Rover V8 Lifter Valley

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This is my Rover V8 3.5 Vitesse engine. I was planning upon stripping every last nut and bolt, but……

When the outside is covered in ¼” of thick oil, I was not expecting this! I’ve not cleaned it, that really is golden aluminium. No doubt, with a quick rub, it would sparkle silver.

The lifter valley gasket looked like this:

Rusty Rover V8 Valley Gasket

The engine had been standing for over 10 years, it didn’t turn and made me oily just standing nearby. The top was covered in dust and leaves and it looked quite sorry for itself.

The plan was a total rebuild. However, plans change. As the top picture shows, most of the black engine oil was on the outside, yet the oil on the inside was clean and golden.

The heads are either new or reconditioned. The lifters are new and the cam; judging by the pointed lobes; is non-standard. – That was a surprise!

Rover V8 new heads

Rover V8 Vitesse Heads

The reason the whole engine is so oily seems to be down to a knackered front crank seal.

I squirted some WD40 done the bores and with a slight ‘jong’ noise it turns and has very, very good compression 9.15bar (higher than the manual states)

So, this engine is going to get cleaned out, then I’ll add some gaskets and Voila! One slightly non-standard V8, ready to run.☺

I picked the Rover 3.5 Vitesse engine because many years ago I had a knackered one and it was a quick old brick. It was the size of a barge boat but in a straight line it could hold it’s own with all the hot hatches of the day. Put that engine in a Haynes Roadster and you are going to have plenty of fun. Putting in anything bigger, would only be of use on a track and that is something I never plan to get into.

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