Stock 3.5l/LT85 to Disco 300Tdi/R380 - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 02:29 AM
RBBailey
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Stock 3.5l/LT85 to Disco 300Tdi/R380

So I'm going to jump on Derek's sale of his engine and transmission, going to look at it tomorrow. But don't fret, it is at the top of my budget, so unless I can do the swap without much more expense, I will have to pass on it in the end.

He has been very helpful in answering my questions about the kit he has for sale. And doesn't it all look so nice and pretty, just waiting for one of us to buy it?

Anyway, now I need the mind of the Defender Source to kick into high gear and let me know...

When going from my 3.5 and LT85 with the Saudi/NAS 110 bulkhead:
  1. Will I need to change the tunnel, seatbox, and lower bulkhead?
  2. Will I need more than engine mounts welded in, and the transmission cross member for the actual install?
  3. Will I need different ignition components?
  4. Will the 300Tdi and R380 match my transfer case, prop shaft lengths, and diff ratios? (How does one know those in the first place?)
  5. Will I need to replace my clutch pedal and master?
  6. What else do I need to know and plan on?
  7. What surprises will not please my wife?
I went and drove a 110 today, it was heavier than mine with its kit, and it was running the International 2.8Tdi. I liked it, thought that it might have been a bit louder than the 300's I've been around, but it performed well. As I expected, it isn't a hot-rod, but it seems to take hills well. (I went up the same hills with my empty and light weight 3.5, was able to crawl in 2nd what the Tdi did with slight acceleration in 3rd.) On normal west coast highway hills, can I expect to hold 55mph? I know it is sacrilegious.... but I'm still tempted to go with the easy and cheaper 4.2 option I have lined up.
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  #2  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 07:34 AM
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This is just my opinion. My take us I don't think out of the box these old tdi's are widely known for their hill climb performances. Heat seems to be a problem that needs to be managed very closely. I'm sure they can be tuned to give higher performance but that requires a bigger investment and more frequent maintenance. IMO if someone needs peek performance on the highway then I think a V8 set up will serve them better. If one needs longer range and slower speeds and more low end torque (off road) then a diesel is probably the better choice.

I myself am in the midst of a 200tdi install and from the research I've done this is my expectation. I doubt I'll get much more than 65mph performance on the flats. It sucks but I don't intend on driving it on a daily basis and I've gotten used to not using it when I need to get anywhere quickly/easily.

Clay
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  #3  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 07:51 AM
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In your situation I would just go with the 4.2 switch to the aftermarket manifold and carb and it should be a nice little setup you will be way ahead on money.

If you were starting with a 2.5 petrol or diesel I could see making the change but with your current setup it just makes sense to put in a 4.2 or 4.6.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 09:15 AM
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Clay:
If your 200TDI is running properly, it will go faster than 65 and heat should not be a problem.
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  #5  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 09:51 AM
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I'd agree with Dave. The lt85 is a great transmission. Get a later higher compression engine with 4bbl and call it done for considerably less money.

FWIW a 200 tdi has no heat issues. Being a diesel they don't make heat until put under load. They typically run quite cool, sub 200 degree's. A properly timed and tuned 200 tdi with a 1.4 tcase will propel a heavily kitted 110 on 33's 75mph all day long. While it wont rip away from a stop light like a v8 can, you aren't going to hold up traffic, they are quite torquey.
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  #6  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 10:10 AM
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Clay, in my 90 that motor ran 80 all day long with no issues. I had an electric fan on a switch but never used it... I think your going to be surprised when you get it all together and on the road.
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  #7  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 10:33 AM
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Apologies for hijacking the OP.

Reading and hearing about all the Alisport upgrades and turbo upgrades has me wondering how far and what direction will I need to go to achieve good reliable performance? Somedays it seems I read about tdi woes that has me thinking WTF?

At the end of the day it's a risk and a learning experience I'm totally up for. It's just one of those things I've never done so I'm proceeding like a big pussy with caution.

Clay
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  #8  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 10:39 AM
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Ben, With my 200tdi loaded. I have done 85 on the flats in Southern cali. Locally I have no problem keeping the speed up although on some of the steeper climbs I do drop off a bit as the egts climb. Sylvan hill if traffic cooperates and I can maintain speed and shift appropriately I only drop off to about 52. Coast range is the same as is going over hood, there are a few sections where i drop off a bit but can pick back up as long as I don't get stuck behind someone that doesn't know how to drive and maintain speed in the turns.
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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 11:05 AM
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Ben, I drove 75 all day when I drove to Portland to see you and go to the swap meet. That was with a big load of stuff in the back for Ship's. I also did it at 23mpg. I did drop to 55 on one part of the Blue Mountains, but it went fine.

The 300tdi you're looking at is only $2000 more than the 4.2 you're looking at......just the range you'll get with the diesel and resale value of a 300tdi 110 would be worth it in my opinion.
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  #10  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 11:40 AM
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I agree with all of you!



....I'm just unsure which of you answered my questions....

Because really, it all comes down to my undefinable, but recognizable to me, line in the sand on cost and details in the conversion itself. I am willing to pay extra over the 4.2, but I'd like to have some idea of how much that's going to be in extra parts and labor. I don't want to buy the engine, and THEN realize how much hacking and other parts and money I have to throw at it to make it work.
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  #11  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 11:44 AM
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Ben, it's only money! You cant take it with you!

I took an old hunk-o-junk RRC and put a 300Tdi in it....no way I can *justify* that!
I'd like to do a LS in my other RRC........someday!

FWIW, I think either direction you go will have its pros/cons...

.
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  #12  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 11:49 AM
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If you can't do it yourself then it would be expensive as there are a significant number of hours involved in doing a conversion. It sounds like the tdi setup offered is mostly complete but there are mounts to cut off the frame, new ones to weld in, a different crossmember to be used, drive shafts may or may not be the same. The v8 plumbing from the tank can be re-used and the vent line to the engine bay converted to the fuel return. Really boils down to what you want and what you are willing to comfortably spend.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
.... so I'm proceeding like a big pussy with caution.
Lol yup that's me... makes me grateful daily for all the info and been there done that scenarios.
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  #14  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 12:45 PM
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I recently went from a 3.5 to a 300tdi in my 110 and am glad I did. I drive around 40 miles each day to and from work. I normally cruise 65-70 mph on flat roads and my fuel economy is way better than expected. This past week I have been driving a D1 with a 4.0 and get sick with all the gas I go through.

The wife only minds the 300tdi over 55 mph where the noise is higher than the 3.5. It is louder than the v8 but quieter than my 2.25 petrol on the highway.
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  #15  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 02:47 PM
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Thanks!

Any more last minute info about parts I will need to source?
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  #16  
Old February 22nd, 2015, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBBailey View Post
Thanks!

Any more last minute info about parts I will need to source?
You can get the crossmember and motor mounts that Doug mentioned from Oliver Whiting for a pretty reasonable price.

.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, I'm on my way to take a look at the engine.

Can anyone say with any certainty anything about gear ratios, prop shafts from my truck still being the right length, my transfer case mating to the R380, etc...? These are the big items I'm a bit worried about.
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  #18  
Old March 3rd, 2015, 02:32 AM
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Well I dove in.

I think I'm right in saying Derek gave me a good price for a good kit. It isn't complete, I have some more bits to get, but I think it is something like 95% -- all the big parts are here.

Very excited, but a bit frightened as well. Scared I will get it a all done and something won't be right, or I won't like the results.

One of the main things I'm worried about is doing the hills, since that's when I'll have the wife and kids and gear along. Hills come and go, but.... It matters to me since driving around at density altitudes of 5-6 thousand feet in the summer is exactly what I want to be able to do in this car...

If it will perform a bit better than the 3.5, I'll be happy. If I can get 21 MPG, I'll be happy.

Inform me on must know stuff for this engine and conversion. Thanks!
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  #19  
Old March 3rd, 2015, 08:31 AM
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I don't know how much you know about diesels but IMO that's the place to start. Once you have a good handle on how these diesels work you will be even more poised to understand the information the experts are throwing at you at 100mph.

I think Allisport seems to have plenty of upgrade components that make these diesels go faster. I would caution you to be sure you keep your upgrades balanced so as to avoid exploiting other weaknesses in the system. Piece of cake

Clay
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Old March 3rd, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Yeah, I've been watching these videos, for one: https://www.youtube.com/user/trailerfitter2

Maybe they're all BS, but I'm actually learning something. Maybe.

And I've been browsing through the workshop manual on the 300. And I'm not really worried about speed as much as holding a normal speed. Cruising at 60 is possible in my truck now. If I can cruise at 65 without taxing the engine, I'll be happy. If I can drive the passes at 50-55, I'll be happy. In the 3.5, I'm at 40.

Also, I don't want to compromise MPG.
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