Some one once said to me, “Performance modifications, to a Land-Rover! Unthinkable; it would be like souping a lawn mower engine!” So saying, he climbed into his rusty little Rover and drove off down the freeway, engine screaming at 45mph.
British Northwest has been actively involved in the development and manufacture of Land-Rover performance engines and engine enhancements since the early 1970’s, and produces engines which are capable of outperforming by as much as double their standard-specification derivatives in a wide variety of on-and off-road conditions. Our Safari Four engines are modified or revised in virtually every aspect of design, from ignition to exhaust, including camshaft profile, induction systems, cooling, cylinder head design, fuel delivery, and component material.

Chief among the attributes which are valued by their owners is the capacity to pass other vehicles in high-speed conditions and to accelerate in uphill conditions where a standard engine would have not the remotest capability of so doing.

One example comes readily to mind, which is that one of our customers whose exceptionally-well-maintained standard specification Land-Rover was taken over Washington’s formidable Snoqualmie Pass, was able to achieve only 31 miles per hour [even using his overdrive] while our identical vehicle [Short wheelbase Safari petrol 2 1/4-litre] with our Safari Four climbed the grade at 65 miles per hour, cresting the summit at 75 miles per hour and climbing……all in fourth gear overdrive. Worthy testimony, perhaps to the capability of the British Northwest Safari Four. Please email for further details.

There has been increasingly vigorous interest in British Northwest’s Safari Four™ engine, hence the need for this memo. From its genesis more then three decades ago, British Northwest has been researching ways to make vintage Land-Rovers even better than they were when they rolled off the production line. In deference to the brilliant architects of the original machine, we humbly but vigorously assert that we enjoy engineering advantages today undreamed of four and five decades ago. Improvements in metallurgy. machining techniques, heat treating, etc. Additionally, the demands of today’s fast-paced highways, hectic personal schedules, and increasingly aggressive driving styles dictate with ever increasing urgency the need for more versatile, capable Land-Rovers than the machines which we have been so privileged to inherit.

Enter the Safari Four™. Engineered to deliver a modest forty to fifty percent greater brake horsepower than the power plant they replace, the Safari Four™ makes driving tedium a thing of the past. Gone are the sluggish throttle response, yawning performance and elapsed trip times stretching out into days. Enter sparkling performance, realistic passing capabilities, sensible top end power.

Specifics? With the accelerator pedal a mere inch-and-one-half depressed, seventy five miles per hour is unavoidable on the flat at sea level in an 88″. Speeding tickets? Watch out!! The speedometer needle was climbing off the top end of the scale on a 1971 Short Wheelbase Safari. The speedometer was replaced with the 90mph version. End of difficulty? Not at all! Same problem all over again: needle wrapping clear around the scale and climbing off the top end of the gauge. Consequently we now offer 100 and 120mph speedometers. End of problem? Not really. Miss a shift and the wheels chirp. Problems with braking axles? Depends on who’s driving! With power well above that advertised by the NADA six-cylinder, well, if the factory has earned the Land-Rover a solid reputation for breaking half shafts with the stock four….you get the picture: best to replace with our extreme duty half shafts. Handling or suspension difficulties? You bet……..up to a point. Our solution? Fit British Northwest’s Expedition Springs™, newly formulated for maximum comfort (virtually identical comfort as parabolic, but without complications), ( and guaranteed the greatest working life of any road spring in the world). What about braking problems? For a vehicle with brakes originally formulated to handle a maximum 70mph yet now capable of 100-plus [under certain conditions], well, upgraded equipment is certainly the order of the day. In the form of? British Northwest’s tried and proven Expedition Brake Shoes™, or our recently formulated carbon metallic high performance, high speed shoes. Comparisons? Certainly: Our brakes are the same type as are used on high speed pursuit vehicles: police cruisers; ambulances; school buses….. in a word, any vehicle where high speed and maximum braking capability is imperative. Characteristic properties? Whereas most brakes fade at higher speeds or under extreme braking conditions, our carbon metallic actually perform better the hotter they get. Is there more? Frankly, a lot more. Long wheelbase Land-rovers have been proven especially adept at boiling their brake fluid, and under not-so-extreme conditions. The remedy? British Northwest’s extreme temperature competition brake fluid. Isn’t this overkill you ask? Respectfully we submit: anything but! It doesn’t take very much exertion on the part of a 109’s brakes to boil the brake fluid, whereupon easily 80% (or more!) of the braking system’s effectiveness vanishes. In seconds!

In difficult driving straits, you can, brake, steer, or accelerate out of a tight spot. the first option, braking, is a reasonable elective. In some Land-Rovers. The second option: steering. In a word: dubious. The third, acceleration: unthinkable! In the vast majority of circumstances. With the Safari Four™ we propose, you stand a better than even chance. After all, an additional forty horsepower is, well, fifty percent greater power. Hundreds of customers have enquired as to the correct fuel grade for the 2 1/4 liter petrol engine. Will I get more performance from the high-test fuel? Until now the answer has been a resounding no, but the Safari Four™ has been developed so that it will run happily on regular, but is perhaps the only Land-Rover four-cylinder engine capable of making good use of high-test fuel, should the occasion demand.

Many people ask about reliability of the Safari Four™. We refer you to the second paragraph, above; reference the word modest. Modestly updated. No complaint of any kind has been logged concerning the Safari Four™….ever. We are given to understand that the (Land-Rover) factory extracted a solid two hundred horsepower from our faithful 2 1/4-litre petrol four. Astounding? Yes, especially for the day, now several decades ago. By today’s standards, however, unpretentious indeed. Nevertheless, the Land-Rover was never conceived as the platform for a NHRA dragster, nor have we any designs in said direction. Quite the contrary. In all the years we have been breathing Land-Rovers nobody has EVER complained about too much power. With so many Safari Four™ about, this may soon become a thing of the past. Should your name be added to the list of proud owners of the Safari Four™ we will require that you sign a Waiver of Responsibility holding British Northwest harmless for inappropriate use of the engine. Even with the recommended upgrades, the over endowed beast can, in the wrong hands, turn into something of an alligator. In the hands of sensible owners, the Safari Four™ just might transform your reluctant Land-Rover into something of a world-beating champion!

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