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V8 into Ford Sierra!

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This was a Ford 1.6L Sierra. I got bored and decided a well tuned V8 was better!

> 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.

But 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 engines...

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 wanted.

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 shelf...

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 car.

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 car.

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 test stand...    

Bargain or what. Had been on display in a school for years (since 1974!) but, would it fit...

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 like new.

Fitting it...

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.  


*Technically the term NOS is incorrect as this refers to an specific company (called Nitrous Oxide Systems, in the US)



Web design & contents, Nitrous / fuel Jet Sizing, technical information, pictures, charts are all 1987 and on. Any theft will be pursued vigorously..



















































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