D-110 3.9 to 4.6 L Conversion To Begin - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 29th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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D-110 3.9 to 4.6 L Conversion To Begin

Friends,
After months of thought and periods of financial examination, I'm beginning my conversion of D-110 #55 from its original 3.9 to a 4.6 block.

In November I ordered and received the new short block from Rimmer Bros (UK) and filled in the time since sourcing the other necessities. These include a Piper cam, Mark Adams ECU chip, lifters, injectors and various gaskets. Rounding out the parts are an oil pump restoration kit and new stretch type head bolts. I already had a complete hose kit in my spares box.

Parts have come from Summitt Racing (injectors and lifters), Atlantic British (gaskets, oil pump kit), Rimmer Bros (short block), and RPI (cam and chip).

Only thing missing is a larger depth oil pan for the longer throw crank. I am told I need a 4.0 or 4.2 pan. Anyone got one? I would hate to end up with having to have the existing 3.9 beaten on like a Jamaican drum to get it to fit.

Anyway, we'll start on the disassembly in a couple of weeks. This will get the heads tidied up (skimmed for the new composite gasket and valve job) and the old block out for replacement with the new.

I'm planning on keeping the original V belt set up so it still looks correct for the year and for smog test visuals, etc.

I might put the Mallory ignition back on it, but since I had failure problems like that described elsewhere on this site, I may skip it. I had the truck stop running for no apparent reason as described by mpigpachia. I ended up putting the original Lucas back in with no problems since.

Anyway, I plan on taking pictures and keeping a record of parts costs for sharing with you all. I hope to gain back some of the horsepower lost when I converted the gearbox to automatic as well as just freshening a 120K engine.

BTW, dont forget on budgeting for foreign currency conversion costs on your credit card, they add up when ordering from Merry Ol England.

Cheers,
Dennis Yard
LRC of San Diego
1993 D-110
1995 Disco I
2002 Freelander
2004 Disco II
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  #2  
Old December 29th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Not sure on the pan as to my knowledge there was never anything set up like a D90 with a 4.6. 4.2 I am 90% sure is the same as 3.9 and is the same as a 97 D90 4.0. Bosch trucks are cast alum and 4.6 p38a has a different drain plug. The ones we did back when at the shop we just very slightly clearanced the pan and most of them did not need it.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Out of curiosity, was it an original Rover block? or one of the newer Coscast blocks? How much did it run you?

As to the oil pan.... the wrecking yards are starting to have a lot of Discoveries and RR's show up in them, and your area probably has a healthy number of them. Worth a few phone calls at least.

-Hans
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  #4  
Old December 29th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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I re-used my 3.9 oil pan with my 4.6 crank. I actually used a torch and heated up the bottom of the pan and relaxed it a little to aid in just a bit of clearance. In retrospect, I am not sure this was necessary as the sound I attributed to the crank hitting the pan was in fact my cam hitting lifters (long story). Anyways, it has been using the 3. pan for years and years now.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 08:58 PM
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I've done I don't know how many 4.6 conversions and have yet had to clearance a pan.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 10:06 PM
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Hans, it was an original cross-bolted block, rebuilt with better liners. It was about $3K including all the lower end stuff assembled. It came well packaged from damage in a heavy duty carton on its own wood pallet. The air freight guy just fork lifted it into the back of my Disco I from the loading dock.

Thanks Gentlemen for the info on the oil pan. I wont waste any sleep on that aspect until the whole thing is assembled and the parts work together.

Dennis
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Old January 10th, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Friends,

I'm glad to report that the conversion/renovation started this weekend.

On Saturday (Day One), two men (Nick Markiw and I) disconnected all the electrical connections, disconnected the oxygen sensors, removed the Y Pipe, took off all the hoses, removed the MAF, removed the air filter assy, removed the radiator and shroud, disconnected the AC Compressor and Power Steering pump, removed the wires to the starter, removed the distributor, unbolted the engine mounts, unbolted the bell housing, disconnected the engine flywheel from the torque converter, and lifted the engine out. This 110 was previously given a RR ZF transmission a couple of years ago.

Once the engine was out and placed on the floor; the next round of effort removed the valve covers and rocking gear, the intake manifold, valley gasket, exhaust manifolds, various brackets, front cover, cam woodruff key, and one head. the other head was kept in place by one very unusual bolt that holds a bracket on. This bolt has a roughly eighth inch thick by on inch diameter head with a 7/16 allen socket in it. It was on tight enough that it broke our Craftsman socket wrench with matching allen wrench head. We had to go get a replacement at Sears in Saturday night.

This all took about five hours of labor time. i.e. 10 AM to 4 PM with lunch and breaks

An interesting thing we found in the valley between the heads was rodent debris. Seems like a place they liked to go to stash their dinner. We carefully disposed of the remains to avoid Hanta virus or a similar deadly malady.

On Sunday (Day Two) we put in another five hours. We started with getting the stubborn bolt out of the left side head and removed the head, then its was the starter to come out, the front cover bolts (a bunch of them) were removed and it waas gently pried off. Then the oil pump removed and disassembled. This took the first hour.

The rest of the time was spent putting the gunky parts in the parts washer for scrubbing in the solvent. Following removal of the oils and dirt, the alloy parts, such as the valve covers, some brackets, and intake manifold were bead blasted.

During the two days we also prepared a list of things we forgot to order or changed our minds on. These will get ordered this week. We discovered upon removal that the exhaust manifold flanges were not flat and those will be milled flat along with the heads. The heads will be given valve jobs and milled back to accomodate the new composite style head gaskets.

My job this week is to get the radiator re-cored and the heads to the machine shop.

By the end of the job I will have a spreadsheet of the parts order and used, along with their sources.

More to follow as we progress.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 11:25 PM
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Here are a couple of pictures from the conversion for your info:
There is one of the new block showing the 4.6 markings on the pistons and the cross bolted lower end.
There is one of the 3.9 block with one head removed to see cylinder condition and one with the front cover open after removal of the water pump.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 11:38 PM
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Here are three more pictures from the effort:
The first one shows the 110 kneeling on the lift to get better access to the engine bay.
The second one shows the 3.9 as removed and the third shows the front of the engine with water pump, heads and most brackets gone.
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  #10  
Old January 10th, 2010, 11:48 PM
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Interesting tag. Does GNU stand for "GNU's not Unix" or something else?
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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The Gnu in this case is an alternate name for the African Wildebeest. I have had others ask if it was related to the software too. I tried some of the more obvious African references for a California plate, but they were pretty much taken.
I thought I was being clever in calling it a New Truk as well as tyng it to the safari aspect.

BTW, for those of you in the rest of the country, I was running the Disco's AC when I dropped off the heads and manifolds for machine work. Warn and sunny.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rovers View Post
The Gnu in this case is an alternate name for the African Wildebeest. I have had others ask if it was related to the software too. I tried some of the more obvious African references for a California plate, but they were pretty much taken.
I thought I was being clever in calling it a New Truk as well as tyng it to the safari aspect.
Yes very clever!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rovers View Post
BTW, for those of you in the rest of the country, I was running the Disco's AC when I dropped off the heads and manifolds for machine work. Warn and sunny.
Thanks for rubbing it in...
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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Looks like fun. What are you using for the crank spacer?
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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Friends,

It was a productive week in moving the engine work ahead.

Last weekend we found we didn't have a front crank oil seal, eight D-II style exhaust manifold bolts and spacers, cam retainer plate, exhaust manifold bolt gaskets, as well as the correct Genuine composite head gaskets. All these were ordered from AB and RN. I remembered to put the RN order on Fed X Ground 2-day delivery, but not the AB order. Those haven't arrived yet, a weeks delay.

The 4.6 block has two significant differences from the 3.9 L. One is it's a ten (10) headbolt design, using the stretch type bolts, versus the 3.9 design with 14 bolts. Head bolt torquing is a three stage process ending up at 67.6 ft lbs (if I remember correctly).

The other major difference is that the 3.9 block does not have a cam retainer plate, so the cam can shift fore and aft easily. The 4.6 block does have the retainer.

After disassembly of the heads, they were dropped off at the machine shop. The heads were pressure tested to make sure that the subsequent actions were not wasted. The shop reported that the exhaust valves had to be replaced. Eight new ones were ordered. They also followed the LR tech bulletin to shave off about 0.037" from the head face to make it properly mate up with the composite head gasket and keep the high compression. Additionally, they replaced the crappy flat washer stye of valve oil seal with a full cap style. This required relieving the valve stems to accomodate the seal clip.

It was also discovered that the exhaust manifold head-side flanges were badly pitted. Those were milled flat for superior mating. I dropped off the heads on Monday afternoon and picked them up on Thursday afternoon.

On Saturday we continued to wash and media blast those alloy parts suitable for it. In three hours we installed the heads, disassembled some components and cleaned parts. The new Crane lifters were "marinated" in fresh engine oil to fill up and be ready for installation the next day. The new oil pump was put together and packed/primed with lube to improve suction when first turned over. The valve train was disassembled and cleaned for reassembly. The varnish on the shaft was removed with a Scotchbrite pad.

On Sunday, for four hours we installed the cam, lifters, push rods, valve train and new oil pick up tube with gasket. We were held up from completing the front timing/water pump cover by lack of the cam retainer and oil seal. This prevented us from installing the oil pan.

When we disassembled the manifold plenum cover, we found that the throttle shaft/spindle with its bushings was worn. I ordered the parts from the local dealer today. These items along with new rubber shaft seals should keep the vacuum leaks to a minimum.

An additional task I chose to do was to re-core the slightly leaky original radiator. The re-core will be an upgrade from the three row to a four row. With the engine producing more power and more heat, this seemed prudent.

So, in short, some good progress now with most of the task to be completed this coming Sunday. I expect that the truck will be on the road the last weekend of the month.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode. Also, I owe a couple of PMs to folks that asked questions. I have not forgotten, just slow.

Cheers,
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Here are a couple of photos of our progress....
The first picture shows the threaded holes for the cam retainer plate, the second one shows the four empty holes where head bolts are not used on the 4.6 block and the third one shows the more extensive valve stem oil seals.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Progress Report on the conversion

Weekend #3 brought us near completion of the engine. This was supported by receipt of some forgotten or late arriving parts like the front oil seal, exhaust manifold bolts,

Over the course of five hours, we installed the front oil seal, valve train, timing cover, oil pump, cam chain and sprockets, water pump, various brackets,exhaust manifolds, oil pan (from a 4.0), crankshaft pulley with spacer, flywheel and plates. Once in this form, we ended the day by lowering it into the engine bay, let it sit on the engine mounts and put in a couple of bell housing bolts.

Before moving it off the engine stand, we put on an oil filter, put in 5 quarts of 5W30 and spun up the oil pump with a large electric drill to prime and start oil through the passages into the valve train/rocker shaft. We'll use the oil and that filter to flush the engine of leftover debris and then discard them.

Next weekend will see installation of the remaining components and start up. We have the intake manifolds and plenum cover to complete, remove and replace the throttle body bushings and spindle, installation of various hoses, tubing, oil cooler lines, distributor, and Y pipe. Components not touched and only to be bolted back on will be the AC compressor, alternator, and power steering pump. All the hoses will be replaced.

Here are a couple of pictures showing our progress.

Cheers
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:34 PM
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I forgot one tip on something that was a hassle.

The large headed bolt seen in the center of the bracket, right side, was very difficult to remove. It has lots of surface area to rust into place. We broke a 7/32 allen headed socket and it held us up a day to go get a new one at Sears. Then it took some penetrating fluid and an impact wrench to move.

The bolt's head is about one inch in diameter and is beveled on the inner edge like an intake valve.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:38 PM
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Sorry - one more picture of something important, the cam retainer plate for the 4.6 block.

This picture shows the circular plate in place - keeping the cam from too much fore and aft movement.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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Where did you get those manifold bolts?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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The exhaust manifold bolts came from the dealer. They are for Disco II I believe.

Part Numbers are:
ERR6734 Bolt
ERR6318 Spacer

Cheers,
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