The true measure of an engine has to go far beyond its horsepower rating, right? As much as we love to fixate on stuff like that around here, there’s got to be more parameters to rightfully judge if an engine is any good. Taking that into consideration, we’d say that the 74hp 2.25L Land Rover four banger is one of the best of all time. Are we crazy? You tell us. In production from the late 1950s deep into the 1980s, this gas burning engine was build in nearly identical fashion to the diesel variant of the same displacement. After 1980 a fifth main bearing was added but other than that, the bones and design of this mill were basically never changed.
We have seen diesel engines fail horribly when based off of gasoline burning designs (we’re looking at you Oldsmobile) but if you go the other direction, you create a platform that is anvil tough. These engines were made in massive volume and they found their way all over the Earth in some of the hardest core, least maintenance friendly situations you can dream of. There are piles of stories of these things racking up 250,000 miles with barely having the oil changed.
This video features one of these tough little buggers basically rebuilding itself in time lapse. As we had never seen one of these engines apart it was a fun look at the guts of what makes the iconic four tick. Is there any revolutionary stuff here? Nope. Is there a block that looks capable of being used to deflect missiles? Yes. Is there a timing chain that looks straight up industrial? Oh yes.
Give this a watch. It’s cool and fun.