Fitting a Rover V8 into an SE6 Scimitar
(This isn't bible, it's just how I did it. There's all sorts of drawbacks but minor details like "Oh, you don't have a spare tyre anymore" don't bother me. I'll never get a flat anyway...
- Remove and sell your old Ford V6 and Gearbox. I can't think of anything to keep off it, some people reuse the rad but I did it differently.
- Engine Mounts. I was lucky enough to find that SD1 engine mount brackets, normal Scimitar cotton reel rubber mounts and the standard, unmodified chassis mounts all mated up fine. No cutting / welding whatsoever was carried out. You really can let a Rover V8 sit on the orginial (SE6 anyway) chassis mounts. Easy! OK, if you have a Range Rover or other donor then these may need modification but this should be minimal. Remember, just make it STRONG if you have to alter anything.
- Making space - cutting the bulkhead. I got a bare V8 block and heads, bolted on a gear box and stuck it in the engine bay to find out where it fouled the bulkhead, then made bold marks in marker pen. I cut 3 sides of a square(ish) so that I could fold the sides of the bulkhead into the footwells a bit (yes they get narrower but not by much). More room for engine, a little less for feet. You'll need fibreglassing skills here (a talented gent named Cleo did that for me) but it's not too bad.
- I cut pieces to fill the newly made gaps from existing fibreglass sheet of similar thickness to the body and held them in place.
- I then mixed up a little Isopon fibreglass filler as its easy for the novice and use it to "glue" the new fibreglass into place.
- Now its secure get a fibreglasserist (like Cleo) to laminate over the area, inside and out to give it strength.
- I made the minimum of cuts to do this, other people have more significantly modified the bulkhead creating a more open and tidier engine bay. Larger modern engines (the Lexus 4.0 V8 is becoming popular) need more room but DO STILL FIT!
- Gearbox mounting. The Rover SD1 has a pressed "bullhorn" shape mounting, you need this. Cut off the ends AFTER the gearbox mount holes, attach it to the box and jack it into position (make sure the prop / flange is high enough to clear the cross-member between the chassis rails!
- Hold the original Scimitar gearbox mounting plate in place below the SD1 mount, you'll see its about 2" nearer the rear of the car than before - tack weld it to the SD1 mount and mark out where the chassis rails cross it.
- Summarised. There are lots of ways to bolt it up to the chassis, you'll find that if you can extend the plate you will still be able to use 2 of the original captive nuts in the chassis. Do this so that you can get in there without the jack holding things up.
- I pilot-drilled through both the plate and chassis rail to mark where I needed new holes (I drilled 4 new ones for extra safety / strength.
- Select a suitable bolt and nutsert combination, say M10. Nutserts are like rivets but threaded up the inside, you can buy them online easily enough or hire. Drill the chassis holes EXACTLY at the stated size for your nutsert, it should be a secure push fit. Using the nutsert tool crimp it in place into the chassis rail.
- Drill out the holes in your mounting plate to suit the bolt.
- Check fit and securely weld up the SD1 mount to the scimitar plate and bolt it all in place.
- You may need to cut a larger hole in the transmission tunnel to clear the new gearchange mechanism ... don't fear, this is fibreglass remember! It took me 5 minutes to cut the hole and maybe another 15 - 20 to remodel some fibreglass over it to keep the cabin sealed from the elements. Hmm, mental note, fibreglass bodied cars make V8 conversion easy for the beginner.
- Following trial and error at the scrappers I found that an early Vauxhall Senator radiator fitted neatly up front. It filled the whole void and is about twice the height of the Std Scimitar one (hence no more spare wheel). I use an SD1 expansion tank mounted high as well.
Heres a pic:
- The prop needs modifying, as standard you get a 2-piece item so I stripped it out and got a 1-piece prop from Reco-Prop of Luton (01582 412110), all you have to do is tell them the gap between the flanges and what's connected at each end, i.e. Rover SD1 Gearbox to Scimitar Axle. about £220 later you'll receive a new prop in the post.
4.6 Rover V8 - it'll do for now...
The Scimitar started out with a Ford 3.0L V6. The thing is though, I had a 3.5L Rover V8 bought for about £50 from a friend and well, you know, that 8 cylinder sound...
Cleo (he of great V8 wisdom) put a Hurricane cam and gearbox my way and with a bit of chopping, fibreglassing, welding etc. the Scimitar soon ran with the 3.5 and it was good. At somewhere around 165bhp (and being a bit tired) it never quitecut the mustard. What it did do was prove that I could make the Chocolate Log work with a Rover V8...
...Then a friend of a friend sourced a brand new 4.6 V8 short engine at trade price, I found some brand new Real Steel heads, carb, Typhoon cam and other goodies, took it all into the workshop, clattered about for a bit and then wheeled this out:
4.6 Litre Rover V8
[Note the spanking brown detailing courtesy of Grind-n-Shine - An acquired taste?]
The Rough Spec:
650 cfm Holley 4 barrell carb - Real Steel
Offenhauser 360 inlet manifold - Real Steel
Stage 2.5 ported, polished big valve heads - Real Steel
Typhoon cam - Real Steel
Cloyes Roller Timing Chain - Real Steel
Hi-rev lifters and adjustable push rods - Real Steel
4.6 litre lightened and balanced Range Rover V8 short engine - Powertrain Products
Water pump, P6 pulley etc - JRV8 (read about this guy, he's one of the best for parts and help)
Mallory Dual Point Distributor - Real steel
Magnecor Plug Leads - Magnecor
Here's some pics of the engine in build: