Inspired by Robert’s Chevy/GM inline 6-292 conversion thread, I recently took on and just completed an engine conversion in my 1992 RHD Exmod Defender 90. All I can say is that the conversion is AWESOME! My 90 is now enjoyable to drive, can pull into traffic without fear of getting rear ended and doesn’t have the smell and knock of a diesel, which for me, was wicked desirable (I know diehards like the diesels). It is actually quite fast now and pulls great in all gears (hills I use to have to drop down to 2/3 gear are nothing in 4th). I still have some local reliability runs to make before I take any long trips, but I’m feeling optimistic.
I replaced my pitiful 12J (2.5NA) with a Chevy inline 6 (250/4.1L) from a 1968 Chevy Camaro. Although there are cheaper options, I chose to rebuild the engine locally, which did cost a bit more than some online options, but I wanted that local connection and ability to talk to the rebuilder face to face. This option did take a long time and did screw up my summer deadline, but it eventually came together and I’m hoping to enjoy at least 2 months of New England weather before putting her away for the winter.
-I ended up getting a Scotty’s Adapter from Robert because his bell housing adapters weren’t ready yet and I was trying to get it on the road before summer, however I do plan to swap it out once his become available because I like his design better. They are the same depth, so it is an easy swap. Engine and transmission fit bell housing adapter with ease.
-I ended up having the motor mounts fabricated locally by a local hot rod shop, as I again was hoping to get it in the road for the summer and Robert’s RHD 250 mounts weren’t ready yet. Because of this I paid much more than I suspect his will cost, but it was the decision I made to try to get on the road faster. The mounts use the original chassis mount locations and original rubber pucks, so no changes needed and they just bolt in. The engine aligns with the mounts like it was meant to be there.
-My stock bonnet clears the top engine bits no problem.
-My engine had a 1 barrel Rochester Monojet carburetor, so I just rebuilt that and plan to use that for now. I would like to get the Holly Sniper EFI eventually, but need to figure out a new intake manifold too, so I’m going to wait. The 1brrl Monojet seems to work fine so far.
-Although I didn’t have to, I ended up switching my LT77 with a R380 stumpy from Ashcroft, but I still have the 1.4 LT230 and it seems fine even though it isn’t the 1.22.
-I decided to buy a new fuel tank and run a new fuel line rather than cleaning out and reusing the 27 year old tank. It was cheap enough, so I figured it was a good choice.
-I decided to buy and use the Revotec V8 electric fan kit and install it on my 2.5NA radiator, which was only a year old. The electric fans work great and eliminate the manual fan, which was around 3.5” away from radiator (with a 2” extension). The fans keep the engine running at 180 degrees no problem. the top radiator hose is from a BMW 318i. The fans weren’t designed for this radiator, but fit great and use the stock mounting pins and lower brackets.
- I have no crowding in any areas the engine at all, so the alternator and starter both have plenty of room. I currently have manual steering, which I don’t mind at all, so I don’t have a need for a power steering pump bracket. That said I will likely get a bracket from Robert in case I ever add it back (had PAS on it originally, but it never worked, so got a manual box to simplify).
-I purchased an inexpensive starter and alternator from DB Electrical for under $120 for both.
-I added an Electrical VDO oil pressure gauge and sender along with an Electrical VDO water temp gauge with sender. Both seem to work great...runs at or below 180. I did have to get a small 1/8” npt extension (1.5” from Lowe’s) to extend the oil pressure sender due to the thickness of the side covers and the block shape.
-I purchased nice cast valve and side covers from 12Bolt.com. These are thick, but very nice. The fins on the side cover had to be dremeled a bit for the distributor cap to fit.
-I am currently using my original exhaust with a hodgepodge downpipe, but plan to either get a new downpipe made this week or an entirely new exhaust at a local muffler shop. Current exhaust is fine if I get a new downpipe, but I would like to add a little rumble to it.
-The install can definitely be done in a weekend with a kit. Mine took longer since I pieced it together myself, but the install and removal is easy and with a kit would take out the guess work. I didn’t have any experience taking an engine out before this year and now I can remove and replace it within 1 day no problem.
-I used a throttle cable from a LHD 300tdi, which is pretty cheap and made my own bracket that mounts off the exhaust manifold.
Here are some pics...
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk