How to fit a V8:
Putting a Rover V8 into a ford Sierra Car. Merkur? In the US
How to neatly fit a
Rover V8 Engine into a Ford Sierra Car
Ok after over 50 emails
during the last few years from people wanting to know how to
fit a V8 Rover into a Ford Sierra, here is the basics.
frankly if you needed to ask, then its probably not a job
you should do...
My base car was a
fairly new green 1.6L Saloon. First I tried a 2 litre,
which is also a pinto engine so it was just a straight swap.
Better but no tee shirt.
Next I tried a Burton
Engineering 2.1 litre pinto, with lightened flywheel, daft
compression, huge valve Burton head, 285 cam, etc etc (the
usual "conventional" tuning stuff) this was fun, but had
lumpy tick over like a bike engine, and was a flat as a fart
at low RPM. It was stressy to drive, ate fuel, wore out fast
and was generally horrible to drive like most tuned
Then after the 1.6 gearbox
gave up I fitted a 5 speed one.
OK now it was quite fast but
still hard work, greedy, and wore out fast. Not what I
So I considered the easy
option, a 2.8 ford "Cologne" V6, but these are simply too
heavy but with the correct gearbox everything fits off the
Then I looked at the limited
edition XR8 from South Africa. This too can be "copied" and
the bits ordered but its an enormously heavy engine giving
awful weight distribution and a horrid to drive bad handling
Time for a rethink...
So then I looked at a shiny
rover V8 P6 factory blueprinted "test" motor that was used
by Champion Plugs for some spark plug development work for
the Rover factory many years ago and it had never been in a
It had a strange "000999"
engine number. Looked like new, had 40 hours running time
logged on an engine dyno only, It also had all the "bits"
like starters, fuel system, fans, alternators (and marine
bell housing and clutch!) and Seventy Five UK Beer tokens
later it was in the back of my van - complete with its dyno
Bargain or what. Had been on
display in a school for years (since 1974!) but, would it
You bet it would, it was just
too good not to. After all a cars just metal right? I did a
bit of research, and spoke to loads of companies but at that
time the sierra was "new" and there was no already available
solutions. Apparently I was going to be the first person to
do it. Oh what fun...
Quick trip to the breakers
and bought a 5 speed manual, as well as an Auto gearbox. I
wanted an automatic but was not sure if the final drive
would be tall enough. I fitted this auto box and torque
converter to the P6 engine, and sent the 5 speed box away to
a (specialist gearbox re-conditioner) friend to re-build
First I removed the original
motor and gearbox. This is always a good idea! Makes it so
MUCH easier! Then I TRIED lowering the V8 in complete with
gearbox. Sump was first problem... So a SD1 sump was
fitted to the P6 motor, as it has a more rearward "dropped"
part. Now it was close but still no T shirt. So 1 inch was
chopped from the front of the dropped part of the sump. We
needed 2 but the pickup pipe was now in the way... So
another inch was cut out of the X-member, and then it was
re-welded back up. Now amazingly it fitted in neatly once
the original ford mounting points were chopped off the
X-member. No body or shell modifications is needed at all.
The 5 speeds gear lever fits through the existing gear lever
hole too. New engine mounts were fabricated and welded to
the chassis rails under the bonnet. Jaguar V12 engine
mounting rubber blocks were used because they are simple
round type ones that are VERY strong. (I was already
planning on Nitrous Oxide injection)
Original gearbox mounting
fits fine but needs a few spacers and longer bolts. A set
of original P6 cast iron exhaust manifolds fit in fine (SD1
ones will not!) although these were swapped for tubular TR8
ones later on. A Cosworth standard twin pipe exhaust system
is easy to connect up with a little chopping and welding...
A diesel Sierra radiator gets rid of the extra heat! Hoses
were a mixture of ones found in a local auto parts
supplier. Standard Fords alternator fits fine, with the P6
Water pump, and front pulleys / crank damper etc. Don't try
to use the SD1 pump etc its too long!
Prop shaft front half was
made by Reco-Prop in Luton. Wiring etc was extended and
shortened as required. Throttle cable was adapted with few
problems, speedo cable fitted.
Clutch cable is still cable!
Throw the slave cylinder away... The OUTER sits in a hole
drilled in the clutch release arm. The INNER passes
through, and also through a small hole drilled in the back
of the bell housing, and is clamped with a simple nut and
bolt. The nut / bolt uses flat washers, and has a hole
cross drilled near the bolts head that allows the inner to
pass through. Its sounds involved but is dead simple to
do. But do it BEFORE you fit engine and gearbox together!
Use a 4 speed sierra diff,
from a 2.3 V6 to get the strongest, tallest setup.
the term NOS is incorrect as this refers to an specific
company (called Nitrous Oxide Systems, in the US)