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Can anyone confirm my guess that the GEMS and Thor timing covers are interchangable, with the only difference that i can see being the Thor cover has an extra oil sensor outlet?

I've searched and cant really find anything confirming it, but looking at pics they seem very similar...

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Part numbers are different with the change coinciding with the switch from GEMS to Thor. If the Thor has an extra sensor (wasn't aware it did but if you say so) then that would be the difference. Blocks are the same so can't see why the front covers wouldn't be interchangeable.

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yeah, theres a few pics on ebay, thor covers seem to have two oil bosses on the side, GEMS only has one.

Cam sensor appears common from '97 onwards, so that didnt change when they switched to thor. Some reports that thor has higher oil pressure, but that cant be a bad thing?

My local wrecker has a late model 4.6 and i was thinking of asking them for a price for the whole engine for spares. I've ordered the bits to do the head gaskets, and while i'm there i want to fix the front cover seal. Its tempting to pick up another engine, and pull the heads and front cover off and get them all cleaned up and refreshed to make the downtime faster.

The oil pump is in the front cover, leaving me a little wary about swapping in an unknown one ofcourse, but it seems Turner has a repair kit for them with a new steel rotor, so i guess i can strip and inspect it. Also wondering how far i go when i'm in that far already... its probably worth feeding it a timing chain?

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Have a feeling that it may be as simple as the sensor in there, uses a different thread between the two covers. I seem to remember looking into this for some reason. You might get away with the matching sensor for the cover.

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Different cam sensor hole dimension? Also was there a change to metric threads with the Thor, i.e. the cam sensor plate bolt and some WP bolts will need to be replaced?

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From what i can see online, the cam sensor is common from '97 onwards (ERR6169) so GEMS and Thor must use the same part. Pre-97 they used a different part, but i think the change was the electrical connector, as thats mid-way thru GEMS production and the cover didnt change then.

Wreckers want £300 for the engine, but said its a "non-runner" but dont have any further info. Undecided on wether i should just get it anyway.

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I’d have thought that was a lot of money for a boat anchor.

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Marshall8hp wrote:

I’d have thought that was a lot of money for a boat anchor.

Yeah, just depends whats wrong with it i guess. If it didnt run because the fuel pump failed or some electrical issue for instance its quite different to it having siezed up due to running out of oil or having thrown a rod.

My initial thinking was get a pair of heads, give them a good going over, skim, relap all the valves etc etc and then swap them over when i do the head gaskets.

A pair of heads on ebay is £150-200. Buying a whole engine for £300 instead somehow feels like much better value, and i've then got loads of spare parts for other things, and potentially bits i can sell on the recoup the cost. But then it could be totally ruined internally.

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If it's got a hole in the block with a con rod poking out or it's seized solid and can't be turned, it's overpriced, otherwise it's not a bad buy.

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Several years ago I bought a P38 that was just being sold for parts for about the same price as your breaker is asking for the engine. It’s another option to consider.

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That was several years ago. I paid around £600 for both of mine and sold one for £450. These days you're looking at £1,500 even for a real dog. Good in some ways but not if you want to buy a stack of spare parts in one lump.

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I got given a running P38, two years later my brother is still using it as a daily driver.

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shame you don't live here i could just give you one, i also have had people give me complete p38s just to get rid of them.

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I might just take you up on that Craig. I fancy a rebuild project. I has been a long time since I have been elbows deep rebuilding a Rover V8 (as opposed to a traction engine, now finished!).

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I don’t think P38’s are going up in value here in Western Canada, but I haven’t really kept tabs either. It stands to reason that if they are going up in value in the UK, they’ll eventually start going up here.

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Marshall8hp wrote:

I might just take you up on that Craig. I fancy a rebuild project. I has been a long time since I have been elbows deep rebuilding a Rover V8 (as opposed to a traction engine, now finished!).

i don't know if you would rebuild them but i have parts if you need them