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Technical Rover v8 in 36 ford

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jellowe, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Jellowe
    Joined: Jan 27, 2014
    Posts: 34

    Jellowe
    Member

    I think a light weight aluminum v8 would make a nice alternative to SBC for a 1930s ford hot rod. I know Rover built these Buick designed “nail head” engines into the 1990s and they were used in many British sports cars. Why is this engine either in Buick form or on Rover form not more popular for hot rodders?
     
    Sandgroper and warhorseracing like this.
  2. They are not unpopular by any means. There are a dozen threads all about 'em on this forum alone. True, there are a lot more SBC in rods but that's more because of the ease in finding them, and the parts availability, and their rep for making power without breaking the bank, etc.
    The little "Rovers" do get snatched up fast whenever one falls off a hoarder's truck on the way to town.
    We already know all about fire, the wheel, and the aluminum Buicks. :cool:
    Welcome, to your second post in six years. How about you? What do you have?
     
  3. They were used mostly in tens of thousands of large sedans and Range Rovers.
     
    Sandgroper likes this.
  4. They were also used in the short-lived Sterling sedan.
     

  5. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 9,990

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I guess it is popular outside the US.
    I would guess it’s not popular hear because most people don’t know much about them.
     
  6. wuga
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 408

    wuga
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Most popular engine in Europe and Australia. Mine.
    JJ2.jpg

    My other engine
    1930-ford-sedan-street-shaker-front.jpg

    Two Rover/Buicks @ 300". Low comp vs High comp.

    Warren
     
    OFT, Jet96, J.Ukrop and 6 others like this.
  7. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 716

    KenC
    Member

    Yep, not very popular in the U.S., but still a nice engine. I know of one in a salvage that has been there for about 10 years, just no buyers.

    Just a point in the OPs original post, even though they look like a nailhead Buick, they are not. the head design is nothing at all like the nailhead. Valves are placed just like all the other GM engines at the time. They just made the covers look like the Buick family.

    I had one of the originals in the 60s. Good engine, except the factory steel shim head gaskets between two piecesof aluminum engine were a mistake. Felpro's replacements fixed that.
     
    alanp561 and warhorseracing like this.
  8. Actually a few years back they were real popular here on the HAMB. Lots of people wanted the little Buick motors and the Range Rover motors were a good alternative.

    I actually found the Olds counter part of the old Buick motor for sale the other day. I considered trying to round up the price of admission. There is literally nothing in the line of hop up parts for them and I no longer have access to a machine shop. That makes one a nonstarter for me
     
    Blues4U likes this.
  9. brading
    Joined: Sep 9, 2019
    Posts: 514

    brading
    Member

    They were popular over here though I think you will find this has died off a bit. They are more expensive to get more horse power out than say a small block Chevy.
     
  10. They are light enough. That is a plus and not an everyday motor. If you want one to drive around in and you got one you are golden. ;)
     
  11. My youngest son has a lot of performance equipment for the 215" Buick. None of it is for sale. Two different 2 barrel manifolds, several different single 4 barrel manifolds, a Weber intake, A Mickey Thompson 4-71 intake, early and late Hilborn injection intakes. Plus a rebuilt 215" with 2 twos, and Offenhauser valve covers. Also, 5 more engine cores.
     
    kidcampbell71 and Blues4U like this.
  12. These were never imported into the US in any real numbers. Of the ones that made it to north America, most ended up in Canada. It was also used in very limited quantities in MGs and Triumph TR8s, but the MG never made it to NA at all (most went to Japan) and the TR8s sold in the US was only a few hundred or so; most of the latter went to Canada. B-L also sold the motor to TVR and Morgan, but again, the numbers imported here were miniscule.
     
  13. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,465

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    You can find stuff for them with a little time and patience and there is a place called D&D Fabrication that can supply info and help. http://aluminumv8.com/
    also http://www.britishv8.org/British-V8-Current-Issue.htm

    One thing to be aware of with the larger versions like the 4.6 is that they may have a crack next to a liner and it is often diagnosed as a blown head gasket. It can be sleeved and repaired. They came in carb and injected versions and the injected ones had neat little stacks on the intake that were covered. Got a picture but can't post it here.

    Always thought a lightweight T bucket with one of these and a 5 speed (or 6 speed adapted) would make a neat driver.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. Mark Wahlster
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 68

    Mark Wahlster
    Member

    In the US the 215 was only used in a few smaller cars from 1960 to 1963 thats a pretty narrow source some 55+ years later. In England Rover bought the engine design in 67 and it was produced for 39 years hence the popularity in England and places English autos ended up.
     
    irishsteve and bchctybob like this.
  15. fegsta
    Joined: May 17, 2020
    Posts: 343

    fegsta

    A popular conversion in England was to put the rover v8 into the triumph stag.

    Sent from my KOB-L09 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  16. Can't speak for Europe, but 100% WRONG in Australia.
    Most popular in Australia are SBC, SBF (including the common locally produced Clevelands) and increasingly with the street rod crowd, LS series.
    A smattering of Rover engines.
     
    bowlingball likes this.
  17. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,302

    mustangsix
    Member

    Biggest obstacle to using this engine is mating a transmission to the oddball bell housing pattern.
     
    lake_harley likes this.
  18. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,906

    31Apickup
    Member

    They tend to sell quickly around here on Craigslist if they are reasonably priced. The next generation cast iron block 300 & 340 have the BOP bell housing but there are no aftermarket intakes but they do share camshafts with the 215.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. Jellowe
    Joined: Jan 27, 2014
    Posts: 34

    Jellowe
    Member

    That was going to be my next question. What manual floor shift transmission fits it ? Land rovers were four wheel drive so those trannys probably wouldn’t work.
     
  20. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,465

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    The original Buick 215 bell housing would accept Saginaw and Muncie 4 speeds. Then you had to add your own floor shifter.
     
  21. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,906

    31Apickup
    Member

    Actually some manual 215 bell housings have the old three speed trans pattern, some have the later pattern that fits the Muncie and Saginaw trans have to make sure you get the right one.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  22. As X38 says the ex Buick/Olds 215 engines were never real popular here in Oz although we got the various Range Rover/Rover 3500 & SD/Triumph TR8 versions but in 1973 to 1975 Leyland here in Oz made the Leyland P76 4dr sedan with a 269 cube version of this all alloy V8, only a 2 barrel carby but because of the light weight of the P76 the V8/4 speed version would give any Ford, Holden or Valiant V8 manual a run for their money.........aftermarket finned rocker covers and 4 barrel intakes were made but would be difficult to find now...........of course you could try to find one of the Repco Brabham 215 Olds based Fuel injected SOHC and DOHC Formula One engines used by Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme............but a lottery win would be a help............lol............. .andyd
     
    Sandgroper likes this.
  23. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,354

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Was a new bellhousing pattern developed for the 215 only, back in 1960 or whenever, in the US?
     
  24. 32.5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 32

    32.5window
    Member
    from u.k.

    I'm running an early '70's Rover V8 in my '29 Roadster. It has a later oil pump and an Offenhauser inlet with a 500 Edelbrock carb. Mated to a BW35. Goes well and returns around 24mpg on a run.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. wuga
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 408

    wuga
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I was probably thinking P76, a variant of the Rover and since I've been building these engines since 1987, maybe things have changed.
    My first engine had a 3 speed and I wanted to install a 4 speed. We machined a plate to adapt the two different bolt patterns but after awhile the stress cracked the bell housing. At that point I drove 300 miles to Almont MI to D&D where I met Dan and Mark. They had a used 4 gear unit. They now cast their own. They have built 5 engines for me and are the best resource anywhere for the aluminum block build.
    Warren
     
  26. solidaxle
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 584

    solidaxle
    Member
    from Upstate,NY

    I have a lead on a Rover motor. Besides condition what would you look for?
    Also know of two cars sitting outside, no motors. Are they worth anything?
     
  27. No, nothing has changed. They were never popular hot rod engines.
     
    bowlingball likes this.
  28. jimmysweden
    Joined: Aug 26, 2011
    Posts: 243

    jimmysweden
    Member
    from sweden

    They are more popular in UK than the rest of Europe.. Most popular engine is still Chevy small block. And The 215'' is hard to find outside UK today.
     
  29. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,092

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    http://www.britishv8.org/ Lots of info here if you're that way inclined. A friend had one for his project with an adapter kit to suit a GM auto that he eventually sold. Not my cup of tea, to each their own.
    5251min_20.jpeg

    6861i97_20.jpeg
     
  30. You can use a bell housing from an early 1960's GMC V-6 truck engine.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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