Rover V8 engine numbers

Taken from TRDC Club Magazines of 2006 and 2007.

Recently, whilst looking through some old files, I found the details of my first TR7V8 conversion. This included many details on the V8 engine used. As the conversion was done in 1983, to keep the costs within reason, I used one of the old Rover 3500 engines (early 1970s vintage) having a compression ratio of 10.5:1 with engine number 42524248G. In those days 1976 onwards engines from the SD1 were hard to obtain and very expensive. Today, the majority of conversions are carried out using the SD1 engine in its various guises or the occasional Land Rover/ Range Rover V8 engine. This made me wonder if owners knew where their engine came from or how old it was. With this in mind, I have managed to obtain some SD1 production figures, together with their year dates and the models into which the V8 was fitted.

Chassis Number by year - (Last six numbers of VIN number)

1975 - 000001 to 0000931976 - 000094 to 008845
1977 - 008846 to 0345561978 - 034459 to 084059
1979 - 083892 to 1321241980 - 132121 to 151137 and 155001 to 163945
1981 - 163946 to 1926681982 - 200001 to 215736 and 249999 to 274170
1983 - 274171 to 3073981984 - 307099 to 327045
1985 - 327046 to 3420941986 - 342095 to 345831

Engine Number Series - (Incl. gearbox type, country and compression ratio)

EngineGearboxCountryComp. Ratio
17A000001A-3500Manual (a/c)UK9.35:1
18A000001A-3500Auto (a/c)UK9.35:1
20A000001A-3500SE EFIManual8.13:1
21A000001A-3500SE EFIAuto8.13:1
22A000001A-3500 EFI ManualUK9.75:1
27A000001A-3500SE/VPManual(hot climate)9.75:1
28A000001A-3500SE/VPAuto (o/c)UK9.75:1
32A000001A-3500EF1Manual (o/c)UK9.75:1
33A000001A-3500EF1Auto (o/c)UK9.75:1

Obviously the complete VIN number of the donor car is required for accurate dating, but the above will give an idea of where the engine originated.

I have endeavoured to show the types of V8 engine available in the Rover SD1 3.5L. As it was manufactured over an 11 year period (1975 to 1986) many variants were designed. This could not be said for the TR8. With over 95% of cars going to the USA or Canada, over a five year period, there was little change apart from the obvious one of Carburettors or EFI. Also with the TR8, the air-con option did not change the engine spec number. However, to complete the picture I have detailed below a similar engine table to that of the SD1.

EngineGearboxCountry Fuel Del.Comp. Ratio
10E00001AManualUSA (Federal)Carb.8.13:1
11E00001AAutomaticUSA (Federal)Carb.8.13:1
12E00001AManualUSA (California)Carb8.13:1
13E0001AAutomaticUSA (California)Carb8.13:1
14E00001AManualUSA (All)E.F.I.8.13:1
15E00001AAutomaticUSA (All)E.F.l.8.13:1

I have deliberately not specifically included the Canadian cars as they tend to fall into similar categories as their USA counterparts, but without air-conditioning. Most seem to be fitted with E.F.I. engines.

In addition to the above, there were some experimental engines built. These were primarily fitted to the experimental cars for various testing purposes. However, this was not always the case. These engines were designated EXP***. In some cases the engines were removed after the tests were completed, and scrapped. One, I know, was sold as a separate unit some years ago.