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  #1  
Old October 16th, 2014, 10:04 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
84 D90 2.5 NA
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New Defender Owner Here - A lot of questions

I just purchased a 1984 D90 with a 2.5 liter NA engine from the Canadian government. This truck is built to mil spec so canvas top and no real creature comforts. To make matters worse it has looks as though it has been sitting for the last couple of years with the battery removed. I got this for cheap (by US standards for a defender) so I am willing to put a decent amount of money into this to build it up from where it is. What are the upgrades that people here would make with a barebones Defender and a 10k budget?

In the next 2-3 years I would like to swap out the powertrain to something with a bit more go than the 2.5 NA. I understand the 200tdi is an easy swap but I am also looking at the Ford 3.2 liter powerstroke out of the new transit van and mating it to either an MT82 trans or mustang tremec trans. I haven't been able to find any builds on this site of a mid 80s Defender having that engine or transmission installed but if anybody has any insights I would be very appreciative.
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  #2  
Old October 16th, 2014, 10:44 PM
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Jason England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulli270 View Post
I just purchased a 1984 D90 with a 2.5 liter NA engine from the Canadian government. This truck is built to mil spec so canvas top and no real creature comforts. To make matters worse it has looks as though it has been sitting for the last couple of years with the battery removed. I got this for cheap (by US standards for a defender) so I am willing to put a decent amount of money into this to build it up from where it is. What are the upgrades that people here would make with a barebones Defender and a 10k budget? In the next 2-3 years I would like to swap out the powertrain to something with a bit more go than the 2.5 NA. I understand the 200tdi is an easy swap but I am also looking at the Ford 3.2 liter powerstroke out of the new transit van and mating it to either an MT82 trans or mustang tremec trans. I haven't been able to find any builds on this site of a mid 80s Defender having that engine or transmission installed but if anybody has any insights I would be very appreciative.
Welcome!

You want to take a very basic 1984 truck and put in a wiring monster? To basically get a few HP more than a decent 200tdi setup? That sounds like a nightmare!
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  #3  
Old October 16th, 2014, 10:50 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
84 D90 2.5 NA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Welcome!

You want to take a very basic 1984 truck and put in a wiring monster? To basically get a few HP more than a decent 200tdi setup? That sounds like a nightmare!
It would absolutely be a challenge to sort all of this out but my understanding is that people have fit these engines to 2007+ models with decent success. I would be happy to spend extra time and money to have an a 200 hp, 350 lb/ft, 25 mpg clean diesel powertrain. the 200tdi engine is good and reliable but try driving behind one and you won't have such a great time.
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  #4  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:13 PM
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Jason England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulli270 View Post
It would absolutely be a challenge to sort all of this out but my understanding is that people have fit these engines to 2007+ models with decent success. I would be happy to spend extra time and money to have an a 200 hp, 350 lb/ft, 25 mpg clean diesel powertrain. the 200tdi engine is good and reliable but try driving behind one and you won't have such a great time.
I'm planning the conversion of my v8 to 300tdi. That's plenty good enough for me. Start adding too much power and you'll need better brakes and then costs start to spiral. If you look at some UK a magazines you'll find all sorts of conversions.
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  #5  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:25 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
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Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
I'm planning the conversion of my v8 to 300tdi. That's plenty good enough for me. Start adding too much power and you'll need better brakes and then costs start to spiral. If you look at some UK a magazines you'll find all sorts of conversions.
my understanding is that it is quite easy for me to install a 200tdi, but a 300tdi would be more work than its worth coming from a 2.5 N/A. I guess I also have a bit of a desire to have a rover that is "different" and the 3.2 diesel seems almost tailor made to be put into a Defender but won't make it now that LR is owed by Tata.
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  #6  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:25 PM
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Chris
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10k budget?
Have you priced out a 200tdi?
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  #7  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulli270 View Post
my understanding is that it is quite easy for me to install a 200tdi, but a 300tdi would be more work than its worth coming from a 2.5 N/A. I guess I also have a bit of a desire to have a rover that is "different" and the 3.2 diesel seems almost tailor made to be put into a Defender but won't make it now that LR is owed by Tata.
Do you have the skills to do this yourself?

The reason I ask is custom work can be very expensive, especially if trying to do something new.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #8  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:35 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
10k budget?
Have you priced out a 200tdi?
Oh sorry, the 10k budget is for tactical upgrades to be made in the next 3-6 months (e.g. suspension, interior, roll cage, basically non drivetrain upgrades. I've linked the listing I bought the truck from below if you want to take a look at the basic needs) My longterm (2-3 year) vision is to do a powertrain/frame swap. My question really is if I am going to rebuild this thing anyway are there enough downsides to trying to go the modern 3.2 Ford route over a 200tdi to stop me from doing it.

https://www.gcsurplus.ca/mn-eng.cfm?...66&lct=L&lai=2
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  #9  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:36 PM
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  #10  
Old October 16th, 2014, 11:36 PM
sulli270
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sean sullivan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Do you have the skills to do this yourself?

The reason I ask is custom work can be very expensive, especially if trying to do something new.
Hence the reason I was asking if anybody on the board had done this swap before. I don't want to engineer something I don't have to.
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  #11  
Old October 17th, 2014, 07:21 AM
red64chevelle
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Daniel Smith
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I can't answer your question exactly, because I started with a 2.5 Petrol, not NA. I went with the 300TDI because it looked like parts were easier to get than the 200TDI. The big difference installing the two was that the engine mounts had to be cut out and 300TDI ones welded in. So far, I have been very happy with it. Added bonus is that the wiring is basically the same between the 2.5 and 200/300.

I try not to keep receipts, it would just make me cry later. I would estimate that I have about 9k in the whole swap. Thats for the engine, rebuild kit, rebuilt R380, exhaust, hoses/pipes, driveshafts, and a couple orders of small random crap you don't even think about until you are bolting it all together.

FYI, I did not end up having to change the seat box or tunnel for the swap.
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  #12  
Old October 17th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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JT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulli270 View Post
Hence the reason I was asking if anybody on the board had done this swap before. I don't want to engineer something I don't have to.
Check out the swap theory page. I posted the link to an om606 3.0l merc inline 6 that can be made mechanical. The engines can be had for $2k, bell housing kit cost 1000gbp, mechanical IP costs $200 from a pick and pull... It can be mated to the mt82 defender tranny with the above but there is some fab work to be done.

The merc diesel returns 200 hp, is mechanical, and uses a LR transmission. Nene has some documented 3.2 swaps but no technical info
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  #13  
Old October 17th, 2014, 09:27 AM
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Ron
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If you want a 300 tdi I have a complete unit motor, transfer case and rebuild auto transmission.... runs great and 27 mpg

and i'm the next state over...
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no thanks whatever I tell you, you will low ball me
I would rather keep the parts in storage
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  #14  
Old January 22nd, 2015, 07:30 PM
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Nick
91 D90 2.5NA doing LS Gen IV Thing
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Curious if you did the engine upgrade. 200TDI? Where you able to find one? Lots of 300tdi Discovery vehicles available so that's what I did. Also used axels with disk brakes and power steering from it... sweet!
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