Engine Conversion Man Hours? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 20th, 2016, 01:16 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
84 D90 2.5 NA
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Engine Conversion Man Hours?

I've currently got an 84 D-90 military spec. I've been saving up to do an engine conversion and am close to pulling the trigger. Can anybody give me some rough estimates on the number of man hours it would take to swap out the old 2.5 NA for a LS/6l80 set up or a Rover V8 for somebody that is fairly mechanically inclined but not a professional mechanic(leaning toward the ls but just want to know the difference in labor).
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  #2  
Old August 20th, 2016, 01:28 PM
RBBailey
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I didn't do the actual engine and transmission in mine because I don't weld, and I knew there would be a lot of stuff I just wouldn't be able to anticipate. However, I did the full tear-down, and I'm now on the final legs of the rebuild.

1 year.

It really does not have to take this long. A lot of people can do it in a month if they are 100% dedicated and have the time. I'm slow. But also, I'm finding that when I try to do simple jobs, I end up getting stopped.

For instance. I could go put the wings back on right now. It would take an hour or so to get them back on and plugged in and working. However, I realized that I really don't want to just put it all back together as-is. So I'm doing some rust/corrosion control. All new hardware, some paint, etc... so what could take very little time is taking a long time because I'm doing a light refurb, not just a swap.

Another example is what happened yesterday -- new door seals. Takes 10 minutes per door. Nope. Took 3 hours. Because the seal does not actually fit when it comes to the seam between the window and bulkhead. Even now, I think I will pull them back off again and use some caulking in that area, so that is really another hour of work for a 10 minute job.

But that's just me.
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  #3  
Old August 20th, 2016, 02:14 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
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Yeah i hear you on that. Every job I end up doing takes 3 times longer than i expected. Thats actually why I was hoping some body could chime in with the time it actually took them to do one of these conversions if they actually kept track of the hours.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 02:19 PM
RBBailey
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There are a few LS conversions documented on this board.
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  #5  
Old August 20th, 2016, 02:23 PM
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Mechanically inclined or not, a conversion is very different from a swap.

for instance a straight engine swap on a 95 was v8 with transfer of parts the book calls for 16 hrs, does not include or takes into account broken exhaust manifold studs, o2 sensor replacement, removal of Y pipe bolts etc. those little things add up the time. as a mechanic I explain those issue to the customer and agree on say an extra 4 hrs to do a proper job...flat rate it at 20hrs...plus parts.

but an engine conversion may not be easy because now you need to r&r that engine at least once during the install in order to verify proper location, relocate mounts, drill extra holes, cover unused holes, dress and paint sanded or unpainted areas.
then we have wiring, removal of old wiring, installing new wiring....plumbing, is p/s pump on correct location, are we installing, reusing or removing a/c...do we have all clearances needed.
are we using headers or regular manifolds?, is current exhaust appropriate?, are we doing the exhaust in house or is it being sublet?.
fuel lines, ecu's, ignition components, are we dong performance upgrades etc...?

take all of this into account plus the 16 hrs base removal and install and plan for the best expect the worse, you may be looking into some 40 hrs plus.

it is hard to judge a custom job, I try and work with the owner on updates, deadlines, expectations versus actual results. thus, you as an owner proposing turning your own wrenches and possible doing a job of this magnitude the first time and maybe the only time, I would not be surprised if you ended with at least 100 labor hrs.
good luck and may you have the best of expected outcomes.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 02:32 PM
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Charles Galpin
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You guys are not alone. Everything takes way longer than it should if you don't do it all the time and are doing it for fun (and trying to do your best as apposed to knock it out and make money).
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Old August 20th, 2016, 02:52 PM
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~120 man hours if you have all the parts and nothing goes awry. More if you are fabricating in-situ - or much moe if you are learning as you go.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 06:48 PM
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Robert Davis
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Interesting question and the answer is it depends.
I have been building engine conversion kits for over 30 years and there is nothing easy about it.
Some doing a "from scratch" conversion where they source all the components themselves will easily have 200 to 300 hours in such a project.
That's why conversion kits that come with every nut and bolt with all the custom manufactured parts like oil pan, motor mounts, engine adapter, custom flywheel, custom starter and so on are so hard to build and so hard to find.
When you can find a complete kit that will allow you to do an install in less than 8 hours you should be both grateful and happy to have it.
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