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ren ching

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  1. aka, Junk In the Trunk... By David Bobeck ©2019 I don’t know if this applies to earlier models that didn’t incorporate the soft-close feature that I think started in 2008. And I also don’t know if it applies to later L320 trucks that apparently had a one-piece tailgate. But, in any event, this happened to me and was a royal PITA (at least a 9.5 on the PITA scale) and there was very little info on the net to guide me, so here goes. For starters, if you own a Range Rover Sport and you have been having trouble opening the lower tailgate, fix it NOW. It’s pretty easy if you catch it before the gate gets stuck closed. My symptoms were as follows, and others have reported the same to me: When you push the big 1” round button on the lower tailgate, sometimes the gate doesn’t open and you have to push the button again. Or, you have to push on the tailgate a little bit, or pull on it, or whatever. Fix it NOW, because it won’t get better on its own, and it will break. When it breaks, the gate won’t open, massively complicating the replacement. Did I mention, fix it NOW? Now, have issued that PSA, let's move on. Like me, you ignored all advice and chose not to replace the lower tailgate latch in a timely fashion. And now the gate is stuck closed. It may even be stuck “halfway” closed, as mine was. It wa slatched, but not “sucked down” by the soft close motor. (a separate motor from the latch actuator btw). Because the car doesn’t think the lower gate is closed, two things will happen. One, you will not be able to open the upper gate either, and two, you will get a “tailgate open” error which will keep you from setting the car’s alarm via the key fob. The big tailgate button will just make a grinding noise. Now that you have been chided, let's move on to solutions. The first order of business is to get the upper gate open. Using a set of plastic trim tools, pop off the small plastic cover at the center of the upper gate. This exposes the wiper motor. Carefully, without breaking it, lift up the edge of the lower trim right above where the upper gate latch is. You will see a little white square thing on the metal part of the latch. Using a small screwdriver or other suitable tool, move the square over. This will pop the upper gate open. If you then close it, the lower gate will suck down. Don’t ask me why. That will at least allow you to set the alarm and will also get rid of the rattling from the loose lower gate. Now, you will be able to operate the upper gate normally from outside. Next, with the upper gate open, begin popping the lower trim loose. Start at the outer edges, there is a fastener right where it meets the D-pillar trim. Then work your way along the top edge. It will be hard to get the clips to pop once you are done with the two that are closest to the D-pillar. If you can peel the trim back enough, you may be able to see where the fasteners are and pop them the proper way using a trim tool. They make remote, cable activated trim popper pliers that might work really well for this, but I forgot to use mine. I broke the carpet panel away from the plastic surround in a few places, but I was able to repair those using regular nylon “fir tree” fasteners later on. So, now you have the lower trim panel mostly free, and you can see the subwoofer and the three Torx screws holding the latch in place. You won’t be able to remove the panel completely until the gate is open, because there are two screws on the left hand side that hold it in place and are hidden until the gate is open. Your goal now will be to get the lower gate open. I have seen one thread on rangerovers.net where someone had to break apart the plastic body of the latch actuator to access the innards of the latch and pop it open. I just looked at the new latch and figured out where the release tab is. It is possible, using a thin, bent-tip tool, to pop the latch. Here’s how I did it: Once you successfully pop the lower gate open, you can open it, remove the two screws holding the trim panel in place, and remove the whole trim panel. Try not to lose the little plastic clips. Remove the six torx screws holding the subwoofer, release the snap ring holding it in place, noting the orientation (it says top and should have a paint alignment mark. I just let the subwoofer dangle but you can unplug yours if you like. Remove the 3 torx screws holding the latch, along with the wiring plug, and remove the latch through the subwoofer hole. Install the new latch, trying to get the alignment close to the original one. Leave the bolts slightly loose. Reinstall the subwoofer and close the lower gate. With the lower gate sucked down by the soft-close motor, fully tighten the 3 latch bolts. Replace the trim- it was easiest for me to do this with both gates opened, that way I could access it from above and below to make sure all the trim clips were aligned with their holes before pushing them in. Reinstall any remaining trim and fasteners and enjoy your happy new tailgate latch. A bit of a plug- given the high PITA factor of this job, go with a Genuine latch. For US-based owners, Atlantic British has them for less than the dealerships, and the UK vendors were almost as high before shipping. Ask for Eric at extension 231. Thanks to all who came before me without this kind of information and those who helped point me in the right direction. Life is good, so is saving $1000 in parts and labor!
  2. I sleeved the entire length of my cables with 7/8" ID heater hose. should take a while for that to rub through plus they are cable tied in place along their path. and I even put a heat wrap sleeve where it passes within a few inches of the tdi downpipe.
  3. Photos are up. Sorry I'm slow to put up photos. I'm happy now with the final location and am sourcing some small items to get it all hooked up. I will need to make a custom exhaust too. Thrilling I know http://www.fourfold.org/daveb/300tdi%20engine%20swap/album/index.html
  4. motor and trans are now sitting in their final position. I elongated the engine mounts holes on the chassis to allow those mounts to "relax" if there is any misalignment. I shortened the RH frame bracket for the gearbox by 3/4" and added the same to the LH mount. If you sight down between the fan clutch hub and the front crossmember you can see whether the engine is sitting straight. FInally, mine is! Now to get on to making the thing actually run...
  5. wow, that looks pretty close. I modified the RH frame bracket last night, came out pretty good. Now I need to redo the LH one and hopefully all will fall into place. thanks
  6. Hello All I'm Dave and I'm in the USA with a 1984 LR 90 RHD. It started out with a 2.25 petrol and lt77 5 speed. I am putting in a Disco 300tdi with the proper defender r380 5 speed. I am using the old lt77 mountings rather than the 300 tdi crossmember so as to be able to keep my original floors and tunnel, propshafts, interior bits, etc. This will also create 2 inches of additional room in front of the engine that can be used later for air-con or a full width intercooler. I have moved the pins on the radiator/IC frame forward by 1" to bring that assembly back closer to the engine, and thus allow a better fit of the hoses and pipework and also putting the engine fan back within the shroud. I have seen a few such installations in trucks that have come over from the UK but I have found a relative dearth of online information on the subject of this conversion. There is some mention of it on this forum but fairly well buried. I have found one or two individuals in the US that have done it with LHD drive trucks, but no one here in the states has done a RHD that I have heard of so far. So on that note, I would like to share some of the problems and issues I have run into, and hopefully hear back with some experiences from owners in other parts of the world where this may be more common. First of all I have had a very difficult time locating the engine properly using the factory style tdi engine mounts that get welded to the frame. I have not been able to get the engine and gearbox combination to sti straight in the frame, in other words, they are not parallel to the frame rails. The front of the engine was too far to the right and the rear of the gearbox was too far to the left. Through careful measuring of the tdi gearbox mounts I have determined that the gearbox on the tdi is actually mounted 1 inch further to the right than the older lt77 setup. Since there is no side-to-side adjustment in the 300tdi engine mountings this is forcing the drivetrain to sit crooked. Removal of the gearbox mountings allowed the engine mounting rubbers to relax and sit properly, but now the gearbox mounts no longer fit. I phoned up a friend in New York that has a 1983 110 with the same conversion and asked him to have a look at his, and sure enough his engine is crooked too! I have some ideas about how to fix this <welder> but I would like to know if anyone else has seen this crop up. if anyone has access to a factory 300tdi and a factory lt77 truck and can measure from the handbrake drum to the RH frame rail, that would answer the question pretty quickly. Additionally, there is an issue with the engine fan hitting the steering box on a RHD vehicle, and if the height is correct to center the fan in the fan shroud, then the diff-lock linkage starts to get very close to the gearbox tunnel. Last but not least I have found the 300tdi radiator assembly is 1/2" taller than the old 2.25 unit, necessitating some modification of the frame towers under the rad or the upper support brackets. I am planning to use the proper 300tdi upper brackets but even they fit a bit differently on my old 90 and they also get in the way of the outer two bumpers on the underside of the bonnet. I'll have to work on some photos, I'll try later this evening, which will be more like morning for the GMT folks. Thanks for looking, Dave in DC
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