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Series Land Rover 2.6 litre Petrol Engine

The Land Rover 6 cylinder engine was first used in Rover cars in 1958. It was adapted for Land Rover use several years later by repositioning the cylinder bores, increasing the number of main bearings from 5 to 7 and using a shorter piston stroke.

Series 109 Forward Control Land Rovers from 1963 onwards had the 6 cylinder engine fitted, but only if they were for export . The UK Forward Controls at the same time used the 4 cylinder engine.
With North American customers in the early sixties demanding more power from their various Series Land Rovers, it was decided to fit the 6 cylinder engine, which had already been used in the Rover 110 Saloon between 1962-64. This engine was known as the 'Weslake head' engine, since it was originally designed with the help of Harry Weslake, a performence tuning expert.
Unfortunatley, the new vehicle emission controls came into effect not long after the 109 Series IIA's with this engine started to be exported to the USA. Rover felt it wasn't worth the cost to make the engine emission complient, so export to the USA of the Weslake Series IIA Land Rover lasted for less than 12 months from 1966-67. So they are really quite rare, with only just over 800 being manufactured in total. Engine numbers commence 343-00001A..

Meanwhile, in the UK, the standard 6 cylinder engine became an option for the LWB Series IIA Land Rover only from 1967. The engine, being longer then the 2.25litre version, was only just able to fit into the standard LWD chassis.
One of the welcome plus points that drivers of 6 cylinder Series 109 benefit from, is the relatively quiet and smooth operation of the engine. Infact you might even come across one with a radio fitted as an after market extra!
It's extra power and torque also make driving a Series 2 or 3 Land Rover a more pleasant experience when there is a need to keep up with modern road traffic (well, upto a steady 60mph anyway).
A practical criticism of this engine is that it is more prone to misfiring when operating in wet conditions. So heavy road spray can be a problem at times.

Engine specs:

Weslake head(1966-67)
swept engine volume: 2625cc
cylinder bore: 77.8mm
piston stroke: 92.1mm
compression ratio: 8.8:1
power: 123bhp at 5000rpm
torque: 142ft lb at 3000rpm
Standard (1963-80)
swept engine volume: 2625cc
cylinder bore: 77.8mm
piston stroke: 92.1mm
compression ratio: 7.8:1 or 7:1
power: 85(or 81)bhp at 4500rpm
torque: 132(or 128)ft lb at 1500rpm

Fuel consumption, as you might expect is not as good [sic] as compared with with the 2.25litre and you can only expect 13-15mpg from a Series 2 or Series 3 109 Land Rover with standard 6 cylinder engine fitted.

As with other engines of the time, they were not designed to run on unleaded fuel. Conversion of the 6 cylinder is more difficult than the 4 cylinder because the exhaust valves are located in the engine block rather than the cylinder head.
Valve timing is also known to be something that needs routine adjustment more frequently. The exhaust valve clearances need particular attention.

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Fascinating facts
(No.65 )
The first Land Rover prototype was seen at the Royal Show at York.


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