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Some info on the Ford V6 used in my Hybrid LR

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Some details on the engine used in my hybrid, culled from the web and various
other sources.

The engine in my hybrid is a lightly modified Ford ĎEssexí 3L V6, originally
from a Granada, but also fitted to the Capri, some Transits and numerous specialist


Standard Spec

  • Typical early-mid 70ís version
  • Capacity : 2993cc
  • Configuration : 60 degree V6 Pushrod OHV.
  • Cast Iron Block and heads
  • 93.66mm Bore x 72.44mm Stroke
  • Power : 136 BHP @ 5000rpm
  • Torque : 174 lb-ft @ 3000rpm

With a modern outlook, this doesnít sound like much of a power output for a 3 litre lump. However later versions of the engine produced more respectable sounding numbers - 175BHP from a 3.1L with bigger valves and a different carb on the X-pack Capri. The Cosworth GAA race engine produced a huge power output from a much modified version of the Essex. For our purposes though, much more important is a good dose of torque, starting very low down the rev range. The
Essex has this in spades. Itís ability to accelerate from very low rpm under heavy loads makes it superb in an off-road toy. The biggest complaint that can be levelled against it is poor off-idle control. This isnít really suprising in a setup intended to hoof a sporty car around on tarmac, and is a function of the cam and the carburettor.

While as far as I am aware no-one offers an off-road cam for the engine, I hope that the fuel injection setup will prove worth the hours in improved light throttle response. The original setup was such that inexperienced drivers were sent skywards on every bump due to jiggling the throttle.

Fitting in a Land Rover

While I didnít carry out the original conversion (I bought the truck with the engine already fitted), Iíve had the engine out several times so I have some idea how easy it was to fit. The engine mounts are moved, and adapter brackets bolted to the engine. An adapter ring is fitted to the 5 speed gearbox, and a custom spigot bush is fitted to the crankshaft. The clutch is a combination of Ford and Land Rover parts. A custom exhaust manifold is fitted to the left hand side, although apparently some conversions are done (South Africa) by fitting the original manifold upside down.

The ĎEssexí engine is not such an obvious choice for a conversion as the famous Rover V8, especially since itís very heavy by comparison. However there are some potential advantages. In my hybrid (I havenít checked other conversions) the engine sits very far back in the engine bay, in fact entirely behind the centreline of the front axle. This makes for a well balance car, and will
certainly help to offset the high weight of the V6. In addition, access to the engine seems much better than a V8 in a series engine bay. Only the starter motor and LH side exhaust manifold present any access problems at all.

As a power unit for a mud plugger the engine doesnít fare too badly. The timing case is sealed and the use of gears instead of a timing belt removes one potential source of worry for a conversion engine. The ignition doesnít seem to suffer from cross-fire problems that plague some V8ís in water. The distributor occasionaly picks up mud in the vacuum advance unit which throws out the timing, but this is easily rectified. The dipstick tube is short, and has a habit of
working loose - this is one area for future work. My long term solution for the distributor is to fit a distributorless ignition system. This is planned as development to the Megasquirt EFi in any case. In the meantime an occasional strip and clean of the dizzy will suffice.


The main modifications to my engine were carried out by Specialised Engines of Grays in Essex (appropriately enough!). The engine was built up as a 3.1L Stage 1 specification, with new pistons, mild cam, larger valves and flowed heads. In addition the heads were fitted with hardened seats to allow use of unleaded fuel, and steel timing gears were fitted since the standard nylon items are a known weakness of this engine.

Tuning the Essex V6

Burton Power Essex V6 Info

Pictures of the Cosworth GAA (Cossie Essex!)

Some Essex Tuning Information

Essex V6 Rebuild

Some Essex V6 Pictures

Specialised Engines

Ric Wood Race Engines

TVR m-fix

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