More work today on the Land Rover Series 1 engine conversion which was still in the ‘planning stage’ last time I wrote about it. This particular Land Rover has already benefitted with a rebuild by its last owner who did a very nice job of fitting a new galvanised chassis. Last year we fitted an uprated gearbox and disc front brakes in readiness for this year’s project which is the fitment of a 200 tdi engine taken from an early Discovery.
The 200 tdi conversion is a popular one – so much so that it has been suggested that there are now more ‘Series’ Land Rovers running with them than there are Discoveries. It is also in essence a very easy conversion because the later engine was based on the original Diesel cylinder block, meaning that it bolts up to the gearbox with little modification and that the engine mountings line up with the chassis if the original mounting rubbers are to be used.
The aim is to produce a vehicle with a “factory look” under the bonnet and which will be suitable for daily use, so some of the smaller details of the conversion have made for very interesting work.
The engine was removed from the Discovery and after a thorough clean and re-paint it was treated to a timing belt kit and a new water pump. The new installation won’t be using the viscous fan from the Discovery and rather than just cut the thread off the front of the new pump we decided to machine it flush for cosmetic reasons. Similarly there will be no need for a power steering pump or air conditioning compressor so the belt tensioner spigot was machined off the front cover plate and an aluminium plug tig welded into the casting before machining flush and burnishing to a matching finish.
The flywheel housing needed to come off the new engine for some minor machining work and the opportunity was taken to replace the crankshaft rear seal at the same time. With the new engine ready and subsequently fitted into the engine bay, the next job was to attend to the mountings. Although the original mountings will bolt straight on using the brackets from the ‘Series’ vehicle it was decided to use the more sophisticated Discovery items in order to gain extra smoothness. Usual practise when doing this conversion seems to be the welding of new brackets to the chassis in order to adapt the later mounts. It seems a shame to destroy some of the galvanising on a nice new chassis so a bolt – on conversion has been designed instead.
The trickiest part of the job was the left hand mounting so this was tackled first. It uses a new bracket which attaches to the chassis using the three holes provided for the left hand drive steering box. These holes have tubes already welded into them so that the stress will be shared by both sides of the chassis box section. Unfortunately these holes were only designed for 5/16″ bolts and in order to equate to the cross section of the 1/2″ bolts deemed neccesary for the cylinder block side of the mounting, more bolts are needed. Using five M8 bolts equates exactly to the correct cross sectional area, so two extra holes have been drilled lower down the chassis leg. The whole bracket is then tied in with distance tubes to another non standard bracket which replaces the redundant left hand drive steering bracket and ties into the passenger footwell at the correct point. This latter bracket is shaped to allow clearance for the outlet elbow from the turbocharger compressor to the intercooler – the turbo and manifold assembly having been changed for a reconditioned Defender item which gives better exhaust routing. The Right hand bracket has now also been completed and the next job is to manufacture a sandwich plate for the new mounting which will provide attachment points for brake pipe clips and for the battery tray. The battery is to remain in its original location under the bonnet but the tray will now need to be detachable in order to allow engine removal in future.