Defender Source Forum banner

1 - 20 of 816 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
This is going to be my project thread for the ongoing restoration of my 94 Defender 90.



I bought this truck 2 years ago and I've been fixing it up a little here and there since with the ultimate goal of returning it to it's former glory, but with some improvements. :)

I've always been a BMW guy and this is my first Land Rover. I've always wanted a Defender though. Before I was old enough to drive I remember sitting in one and dreaming at the auto show when they were new. My dad told me, "This is a real Land Rover." One of the biggest things that drew me to BMW though was their engines. I think they are great. And since I've had the Defender I've been thinking about putting a BMW engine in it. I've done an engine conversion before so I knew mostly what it would entail. I had a 88 325is that I swapped a S54 from a E46 M3. (Build thread here: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=237727) The S54 is my favourite BMW engine, but as a motorsport engine I felt it wouldn't be appropriate for a 4x4 vehicle, so I decided that a 3.0L M54 should go in the Defender. A good friend of mine has had a couple vehicles with that engine, including his Z4 and it's a pleasure to drive. It feels very refined. So I bought a low mileage M54 from LKQ that came out of a 2006 X3.



Luckily most of the major parts to do this swap are available since Land Rover built the M52 powered Defender 2.8i in South Africa and the M51 diesel powered P38 Range Rover. I found the bell housing I need on eBay UK from a seller who was a pleasure to deal with. They also included the pinion shaft.



I bought a new Valeo clutch kit and LuK dual mass flywheel from carparts4less.co.uk.



Because my truck is left-hand drive the location of the steering box will be in the way of the M54 power steering pump, so I bought an electric version from a Mercedes A-Class.



After I fit the new engine I'll see if the steering box is in the way of the alternator as well. If it is I'll have to move it up a bit or relocate it to the other side of the engine.

Since the M54 is drive-by-wire I got a new electronic accelerator pedal from the BMW dealer. I looked into using the TD5 gas pedal but the number of pins on the connector are different and from looking over the wiring diagrams I couldn't tell if the wiring would be compatible. We'll just need to make a bracket for the BMW pedal.



To fit the new clutch I got special tool LRT 12-123.



This week I started the work and yesterday I got the old engine out. :)







Right now I'm waiting for my tuner to finish flashing my ECU and for some Defender 2.8i engine mounts coming from South Africa. In the meantime I'll put a rear sump oil pan on the engine and get the new pinion shaft installed in the R380.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,623 Posts
Check out the ingenuity from the hipster in the Hollister. Only joking. ;)
Impressive direction and collection of the factory and custom bits to pull this off. Nice work!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,688 Posts
Very cool! I agree with down-shift - awesome how you are using so any LR parts. Very interested in how this works out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Unfortunately the Hollister shirt is no more. The back ripped out when I was pulling on the engine hoist. I felt like the incredible hulk. lol
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,641 Posts
And he didn't even take off the brushguard folks! Bravo!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,618 Posts
How do you stay so well-coiffed during a motor pull?

I cant do a thing with my hair...

Nice Bimmer.


.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,148 Posts
I would consider swapping the steering box to a P38a or scout II steering box. They mount outside the rails. Having owned a DBW 530i, the pedal mounting will be interesting to say the least with the shape of the D90 bulkhead.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,563 Posts
Very cool and inspiring project. Pending your outcome this may be my next project into a 110 or a 130 (Relax Bill & Jeff).
Dave, no worries...we know your skills haven't quite reached his level...:rolleyes

------ Follow up post added July 10th, 2014 02:30 PM ------

How do you stay so well-coiffed during a motor pull?

I cant do a thing with my hair...

Nice Bimmer.


.
I'm glad to see someone other than myself with nice hair like that! Very brave of you to do a mod of this type, wish it was on a salvage, but to each his own! will be following with interest and I like the other thread also!! :thumb::popcorn:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,986 Posts
Andrew, take the ribbing from these guys with a grain of salt and know that it would be a lot worse if they didn't respect you just a little but for doing your own wrenching.

You may as well replace the top end gaskets and PCV breather kit on that M54 while you're in there! Otherwise it's a solid lump for sure. I wanted to transplant an M54 into my '73 E9 but it would have been so costly that I might as well went with a full on S38 swap. It's nice that you were able to locate the bellhousing etc. that makes a huge difference when you don't have to have stuff fabricated.
Good luck with the rest of the build
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
This is friggin awesome; interested to see this build, the 3.0 would have a nice bit of power in a 90
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Andrew, take the ribbing from these guys with a grain of salt and know that it would be a lot worse if they didn't respect you just a little but for doing your own wrenching.

You may as well replace the top end gaskets and PCV breather kit on that M54 while you're in there! Otherwise it's a solid lump for sure. I wanted to transplant an M54 into my '73 E9 but it would have been so costly that I might as well went with a full on S38 swap. It's nice that you were able to locate the bellhousing etc. that makes a huge difference when you don't have to have stuff fabricated.
Good luck with the rest of the build
Okay. :)
That stuff won't be too hard to get to later on so I'll just leave it for now since the engine has low miles. We just replaced an engine in a E46 328i because it failed due to a bad CCV, so I know about the problem. I guess it kinda turned the oil into mayonnaise during a cold snap this past winter and injected it into the cylinders and exhaust. After I get the engine started I'll put a balloon over the dipstick tube and see if it inflates. :) So did you put the S38 in your E9?

------ Follow up post added July 11th, 2014 10:26 AM ------

Interesting, one of my mechanics is doing a similar build using a M54 older version, but then the M version. Probably will be the only M powered Defender.
That's very cool. Will he be using it for racing? A guy in South Africa built one with a M engine. I guess the M engine's bearings didn't take too kindly to the off-road treatment though and he tore up some R380's. See my post about it here: http://www.defendersource.com/forum/showpost.php?p=540463&postcount=34
 
1 - 20 of 816 Posts
Top