V8 into a Series 88 - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 14th, 2015, 07:21 PM
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Paul J.
1963 Series IIA '88
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V8 into a Series 88

Anybody have experience putting a V8 into a Series 88? I know it would require a number of driveline, etc etc changes, but is there a V8 that is commonly used LR or otherwise?
Thanks
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  #2  
Old September 14th, 2015, 07:36 PM
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Seen it done. Rover V8.

Would probably be best with a 6 cyl bulkhead. Probably still have to push the breakfast out to make room.
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  #3  
Old September 14th, 2015, 08:26 PM
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William Skidmore
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There are kits sold out of the UK that get you were you need to go for your conversion.
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  #4  
Old September 14th, 2015, 08:30 PM
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Been there done that. Don't do it. You'll regret it.
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
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  #5  
Old September 14th, 2015, 08:47 PM
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Scott Preston
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Have to second Bill. It can be done but should be avoided.
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1969 Ser IIA 300 Tdi hybrid
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  #6  
Old September 14th, 2015, 09:34 PM
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Greg Sutfin
1986 90
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Times three. Been there, done that. Ford V8 onto Series gearbox, 4.7 diff gears. No OD.
Doable and these years you can get 3.54gears and an OD. Not available when I did it.
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  #7  
Old September 14th, 2015, 10:18 PM
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Mark Garrenton
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Chevy V6 4.3 is a better choice. Compact and enough power for this truck.
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  #8  
Old September 14th, 2015, 10:21 PM
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Charles Galpin
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I have an adapter plate for a chevy conversion if you need it, although I'm in the "don't do it" camp
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  #9  
Old September 14th, 2015, 10:40 PM
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John Crouse
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My 88" had a 289 in when I bought it. I don't recommend it. Hard to keep cool, made the front end too heavy. Chewed up the series gearbox.
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  #10  
Old September 14th, 2015, 11:09 PM
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Mike Simpson
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I have an Oldsmobile 215 in my Carawagon. It's lighter than the 2.25, it's quiet and makes decent power but not so much to kill the Series transmission. It required some butchery to the bulkhead and moving the steering box outboard about an inch to fit. I'd rather have a 200tdi in it though.
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  #11  
Old September 15th, 2015, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Been there done that. Don't do it. You'll regret it.
Yeah, I agree. Just get a 200Tdi, pull the turbo, and from there I think it actually is an easy fit even with the existing transmission. I may be wrong though.
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  #12  
Old September 15th, 2015, 04:33 AM
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Mack Crouch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBBailey View Post
Yeah, I agree. Just get a 200Tdi, pull the turbo, and from there I think it actually is an easy fit even with the existing transmission. I may be wrong though.
Don't pull the turbo, it was designed to be used with a turbo. It's an absolute dog without it. A series gearbox will last a while behind the 200tdi. Either add an OD or swap in a 5 speed. But now you need better brakes.
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  #13  
Old September 15th, 2015, 06:14 AM
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Bill Adams
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Keep it bone stock. If you want a flyer get something different.
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
1968 2A 88

All my troubles are Rover
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  #14  
Old September 15th, 2015, 06:39 AM
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1of40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Keep it bone stock. If you want a flyer get something different.
x two. I saw a set up like this one year at MAR. The guy was overheated on the trails all weekend and every passenger was just miserable. Going down this road sounds painful unless you like the challenge of break and fix and hunting for parts to piece together.
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  #15  
Old September 15th, 2015, 07:03 AM
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john
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Here you go Paul. Since it seems these guys would rather give you opinions than information check out this site.


TeriAnn's Expedition Land Rover site
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  #16  
Old September 15th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Bill Adams
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Well it's a bit more than mere opinion. You try it.
A V8 install requires that you reengineer pretty much every system on the vehicle. You will be modifying the chassis, the drivetrain, the cooling system, the braking system, the steering, the suspension, the bodywork, the electrical system, the exhaust and some of the interior.
You will need to be able to fabricate all those systems and make them work around the V8's thirst, heat and power. Lots of welding, grinding, drilling, working, and reworking things which may or may not prove reliable.
Unless you have a huge gob of time on your hands, the process can become laborious and bog down. There will be times when you know you should be working on it but just cannot bring yourself to lift a wrench. Months can drag on into years with no visible progress.
You'll also find a lot of as-long-as-I'm-at-it things to work on that will sidetrack you. There will be times when you don't have a part you need and become delayed for sometimes long periods.
If you have a running, driving vehicle then for heaven's sake run it and drive it. if you go into a tear down project be aware that there cannot be a deadline or expectation of completion at any certain time frame.
Bottom line you can shoehorn just about anything in there up to a blown 525 aluminum big block. Yes you can find suspension to support it, yes you can put a transmission behind it and a transfer case to get power to the axles. Yes you can find axles that will stand up to the power. Yes you can install brakes that will stop it and find a radiator that will keep it cool. It just takes money and time. There's no road map or set of instructions. Every build is a little different.
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Bill Adams

1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
1968 2A 88

All my troubles are Rover
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  #17  
Old September 15th, 2015, 08:03 AM
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john
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you got me..never done a v8 swap.
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  #18  
Old September 15th, 2015, 10:58 AM
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Will
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I had a 3.9 and an LT95 in my Series 1 88" truck and it was a freaking blast. No drivability issues, no overheating, no nothing........fantastic running truck once I sorted a few small electrical gremlins.


It was not a conversion I did myself, I bought the truck already done but someone put some thought into it and did a nice job.


If you have a really nice, unrestored, rust free, good running series truck I would probably not advocate doing a swap. However, if you have a project truck already then I say go for it. My Series 1 was an absolute beast and is one of the few trucks I actually regret selling. That V8 turned it into a muscle Rover and every time I got out of it I had a huge grin on my face.




It's your truck, do what you want.




ETA:




Just to piggy back onto what Briggs states above, it won't be a simple as just dumping in a motor. You will need to go ahead and replace the gearbox, probably convert to power steering, change out the radiator, address your heater and you will likely want to entertain a disk brake conversion on the front of the truck. My truck had drum brakes all the way around, upgraded to 109" drums. It stopped well enough, but could of either used a remote servo or disk brakes on the front.
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  #19  
Old September 15th, 2015, 11:10 AM
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Dan Prasada-Rao
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I have two trucks that exemplify the "its your truck do what you want attitude". So I can't disagree with Will.

However I will tell you two things: 1. I do miss a stock series truck and what they are capable of. The bigger you build them the bigger obstacles you will need to find. My next build will be a stock truck, or very close to it. Not giving up my big tire rigs though 2. Don't underestimate the amount of time and $$ that a full engine conversion will suck up.
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  #20  
Old September 15th, 2015, 11:30 AM
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John B.
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I have a friend that has a SBC in his 88. He has done it "properly", but that required a massive amount of work. He is using an American gearbox custom mated to the series transfer case, custom drive shafts, heavily built axles, custom radiator and much, much more. We questioned him on the sanity of it all.

My general thought is that if you need to go on the internet to ask the question, it is too much of a project for you.
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