83 110: Should I rebuild the original 3.5 v8, or swap with a D2 or RR 4.6? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 11th, 2016, 12:51 PM
adamclyde
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83 110: Should I rebuild the original 3.5 v8, or swap with a D2 or RR 4.6?

I've got an 83 110, with the original 3.5 V8, and the original LT95 with overdrive.

The engine runs OK, but has lost it's original power. A compression test confirms some suspicions and makes me wonder if it's time to rebuild the 3.5 or take some more steps to swap out the old with the new(er).

Meanwhile the clutch is OK, but getting a bit old and while the LT95 transmission is working well, the transfer case and overdrive are pretty leaky. So the obvious question is... do I recondition the entire original powertrain, or do I do a swap with an entire new powertrain. The mechanic here (who has a lot of LR experience) recommended a D2 engine, or even said he has a fully rebuilt 4.6 RR v8 he could put in it.

What would you do?

Is there more resell value in the keeping and rebuilding the all original powertrain (with the pretty rare overdrive)?

Or should I go with the rebuilt 4.6 RR v8 and transmission (or wait for a d2 rebuild)? What would you do?

My ultimate goal is a truck to reliably take out for weekend camping and light 4WD. I'm wondering if my path to that is to invest in the new engine here, or recondition the old, sell and buy something more in line.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old January 11th, 2016, 12:57 PM
jason1st
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Jason Crandall
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I did the 4.6 but I think it really depends what you're trying to accomplish. I arranged the 4.6 before I had spent much time behind the 3.5. I thought the 3.5 was pretty good and a rebuilt version would be even better.

So it really comes down to cost. My goal is a really, really nice rig. If that's not your goal, you'll save a ton of money and time rebuilding the 3.5.
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  #3  
Old January 11th, 2016, 01:02 PM
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I personally would not do a 4.6 because of the perceived liner problems they seem to be froth with. Google it and decide for
Yourself. I'm partial to the '97 GEMS 4.0's which are cheap and can be built to provide a little more performance with less uncertainty so to speak.

There is truth in the old devil you know saying. The guys at Aluminum V8 have a ton of research material for you to look at and decide if anything in particular makes sense.
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  #4  
Old January 11th, 2016, 01:21 PM
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Adam firstly the 3.5 V8 hasn't lost its original power...it never had any....130hp was never enough to move a 110 and it still isnt. there is nothing rare or valuable about the drivetrain so dont be afraid to pull it.. Unlike many classic cars where numbers matching is a bonus in this case it isnt..

I have an 83 110 and although I'm enjoying it far too much to consider selling id wager its worth significantly more with the LS motor swap than any rover variant you are contemplating... Just a thought.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 04:26 PM
adamclyde
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Thanks all. A few follow ups:

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
there is nothing rare or valuable about the drivetrain so dont be afraid to pull it.

I have an 83 110 and although I'm enjoying it far too much to consider selling id wager its worth significantly more with the LS motor swap than any rover variant you are contemplating... Just a thought.
This is really helpful - thank you. If there's not much value in the original, then might as well go newer/better. Any particular LS you've seen/heard of that does well in these guys?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason1st View Post
I did the 4.6
Jason - how long ago did you do the 4.6 conversion? How are you liking it? Any probs (I'm reading up right now on 1of40's note above of lining failures)
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  #6  
Old January 11th, 2016, 04:32 PM
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grab a fresh cup of coffee and thumb through this...

GM Gen 4 conversion including LS - Defender Source
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  #7  
Old January 11th, 2016, 04:32 PM
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It doesn't matter if the liner moves, it won't cause any issue other than a tapping noise.
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  #8  
Old January 11th, 2016, 06:17 PM
adamclyde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
grab a fresh cup of coffee and thumb through this...

GM Gen 4 conversion including LS - Defender Source
Well, I just spent two+ full hours reading that entire thread. Now all of my realistic choices seem completely inadequate in comparison. Thanks a lot! ;-)
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  #9  
Old January 11th, 2016, 06:22 PM
jason1st
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamclyde View Post

Jason - how long ago did you do the 4.6 conversion? How are you liking it? Any probs (I'm reading up right now on 1of40's note above of lining failures)
It's still going. It's been a long miserable road. I have about 300 miles behind the 4.6. Yes, it's much stronger and better than the 3.5.

I've had no failures.

If I had this all to do over again I'd do things very differently but I would probably still choose the 4.6.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamclyde View Post
Well, I just spent two+ full hours reading that entire thread. Now all of my realistic choices seem completely inadequate in comparison. Thanks a lot! ;-)
..knowledge is power...
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  #11  
Old January 11th, 2016, 07:03 PM
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Would be interested in the lt95 and overdrive
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Old January 11th, 2016, 08:08 PM
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I dunno maybe it's because I drove a series previously but the 3.5 in my 110 is plenty fast for these glorified tractors. Mine has 40k or so on it I think, I am sort of scared of something bigger. I can cruise at 65-70 all day with the LT85. I keep things stock so I don't have fat tires etc to burn up power. That said if I was going to dump money on a rebuild, I'd get a 3.9 or 4.0, something w fuel injection.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 08:14 PM
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I can cruise 85-90 all day and rarely slow down up hills.
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  #14  
Old January 11th, 2016, 08:37 PM
adamclyde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverman2010 View Post
Would be interested in the lt95 and overdrive
If it comes out, I'll PM you for sure.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 08:47 PM
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I live in the NW, we have hills. The 3.5 did OK for me. On flat I would easily cruise at 60. 70 was not hard.

Any kind of hill, it would slow down a lot. Going over the mountains was basically a flogging. 45 mph was tops for 20 minutes.... Even at high alt, though, performance didn't change too much. I probably would have been tempted to keep it if it was getting good MPG and if I lived in flatland.

I know the Tdi won't get me much better performance, but I'm hoping it won't be torture on the hills. Even if I'm still doing only 50, I know the engine just won't be working as hard as I was making the 3.5 do to stay at 45. Plus the MPG. And I'm good.
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  #16  
Old January 11th, 2016, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
I can cruise 85-90 all day and rarely slow down up hills.
really?

sorry but the fact is you just dont know what your missing till you drive one... Of these three trucks in my drive i reach for the stock one in the middle the least often simply because in my opinion its under powered and not as much fun to drive.
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  #17  
Old January 11th, 2016, 09:20 PM
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Yeah I guess it's what you want out of it so I should shut it. I totally understand power comfort etc but i just don't care that much about it when I'm in my truck which is my personal opinion. If steeps/mountains were in my travels more frequently I'd definitely want more guts based on my time in the series. I also shudder at the idea of going over 80 in these things. I just feel like when I get tired of going "slow" I'll buy something that is fast instead of spending that money changing the nature of the beast.

Also I think I'd go back to driving my series more often if I had it as an option in my driveway, more fun despite less power. Having a choice of several I'm sure I'd opt similarly to you John, and I probably don't know what I'm missing.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 09:29 PM
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Well said Cutter.... To each his own.. i dont mind putting around in the stock 88" on the weekend but as a daily i prefer the hp...
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Old January 11th, 2016, 10:30 PM
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It's the same old Robert Frost theme.
You don't know what you don't know until you experience it and as John from Venice stated and as Cutter mentioned the speed limits, I would like to add a few comments regarding the road less traveled.

I have a 110 with an Isuzu 2.8 TD in a 110, it's no modern era V8, but it will increase the speed about 10 MPH per second when the engine hits 15 PSI of boost. It's extremely fast with lots of torque, so Robert Frost we understand.
Good Luck Adam in Orange whichever you choose!
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Old January 11th, 2016, 11:31 PM
adamclyde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBBailey View Post
Any kind of hill, it would slow down a lot. Going over the mountains was basically a flogging. 45 mph was tops for 20 minutes.... Even at high alt, though, performance didn't change too much. I probably would have been tempted to keep it if it was getting good MPG and if I lived in flatland.
Same. On the flat highway, no biggie keeping mid 60s without feeling like I'm pushing it. And so around town, I just need to get to the store, get to the beach or to the school. I don't really care about performance and speed for that.

But for me the point of this car is for the weekend adventures... get out of town and go up to the mountains (big bear for closer trips, and for good weekends, the Sierras). Driving at a slow crawl becomes a lot less appealing. I've gone up some good, short-ish hills and feel like I need to have it floored to barely keep 40 MPH. I can't imagine trying to do that for an hour or two. Hmm....
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