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Sabre Heads
Sabre Heads

Under Slow construction!! all done from home after hard days work.


My main customer base is 1800cc because it 'is' more those people wanting more from their sport model vehicles which are most oft a larger capacity.    

  I can/do fettle heads for 14/1600cc engines, I also do lesser and greater works dependant upon customer use/desires & budget for all three engine types so feel free to ask. The following text is aimed at my greatest customer base.

THE KR1 Head -non vvc, This is my 100% seller, I have not retained the std Inlet Valves in a porting job in over 15years on 16/1800's, so forget your wasted thoughts on porting while retaining the puny 27.8mm Inlet valves of the standard production head!      Worth more than any airfilter/sport cat/throttlebody- the KR1 utilises a pair of my own 2mm larger Inlet Valves for major flow improvements with porting, this head flows as well as an unmodded VVC/motorsport casting- see the page- Flow figures for Rover k series.

The midrange flow change over the modded Std valve version is vast, with the Major advantage of keeping great port velocity for much improved cylinder filling. This head will give the grin inducing shove in acceleration to limiter lacking in the std 16/1800cc non vvc engines. Flows enough to achieve NEAR 190hp with the 'Right' racy components.

All that, WITHOUT any loss of the nice idle, in traffic manners or other pleasing std car features such as the all important emisions (provided you retain the catalyst) come Mot time!! There is also the proven plus of keeping the existing fuel consumption & on many occasions a mild improvement!

So WHY?? The std head was designed for a 1400cc, as such it is ok but Massively undervalved in a 16/1800!!   As a comparitive on its puny 27.8mm inlet, the VVC uses 31.5mm, most other manufacturers use 32/33/34mm valves.

What are the possible's, 15hp minimum with a more important gain in torque on a basic 1800 with NO loss of the standard car drivability you already have or low down torque!!

THEN, with all the right additions, more aggressive cams & timings with ecu/remap etc 175- 180hp on a plenum can be achieved(1800) when using our proven cam choices & with a respectable idle.

A WARNING, the standard pistons become unsafe from 170hp upwards, I have many customers enjoying 170+hp on the std pistons, the customers accept they are taking a chance primarily past 170hp- Limiting rpm helps- peak torque with high Hp engines on a plenum occurs at 4-6500rpm so revving excessively past 7000 unnecesary. IF your worried, improved pistons from the VVC 160 eng can be fitted, OR fully forged that are good for 240hp+ can be fitted. 

A NOTE ON STD +160 pistons, I have come to the conclusion that aside from rpm levels being detrimental to your factory pistons life, it would appear OVERHEATING has a big part to play, thus it is vitally important- just as it always has been- to NOT overheat the engine. See my new page COMING on how rovers K gets heat damaged, plus any cooling system upgrade advice I can offer.

While my Kr1 is superb on its own, as you can see above, the addition of a proven selection of cam will make a great conversion even better!! for those wishing to retain the standard Ecu/mems the choice-

Newmans Phase 2 grind is my biggest selling offering a nice increase in lift- a valuable area with your massively increased headflow- these have 260/10.15mm lift, so are 16 degrees more than the std 244/8.8mm- a similar/near identical spec to the piper bp270 & 633 grinds. These will have a VERY respectable idle with even more zing, thus far ALL my customers have opted for the phase 2 cam choice, the change in idle really is not dramatic for those who worry. Repeat testing at various rollingroads by various customers has shown on the std Ecu with the Kr1/Ph's 2's you will have a lively 150-155.


A WARNING on cams. With cams added to your KR1 you push the existing fuel map at very HIGH rpm making it lean as one should expect- do not panic, by the simple addition of an adjustable fuel pressure regulator kit & a quick rollingroad 'Tweak' to optomise the setting, your off & away to revlimiter/redline it to your hearts delight- Great news, when all these things are done you can still pass your MOT!!! (while retaining a Catalyst) 

PRICE for the Newman cams is £400 (2021) a pair inclusive of Vat!! a Bargain! One word on uprated cams, they will readily operate on the standard pullies but require more accurate timing to get the best from them, this is generly achieved using Adjustable vernier pullies. The Verniers I presently supply will set you back £175 for the hard anodised versions. As a final note on fitting cams, there is a small added cost for my 'Redressing' the Followers to bed in with your new purchase if I am fitting them- £40.


I also supply Piper and Kent cams parts, price on application.

PRICE, KR1 - £980 Excluding packing & Delivery- What's in the headwork??  8 new 2mm larger Inlet valves, 8 new Sabre Custom Calsibro valve guides- necesary with the larger valves for a couple of reasons, exh valve redress/reshaping, All required porting, all required chamberwork, Controlled three angle seatwork, check valve seal/lap/blue & doublecheck, Chamber Volume checks, faceskim/volume rechecks plus much else besides, Finally a thorough scrub/wash & assembly with new seals throughout.   All this takes a WEEK of intense work.

Within reason I will correct small issues within the headwork BUT greater oddities/problems do occur, so we will talk this over until a mutual fix/price is agreed before continuing the work. Now and again there is a factory manufacturing fault to fix & even additional problems caused by poor servicing work or just plain old age.

THE VVC HEAD as follows (also applies to the Motorsport/VHPD casting)

The KRV Head, VVC. The VVC head is quite efficient, a good size of valves relative to the std 1800 bore of 80mm.   But !  It was made to do 'The job' as required by it's manufacturer, so space for Good improvement- alot to do with 'sensible' rework of the correct areas. 

   Also now we are years on from Rovers closure, many heads have naturally worn & lost their sparkly original gusto- much like us humans. The KRV is a broad specification covering basic works up to full on for racing, the works/parts content differ relative to the required result.

As a small note; while employed with Janspeed, we were asked by Rover to make changes to the VVC casting. Many porting, chamber/seatwork changes were made/offered BUT rover decided, to only implement the most basic of these changes - we later found this was part of the VVC160 development- so while people think the 160 casting to be far superior, it in fact offers little against the earlier version- see the 'Flow figures for the Rover K' section of my site.

The Inlet port is well dimensioned and needs NO enlargement. All the important work occurs from the point it divides into two leading to the valve pair, from there it is optomising the valve seats- In many of the older 143 hp version VVC & Motorsport castings the seat insert is a simple Sintered material item with a subtle internal curve leading to the simple 45 degree seat placed upon it- of non ideal variable & excessive width, set inboard of the valve dia. It has no flow enhancing upper blending angle either. So, new optomised flowtest proven seats of controlled three angles are cut, being placed ideally to the valves diameter. Ok, so thats the 143 version, how about the 160?? it is mildy better with three angle seats cut onto the same sintered insert, great you think, not as good as you think- so the above detailed rework is also applied to good effect.

Next are the chambers, again not a poor design- the shallow inclined valve angle gives a shallow compact chamber form, good for combustion. 

Though, with up to a third of the VVC cams available lift & valuable flow being excessively restricted by shrouding of the INLET valve circumference, you can see the point of the words in the first paragraph of 'Sensible' rework taking effect when coupled to the aforementioned valveseat changes. It is the factory machining & a not quite ideal casting shape of the chamber that gives this room for the improvements. The work involves considerable relief of the shrouded Inlet area, accuracy & replication being most important. This chamberwork can take up to 2 1/2 hours with the required volume checks, any adjustment to equalise them & volume rechecks.

Sorry about slow construction, more to come soon!!

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