I'm just a Scotty out of Star Trek kind of person; "Ye Cannae Change The Laws Of Physics (Jim)" !

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Joined: Mar 31 2018
Posts: 22

Davew, my apologies if I came across as offended, nothing of the sort. We all have our own views and ideas of owning and running our cars.
I'm in total agreement about the snake oil items available to "upgrade" vehicles but while the market is there people will purchase. We have some 1.0 litre hatch backs in our town, lowered, exhausts you could drive in, KN filter stickers etc and you drive behind watching them bounce driving over a matchstick and getting deafened by the exhaust........... but it's fast ???
I think we're in agreement that a lot of the items are a placebo effect rather than actual.
I believe I'm right that Top Gear did a "modding" piece in which they changed tyres, brakes, suspension, body kits etc and they actually made the vehicle worse in both speed and comfort.
We've had our P38 for over ten years, in that time it's been nearly rebuilt. New Top Hat engine, recon gearbox, total brake and EAS overhaul, not to mention bearing, struts and other serviceable items.
We decided as we'd spent so much on it and intended doing more towing now that we've retired that the chip made sense. So barring accidents which I suspect would immediately write it off its's a keeper.
We also have an old (2007) 420 bhp supercharged Jag which was a one off retirement/ redundancy pressy, there are chips available but why you would need to is anyone's guess, especially on today's busy congested roads.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
Posts: 493

No problem rhyl46, and for what's it's worth if (like me) you are old (ie. experienced) enough to get insured for a 420bhp Jag I don't think they would be too concerned about a chip on your obviously well-serviced P38....!

  • and I agree that many of those bolt-on 'upgrades' are aimed at the 1-litre brigade: I see this as similar to me sticking a lolly stick in the spokes of my pushbike wheels when I was a kid... Those living near to me seem to remove these mods for the MOT and then replace them... unless it's all the speed humps and potholes removing them....

Worth mentioning that with one of the (other) Classics clubs I am involved with one of the members has an 'agreed vaulation' policy requiring photos to be sent to the Insurance Company. They noted it now had a boot spoiler and this was thus a 'modification'..... until the owner pointed out it was an OEM accessory: The main issue here of course being Insurance Companies look more these days for reasons to increase Premiums and excuses not to pay out after an incident. (In fact far too many good/repairable cars are just written off by them these days - but that's a different story)

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Joined: Mar 22 2016
Posts: 1204

Damn, does that mean my k&n sticker isn’t gonna make me go faster !.
I love playing with the 1litre lot at the lights, I push sport and 2 foot the pedals, there faces when a 2.5 ton 20 yr old car whips there ass is classic.
As to insurance companies and there stupid questions, any modifications?
where does it stop, I’ve got a full stainless exhaust, do I declare that, I’ve got different wheels, led lights inside, I’ve painted different parts of the engine (rocker covers).
Most cars nowadays have alloys, so chances of them being pinched is zero, plus 2 sets of lock nuts.
Yes my exhaust is slightly deeper, but no where near as annoying as the prick next doors capri with cherry bombs,
Every year my insurance renewal more than doubles, each time I do a new policy search and end up back with the same company whose renewal quote has been more than halved again.
Round here seems the parents are all idiots,leasing m tec BMW’s , amg MERC’s and hot hatch VW’s for there 17 yr olds who don’t have a clue how to drive, they’ve all learnt very quickly that I WONT stop when there racing towards me, nor am I backing up..
there the reason our insurance keeps going up.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 4730

The insurance companies are interested in things that make it go faster, or are perceived to make it go faster as it encourages the driver to act like a dick and increase the chances of an accident, and things that make it look more nickable. So the vast majority of kids in their shopping trolleys with big wheels and bean can exhausts are probably going to be in for a surprise if they ever try to make a claim.

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Joined: Sep 13 2016
Posts: 504

One thing to remember when considering tuning a RV8, is that unlike a modern engine, they dont age particularly well.

The camshafts and valvetrain tend to wear out which reduces engine power gradually over time without you really noticing.

So actually, the gains of sticking in (for instance) a upgraded camshaft are twofold, you get the original claimed 5 or 10% boost, but also regain the missing 10-20% due to the original camshaft having turned itself round. Now clearly most of the gains actually came from the replacement of worn out bits, but the costs of upgrading the cam when your replacing it anyway are fairly small, so you might as well.

The real issue is once you start, where do you stop. The valves will be leaky, so you'll want the heads off and a valve job done, and while your there you might as well port them, the compression on the cylinders will be iffy, and if your stripping the block to hone or re-ring, you will probably start considering top hat liners. You end up going down the route of a complete engine rebuild which you'll sink about 5 grand into.

Its something i've been struggling with on mine for a while. I dont particularly like the rover engine, and mines suffers all the above issues along with hopeless fuel consumption and a good thirst for oil as well. The idea of pouring 5 grand into it is something that i just couldnt deal with. I'd rather spend the 5 grand on an LS conversion or similar.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1963

Personally I'd go with the BMW M62b44TU - not as powerful as an LS but at 280bhp it's all you need in a P38 and vastly more modern with good valve seats for LPG :)

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 4730

If that is the engine fitted to the early L322, I reckon it would work in a post-99, Thor engined, P38. Same. or at least very similar, Bosch Motronic ECU, so getting it to talk to the rest of the car shouldn't be too difficult (or even use the original P38 ECU?). It may even be possible to use the original ZF 4HP24 gearbox but even the L322 ZF 5HP24 may be able to be fitted to the rest of the running gear. A 280bhp P38 would suit me down to the ground, L322 performance with the relative simplicity (compared to an L322) and vastly superior looks of the P38..

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Joined: Jun 24 2020
Posts: 10

Reviving an old post for some upgrades for my 4.0L Thor.
Just throwing it out there since I've done the PCV mod and I'm going to install the Bosch -787 injectors...

  • Injectors:
    Bosch injectors for a Thor

  • Oil separator PCV replacement:
    Metal PCV; Fram part #FV308, #V288, NAPA #CRB29380, Sankei #KP111, Purolator #PV1027, or Beck Arnley #045-0264
    Totally remove black plastic oil separator in RH valve cover and remove black plastic barb valve in intake manifold. Replace with metal PCV.
    enter image description here

  • High Performance 40KV Coil Pack (stock coil packs are 20KV):
    Davis Unified Ignition (DUI) Sultans Of Spark (SOS) part #55850, #DUI-55850, or #314-55850

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 4730

Maybe because yours is NAS spec but what's the pipe stuck in the red bit next to the PCV? On a UK car that is normally blanked off or is that part of the mod?