1987 TVR
280i / 350i

Rover V8 Conversion

Client Project

The TVR 280i is the U.S. Spec version of TVR's more aggressive 350i. Unfortunately, TVR chose to introduce the "Wedge Series" to the U.S. market with the Ford "Cologne" 2.8L V6 engine rather than the aluminum Rover V8 engine because of difficulties getting the Rover to comply with U.S. emissions requirements.

Mr. Rosenburg's TVR suffered cracks to the V6's heads due to a water pump failure. Rather than attempt to remedy the V6, he opted to source a 3.5 liter Rover V8 and matching fuel injection system (from separate sources). Fabrication of the engine mounts and custom stainless-steel headers were left to another shop. When Russ's Wedge arrived at Midlife Classics, the engine, transmission and headers were already "installed" in the car. We were handed a Rover wiring harness and asked to make everything work.

The initial the work required was to pour over multiple wiring diagrams to determine how best to integrate the Rover wiring harness (including the fuel injection) and engine management computer with the existing Ford harness (which had already been modified by TVR to work in the Wedge). After the wiring was sorted out, all the coolant, oil and vacuum plumbing was fabricated to make the final product appear as though it had beend designed as a complete package direct from the factory (colored lines exempted). Fuel system components are all new and procured specifically for this conversion. All flammable fluid lines were fabricated out of braided stainless steel and utilize annodized AN fittings. Coolant lines are all custom silicone. Ignition wires were custom made.

Unfortunately, the "installed" engine and transmission (a T5) had not been properly checked prior to installation. The entire assembly had to be removed because of interference between the flywheel and custom bellhousing that prevented the engine from rotating. With that remedied, the engine fired right up and - after sorting out some failed injection components - ran like a little hotrod Chevy. It even passes emission testing!

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MODEL NAME: 280i / 350i