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Engine replacement


Chris123
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It seems my current engine (2.25 diesel) although running quite smoothly, seems to have a problem. It's got low oil pressure (according to the warning light), and there's plenty of oil being forced through the top breather of the rocker cover. Which I think will take a fair bit of work to cure.

So I'm looking at replacing the engine, and am considering a possible upgrade. But I'm pretty new to this, only engine changes I've done have been to take a 2.25 diesel out, and put another back in.

The options I'm considering are as follows:

  • Rebuild one of the other 2.25 diesel engines I've got around and fit that
    Which will definately be the cheapest option
  • Source a 2.5 diesel engine
    I'm tempted by this option as it would be pretty easy to fit (apparently), and there seem to be a few of the engines around
  • source a 200tdi
    Not so sure on this as they seem to be very expensive to get hold of (I am a student!). But it would mean much better economy and power.
  • V8
    It appears that V8s are very cheap to buy, and sound nice too!
    But there's several draw backs that I'm aware of; the bulkhead will need cutting and welding, and I can't weld. The fuel economy isn't exactly great, but I don't do a huge mileage, and can always look into fitting LPG at a later date which will help. I've got twin fuel tanks, so will have to think of somewhere else to fit the battery.
    However the machine is a LWB with the larger brakes, heavy duty springs front and rear, and the stronger series 2 g/box. Water isn't a bother either, as I don't do much fording.

I am very tempted by the V8 route, but is there anything else I need to think about? Is the 200tdi worth the price, it could be fair few hundred to find one?

Thanks,

Chris

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I can't see how getting a decent V8 is going to be any cheaper than a 200Tdi. I got a nice 200Tdi off Ebay less than a year ago for £475, you'll be hard pushed to find a decent 3.5 Rover V8 with similar milage for the same sort of money.

I really love V8's (who doesn't!!!) and the sound is awsome. However in the real world a slightly tweeked 200 or 300TDI will walk all over a 3.5 V8 and still see much better MPG and be better for off roading (no electronics, points, distributor, etc.).

I say go diesel, even a 2.5 Diesel Turbo from a 90 would probably work quite well but for the effort involved a TDI would be my chioce I guess.

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A V8 will probably give you better MPG than the Series as it has about 2-3x the power and doesn't have to work hard, the Series is a very light motor compared to a RR of Defender.

Of course you only get better MPG if you can resist pushing the loud pedal all the time for the great noise :lol:

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A V8 will probably give you better MPG than the Series as it has about 2-3x the power and doesn't have to work hard, the Series is a very light motor compared to a RR of Defender.

Of course you only get better MPG if you can resist pushing the loud pedal all the time for the great noise :lol:

hehe, that may well be a problem :D

Also is it possible to remove the EFi system from a later V8 and convert to carbs? Have been told that the EFi may produce a bit too much power for the crappy axles.

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I put a V8 in mine a few years ago. I paid £150 for a good V8, £100 for the conversion kit, and then numerous other amounts for other small items to fit it.

There is no way around cutting the bulkhead - you will have to do it in order to fit it. In addition if you cant weld you'll need to spend another £250 or so on an exhaust system (I made my own).

All of a sudden a £500 Tdi doesnt look so expensive does it?

Yes the V8 transformed the vehicle and it sounds lovelly, but mine hated water, MPG is 12-15 or so at best. I also found the series radiator was only just up to cooling the thing - only really remedied by fitting a 90 front end and 90 radiator!

The Tdi is an almost nuts and bolts swap, however you do still need to do some welding to one of the engine mounts. The series rad will be fine with it and the exhaust is a hell of alot simpler to sort out.

If i was doing it again i'd fit a Tdi i think!

Jon

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I don't think for the money you can beat a TDI. My 200Tdi in my Discovery has a Allisport intercooler on it and tuning and I reckon it runs about on par with my brothers 3.9 EFI V8 Range Rover, however I see 24-28mpg and he gets 12-15mpg.

If you've never owned a V8 I can see the allure of the noise and the exotic factor, fourtunatly I have two other V8's sitting on my driveway :D so I guess I might forget this sometimes.

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I was offered by somone this morning that if I find a disco with a 200tdi engine, then they'd fit that engine into mine for the price of £500 plus the remains of the disco, which seems very expensive to me. And it's probably a conversion I could do myself.

I think I'm going to have to set a budget for this job, which will probably be around the £600 - £700 mark. I guess that means a decent 200tdi engine, or an okay V8 inclusive of welding and other costs.

I guess the other thing is reliability and cost of parts, I know the 2.25 I've got has been pretty reliable (aside from this problem), except for the rocker cover gasket going and costing about 50p to replace.

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Your best bet would be to find an MoT failed discovery (there should be plenty about). rob the engine out of it, and sell the rest as parts. IMHO, I would go for the 200 TDI...

Mark

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Yes the V8 transformed the vehicle and it sounds lovelly, but mine hated water, MPG is 12-15 or so at best. I also found the series radiator was only just up to cooling the thing - only really remedied by fitting a 90 front end and 90 radiator!

What's up with yours then Jon - I got ~20 out of the 109 with the 3.9 in, and water shouldn't be an issue now that we've been dragged into the 90's with EDIS :lol:

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there is a very good low milage tdi sat at my mates farm he is trying to sell it can be seen running

£500 but it is a little bettler less than 70,000 on the clock and i think it includes the box

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What's up with yours then Jon - I got ~20 out of the 109 with the 3.9 in, and water shouldn't be an issue now that we've been dragged into the 90's with EDIS :lol:

Nothing now, but it was a load of hassle getting to where I am now! No end of problems with cooling etc!

Its now waterproof and runs a hell of alot better with the EDIS, but it still eats starter motors!

Fuel consumption is still poor but what do you expect with a 3.5 litre gas gussler! But then mine does less than 1000 miles a year so I dont really care!

And whilst I know injection would probably improve the fuel consumption, I can fix SU's in the middle of a muddy puddle with a couple of spanners! Running wise its perfect in every way!

Jon

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okay I think I can give the V8 option some serious thought now, and I think it's the route I'd like to take (even if it is the most impractical).

I've found in my pile of bits a salisbury rear axle, which althrough pretty dirty it does seem in good order. It looks like I can get my hands on a welder aswell, is the bulkhead job likely to be something that I can do myself, or is it proper fiddly? Does anyone have any photos of where the bulkhead has been changed?

Thanks,

Chris

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okay I think I can give the V8 option some serious thought now, and I think it's the route I'd like to take (even if it is the most impractical).

Cool :D

One thing I'd advise is try and hold out for a 3.9/4.0 litre if you can, while the 3.5 is abundant many are dogs and even good condition ones don't actually have much HP. A 3.9 not only produces more power but more importantly produces a decent amount more torque in the low rpms.

I've got a 3.5 in my Triumph TR7 V8, it's a good engine but it's got S1 heads, cam, 4 barrel carb, long tube exhaust manifolds, electric fan, luminitions, dyno tuned plus other mods and still only makes ~230bhp (flywheel) but is fairly revvy, it really comes on cam at 3500rpm so for off roading wouldn't be ideal. A 3.9 on the other hand can probably make 200bhp with bolt ons and a sensible cam yet still retain really good under the curve performance.

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Following on from that post - remember it's a 2-ton landy not an F1 car :rolleyes: I would stick to stock parts with the exception of a "stump puller" camshaft if it needs replacing (a 3.9 cam is a cheaper option in a 3.5) and duplex chain timing gears. Even a normal 3.5 will give enough power for you to start to seriously consider a brake upgrade at the first corner you come to :lol:

Having had both Holley and Weber carbs I would say don't bother - stick to stock which at least have low cost on their side, and then go straight to EFi - it's cheaper and makes more power. Neither of the swanky carbs would behave themselves on hills / in high temperatures / vibration and the fuel consumption is epic, especially with the weber - you may as well point the fuel hose straight down the manifold.

A good 3.5 should have more than enough power to propel your Series about the place, the only thing to watch out for is a conversion using an SD1 flywheel as it makes it far easier to stall (the RR flywheel is about 3x the weight). Use the engine number information from searching/google to pick a later 3.5 or 3.9 from an EFi Range Rover rather than some ancient SD1 lump that's beaten to death. You can probably buy a whole Range Rover for a few hundred quid and have loads of handy bits like engine mounts to hand. (not to mention a decent gearbox & transfer box...)

The bulkhead mods are not technically difficult, just fiddly to get right/nice. You basically need to widen the hole where the engine and gearbox are, so you need to cut a bit of floor back and then trim the bulkhead out and make new panels to make the whole tunnel a bit wider. On mine I had to move the clutch pedal pad over by cutting it off and re-welding it off-centre but the Stig did a brilliant job on the bulkhead and I can change the plugs without needing to take the bulkhead apart, something I had to do in the original incarnation.

This is the only photo of it I have to hand, the Stig wandered into the workshop while our backs were turned and then it ended up like this:

post-21-1178235974_thumb.jpg

And then he was gone... :unsure:

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Some very sound advice here but with all the talk of silly horsepower and torque increases has anyone mentioned gearboxes yet?

Bill.

Ooo, meee, I did! Do I get a gold star? :D

I know it's a good idea to consider a new box, but driving with mechanical sympathy I made a not-terribly-good-to-start-with S3 gearbox last ages behind the 3.9, it was then sold to another chap who put a tuned 3.5 in front of it and ragged it senseless for a considerable amount of time till it finally broke.

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You only mentioned a decent gearbox and transfercase not a stronger one, so no cigar. Mechanical sympathy is all well until you come across a steep loose rocky hill 20 or so miles in on a fire trail that requires you beat the carp out of the truck to get over. All that extra torque with the wheels spinning and grabbing will stuff a series box in no time. I suppose in the UK where civilisation is never too far away it would be just an expensive inconvenience, but a similar scenario over here has made for some nightmarish ordeals on many occasions. And not only for me either.

Bill.

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we put a 3.5 efi v8 into a series a couple of months back, rigged it up on su's, plenty of power for a series, the brakes were uprated to discs all round with servo assistance so they were well upto the job, the series gearbox was retained, i must admit the owner and myself aren't really very mechanical sympathy but the box lasted for one month. it now runs a lt77 and transfer box from a defender.

due to it being used more now than intended it now has a tdi sat in it.

the v8 with adaptor ring and engine mounts to bolt upto series chassis may be for sale if you're interested? theres also a complete exhaust system for a swb there too.

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I did 3 series gearboxes in under a year in less than 1000 miles in total and that was on a stock 3.5 on twin su's!

I would not want to stick any more than a carbed 3.5 in front of a series box to have any remote hope of longevity in front of it!

The earlier series 2 boxes are supposedly stronger but have no synchro on first or second.

I'm now running an LT77 and gearbox problems are a thing of the past!

I just break axles now........sigh!

Jon

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i think alot of wear and tear is down to how big a tyre u run, i've broken axles and ser3 and 2a gearboxes with a 2.5 n/a diesel. alot of that i think was down to the 33*12.50 tyres i ran at the time.

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I agree gearboxes and other drivetrain components are a serious consideration, and I wasn't meaning trying to get massive HP just that many of the carbed 3.5's are only 137bhp and 187lb ft stock where as a EFI 3.9 has what some 182bhp and over 200lb ft straight off the bat.

I guess it goes back to the deisel vs V8 argument. For having only a 137bhp from a 3.5 and low mpg a tweaked 200 or 300Tdi will easily out HP it and see 40%+ better fuel economy.

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Brilliant stuff, thanks for the super input people. :D (am obliged to do it with this much input now :D )

I think I would rather go for the 3.5 version, because it is lower on power. As for the drivetrain I'm hoping the current SII gearbox with it's supposedly stronger layshafts will hold up okay, along with a supposedly stronger salisbury rear axle.

Though it looks like I'm gonna have to be prepared for when it does all go tits up, so I imagine the next challenge (if this one works) will be 5 speed box or something... and LPG, and discs, and parabolics... oooh the list could go on for some time. *checks wallet, needs another job*

There is a chance that it has the 101 gearbox fitted, as it used to be an anti-tank-gun-carriage-monster-land-rover-thing for the army, but I've no idea what one looks like, nor if it will make much difference.

the v8 with adaptor ring and engine mounts to bolt upto series chassis may be for sale if you're interested? theres also a complete exhaust system for a swb there too.

Yea I think I may well be, even if it's just the adapter ring and mounts. Could you let me know how much if they're up for sale (may aswell ask about engine too)?

Tyres I'm running are 7.50x16 greenway chacos, although I do have some crappy tyres somewhere which slip easy on tarmac. They're not low on tread, just carp. But then I'd probably be sacrificing control for the sake of saving the drivetrain, which wouldn't be a good idea.

Thanks hugely,

Chris

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