1990 Range Rover Classic 3.9

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441
Location
Bismarck, ND
Thread starter
Hey guys, I apologize if this has been gone over. But does anyone know what type of oil a range rover classic 3.9 liter v8 would use or what is spec. I have been searching and all I see is recommendations. I have tried to find a spec but its like there isn't one. Best thing I have found was a high zinc low detergent oil. Any ideas or experience on this one thanks
 
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3,036
Location
Alabama, United States
I would think something like Rotella T6 would be far beyond being up to the task. I've heard of everything from 5W-30 to 10W-40. I believe they are kind of like a small block Chevy in the sense that they aren't very picky on oil
 
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1,306
Location
Rabbit Creek, Alaska
Originally Posted By: Red91
I would think something like Rotella T6 would be far beyond being up to the task. I've heard of everything from 5W-30 to 10W-40. I believe they are kind of like a small block Chevy in the sense that they aren't very picky on oil
All aluminum heads and block means more picky on coolant type but not as care free as a SBC for oil. I tend get oil for good heat disapation on these motors. In a Buick 215's I have run QS Defy 10w30 with nice results. (No UOAs but burned almost no oil with that and burned some with 5w30) In your climate though, I would still probably run a 5w30 in the winter when it gets bitter cold.
 
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2,222
Location
London, England
We had the 3.5V8 engine in our Ambulances purchased from '94 to '01. These were still in service till about a year and a half ago. The differences between the 3.5 and 3.9 are minimal though ours still had carbs, even in 01 and had not cats either! The oil the service used when i joined in 90s was Castrol GTX in either 10w40 or 15w40 flavour. Though they might have swapped over to 10w40 Castrol Magnatec in the last 5 years or so as the barrels they used changed to green. They changed it every 3000miles or 6weeks and the only time the oil was dirty enough to notice was towards the end when they were getting ready to scrap them and they started to service them on a safety based way. If it didn't affect safety it was ignored and things like oil changes were stretched out. But they still got the 3k/6wk checks. The 3.5/3.9 v8 was a hugely underestimated engine imho And the US really ignored a peach. Glad the boss of Austin Rover/Leyland found one in a boatyard and bought the rights! Think it was a Buick engine originally but the all alloy construction was not well thought of in the US.
 
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2,222
Location
London, England
If you use 5w30 then you might have to change oil in the summer months to something a bit thicker. My NHS Trust ran same stuff all year round. As already said this engine is not overly fussy. There is a place in Norfolk that used to specialise in the Rover V8. RPi engines www.v8engines.com They have been working with this engine in all states of tune for nearly 20 years. Including in TVRs and GT40 replicas etc.
 
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1,306
Location
Rabbit Creek, Alaska
Originally Posted By: bigjl
Think it was a Buick engine originally but the all alloy construction was not well thought of in the US.
Yep, it was a Buick 215 as I previously mentioned. Lightweight, decent torque and a compact design but corrosion issues and water jacket issues cause them to be not seen as the wave of the future in the early 60s here. I had a 4.0 from a 94 Discovery with efi removed and installed an edlebrock 500 cfm carb, edlbrock intake, and hedman headers. Its a great sounding motor.
 
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2,222
Location
London, England
Buick really missed a trick with this one. That engine pretty much ran Britian for 40 years Nothing could replace the old V8 wobble at tickover. Whole Ambulance used to shake, but in a nice way, like rocking a baby. Was once sitting doing paperwork at about 23:00 in a fairly open area. Mr Upset stormed over and told us we were rattling his windows, over 100 ft away. Lol. Ours had carbs and a choke. You could make them backfire using the isolater switch and a big prod on the throttle. I was pretty good at that. Nothing could replace the roar of one of those on full chat. Never realised how loud they were! Never heard of one blowing up. And the 4speed ZF autobox we had on ours was equally robust. They actually had to restrict them. There was a restriction below the carb. And one in the exhaust. Some were suspicously quick though so perhaps some of these "fell off". A bloke in NZ has an ex City of London LDV bus used for response/riot work and it was partially armoured. He removed lots of weight and the restictors and he could make it wheelspin in the dry! I do think at one point i will own a Discovery 2 with the V8 in it. Obviously with LPG and maybe a tuned engine from RPi. Just for fun.
 
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2,222
Location
London, England
Sorry got a bit carried away. RPi consider GTX and Magnatec to be good choices. They describe them as high detergent oils from memory. Will be reading the RPi site tonight. I had negotiated a deal for LPG conversion trials with them doing one for free if it didn't prove to save money. With over 350 on the LAS fleet savings could have been substantial. Bean counters said no. They reckoned the LDVs were getting taken out of service within a year. The LDVs were on fleet for another 7 years..... More robust than the Sprinter 416s that replaced them.
 
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17,302
Location
OH
This was an engine with lots of built-in problems, mainly related to the cooling system, which is the reason that GM was more than happy to dump this peach on Rover in exchange for dollars. It saw service in a variety of Brit cars, from at least a couple of generations of Rover sedans to various Land Rovers, the MGB-GT V-8, the Morgan +8 and the Triumph TR-8. It was at least a better engine than the Daimler V-8 or that designed for the Triumph Stag. That it remained in use in Land Rover products for so many years is more a tribute to the chronic unwillingness of the British industry to invest in development than the quality of the design. The outcome is that that outside of TVR (I think they're still making a few cars) and Morgan, little remains that can be called British.
 
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