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Land Rover Series 2.8 liter Performance Engine build

Posted: July 15th, 2022, 8:52 pm
by Spider 1969
Not a race engine but definitely something else than overhauling the standard 2.25 that is presently powering my 1960 Land Rover Series 2.

In need for more torque to cope with modern day traffic conditions I originally intended to upgrade the 2.25 when I stumbled upon a 2.5 liter engine block for sale. The 2.5 liter is basically the 2.25 with a longer stroke as developed for the LR 90/110/Defender. I also found out that the UK based ACR has developed a CNC ported head, larger bore pistons to increase the capacity of this engine to 2.8 liter as well as a camshaft and carb kit. Aim of this kit is to increase torque and drivability which makes it perfect for my intentions.

Most parts can be interchanged between the 2.25 and the 2.5 but since I am using my Landy frequently I needed to find also a head, timing cover, sump etc. to be able to swap the complete engine after build. The head I found online as well as a donor diesel engine for the other bits and bobs. Flywheel and housing are different from other series and difficult to acquire but in the end I succeeded. In hindsight I would have been better (less expensive) off if I had started with a complete 2.5 engine as a basis.

Inspection of the 2.5 block revealed that the crank needed grinding and it turned out that the cost of a new crank is close to machining so I opted for a new crank. Send of the head to ACR for porting and skimming and it returned with the over size pistons, H-beam rods, camshaft and the SU HS6 Carburetor kit.

Block was bored and skimmed locally during which I checked the dimensions of the new crank and cleaned, sand blasted and painted all ancillary parts.

After return of the bored block it was painted too so the build could commence. Ring gaps and bearing clearances were checked and all within spec. When inserting # 1 piston the upper rail of the oil control ring snatched between the piston and cylinder wall. Possibly due to the type of ring compressor in combination with the large bore (95 mm). rail was destroyed and luckily only minor damage to the piston. Slight set back in time however due to waiting for the new rail.

While waiting I finished inserting the other pistons with another design ring compressor and inserted #1 piston without rings so I could start installing and timing the camshaft. More to follow.


Re: Land Rover Series 2.8 liter Performance Engine build

Posted: December 6th, 2022, 9:52 pm
by Spider 1969
It has been a while since this post and a lot has happened. New piston rings cam in and I uneventfully finished the engine build. Took out the old engine, fitted the new one.
Then I had to modify the carburettor linkage as the new SU carburettor repacked a worn Solex PA40 on which the linkage opens the other way round.
Next to that I made a stainless steel exhaust based upon a silencer I had lying around and a 4-2-1 header that I purchased in Australia.
For ignition I installed a 123 tune distributor for which I uploaded a dyno developed curve as supplied by ACR.
Since I will be running petrol as well as LPG I installed a Lambda Gauge to be able to tune for different fuels.
Commisioned the engine for first start up and drove away with a smile on my face: this conversion really makes a difference! Able to keep up with modern traffic and acceleration to 100 km/h does not take a week anymore ;-) Nor do hills slow down anymore.

Next jobs:
Re-install LPG mixer and tune evaporator
Install new doors as the old ones are bad. I found doors with galvanised frames that should keep rust out for decades
Install a new wiring loom to replace the home made three color one as fabricated by the previous owner. (had no issues sofar but it it looks horrendous)