I am not doing anything drastic to the engine, well not initially anyway.  The only things that I am definitely doing (out of necessity) are: Changing the Valve covers to aftermarket aluminium ones.  One of the original plastic covers was cracked, as a result of the way the engine was shipped.  I looked into getting another standard cover but I could get a pair of nice polished shiny Aluminium Cast covers for less that the cost of getting the one plastic replacement so it was a no brainer.

I have got an under-drive Pulley set to neaten the front end up a little. 

I have also got a new timing adjuster pulley that that allows the timing to be changed very easily by moving the inner on the pulley.

Haven't yet decided what to do with the engine block paint wise, but may well go with a contrasting colour to the rest of the truck, then again I might just do it the same as the bodywork.

Update (30/12/09)

I have had a change of mind regarding the engine I will be using in the truck, I recently came across another engine that will still fit the same engine mounts, gearbox etc. but has much more power.  The new engine is a Sean Hyland built Ford Modular 5.0 Litre V8.  The engine was one of a select few built for use in the ill fated MG SV-R.  Only a few of the cars were ever built before MG went into receivership and the remainder of the parts were sold off by the administrators.  The particular engine I have was never used in a car, it was only used for emissions testing.

It is an Aluminium block version of the modular engine but with 4 valves per cylinder, it has dual cams per bank of cylinders, one to operate the inlet valves and the other to operate the exhaust valves giving 4 camshafts overall. It is often referred to at the DOHC (Double Over Head Cam) or 4 Valve Modular engine.  It looks larger than the 2 Valve engine because of the additional valve gear at the top, but is in fact exactly the same size block.  Not only is the new engine considerably more powerful than the original but it is also lighter due to the Aluminium block as opposed to the steel block on the 2 Valve engine.

MG SV-R engine spec:

The MG SV-R spec engine started life as a 4.6 DOHC Ford Cobra engine. The block was then sleeved oversize to 94mm bore, forged aluminium pistons of 11-1 compression ratio were fitted, forged steel connecting rods, heavy duty steel backed main and rod bearings, ARP main and head studs, ported cylinder heads, stainless intake and exhaust valves, hardened valve retainers and locks, billet camshafts, ported intake manifold, upgraded exhaust manifolds, new calibration, twin fuel pumps, low restriction air cleaner. This achieved 385 BHP with the fairly restrictive original cast exhaust manifolds.