View Full Version : Hello! anyone know of good engine conversion info

05-26-2010, 10:40 AM
For TVR 280's? I recently bought a 280. And, have been entertaining the idea of a conversion. The natural (especially since I have a motor and transmission ready from a MGB V8 conversion I was working on) would be to go Rover/ T5. However, I understand guys have done 302/T5's and 4.0L V6/ T5's. Anyone have any thoughts or point me in the right direction?!

Thanks for any help....


05-27-2010, 08:24 AM
Having no personal experience but keeping 1/2 an eye on the option for some years...

Rover/T5 - There is a question of whether the rover will fit in a 280 frame - the later frames were a bit wider to fit but is yours? Also I think a T5 adapter is available but pricey.

Ford V8/T5 - the 302 will fit as will a 351 - just a lot of fiddling and cutting and welding to get it together.

Don't think I've heard of a V6/T5 conversion. There is a thread about one of the Ford V6 series being interchangeable (bell housing, clutch, starter, etc.) for a T5 conversion.

They all seem to require a lot of time, talent and money - and then you have to fabricate the exhaust system and ought to address the front brakes and additional cooling needs and you really ought to powder-coat the frame and get the fuel tanks to actually fill. Good time to adapt a mega-squirt system. How is your paint job, top and upholstery?

If you have the time, experience and a good shop and a proper vendor supply train probably a worthwhile challenge/project. Worth it in the end!

There are a fair number of threads about starting the project but not many on finishing one and I can't remember seeing 280-V8 (non-factory) on eBay.

If you do the project take good notes and pictures - there are a number of folks who would like the "how to". My two cents. Grady

05-27-2010, 08:49 AM
WHY??? Just purchase a proper car.

05-27-2010, 08:56 AM

Thanks for the reply. I was in the middle of a MGB V8 conversion (That I stopped working on a while ago) So, I am somewhat familiar with conversions and happen to have the Rover mated to the T5 ready to go. It just is sitting in the B right now...hahaha.

I am BRAND NEW to TVR's. So, I am trying to get a feel for what's possible and how difficult. This car was bought with the idea of just tinker and drive. Of course, things become more complicated and I can't help myself but, wonder the possibilities....

The car is in pretty good shape overall. However, it sat for a number of years. So, mechanically it needs to be gone over. I replaced the rear fuel lines and now am addressing cooling. Brakes, suspension are next. The top is in very good condition, the paint and interior are in good condition. I believe it to be a series 1.5 car at this stage. It's an 85 but, has some of the series 2 things such as bumpers, headlight switch, etc.

Thanks again for the information.


05-28-2010, 12:37 AM
Jack - Unfortunately a good argument can be made for just buying a Mustang/Camaro/Corvette, etc. - there the tuning goes from fabricating to tweaking.

And honestly - with the possible exception of a 5 speed for interstate cruising, the stock 2.8 is not a bad piece of work. Unfortunately you just can't get much more out of it because of the head design.

Of course with the Rover and T5 on hand you could give a try and drop back if it doesn't fit.

Good luck. Grady

05-29-2010, 08:08 AM
You can purchase a proper TVR already fitted with a V8. No need to add the "loving hands at home" engineering to the mix.

07-31-2010, 12:58 PM
The ford 302/351 is easy. Ive done it, and had to relocate 2 cross members and buy a ford universal engine mount kit. The body did not have to be cut on at all. Lots more bhp than the rover at 1/3 the price and parts are everywhere.

08-17-2010, 04:57 PM
As to the 351 ford.I' assuming it is a windsor as they are plentiful.
One must remember that the 351 w has a deck height of 2 inches more than a 302.
This therefore increases the top width of the engine.Also the intake manifold is not the same as the 302.
But oh the torque you can get.The 351 in my sunbeam has 330 pounds of torque pretty well acoss the board.It is a very docile engine with 272 HP by the dyno at the flywheel. this was after 12 runs

11-01-2010, 05:16 PM
One creative approach would be to put a new high tech Ecotec turbo engine into the TVR.

If you are one of those that needs V8 rumble to bolster your manhood (and there are many) this won't be for you, but the 4 cylinder should slot in there more easily than a V8, and you can use the Aisan 5 speed they come with.

In case you think that a 2 litre 4 cylinder would be too wimpy compared to a V8, let's compare it to the 351 mentioned above with 272 BHP and 330 ft-lbs of torque.

The LNF Ecotec with stock turbo and an amended computer tune will generally produce around 325 BHP and 350 ft-lbs. with lots more available with further modification.

I run 340 bhp and around 375 ft-lbs. in a Solstice with very minor modifications.

11-03-2010, 11:10 AM
IMO, if the car runs good sell it and buy yourself a car that needs and engine to do the swap in. If this one needs an engine rebuild then I'd probably do the swap and sell the engine and trans.

11-08-2010, 01:28 PM
I do not care if a wedge is hacked-up, but please leave the "curvies" alone.

02-28-2011, 09:28 PM
The problem with turbos and 4 cylinders is that they make all there bhp at very high rpm. (8500-9000rpm) And if the engine was not designed or modified with stronger internals it will only last so long. I dont know about the 275bhp 351w, that sounds very weak.... With no smog stuff and a good carb and header you should be around 375bhp at the crank. (4500-5000rpm) Heads, stroked, solid lift, roller rockers and pistons and you could be at 600bhp or better. And ford stuff is cheap $$$$

03-03-2011, 09:50 PM
Which Rover V-8? 3.5L has 188HP and the 4.0 near 195HP. Parts for the Rover are available at the local parts house as a 232ci Buick. Ford is good too, but can be expensive in parts compared to the Rover. 2.8 Capri or Mustang is good after putting a true to form exhaust and some timing changes.
You have the engine and trans, give it a try. Will not be hard to change later as you will be familiar with the carriage then. But the Rover can be tweeked just as well as any other small block. Plus it is aluminum so a lot lighter.
Grantura doesn't sound like a hands on guy. Doing your on work and fabrication is what it is all about. Good Luck! Keep us updated.

03-04-2011, 12:50 PM
Hi Larry,
Thank you for your comment. I have been restoring TVR's for over 25 years now. Every aspect of the restoration is done "in house", minus plating and upholstery work. The factory did produce V8 wedges fitted with the Rover lump. As you well know, there is a lot envolved in a motor transplant. The factory has already done the engineering. These vehicles are rare and I believe in keeping them in standard form.

03-04-2011, 01:33 PM
Since I have a perfectly good Jaguar 4.0 six cylinder with nearly 300 HP and transmission, front and rear suspension and all the electronics, I recommend that.
I was going to put it in my XK 120 replica, but ran out of cash, shop and enthusiasm. I probably shouldn't 'advertise' on this forum but I really need some financial help. and I'm not getting any younger.

03-04-2011, 09:48 PM
Sorry, Steve but that motor will not fit in a wedge.

03-16-2011, 08:43 PM
I am missing something! Rover parts are cheaper than ford? No way, no how.... Even if you call it a 63' buick its still more money like double. There were millions of ford 302 and 351 produced the last 30 years and every autozone in the country has a rebuild kit. Ask if they have one for a rover or a 63 buick special and see what they say.... Also the most BHP I have ever seen in a rover was 450, and that was lots of $$$$$. You can get there at 1/2 that price with the ford. Also my car got 178 lbs lighter when I took out the ford v6 and went to the ford v8.