Fitting a Rover V8 into an Se5 Scimitar…

Thanks goes to Tom Follows for this information, (see Tom’s SE5 V8 Scimitar here)… I met Tom when he was looking or manifolds etc to get his SE5 conversion started, he seemed pretty keen and once ready to start the conversion seemed to take next to no time. It happens that he’s an engineer, for, er . . . someone clever . . . and his work isn’t to be sniffed at.

Prepare to be put to shame (myself definitely included) by the attention to detail that has gone into teh fabrication for tom’s SE5 V8 Conversion…

*** More or less everything you read in this section of the site is now Tom’s words ***

Pulled the V6 out and it is remarkable how small it appears for its only 0.5 litres less capacity. The V6 is only 60 degree rather than the 90 degree V of the RV8.

In Summary
The conversion was well worthwhile, It took me about a month of evenings and some weekends. Performance is up, it doesn’t rattle, and even the Mpg is better than the V6 (now ~24-25) so I’m very happy. The engine is significantly lighter than the V6 but as I already had AVO adjustable suspension so the ride height could be adjusted. I also have a rear Anti roll bar fitted, but so far just the standard brakes. A Limited Slip Diff is now becoming more of a requirement!

Total cost was around £1300, I could have done it more cheaply but I need it reliable as it is my everyday car. Much Fun 🙂

Use the roll-over menu (left – under “SE5 V8 Conversion”) to discover the rest of the information…


Clearly cutting of footwells is involved!!

I made a template to ensure plenty of room would be left for the engine, and an extra bit to clear the manifolds. The position was determined by the front pulley, fitting behind the steering rack. On a suggestion from Sam, the fibreglass was cut around 3 sides and folded in, and riveted in place using Ally sheet, prior to being glass fibred over – I was going to remove the Alloy plate, but I left them in situe.

SAFETY NOTE: Around the manifolds I left bare Ally to prevent any risk of fire overheating etc, and give maximum clearance.

Mounting engine and gearbox
The transmission tunnel needed some cutting to raise the height locally, which I was not expecting. The engine / gearbox mounts had to be fabricated mostly from 3mm sheet, but the gearbox mount also used bar/plate – lets just say it is sturdy…

Here’s some info on fitting autoboxes »

The gearbox mounting is completely different style and position (further back) for the LT77 gearbox, so I used the original 4 mounting bolts at the front linking to Chassis centre cross member at the rear.

Note: The LT77 (early Rover SD1 5 speed) or R380 (later, found on MGR V8, TVR’s etc) are both suitable but you will need a Sherpa type shift linkage to get the gearlevel into a suitable position. Apparently Jaguar used the Rover gearbox for a time and made a very refined short shifter, but they’re rare as! See below for example of difference between short Sherpa shifter (fitted) and SD1 shifter adjacent (not fitted).

See “Other” page for important extra jobs you’ll need to tackle…

Connecting Exhausts for a V8 Se5 Scimitar…

Tom’s car uses (like my original 3.5 in the SE6) two Land Rover drivers side 4-1 cast iron manifolds. In fact, they were mine… This setup allows you to attach your downpipes with minimal modification (it helps to have the male end of the Range Rover pipe to mate with the manifold – scimitar I think is female).

See my exhausts page for an SE6 tubular V8 setup, as soon as someone comes up with an SE5 solution I’ll post it here. It may even be that my SE6 ones would do – but they ain’t comin’ off in the near future!