View Full Version : Rover V8 head gasket replacement

03-06-2007, 09:45 AM
Has anyone done this, how hard is?

I'm debating if this is something I want to do myself vs forking out the money for a local shop to do for me.

I'd really like to save the money but this would be the first time I'm pulling a head off a motor.

Any thoughts or suggestions for me?

03-06-2007, 10:26 AM

If you don't already have one, I suggest you acquire a copy of 'How To Power Tune Rover V8 Engines by Des Hammill. It contains a ****load of info about these aluminum motors.
You can get it here: https://www.aluminumv8.com/

If you call the # on the website I suspect that (Mark?) will be happy to answer specific questions about your project.

I don't see any reason that you would not be able to do the job as long as you don't hurry and are careful about what you are doing...and you pick a lot of people's brains...people who have experience with this type of job.

I told my tech guy that I was planning to remove the heads from my V8 and he said to leave them alone if you aren't having specific problems. Aluminum is a different animal than the cast iron we Triumph guys are used to. Torque values, tightening sequence and stud material are critical in fastening these heads and avoiding later [gasket] 'issues'.

Another thing I might mention. An E-bay store called 'Alloyboltz' will sell you the nicest set of stainless bolts for the Rover V8. Everything is bagged and labeled and packed professionally. I haven't used mine yet but it appears to include every external bolt that that the motor uses..except for the head bolts. The price was around $30 +shipping.

Keep 'on.

03-06-2007, 10:49 AM
Just got done erplacing the head gaskets on my 8. Took me about 8 hours but I could have done it in half the time except that I cleaned and painted and polished as I went along.

If you've got a reasonable understanding of mechanical things you shouldn't have a problem with the change. As Tosh says, torques and tightening sequences are critical here and you'll need the spec's from a manual. A manual of some sort is imperative, if for no other reason than to give you confidence that you've done it right. Also, make sure you use anti-seize on all threaded connections.

Good luck and if you have any questions along the way don't hesitate to ask.


03-06-2007, 11:48 AM
It depends on how modified your motor is. If it is completely stock, you are in for a long day. If it has a four barrel and headers all ready, it will be a fairly quick job. Either way it is not that difficult. Everything is right in front of you and is self explanatory. You will have to deal with some stubborn bolts if it hasn't been apart lately. Use antiseize on reassembly. Don't forget to order a new valley pan gasket and exhaust gaskets. I just finished tearing apart my bone stocker. It is just a bare engine sitting in the chassis. It was not fun. It will be alot easier going back together once I get the new cam and lifters installed. The only delicate things are the head bolt torqueing sequence and the sealing around the water jackets between the head and intake.

03-06-2007, 12:17 PM
I recommend a very stout 6-point (should be 5/8") socket and a long breaker bar be available before attempting head removal. Mine were very stubborn. If you strip the hex head of a head bolt, you have really opened a can of worms.

I recently replaced the heads and cam in my Discovery (4.0L Rover aluminum V8). I know that my cam was the victim of a batch of soft billets, but I would strongly recommend that you take a look while you're in there. My #4 exhaust lobe was just about rounded off by the time I got to it.

On the bright side, I got like-new overhauled heads from Motorcars Ltd in Houston for $200 each w/exchange. I'm sure there are compatibility issues between late and early Rover V8's...but it may be worth calling or emailing them if you're wanting to renew your heads.

For the later V8's, you can buy metal or composite head gaskets. Both have their advantages, but you will lose a bit of compression ratio with the thicker composite gaskets.