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Alfa V6 + R380 + LJ70 into SJ
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nj111
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Alfa V6 + R380 + LJ70 into SJ Reply with quote

Alfa's Quad Cam V6 is an outstanding engine. If you're not familiar with it then you are missing a real treat. Take one for a test drive and you will see why these have such a following. Alfa's engines have always been strong and reliable, it's normally everything else that's the problem.



I can't find any information on these being used for off roaders and it might prove to be a bad idea, but I thought it would be an interesting challenge to slot one of these into an SJ.
The vehicle will be coil sprung and on Landcruiser axles but there are loads of excellent builds on Difflock so the detail I'll put up here is more to do with mating the Alfa V6 to a suitable gearbox and hopefully getting the thing running on a stand alone engine management system (Megasquirt) of which there is very little information available for this engine.

The engine is over 50 lbs lighter than a 3.9 litre Rover V8 and considerably shorter. It's also a popular engine for Lancia Stratos replicas as it is generally regarded as a considerable improvement upon the original Ferrari V6.



These are quite cheap to buy, the low mileage donor 156 I've used costing under 400 for car with a gearbox fault. The owner had been paying for servicing but the dealer failed to check the gearbox oil level, even though Alfa provide a dipstick on the box. By the time various parts from the car are sold and the shell weighed in the engine will have cost nothing.

You have a choice of 2.5 litre at just under 200hp and these are often fitted to the 156 or the more powerful 225 hp 3 litre typically from a 150 mph GTV but that will cost a little more. The 166 also had both 2.5 and 3 litre options in various states of tune. If you want to go really mad then these can bored out to 3.8 when also using a 3.2 crank. Note that we are talking here of the oversquare V6 originally designed by Giuseppe Busso and in my build you will see the final variant of the 32 valve version which was produced from 1998 - 2005, normally either 2.5, 3.0 (3.2 litre in the GTA). When the 159 was launched the change was made to a less oversquare GM sourced engine which revs to only 6200 rpm. Other than having the same capacity there are no engineering similarities between the two. Don't get thinking newer is better. IMO it certainly ain't, the "Busso" motor is THE ONE to have.


Last edited by nj111 on Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:08 pm; edited 5 times in total
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nj111
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the engine extracted. At this stage I have absolutley no idea how easy it's going to be to mate this engine to a suitable gearbox as we are changing from transverse front wheel drive to a conventional layout.


Quite Compact.


I'm using the digital readout of a small Kearns Horizontal borer to clock everything up. Here is the orignal Alfa gearbox, which I won't be using, but I need to know the position of the starter motor relative to the engine dowels and crank


Clocking one of the dowels


The engine can go on there now


Just....


It might look thrown on there, but it's carefully aligned and clocked dead parallel to the machine table


The crank is the reference for all other measurements


and ofcourse the dowel positions relative to the crank are critical


Having clocked these the bolt holes are all clocked as well. I turned the heads of some cap screws and inserted these into each tapped hole in the block, then clocked up the cap screw heads.
Finally I've used a laser pointer to record some coordinates of the edge.
Here you can just see the red dot from the laser on the casting. Three points defines a curve so not that many readings are necessary to go right round the end of the engine.
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sbautos
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, this should be fun........ Very Happy
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jerry h
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ive looked at these engines before and yep your totally right they are cool as, really compact lightweight powerful, everything needed for a competitive truck good choice of axles id suggest running an open diff in the front with that much power. maybe an auto box ?? i will be keeping a keen eye on this one. good luck!
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rockwatt
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very tech Cool
Nice to see somebody plotting properly instead if cutting bits of cardboard up Laughing
You used the the crank for a datum ! Did you take angle readings on the block or do you just plan to line the gearbox up had hock in the chassis to see what angle it fits best ?
What tranys have you got in mind ?

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neil norris
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

like it good luck Wink
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emmabimble
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good so far, can't wait to see the finished thing very soon....
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Redliner
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day from Down Under. A mate of mine was talking seriously about building an offroad spaceframe buggy around one of these motors. He'll be very interested to see what you're doing. I didn't know you could do this WITHOUT cardboard! Rolling Eyes
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nj111
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jerryh, thanks for the input, I'll take your advice and run open diff at the front, and Rockwatt you've been quick to observe that the engine sat at an angle when in the Alfa as shown better below:



I did take a reference level off the bottom of the block and the short answer is it's going to have to stay at that angle. i.e. with the sump remaining more or less level so when in the SJ the banks of cylinders will not be symmetrical about the centre of the vehicle. Looks strange at first but there's no real reason why it shouldn't work out ok. I wondered if it may be possible to fit a sump from an older 12 Valve Alfa V6, these were conventionally orientated so sat symmetrically in the vehicle and had a transaxle gearbox. It's possible they may share the same block as the 24V. I've asked Alfa specialists about this, but after explaining what I was trying to do they thought they were talking to some sort of nutter & blanked me.
Some mid 80's Alfa GTV V6 transaxle cars have upgraded from 12V to Quad Cam engines and the ones I've seen have been left with the cylinder banks set over at an angle.

Rockwatt, I've read your build posts and I'll take this opportunity to commend you on your outstanding work, innovative ideas and the way you make almost everything yourself is an inspiration to myself and many others. Most of all thanks for sharing your ideas on this forum........one day I shall be after your advice on a suitable suspension set up after I get the motor running.
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Roofus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jerry h wrote:
id suggest running an open diff in the front with that much power.



Can I ask why?? Confused

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aniesigh
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will be awesome, drove bosses old v6 156 and loved it...untill i had to change oil filter and had to move power steering pipes just to get the bl*ody thing out!
looking forward to how it pans out Cool

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rockwatt
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nj111 wrote:


Rockwatt, I've read your build posts and I'll take this opportunity to commend you on your outstanding work, innovative ideas and the way you make almost everything yourself is an inspiration to myself and many others. Most of all thanks for sharing your ideas on this forum........one day I shall be after your advice on a suitable suspension set up after I get the motor running.


Ah shucks Embarassed

"suspension" me! I don't know nowt about that, it's just some bars and springs that hold your axles in place ain't it ?

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nj111
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roofus wrote:
jerry h wrote:
id suggest running an open diff in the front with that much power.



Can I ask why?? Confused
My understanding is that it's in effect a pressure relief valve, i.e. kinder on the transmission,so I'll not fit a front difflock to this truck at least for the time being.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roofus wrote:
jerry h wrote:
id suggest running an open diff in the front with that much power.



Can I ask why?? Confused


just for reliability really, if you lock it up & run with big tyres (35"+) when giving it full bore, chances are you will break things easier when its locked rather than open. saying that since ive put the v6 in the zook, i broke a std toyota cv, then i replaced them with bobby long cv's, that resulted in shearing all six hub studs & dowels on one side, and since then ive shreaded a hi pin crown wheel & pinion, all with an open diff, i think locking it will just destroy std shafts and you will need to upgrade every other part in the axle to keep it reliable. thats my advice but you dont have to take it.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few have asked about transmissions so here's where we are on this and the logic behind the final decision:
I can see the advantages of running an auto box for trials / challenge trucks, but it's an Alfa and I can't kill the character of the thing,so for me an Alfa engine has to have a manual box. You'll understand if you've driven one. So EVO 1 of this truck will be manual, maybe that will change one day?

SJ and Vitara transmissions are just way too small to be considered and looking at an SJ transfer box next to the Alfa engine it also looks a bit light for the application, so on the basis that if it looks wrong it probably is, I'm sorry to say all Suzuki transmission variants are ruled out. Not a Hi-tec approach just a gut feeling.

With the diff offset on the correct side, Daihatsu's 2.8 Fourtrack gear & transfer box might have been a possibility, but a few calculations on ratios show it's a bit too highly geared in low box with not much I can easily do to alter this.

I'm fairly sure I could have used LandCruiser transmission, but I can't find anything locally to have a look at, although the gearing would probably have been okay.

On the other hand Land Rover's R380 box / LT230 transfer box in combination with Toyota's LJ70 axles will give an overall reduction in low box of around 54:1 A stock coiled Defender is 39.8:1 This is 35% lower so there will be good margin for bring this back up a bit with some oversize tyres, so it should end up about right for what we want to do.
By the time the bigger tyres are on it might be geared down about 15% less than a standard 300 Tdi Defender but the Alfa's red line of 7000 rpm is around 70% higher than a 300 tdi so I don't think top speed gearing is going to be holding us back, especially in high range.
Also, an R380 / LT230 combination can be modified if the ratios need to be altered, and there's the Ashcroft underdrive that can be dropped on the back of the LT230. This side of spending big money on a Transfer box it seems the LT230 is pretty strong and is used successfully even with LS motors.

Here's a 99 R380 gearbox / LT230 Transfer box ex Disco, in working but unknown condition. The gearbox will have be stripped to modify the input shaft so I can sort out any issues. It's way too long but there's a neat solution to that.


I'm no expert on LR transmissions so correct me if any of the info I'm about to pass on is wrong!

The R380 five speed gearbox is a development of the previous LT77. It's name derives from its design limit of 380Nm maximum torque. It's a robust unit and was fitted to many vehicles including 300 Tdi and TD5 Discos and Defenders plus some cars and vans. The shaft centres are the same as the LT77 and usefully for me the bell housings for both R380 and LT77 are interchangeable and some of the LT77 bell housings were very short.

To keep the transmission as compact as possible I've decided to change the 300 Tdi bell housing for an LT77 bell housing, but this must be one from a 200 Tdi Defender as the 200 Tdi LT77 Discovery bell housings were much longer. Here's the difference between an R380 Discovery 300 Tdi bell housing and an LT77 200 Tdi Defender bell housing.



That input shaft will be shortened to suit.





Back on the borer, this time measuring up the LT77 bell housing and it's mounting holes.



And again with this bell housing fixed to an R380 gearbox, just checking that the input shaft is dead central to the flange, which it is.



After hours of measuring I've got some CAD drawings, and it looks like an adaptor plate will work.
The adaptor needs to be around 40mm thick so that the heads of the M12 cap screws attaching it to the engine are below it's surface and also so the starter fits.
This drawing shows all layers, i.e. Alfa engine, original gearbox outline,
and Land Rover Bell housing. There's only one bolt hole that clashes and will need to be moved on the L R Bell housing. You can see it around the 1 o clock position.



So the final adaoptor plate should be something like this:



Last edited by nj111 on Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:09 pm; edited 10 times in total
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jamo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what a great idea, had a friend that was Alfa mad, they certainly build some super engines. Very Happy Looks like its a timing belt engine how well is the belt sealed in or can a new timing belt cover be made, just wondered how it would fair with mud and water entering the front.
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nj111
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redliner wrote:
G'day from Down Under. ..... I didn't know you could do this WITHOUT cardboard! Rolling Eyes


Well I'm sorry to disappoint you, I can't offer cardboard but you are going to get some wood now.

Before possibly scrapping a billet of 40mm Ally I decided to make a trial adaptor plate from some off cuts of densified wood. It's extremely strong and dimensionally stable and found underneath most F1 cars (the wear plates).



Cheating perhaps by programming a CNC router to do the hard work.



But 7 minutes later it's done. That big circle on the left will be used later to check alignment.



There is a bit of drilling and tapping to do and some helicoil inserts to go in.






Then on the reverse face counter bore 2 holes on the mill for the engine dowel location.



and I am not going to be popular by putting this picture on here but since at the beginning of this post you asked if it would be done soon...daughter Emma, the truck is being built for you, bolt it together & see if it fits





Last edited by nj111 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to be sure that the gearbox input shaft will align perfectly with the crank. That circle of densified wood cut earlier goes in the lathe for a skim to final size and drilling and reaming centrally. It's now the same diameter as the flange on the front of the bell housing, so will tap nicely into the wooden adaptor plate.



A piece of ground bar turned down to fit the end of the crank and some engineer's blue will then confirm if it's aligned. The blue should transfer all the way around the end of the crank.





Looks ok, should be within a thou or so.



The bell housing is offered up



There's a small problem with the nose of the starter motor fouling the bell housing flange.



Small relief cut on the mill sorts it.



And the starter fitted



About 10 thou clear of the thermostat housing, but looks okay.



That's enough wood, now the same part can be made in 5083 grade aluminium plate, but that will take a little longer................


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nj111
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamo wrote:
what a great idea, had a friend that was Alfa mad, they certainly build some super engines. Very Happy Looks like its a timing belt engine how well is the belt sealed in or can a new timing belt cover be made, just wondered how it would fair with mud and water entering the front.


Good point , and I don't know the answer yet but it's something I shall look at. At the moment I know the engine was running well on it's original ECU so don't want to change the belt until it's running again on the Megasquirt engine management system. After that I'll change the timing belt and sort out any sealing issues. I can't afford a belt failure! It might be another engineering challenge, but one way or another I'll sort it. As it currently stands it's not much more exposed than an SJ or Vitara belt and those seem to cope okay.So fingers crossed on that.
Same applies to the bottom of the flywheel, which needs sealing to keep the clutch dry but also I have to retain the crankshaft position sensor in that area so that's another tricky one. Also the 120 amp alternator is mounted quite low on these so there's another thing to think about, that might have to take it's chances to start with or I'll never get the thing built.


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jamo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Subscribed now, looking forward too seeing this progress. Is the white LWB zuk in the background the chosen project ?
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nj111
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamo wrote:
Subscribed now, looking forward too seeing this progress. Is the white LWB zuk in the background the chosen project ?


That white LWB samurai in the background earlier should be surplus to requirements, I think we just need the bonnet off it. The car we intend to use is this little 410.



It will have to be a tray back and MSA spec but we still want it to look like an SJ as far as possible.
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cynic-al
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love these engines Smile Seeing as you've put all that hard work in I think you should make all drawings openly available when you've finished Wink

As for timing belts etc I assume if the belt fails there is the risk of colision on this engine? if the housing is basically sealed you could apply a small amount of air pressure to try to resist the water ingress, although too much might damage the seals. Whilst your designing your body I would try to make as much of the engine accessable as possible, maybe have the front entirely removable? If its going to have any part of a cage at the front you could clip them to that?

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nj111
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cynic-al wrote:
Love these engines Smile Seeing as you've put all that hard work in I think you should make all drawings openly available when you've finished Wink

As for timing belts etc I assume if the belt fails there is the risk of colision on this engine? if the housing is basically sealed you could apply a small amount of air pressure to try to resist the water ingress, although too much might damage the seals. Whilst your designing your body I would try to make as much of the engine accessable as possible, maybe have the front entirely removable? If its going to have any part of a cage at the front you could clip them to that?


Yes,it's not a commercial venture so if the build works out okay then I'll def make all the information available including the Megasquirt wiring / fuel / ignition mapping setup, which I expect will prove to be be the most frustrating part of the project. BTW you'll see some fancy machines used in this build but it can all be done on a modest lathe and the average vertical mill with rotary table and many hours making swarf. Apart from shocks/ springs / tyres etc very little will be bought from commercial suppliers.

And yes, there's a collision risk with the cams, many owners and a few pro's get in a right mess trying to change the belt, and I'm not surprised as access to the end of the engine is apalling when it's in a front wheel drive car. Here it should have decent access to the cambelt as the rad will be in the trayback.
Positive pressure may well be a way forward for the belt cover, it's good at keeping dust out of machine cabinets I don't know about water so much. All ideas are greatly appreciated at this stage! Thanks everyone for your comments so far, the more ideas the better. Cheers, Nick
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cynic-al
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can imagine the cambelt would be a pig, the fiat recommended way of changing the belt on the 5cyl bravos was to drop the engine, it made a few owners eyes water when that service came around Laughing

I found with megasquirt its easy to get it running but your never quite happy with it, and thats on a Rover V8 with loads of help available, however the flexibility is fantastic.

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Roofus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jerry h wrote:
just for reliability really, if you lock it up & run with big tyres (35"+) when giving it full bore, chances are you will break things easier when its locked rather than open. saying that since ive put the v6 in the zook, i broke a std toyota cv, then i replaced them with bobby long cv's, that resulted in shearing all six hub studs & dowels on one side, and since then ive shreaded a hi pin crown wheel & pinion, all with an open diff, i think locking it will just destroy std shafts and you will need to upgrade every other part in the axle to keep it reliable. thats my advice but you dont have to take it.


If ya don't ask....you don't find stuff out! Wink

Was curious is all........I've only the standard 2.4Td in my LJ71 with 33" tyres. I've a lockrite in the front diff & have always found it superb!

That said......you're talking big power & big tyres......so hopefully I'll have no problems! Cool

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Toseland
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a wooden bellhouseing... very creative, why didnt i think of that,

maybe i can get some wooden CV joints fot the front of my vitara, they would probably be stronger lol





however.. looking extremely nice, and this will be a very fun build when its done..

what is that alfa engine like on reliability?

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nj111
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toseland wrote:


what is that alfa engine like on reliability?


Normally excellent if maintained well. In this application we will have to wait & see.
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durdzz-suzuki-redtop
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jerry h wrote:
Roofus wrote:
jerry h wrote:
id suggest running an open diff in the front with that much power.



Can I ask why?? Confused


just for reliability really, if you lock it up & run with big tyres (35"+) when giving it full bore, chances are you will break things easier when its locked rather than open. saying that since ive put the v6 in the zook, i broke a std toyota cv, then i replaced them with bobby long cv's, that resulted in shearing all six hub studs & dowels on one side, and since then ive shreaded a hi pin crown wheel & pinion, all with an open diff, i think locking it will just destroy std shafts and you will need to upgrade every other part in the axle to keep it reliable. thats my advice but you dont have to take it.


thats the question i need to answer do i leave it open as with 37's, difflocks are just going to move the forces to the next week spot. cv's, shafts etc etc. end up spending 1000's making it reliable and beable to take out for a good blast round somewhere with out breaking somthing! it goes most places now so think il grin and bare it for abit!

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jerry h
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

im not saying you can't lock it, but what i am saying is its more likely that you will break cv's if it is locked and you give it "rock all" with 35"+ tyres and 150+bhp, if you a bit lighter on the throttle and the ground is muddy & wet im sure it will be ok, but for competition use driving the toughest terrain in the worst route possible, ocasionally you will need to open it up and thats the point something breaks especially when its locked. if you had a std zook 1.3 1.6 8 or 16v or diesel with sub 35" tyres, go for it lock it up it will be brilliant.
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nj111
Just got MTs


Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Odometer: 163
Location: Forest of Dean



PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The blank is 400mm square & my mill doesn't have quite enough Y axis travel to machine this in one hit, so decided to use a router.
No real issues routing 40mm ally, messy on the machine though..... For the engineers that are wondering, no clamps, it's held by vacuum & oil mist lube to the cutter.
Takes longer than the wood one, around 45 mins and a good hour cleaning the machine down after.



All the hole and dowel positions are spotted, they'll be finished on the mill.
Big offcut in the middle but I'll use it on this project.



Boring head on the reverse face for the two 15mm dowel locations.



A light skim in the Mastiff across the one face to ensure consistent thickness.



That's the ally adaptor more or less done. Cost around £70 in materials.



All seven of the original Alfa M12 bolt holes are used and 10 of 11 of the Land Rover ones,so it shouldn't fall apart. You can see the crank position sensor at 6 O clock, that'll be a tricky area to seal up...



Just that one hole to move in the bellhousing so it misses the cap screw head beneath it.



And that little triangle to infill at some point in front of the starter motor.
I'll either TIG a piece to the Bell housing or maybe just cut some plate to shape and bolt in onto the adaptor & seal it.
Could introduce an access plug so I can lube the starter nose after she's been in the drink.



Starter works out okay



As does thermostat housing. All in all it's gone together far better than I thought, almost looks like original equipment. Quite lucky so far.



Last edited by nj111 on Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:42 am; edited 3 times in total
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