Rover's Vikingship The Oily Page Rover's Vikingship

 T he V-8 engine relies more on oil volume than oil pressure. So the oil doesn't have to have extreme temperature or pressure capabilities. As a result the quality of the oil therefore doesn't need to be of premium quality. So use of synthetic or semi-synthetic oils is not necessary and a bit of a waste of money. If you use your car as an everyday car and plan to keep it with the same engine for a long time, than regular oil replacement will have a better effect on your engine than using the more expensive oils.

A somewhat thicker standard oil doesn't hurt so 15W40 is a good option for use in temperate climates like Holland and the UK. If you already have somewhat worn bearings (indicated by low oil pressure) you better use a thicker 20W50 oil. Make sure though that you use an engine oil with good detergent qualities, particularly for the V-8's as they tend to be very sensitive to oil sludge. Oil as used in turbo-diesel engines has very good detergent qualities so preferably use that.

With synthetic oils like Mobil 1 problems can come up like:

  • Heavy oil consumption, this is caused because the synthetic oil is very thin and leaks past the valve seals and piston rings.
  • Bearing wear, the crankshaft bearings are designed for thicker oil and with the thin synthetics they don't get proper lubrication.

Standard synthetic Mobil 1 is rated at 5/30. If you want to use synthetic anyway (TVR is recommending synthetic in their Rover V8's) then preferably use the thicker Motorsport 4T grade which is rated at 15/40. This will reduce oil consumption and premature wear of the bearings. If you want the oil a bit thinner Mobil 1 and 4T can be mixed.

In the manual it is stated for the older models that oil changes should take place every 5000 miles. For later models it was set at every 12,000 miles, but this figure tends to be somewhat optimistic for the V8. As a rule of thumb an interval of 5000 miles or every year can be used for cars which run short distances. And 7,000 miles or every year for cars which run for longer distances or run on liquid gas. The six cylinders are somewhat less problematic in this respect, however they have a history of clogging oil galleries in the cylinder head which can lead to expensive head rebuilds so change every 7,000 to 10,000 miles or every year.

Also change the oil filter at the same time you are changing oil. Some people only change the filter after every second oil change. Normally it won't hurt but then it's easy to forget it the second time also! and the cost of a filter isn't that big. Another reason is that the amount of flow pumped out by the oil pump reduces when the filter is becoming clogged. The V8 needs copious amounts of oil to keep it well lubricated so it is better not to count beans on this point and just change the filter together with the oil.

If your engine is used for short distances, or you expect a lot of sludge and such inside the engine, you can try the following trick. Before changing the oil. Drain some engine oil (about 1 litre) and top up the oil level with 1 litre of ATF oil (Automatic Transmission Fluid). ATF oil has very good cleaning properties and does a good job of internally cleaning the engine. Leave it about 100 miles in the engine. Then drain all the oil and refill with normal engine oil. It will certainly help a lot.

Priming the V8 oil pump

When there is air in the oil pump it will be compressed and the pump will not pump out oil and no oil pressure will be indicated. Don't run the engine when this happens! The pump has to be primed.
There are two ways to do it:

  • Packing the pump with Vaseline
    Drain the oil and unscrew the oil filter
    Unscrew the six bolts from the pump cover.
    Fill the caveties between the gears with vaseline
    Fit a new gasket and refit the bolts (torque down to 10-15 lb/ft)
    Replace the pre-filled oil filter and top up the oil
    Start the engine and check for oil pressure and leaks.
  • Pumping oil into the pump
    *******Dit verhaal weg gebruik de boormachine*******Drain the oil and unscrew the oil filter
    Take a small bottle with a pipe that connects to the top of the bottle
    Fill the bottle with oil and stick the pipe into the threaded part of the pump that the oil filter screws into.
    Squeeze the bottle and press oil into the pump.
    After some time oil will come out of the other hole of the filter mounting.
    Keep squeezing for 20 seconds
    Replace the pre-filled oil filter and top up the oil
    Start the engine and check for oil pressure and leaks.

Engine wear and what to do about it

Most of the wear in an engine happens at start up. Research has indicated that 50 to 75% of your engine's wear happens at start up. When the engine runs an oil film between the engine parts avoids metallic contact and wear. At startup there is no oil pressure and no oil film.

So to reduce engine wear wouldn't it be nice to already have oil pressure and only then start the engine? Well there are systems on the market who can do this trick, and these so called prelube systems seem to work quite well. We will look into this system a bit further.

The system basically consists of:

  • An inlet from the oil sump of the engine, often a pickup point is used in place of the drain plug.
  • A hose from the oil sump to an electric oil pump with built in check valve
  • A hose from the pump to the oil-sender or the oil filter of the engine
  • An electronic control module that start's the pump when the ignition is on and switches on the pump for a short period after the engine is switched off.

Preluber diagram  4,7 Kb

Now before you start the engine you switch the ignition on and the pump starts to run. You can see the oil pressure rise on the oil pressure gauge. Then you start the engine. The system also switches on after the engine is switched off to enable the hot oil to cool down and carry away excess of engine heat. This is a very important feature if you are using a turbo because the system keeps lubricating the turbo bearings. Remember the turbo still turns at high speed after the engine has been switched off.

So should every body buy one?
Not necessarely because there are a few points which may help in your decision.

  • Most wear comes from startup, however the preluber only lubricates the bearings and such. The piston, cylinders and cam lobes still don't get any extra lubrication. So you can expect only longer life of your main bearings and camshaft bearings. In practice most engines are worn because of worn pistons and cylinder bores not because of bearing wear. So this reduces the positive effect of the preluber.
    Also, a standard SD1 engine which only does around 5000 miles a year doesn't need the preluber because it's cylinder's and pistons need a overhaul sooner than it's bearings.
  • When running on petrol, on cold start ups the rich fuel washes away the oil film on the cylinder, resulting in a lot of wear. When running on LPG this effect doesn't happen. So LPG engines have less wear on the cylinder and piston. For a LPG engine the prelube system has its advantages because together with the high mileages an LPG engines normally makes the bearings are likely to go first on these engines instead of the cylinders and pistons.
  • If you are using expensive cams, crankshafts and such a preluber system is also worthwhile.
  • The six cylinder cylinder head is quite sensitive to clogging oilways. The clogging can occur because of high temperatures when the engine is switched off and the engine still gives off heat. The preluber systems keeps the oil in circulation after switch off and supplies cool oil to the head preventing clogging. The valve gear on the sixes is also more stressed than normal systems because two valves run from one lobe. So cam wear will be especially high on start up. With the preluber the oil pressure will be built faster and although a preluber will not directly oil the lobe it will reduce the delay time before the oil reaches the lobes and so reduces wear. As you see a preluber with the sixes isn't a bad idea.
  • Running a turbo? No question about it a preluber is the way to go!

Oil additives

What about those additives like Slick 50 and such??....Please forget them!!.... Slick isn't paying back millions of dollars back to customers for nothing. The firm isn't even allowed to advertise that it's products reduce wear!!...this should say enough. These teflon additives tend to block the small oilways and clog up the oil-filter doing more damage to the engine then you imagined.

SD1 V8 Oil pressures

Cold    40-50 psi at 2400 rpm
Warm 27-35 psi at 2400 rpm
Warm 15-20 psi when idling

If the pressure gauge shows nothing and the oil pressure light doesn't show up you've still got around 7 psi left of pressure. Stop the engine and check for the reason the gauge shows so little pressure. If the engines start to rattle then immediately stop the engine because the oil pressure is so low it isn't enough to keep the hydraulic lifters pressurised.

You have to seriously start thinking about a rebuilt when the pressure drops to around 20 psi when running at 2400 rpm with a warm engine. Oh! and remember the bi-metal oil pressure gauge on the dash isn't the most accurate instrument there is. So before rebuilding take a reading with a proper oil pressure gauge!

SD1 V8 Oil change
"Rene Winters" procedure

  • Heat up the oil by letting the engine run for a few minutes, or drive a few miles.
  • Place a container (more than 5-litre capacity) under the sump plug.
  • Unscrew the plug and the oil will spurt out. After all oil is drained screw in the plug and tighten.
  • Fill with at least 4-litres of oil the engine
  • Take a new oil filter and pre-fill it with new oil and smear the seal with oil
  • Unscrew the oil filter.
    because the filter will be greasy get an oil filter removal tool or use an old screw driver and push it through the filter (not recommended! as this method loses to much oil before the new filter can be placed).
  • It is important to immediately screw on the new filter to prevent to much oil leaking from the oil pump because this pump doesn't prime itself!
  • Tighten the filter by hand. Take care not to damage the thread. When seated correctly tighten further 1/2 turn by hand. Do not overtighten!
  • Start the engine and check for oil pressure and for leaks
  • If there is no pressure the pump has to be primed. Stop the engine immediately.
    Look at "Priming the V8 oil pump"
  • Stop the engine and top-up the oil level till the upper mark of the dipstick.

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mainpage © Rwp Jan. 2006