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It's About Time!

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#1
TigerDan

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I finally started on my engine swap. I'm tired of missing out on trips, and it's gotten so critical that I've been nervous to drive it any further tan about 60 mils from home (though I've done so on several occasions recently.)

 

What I'm referring to is the lifter tick which anyone in the Club who's been around my Rover is well familiar with by now. When I swapped this '95 4.2 into my '91 RRC about 7 or 8 years ago, it already had a nice lifter tick which would come and go. Sometimes I could drive it for days and it would never make a sound, but whenever I hit the trails it would always show up. I've tried a few work-arounds and managed to reduce it at times, but it's always come back. I've been able to isolate it to the #3 exhaust valve, and even replaced the guts of that lifter working through the passage in the cylinder head (I think I know sort of how a proctologist feels now!) but the problem always returns. I suspect that the oil pressure is now so low that there's simply not enough oil getting to the lifters. It's also quite possible that a cam bearing has worked its way partially out of the journal. Every once in a while I hear multiple lifters clattering, but for the most part it's just the one, clacking away merrily. And it oozes oil from every rock-hard seal and gasket, leaving quite a mess. Over the years I've replaced the front and rear main seals, valve cover gaskets, intake manifold and pan gasket, but oil still finds its way back out to help replenish the Earth's oil supply (and keep my chassis well-lubricated.)

 

It's gotten to be almost non-stop now, it's only quiet when I first do a cold start, then the clattering comes on after about a minute or so and at this point rarely goes away. At idle I can hear a slight lope to the engine which corresponds perfectly to the lifer tick. And when I pull into a parking lot or drive down the street, people turn their heads and look, and I very much doubt they're thinking how cool my RRC looks, they're thinking, "Wow, listen to that POS! He should junk that thing!" So it's really been an embarrassment to the Marque, way past time to take care of it.

 

Don't get me wrong, it's been a great engine overall. Good power, fun to drive, reliable, and I see no evidence that the heads have ever been off of it. Despite the mileage it's had low oil consumption and even been reasonably decent on gas, usually returning about 15-16 MPG with a high of 19.9 on Nevada gas going down to Death Valley on one trip. I don't know exactly how many miles are on this engine, but I think it had about 175K when I put it in (it came from a '95 LWB that Cambo and I swapped a 4.6 into, and Cambo had gotten the truck from Nathan who told me it had had a hard life before he got it) and I've put somewhere around 90K miles on it...so overall, I really have nothing to complain about. But that lifter tick...it's been driving me nuts for a long time, and now that it's a full-fledged non-stop clatter, it's time for it to go away.

 

So the replacement engine is a '95 4.2 that I got several years ago with a blown head gasket, blown directly to the outside so there was no coolant loss, just loss of compression. This engine only has around 97K miles on it, and I've cleaned it up some externally, replaced all gaskets and seals, installed a Crower 50227 cam with new lifters and double-roller timing set, skimmed the heads and done some minor cleanup of the ports (just the smoothing the pockets under the valves) along with a 3-angle valve job and new stem seals. I have a lower plenum with the trumpets removed, which I'll take about 3/4" off the bottoms before I reset them. I also have a set of headers which I'm debating installing, but I'd like to get this finished up in the next day or so, and installing the headers will mean fabricating quite a bit of new exhaust to replace the Y-pipe, so I may put that particular project on the back burner, along with an intake system project I've been working on and gathering parts for. (More on that when I'm ready...stay tuned!)

 

Today's episode will start with pressure washing the engine compartment and using some POR-15 on some rust on the top section of the bulkhead, and installing some insulation on the bulkhead as the RRCs didn't have factory bulkhead insulation till about '93 or '94. I will then swap my flywheel onto the replacement engine and install the new clutch and pilot bushing, along with a few other odds and ends, and hope to have the engine sitting in place by this afternoon. But I have a gig to play tonight, so I have to wrap it up here by about 4:30.

 

So, I have a few pics to post that I took yesterday when the engine came out, more to come as things progress.

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#2
DHappel

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So what I'm hearing is 'I'm going to make it to Gold Lakes in 2 weeks'   :)

 

We some of the old guard on hand...this whole trip was supposed to be about Chuck and he's not even going to make it!


Edited by DHappel, 04 July 2017 - 09:51 AM.

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Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#3
TigerDan

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I would love to do Gold Lake again, but I have a prior commitment for that weekend. The following weekend would (probably) have been doable for me, but that's a moot point.


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#4
Desertcrawler

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    Chuck (NCLR025)

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Yay, finally tackling the cobblers shoes. You are now officially ahead of Tyler - he is stuck getting his engine out with a funky fuel line connector he doesn't want to damage..


Chuck (KI6WSR)
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#5
TigerDan

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Is he back home from Alaska yet? I made him a short video of how to disconnect it.


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#6
dcproven

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Dan,

you are describing pretty much any V8 Rover engine around :)

 

Anyway,

have fun.



#7
DHappel

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Wait....Alaska?


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#8
TigerDan

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Yeah...big state, up north, west of Canada...you must have heard of it.


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#9
AdvRovr

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Oh yeah, I think you bake it or something for dessert?

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Chad // Instagram: @AdvRovr
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FOR SALE: Built 1997 Range Rover 4.0 // 2006 BMW 330i 6MT 


#10
DHappel

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I thought that was where you went to film reality TV?

 

Should I be looking for Tyler on Discovery?


Edited by DHappel, 05 July 2017 - 03:17 PM.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#11
Desertcrawler

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He is back. Think we maybe need the video. Calling him now..


Chuck (KI6WSR)
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#12
TigerDan

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He texted me yesterday morning, I already sent him the video. He's still unable to get it disconnected (or was when we last talked.)

 

As for the subject of this thread...moving forward, a bit more slowly than I'd hoped, but progress nonetheless. Got the engine compartment, some of the undercarriage, and most of the parts that need to be transferred to the new engine from the old one all cleaned up. Spent most of yesterday dealing with the rust issue on the firewall (or bulkhead, depending on which side of The Pond you hail from) took most of the day. Had to wire brush it which revealed more rust than was previously visible (no surprise there) and then started layering on the POR15, building it up and letting it tack up so I could lay a strip on mesh over the holes, then building that up. Took a bit longer and more layers than expected, and I spent the time in between coats swapping parts to the new engine. It still had the crankshaft adapter on it, which had to be removed to install the new rear main seal and flywheel. And I realized just this morning that the insulation material I was planning to install on the firewall wouldn't be appropriate, so I'll put that off and for now and look for a piece of the factory material they used on '94-'95 RRCs.

 

I installed the clutch with a new disc, but re-used the pressure plate as it was not all that old still in great condition. In fact, the disc was in much better shape than I expected with only a few thou of wear as compared to the new one, but the springs were all a bit loose.

 

I then moved on to installing the new throwout bearing. I don't seem to be having a lot of luck with these, this is the second brand-new NSK T/O bearing I've installed in this truck and it only lasted about 4 years. It was starting to chatter a bit, especially when cold. Greased up all the pivot points with synthetic grease and installed new plastic bits where needed, I.E. the "Staple" which connects the fork to the T/O bearing in pulls it back when the pedal is released, and the bit over the end of the rod from the slave cylinder to the end of the fork, which helps secure the ball on the end of the rod to the socket in the end of the fork.

 

And after sitting overnight with the engine compartment clean, I discovered the source of my power steering leak...it's actually oozing out around the top cover on the steering box, so I'll pull that apart to fix it today, since it's a lot easier to access it with the engine and everything out of the way. Then it should be time to drop the engine back into place...something like two days later than planned!


Edited by TigerDan, 06 July 2017 - 08:09 AM.

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#13
Desertcrawler

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That sux. Do we have to cut it and then get the one from the parts truck then? Seems like a waste..


Chuck (KI6WSR)
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
3" RTE Lift,Bilstein Shocks, GBR 4:11s gears, Rovertym bumpers front & rear, 2 IPF HID lights , rear work lights, custom sliders, diff guards, gas tank protector. Warn 9600 winch, synthetic rope, 285/75/16 tyres, Brownchurch rack, CDL Linkage, Heavy duty drive shafts, ARB air lockers, heavy duty rear axles & front CV joints from GBR. Ham & CB radio

#14
Desertcrawler

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How goes your engine install?


Chuck (KI6WSR)
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
3" RTE Lift,Bilstein Shocks, GBR 4:11s gears, Rovertym bumpers front & rear, 2 IPF HID lights , rear work lights, custom sliders, diff guards, gas tank protector. Warn 9600 winch, synthetic rope, 285/75/16 tyres, Brownchurch rack, CDL Linkage, Heavy duty drive shafts, ARB air lockers, heavy duty rear axles & front CV joints from GBR. Ham & CB radio

#15
TigerDan

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Tyler said he's going to just remove the fuel rail from the injectors and leave it in place (of course that means removing the plenum since the fuel rail sits underneath it) and just move it out of the way so he can continue removing the engine and try to deal with getting the connector off later. With the engine out of the way he should be able to get to it a little easier.


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#16
DHappel

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Dan, just wondering, ever considered going to a hydraulic TO bearing?  No linkage/ 'staple', and should last.  I don't know if there's one available for that transmission but seems like a possibility.


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#17
TigerDan

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I don't know if there's one available either, but I'm not a fan of them anyway. Seems like the most common failure point is the slave cylinder, and since it's internal, it means pulling either the engine or tranny to service rather than simply bolting one on the outside of the bellhousing.


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#18
TigerDan

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Still fighting the battle. The engine is in, but it's amazing how many little things needed to be addressed. Yesterday most of the day was spent on re-wiring. The installation of the '95 engine from several years ago caused the alternator to be relocated (on a V-belt engine it's on the driver's side, up above and outboard of the power steering pump but on a serpentine engine it's more to the pass. side, just inboard of the A/C compressor) so the alt. wiring had to be moved to reach, and I was never very happy with it so I took this opportunity to redo it, and the entire alternator/ignition/sensor harness which all needed attention.

 

I also decided to replace the fuel supply line as it problems at both ends. The previous owner had installed a nipple with a Schrader valve in the fuel line right where it connects to fuel rail in order to be able to check fuel pressure, but he used a tee fitting with an R12 A/C valve, so it wouldn't connect to my fuel pressure tester anyway. I installed a fuel rail with a built-in Schrader valve off of a '95 (I was using the original '91 fuel rail before) but of course this required disassembly of the injector harness and rerouting of the fuel temp. sensor wire, as the later fuel rail relocates the temp. sensor from the front of the rail over to the driver's side and the harness connector wouldn't reach. And the other problem with the fuel supply line was that, when I bought the truck, it looked as though the fuel filter had never been replaced so the outlet connector was completely rusted to the filter. I wound up having to cut the hose from the connector and finding a filter which would connect to the line from the tank but used a hose fitting on the outlet side. I wanted to go back to a stock filter and had a spare fuel line off of a '92, so I swapped that in. And of course Mud Daubers had gotten into it and plugged it, so I had to clean it out before I could install it.

 

And another fun little thing I discovered: When I bought my replacement serpentine belt I bought one for a DI thinking they were the same as the layout of accessories is the same between a '95 RRC and GEMS DI: they're not. The GEMS DI belt is slightly shorter and wouldn't fit. But I luckily had a smaller diameter DI tensioner/idler pulley, so I swapped that on and the DI belt now fits perfectly.

 

These are just examples of some of things I've needed to deal with. And here I thought I could do this swap in 2-3 days! I suppose I could have if I didn't bother to take care of all these little things.

 

At this point the engine has coolant and oil in it (and no leaks so far this morning, a good sign!) I still have to tighten up the Y-pipe to manifolds, and shorten the intake trumpets and assemble the plenum, install the fan and shroud and a few other things, but it's looking like I'm getting close to starting it today. 

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#19
TigerDan

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Engine is in and running. Finished it up last Weds. and got it started, broke in the new cam and lifters and took it for a test drive. Feels good, definitely peppier and smoother, and I have to say, it's so nice to drive it without having to listen to the clatter from the bad lifter. (Interestingly enough, I pulled the intake on my old noisy engine and so far can't see any problem from above, the cam bearings are all in place and the cam even looks really good, no brown discoloration of the lobes like many Rover V8 cams can get after only about 100K.) 

 

Thursday morning I left the house early with the back of the Rover fully loaded and drove to Navarro, in Mendocino county to work at a 4-day music festival, where I had to camp for that time. The Rover ran great all the way over and back, and even seems to be getting a bit better gas mileage. And it still runs just great on regular gas, though I did get a very slight bit of pinging with the timing set at 10º like I had it on the old engine, so I'll just bump it back to 8º and that should take care of it.

 

I did shoot a little video of my first test drive, so perhaps I'll post that up tomorrow. 

 

It's sure nice to have my Rover running good again...and quiet!


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#20
DHappel

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Great news Dan!  Now maybe we'll see you on some of the club runs again!


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock





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