Timing Cover Identification (to 1994)
There are 2 main types of timing cover, fitted up to late 1994:
1. Saloon/Sports, as fitted to Rover Saloons and Triumph TR8s.
2. 4x4, as fitted to Range Rovers and Land Rovers.
The Saloon/Sports version has a more compact water pump, mounted lower down for improved bonnet clearance. The 4x4 version has a water pump mounted higher up. In addition, the 4x4 timing cover usually has a mud shield to protect the front crank oil seal.
Both types will fit all versions of the engine (providing suitable ancillaries are available) and both types are further categorised as follows:
The timing cover fitted to early vehicles (prior to 1976) incorporates an oil pump gear-housing designed for the early, “short” oil pump gears (refer to Oil Pump).
Timing Cover Identification (1994 on)
Later timing covers have a deeper gear-housing, accommodating the longer pump gears used from the SD1 (1976) until the introduction of the crank-driven oil pump (late 1994). Although the two types of timing cover are interchangeable, the oil pump gears and distributor would also need to be changed.
If, however, uprating the early (pre 1976) oil pump is your intention, purchase Oil Pump Kit RB7480, which contains a spacer plate and longer gears, along with the correct distributor drive, designed specifically for the early timing cover. RB7480 is not suitable for later timing covers, 1976 onwards.
The timing cover fitted to Series 2 Range Rover is of an updated design, unsuitable for earlier models due to the fact that there is no provision for a distributor.
There is, however, an “intermediate” timing cover, fitted to late 3.9 and 4.2 models immediately prior to the introduction of the Series 2 Range Rover, which includes a combination of features from both types, such as the crank-driven oil pump and conventional distributor. Although this timing cover will fit earlier models, it can be considered as unsuitable, as the oil pump drive requires a “long-nose” crank, not fitted to earlier engines.