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V8 testing or sackbarrow racing ?


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On January the 1st I obtained a spare engine for my landrover.. a nice V8


By Saturday  the 13th I got bored with looking at it so decided  it needed to be 'tested'.

Spent about an hour just removing all the nasty emission control plumbing, and blanking off about 10 assorted vac pipes and breathers on the carbs & manifold.

Then made up a temporary fuel supply comprising a jam jar of petrol, a spare mini mech pump, some sundry bits of pipe and a fuel filter to act as test tank. Plan was to fill up the float bowls and the filter then disconnect pump and jam jar, to give enough fuel to start then engine and maybe 30 seconds running or so. Or whatever you get from a 18mpg thing.

In order to protect the neighbours (a bit) I bolted on the first 4 feet of the exhaust and stuffed a spare Spaglitized silencer on the end - you know the straight through one with no wadding in ;-) 

The engine was sitting in a wooden pallet, perched on top of a wheelie trolly thing, which I thought was a little precarious if trying to start something with the cc & bhp of 4x 850 engines !! So in order to make it safe I removed the pallet and bolted the engine to the trolley with a couple of 12" long bits of M10 studding, perfectly harmless now.

Removed the dizzy cap and leads - EEEK blue and orange octopus attack !!

Took out the plugs and connected up a spare 12v 7Ah battery for testing the electrics, hot wired the ignition to get a +ve supply to the coil and checked the Lumenition worked, all ok.

Cable tied the choke and throttle cables to the trolley handle for that V8 racing mower look, then gaffer taped a microswitch (start button) and hot wires (ignition switch) on to the handle to complete the controls.

Not bothering with cooling for this test coz run time should be short, if it starts at all.

Bunged the cap and leads back on - confusing - ready for launch.

Connected Dorisses battery up for power, primed the fuel system, turned ignition (ok I twisted the wires) then hit the button, very laboured turning over, not enough battery :-(

Got the Avensis over to play and added some jump leads in, much better, goodspin speed with attempted firing occasionally. Then ran out of fuel.

Refilled the tank (about 100ml), squirted easystart in everywhere and tried again.

Sort of fired and 1/2 ran but would not pick up as if the spark was poo. Saftey trolley seemed quite stable so I guess the engine is not too badly ballanced, but will be cautious of fast revving !

AVI file 394k

Refilled tank, cleaned spark plugs - 8 is too many, fiddly job, wait for 15 mins for battery to recover, squirt in more easystart.

Hit the button..... Turning a bit slowly, trying to fire  ...  oops out of the carb, spraying fuel and easystart(pah) al over the side of the landrover and Doris !!!

AVI file 458k

Quick check with Elaine and the Haynes manual shows I had put the plug leads on wrong, I had got the left and right bank mixed up (twat).

5 mins later the rewire is complete - make mental note to label the leads AND banks!

Refuel + squirt = nothing :-( ....battery too flat to do anymore.

** PLAN **  Go to Tesco for food and wine - put battery on charge - try again Sunday morning.

**NOTE ** Need to make bigger fuel tank too.

Sunday 14th January

Up bright and early, ready to annoy the hell out of the neighbours.

First job was to make a bigger fuel tank, so nicked the no.2 cap from the eeezybleed kit, added some washer pipe and screwed it onto a 2l drinks bottle - perfect fit.

Now I could lift the bottle to fill the carbs, then let the bottle back down to limit the potential run time, should the engine refuse to stop (p155ing into the wind optimism?)

Plumbed in the battery supply and checked it cranked over ok, then connected the ignition (twisted the wires again) and hit the button.

Wuhh wuhh wuhh wuhh wuhh w....No signs of  life at all.

Then a little thought occured, a kind of light bulb began to glimmer......

On Saturday when I was checking the timing I had to find Top Dead Centre for No.1 - later on I realised that I had got the left and right banks the wrong way round, so swapped the leads WITHOUT checking for TDC on the correct bank !!!

Ho hum, I guess the timing was only 90 degrees out, at least with just the banks crossed it was only 45!!

Checked for TDC on the right cylinder, re plumbed the HT again, crossed fingers and it fired :-)

AVI file 676k

Should really have put the exhaust pipe on though coz even a 10 second run was a bit loud !!!

Relocated the engine into the shed because it looked like rain, fitted the exhaust and it started well on my 3 subsequent tests.

AVI file 1070k


Small AVI 600k of start and idle


NOTE AVI files compressed with the DivX codec, free from www.divx.com

Diy fuel injection by MEGASQUIRT www.msefi.com

For General V8 info try http://www.v-8.org.uk/forum/

For sensible Spag stuff visit www.spagweb.com or for madtech mayhem try www.magicspanner.co.uk

Looking for more Mini info ? Then try the Internet Mini Encyclopaedia www.ime.org.uk


Norfolk n Goode Pies, Your Favourite Farmyard Faces In Tasty Pastry Cases.  http://www.norfolk-n-goode.co.uk




This page last modified 09/11/2006.