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  #1  
Old December 7th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Diesel Conversion Experiences

I started this thread because another thread was going this direction and figured a separate thread would be better.

At 140k miles I decided to convert my d90 to 300Tdi power. I specifically bought the truck with high miles, at a reasonable price, with the whole intent of doing a conversion.

I considered two main approaches:
1) "Replace only whats necessary"
2) "Start from the ground up"

Despite the fact that "1" would have been more economical, I went with two because
- I wanted to keep driving the truck as long as possible, instead of having it disassembled for an extended period. I kept driving the 90 for 6 months while I built up the new chassis.
- I was able to replace a bunch of high-mileage components, and get upgrades like the galvanized chassis.
- I wanted to build something that would be in accordance with a parts manual, and I have, in essence, built a 1997 300Tdi (based mainly on how I've chosen to wire it)

In the end, the only original thing on my truck will be the body.

Cost? Roughly 20k - and I bought almost all new everthing. Here is a sub-component breakdown:

Engine - New crate motor sourced from TLR - included all ancillaries. $7500
Tranny, T-Case - Whitehouse rebuilds from RDS - $2500ish
Chassis - 300Tdi galvy incl new axels, driveshafts, fuel tank & suspension from RDS - $ 4500ish
Radiator, resevoir, hoses - $700 +/-
Wiring, Gauges, new switches, electrical bits - $1200ish
Fuel lines (ridiculously high quality Swagelok components) - $500
New Upholstery, heated seats - $600ish
Skid Plate, chassis bits - $400
Misc (fasteners, paint, odd bits) - $1500+

I estimate that the breakdown could look more like this if I had gone with option "1"

Used Engine, Tranny, T-Case + extras $6-7000
Chassis mods etc - $500ish
Misc - $1500ish

So the total can look more like 10k for the motivated DIY'er. That method requires adapting the current harness, cutting off v8 mounts, welding on Tdi mounts etc.

Naturally, there were myriad little issues to resolve and troubleshoot, so the above cannot be considered a comprehensive shopping list nor a proscriptive method for converting to diesel.
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  #2  
Old December 7th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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Larry O'Hara
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Damn Jim,

How bout I move to your area say arround January'ish and you do mine

Follow-up Post:

Or perhaps I should await the illumination of the "Change Engine Light"
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  #3  
Old December 7th, 2004, 06:48 PM
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At least at this point I can tell you exactly what part numbers are needed.

I should be done by Jan, I'm more than happy to help.

Of course you might want to wait to see if mine even fires up!
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  #4  
Old December 7th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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So what is your question? IT is up to you on how much you want to spend... THe wiring is easy. You do not need a new harness or anything. THey make an engine harness to addapt right to the NAS harness. You have 1200 for wiring... What do you mean? Do you need all new switches and guages? The galv chassis is a great Idea. THen get new springs shocks bushings brake lines and fule lines. After you have your truck built on the new chassis, you can galv that one and sell it for a good buck also. As for the interior, skid plates, etc that can always be added later not during your initial build.
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  #5  
Old December 7th, 2004, 11:32 PM
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Larry O'Hara
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I was reading the details Jim and as I did the list began to read like that MC commercial and caught myself capping the list with:


"Defender that'll still be running strong when I'm 80 . . . . priceless"





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  #6  
Old December 8th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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André Dietsche
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I have read alot of articles of US Guys which change their engines because the want a Tdi.

I am always a little surprised. I live in Switzerland/Europe and Tdi or now the Td5 are very commen. We like those engines and no dout they are fine. But the true reason why we have so much Diesel engines is, that the prices for gas is very high.

We pay about 1.20 US per Liter. If you could buy gas to such low prices like you in the US, everyone of us would drive a V8 Engine.

You have to be honest at this point, the Tdi is old, noisy, has less power but equal torque. So there is really no reason (in my opinion) to replace a V8 with a Tdi.

The Tdi is past. Now we got the Td5 oder even the new Td6.

In my opinion, as long as gas is so cheap as it is in the USA the only replacment for a V8 Rover Engine is a bigger more Powerful Rover V8, such as the 4.6 oder Rpi or JE engines.

But that is what we think in Europe. Just a opinion.

Greetings and have fun with your LR
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  #7  
Old December 8th, 2004, 07:03 AM
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@ Randy - I dont have a question. A couple people wanted to know what I was doing & what it all was costing. The list is roughly what I spent for each category. WRT to wiring, I didnt strictly _need_ new column switches, gauges, wiring etc, but that is what I chose to go with. And if you know the part number for that NAS to Tdi conversion harness you mentioned, I'd sure like to have the part number, because I never came across that bit of information.

@ D1 - Its is funny that we always seem to want what we cant get. I've got an Italian friend with a Jeep Wrangler. He thinks its cool because they arent as common as Rovers in Italy. And with respect fuel prices, I understand cheap fuel here is a reasonable rationale to leave the v8 in, but I personally find its consumption intolerable. If I was strictly concerned with price I certainly would not have converted over - i could buy about 10,000 gallons of super for the cost of the conversion.

Thats the great part about this stuff, you only have to please yourself.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Petrol here is about $0.85 US/litre. and it comes down to what's available. LR engines are not that common over here and are not as reliable/cost effective as North American engines.

Being in Canada, I have the option of dropping in a nice V8 but won't be. I'm going for the TDI as well. Diesel is almost the same price as Petrol but it still works out that diesel has a lower running cost, and money always matters no matter what the cost is. A V8 conversion would be more hassle then it's worth when the 200TDI bolts right in and is more reliable than the LR V8. Plus diesels are just better off road.

The TD5 and TD6 look impressive but until they've been around awhile, very expensive and not worth the hassle with all that electrical fly by wire cr*p on them that you would have to swap over and try and fix in the bush if it broke down. The HS 2.8 TGV has the same power as the TD5 and is popular with people who have the time/money.

I also think it's a big case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the pond.

Want to swap a V8 for a TDI.
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  #9  
Old December 8th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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I would like to point out Jim is very, well to put it nicely methodical, everything is done with a level of precision which is remarkable. Factory spec. The truck will be new when he is done.

Ron

PS for comparison here is my experience:

110 galvy TDi designa frame new but in private ownership $770 shipped
1964 dormobile donor (included two other trucks, to date I have sold parts for over $5000) $3750
1988 range rover for axles etc (sold a bunch of stuff for $1200) $1500
1993 military salisbury rear axle $500 shipped
1995 D90 drivetrain from Jim $2700 with gas, expenses to pick up
Rear driveshaft used $100
V 8 motor mounts $35
New T-pieces $350
110 hood, used $250
Front panel $150
Brake assembly new $380
Used 4.6 block and stuff to swap in $1000
misc stuff not included in drivetrain $500
Used TT $200
DL $293
Wheels used disco $160
Used tires FREE
Rear door, new in private ownership $100

Still need some things mainly 4 new doors which should run me about $1000, and paint $1000

The downside: I have been gathering stuff for 4 years! It was only JimC's swap that made my project doable on my law school budget. NAS engine harness etc is so crazy money and I did not want to do it any other way other than used. I was considering hacking the rr harness but it just would never be right.

$12,000 or so outlay, but net only half that.
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  #10  
Old December 13th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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New Upholstery, heated seats - $600ish

Mind if I ask which heated seats you went with? I'm looking to replace mine and am looking to either confirm my current choice of Exmoor Trim or something convincing enough to sway my decision to go with something else.

Thanks for the breakdown of prices. This is great.
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Old December 13th, 2004, 05:22 PM
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G4 Trim from Exmoor - I'm super-happy with them. Theres a thread on that too, it will probably come up with a quick search.
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