Rover Engine in 1979 Bay

Discussion in 'Engine & Transmission' started by PurpleSal, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. PurpleSal

    PurpleSal New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Heathmont, Victoria
    Hi all. I'm looking at buying a 1979 Type 2 which has had the engine converted to a 3.5lt V8 Rover engine. Could someone please give me advice as to whether they think this would be a good idea, considering the Rover engine would have been designed for the front of a car, not rear? Also, I plan to use the Kombi to travel around Australia a fair bit. Do you think I'll have much difficulty getting Rover spare parts, compared to VW parts. Any advice would be much appreciated as I'm a newbie to this and keen to learn!
     
  2. Mellow Yellow 74

    Mellow Yellow 74 Active Member

    Messages:
    781
    Location:
    Sydney
    Depends if you want to own a monstrosity or not
     
  3. merrymike

    merrymike New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    A properly tuned, well maintained Kombi with a standard aircooled engine will be absolutely fine.

    My 1979 van was previously owned by a guy for about 25 years from new - he took it all over the country - I had bags of red dust from vacuuming out the fuel tank bay and inside panels to prove it! (It gets everywhere!)

    Even if things go wrong with the aircooled engine chances are you'll be able to hobble home. I drove from Tamworth to Melbourne after the engine decided enough was enough and wouldn't hold oil anymore. I was losing a litre every 100 km. If the cooling system on the rover engine breaks, you'll be waiting for a tow truck. I just bought some cheap oil and kept topping her up. By way of another example, a few Lebanese workmates of mine have said there are loads of Kombi's kicking around Lebanon and they all get treated terribly - they aren't the picture of fun we paint them as over here.

    If I was going to go for a converted van I'd choose a Subaru conversion - a lot have been done and auto mechanics/engineers have worked out how to get the cooling system into the van without hanging a radiator off the front of the van and spoiling the Kombi's pretty face.

    There are online stores for kombi parts that can express post them to you and you can have them the next day. I'm not so sure about rover parts.

    If you carry:

    a spare fan belt,
    some rocker cover gaskets,
    a spare dizzy, cap and rotor
    spare coil
    clutch cable
    throttle cable

    And a few basic tools (shifters, vice grip pliers and screwdrivers) you can do a lot of things yourself.

    That sounds like a lot of stuff but you could fit that all in half a beer carton sized box.

    As for power and performance v handling I find the limiting factor is the handling of the van. Having a V8 isn't going to make you much faster than the standard engine unless you are only driving in a straight line.

    The main element of owning a kombi is a willingness to get your hands dirty and do the basic stuff. There is always something to fix I find and there are plenty of resources online that explain how to do them. If I paid a mechanic to do all the basic things I'd have no money.
     
  4. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,709
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Agree with both of above.
    Im no purist re conversions but its going to be much easier and hopefuly cheaper to have work done on a stock setup.

    Hard enough to find suitably qualified or honest vw mechanics.
    Adding a conversion will scare many .
    Theres also the issue of how well has the conversion been done.

    Personal advice.
    Avoid.
    Theres enough learning on a stock bus .
     
  5. Blunderbus

    Blunderbus Active Member

    Messages:
    543
    Location:
    St Helena, Melbourne .
    The rover V8 is a good motor but they have to be kept cool, i never had any issues in either of my 3.5ltr range rovers and they had 270K on them by the time i moved on.
    They are an old tech motor and really easy to work on but not sure i would want one in a bus that was primarily for touring, as a weekend cruiser it would be great.
     
  6. gazman

    gazman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,767
    Location:
    Perth WA
    As much as I like conversions I have to agree with the comments above, if you're not too 'mechanically minded' or you're just new to kombi's, you'd be better off with a stock engine. Otherwise if you're really keen on it post a heap of pics of the engine and cooling system etc up here, and we can give a bit more advice based on the setup...
     
  7. kleinersyncro

    kleinersyncro Active Member

    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    Melbourne VIC
  8. gazman

    gazman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,767
    Location:
    Perth WA
    If it is that ^ one it actually looks like a pretty decent conversion from the pics.
     
  9. 76kampa

    76kampa Active Member

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Perth
    David H likes this.
  10. 76kampa

    76kampa Active Member

    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Perth
  11. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,963
    Location:
    newcastle
    Older than old mechanic did a P76 motor (the same I think..Rover SD1 3500...) into a Kombi. Could wheel stand!
    Mongrel bus & mongrel motor (shims any one for tappets? ). That's why it's all Subaru now days!
    Cheers
     
  12. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,709
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Different motors. And very different horsepower.
     

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