[ROVERNET - UK] P6B V8 Engine block

Kent Kinard kkinard at wcc.net
Wed Jan 10 16:14:17 GMT 2007

Ray wrote:

>I know things have been a bit on the quiet side lately, probably due to
>'post Christmas/New Year overindulgence syndrome'. Now I believe I may have
>asked this question before but any responses have been lost in the mists of
>time. I have a spare P6B V8 engine sitting idle on an engine stand in my
>garage just taking up room. My original thought was that I'll keep it 'just
>in case'; yes, those famous words and that was over 3 years ago! My question
>is really, "what is the wisdom in keeping it?" It is (or was) a working
>motor before it was removed. If my present motor were to become terminally
>ill, would it be prudent to replace like for like or put in a newer Rover
>V8? Even if I were to get rid of the block, is it worth keeping other parts
>like pistons? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Another thought is I
>suppose that I keep the block, restore it, replace old or inefficient parts
>and replace my existing motor then chuck that one away!

Hi Ray,
These are all debatable points.  Several factors enter into the decision 
to scrap or save. 
1)  Do you PLAN at some point to replace the engine currently in the car?
     If "no,"  then saving an engine "just in case" is problematical.  
If you have plenty of storage, save it.  If not, give it to a Rover 
lover who does.
     If "yes,"  then the replacement must be inspected.  Do not wait 
until you need the engine to do the inspection.  Just because the engine 
was running when removed does not mean it is a suitable replacement.  A 
hopeless Rover V8 will keep running for thousands of miles.
2)  Before disassembling any Rover V8, you must know what to look for.  
a) signs of a loose sleeve  b) main bearing cap register   Sleeves can 
be replaced, but the odds of finding a better 3.5 block are very good.  
Fretted main caps mean the block is junk.  Main cap studs will not solve 
that problem.  If there are no obvious problems, then the block should 
be cleaned and pressure tested.  Stripped threads can be repaired 
easily, but cracks from bolt holes to water jacket or cracks behind a 
sleeve mean a 3.5 block is not worth fixing.
3)  If you don't need the engine immediately, you can stop here, 
cosmoline the cylinder bores, and bag it /box it, confident that what 
you are storing is usable when you need it.
4)  When you eventually rebuild the block, remember that the cleaning 
process will have destroyed the cam bearings and they will need to be 
renewed when the other machine work is done.  In addition to standard 
rebuild proceedures, the crank and rear face of the early blocks should 
be machined to accept the '76 and later rear crank seal.

Kent K.

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