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  #1  
Old June 16th, 2012, 12:08 PM
neduro
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Ned Suesse
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V8 Engine Swap

After a month of living with the Defender as purchased, I find my impatience with being a rolling roadblock overpowering my philosophical attachment to not being in a rush. The reality of this thing is that while it is happy to cruise at 60-65ish in 4th, 5th is basically useless and the truck drops back to about 50 on a flat grade in top gear.

So I'm thinking about an engine swap.

Today, I have a 3.5 V8 from an old Range Rover, fuel injected, mated to an R380/ LT230 (1.2). The truck is on 33's, so it's geared really tall- when I've used hills and drafting to hit 75, the motor is still not revving much.

I've got a line on a complete 2001 Disco engine, including the full wire harness, etc. My thought is that dropping this in would give me a 65+mph cruise speed, presumably better economy (now varying between 14 on the open road (flogging it) and <10 in town (flogging it).

Anyone done something like this before? What should I be on the lookout for? My immediate concern is that while the physical swap may be relatively easy, the electronics on the new motor may not play well with my stone age (1987) wiring harness.

Oh, and a gratuitous pic, just for fun...

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  #2  
Old June 16th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Why not just change the transfer box to a 1.4:1. it'll pull much better.
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  #3  
Old June 16th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Ned,

Didn't know you made the jump from KTM to Defender... (long time ADV'er myself)

Any thoughts to swapping out the gas power plant for a TdI and taylor the gearing to your intended use?

Should solve most of your problems with mileage, initial power off the line, and when geared right your top end should be a little more manageable.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 08:00 PM
neduro
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Re: TDI swap- more effort and expense than I'm willing to invest, I'd just find another one that already has the motor I think. I'm still trying to decide if this thing is for me, on one hand I love it, on the other hand, I sometimes wonder if I'd be better off in a Rubicon. There, I'm sure I'll get stoned for that.

Re: Gearing- ultimately, the motor is just flat weak. So, going to 31's and/or a 1.4 T-case would definitely improve things, but the racer in me says it just needs 2x the HP it has right now, and then everything will be fine.

Today's project is figuring out why the turn signals quit working. I think it's just the relay... except I still haven't found the darn thing. I do like working on it, very satisfying that it's not always smarter than me (unlike all the modern stuff I own).
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  #5  
Old June 16th, 2012, 11:04 PM
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The 3.5 is a dog, swapping the tcase would be cheapest. It might be worthwhile to check the timing and overall condition of th ignition system etc.

Bosch 4.0 in a grey market defender yeah right.
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  #6  
Old June 16th, 2012, 11:21 PM
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the swap is possible, and better yet you can transfer all the stuff from your 3.5 onto the donnor motor.. you will need a cam for the 3.9 or 4.2 so the distributor can be driven... do a search on engine swaps, they are all over. many of us have done this popular swap/upgrade.
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  #7  
Old June 16th, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Turn signals may very well be your hazard switch dying.
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  #8  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Well, it's been an interesting few weeks. I decided to go ahead with the swap, and went to D&D for the various parts I needed (cam with distributor drive, gaskets, etc).

So, out came the 3.5, and in went the 2002 4.0. I budgeted 3 days for the work, it's now been about 2 weeks, so I guess I was optimistic as usual. Replaced lots of things that I wasn't sure I'd need at the outset- clutch, distributor, tranny seals, etc, and found a million things to sort out "as long as I'm in here" like wiring, fuel lines, etc. That's all done and happy. So much more confidence in the truck now that I've seen it from the inside!

The truck currently runs and drives (well, but less quickly than I was hoping!) on the new engine with the old intake/ FI system... but...

The new engine came with a much improved intake manifold and plenum, which I'd like to use. I think there's a bunch of power and efficiency to be gained with it. I've already sorted out all the plumbing on the thing, but the injectors in it (Bosch 0280155787) are high impedance, and my computer will only drive low impedance ones. So now, I'm trying to figure out where to source low impedance ones with similar flow to what's in there, and then of course we'll find out if tuning is required.

If anyone is FI-knowledgable, or can point me in the right direction, I'd sure appreciate it! Thanks in advance.

Interesting factoid- according to a longtime LR tech that swung by to point and laugh, many of the engines labeled as 4.0s are actually 4.6s- apparently, Rover didn't want to re-smog certify, so they started shipping the new engine while calling it the old. I haven't measured mine to find out what it actually displaces... apparently that's the only way to know for sure.
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  #9  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 03:31 PM
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so you are going to run a 4.6 on a 3.5 13CUX computer?
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  #10  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Moot point now, but what's all this talk about a 3.5 V8 being a dog. I rebuilt my 3.5 with a 4 barrel carb with the help of D&D. I have the LT95 4 speed with a 0.9:1 transfer case gearing and I am running 32's. I can drive as fast as I need to. I have pulled a GPS veried 85 MPH before backing off due to lack of control vice lack of HP. This is in a 109 Series - so a D90 should be fine with a 3.5 V8. I even pulled a small trailer over the mountains of Western PA going to the Wilds this spring - no worries.

Sure a 4.6 will have more HP than the 3.5 but do not disrespect a well running 3.5.
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  #11  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
so you are going to run a 4.6 on a 3.5 13CUX computer?
That's the goal. Have several local datapoints indicating it should work fine, and indeed, it does work fine on the old injection system.
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  #12  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Use a 14cux computer with a chip in it (RPI or whoever) or even as is. It will plug into your harness. To specify non cat tuning a diode will need to be sliced into harness (PRC8007). The 3.5 tuning will not feed that 4.6 and the lean burn will damage it long term.
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  #13  
Old September 4th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Did you replace the cam (and lifters)? My experience is that most of the "my 3.5 is a dog" is because the cam has worn down to a near circle.
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  #14  
Old September 4th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Ned, I have read of a few guys using mustang / ford injectors in order to replace the rover units, the caviat no one has reported back on pros or cons other than it looks good on paper because they flow better.
locate a 14 cux ecu from a 93 to 95 rover, if you can get the harness it would be even better.
the ideal unit would be from a long wheel base range wich ran the 4.2.
if you want to dissect a blue print of the harness download the rave "land rover resource.com"
it is free and it covers all the way from 87 to 2003, that way you may compare numbers and fine tune to your needs by combining parts.
best of luck..
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  #15  
Old September 4th, 2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
Interesting factoid- according to a longtime LR tech that swung by to point and laugh, many of the engines labeled as 4.0s are actually 4.6s- apparently, Rover didn't want to re-smog certify, so they started shipping the new engine while calling it the old. I haven't measured mine to find out what it actually displaces... apparently that's the only way to know for sure.

I got a good laugh out of this, but I don't for a second believe it. I can only assume your LR tech buddy thinks that the mid year 2002 trucks were the ones LR was hiding 4.6s in? In mid year 2002 they did away with the engine oil cooler, went to a different style engine fan, etc which were changes in preparation for the switch to the 4.6 in 2003. But the 4.6 blocks that were used in 2003 were not machined properly and there were alignment problems with the timing cover- you may have heard of the numerous oil pump problems related to this. This was same timing cover that they started using mid-year 2002, and they continued using it through 2004. If they had been installing complete 4.6 engines in the 2002 wouldn't it have been causing oil pump failures too?


Either way, thanks for complicating my life. From this point on I will be compelled to search for the top secret 4.6 trucks...
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  #16  
Old September 4th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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86-93 Ford Mustang 19LB injectors. You can find a full set on Fleabay for cheap. Jegs has a set of o-rings cheap. Virtually every Ford product during those years used the Bosch injectors. There are millions of them in the USA. Don't pay more than $50 for a set of 8.
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  #17  
Old September 4th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crown14 View Post


Either way, thanks for complicating my life. From this point on I will be compelled to search for the top secret 4.6 trucks...
LOL I have seen a 4.0 block with 4.6 pistons and a 4.0 block with one 4.6 piston. Both new in the green wrapper.
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  #18  
Old September 4th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij

LOL I have seen a 4.0 block with 4.6 pistons and a 4.0 block with one 4.6 piston. Both new in the green wrapper.
Aren't production tolerances beautiful?
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Old September 8th, 2012, 11:02 AM
neduro
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Thanks for the replies, folks.

junkyddog11, great to meet you. I was visiting Maine last week and dropped in- Matt has a great shop and was happy to share some much-appreciated info with me.

Yes, the truck got a new D&D Cam/ lifters. The old one looked fine, although I didn't do any measuring. I suspect the loss of power had more to do with the lack of vacuum advance on the distributor, fuel injectors that looked gunky at best, and so on.

Currently on the lookout for a cheap 14CUX, but it should start and run on the old computer so that's lower on the priority list.

After lots of going in circles with research last week, a primary and a backup plan have emerged.

Primary: The hope is that I can use the new intake. So, I've got Bosch injectors from an 85 Volvo 740 Turbo, which are low impedance and the computer happily fires, and which have the same flow as the rover injectors (old or new, both were about 190cc) but which are about 1/2" longer than the high impedance ones that I'm removing.

That creates a problem where the fuel rail bumps into the bottom of the plenum... but the fuel rail is huge, really tall profile, so we are cutting that apart and modifying to fit. With a little (OK, a lot of) luck, that will give us what we want.

If that fails, the fall-back plan is to use the old intake, shorten the velocity stacks, buy a new fuel rail (mine uses rubber mounted injectors, not O-ring style) and get some of the ford injectors listed above (if the Volvo ones won't work).

Update to follow sometime next week when I get a few minutes to work on the project.
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  #20  
Old October 1st, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Happiness in a picture

Well, she's back up and running and the project is a qualified success.

Engine Bay

To start from my last update, the Volvo injectors were too high a flow, I realized after really digging into the specs. So, I found injectors from an old Jag that had about the right flow and weren't too expensive new, and got 8 of those. There's a wide range in fuel injector prices, I found, and many that are very near in spec, so it's worth trying a bunch of part numbers before ordering.

We cut the fuel rail apart and lowered its profile to make room for the modern plenum, got that all arranged, and then figured out the plumbing to work with the airbox/ snorkel. Then, we had to make a thermostat work (machined the manifold and made new fittings for the hoses), resolve all the sensor placements (more fabrication), make room for all our vacuum/ plumbing (more fab) and so on. In the process, we dug into the wiring and corrected a bunch of niggles there... all in all, I'm pretty happy with everything under the hood now.

This weekend, I drove her up to Buena Vista (to get a new puppy with my GF), and then to Salida to compete in a motorcycle trials (I got my butt kicked). The truck is much more drivable- we even broke the speed limit a few times. But it's not quite where I wanted it to be. More on that in a minute.

Overall, the easiest part of the project was swapping the block. The hard part was everything else- resolving all the little snafus from the trucks previous life, getting myself comfortable with each and every little detail so that I trust the truck in the places we're going to go.

The computer on this truck is a 4CU, not the later 13/14CUX, and I'm starting to think that must be the limiting factor. So, my next step is to research computers and MAF- the little bit of reading I've done indicates that if the MAF is out of adjustment, there is a major price to be paid.

Anyone recommend how to learn more about the pros and cons of the various options?

Overall, it's been a fun project, even if the budget is double the projection and the time invested is a lot more than that!
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