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  #1  
Old September 27th, 2014, 07:41 PM
Solihull
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Copley's Dad
85 D90 S Top + 06 Supercharged RR
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Defender experts please chime in

I have just taken delivery of my 1985 D90 soft top in FL. We had purchased the vehicle in England and glad to finally have it here back home. Now that the vehicle is here, I am formally looking into have the engine and transmission swapped out and will be going for an automatic transmission. I have a very competent mechanic that can make this happen. He is recommending finding a Discovery 1 and swap then transferring out the engine, transmission, transfer case, catalytic converter, exhaust etc.

A couple of questions I have:

1. What weak points within the engine, transmission or any other part like pumps etc should be addressed in detail as a part of the transfer process?
2. What are some of the fine details that I should make sure he addresses as a part of the transfer process?
3. Is there a vendor in the US or UK who sells the partail air con kit? In my case I will a lot traferred over from the Disco, but will need the component that mounts under dash from what I can gether.
4. Are there any other petrol engines I should be considering?

I am just starting this process, and will get this done gradually so want to make sure it gets done right the first time.

Appreciate your input and feedback.

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  #2  
Old September 27th, 2014, 07:53 PM
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Bill Larson
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Bill Larson
97 D90 SW
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Ah- everyone here is an expert...now it's your turn! Welcome!!
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  #3  
Old September 27th, 2014, 08:01 PM
Solihull
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Copley's Dad
85 D90 S Top + 06 Supercharged RR
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Hi Bill - I am of course searching as well, but thanks for the tip .
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  #4  
Old September 27th, 2014, 09:03 PM
javelinadave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solihull View Post
Hi Bill - I am of course searching as well, but thanks for the tip .
Bill speaks the truth. In the last 7 days there has been several threads regarding engine swapping and A/C kits. Search and ye shall find.
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  #5  
Old September 27th, 2014, 10:05 PM
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Paul K
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Paul Kennington
'85 Ninety V8 SW
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The Buick 215 was a strong engine, but boring it out to a 3.9/4.0 then 4.6 had consequences. My experience with the 4.6 has been bad (2 failures) so I'd stick with the 3.9/4.0. I am told it does not breathe well (relatively small ports) but a custom cam & aftermarket heads can help with that.

I can't speak to the finer points of the swap (I am about to pay someone to do it).

Rovers North sells both RHD & LHD under-dash A/C kits. There is another outfit that sells the parts to make your own. Effectiveness depends on who you talk to.

It depends on budget for alternative power units. I have heard the Ford 5.0 fits RHD rigs, I considered this but just don't have the budget right now (mine also needs a new chassis, bulkhead, front & rear doors).

Post photos of it!
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Current fleet: '85 Ninety 3.9 V8i Auto SW, two Discovery 1's (one for my Nephew, one for my Niece),'07 BMW 335Xi.
Past Land Rovers: '96 Discovery SD, '00 Range Rover HSE, '04 Discovery SE7, '07 Range Rover HSE, '08 LR3 SE7.
Past fleet: '89 Classic Mini, '83 Porsche 911 SC Coupe, '89 911 Carrera targa, '96 911 Carrera 4, '07 Toyota FJ Cruiser, several Minis.
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  #6  
Old September 27th, 2014, 10:10 PM
the rover shop
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shayne young
89,93 & 95 camel trophy 110s 06 130
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Expert....Ex is a has been and spurt is a drip under pressure..one big bit of information you left out is of the d90 is gas or diesel..and 4 cyl or 3.5 v8... If it's diesel you are going to have to weld in new engine mounts etc..of you are going to do the 3.9 route you may as well put a 4.6 lower into it and then use the 3.9 uppers and front timing case distributor etc with a tornado chip.... Or you could just put the basic engine in and bolt a holley fuel injection manifold kit onto it...alot less headache with wiring etc..and defender radiators etc are different to discovery ones also...so you may not be able to use the disco condensor.. This would mean buying the kit without the compressor... It I haven't seen it available that way..unless you special order....or you could use one of the heritage air or nostalgic air units...

------ Follow up post added September 27th, 2014 10:14 PM ------

If you are going the 4.6 route just don't use the unit out of a 03 or 04 disco..the older range rovers are better lumps.....or get an old 4.0 and put just the 4.6 crank and pistons into the 4.0 block and you're good to go..
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  #7  
Old September 28th, 2014, 12:12 AM
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Chris
72 + D1 drivetrain
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If you can find a 95D1 with ok engine that will work best avoiding too many Ecu related issues.
The auto shifter will take the space of your console.
Fit a rear fuel tank to your 85 but keep the side saddle for range.
Suspect your 85 is carb so you'll need to replace fuel pump.
That and a lot more.
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  #8  
Old September 28th, 2014, 01:44 AM
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One Ten
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Sam
1994 NAS SW
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I just built a 4.6 using the 4.0 block from a 98 disco and put it in my 94 NAS. I swapped in the GEMS system because I feel its superior to the 14cux (distributor less, cross bolted block, serpentine belt, etc) It was a lot of work. My brother is a old school LR master at the dealer and was invaluable help. If you don't have this kind of knowledge in your corner the 14cux system is an easier swap. I've done it both ways now. Buy a RR classic for $1000 and you'll have 95% of what you need. You can buy an generic aftermarket under dash a/c unit from Nostalgic Air and have custom high/low pressure lines made.
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  #9  
Old September 28th, 2014, 07:42 AM
Solihull
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Copley's Dad
85 D90 S Top + 06 Supercharged RR
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Many thanks for all the responses. It currently has a non V8 LR original petrol engine. Below are a few pictures. I have also purchased a lot of interior and exterior accessories whist we were in England, like the LR original forward facing seats, wheel arch modification kit. Looking forward to getting this beauty on the FL roads. I will post pictures as the project matures.
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Current Vehicles:

1985 Defender 90 Soft Top
1992 Range Rover Classic
1998 Porsche Boxster
2000 Supercharged Jaguar XJR X308
2006 Supercharged Range Rover

Looking to add:

Ferrari 328 GTS
Classic Rolls Royce
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  #10  
Old September 28th, 2014, 08:34 AM
flananuts
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Matthew
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Good luck with your project. I love the bonnet letters lmfao.
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  #11  
Old September 28th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Solihull
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Copley's Dad
85 D90 S Top + 06 Supercharged RR
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Worcestershire + FL
Posts: 17
I will be taking 'Fat Betty' off the front, but will keep the side FB on to honor the owner. He was very attached to the defender and had named it fat betty. It was clear to me he was very sad to see her go, but was excited that she will be traveling over to the US, and enjoying the FL sun.
__________________
Current Vehicles:

1985 Defender 90 Soft Top
1992 Range Rover Classic
1998 Porsche Boxster
2000 Supercharged Jaguar XJR X308
2006 Supercharged Range Rover

Looking to add:

Ferrari 328 GTS
Classic Rolls Royce
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  #12  
Old September 28th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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Red90
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John B.
1991 Defender 90, 200TDI
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It is such a big question. So much depends on budget and why you want out of it.

If it has a 2.5 petrol currently putting in a 200tdi would be the easiest. No idea if you are set on a V8.
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  #13  
Old September 28th, 2014, 08:56 AM
Solihull
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Copley's Dad
85 D90 S Top + 06 Supercharged RR
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Worcestershire + FL
Posts: 17
After owning and driving diesels in the UK, I think I would prefer sticking with a petrol engine. The main need for us is an automatic transmission. I will basically be using the vehicle 2 days a week max and over the weekend for our beach trips. My mechanic feels swapping out with a Disco 1 would be an easy swap and perhaps the most economical. My plan is to also paint it all the way through in Santorini black so have kept $6K aside for that. Perhaps in the future I will look into the GM engine option that is being discussed here.
__________________
Current Vehicles:

1985 Defender 90 Soft Top
1992 Range Rover Classic
1998 Porsche Boxster
2000 Supercharged Jaguar XJR X308
2006 Supercharged Range Rover

Looking to add:

Ferrari 328 GTS
Classic Rolls Royce
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  #14  
Old September 28th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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Red90
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John B.
1991 Defender 90, 200TDI
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It is still a question of budget. You can you swap in a 16+ year old drivetrain and that is fairly easy, although paying someone and it will get expensive fast. If you have it all rebuilt first, it get even more expensive. If you don't, you end up with a crappy, worn out drivetrain. I cringe at the thought of paying a mechanic for this sort of thing. It is a massive amount of labour to "do things right".

First off, go drive the donor type vehicle. You might have ideas that a V8 D1 is powerful and be disappointing when you find out they are not. As you seem keen to not have a diesel, and have a supercharged RR, you may be wanting/needing a lot more power than a stock 4 liter will give you.
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