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Hi Forum members.

I am busy with a hybrid conversion.

I think i bit off slightly more than what i can chew, but it's too late now and i have to push through.

I have a 1989 Land Rover 110 Pick Up with a 1998 Discovery 1 V8 3.9i engine, gearbox, transfer box & diffs with disc brakes all round. Now the complicated thing is, i have a 109" 5 door Series 2 body that i want to fit on the 110" chassis. I still want to use the Defender firewall for more "luxury" 😊😊  if you can call it that with a split front screen.

I browsed on the web and found a lot of negative feeds, My biggest concern is the engine bay. I have seen on the web that the Series 2 firewall sit slightly more to the back. The modification on the gearbox tunnel is least of my problem.

My problem is to fit the engine in the shorter engine bay with my viscous fan and the radiator. (No aircon) Seems to me I must fit an electric fan with a custom made radiator.

The wheel openings does not fit correctly with the diff positions. (That i can overcome with my defender plastic wheel arches, colour coded to body colour)

This will be my everyday ride and workhorse as i do 4X4 Driver Training and Off Road Recoveries, my Disco 3 HSE is to luxury for muddy snatch ropes and sand on carpets.

Some people said to me i must rather sell the Pick Up and buy a CSW, then i buy someone else problems. My Pick Up is sorted out everything new drivetrain, suspension wise and galvanized chassis.

My 109" is sentimental, as my dad bought it brand new. With my recoveries I need more seats for my clients and I can pack all my recovery equipment in a drawer system at the back with my dual battery system.

And last but not the least, I like the classic look with the narrow lights and and grid grill. 


Has anyone on the Forum done something like this or know someone that has done this that can help or give me some guidance or photos will be a bonus. 


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You'll certainly get yourself an interesting set of minor problems with that setup - the Defender chassis is different enough to the Series that you'll have a lot of stuff that doesn't quite line up - and the pick-ups are different (on both) to the CSW so you may have to cut some parts of your lovely galvanised chassis.

My 109 CSW was rebuilt on a pick-up chassis, but they were both Series 3 and not galv, so modification wasn't an issue.

The front end is going to be a challenge if you don't want to move the engine, you'll likely have to trim the back of the radiator panel down and almost certainly run an electric fan. You may be able to keep the Defender radiator but only if you use bonnet pins / clips rather than the standard release mechanism.

A lot of it you'll only find out as you go, I would say  that before you start you need to get a good tape measure and a notebook and measure everything on both vehicles - every mounting, every bracket, every panel fit, etc. and then measure it all again, twice, before starting.


And before some other pedant points it out - a Range Rover back axle is not weight-rated for a 110 chassis.

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Why not use a defender bulkhead, door frames, floor seat box and tub. This will all bolt to your chassis (may require some brackets but off the shelf). You should be able to use windscreen, roof, doors and upper rear panels from the 109. As for the front I would use defender wings modified to take the series front panel and bonnet. It still won't be easy but the drive train and lower body will fit together. The upper body will give your desired look and it's just the front panel that will cause a headache with the radiator.


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I don’t think there is any difference in bulkhead positions, only the depth of the foot wells (shorter on Defenders).  Many people have managed to fit that engine into a Series engine bay with its associated radiator and not have too many problems, but electric fans seem to be part of the solution, like with many other engine retrofits.

The wheels will be well out of position in the wheel arches, much too far back.  The only way around that would be to mount the whole body further aft, removing the rear cross member and fitting extensions.  That is IVA territory.

Depending on where you are in the world, fitting an old body on a newer chassis could open up some legal issues.  Your project would retain the Defender identity, so the Series body may cause Construction and Use regulation issues due to the headlight positions (not a problem on later SIIAs and SIIIs).  That’d be worth checking with the relevant authorities before you even started the physical work.

I’d agree with Bowie - not only is it a project fraught with problems and poor compromises,  it you’d be destroying your cherished SII - it might wear most of the body, but everything else, especially the driving character, would have been scrapped.  Far better to restore or sell that vehicle.

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