3.9l swap - SIIa 109 Coiler - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 24th, 2015, 11:57 AM
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3.9l swap - SIIa 109 Coiler

And so the odyssey starts here...

I am sourcing the bits for the 3.9l conversion for my SIIa 109. The goal is to have the conversion completed by summer.

The plan is for a 3.9l/r380/lt230 combo to replace the existing 2.25l/SIII gearbox/transfer case/Fairey overdrive. The existing frame is a Designa Chassis coiler sitting on D1 axles w/disc brakes. No power steering at this time. And I am heavily leaning toward running a carb for simplicity.

I have searched and found some dated posts by a couple folks who did something similar. Hopefully they are still around to chime in throughout my process.

Let the bloody knuckles begin...
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  #2  
Old February 24th, 2015, 12:09 PM
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Teriann Wakeman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
The plan is for a 3.9l/r380/lt230 combo to replace the existing 2.25l/SIII gearbox/transfer case/Fairey overdrive. The existing frame is a Designa Chassis coiler sitting on D1 axles w/disc brakes. No power steering at this time. And I am heavily leaning toward running a carb for simplicity.
About the only thing that comes to mind at the moment is make sure you get a r380 with the short Defender bell housing. If the 3.9 will be rebuilt, specify the "top hat" liners.

Are you planning to use a V8 Defender front clip & radiator?
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  #3  
Old February 24th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
And so the odyssey starts here...

I am sourcing the bits for the 3.9l conversion for my SIIa 109. The goal is to have the conversion completed by summer.
Of what year?

Quote:
The plan is for a 3.9l/r380/lt230 combo to replace the existing 2.25l/SIII gearbox/transfer case/Fairey overdrive. The existing frame is a Designa Chassis coiler sitting on D1 axles w/disc brakes. No power steering at this time. And I am heavily leaning toward running a carb for simplicity.
Iain makes a nice chassis. So you have the regular size spring perches on the rear?

Quote:
I have searched and found some dated posts by a couple folks who did something similar. Hopefully they are still around to chime in throughout my process.

Let the bloody knuckles begin..
Depends on how detailed you wish to be. If you get into refurbishing every part count on a couple years to complete. Good luck and happy wrenching.
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  #4  
Old February 24th, 2015, 12:25 PM
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The tranny is out of a 95' Defender 90, so should be correct.

We're hoping for a straight forward swap, after all we completely disassembled it, painted, and did the interior and put it back together in about 4 months last time (which include a new SIII tranny mated to the fairey and the original engine.
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  #5  
Old February 24th, 2015, 12:35 PM
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The R380 is a "long stick" which is the short bell housing (hi-lo) behind the gear lever. I was thinking about using the Chevy style radiator (part # 1-25241) that you had referenced in an older post on another thread. Was going to try to set it on top of the cross member as I want to keep my bugeye fenders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeriAnn View Post
About the only thing that comes to mind at the moment is make sure you get a r380 with the short Defender bell housing. If the 3.9 will be rebuilt, specify the "top hat" liners.

Are you planning to use a V8 Defender front clip & radiator?
------ Follow up post added February 24th, 2015 12:42 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Of what year?

awe come on...how hard can it be?



Iain makes a nice chassis. So you have the regular size spring perches on the rear?

I believe they are regular size perches as it is sitting on D1 coils right night. Sound right?


Depends on how detailed you wish to be. If you get into refurbishing every part count on a couple years to complete. Good luck and happy wrenching.
Refurbishing every part? Neh, I don't think so. I will go to level of ensuring that the engine is a solid runner (to include the top hat liners), the R380 is rebuilt, and the LT230 is solid.
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  #6  
Old February 24th, 2015, 07:24 PM
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Do you really need Top Hat liners on a 3.9l. I thought they were to solve the problems on the later 4.0 and 4.6 blocks.
The cost for top hat liners is quite stiff too.
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  #7  
Old February 24th, 2015, 07:33 PM
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Derek let me know when you are back in Ponte Vedra so you can drive the LS conversion…it might change your mind about power plant choices… I think i got air at the top of the palm valley bridge
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Old February 25th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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John, I will be down there sometime next month and I would like to swing by to check that LS conversion out. Will let you know when the timing gets sorted out.

As far as getting air going over the Palm Valley bridge....now that sounds like fun! I could only pull a cool 30mph over that bridge with a very long head start from Publix!
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  #9  
Old February 25th, 2015, 09:14 AM
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Dereck I would highly recommend sourcing a 94/95 disco/RRC for all you parts. Ie wiring harness, ecu, engine mounts, acc's, manifold pretty much everything you will need. Then rebuild the motor to your desire, it's gonna cost a small fortune to buy everything individually. The radiator will not fit along with a few other things. Just so we are clear this is not a straight forward install, but it will be a fun one for sure.
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  #10  
Old February 25th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
John, I will be down there sometime next month and I would like to swing by to check that LS conversion out. Will let you know when the timing gets sorted out.

As far as getting air going over the Palm Valley bridge....now that sounds like fun! I could only pull a cool 30mph over that bridge with a very long head start from Publix!
sounds good…shoot me a text when you are headed down.. Trust me truck wouldn't do much better than 30 before the swap..

This is going over the bridge after the conversion…little loud without the trans cover in place but you get the idea.
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  #11  
Old February 25th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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Brian, completely understand, definitely not a plug-in-play swap. Not looking forward to the initial fit of the engine and transmission getting the mounts right, but after that I think it will certainly be a fun swap. I will give you a call to talk about your thoughts on the mounts.

The actual parts are beginning to pile up...need to get the r380 rebuilt like we discussed. Would like to get that started more sooner than later.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewie212 View Post
Dereck I would highly recommend sourcing a 94/95 disco/RRC for all you parts. Ie wiring harness, ecu, engine mounts, acc's, manifold pretty much everything you will need. Then rebuild the motor to your desire, it's gonna cost a small fortune to buy everything individually. The radiator will not fit along with a few other things. Just so we are clear this is not a straight forward install, but it will be a fun one for sure.
------ Follow up post added February 25th, 2015 10:13 AM ------

Sounds good John! Shoot me some pics of your 110.
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  #12  
Old February 25th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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Holy cow! That is pretty impressive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
sounds good…shoot me a text when you are headed down.. Trust me truck wouldn't do much better than 30 before the swap..

This is going over the bridge after the conversion…little loud without the trans cover in place but you get the idea.
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  #13  
Old March 6th, 2015, 01:55 PM
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Almost in the right spot!

Going in the garage tonight for a bit of "refreshing"
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:08 PM
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Let the good times roll! good luck
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