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110 300Tdi Convert to Auto?


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Hi All,

As 3 pedals a gear lever and a steering wheel are to much for the wife, i am being plagued to convert a 110 300tdi to auto, any suggestions tips advice etc, i presume i can use a auto box from a disco 300. Also as i hve no pit or ramp would i be better off removing engine and fitting as one unit or struggling and doing it from underneath via jacks stands to get the thing up in the air, engine crane etc are here in fact so is everthing else tool wise just no pit.

I considered having it done "professionally" but as that was quoted at nearly £4000 thats a big no no.

Also where to source a box from?.

Regards Keith

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Leave the engine in the car, remove the tunnel, floor and seat box to gain access to the job. With an engine crane in through the passenger door you can easily lift the gearbox and, seperatly, the transfer box in.

If you try to connect the engine to the 'box before swinging the whole lot in you will find it a nightmare and a HUGE lump to move about.


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I'd agree with Chris, its far easier to remove the transmission tunnel and then use an engine crane through the doorway. One other option to think about is how about getting someone with a 4 post lift to physically put the box in (less than a days work) and then trailer it back home? Most of the work involved is doing things like plumbing for the oil cooler and building the transmission tunnel.

Source the box is difficult and there are lots of parts you'll need. Ashcrofts do a complete kit but its not cheap. IMHO, the cheapest way to do it is to buy a 300tdi and auto box complete and then sell the engine. Its cheaper and you get 90% of the parts in one go.

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I converted my old V8 Discovery from manual to auto - it took me 2 whole days plus a couple of hours on the third day tidying up some of the interior etc, but bear in mind I had never done it before and so was proceeding with caution!

I did have a 4 post ramp though, it would have been a pig of a job without it.

As far as I remember the main bits on the Discovery (would be similar on a Defender Tdi I guess) were

Removal of old manual box

Removal of flywheel and starter ring, fitting of the auto drive plate and starter ring in place of the flywheel

Fitting torque converter to auto box

Fitting stub shaft to rear of auto box

Removal of transfer box from old manual and fitting to auto

Fit auto box and transfer box to vehicle as complete assembly, bolt up TC to drive plate and sort out dipstick tube (which was a PITA as it didn't fit)

Sort out gearbox mountings which were different (supplied from Ashcrofts)

Sort out oil cooler plumbing (my vehicle had an oil cooler on the manual so it was a bit easier, just replumbed this into the auto)

Dismantle throttle cable brackets and replace with new one which has kickdown cable fitted

Sort out wiring for reverse light switch and park/neutral switch

Fit shifter cable to gearbox and route into cab

Fit shifter inside cab and modify interior trim to suit (fiddly job, worse on a Defender!)

Test drive and set up kickdown cable

I got all the bits from Ashcrofts and the whole lot was about £2000 landed here, though a fair bit of that was freight etc, can't recall the exact ex-UK cost. The shifter etc was a horrendous cost to buy new (£280 springs to mind) and I spent a LONG time before I even ordered it going through workshop and parts manuals in minute detail to make sure I had everything I needed - at that stage there wasn't an off the shelf kit available to do the job. It was a few years ago now but I don't think I had forgotten anything when it came to do the job, so it was time well spent :)

The bit I was dreading - removing the (tight and loctited) flywheel bolts from the rear of the crank proved to be easy as whichever numpty fitted the flywheel when the vehicle was built, forgot to put any loctite on the bolts so they came out quite easily :)

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Thanks for the answers had already really decided to go down the engine crane in door approach, just wanted a few other thoughts.

Contacted Ascrofts complete kit is £2532 + carraige, at this point i need a large Scotch, knowing the wife she will offer to pay the carraige!!!!!

Regards Keith

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