There is a need for decent power in this event. Whilst many competitors choose to adapt non genuine engines for their vehicles, it was decided to retain a Land Rover engine in this event vehicle but to upgrade to get as much out of the engine whilst maintaining reliability as much as possible. The standard 1995 Discovery engine is a 3.9 liter V8 engine putting out less than 200 bph. This is clearly not enough. To this end we purchased a 4.6 Liter Rover Engine with barely 7,500 miles on it to be our base for building a performance engine.

The below picture is the engine in the box before any work has been done to it.

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Time to get started on the engine.

We stripped down the engine in order to check that all was in order and to remove parts that would be replaced. the next photo shows it after the Rocker covers have been removed, along with the Engine Front cover and Oil Pan.

Items removed included:

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Leaving us with the following to work on:

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 The second picture above shows the underneath of the engine after the Oil pan has been removed but before the Oil pick up has been taken out. Note that in this Bosch engine the oil pick up is for the front of the engine compared to the center in earlier model engines. Given that we will be changing over the front cover we will also change the oil pick up to the center position. The third picture shows Keith about to start checking the big end bearings. Luckily we check this as whoever put the engine back together prior to it being sold actually distorted the Connecting Rod Bolts on some of the Connecting Rod caps. We have ordered a full set of replacements to sole this problem.

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We have decided to upgrade the Cam with a Crower 50227 CAM. This cam is designed for the Buick 215-340 engines and is a  COMPU-PRO HYDRAULIC CAM.  The following technical details are direct from Crower:

Part Number/Work Order Number 50227
Engine Application 215-340 BUICK
Grind Number 246HDP


INTAKE: Duration: 246º Lift: 0.402 Clearence Hot: 0
EXHAUST: Duration: 253º Lift: 0.421 Clearence Hot: 0

The specifications listed above are based on a rockerarm ratio of 1.6 IN
1.6 EX

Part # 68405 Single Dual X Triple
Approximate spring pressure: valve closed: 105/115 LBS.
valve open: 270/285 LBS.

The information below is for degreeing cam only. Correct only at .050" tappet lift.
INTAKE Opens: -16.0 ATDC
Closes: 20.0 ABDC
EXHAUST Opens: 31.0 BBDC
Closes: -21.0 BTDC


Duration at .050" Intake: 184
Exhaust: 190
LOBE LIFT Intake: 0.251
Exhaust: 0.263

If using "Lobe Center" method of degreeing, cam should be installed on an intake centerline of: 108º

This Cam will slide straight into the 4.6 block. One problem is that it is designed for the older style engine which has a bolt mechanism to stop camshaft wander. the newer engine s have a cam retainer plate. This plate is not compatible with the Crower cam. If you have access to a lathe then this is an easy problem to fix as per the below photos:

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The first picture above shows the cam I the lathe set up for grinding. the red arrow points to the section that needs to be ground away to allow proper fitment. The second picture shows the plate starting to be ground down. That's me in the third picture checking on the grind [note this was my first time ever using a lathe so Keith kept a very close eye on what was happening]. The last picture shows the grind finished and the retaining plate being test fitted. Note that the retaining plate is not symmetrical on the block so the grind needs to be large than the simple diameter of the plate gap. This has to be test cheeked a couple of times to get the correct fit.

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Once it was finished I used the Crower Cam grease to lubricate the Cam and then gently fitted it in it's final resting place.


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In conjunction with the Crower Cam we will be upgrading to Rhoads Hydrolic Lifters. We will be using the Rhoads RL-8468 lifters which are again designed for the Buick 215 Engine. Whilst these lifters are more expensive and more work to prepare for installation, they are supposed to be far better for low end torque applications. According to their website "At idle and lower rpm where lugging power and more torque are needed, Rhoads Lifters “bleed down” to make your cam smaller…about 10 degrees smaller. This really boosts low-end torque, engine vacuum, fuel economy and idle quality." 

the biggest problem with these so far has been getting them. We placed an order 3 weeks ago and are still waiting for them. This is probably due to the engine type, still it is a pain in the neck waiting.

A Cloyes Original True Double Roller Timing chain was supplied by Erick Voss of EuroWest in California. Erick also owns OCCarParts.com, check them out for some good pricing. The set is parts number 9-3132 or 9-138 for the chain only. The sprockets are made from SAE D7003 ductile iron or induction hardened cast iron. The chain uses .250 diameter rollers. All pieces are matched to ensure best performance. 

Time to change engines!

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The first picture above shows the existing engine in the engine bay. Many of the ancillaries have already been removed or positioned out of the way to allow engine removal. The second and third pictures show the engine bay after removal. The third picture actually shows the transmission still in place at the rear of the engine back with the engine hoist partially obscuring the view. The last picture is of the old engine [which is for sale if anyone wants to buy it from me]. This 3.9 engine looks a bit worse for wear but it is merely the coating of grease and grime that makes it look worse. I hope to clean it up when I get some time. Upon removal we found that an aftermarket cam had been installed. Up until now the engine had performed very well and ran smoothly, it is just a bit underpowered for our needs.

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We intend to reuse many of the ancillaries and engine components such as the front cover. The new engine was originally a JEMS motor however we want to run a distributor hence the need to reuse the front cover form the standard 3.9 engine. Also the Plenum, Inlet manifold and trumpets and housing [or Air Rams and housing depending upon what you want to call them]. As a result these items had to be cleaned up for re-use. the second picture shows Tim Clair [another member of the Solihull Society club of which I am a member] helping out doing the dirty work of cleaning components. The third picture shows my helpers this past weekend. From left to right, Keith Kreutzer, Larry Grubbs and Tim Clair. Please forgive Keith his gesture as he was very tired after a long day of working and he did not think I would use the picture.

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Time to test fit the engine before installing it back in the Discovery. Yes that's me doing some work for once. No it is not a staged shot I am actually doing some work. It al went back together as hoped except that the fan was joined to the water pump. If I ever need a new water pump I will be getting a new fan as well. Despite our best efforts the tow were joined permanently.

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The last two shots above and those below show the engine being placed back in the Discovery. Land Rover engineers need to be shot. For the average guy working in his shed trying to get the engine bell housing bolted back together is a nightmare. The top two bolts are easily accessed [yeh sure who am I trying to kid with that comment] by leaving the engine mounts off and lowering the engine down as far as possible and then tightening from the top. With large hands this is still difficult due to the lack of space between the engine and the firewall. I actually climbed into the engine bay to get access hence the unflattering shots below.

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Well the Disco now has a worked 4.6 engine and all I have to do is a few reconnections before it can be driven away. This is easier said than done. We are effectively joining up parts of a 1995 3.9 lt Discovery with a 2004 [ish] 4.6lt Jems modified motor. As many changes have taken place such as Plenum, fittings etc it is a matter of getting all to fit. Our first hitch was the hosing between the Plenum and the Inlet manifold. Normally this is an easy hook up, however you can see from the below two pictures that we have to manufacture a fitting to link the 3 inlet / outlet points.

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 We were unable to find a fitting to match so a quick trip to the plumbing store and some copper tubing later saw a nice [in my opinion] 3 way joint made up. Ok the hose clamps are probably overkill but they do look nice.

The power steering pump was also upgraded and we added a Saginaw Power steering pump and reservoir unit. The reasons we went this way was that they are far cheaper than the Land Rover product and provide more power than the standard unit. Rover tracks are building a kit to allow a bolt in set up. The following specs are off the Summit racing site:

Power Steering Pump Model: Saginaw P series
Power Steering Pump Style: Saginaw
Reservoir Style: Attached
Reservoir Included: Yes
Reservoir Finish: Black
Inlet Quantity: Single
Inlet Attachment: Hose barb
Inlet Size: 3/8 in.
Outlet Quantity: Single
Outlet Attachment: Female threads
Outlet Size: 5/8-18 in.
Pulley Attachment Style: Keyway
Pulley Included: No
Pump Finish: Black epoxy
Notes: Pump casting has 10 mm x 1.50 inch metric thread holes.


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The first picture is of a standard item from catalogue. The second and third pictures show the pump in the purpose built mounting frame and the last two pictures show Keith with his new baby. Doesn't he look like the proud father. Anyway we were able to re-use the standard Land Rover pulleys with the use of a spacer made to fit between the pulley and the pump. You can see from picture 2 how the brackets mount to the 3 engine holes the standard pump normally uses for mounting. I hope to post some pictures next week of the pump installed on the vehicle. Purpose built hydraulic hoses were obtained from the local hydraulic line store. These can be made and obtained from any outlet able to make such hoses so was not an issue and will not be a problem if they ever need replacement.

The pump is in and working properly. It can just be seen behind the air cleaner box in the below picture.

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Water Proofing.

Reading a recent copy of Land Rover Monthly I noticed a write up on a new kit by Tuff Toys out of the UK. The kit is called their Wetproofing Kit and is basically a couple of rubber protective hoods for the distributor and coil. I tried to order it online to give it a try but unfortunately their system only allows for UK purchases. I emailed Nick at Tuff Toys who was very helpful and helped me purchase a kit. I have not had the chance to install it yet but below is a picture of part of the kit they sent me. It looks to be an easy fit although I think the Distributor will be hard as the spark plug leads do not go straight up but off at an angle whereas the kits points are vertical.

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More updates to follow.




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