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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '87 has been using a little water for a while but I thought I could get away with it for a while longer. The car never runs hot even with the summer temperatures.
The car has started to run roughly with a low tickover so I suspect I need to pull the heads off and check out what is going on. The expansion tank is pressuring quickly and there are bubbles coming to the surface.
I have read the manual and it all seems easy enough.
I have never dismantled an injection system but it appears not too complicated.
However I live tucked away in a small village in France without easy access to LR parts quickly or for sensible money.
Apart from a head gasket set, what else should I get to guarantee a worry free strip down and rebuild? I was hoping to to get it all done in a day.
Am I dreaming? Should I expect to have to get the heads skimmed? The car has 50K miles and appears to have had a gentle life.....
Any advice gladly received. Many thanks in advance.
A few of these will be needed surely? :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link.
I suppose 3.5 V8s can require simply a head gasket remplacement from time to time, without it meaning I've got a cracked block?
The more I read on the forum, the more doom and gloom I am finding!
For example I thought I had a transfer case clunk until I retorqued my newly fitted suspension bushes and everything went quiet again....
Thanks again for the link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
philippe said:
Thanks for the link.
I suppose 3.5 V8s can require simply a head gasket remplacement from time to time, without it meaning I've got a cracked block?
The more I read on the forum, the more doom and gloom I am finding!
For example I thought I had a transfer case clunk until I retorqued my newly fitted suspension bushes and everything went quiet again....
Thanks again for the link.
OK, I got brave and started to take it all apart today. Taking it slowly I managed to get the intake manifold off and all the plumbing away including the injection system in a little over two hours. Nothing snapped or broke but I cursed Mr. Haynes a few times. Its amazing how many times you have to flick forward and backwards between chapters with these damned manuals to have a logical working order. Anyhow it seems that some demented monkey has been working on the car in the past as there are signs of some quality bodging having gone on...? Example, two top hose radiator/waterpump clips...the second one to hide the fact that the hose was nearly spilt and the vacuum advance module on the distributor basically hanging off because the screws were not done up with also one vacuum pipe plugged with with a self tapper screw...nice!
I tried to label things logically, but boy is there a lot of plumbing with these cars!
The plenum chamber was not too crudy but the ram pipes had a good tarnished finish. Some of the pipes connecting to the plenum chamber simply slid of which makes me wonder if they were not leaking somehow and got loose with age. I'll add a zip tie or two when I put it all together again. Amazingly the car seemed to be driving quite well.....maybe these V8s are more forgiving that we give them credit for?
I'll try and get the heads off tomorrow and will post any new news.
Any advice about how and where the distributor should be plumbed in? I have two small bore pipes coming out of the unit with one of then plugged....Will update soon. Best regards,
Philippe
 

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Hello,

A quick one, the distributor vacuum chamber has two pipes, the one TOWARDS the distributor should be plugged, the other one to the plenium chamber

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks André for the moral support. The strip down today provided a new list of horrors . It was a good struggle to get the exhaust manifold bolts undone. Those 'c' locking tabs work well. The bolts were not tight at all and it makes me think that maybe I can replace the locking tabs with spring washers when I put it all back together....? I have a number of British cars and there was a period when there was an odd mix of bolt head sizes and threads, some metric and some imperial. I thought that the RR was metric, but got out my 5/8 sockets and 9/16 sockets to get a better purchase on my '16mm' and '14mm' bolts.....First surprise was the complete lack of exhaust gaskets....the manifold was simply bolted up to the head...I didn't hear any blowing....my parts manual lists aluminum type gaskets...Is this normal that my car should have no gaskets?..Its odd because the 'c' locking tabs seemed new...
Surprise number two was that the rearmost tappet could not be removed because the top edge had been smacked blocking the tappet from coming out! Ah...!!
Surprise number three was one of the head bolts was missing its washer.....
And the winner tonight is that the head gasket was fitted upside down!!! maybe this has something to do with the pressurising of the cooling system...?
The good news is that the cam is unmarked and that the bores are perfect....
I need to get the 'black death' of the rocker assembly and head...A good soak in petrol followed by a scrub?
Next posting next week.
Any feedback or comment greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone! Cheers Philippe
 

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Hi Phillippe

I had this occurr on my 3.9 a few years back, with olny 50000 miles on the clock the motor is fairly young.

I had 176000 klm on mine and decided whilst I had this all stripped down to do the top end properly. Had the heads reco'd and the ports cleaned up. New valve guides etc. Rover Cams seem to prematurly wear so I got a new cam and lifters and a double row timing chain.

One thing I found on mine was that bolts were crap when I tried to tention them up they snapped. I had to buy a whole new set oh well. $600 in parts and a bit of work, it was all well worth it.

As for the bolts on the exhaust manifolds they always seem to work their way loose. Just get in the habit of checking them once an a while!

just my experience
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As a follow up to the top-end strip down, I have now removed the left bank cylinder head.....interesting experience!
Jeremey Clarkson the presenter of 'Top Gear' the BBC motoring program should include in his show a feature called 'I would like to meet the man that designed this part....' I say this because removing the alternator and power steering brackets was a job to test even Harry Houdini and if I were ever to met the man that designed this setup I would certainly share my thoughts with him!
The latest surprise was that the 'black death' factor on the left bank was far greater than on the right. The head bolts seemed tighter as well, which made me think that this side had not been removed before. Also the 'C' locktabs on the manifolds were folded over at 90° indicating that it was done at the factory.
With the head off it was obvious where my 'pressurising problem' was coming from.
The gasket material around the water passages at either end of the head had rusted/eroded away leaving a jagged edge allowing the two closest cylinders to pressurise them. Also there was a clean break bewteen on the gasket between the centre bores. USE GOOD ANTI-FREEZE
Again, camshaft followers and the bores look fine.
A quick check on a surface plate showed that I had some twist in head mating surface.
I called RPI V8 in the UK after having a long look at their very detailed and excellent website (www.rpiv8.com) and have gone for thicker composite head gaskets which should give extra insurance in the future. Great service and friendly advice from RPI BTW.
My local machine shop is going to take 0.25mm of each head to bring back the CR to 9.35:1 or close.
So far so good, no snapped bolts and no stripped threads.

However I have got a nagging thought though. The RPI website has got me thinking about camshafts and if it is worth upgrading now....
They say the Rover camshaft is good for 80k miles. My car has 50k miles. Seeing the complexity of the strip down, I will not be in a hurry to do it again in the near future.
The question is can I replace the camshaft with the engine in situ. What else do I need to remove to get at it? Is there enough space to wriggle it out with the radiator removed? What nasty surprises do I expect to find?
I do not have the car close by so cannot just run out and check.
Does anyone have experience of the RP4 optimax cam?

More postings as they come. Cheers, Philippe
 
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