To begin with, this won’t be an extensive overview as we just haven’t had the opportunity to explore all of the possible fitment options. We developed the transmission-to-transfer case adapter to leave the engine options as open as possible. Put in a Cummins, a Ford or a big electric motor—the limits are yours.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Land Rover brought the Range Rover to U.S. shores in (sales technically began in ), first with the LT transfer case, a very stout gear driven center diff- locking full-time unit. In the chain driven Borg Warner transfer case was introduced and carried on until when the Range Rover “Classic” (and that model year had a one year only t-case) was retired. In , just prior to the end of the Range Rovers twenty three year global run, Land Rover domestically released the Discovery I. Designed to fit between the ever more posh Range Rover and the utilitarian Defender (officially sold here in , 94, 95 and 97). Both the Discovery and the Defender were fitted with versions of the LT, some of the Discovery II’s sported what is known as the 42D when Land Rover began relying on electronic traction control and did not include all of the center diff lock mechanisms to all years of the D2.
All of the Rover platforms are great for a long range cruise or venturing off-road. Comfortable and capable as they are, reliability issues, the less than stellar power levels and catastrophic fuel mileage have all combined to make some of them fairly cheap and obtainable for the average Joe.
THE SIMPLE PLAN
When it came to building an adapter, the common denominator was the transfer cases, so we aimed for refitting from the transfer case forward, intentionally leaving the engine choice completely open. This adapter bolts an NV or light-duty 23 spline (output) NV to the transfer case of any Range Rover Classic up to , any Discovery up to , and any Defender with an LT You choose the power plant.
<>If (and this is a BIG if) you are considering swapping in a diesel, make sure you are cautious about t-case choice, not all LT ’s have the same final drive, so changing to diesel specific t-case or gearing changes may be required to achieve adequate highway speeds.
WHAT YOU GET
Out of the box you get an assembled package made up of; transfer case adapter plate, carrier bearing, snap ring and spud shaft ready go between the various LT’s or transfer case and the NV or 23 spline NV The plate and NV together are about inches long (WITHOUT the bell housing). The transfer case does not need to be indexed, nor does the driveline need any modification, so the original remaining components can stay in the stock location.
Land Rover Adapter- Click Here
WHAT YOU DON'T GET
Providing just an adapter has lead us away from our normal protocol of providing a complete kit with detailed instruction manual and a real human providing technical support when you call. The onus is now entirely on YOU to not only fit the power plant of your choice but to deal with all the fabricating, wiring and any other potentially debilitating events that will most likely arise during a custom conversion. However, as more conversions are done, more parts and support will be developed and made available.
Make of Truck:
Posted in Conversion Overviews By
Tdi Turbo Diesel Land Rover engine conversion swap kits for Defender/ Series 88/ and RR Classic/ Discovery 1 2
I try to always have at least one or two Tdi engine kits in stock. I carry both Defender-versions and Discovery/Range Rover classic. Make your Rover reliable again, and get great mileage, too. Want to do a power swap? This is a great time to make your truck fun with a manual transmission.
Most every engine swap is a little different than the next one, and so the cost of all the conversion kits are a little different, too. Call us at to discuss your specific needs and we will put a price together for your custom kit.
I have used turbo-diesel engines here starting at $ for engine alone (For the engines I am removing to replace with the tdi/ tdi) Complete conversion kit kit prices start at $
Installation at our shop is always a possibility call to discuss schedule and costs, prices for installation labor (labor-only) start at $
All engine conversion kits include:
***** LEVEL ONE KIT ***** THIS IS A USED ENGINE THAT HAS HAD NO WORK DONE TO IT BY US. NO WARRANTY OFFERED ON THESE ENGINES. Prices start at $
- Good Used kits are removed from low-mileage vehicles in the UK and have from 80KK miles on them.
- Include radiator, intercooler and associated pipework.
- Engine wiring harness (when necessary), glow plug timer relay.
- Motor mounts and chassis mounts (when necessary, or different than your existing).
- Complete engine with all accessories mounted on.
- Does not include air conditioning components unless specified when placing order. We do make our own custom brackets to mount V8 compressor to our engines so you do not have to evacuate any freon.
- Proper air cleaner and diesel filter housing assemblies and new filters.
- Telephone/ email installation support if you want to do installation yourself. I have photo diaries of engine swap job you can have access to to make the job easier.
- When ordering complete kit with transmission, you also get:
- Healthy 5-speed manual transmission (Lt77 or R depending on kit).
- Transmission cross-member.
- Shift sticks and boots for finished clean look inside truck.
- When necessary, front drive line.
- Pedal box assembly with clutch pedal and hydraulics for clutch.
- All engine/ transmission kits also come with proper LT center-locking-differential transfer case in correct ration for your application.
- In the case of an automatic, you get correct diesel automatic transmission and LT center-locking differential.
- Defender-Versions of the kit will also come with:
- Correct version of the transmission with short bellhousing.
- Correct radiator shroud and hoses/pipes.
- tdi Defender version engine available with high-mount turbo for easier LHD install in some vehicles.
- When specifying R transmission, kit will come with correct seat box assembly, transmission hump and floor panels.
**** LEVEL TWO KIT ENGINE MASSAGE **** Average cost $
I typically only sell fully rebuilt engine kits anymore, but if you insist on a cheaper option , I have these : I like to call it an Engine Massage , but you may consider it a Major Engine Service with New Parts Kit. Its the same as a level one kit, but includes the following work and parts:
** Engine is torn down enough to send the flywheel to a machine shop, and cylinder head is removed to install a new head gasket and inspect cylinders. If necessary, engine block may be spruced up a bit at this time.
** New timing belt kit installed at this time with new belt, tensioner, idler and in case of Tdi, an updated crank gear is installed to prevent timing belt problems this engine had. Everything properly timed using correct equipment.
** New front crankshaft main seal fitted. New camshaft front seal fitted.
** New water pump installed. In case of Tdi , water pump housing P gasket replaced.
** New diesel lift pump fitted.
** Flywheel resurfaced and modified for easier locating pin removal in future.
** New 4-piece clutch kit fitted (clutch disc, pressure plate, throw out bearing, and input shaft bushing fitted to crank).
** New serpentine belt tensioner fitted, with new serpentine belt.
** Valve adjustment / inspection/ new valve cover gasket fitted.
** New head gasket.
** NEW EGR Delete plate fitted.
** New silicone intercooler hoses included.
IN THE CASE OF DEFENDER 90/ and SERIES 88/ KITS, YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING:
** Tdi will be fitted with custom-made RHS bolt-in-motor-mount-kit, meaning you can fit engine without having to cut and weld chassis mounts!
** Custom-made intercooler pipe kit made for your particular application. Custom made hoses and pipes mean you do not have to make your own, look for adapters or fittings or have to buy anything else to hook up your engine.
** Custom made coolant hose kit same as the IC pipe kit bolt on solution with no modification necessary from you.
** NEW radiator/ oil cooler.
** New oil cooler hoses.
** Tdi-style under-hood simple diesel filter housing assembly.
** Clutch housing/bell housing modifications performed here so you can install directly to LT77 transmission, or Series transmission ~ A Zombie Motors Exclusive! Makes this an unwrap and install reality with no extra work for you or your mechanic.
LEVEL THREE , COMPLETE REBUILT ENGINE OPTION
My # 1 Seller! For those of you restoring your truck, building that high-dollar vehicle for resale, or wanting to extend your warranty/peace of mind, or needing that perfect cosmetic engine, this is for you!
** Will include all install kits/new parts as in Level Two, but every engine totally torn down, and block/crankshaft/flywheel sent to machine shop.
** All freeze plugs removed and replaced with new. Oil galley plugs removed, cleaned out and replaced.
** Engine block can be painted your choice of color, most people go with black, but many choose silver or gold
** After inspecting, machinist either hones cylinders, or opens up to next oversize. Crankshaft polished. If out of spec, it is replaced with a new one. Camshaft bearings inspected/replaced (machine shop can only do this as they have to be cut in and machined to fit cam. This is one of several things the bargain rebuilders never do).
** Tdi engines will have their cylinder heads rebuilt with new valves, springs, keepers, and guides if necessary. Valves cut/seated. Pressure tested and skimmed. Tdi engines will receive BRAND NEW (not rebuilt) cylinder heads.
** Engine is now rebuilt using new bearings, seals and gaskets throughout.
** NEW pistons/ rings always used. We NEVER re-use old pistons like the bargain rebuilders.
** Camshaft inspected. If at all worn, new fitted and matched to bearings.
** Aluminum parts wire-wheeled and steam cleaned for handsome look once assembled. We NEVER rattle-can aluminum parts with silver paint like the bargain rebuilders.
** Oil pan painted black.
** Completed engine is fitted with new alternator, and new started motor.
** Engine fitted with brand-new front timing cover (to get benefit of new fan hub bearing, which is non-serviceable).
** Turbocharger stripped, inspected, cleaned, painted and rebuilt with new cartridge/bearings/seals.
** NOW AVAILABLE Tdi/Tdi Hybrid engine , another Zombie Motors Exclusive !!** We build an engine starting with perfect Tdi block for advantage of better water pump and cooling/stronger bottom end, but use Tdi connecting rods and pistons so that Tdi cylinder head can be fitted. Big benefit is that brand new Tdi cylinder heads are still available for very reasonable prices, while those for the Tdi are not. This also allows the use of brand-new, much more affordable Tdi diesel injectors. Consider this the best of both engines in one!
** OPTION OF REBUILT INJECTION PUMP/ INJECTORS AVAILABLE AT EXTRA COST, otherwise pump will be good/used/guaranteed This one step adds significant money to the job.
TOTAL REBUILT ENGINE KITS SOLD AT AVERAGE PRICE OF $ This includes all install / conversion kits required for particular application.
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EARLY DRAFT PAGE
Back in when The Green Rover was converted from a L petrol Land Rover engine to a Ford engine I had wanted to convert to a diesel engine. I choose the petrol engine out of economics. First there are very few diesel engines that were sold in The United States that are good choices for a Land Rover, especially a heavy Dormobile camper with three fuel tanks & on board water tank. I wanted a fresh engine and except for the big GM V8, a fresh rebuilt diesel engine would have cost me around $ (major rebuild kits for diesels often run $). I paid a little over $ for a fresh rebuilt long block plus $ for a core engine. Going with a fresh diesel engine would have about doubled my conversion costs. The diesels I was looking at would get approximatly 8 to 10 MPG more than a small block petrol V8 set up for economy. At the time diesel was a bit more expensive than mid grade grade petrol and my V8 is set up to run on cheaper regular. Running the numbers there was no way I could break even on fuel savings between rebuilds. I did not know that some diesels ran well on used french fry oil at the time. The question becomes do you spend a whole lot more money up front and pay a little less at each fillup or pay half as much up front and fill up more often when total conversion and operating costs slightly favour the petrol V8 set up for economy at , miles. When looking for a diesel engine be sure to carefully total the costs and be aware of hidden costs such as buying a 'good' condition used diesel that is tired and will need a rebuild before long or searching for a rare or NLA cylinder head or manifold if the one you have cracks. An engine with a good parts supply, available locally is by far and away your best bet.
If you are willing to go through the effort of procuring and filtering used restraunt cooking oil year after year and you pick a diesel that tolerates usd french fry oil well, the solution is a no brainer. The diesel quickly becomes the cheaper option. But it would be real easy to get tired of collecting, filtering and storing your own fuel over time and just hop over to the filling station. Run the numbers before finalizing your decision. It the States, the economic cards are stacked against diesels.
In the U.S. we are hampered by a very small diesel engine selection in the right size, weight and power range and the high cost of parts to rebuild a diesel engine. There are a new crop of potentially "just right" diesels on the near horizon, but they will require a lot of plumbing, electrics and the price of a newish engine will likely exceed the value of a Series rig for a while.
There was a brief surge in automotive diesels for ligt trucks and passanger cars during the late 's and early 's The Japanese diesels disapeared from all but commercial trucks. American small truck diesels survived as an option and only Mercedes and Volkswagon kept diesels in some models of passanger cars. Small free revving diesel engines that can still be found inside the US include VW and L fours (excellent engines but a bit on the small size for Series Land Rovers), Mercedes (D four cylinder, about the same HP as a L petrol but way less torque), Mercedes five cylinder diesel (TD, very difficult fit), A Mazda 4 cylinder diesel that was an option in small Ford Ranger pickups, LD28, a L six cyl diesel that was an option in Nissan Maximas, the Cummins AT6, a six cylinder diesel made by a company purchased by Cummins that was used as a diesel option for a Chevy inline six i small commercial vehicles and the SD33T (L Nissan six cylinder diesel that was an option in the late international Harverster Scout II).
Power (KW/[email protected])
Torque (NM/[email protected])
LR L Petrol
Kg / lbs
4 cyl L diesel,
Nissan SD33 Diesel 6 cyl, no turbo
KG / lbs dry
Nissan SD33T Diesel 6 cyl, no intercooler
Nissan LD28 Diesel 6 cyl, no turbo
Nissan LD28Td Diesel 6 cyl, turbo
Nissan LD28Tdi Diesel 6 cyl, turbo with intercooler
Cummins 6AT Diesel, L, 6 cyl , turbo
[email protected], RPM
lbft @ RPM
Isuzu 4BD1 (L 4 cyl diesel)
66 / 86 @
/ @ rpm
Isuzu 4BD1-T (L 4 cyl turboDiesel)
Mercedes OM, 4cyl, L
early- 48/[email protected]
97 lbft @
Perkins Prima. 4 cyl
60/80 @ RPM
Mercedes/Chrysler Sprint van Liter 5-cylinder
lb. ft. @ – RPM
The Ford Powerstroke V8 diesels are big block V8s that are way too heavy for Series Land Rovers. The Cummins BT6 used in Dodge vans are too heavy & a tad too long for Most Series rigs, but I can not help but wonder how one would work in a Land Rover forward control. The GM and V8s are big block heavy engines but some people have managed to squeeze them into Series Land Rovers. I think this is likely because these are the cheapest readilly available diesel engines available to Americans with easy to get parts at a reatively inexpensive cost. I think there were one or two Toyota diesels briefly avvailable as options in Canada but I don't think they made it to the US market. There are people importing engines that were never sold into the States. These are always a possibility, but parts may be very difficult to obtain down the line, service might be nonexistant and in some there may be problems registering or transfering ovwnership of vehicles with some of these newer engines.
Diesels tend to be very heavy for their displacement.
The GM diesel is about the cheapest that can be purchased in the US. But it is a GM big block engine that is wide, long and heavy. It barely can be made to fit in a series engine bay and will likely require 1 ton springs up front. The GM is a bit bigger yet. For V8 diesels the GM seems to be the best choice for Americans if you ever expect installation plus operating costs to exceed those of a petrol conversion.
eter Hope has managed to stuff a big into a series bay. He has a web site describing his modifications.
The following is an email from Peter Hope that provides a lot of detail about GM V8 diesel conversions. An excellent primer if you are considering going this route:
"I know of a couple other folks on the list that are also looking at this power plant. The was originally designed as a result of the fuel conscious s. The original engine would produce mpg in a full size GM pickup. Of course by the time it came off the production line things had changed and people wanted more power. So over the years the heads were slightly redesigned, different precups, different injectors, and different injector pumps were used to up the power output. This upped the HP and torque at the expense of fuel consumption. The engine had two different configurations, noted by the 8th digit of the VIN. The standard duty C and the heavy duty J. The J code features a wide open plenum on the intake, no egr, and an exhaust crossover within the intake manifold. Gale Banks also designed and sold a turbo kit for the The GM turbo offered on the tds was based on the Banks design. Banks still sells the turbo to this day. Not to bad for a 25 yo engine. The was also offered in a naturally aspirated version. The first couple years of the still had a mechanical IP. The later electronic ones had some issues. Mostly in where the controller was mounted, the failed/fail due to overheating. You can get FSD coolers and/or relocation kits for these engines.
The factory output on a J-code was something like ftlb torque. Getting a high output IP (the ), opening up the air flow, larger exhaust, high pop injectors, heads, turn up the fuel in the IP, I dyno'd at sea level and here at '. Getting a Banks turbo can bump that up
The engine is very heavy, lbs without auxiliaries. The engine is wide, just a tad wider then a Chevy Big Block. Same length though. Uses GM engine mounts. Has the standard GM bell housing bolt pattern. Uses a special HD flywheel or flex plate. Special clutch or torque converter. The rest of the transmission is standard GM. If you want an auto I would get a or r4 that's been internally built for the diesel. Heavy duty springs, clutch packs, etc. The standards are not a concern on the internals. A SM, SM, or NV are pretty bullet proof. Do NOT try a rover tranny behind one of these. I know one of the RRC conversions done in Europe kept the Rover auto and I don't think the longevity is there. The cooling system needs to be top notch, even in the GMC trucks, older systems over heat under load. Get the biggest oil cooler and radiator you can find. If I remember correctly the GMC I took my engine from had a 42"x19" radiator. If you have ever seen under the hood on a HMMWV you know what I mean.
So I am using 3-leaf RM front springs to handle the weight. I went to a defender bonnet and made my own defender like rad support. I widened the tranny tunnel of the bulkhead by narrowing the right hand side foot well ". It is the same width as the left hand side now. The engine is centered between the frame rails. I am using a 31x19 radiator. I had to notch the frame to get the radiator low enough for the bonnet to close. With my structural steel tubing frame it wasn't a big deal. Not sure on a stock frame though. I do have room to tilt the radiator, not a severely as the Hummers, but it is another mounting idea. For an oil cooler I found one that measures 21x10x". I also found a dual electric fan that uses twin 10" fans and it works perfectly with the oil cooler. I have a twin 16" unit mounted on the radiator.
There was a guy at last years rally in moab that put one of these engines into a http://www.dansunimogs.com/Landroverproject.htm Dan did a much cleaner install then I did and hasn't run into the heat issues I have, even in Moab. Somehow his webpage has gotten slightly corrupted with MOG photos, but you can still see most of the Rover ones. He is not using a giant oil cooler like I am.
The real problems
1. I have had issues with large amounts of white smoke when the engine is below *. Coming down trails, using engine braking, or even coming down a steep pass as soon as the temp drops down it starts smoking. I lost the exhaust valve in #7 and replaced the heads. I am still having the problem. Most of the smoke is coming from #7 too, it goes away when I loosen the fuel line at the injector to that one. I have swapped all the injectors and even replaced the #7 hard line. Compression in all 8 cylinders is in the range. My thought now is that it's a faulty IP.
2. A couple weeks back when we went over to Grand Junction I did not have any heat issues at all on the way west. Coming back home I did get hot going up Vail pass. I was in the wrong gear and the RPMs were too low. No problems at all over Eisenhower. I have a spare engine now and I want to swap over the IP and see what that does to the white smoke, and too hot on steep hgihway passes. Off roading the truck does great. Tons of torque.
3. Noise. Even with mufflers on, exhaust pipes wrapped, and some minimal insulation in the cab it is just plain loud. Its louder then other s and louder then Hummers. Again I am thinking IP problem. Jim also mentioned that I need to double check on the fuel pressure coming from my pump (after market one). To high fuel pressure can effect the IP internal pressure and change the timing. So even with the IP set up correctly the timing might be changing as I drive. This can definitely effect noise and the white smoke.
My drive train is the engine, SM tranny, Dana t-case, Saturn Overdrive, Tom Wood double jointed drive shafts, rear Sals, front Rover. I went with the Jeep t-case since it has the same rear offset, and adapters for the tranny are readily available. I am running coiler gears. The engine runs best at RPMs. I had a Saturn overdrive mounted to the Dana t-case and used that as a gear splitter. Held up for 5 years. It really looks like I made an error on instalation and the mainshaft nut retainer was not installed correctlydoah!!
You really want a gear splitter. An overdrive is nice for highway driving but the ability to get in between the gear ratios is very nice. What I am thinking about now is the Ranger overdrive. This mounts between the bellhousing and the transmission. Its designed for campers and tow rigs and can handle the power no problem. It is also intended to be used as a spliter. My ideal set up would be engine, Ranger, NV, atlas, Sals front and rear with or gears. With the NV I end up with a dual overdrive so the gearing change wont be
an issue on trips and I also retain the gear splitting ability. With a " wheelbase and the TW drive shafts the center output wont be an issue. I am also tossing around the idea of getting a Banks kit for the rebuild.
Now if you are looking for a good diesel to put into an 88 that will provide off road grunt and good highway MPG I would consider something else. Jims VW conversion, tdi, tdi or something similar. Be an easier conversion. In a that will carry lots of weight I am not so sure. I plan on using the to tow with and I think that when I get my issues worked out it will be just what I want. I know of a couple s, and a couple s that are running this engine with out the issues I am having. Now except for Dan it looks like the others are very, very tight installs. I could have placed the engine in my truck without modifing the bulkhead, but would have had <1/2" clearance betten the sides of the footwell and the heads.
For the inline six cylinder diesel class, the old Cummins AT6 inline six cylinder engine seems to be the best conversion. Other inline 6's available in North America include the LD28 (Early 's Nissan Maxima) and the SD33 (Nissan 6 used as an option in late International Scouts). Modern Cummins engines like the 6BT used in Dodge trucks are a lot heavier and bulkier than the earlier engines. I have yet to hear of a successful conversion. The Mercedes D engine has a number of fit issues at frame level and would require a lot more engineering. However the engine weighs way less than the GM V8 diesels. it has a longer average time between rebuilds and gets significantly better fuel mileage If one could iron out the fit issues, put a 5 speed gearbox with granny & overdrive gearing behind it and set up the overall gearing properly this engine could well be the best of what is available in the U.S. There was a BMW L diesel used in some late model Land Rovers. This appears to be a nice engine and at least one Canadian company is importing the engine and stocking parts. But be prepared to spend at least US$5, for the engine alone. You can easily spend over $10, by the time you have the conversion on the road doing most of the work yourself. There might be import issues for use in a motor vehicle used on the road and you would have to import any part you need to maintain the engine. You can buy a lot of petrol for the difference in conversion costs.
Of the four cylinder engines, the Mercedes D engine has been adapted but seems way underpowered for all but the lightest 88's. Here is an excerpt from an unsigned email I received from someone who had a engine in a Land Rover Series I "Ive done the mercedes D swap in a 49 80 inch. I used a factory remanned motor with about 40K miles on it. Ran sweet returned fair mileage. However, its a gutless motor. Its great for an 80, but not enough oomph for anything much larger. Under ft/lbs of torque." On the plus side the engine is an easy fit with decent fuel milage, tolearates used french fry oil well and Seriestek makes an adapter that will make the engine to a Series gearbox.
The Ford/IVCO conversion is common in Europe and adaptor kits are available in LR magazines. Most of the commercial truck fours are narrow RPM band engines that are not suitable for a 4X4 but I never investigated them all. Four cylinder diesels tend to be bone shakers.
Keep an eye out for newer diesel availability in the US. A wide revving V6 or V8 in the 3 to 4L size would likely be the ticket. Maybe the US will start seeing them after cleaner diesel becomes available in
Since I didn't have a diesel conversion I never researched the nitty gritty nuts and bolts details. So back to my conversion:
The ideal engine in my opinion is the liter five cylinder turbo diesel that is in the dodge sprinter UPS Trucks. Dimensionally it will fit in a Range Rover or a Series engine bay. I went for a ride in a loaded UPS truck that weighed lbs and it shot from 0 to 72mph (governed) in an alarmingly short time. Plus, amusingly, he averages 25 MPG in it on a day to day basis. These are hard to find and cost $7,, but what an engine!????
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Rover conversion range diesel
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