The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
Gilbertd's Avatar
7514 posts

I think it is to keep the flexi short while still allowing full suspension movement without it flapping around and risking getting snagged on anything. There's doesn't seem to be anything stopping you from doing a sort of hybrid, half early/half late, arrangement though. Other than not being able to buy a suitable flexi that is. I wanted to replace all the pipework on one of my other cars. making up new hard lines with Kunifer wasn't a problem but I was then told that flexis were NLA (for a 1990 car?). I bought a length of Goodrich hose and the correct ends from https://www.merlinmotorsport.co.uk/s/goodridge-fluid-transfer/goodridge-600-series-brake-clutch-hose-fittings and following the guide here https://www.merlinmotorsport.co.uk/knowledge_base_articles/view/how-to-assemble-your-own-brakeline-266 made my own.

My money would be on a collapsed flexi. Usually makes its presence felt after the flexi has been clamped for work to be done, but there's nothing to say it can't happen with an old hose. Particularly on the front where it is constantly bent back and forth when steering.

V8 Developments do ported heads in 3 stages (http://www.v8developments.co.uk/headporting.htm) but I'm not aware of any 4 valve or OHC aftermarket ones. While checking out the Wildcat heads, I came across this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115732141242, a pre top hatted block for not that much more than the cost of getting top hats fitted to an existing block. A good mod if building an engine is to use the 4.6 crank and con rods with 4.0 litre pistons. As the 4.0 litre pistons have a smaller dish, that ups the compression ratio to around 10.3:1 (ish). Pre-ignition won't be a problem with the knock sensors to back off the ignition timing if it occurs or if running on LPG with the much higher octane rating.

It looks as though the centre has broken so the inner bolts fixing it to the crank and the outer ones connecting it to the Torque converter have moved in relation to each other. So the bolt heads against the flywheel access holes are all that is transmitting the power. Although there is damage to the flywheel, it doesn't look too bad and I would be inclined to leave it as long as it doesn't have any cracks.

You can either shift the transmission back to gain access or, in my view easier, move the engine forwards. If you disconnect the exhaust downpipes from the manifolds and remove the radiator and viscous fan, you've opened up a lot of space at the front so with an engine crane (and disconnecting the odd coolant hose and electrical wiring), you can unbolt the engine mounts, raise the engine slightly and move it forwards. With it hanging on an engine crane makes the job a lot easier than trying the support the gearbox and transfer case as the shape and uneven weight distribution makes it awkward. The last thing you want it the transmission dropping on you while you are underneath changing the flex plate.

Although RPi, who have spread the story that every engine will fail sooner or later, always maintain that the 4.6 was affected most. I've always assumed that there were more 4.6 engines made than 4.0 litre so it stands to reason that more would fail.

Need to request access to look at the pics. I think you need to change the permissions on them.

In the US, maintenance seems to be a dirty word and when they try, usually get it wrong. I've imported around 40 cars from the US and long ago realised that all US vehicles should have a label on the bonnet saying "Do Not Open, No User Serviceable Parts Inside". If there is a right way and a wrong way of fitting something, you can guess which way they've done it.

I agree, the easiest way to kill the engine is to allow it to overheat. Rings nip up in the bore so rather than the piston moving in the liner, the liner moves in the block. No different to any other alloy engine with either a steel liner or plated bores, moving parts that are overheated and expand, don't move as well as they were intended.

It may well be as I can't really see a block going porous.

From what I have seen the problem with the police ones was the way they were being used. They would often be sit idling for hours at a time before being suddenly booted off down the road and run flat out for miles. Not something a normal owner would do. A friend used to work for BMW and he said they are no more reliable than anything else, just that BMW were really good at covering it up. I suspect they decided it would be better to refuse to supply them than risk a well publicised court case.

I like those Audi style pipe connectors. As they wrap around, they will also take up and slight difference in pipe sizes too. I used one on one P38 that had been fitted with a non-standard stainless system so the flange had been cut off the downpipe section. Far better than the bodge using GunGum bandage that whoever fitted it had used.

leolito wrote:

Plus, it is the P38 "unique" engine. It was built for that car, and that car was build for that engine. That remains its signature :-)

No it isn't. It was a 1960's Buick design that Rover bought from them. That was in 3.5 litre capacity and used in multiple vehicles (including the Stage 1 Land Rover, Rover SD1, Rover P5B and P6, etc), it went up to 3.9 (3950cc) for the Range Rover and didn't really change for years. For the LWB Classic it was enlarged to 4.2 litre with minor modifications, primarily the cross bolted main bearings as a result of the Iceberg project in collaboration with Perkins trying to make a diesel version. The 3.9 block is externally identical to the 4.0 litre P38 engine and the same 3950 capacity and the 4.0 litre cross bolted block is identical to the 4.6, the only differences between the two is the crank, con rods and pistons. As the 4.0 litre pistons have a smaller dish, a good power mod is to fit 4.0 litre pistons into a 4.6 to give compression of around 10.5:1. Numerous people have used the 4.6 cross bolted block and fitted the front cover and camshaft from the earlier 3.9 so you retain the distributor and 14CUX injection in the larger capacity, stronger, bottom end.

There is a cheap mod to prevent, or even cure the slipping liners, rather than top hat liners. They sit on a cast ridge at the bottom and this can crack allowing the liner to slip down. If the liner is pushed up so sits where it should, a hole can be drilled and tapped through the block and into the base of the liner (below the point where the piston skirt reaches at BDC) and a small bolt or grub screw can then be put through both block and liner so it can't move any longer. It's a bodge but does work.

13.8V was correct for the standard lead acid batteries that were current when the P38 came out. Newer Calcium batteries can cope with a higher charge voltage so more modern cars are fitted with an alternator with a set point of 14.2 or even 14.4V. Fit an old school cheap battery with a high output alternator and you will cook it but 13.8V will still charge a Calcium battery without a problem.

Morat wrote:


That would do it but at 23 quid? I'd get 6 inches of the next size up pipe, cut slots in each end, cut the flared bits off both ends of the existing pipes, slide it on over both ends with a good smear of exhaust assembly paste and a couple of U clamps......

leolito wrote:

It is true that the RV8 is an engine with several weak points, but at least they are all well documented and you got plenty specialists that know how to deal with them, after all, is an UK engine and most you guys are in the UK. Abroad in some places might not be that easy. Me here, although in East Europe rebuilding old engines is almost a weekly routing for most mechanics, a very old-school engine such as this, I would not trust anyone to do it.
But there ... after all, one you have sorted a porous block, fitted top hats, machine properly the heads and balance the engine, the rest is really a lesser problem.

It depends who you talk to regarding the weak points. I've never heard of anyone with the mythical porous block. I'm not saying they don't exist but not in the quantities some would have you believe. RPi had Cosworth cast some custom blocks that were supposed to cure the problem of coolant leaking around the liners but used the same design as the original engine so didn't really address the problem. However, they spread the story that every 4.6 P38 engine would slip a liner to justify the £8k they wanted for these 'Comcast' blocks. Apparently, according the them, every 4.6 engine will suffer sooner or later as there is less metal between the bores than on the 4.0 litre. Which, as anyone that can read the specs of the two engines will know is complete rubbish, the bores are the same, it is the stroke that is different. Top hat liners will cure the problem completely for around £1,000 to get them fitted. What have you been told about the heads needing to be machined? A bit of gas flowing would improve performance, but there's nothing wrong with the standard heads.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, maintenance is key. For the first 200k of it's life my car was maintained by the police and was fine when I got it despite the abuse they get (something the M57 can't cope with). At 287k it was tired, compression down to around 110psi on all cylinders and was starting to pressurise the cooling system slightly. Not badly but enough to warrant a set of top hats. All that has been done since is regular servicing and it's now up to 493k, so has done over 200k since being rebuilt.

Mines been neglected. Flew to Nice on Thursday, picked up a car there and drove it back to the UK. So mine hasn't done anything for 4 days. However, good news is that the EAS is healthy as it hasn't dropped at all.

Same here, around 3.5 miles per litre. Once, I managed 4 miles per litre but that was at a steady 50mph.

Sorry, yes, Martin is from Liverpool. He used to have 'Brit in Milwaukee' on his signature. I had a lot of communication with him when I got my lifetime ban from rr.net under this username as he was a mod and was fighting my corner for me. Then I registered with a different one and ended up as Admin

mad-as wrote:

i didn't know Martin was a brit, learn something new every day.

If you are referring the Marty, he was born in NZ but moved to the UK with his parents as a child so has dual nationality and has moved back and forth over the years. He's very recently (in the last 3 weeks or so) relocated to NZ as there is more work for his day job there than in the UK (less people capable of doing what he does).

Couldn't you modify the OE pump and make it shorter? It has the pump low down but on 'stilts' so could probably be shortened. The GEMS had a conventional filter attached to the RH chassis rail and you could fit an external pump there but you'd need to fabricate a petrol tank with the take off at the bottom as most aren't self priming. I've run a 3.9 Classic using the pump from an XJ6 so any pump intended for a reasonable sized injected car would work.

leolito wrote:

A friend is trying to rebuild his 4.6 trying to find components from other engines to make some Frankenstein with at least 4.8/4.9 liters, and hoping for more power. So far he's been at it for months, with no tangible result to be seen.

Why bother when he could just buy one off the shelf? See http://www.v8developments.co.uk/50long.htm, good for 350-400bhp depending on cam.

Just because the engine is offset isn't a problem. There's a Brit living in the US that has fitted an LS1 with 4L60e into a P38 and all it needed was an adapter to mate the GM gearbox to the existing transfer case. He's got everything, BeCM, EAS, ABS and all instruments working exactly as they should too. Overfinch used to fit an American V8 (a Ford I think) into the P38 using the original 4HP24.

While the BMW engine from the L322 may not be the best and a lot of people complain about the Vanos system, but if doing a conversion you wouldn't put a knackered old engine in, you'd at least rebuild it first. That way it will last just as long as it would have done when new. It was used in numerous different BMW models and other than a few that have suffered problems, most are still running fine. Probably down to maintenance just like any other engine, look after it and it will look after you, neglect it and you are asking for trouble.

I wouldn't agree that the M57 is a good engine as it can explode to the point where BMW have now refused to sell any more M57 engined cars to UK police forces (and almost al of them had a fleet including 330d, 530d and X5) after a number of problems, including one where the engine exploded, burst into flames and the officer inside died. My local force now run Volvo, Skoda VRS and the odd Audi instead.

The problem is the keyless entry and ignition. Having worked in RF all my working life and being shown how it works, the first time I saw it my reaction was how insecure it is. A £25 from eBay SDR and a laptop is all that is needed to fool the car into thinking the key is there. I know it isn't the only car that uses it but it is one of the most popular ones to steal to order or to steal to strip for spares. I presume the key doesn't have to be put in a hole on the dash somewhere, it just has to be in the car, otherwise it would be reasonably simple to disable the keyless part.