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  #1  
Old December 8th, 2005, 11:56 PM
Delta95
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Paul Kelly
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More on diesel / manual conversions

I'm ready to pull the trigger on a Tdi diesel conversion for my '97, but I sure would like to make it a manual while I'm at it! I have the diesel / manual set-up on my Series 3, and love it; however, the Series 3 goes away once the Defender modification is complete.

Previous posts asked if an auto to manual conversion was practical (mechanically, and money-wise), but I never caught a solid response.

In the end, I would like to have a late-model diesel / manual combo, that is as utterly simple and reliable as possible (no computer if I can avoid it). I see two ways of getting there:
1. Sell the '97 and start over with a '94 or '95 that is already a manual, or
2. Go for broke (literally!) and turn the '97 into what I actually want.
*The '97 is in decent shape, and is paid for, so I won't be starting in a hole.

Is a manual conversion on a '97 pratical? Any pitfalls?
Is option #1 or #2 a better bet in the long run?
Is there another course that will get me to the same end-state, without having to take out a second mortgage.

"Keep the Series" is an option, but I don't think it will garner much support on this forum!

Thanks,
Paul
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  #2  
Old December 9th, 2005, 12:29 AM
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Dennis Newman
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I am not sure what your state emissions system requires however here in Colorado I found that if you do a diesel conversion on the 97 it has to be fully OBDII complient, meaning with computer. If you go with the 94/95 you do not have to have any computer system.
From both a legal standpoint and a resale perspective you may want to sell and buy a 94/95.
My 2 cents.
Thanks
Dennis
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  #3  
Old December 9th, 2005, 09:16 PM
Delta95
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Paul Kelly
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Good catch.

Seems like I change residence between Virginia and South Carolina every several years. Both seem fairly liberal on their enforcement of modifications such as this - doesn't make it right; just doable. I'll have to research state laws some more. Are there any federal ones that apply?

I ran some more numbers. Either way this is going to be a pricey endeavor! Still worth the $$ since this is the vehicle I would like to drive to the grave!!
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  #4  
Old December 9th, 2005, 09:41 PM
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George Parthmer
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i dont know what you are thinking but i would love to see this project, or one similar to it, documented in the CUSTOM MODS section. it would definatly help clear up a lot of the questions that i know i have and i am sure others also have. just my thoughts - george
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  #5  
Old December 10th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Jesse McCoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta95
Good catch.

Seems like I change residence between Virginia and South Carolina every several years. Both seem fairly liberal on their enforcement of modifications such as this - doesn't make it right; just doable. I'll have to research state laws some more. Are there any federal ones that apply?
Don't you all have emmissions testing up there in NoVa? I think it depends on what county/city you are in, I would call an inspection station and ask them a bit about it first (do you check emmissions, how about a diesel?)

If you're looking for a '95 I've got one 2.5 Hours away, always wanted a '97. (Just a joke, I've got too much sunk in this one to turn around and put more money in "upgrading".)
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  #6  
Old December 10th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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Yep we do emmissions up here just not on diesels.
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  #7  
Old December 10th, 2005, 03:38 PM
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Dennis Newman
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Colorado does emissions on diesels, however there are no AWD chassis dynos in the state so once you do the conversion and they verify its integrity they immediately give you a waiver to not have to test it.
As I understand it, the challenge is getting the truck's title and registration from Gas to Diesel, through an inspection. Once you do that you are clear as long as the truck stays in Colorado. If you sell it to another state 80% of the work is done as the title already reads diesel. The only challenge would be the emissions testing rules for the state.
Dennis
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  #8  
Old October 17th, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Julian Kotting
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I can supply 300tdi engines with manual gboxes - ex uk, see my website for more details. www.globallandrovers.com We are in the process of putting together conversion kits for diesel swaps for NAS D90,D110,Disco 1 & Disco 2.

regds
Julian
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  #9  
Old October 17th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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"1. Sell the '97 and start over with a '94 or '95 that is already a manual"

This is 100% the answer. You can have my 94 for 17k, you can sell your 97 for at least 5k more than that. Everything is basically bolt up and you don't have to hack the interior of the 97 (although ECR will give you $800 for your auto center cubby assembly), deal with OBD II, or anything else really.

Personally, I would do it right and go to a 110 at the same time. New 300Tdi galvy frames to NAS spec are $3000.
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  #10  
Old October 17th, 2006, 10:57 AM
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For the costs you would spend more swapping from auto to 5 speed and sorting the wiring on the 97 vs. just buying a 94-95. The 97s sell for more money that 95s so you can likely profit a little on selling the 97 and starting with a 94-95. The conversion will be much easier and mean buying less parts (therefore cheaper). IMO

"We are in the process of putting together conversion kits for diesel swaps for NAS D90,D110,Disco 1 & Disco 2.

regds
Julian"

Beware there Julian... Rovers North and the rest of us got a huge smack down by the EPA some years back for offering kits for NAS Defenders. Each kit sold was going to carry a $20,000. fine due to EPA engine switching rules.
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  #11  
Old October 17th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Mike Lynch
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Mike,
Is it LEGAL to switch a Defender from petrol to diesel. It seems like a gray area... I have heard that a licensed shop can't legally do it or supply the "kit", but a person building out of there garage can. Can you explain a little bit.
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  #12  
Old October 17th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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For road use in the USA it is not legal in most cases. Most shops, like mine, install Tdis for "off road use only". What the customer does once it leaves our door is up to them.
It is not legal to sell a kit in any way shape or form with a non-EPA approved engine. That is why you'll find no USA shops (or major shops) selling kits. The EPA has a thing called the "Engine Switching Fact Sheet
" and this is what they sent to us about 6-7 years ago when RN was selling the kits and we (and others) were listed as "authorized installers". We didn't get any fines or anything but did get a lot of harsh words, threats and RN was told to stop selling all non-EPA certified engine conversion kits, and they did.
So "by the book"... No, you can not remove your engine and install one not certified for road use by the EPA.
In the real world... Shops do it as "off road only" and no one in the USA sells kits due to the EPA issues.
As a DIY guy.. if your state laws allow you to get away with converting to diesel and not having to worry about tests and OBDII... go for it.
Serach the web on the EPAs "Engine Switching Fact Sheet" and you'll get more hard data. Its been a long time and I don't recall all the details. I do remember that the newer the car the more issues there were. So offering kits for a D2 or soemthing is going to land some serious trouble. That is one reason we do mainly 1993-1995 diesel swaps as 1996 is a cut off year for some issues. That is also the main reaosn we don't offer Disco swaps, as that was a major "fine getter" and was the reason we only did the one Discotech project and no other Disco diesels.

As a DIY install don't worry about it, but whoever Julian is that is going to try and make a big splash selling kits in the USA, they will for sure draw EPA attention. The EPA won't hunt down an individual, but they will hunt down a company... but then again I've seen a ton of UK companies go after the US market before they understood all the stupid US rules, and none have made it here long term. Lets hope Julian does more research and makes it.
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  #13  
Old October 17th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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"So "by the book"... No, you can not remove your engine and install one not certified for road use by the EPA."

Isn't TD5 EPA compliant due to some EU US cross over reg.?

I personally do not care as I don't go more than 5k a year, so once I pass once, I never have to do it again.
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  #14  
Old October 17th, 2006, 03:18 PM
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mark kellgren
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Our laws suck...
http://www.epa.gov/Compliance/resour.../engswitch.pdf

Follow-up Post:

Let's get a rollcall. who has converted to diesel and has been through their DOT inspection. What was your experience and/or issues? Don't forget to disclose your state.

Mike,
For those converted 93' 110's, any comments to share on how any of your customers got registered/titled as a diesel?
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  #15  
Old October 17th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Agreed 100%

If you took all this stuff "by the book" you couldn't do anything, but people remove their cats, swap engines, install Hi-Po parts all the time. I just put a super charger on my Mustang. I bet in some rule book somewhere that is illegal too. Screw'm.

Did you know that now in Maine you can not fit larger rims to your car unless it was factory offered that way? Stupid. Not that is applies to Rovers, but those Hummer H2 guys that wanted 22's are bummin.

Check your state laws to make sure you can register and inspect the thing... F the rest of it. IMO.

I do feel bad for people who are going to try and sell kits here though. Get ready for the EPA smack down like RN got.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
Our laws suck...
http://www.epa.gov/Compliance/resour.../engswitch.pdf

Follow-up Post:

Let's get a rollcall. who has converted to diesel and has been through their DOT inspection. What was your experience and/or issues? Don't forget to disclose your state.

Mike,
For those converted 93' 110's, any comments to share on how any of your customers got registered/titled as a diesel?
The titles don't change. The title is just ownership paperwork. Personally I am not anal enough to need my title to say "diesel". I just want my engine bay to have a diesel.
As for registartions:
Some states you just tell them your gas engine blew up and you installed a diesel (customer did that in MA). Some states could care less (ME, MT, etc). Some states are total in a panic and won't let you alter anything. Just depends on where you live.

When we convert a 110 to diesel for a customer they are warned before we begin to check their state exhaust and reg. laws to make sure they will still be able to drive their rigs. In some cases the customers have to walk away from the conversion, eventhough they want it, as they would not be able to register. Some find ways around it.. it is up to the buyer.

I think this link is old, but it has some good info. on what states require.
http://ncvecs.colostate.edu/ncvecs.docs/Reciprocity.htm
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  #16  
Old October 17th, 2006, 03:41 PM
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Thanks Mike. I have the same attitude as you-I could care less what the title says (the less the better IMO). I just want the diesel under the bonnet.

I'm in NC, and before I ordered my diesel from M&D, I called the NCDOT about it, and asked them what I need to know about converting to diesel. The inspection office told me to just bring it down, and they'll make a note. It's relevant only because the emission laws here are very different for diesels. in NC, a diesel of any year is exempt from emissions compliance and inspections.

My concern is a) when I drive my conversion to the inspection station, that I get the classic "who told you that! well that's not the way it is", or the b) "well, this is the exception to the rule". I'm sure if I called the DOT 5 times, I would get 5 answers, and that scares the hell out of me.
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  #17  
Old October 17th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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Just thinking a bit further...if a Defender is coverted to a diesel and is then classified as a "off road vehicle" wound't there be issuese with the insurance company if there was an accident and would they be covering a V8 or a diesel. It's obviously a lot more than just dropping in a new engine when you are talking costs. From what I gather to have a shop do this type of conversion it doubles the monies invested into the vehicle. I too am very interested in having this swap done at some point. I know how corporate America works and if there is going to be federal and insurnace issues I would have to think more seriously about it. I live in Michigan and there are no emission testing and vehicle inspecting...so that one good aspect. Mike thanks for all of your professional output, it really helps. I'd really like to see your shop sometime.

All the best,
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  #18  
Old October 17th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defender13
Just thinking a bit further...if a Defender is coverted to a diesel and is then classified as a "off road vehicle" wound't there be issuese with the insurance company if there was an accident and would they be covering a V8 or a diesel. It's obviously a lot more than just dropping in a new engine when you are talking costs. From what I gather to have a shop do this type of conversion it doubles the monies invested into the vehicle. I too am very interested in having this swap done at some point. I know how corporate America works and if there is going to be federal and insurnace issues I would have to think more seriously about it. I live in Michigan and there are no emission testing and vehicle inspecting...so that one good aspect. Mike thanks for all of your professional output, it really helps. I'd really like to see your shop sometime.

All the best,
Insurance compnay = rip off in the Defender world. Just look into agreed value insurance somehow and don't worry about it. It would still be a road vehicle, not an "off road only" vehicle.

I have found the more information you give people the more laws they can find to block what you want to do. Call your DMV and tell them, "I'm buying a Land Rover and it is a diesel, how do I register that?" They'll walk you through the process.
I think people get into trouble when they say," I have a Land Rover that originally came with a EFI V8 but I lifted it 3" and put on 35" tires, and now I want to install a non-EPA approved diesel and change my title so that it says diesel and get expemt from exhaust test, how do I do that?"

Yeah...ok...
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  #19  
Old October 17th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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mark kellgren
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Well, my diesel arrives into port this week, so my dangerous jouney has begun. I'll report what happens to me once complete. If anyone has any experience to share, let's hear it.

When I get to the inspection station, I'm going to answer only what's asked in the fewest words possible, and volunteer nothing! after that, i'll never has an emissions inspection again.
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  #20  
Old October 17th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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This is why the whole process of taking a 90s D-90 and converting to Tdi is no more legal than basically building a pre-68 series truck to Tdi defender spec.
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