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Andrew Cleland

Best diesel to stick into a 110SW

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I know this has probably been asked a thousand times before, but it's kind-of a fun question to ponder and one on which I'm sure there are as many opinions as choices and opinions are fun...

The situation at the moment is I have two Landys:

  • 1993 110 Stationwagon with 3.9i V8, slightly 'built' with +20 oversized pistons, skimmed heads, Crower 229 cam, ARP main and head studs, Megasquirt + EDIS injection/ignition and a vaguely performance SS stainless exhaust system. This is our 'medium-range holiday' truck, mainly for winter & summer trips to Italy (Italian wife) and is done-up quite nicely inside, carpets, good soundproofing, Renault Scenic seats etc. The only problem with this is, despite all my best efforts, it still costs over £500 in petrol for the 2,000 miles to Italy and back. LPG is next on the list, maybe.
  • 1979 S3 Lightweight with a 3.5V8, LT95 from a Range Rover, short bell-housing and input shaft from a 101FC, custom prop shafts and Stage 1 front and rear axles. Basically it's a V8 Lightweight that looks absolutely stock from the outside. It was on twin SUs, but I bought an Edelbrock manifold and Weber 350cfm carb in the States a few years back. Ignition is a Mallory dual-point dizzy.

What's actually happened is the Lightweight has sat in a rented garage for the past 4 years half in-bits for when I get time to fix it all together. Now the bloke who owns the garage is selling-up to developers, so I have 28 days to get the Lightweight towable and to move it somewhere for the time being. This is inevitably going to raise questions about 'what should happen to it' from other parties (if you know what I mean...). Now I'm not really prepared to sell either Landy, but I'm also starting to realise that maybe the V8 wasn't the best choice for a vehicle doing a couple of 2,000 mile trips every year, as the 110 should be doing. On top of this my experience with Megasquirting the 110 has put me off carbs and dizzys for good - just seeing the timing sit rock-steady at 10deg. BTDC at idle with the EDIS is worth all the hassle.

So, I'm now thinking of pulling the 3.9i from the 110 and putting it into the Lightweight and then selling the old 3.5 short engine for whatever little it's worth on ebay. Putting the 3.9 into the Lightweight, which is basically a toy, means that I don't need to worry about the fuel bills for long trips and can play around with more V8 mods that wouldn't be so suited on the 110, like flowed cylinder heads and maybe even methanol fueling. This leaves the 110 without an engine, which is probably a good time to admit that maybe a diesel would be a better choice for it, but what diesel? As I see it, the options are:

200/300Tdi - plus points are easy to get hold off, standard fit in a 110, so easy(-ish) to fit. Minus points are old tech (i.e. mechanical pump timing, an ECU can do better) and not too clean, nor that powerful - the journey to Italy involves a few hours of motorway work through either Northern France or Belgium, then nicer A roads and B roads through Germany/Switzerland/Austria and a couple of mountain passes (normally the Brenner) into Italy. Reasonably un-stressed cruising at 65-70 is necessary for the motorways and not being a rolling blockade on a mountain pass is also nice.

Td5 - plus points are more power than the Tdi (or the potential for more, seems quite common to tweak them) and more refined, again should be not too tricky to fit. Minus points are possible reliability with oil-in-the-loom and they seem pretty expensive at a quick look on ebay.

BMW i6 diesel, M57 3.0 - we had a 530d a few years back and this is a nice engine which manages the heavier X5 no problem. It should be doable to fit into a 110 as Land Rover stuck a M52 petrol in the South African 110, which I think shares a very similar block, and the earlier 2.5TDS was in the P38, again I think the block is common. The major concern I think would be the electronics, these probably aren't stand-alone engines and will want to talk to all sorts of ECUs to do with gearing etc. One thought was mixing and matching a P38 transfer case onto an X5 engine and autobox. I have a feeling though that this could get complicated/expensive. Has anyone gone this route?

GM V8 diesel - i.e. the 6.2 or 6.5. Though about this, but it would probably be as much work as the M57 and for less overall result, probably doesn't drink much less than the 3.9.

I'm leaning towards the Td5, although the M57 would be nice, I think it's probably too much for my limited free-time more than anything else, although it's possibly something I could see myself paying someone to do, if there are people who do this, Jeremy Fearn maybe.

One thing I will probably also need to look at is the gearbox - currently an LT85, I don't think this was ever bolted to a diesel engine by Land Rover. The 110 has recent Marsland chassis with the R380-type bolt-in cross-member, so I shall probably need to look at swapping to either an R380 or maybe an autobox as well.

I know that whatever route I take will cost as much as lot of fuel for the V8, but somehow spending the money on 'things' rather than petrol seems more sensible...

Thoughts?

Cheers,

Andy.

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Do the LPG conversion. My LPG V8 110 trundles down happily to the south of France each year and ok, I don't get the fabled 30mpg diesel economy but costwise it is is giving the equivalent of 28-30 mpg on gas

Cost way cheaper than a diseasel conversion and if you use RPI's 80 litre tank under where the standard fuel tank is and a 90 tank for petrol under the drivers seat no loss of space

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Not helpful I know, but if you have filling stations nearby i'd just go LPG. :rolleyes:

Thats me done now, let the thread continue with more useful posts! :ph34r:

*Edit - Zoltan beat me! And thinking about it, aren't the Italians quite into LPG?

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What about the TDV6 that they have just stopped producing in the Disco?

Of if feeling mad, a TDV8? :)

*edit* or has now been said, just LPG it :)

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If diesel then I would put a Td5 in it.

You should be able to find a reasonably (sub-100k) low-mileage one, and they have more than proven their reliability in the 11 - 12 years they've been around. They're also easy to fit into a Defender as they're designed for it, just get all the wiring looms ECU etc as well and away you go.

The 200/300Tdi are all well and good in terms of reliability and longevity, and I won't be changing mine until it goes bang badly, but they're very noisy unrefined engines, designed 20+ years ago. Also a bit underpowered for a laden 110 on highways. A nicely set up Td5 should be able to get you moving at a comfortable pace in more comfort, and at a reasonable (25mpg plus I should think) rate of fuel economy.

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jeramy fearn will do the bmw conversion for you,can be made to fit a hybrid r380 box using p38 parts,a bit long in the tooth now but the mazda slt 35 engine was a superb conversion,they still crop up from time to time.

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As above, LPG it like Zoltan suggested re the tanks.

Consider doing 2000 miles with a diseasel racket going on, (Td5 is no quieter at speed than Tdi IMO), or a relaxing V8 symphony... well as long as your sporty exhaust isn't too vocal :lol:

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Big 3.5 mazda turbo you can get conversion kits to fit the v8 mounts and gearbox mate has one in his 110 its fast and still fast towing a 101. The Japs know how to do good big diesels landrover ones dont cut it

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The 200/300Tdi are all well and good in terms of reliability and longevity, and I won't be changing mine until it goes bang badly, but they're very noisy unrefined engines, designed 20+ years ago. Also a bit underpowered for a laden 110 on highways.

I never thought I'd see that said about the TDi.

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The Japs know how to do good big diesels landrover ones dont cut it

I'd second this, with the addition of "neither do the yanks" :ph34r:

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I never thought I'd see that said about the TDi.

I think that sums up the tdi - its a lovely engine, but long distance highway stuff and its just...well....a bit dull. It'll do it fine, but there are better. The BMW (car, not TD5) diesels are lovely. Their petrols are even better (have an M52 2.8i in my 5 series) and i would seriously consider a conversion of my tdi 110 to a 2.8i BMW petrol on LPG. However, if a diesel conversion is possible, this would definately make the decision harder. Do the diesel BMW engines fit the R380 gearbox? Do they fit eh p38 gearbox used alongside the 3 litre diesel fitted to the p38 under BMW ownership?

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Wasn't there a chap who posted up his 2.8 Iveco engined 110 on here a few weeks back? Station motorsport or something? He had the electronic injection 2.8 Iveco Daily engine mounted via adaptor to the Landrover gearbox. He did a particularily nice job on the install, it looked incredibly professional and well fitted. That engine is available in 150bhp from the factory and easily tuned to 200bhp + 350lb/ft. I think that would make a good Defender engine.

Other than that the BMW is worth investigating further.

Further to Fridge's comment above, although I now have a couple of 6.5 V8 Chevies and have learnt to love them, I have to say that I wouldn't put one in a Landrover. The best US diesel I've driven is actually the Izusu 7.3 in the Ford F series...

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TDI all the way. It is cheap to put in, and wil have plenty of poke, espesially if you put a bigger intercooler in. As long as the gearing is right, it will run very well. With regards to cost, I bet that the actual cost for any conversion is at least as much as the engine itself, but the biggest cost comes when you come to sell it; a tdi will always fetch good money, where as a converted car is more a case what some individual think its worth, if anything.

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i'd stick with a 200 tdi or secondly a 300 why ?well standard engine , spares are easy to get and cheap to buy , parts are standard no mish mash of odds and sods , standard land rover engine i'd imagine will be simpler to get insured etc etc

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I never thought I'd see that said about the TDi.

Yep, going camping this year the 200 was only just maintaining a comfortable 60-65mph. I was pretty heavily loaded, but still. An extra 50 horsepower would have been nice :)

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Unfortunately once people start evangelising about the Land Rover TDi as the ultimate engine, this thread is doomed.

CONFORM!

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i wouldnt put in a tdi - although i do love mine in my 90, its not a cruiser and never will be!

for comfy cruising i would go for a td5 with a nice ecu tweak and bigger intercooler and turbo boost mods. its a powerful and proven engine.

But being realistic you wont get any cheaper running costs with a td5 over a v8 with lpg. It would be more sensible to spend a couple of K on a nice top rate multi point lpg system and stick with what you know and trust as being reliable and already fitted. Be alot quicker and less hassle to convert as well.

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Bruuum Brrrruuummmmm or Clatter Clatter....er no contest, V8 it is.

Having said that I love my 200TDi 110 :) But it will get a V8 when the Tdi dies.

Will :)

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The BMW conversion can be done using a P38 bellhousing and inputshaft, the electronics WILL be a nightmare though. It would be worth scouring the BMW forums to see if anyones fitted an M57 into an older BMW (E30 or E36 or something), as if they have, they'll have done all the hard work for you and hopefully you'd just be able to copy what they've done to get it up and running (assuming they've documented it ofcourse).

Failing that, i'd be looking at a TD5.

In this day in age, i wouldnt be going to the hassle of a conversion and fitting a clarty old mechanically injected engine. The 200/300tdi perhaps as it more or less bolts in, but the Mazda/Isuzu/Nissan etc engines people seem to rave about are all pretty agricultural, and not particularly powerful either. You've seen the light of EFI with your megasquirt conversion, dont be going back to the dark side ;)

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It would be more sensible to spend a couple of K on a nice top rate multi point lpg system and stick with what you know and trust as being reliable and already fitted. Be alot quicker and less hassle to convert as well.

Or save a chunk of cash and fit one of these

http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=61820 combined with your Megasquirt modded for table switching giving you petrol and gas ignition maps

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The BMW conversion can be done using a P38 bellhousing and inputshaft, the electronics WILL be a nightmare though. It would be worth scouring the BMW forums to see if anyones fitted an M57 into an older BMW (E30 or E36 or something), as if they have, they'll have done all the hard work for you and hopefully you'd just be able to copy what they've done to get it up and running (assuming they've documented it ofcourse).

Failing that, i'd be looking at a TD5.

In this day in age, i wouldnt be going to the hassle of a conversion and fitting a clarty old mechanically injected engine. The 200/300tdi perhaps as it more or less bolts in, but the Mazda/Isuzu/Nissan etc engines people seem to rave about are all pretty agricultural, and not particularly powerful either. You've seen the light of EFI with your megasquirt conversion, dont be going back to the dark side ;)

OTOH it has just cost me 165 GBP to replace 1 injector in my ancient tdci Mondeo. You can get a new set for a tdi for that, and change them in an hour whilst enjoying a brew. The labour on the Mondeo will push it over 300 as I haven't got all the diagnostics etc. That's the second one to fail and it's just over 100k on the clock. The Puma in the Defender is not entirely dissimilar to that motor. It had to have a fuel rail when I first got it - that was over £400 etc etc, and I dread a fuel pump failure, as then all the injection kit has to be replaced again. If you want sophisticated - fair enough, but you do see a lot of middle aged sophisticated diesels (eg Touareg, X5 - I didn't say effective) going for not a lot of money.

How about a TGV as no-one else has mentioned it (i'll get my coat...)

Nigel

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OTOH it has just cost me 165 GBP to replace 1 injector in my ancient tdci Mondeo. You can get a new set for a tdi for that, and change them in an hour whilst enjoying a brew. The labour on the Mondeo will push it over 300 as I haven't got all the diagnostics etc. That's the second one to fail and it's just over 100k on the clock. The Puma in the Defender is not entirely dissimilar to that motor. It had to have a fuel rail when I first got it - that was over £400 etc etc, and I dread a fuel pump failure, as then all the injection kit has to be replaced again. If you want sophisticated - fair enough, but you do see a lot of middle aged sophisticated diesels (eg Touareg, X5 - I didn't say effective) going for not a lot of money.

How about a TGV as no-one else has mentioned it (i'll get my coat...)

Nigel

if the latest transits are anything to go by the puma defender will become an expensive liability to own,injectors,flywheels,cyl head probs,the list goes on.

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Yep, i will never own a ford product, because they are invariably rubbish.

Everything i've done or helped with on a ford, or ford based car has just been stupidly overcomplicated or badly designed.

The very fact you call the mondeo "ancient" yet it has common rail injection should highlight all you need to know about choosing a modern engine over an old clanker!

I guess thats the tradeoff though, a bit more complexity and more things to go wrong against a much better drive with better fuel economy and more power.

Its the same with everything in life though. We now have gas boilers with electronic timers rather than a big open fire and a pot of water hanging over it, its more complicated, more expensive, more to go wrong, but its worth it!

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<snip>

Its the same with everything in life though. We now have gas boilers with electronic timers rather than a big open fire and a pot of water hanging over it, its more complicated, more expensive, more to go wrong, but its worth it!

Or you could have a big log burner that provides reliable hot water and heat and costs very little to heat the house for the year, but creates quite a lot of work and requires tools and storage to achieve. Sounds like the correct Landrover metaphor..

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