Almost Finished 94 D90 Complete Rebuild w/LS2 engine swap - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 25th, 2010, 08:52 PM
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Matt S
1994 D90
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Almost Finished 94 D90 Complete Rebuild w/LS2 engine swap

Well the dream of owning a defender started almost 15 years ago. But it wasn't until the last 5 years that i was in a position to afford a D-90, and not until last July (2009) that a good deal came along that my wife would allow me too. So I jumped on a 94 SW(converted ST with a fiberglass top). Almost as soon as i got it I found out my job would keep me away for 9 months. So i decided this was a good time to have some much needed(wanted ) repairs.

The original plan was reversion back to a ST, new paint, seats, x member, tire carrier, inward faceing seats in back. As soon as i got about a week out from shipping it too Bama for the repairs 2nd gear starting going out. So the thought of a new transmission started creeping into my head. I went ahead and trailer it down to Bama to start the original plan. Sure enough a few weeks later it was confirmed i had a bad second syncro. So i looked at the options of rebuilding it and the price of a new one. I also started thinking if i going to have to pay the labor or removal why not do a engine upgrade to a 4.6. I started looking on google for 4.6(wanted a complete new turn key)didnt seem to be much out there(hadnt found D-90 yet) , i started expanding my search to the UK everything i seemed to find was 8000-10000 pounds plus the communication from the UK vendors was sparse at best. I figured why not just get a american engine put into it and save the high cost of land rover replacement and the issue of shipping and communications.

The first thought was a turnkey 350 as i started to dive into the engine i wanted, i was reminded that its alot more than just size of the engine bay that determines what engine you can put into a D-90. First set of problems engine to tranny, tranny-t-case, t-case-rear/front end. By this time i had found and started scouring the D-90 forums trying to see if someone had done this conversion before. I started working on the engine-tranny first,I found the mark4wd store from Australia after a $50 call to mark himself he put me on too advance adapters to see if they could help cause he source his parts from them. Advance informed me they didnt have a adapter for a 350 to R380 but had a adapter for a 350/LS1 to a NV4500(tranny) and were working on a adapter for a 4500 to a lt230. Going with knowledge i pulled the trigger on the engine swap.

I settled on the LS2 for the engine NV4500 for the tranny and a Atlas for the t-case(would have stayed with the LT-230 if not for the increase of HP with the LS2 and a slight delay on the adapter for the t-case). About a month away from completion at this point. I will post all my shout outs to people tomorrow when i have more time to spend at the computer.

I am usually just a reader and a poster only to ask questions. I would like to thank all the people who constantly post and help out those that are new to the community the knowledge on this forum has been a huge help over the last year.

Cheers

Matt
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  #2  
Old August 25th, 2010, 09:07 PM
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Doug Crowther
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Dayum !
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  #3  
Old August 25th, 2010, 09:17 PM
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wow, nice drivetrain
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  #4  
Old August 26th, 2010, 12:05 AM
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Daniel Marcello
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Thats a lot of muscle for a Defender! I think we need some video of that 0-60 time.
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  #5  
Old August 26th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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James Pierce Jr.
1995 D90 SW #314, 59 SII 88 HT
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Settle

Looks Good! Brings back a lot of memories...

Forgive me but what / who is Bama?
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  #6  
Old August 26th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Greenbo Al-a-bama!
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  #7  
Old August 26th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Matt S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespierce View Post
Looks Good! Brings back a lot of memories...

Forgive me but what / who is Bama?
Alabama where I had the work done.
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  #8  
Old August 26th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaco1 View Post
Greenbo Al-a-bama!
Ok, for a minute there I thought O-bama might be doing conversions... Too bad he can't get our country to run as smoothly as that LS2.
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  #9  
Old August 26th, 2010, 09:52 PM
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Holy sh*t!
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  #10  
Old August 27th, 2010, 09:16 AM
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Very nice, look forward to seeing the completed project.
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  #11  
Old August 28th, 2010, 09:58 PM
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97 D90, 05 LR3, 95 RRC LWB
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i have wood!! On second thought, is that weird?
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  #12  
Old August 29th, 2010, 01:00 AM
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Not my style but very cool. You might want to save up for a toyota internals conversion on your axles with that much power.
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  #13  
Old August 29th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Matt S
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60&44

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Not my style but very cool. You might want to save up for a toyota internals conversion on your axles with that much power.

I am having a custom dana 60 built for the rear and a 44 built for the front.
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  #14  
Old August 29th, 2010, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaco1 View Post
Greenbo Al-a-bama!

funny thing... that's where i'm living for the enxt six months, well rather, just south in newbern. about 10 miles away. it's a nice little country town.
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  #15  
Old August 29th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Looking forward to seeing more. What kind of bulkhead or tunnel changes were needed?
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  #16  
Old August 31st, 2010, 11:25 AM
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ultimate sleeper

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  #17  
Old August 31st, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
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I am having a custom dana 60 built for the rear and a 44 built for the front.
Why not the toy conversion? Are you running bigger tires?
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  #18  
Old August 31st, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Matt S
1994 D90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
Looking forward to seeing more. What kind of bulkhead or tunnel changes were needed?
No big bulkhead changes. They had do some cutting to fit the gas pedal assembly in which sounds kinda dumb when you first think about it, but it is a fly by wire system which has some more parts than a traditional pedal. No serious tunnel changes just some custom support arms...see picture. Inside had to get a custom box fab for the two atlas t-case shifters.
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  #19  
Old August 31st, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Matt S
1994 D90
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Path to 60's

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Why not the toy conversion? Are you running bigger tires?
I was originally going to do the sals or toy conversion from Keith at rovertracks (nice guy) but when advance adapters put off production on the adapter for the NV4500-LT230 i had to go with the atlas which wouldn't line up with the stock/standard land rover rear/front ends. When i had to make a choice then i decided with the beefier 60 rear end and 44 up front.

I am putting Toyo open country M/T's 35" tires still decideing on rims/wheels. See below for the two sets i am looking at.

If anyone has suggestions on different rims or tires let me know.
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  #20  
Old August 31st, 2010, 02:15 PM
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Doug Crowther
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Sounds like an awesome power plant and you have found a solid way to transmit it to the ground. What have you got planned for brakes ? Huge 4 piston brembo's ? Guessing what caliper/rotor combo you go with will dictate your wheel choices.
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