design - Land Rover section


Converting a LHD Series Land Rover 109 to a Land Rover 200 Tdi engine

Mark and Forrest Clifton


Note: Mark used a 200 tdi from a Defender and used a series earbox.  The vehicle was a LHD early IIA 109 four cyl. pertol.

The 200 Tdi will fit in the engine bay of a Series Land Rover without any cutting of the bulkhead. It also can be made to bolt directly to the Series Land Rover gearbox, which makes that part easy.

The original Series passenger side engine mount is far too long. You need to cut it off and fabricate another.   You will also need to cut off the battery box and air filter mount, to make room for the injector pump.   The diesel is more powerful so I used substantially thicker steel to fabricate the mount.  I retained the engine mount bolted to the engine's right side because it is very compact and gives you enough room to work.  

The next problem is with clearance for the series steering box.   The turbo down pipe is too close to the output arm of the box.   To remedy this I added a shim to move it away from the turbo down pipe. I used 3/4" aluminium and machined out a piece to fit perfectly between the fire wall mount and the steering box.  It is important to make a spacer place and not just to shim the box away from the motor with large washers or such things. The box needs the surface area of a plate for strength. If you do not do this correctly you run the possibility of cracking your steering box.  The shift of the box away from the motor is small enough that it is not mandatory to move the top of the steering column, but it is noticeable.  You can do this simply by drilling new holes for the bracket holding the column in the cab.   The fire wall support that stems from the frame up to the steering box also needs to be shimmed down at the frame. I used the same materials as above to complete this.

The next dilemma is how to mount the radiator and intercooler.  In the Defender they come in a frame together, but because of the steering relay unit and the clearance needed for this you need to split then apart. I wanted to use the 200 Tdi radiator complete with its oil cooler.  You can use the series radiator and an auxiliary oil cooler but you may run into cooling problems.

To fit the radiator and intercooler in front of the motor, I switched to an electric fan, cut the old radiator supports off so the grill was only about an inch deep and then built a new front structure to support the fenders, grill and cooling system. The structure I made is from 1/4" thick 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" stainless steel. This was much more sturdy than needed. I cut and bolted two vertical pieces to the outside of the frame, and then ran a piece across the top connecting them. I then took the frame that used to surround the radiator and intercooler and made a lower radiator support right behind the front cross member. I mounted the radiator as far right as possible to avoid the steering relay. The intercooler then mounted slightly in front of the radiator's left side, its top mounting in the new front structure and its bottom in the front frame cross member. The inlets and outlets on the intercooler will barely fit without hitting the steering relay, but unless you buy a different intercooler this is the best way, and it works.

The top of the radiator is supported be brackets I made by running from the top cross bar to the radiator. The other problem with mounting the radiator and grill so close is that there is no room for headlights. The steel I used for my front structure did not allow enough room for the lights in their normal early Series II spots.  If you kept the lights in the early Series II location you would have to move the grill forward a slight bit. Instead of doing this I moved the lights to the fenders.

The next steps are rigging up some fuel lines, mounting the fuel filter and battery under the driver seat. You also need to hook up a new gas pedal cable linkage. I just use a choke cable with a heavy spring for this. The exhaust is also an issue.  I had a custom setup put in. A local garage bent up different pipes and made a good high hanging system for a very reasonable price.

Hoses for the radiator will not be easy to find, I made the lower hose with a T junction running up to the reservoir that you easily mount on the fender side.  The upper hose is short , and I took a long time to find, If you have a flexible hose, this would be easy.

The gauges and instruments are not connectable. I used a temp sensor in the radiator to activate the electric fan. I drilled out and tapped the cap above the thermostat to mount a temp gauge. there is conveniently a nipple on this cap that was easy to drill here. and that's it.

The engine is a defender unit, and it is totally sick. The turbo is mounted on top of the motor.  This project cannot be done with a disco motor without changing to power steering. I used a stock tranny and a hi ratio transfer case, with stock ring and pinions. The turbo whistle is not for the faint of heart, I insulated the whole fire wall, but with a huge K & N filter, the turbo noise is still loud. I think this is awesome, its still quieter than a stock rover at 50mph and especially an overdrive. Hood insulation and a different intake and a muffled exhaust would also quiet it down. I would recommend 3.54's even with the hi ratio. I haven't tried it but my rig could use another gear, so it would probably be alright. I can run (not floored) up the hills in vermont on 89 and 91 and have not problem going 75 or higher.  My speedo is not too accurate.  I run 235/85's which are approx. 31.5" tires, and it has plenty of power, the next set will be taller.   By the way, in low range first gear with 4.7 R&P, the diesel will crawl over anything.  I have crawled over a 15" high median in a parking lot without my foot on the throttle.

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