Dec '01
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7th December, Hardware

Just spent some more money on the project .....

79 for a leccy fuel pump, pressure regulator and some fittings. Curses, it's a required expense so it will have to be counted in the budget ;-)

Maybe, just maybe, I will try to start the engine in the shed this weekend. I feel lost without the occasional V8 growl.

9th December, Action

Tested the flywheel, clutch and transfer housing together and found that the flywheel needs to be 2mm closer to the block than it is at present, so the 21mm bit of the crank adapter needs to be 19mm thick instead.

I used 2.5mm steel plate to bodge up a temporary mounting for the starter motor it isn't very elegant, but does get things into the right place and will provide a template for a proper adapter.

The transfer housing was bolted together using orange silicone sealant instead of gaskets, then about 7 liters of oil was poured in - heck I dunno how much it should have !!!

No leaks after 15 mins :-)

Then I welded a bit of M8 studding into an old 10mm tube spanner, long enough to reach the oil pump drive with the distributor removed. The oil system was primed using a leccy drill to get the pressure up. Enough to make the drill smoke - oops.

Temporary fuel system plumbed in & wired, pump ticks away and fills the carb up.

Fitted the distributor & bodged a temporary loom.

Just need to sort the timing, fit some sort of exhaust to the down pipes and find enough electricity to spin the thing up.

Pics of iffy orange goop and starter mounting

16th December, Update

V8 Mini progress has slowed down in the lead up to Christmas, to allow time for buying booze and other such vital activities.

Good news is that Doris (the Mini awaiting the V8) passed the MOT first time on Saturday, so I will not need to spend any extra time/resources on that, leaving more pure V8 time :-)

The engine & box have been bolted together for a couple of weeks now and still no signs of BL drippage - A real Christmas miracle ??

Flywheel is currently mounted with the test epoxy adapter to check dimensions, but Lynne (one of Elaine's bridesmaids) is making nice shiny steel one which should be ready in the next 10 days or so :-)

Should be able to fire it up in the shed soon, maybe on xmas morning ??

Subframe mods are mostly guestimated now, so will have to bite the bullet and start chopping up the 'real' frame as soon as the 1380 engine is extracted.

Next bit of design to consider is the exhaust system.....

I have a couple of plans on how to get the pipes around the engine, but I am unsure how to proceed when the pipes get to the back of the engine compartment.

At this stage I am ruling out 6" custom chrome sidepipes, as the sills on the Mini are just too short ;-)

I (just) have space to run 2x 2" pipes under the floor, then stick a single silencer on each, max dimensions 9"/5.5" x 18" long.

Or I can run a single 2.5-3" pipe under the floor through a 4" x 12" box, then into a hooge ? 12"x5.5 x 18" long box.

Decisions, decisions !

16th December, Email

Another V8 fool has contacted me regarding the conversion.... To say he has been doing the same conversion for about 16 years !!!!!

He did send some nice pictures and promises to send more as soon as they are scanned in

26th December, Action!

Spent a fun Boxing Day playing in the garden, doing a trial fit of the full engine into the 'test bed'. Unfortunately ran out of cutting disks for the angle grinder while 'editing' the bulkhead, so had to use grinding disks for the remainder of the cutting. Oh well, nobody is going to be outside today are they ? so the extra noise won't hurt ;-)

The engine and box are now bolted to the subframe - in about the right place - and the front panels & bonnet almost fit.

Tomorrow I hope to weld some box section together to reinforce the subframe, then make the proper engine mounting brackets.

Click here for a few pics

28th December, Action!

In the end yesterday was spent fighting in and out of Canterbury - bloomin sales! However I did manage to pick up some steel supplies.

Chopped a hole in the back of the subframe to let the Princess diff sit better, and to allow a bit more 'wiggling' room for juggling the engine. - Fitting it in is turning into a bit of a fiddly nightmare, you wouldn't believe how slow this bit is !!!! Welding & bolting temporary engine mounts on, then dropping the engine in to see where it fouls, then lifting the engine, bending the mounts, then lowering and testing again.......

The problem is that we are juggling with 4 points of contact :-

(1) The rear rocker cover, sparkplugs & manifold - hitting bulkhead. (2) The front rocker cover stopping the bonnet from closing. (3) The transfer end of the gearbox and the suspension tie bar (drivers side). (4) Drive shaft alignment with existing holes in subframe. -- 3 is probably the worst as the tie bar rises towards the box as the suspension compresses.

Anyway, having finally found the right place for the engine, I have started welding subframe bracing and permanent mounts together

At this rate it will probably take a couple more days to finish them :-(

Click for the pics of engines & bent bits of metal

30th December, Action!

Finally got the engine into position sitting on some more permanent mounts, so it's time to start juggling exhaust pipes.

Originally I was going to use left hand LandRover 101 cast manifolds for both sides, but the front pipe unfortunately exits directly into the headlamp! Luckily the left hand manifold that came with the engine if a pretty good fit. It's is a nasty cast thing from another Landy, but it fits behind the grill and the pipe goes the right way, so it will do for now ! (By the way, the reason for left hand manifolds is to clear the starter motor)

The pipe from the front (right) bank will go down to the subframe then along the front towards the flywheel end, when it gets under the starter motor it will head rearwards under the engine next to the large reinforcing box section.

The pipe from the rear bank could have gone straight down through the rear of the subframe, but to keep the pipes from each bank similar lengths it will curl round to the transfer housing to front of the subframe and follow the pipe from the front bank.

The pipes may be connected together with a Y piece behind the diff or I may run twin pipes. - Still not decided !!!

Click for engine mounts & exhaust pics

31st December, Action!

Spent the last day of the year relaxing on the garden path with about a million bits of exhaust pipe and the MIG. Which was nice :-)

First job was to cut the LandRover system into useful components like bends, elbows and slightly bent wiggles, then grade them by bore, then work out how to fit them together to make the two downpipes.

The first section from both manifolds is about 1 3/4" ID, then becomes 1 7/8" which is handy because I have a 2m straight bit of that !

Took about 4 or 5 hours of cutting, welding, fettling, grinding an cold setting (with the #4 FBH (Fairly Big Hammer)), but the system finally evolved into about the right shape, with easy to split joints to allow easy engine removal. Not that I think the unit will need frequent removal... Honest.

Click for exhausts

New years resolution - start the engine......

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This page last modified 04/02/2008.