Fuel Injecting the Rover V8 Engine

By Albert Tingey

Introduction

I have been asked by several people over the years to write down the history of 'fuel injecting the V8 engine'. As I think all documentation has been lost, I will have to rely on my memory. Without factual evidence I will not mention names except in tribute or because I have forgotten them. I was the project engineer designated by Lucas Electrical to be responsible for fuelling the Rover V8 engine. This engine was to be fitted to the Rover SD1 and Triumph TR8.

In 1976 BL Management approached Lucas, enquiring whether they would be interested in fuelling the V8 engine. After initial negotiations had taken place, George Whitehurst and myself from Lucas were instructed to discuss the engineering side of this project with Jack Swain of Rover. It transpired that early in 1975 Bosch and Rover had got together and Rover had, to Bosch's specification, designed and built a V8 engine modified to accept P.I. A prototype engine had been fitted to a Rover P6 vehicle. Bosch had then completed the vehicle installation and carried out emission testing. This engine had previously been used by Bosch for initial assessment on a test bed. Lack of resources forced Bosch to re-evaluate their EFI commitments and due to the following:

  1. Relatively small production numbers envisage;
  2. Difficulty of 'L' Jetronic to fuel and achieve acceptable driveability when cold;
they had elected to forego this project, but did agree to minimise the effect of their withdrawal by handing over all their data and train four Lucas engineers, free of charge, in the workings of the L' Jectronic system.

It was jointly agreed by Rover and Lucas that Lucas should present a programme to meet the following requirements:

  1. All Bosch EFI components should be used except Lucas E.C.U.
  2. One E.C.U. to be interchangeable between S.D.1 and TR8, manual and auto versions.
  3. Both vehicles to meet 1975 Californian Emission Regs.
  4. Both vehicles to meet B.L. 'Rest of World' specifications, -30 to +40c.
  5. Similar, if not the same, ignition distributor characteristics should be used.
  6. Three way catalysts to be employed; Lucas to specify.
  7. The BL charcoal canister system to be used which 'must meet Federal regulations'.
  8. The same 'engine build specification', except exhaust manifolds and water Pump, to be used.