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Old 10-09-2012, 05:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New "Cannibal V8" crate engine

Earlier this year I discovered that I had a slipped sleeve in #3 cylinder. I had replaced the head gaskets several months before, thinking that was the problem. When I replaced the head gaskets I was getting a little coolant in cylinder #3. Then when I had the same issue 6 months later I was assuming it was a warped head until I realized that there are no water jackets near the inboard cylinders. The only way to get coolant into the cylinder and now the oil as well was around the sleeve. I had researched the postings on this site and did not come across this bit of information.

I had also researched this site for recommendations on how to have my engine rebuilt or find a crate motor. There were a couple of names I found on here but their prices weren't much cheaper than a factory engine. I found several used motors around for $2,500-$4,000 but was not wanting to risk the same issue if the engine had been overheated previously. I am in Texas so the odds are good that a ten year old engine has seen some heat. Since this is my work vehicle, it has to be dependable and I couldn't risk a bad used engine. A new factory engine was out of the question because of cost alone, plus have they corrected the sleeve issue?

I came across Cannibal V8 and judging from the website seemed to know how to build a rover engine. I did see a couple of negative posts about Cannibal Salvage back in 2010 but nothing on the engines. It just happened that I was going to be in Oklahoma and decided to drop in on them to check out the operation. Steven Johnson the owner / operator was very accommodating and gave me a tour of the shop and walked me through the processes of re-building the engines. His shop was well organized and clean. He didn't try to BS and he knew what he was talking about and takes pride in his work. I ordered a complete 4.0 engine and was told that he would likely have it shipped out within the next week, but it didn't get delivered until three weeks later. We did have some communication issues at first but he was straight forward and very responsive after the first week.

I had the engine in and running the next day. and took it through the break-in period over the next couple of days. On the third day the intake valve spring on #4 cylinder broke. (40 miles) It took a couple of days to figure out what had happened because there was no noises from the engine just rough running and several codes. Steven sent a new head, and all the gaskets needed, as soon as we discovered the problem. After I changed the head, and 17 miles later, the #3 exhaust valve spring broke. I swapped the spring with one from the head I pulled and 20 miles later that one broke as well. He shipped an empty crate down to me and I sent the engine back to him so he could go through it again. The whole time I was having issues we were constantly on the phone trying to figure out what the problem was. The engine was running great until the spring would break. There were no noises from the engine. He finally discovered that there were a couple of lobes on the camshaft the were not ground properly from the supplier. While there were these issues, Steven stood by his work and did what needed to be done to make it right. He even threw in a few other parts for my DII for the initial shipment being late.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.

Last edited by Cuda66; 10-10-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You didn't say how much you paid for your "crate" engine. You swapped heads twice and had to pull a "new" engine and send it back. I'm not sure I'd be singing their praises as much as you seem to be.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The long block is $4,995 plus shipping.
I did not swap heads twice. I swapped one head once. And if the problem was a result of something they did I wouldn't be singing their praises. They did what needed to be done to correct the situation in a timely manner with out any BS.

It is a well built engine with tophat sleeves that I can depend on and I got great customer service. You can't expect more than that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default best engine...

just note, best engine builders out there and technologies...

great site, too! ton of information.

CannibalV8
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Me too

I will be replacing my motor with a Cannibal V8 in approx' 4 weeks.
I will transporting my D2 to Steve's shop and let him do the whole transplant.
Looking fore ward to driving her again soon.

I will post my experience and results here.

Stay tuned.

Rod
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