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  #1  
Old October 29th, 2014, 11:48 PM
RBBailey
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300Tdi Conversion

I've got an original 1988 LHD Saudi Spec 110 with the V8 and Lt85 in it.

What can you all tell me about the real ins and outs of a 300 conversion?

Worth it in the end? What are the realities of doing such a project? What special tools? And what special plans do I need to make?

All speculation right now. All of this is just to see about what direction I want to go with the truck.
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  #2  
Old October 30th, 2014, 12:09 AM
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Chris Snell
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For me, it was absolutely worth it. The power increase over the old 2.5NA is substantial. The real advantage compared to the V8, however, is the fuel economy. With my old NAS, it was always a struggle to carry enough fuel for the truly remote parts of the Western US. I was always bumming gas off the guys with roof racks and the milage was just awful. With the three hundy, it's a brand new world. One tank will take me further than my D1 friends can reach with their big tanks. With four NATO cans in my lockers, I can go upwards of 800 miles without refueling. Much more than I need, so I usually just carry 2 fuel + 2 water.

The motor conversion itself is not hard at all. I used a new frame so I didn't need to cut off the old mounts and weld in new ones. You'll have to do that but it's not a big deal. The hard part of the conversion is actually all of the stupid little stuff. You may need to make/buy new fuel lines and potentially a tank and filler. I never seen a 3.5 truck so I can't say for sure. If you use a stock radiator and intercooler, the fitment will be easy. I went with an aftermarket intercooler so I had to fabricate some things, which slowed me down. My intercooler mounting is still not perfect.

I used a new Turner block, head, and brand new ancillaries, so that made assembly a breeze. It may take an extra day if you build with used parts because you'll want to clean and test everything.

I did all the work at Brian Hall's shop, so I used his tools. Most of the work can be done with 1/2" and a 1/4" metric socket sets, plus a few things like the timing belt tools, the tool to put the head bolts in, etc. You'll want a quality engine hoist and stand.

Time? If you're working with someone who's done it before, I'm thinking 2-3 weekends tops for the basic motor swap, plus 2-3 more to sort out stupid aftermarket stuff like intercoolers and fuel sedimenters if you go that route.
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  #3  
Old October 30th, 2014, 12:57 AM
RBBailey
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LOL, Chris, thanks for the input. But I got to laugh because you say 2-3 weekends, I think 2-3 months of late nights! ...I'm so slow at this stuff, and I would want to do a lot of it myself.

That's good info, though, thanks!

BTW, the radiator/grill on this truck has a few extra inches over some other rigs because it was set up for A/C. Maybe that will help?
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Old October 30th, 2014, 01:30 AM
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At times, I have regrets about doing mine. But then I think I had a more complex situation. Mine was a Discovery conversion. After seven years we are still chasing issues.
Looking ahead I would do a Defender conversion. But never again a Disco or anything else.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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I have a custom adapter to go from the 300TDI to the LT85.
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  #6  
Old October 30th, 2014, 02:01 PM
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Shameless plug http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...d.php?p=578277 if you are looking for drivetrain.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Daniel Marcello
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im 95% done with mine. Its a simple swap, the only problems are the little things like Chris mentioned. Fuel line fittings, random small bits missing etc. but the bulk is easy to pull and put in no problem. Make sure you have a good kit that lines up the new chassis mounts and it will all line up well.
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  #8  
Old October 30th, 2014, 02:39 PM
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Jeff B
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Ben, I just finished a 300tdi swap in my LWB Classic.
I knew next to nothing about the tdi before I started.
I don't know much more now, but its been running and driving for almost a thousand miles so far.
My trip to Uwharrie #11 last weekend netted me 21mpg when I kept track but it is a dog going up the mountains.
I can only imagine this job is infinitely easier in a Defender.
YMMV.

.
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  #9  
Old October 30th, 2014, 03:42 PM
tpond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisC View Post
At times, I have regrets about doing mine. But then I think I had a more complex situation. Mine was a Discovery conversion. After seven years we are still chasing issues.
Looking ahead I would do a Defender conversion. But never again a Disco or anything else.
Out of curiosity, what problem that is specific to the Discovery makes you regret it?

Thanks!
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  #10  
Old October 30th, 2014, 07:26 PM
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Luis Constantin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpond View Post
Out of curiosity, what problem that is specific to the Discovery makes you regret it? Thanks!
I tried to do away with most of the electronics while retaining cruise, ABS, and a/c. It turned into a wiring nightmare. My biggest regret was trying to use biodiesel. I got ahold of some bad fuel and apparently the injector pump didn't like it. Parts and repairs cost have far exceeded my cost of running it with the V8. In just the first 10k miles, I had gone through three accessory belts and one timing belt grenading the engine.
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