Project Dark Knight Rising

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Tapps33

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Well, it's officially begun....or rather continued from a few years ago.

Long story even longer, I've dreamed of swapping the Supercharged 5.0 AJ133 into my LR4. Fast forward what I believe has been at least 4 years and 3 moves and now I'm moving again and will be stuck in an apartment with no shop nor access to my tools for the next year. I have 4 weeks and it's do or die time!

Background: I bought a 2012 LR4 with a "blown head gasket" last year for my son to drive. He and I compression tested it before we bought it and it checked good...so I thought new head gasket would save the day....it didn't. So, instead of putting the SC engine in my wife's LR4, my son took her LR4, and as soon as I get this one running, the Dark Knight will become her DD.

Thankfully, I'm not starting from scratch. I've been compiling parts and contacts for roughly 5 years now. I had the block, heads, crankshaft and pistons machined where I previously lived. That was almost exactly 2 years ago. Unfortunately, at the time, it took the guy roughly 7 months to get to my engine. But his work was exquisite! The heads were surfaced/decked, new exhaust valves and a valve job for all valves, the block was checked straight, cylinders honed, crank journals were line honed, crankshaft was balanced, pistons were balanced, and rods were line honed for precision.

I had to leave my engine hoist and stand at my last place because I didn't have the room for them. Thankfully, Harbor Freight and Northern tool were there for me.

I mounted the engine and have started to install the pistons...but of course cracked an oil ring. Thankfully, roverpartsdepot hooked me up with a new set of rings and they arrived today.

However, to kick this build off, I bought a used SC transmission off eBay. Given the fact that it's an eBay transmission, I figured it was toast and even if it wasn't I should probably give it a quick rebuild. So, the majority of the work thus far has been disassembling the trans. I cleaned the parts this morning and will start reassembling tomorrow.

A couple of good resources for tear down and build up:


The guy that made these videos is awesome! I wish his reassembly video had been out when I did the Sonnax Zip kit on my first mechatronic...cause I TOTALLY lost track of where one of the ball check valves went!!! (Thankfully I guessed right...I think...it's in the Black 2012 LR4 I'm building the engine for.....so time will tell.)

Tomorrow I'm going replace the bushings in the unit:


Granted, the above videos are for a ZH 6HP26, and not the 28, the bushing kit fits both units. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say pretty much everything else is the same, or close enough.

Here's a few pics of the transmission tear down; Please bear in mind, Curmudgeon's videos and significantly better than any of my pics, but at least you'll know it's pretty easy to tear them down.

Also, I used the adapt a case press cage as well as an amazon purchased press tool to get the drums apart.


FYI, the adapt-a-case cage was a little too small for some of the drums, hence why I had to get the amazon thing.





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Ok, I'm going to post a few more pics, then call it a night....more to come tomorrow!
 

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Tapps33

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Oh yeah, one other great resource I found:


official repair manual...but I'm not gonna lie, it's extremely technical! I've been studying it like crazy to make sure I understand what it's talking about...what we're measuring and why we're measuring it etc...

Seriously, need some sleep!
 

powershift

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Those heads sound sweet. The LR4 has an advanced valve train and I think they squeeze a lot of power out of 5.0L using it.
 

Tapps33

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Those heads sound sweet. The LR4 has an advanced valve train and I think they squeeze a lot of power out of 5.0L using it.
I had originally planned on truly building this engine for 800-900+ HP....and then my bank account reminded me I'm broke.

We found the Coyote engine valves are virtually identical to ours, just a little bit bigger. 37.7 vs 36. However, the biggest different was the valve lift....Coyotes get 14mm...to almost 18mm of opening in the gen 3 engines and we only get 11mm with ours. So, I had originally planned on getting a custom grind for this engine to significantly increase the lift and allow greater airflow....again, ran into cash flow issues.

I had also planned on getting a set of custom cylinder sleeves from Darton sleeves. I was working with their patent holder and he was going to fab them up and sell them to me...again ran out of money and I believe Velocity AP bought the rights from Darton to be the sole distributor. The benefit to the sleeves would be the deletion of the open deck block and the new semi open, strengthened deck. This way when you up the boost and REALLY push some power, the head gasket won't blow.

I was also going to increase the supercharger size and pulleys...but again time and money. So, this time around, it'll just be a stock build and we'll go from there!
 

Tapps33

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Ok, so today's progress.

I was planning on putting the transmission back together, but then I remembered I have to swap the bushings first....so I turned my attention back to the engine and finished installing the pistons. (FYI, I already have 2 pistons in the engine...it's not the V6)

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A couple of gotchas to watch out for.

-First, the oil rings have a habit of overlapping themselves, then the 2 small oil scraper rings above and below it stick out. If you don't catch this, it'll jam, and you'll bend/break a ring...like I did. (SMH). Thankfully the gentleman at landroverpartsdepot hooked me up and over nighted me a new set of rings, and I'm back in business.

-Second, always check your ring gap. While none of the AJ133 engine builders I've come across can find an official LR standard, I use the chart below as it's pretty much a "universal standard." No, it's not the end all be all list, but for daily use engines, it's a good guideline. In my case I should look for .012" - .022". Mine were all between .018"-.021". If you're wondering how to measure gap, I'll install a piston, rotate it toward the top, then push it flush against the piston, then rotate to piston away....now I know it's centered and "flat" in the cylinder. Then use a feeler gauge to determine what thickness fits and what doesn't.

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-Third, The left and right bank piston rods are oriented inversely. You can read the official language in the workshop manual, but the gist is: Bank A (RH) side, the arrows point toward the front and the rod alignment marks point to the rear. Bank B (LH) side, the arrows point toward the front and the rod alignment marks point forward to the front of the engine.

-Fourth, these engines have a bad habit of spinning rod and main bearings. While this is do in large part to oil changes, the other issue I've found is the fact that there is no "centering collar" on the bearings. Aka, the bearings aren't 100% equal in width to the mains or crank journal/rod ends. So, they can sort of float back and forth a little. It's just surprising that given the money that went into the development of this engine, and especially since most Ford engines have an alignment collar, why Ford and/or LR didn't revise the design a little.

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Tapps33

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Final product for the day:


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Tomorrow, if I have time, I'll start swapping bushings in the transmission. I also need to go and torque everything to spec on the mains and rods. (they're just snugged up right now as I like everything to float...just a little bit so I have less chance of binding once it's all together.). Thankfully I was able to find all the correct and appropriate ARP hardware to replace the OE TTY bolts. I now have ARP main studs, ARP main bolts (FYI, these are 6 bolt mains...4 internally and 2 externally), ARP CA 625+ rod bolts, and ARP 2000 head studs. Doing the math, the mains will be very similar in torque value to the TTY, but the rod bolts and head studs will be greater.

Also, I forgot to mention I machined the block for Huhn Solutions' M11 steel block inserts. So I upgraded the block form the M10 head bolts to M11 Head studs, with a greater bite into the block, thanks to Huhn Solutions. (No, I'm not affiliated in any way, I just think they're great! And, the amount of grip they provide in the aluminum is FAR superior to just headbolts, or even helicoils or something similar.

 

djkaosone

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It's amazing to see it all coming together! I'm going broke just watching this come to fruition.
 

powershift

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It looks like there is some carnage there with those rod caps (or whatever the proper term is). I spin my V8 way up high in the RPM band and keep it there all the time. That is where all the power is so its a bit disappointing to hear about the rod bearing being a common problem. I haven't heard that before.

When I was a teen I spun some rod bearings and I replaced the rod bearings on jack stands. All I had to do was drop the pan to get access. It was such a major problem and an easy fix. But with the LR4 its never that simple.
 

Tapps33

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It looks like there is some carnage there with those rod caps (or whatever the proper term is). I spin my V8 way up high in the RPM band and keep it there all the time. That is where all the power is so its a bit disappointing to hear about the rod bearing being a common problem. I haven't heard that before.

When I was a teen I spun some rod bearings and I replaced the rod bearings on jack stands. All I had to do was drop the pan to get access. It was such a major problem and an easy fix. But with the LR4 its never that simple.
Yeah, this is actually a Jaguar AJ133 that had spun the #1 cylinder bearing, and #2 wasn't far behind. (especially since they share the same crank journal). And, no, sit wasn't simple, the crank journal had been ground way down and the rod was toast...and there was enough play the piston was actually slapping the head a little bit. Thankfully no major head damage, and I happened to have a spare crank from another parts buy I had made. So it was a fairly easy fix....the cylinder wasn't even out of spec...thank God!

As for the carnage piece, these are forged fracture split rods...oddly, they're supposed to look like that. They're split right at the end of the foreign process, and because of the irregularities, the "seat" for the rod cap is perfect.
 

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