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  #1  
Old May 29th, 2006, 12:17 AM
mikey
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Tom Wilkinson
1994 Defender 90
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Need a new D90 engine

Hello All,

I'm new to the site and just looking for opinions/ideas. My 94 D90 with 120K miles may have a cylinder going bad. It is spitting out some carbon/oil when I first start it up, but it seems to go away after I drive it a little.

So I'm looking for a new engine and wondering what the options and considerations are.

I've heard of:
1. straight rebuild of the 3.9 in it (not likely)
2. swap to a TDI
3. swap to a ECR Pursuit 4.6
4. swap to a chevy

I'm looking for opinions for motors and who you might recommend to do the work. I would like to actually
help with all of the work but want someone experienced with 90's to be at the helm. My previous experience with rebuilds is Chevys about 18 years ago.

thanks,
michael
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  #2  
Old May 29th, 2006, 12:48 AM
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Jim Cheney
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Without trying to be a purist prick, I like the idea of keeping my Rover all-rover, so I give automatic preference to bona-fide Rover engines. Next in line is logical extensions like the International 2.8. Least preferable by an enormous margin are other misc engines. Ignoring the issues of provenance, I think resale value would be totally shot. I'd never buy someone's Chevy swap (not because I dont like Chevy engines, which I dont) because i'd have no idea what they converted and rigged to make the thing work. Far from being easier to service because its American Chevy stuff, it would be a pain because it would be a "bitsa."

I like diesels, but thats my preference. I'd be willing to be there could be some good deals to be found on 3.9/4.0 or better Rover engines. The V8 will be by far the easiest and most straightforward.
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  #3  
Old May 29th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Randy Black
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120K and smoking at start up could be worn valve guides. I haven't worked on EFI engines but black smoke may be fuel related blue smoke may be oil.
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  #4  
Old May 29th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Marc
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With my engine at 72K, I am also starting to look at engine options for the future. I am leaning towards keeping it Rover, but am still researching other options. The easiest and cheapest is to replace the V8 with a 3.9 or 4.0. Apparently the 4.0
is much better on power, and will not struggle as much as the 3.9, saving some gas IF driven conservatively.
An improved 300 TDi would be the bomb, but much more expensive to replace.
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  #5  
Old May 29th, 2006, 10:27 AM
mikey
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Tom Wilkinson
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engines

There is a 4.6 "pursuit" motor offered by East Coast Rovers and others. Do any of you know if that is a rover engine? I get the impression that it is. Apparently they provide the basic block and intake and just you the rest of the parts from the stock 3.9 in the D90.

I've never had a desiel engine whats the draw? What's the HP/torque breakdown for the Tdi and 4.0?

mikey
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  #6  
Old May 29th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey
There is a 4.6 "pursuit" motor offered by East Coast Rovers and others. Do any of you know if that is a rover engine? I get the impression that it is. Apparently they provide the basic block and intake and just you the rest of the parts from the stock 3.9 in the D90.

I've never had a desiel engine whats the draw? What's the HP/torque breakdown for the Tdi and 4.0?

mikey
Mikey~
Quote:
I have a 4.0 long block with only 34K on it. Always ran synthectics and this engine pulled strong since new. I rolled the vehicle and now its just taking up space on a stand in my garage. All of the ancillaries axcept the alternator and A/C are currently bolted to to motor.

So here is the deal: $800 if you come get it. If I have to ship it then it will be whatever it costs me to build the crate plus $50 labor + shipping to your zip. I would estimate that shipping this would run about $200, but could be more with todays gas prices.

Thanks for looking and let me know if you have any questions: curtis@newkirks.net
Hope that helps...it sounds like a heck of a deal! Good luck! RC
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  #7  
Old May 29th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Jim Cheney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey
There is a 4.6 "pursuit" motor offered by East Coast Rovers and others. Do any of you know if that is a rover engine? I get the impression that it is. Apparently they provide the basic block and intake and just you the rest of the parts from the stock 3.9 in the D90.

I've never had a desiel engine whats the draw? What's the HP/torque breakdown for the Tdi and 4.0?

mikey
The diesel has the basically the same torque as the V8 and much less horsepower. All of this is available below 2000 rpm, so when I was out on the trail this weekend, my truck was barley above idle most of the time. Diesels run cool, so there was no problem with heat.

Oh, the other issue is that the 300Tdi usually returns more than 25 mpg in normal use.
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  #8  
Old May 29th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Hans Haase
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There is also the option of building a stroker motor out of a 3.9 block and Buick 300 crank, which will punch it out to a 4.9. D&D motors does the builds, or can help you with the needed parts.

-Hans
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  #9  
Old May 29th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Chris V

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I would venture to say your engine is fine. To make sure bring it to a garage and have them preform a compression test. I have heard (but have not tried it yet) that a product called Sea Foam works well for cleaning carbon deposits and fuel gum from the engine, many times fixing smoking , blow-by and some (non gasket) compression leaks. When I became unhappy with the performance of the 3.5 in my 101 I dropped in a 4.6 built and tweaked by Woody Cooper in MA. 508-880-5448 (The rig used to struggle making the VT mountains constantly downshifting, now don't get in front of me because she pulls hard in all gears at all RPM's) Staying with the same motor (5.5, 3.9, 4.0, 4.2, 4.6) is the least expensive and time intensive swap can be done in a day. And you stay what most would consider original and easily reversible for "purists" (but if you do drop in a 4.6 with the right low torque cam you'll never drive a 3.9 happily again. Now if it were my Defender with no budget restraints I'd be very tempted to do a 300TDI with a Inter cooler and chipped computer.
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  #10  
Old May 29th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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Chris Davis
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The 3.9 and 4.0 make the same HP and torque--it is really the same engine except the 4.0 is cross bolted. If you are after a refreshed engine, then either are fine and appropriate. If you want an upgrade then the 4.6 is the most logical and least expensive price. To swap in any of the diesels, it is some serious coin, usually over $10K unless you do it all yourself. The Chevy engine would take a lot of modifications and you will probably end up not using any of the Rover drivetrain and it will lessen the resale if that matters at all.

Which engine is a very personal thing. Personally, if you are wheeling alot, I am pretty set on the 2.8 International or 300TDI engine. For power, a built up V8 is great if you are on a budget (like me). I have not a single issue with the overall power of my 4.6, I just wish it came a little lower on the rpm scale like the diesels do.
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  #11  
Old May 29th, 2006, 02:19 PM
Chris V

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Davis wrote:
"I have not a single issue with the overall power of my 4.6, I just wish it came a little lower on the rpm scale like the diesels do."

Swap the cam out for a "Towing" cam profile . With gas you will never get as low as a diesel (where max torque is achieved around 1,800 to 2,500 rpms) but you can get similar torque at lower RPM's with proper cut cam.
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  #12  
Old May 29th, 2006, 06:36 PM
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Randy
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Wheelin with the diesel is great. I almost never have to hit the pedal. Its almost impossible to stall. I would think the 2.8 is even better. I would never go back to a gas motor..
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  #13  
Old May 29th, 2006, 09:25 PM
mikey
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Tom Wilkinson
1994 Defender 90
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4.6 swap

I think I'll end up swapping to a 4.6 when the time comes. Does anyone have a recommendation for a shop to do the work? I live in Boise but I'm happy to ship the D90 as needed.

mikey
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  #14  
Old May 29th, 2006, 10:13 PM
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Randy Black
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Rob Dassler in Albequerque (Southwest Rovers) He has done work for me and I am completely satisfied and highly recommend him.

There are others on this website that have excellent reputations but Rob is the only one I have experience with.
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  #15  
Old May 29th, 2006, 11:26 PM
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Guy Ruffer
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If your in Boise I would go to Ships Mechanical in Portland, Oregon. Doug did a 4.0 swap in my previous '94 and his work was excellent. He has done everything from a 300tdi to a 4.6 swap to complete frame up restorations. The number is 503-252-5566. Sad I can't remember my own cell phone number but I can remember my rover mechanics number.
Guy
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  #16  
Old May 29th, 2006, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snuffer
Rob Dassler in Albequerque (Southwest Rovers) He has done work for me and I am completely satisfied and highly recommend him.

There are others on this website that have excellent reputations but Rob is the only one I have experience with.
x2 Very meticulous, ornate and by far the best of the best in my books.
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  #17  
Old May 29th, 2006, 11:59 PM
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Chris Davis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris V
Swap the cam out for a "Towing" cam profile . With gas you will never get as low as a diesel (where max torque is achieved around 1,800 to 2,500 rpms) but you can get similar torque at lower RPM's with proper cut cam.
I am already running the low torque Cowler cam--it is one of the best I have found and on par with others. The fact is, the diesels make usable power significantly below where the V8's do on the rpm scale. You can basically idle up most stuff and engine break better too. I have driven both and their is no comparison.
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  #18  
Old May 30th, 2006, 12:39 AM
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Robert Dassler
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Randy & Melissa,
Thank you for the vote of confidence. Having satisfied customers is better than any advertising I could ever possibly buy.
Rob
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  #19  
Old May 30th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Without trying to be a purist prick, I like the idea of keeping my Rover all-rover, so I give automatic preference to bona-fide Rover engines. Next in line is logical extensions like the International 2.8. Least preferable by an enormous margin are other misc engines. Ignoring the issues of provenance, I think resale value would be totally shot. I'd never buy someone's Chevy swap (not because I dont like Chevy engines, which I dont) because i'd have no idea what they converted and rigged to make the thing work. Far from being easier to service because its American Chevy stuff, it would be a pain because it would be a "bitsa."

I like diesels, but thats my preference. I'd be willing to be there could be some good deals to be found on 3.9/4.0 or better Rover engines. The V8 will be by far the easiest and most straightforward.
What is it that is so desirable about a bona-fide 3.9 or 4.0 LR Engine? I actually had a rather long discussion of this "purist" philosphy regarding defender power plants this past weekend. It strikes me odd that when it comes to the engine (drivetrain is probably a little more accurate), folks get religion really quick, with the rest of the vehicle - not so much. Also the notion that the international is acceptable whereas a SBC is not seems odd, as it is my understanding they both are pretty closely related to their LR incarnations.

I am sure there is the idea that, hey you're currently into the second hundred thousand miles on that 3.9, which aint bad. I agree, but I am sure that we can all think of examples of engines of all types that have lasted shorter/longer.

I am currently north of 100K on my 3.9 but when my engine goes, I will be looking for something that will provide greater fuel efficiency while not putting me in the poor house. This, as each of my rovers, has been my daily driver, so whatever I replace the engine with it must be versitile and reliable. I like the "idea" of a diesel, but I am not willing to bend any laws during the replacement. Dont get me wrong, I love my defender and this is my 2nd, but when my engine goes, I have no plans to replace it with an engine that will only deliver 13mpg, regardless of whose badge is on it.
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  #20  
Old May 30th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Randy Black
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The reason I would stick with LR is because there is no reengineering. I really am not concerned so much with resale, I'll never get my money back out of it anyhow. I would be afraid a high output engine would over time be too much for the rest of the drivetrain.

I like the TDI mainly because it would be so easy to waterproof, very few electrics to make it run and the extended range. Now that I have added lots of protection and heavy duty parts I am thinking it's getting pretty heavy. I don't know how much more if any a TDI weighs over a 3.9 but that would be my only concern, and the cost of converting it.

I have wheeled with a guy who has an LT1 in his D. He did a great job and it seems to work very well. It really takes him down the highway but on the trail it's not really used.

I just prefer to keep it simple and hopefully dependable.
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