'97 D90 2.8TGV, plus a few goodies. - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 19th, 2014, 12:05 AM
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'97 D90 2.8TGV, plus a few goodies.

I figure it's probably time to go ahead and start documenting this one. It's been a while since I've been genuinely excited about a build, and this one has been keeping me up at night.

The goal of this project is to turn a very capable and well configured truck into one that is equipped to handle extended time in the field, all the while maintaining the vehicle's capabilities and making as few compromises as possible. Simplicity and reliability of all systems is a big focus as well, as this truck will ultimately make its way to Central America, among other places.

A few highlights of this project include:
-2.8TGV mated to an Ashcroft HP22 with HP24 internals and torque converter, full-width intercooler and a little tuning.
-SD full cage with custom built rack and LED lighting.
-15 gallons of auxiliary fuel storage with the ability to transfer between tanks.
-On board water storage with an integrated filtration system and heat exchanger for both potable drinking water and non-potable hot shower supply.

And of course a million little details along the way. I'll continue to update this thread as everything progresses. In the mean time, here's a little teaser:

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  #2  
Old February 20th, 2014, 11:02 PM
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Alright, let's dive in. I'll go ahead and apologize now for the poor quality photos; I keep forgetting the camera and have been relegated to using my cell phone.

New 2.8, for starters. The cast inlet pipe became damaged somewhere along the way, but due to space constraints we'll be ditching it and plumbing the intake behind the head a la 300tdi. Since the engine has been sitting for a couple of years, we're going to go ahead and pull the timing cover to replace the timing belt, and swap the cam gear with a steel 300Tdi-style for longevity.


Ashcroft transmission. M&D provided the pieces to make it all come together.


And Allisport came through with a fancy new radiator and intercooler. Top notch build quality on these things, by the way. It'll be a tight squeeze to fit everything, plus AC condenser behind the factory grille, but I'm confident it'll work without having to swap out for an extended grille.



Turbo and manifold are off. Both the turbine housing and manifold are heading to receive a heat-dispersant ceramic coating to help maintain more consistent EGT's and cut down on engine bay temps. From the turbo we'll be building a full stainless exhaust system specific to our application.


For anyone curious how the variable nozzle works, this is the backside of the system. The wastegate engages into the notch at the top, and operates the pitch of the vanes based on boost levels.


So the first order of business is to get the wiring in order. I've been tracing and labeling, separating all of the accessories from the main harness, and preparing to remove and replace the main harness with one that is specific to the 300Tdi-equipped trucks. No more immobilizer or alarm module issues, and overall a much less complicated setup. The majority of the accessories on the truck are run on standalone harnesses powdered off a BSS fuse block, so integrating into the new setup will be very straight-forward.

Dash out, making sense of everything. Always a great time!


And the new harness.


Tomorrow I'll have the front fenders off and begin prepping to pull the drivetrain. More updates to come!

-Ash
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  #3  
Old February 21st, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Looking forward to this one!
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  #4  
Old February 21st, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash View Post
swap the cam gear with a steel 300Tdi-style for longevity.
-Ash
You've been talking to Pendy! I'm swapping mine with my timing belt service next month.

BTW, move your boost signal for the wastegate to the intake manifold. It makes a HUGE difference.
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  #5  
Old February 21st, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Very cool; looking forward to this one...
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  #6  
Old February 22nd, 2014, 04:20 PM
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Nothing major to report, but I have the fenders off the truck and will be getting the drivetrain out on Monday. Normally I'd leave the fenders in place, but burning the new engine mounts in and fabricating the exhaust will be a lot easier with a little room to breathe.


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  #7  
Old February 24th, 2014, 05:10 PM
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Another small update. Still chasing wires and cleaning all of the aftermarket looms up, so there isn't much to show on that front. Got the exhaust manifold chocked up in the mill and cut a flat boss, then drilled the hole for the EGT probe. Once I cut the 1/4-18 threads I'll drop it off for coating.



Second Skin sent over a nice little package as well. The truck already has their Damplifier product throughout the cargo area, which has been highly effective in noise reduction, so we'll be using it behind the dash and in the floor section of the truck. We'll also be trying out their Firewall spray, which is a water-based coating with a texture similar to that of bedlining. It can be sprayed up to 3mm thick and contains a ceramic powder which ought to aid in keeping the engine heat from entering the cabin..or so we hope. I'm eager to see how it works.

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  #8  
Old March 10th, 2014, 11:29 PM
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Still waiting on a big shipment of parts at this point, so progress is a little slow.

A lot of folks have suggested running the boost signal to the injection pump from the intake manifold, rather than the compressor housing. The theory is that there is a bit of resolution lost when the signal comes from a port before the intercooler, and there should be a decrease in turbo lag as well. I pulled the hard pipe that was currently on the engine and reshaped it to reach the back of the manifold, where I tapped an existing plug to the correct size.

The pipe originally routed across the front of the engine and dropped down toward the turbocharger.


The new setup runs behind the cylinder head


Tucks close to the block


And hits the pump. I re-purposed the original pipe clips as well, so it's nice and solid.


Here's a good example of why it's always wise to re-seal a motor before installation, even if it's new. This motor only has the time put on it by the factory, and has been siting for a few years. Over that time the rear main seal has dried up and completely lost its integrity. These jobs are infinitely easier when the motor is on a bench and not in the truck.




More to come!

-Ash
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  #9  
Old March 11th, 2014, 06:11 PM
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FedEx dropped off a nice little package this afternoon. Full Safety Devices external cage.



And the old suspension components are starting to come off so I can work on fitment of the new bits. Going to try a little something different on this truck...we won't be needing springs or shocks anymore .

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  #10  
Old March 11th, 2014, 07:02 PM
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whats the travel on those front shocks? are those D1 towers?
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  #11  
Old March 11th, 2014, 07:21 PM
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They're a 12" remote in a modified D2 tower.

-Ash
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  #12  
Old March 12th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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Out with the old!

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  #13  
Old March 12th, 2014, 09:24 PM
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Looks great.

"A lot of folks have suggested running the boost signal to the injection pump from the intake manifold, rather than the compressor housing. The theory is that there is a bit of resolution lost when the signal comes from a port before the intercooler, and there should be a decrease in turbo lag as well."

I have always done the opposite, I use the manifold pressure for the waste gate actuator so it is actual intake pressure that opens the waste gate, but keep the injection pump signal right off the turbo "t" for rapid acceleration. Interested to see how yours turns out since I have never tried it that way.
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  #14  
Old March 12th, 2014, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Looks great.

"A lot of folks have suggested running the boost signal to the injection pump from the intake manifold, rather than the compressor housing. The theory is that there is a bit of resolution lost when the signal comes from a port before the intercooler, and there should be a decrease in turbo lag as well."

I have always done the opposite, I use the manifold pressure for the waste gate actuator so it is actual intake pressure that opens the waste gate, but keep the injection pump signal right off the turbo "t" for rapid acceleration. Interested to see how yours turns out since I have never tried it that way.
Thanks.

I'll be running both the wastegate and injection pump off the intake manifold. Higher boost pressures at the turbocharger will definitely open the manifold pressure compensator on the injection pump sooner, but I'd prefer for it to compensate based on real manifold pressure. I think it'll make my life a little easier once I get to tuning the pump and upping the boost.

-Ash
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  #15  
Old April 9th, 2014, 11:36 PM
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It's been a while since I've had time to update this, but things are rolling along!

On the topic of sound and heat insulation, I quite impressed with how the Firewall laid down. I was able to spray it out of an HVLP with satisfying results, and I'm eager to see how the product performs. The interior of the firewall, transmission tunnel, and undersides of the seatbox and floor pans all received a pretty significant coat, so we ought to see a notable decrease in cabin temperatures. For sound deadening, the Damplifier was applied to the entire bulkhead and dashboard, seatbox, and lids.




I've also invested time into tidying up the wiring looms on the truck. There are a number of accessories run from the BSS panel in the battery compartment to switches on the dash, and while everything was apart I took the opportunity to run my own harnesses. The wiring is a flame-rated PVC insulated 16-4 AWG, jacketed with a nylon webbing for a little extra protection. All connections and terminals are fully soldered and protected by marine-grade shrink tubing.


All of the accessories will be controlled at the MUD-UK console by laser engraved Carling Contura V's. The blank slot will be occupied by the control to the transfer pump for the auxiliary fuel tank.


We also ditched the factory parking brake drum for X-Engineering's disc conversion. This should free up a bit more space for our auxiliary tank and let us squeeze a little more diesel under the truck.


The VNT returned with a clean ceramic coating. EGT has been placed on the top side for serviceability down the road.



After a few hours with the torch and grinder the engine mounts, upper spring perches, bumpstop pads and swaybar brackets are off. I'll be welding a fishplate to the outer face of the chassis for added strength, and then building the upper brackets from there. The cardboard is an approximate shape, more for visual aid than anything else.





While everything is apart the diffs have been sent out for inspection. The heel edge of the coast side had a wear pattern that indicated an improperly adjusted pinion, so it was worth a closer look. Next step is to burn the lower spring perches off and build new mounts.



And this evening I came home to a fancy new transmission crossmember provided by Keith K. We can finally do a preliminary fitment of the engine to locate our new mounts and pull some measurements for the exhaust system.



Stay tuned!

-Ash
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  #16  
Old April 10th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Looks great.

"A lot of folks have suggested running the boost signal to the injection pump from the intake manifold, rather than the compressor housing. The theory is that there is a bit of resolution lost when the signal comes from a port before the intercooler, and there should be a decrease in turbo lag as well."

I have always done the opposite, I use the manifold pressure for the waste gate actuator so it is actual intake pressure that opens the waste gate, but keep the injection pump signal right off the turbo "t" for rapid acceleration. Interested to see how yours turns out since I have never tried it that way.
Doug, I have tried it all 3 ways. I am now running everything off the manifold to optimize my control between power and economy. There is no boost curve at the turbo with a 2.8 VNT. The moment any throttle is applied at all, the turbo boost signal goes immediately to it's max setting, which will push the diaphragm down to it's most rich position. while experimenting, I first moved the wastegate to the intake. boost gauge and IP still on the turbo. I was able to see my boost gauge snap to 16psi every time in less than a second. Great for power, bad for economy. I'm looking for a middle ground since this is my daily driver and overland setup. economy matters. when I moved the eveyrthing to the intake, i could actually control the boost level (and hence the boost diaphragm fuel flow) through my throttle control. A nice controllable curve. On my last highway run to raleigh, I was cruising at 78 mph and boost was sitting at 10 psi most of the time, with pre-turbo egt's at 1050F.

From another perspective, I think you'd be wise to run everything off the intake, just in the interest of preserving your R380. A D doesn't need to by peeling off at the green light if you want your transmission to last.
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  #17  
Old April 10th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Great insight, Mark.

I'll be sticking with both signals on the manifold for now, and if I find that it leaves anything to be desired in terms of drive-ability I'll change at that point.

-Ash
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  #18  
Old April 10th, 2014, 08:21 AM
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I just realized I wheeled with this truck at SAE last year. Really well built truck and will be even better with that 2.8 in it. Sounds like you're putting coilovers on it?
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Old April 10th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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I just noticed you are going with an autobox, so sounds like you have no worries about long term damage of the tranny.

btw, I have an onboard water system pressure pump, heat exchanger and showerpoint. you will run into challenges getting it to coexist with the full cage. we can chat if you like when you get there, but don't install the cage after the water system. install it first so you know where the cage interferes with your access points for the water. filtration is on my todo list.
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Old April 10th, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howski View Post
I just realized I wheeled with this truck at SAE last year. Really well built truck and will be even better with that 2.8 in it. Sounds like you're putting coilovers on it?
It really is a nice truck, just in need of a little refinement here and there. The biggest complaint I had after initially driving it were road manners and lateral stability, and that's one reason behind the total overhaul of the suspension. The owner is a great guy who has turned me loose on this thing and I think we both have high expectations of this revision. I'll reveal more details about the suspension when I have parts in hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
I just noticed you are going with an autobox, so sounds like you have no worries about long term damage of the tranny.

btw, I have an onboard water system pressure pump, heat exchanger and showerpoint. you will run into challenges getting it to coexist with the full cage. we can chat if you like when you get there, but don't install the cage after the water system. install it first so you know where the cage interferes with your access points for the water. filtration is on my todo list.
Yes, the ZF with upgraded internals and TC should be up to the task of handling the 2.8. The plan is to tackle the water system last, as we'll have to integrate it into the storage system for the rear of the truck. I hope to be able to mock up the cage this week/weekend to start figuring out placement of tabs for the LED's, Antennae, Maxtrax, awning, and rear ladder integration. I'll probably have to pick your brain down to road to see how you packaged your water system into the truck.
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