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Thread: Defender V8 Rebuild

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    Default Defender V8 Rebuild

    Hi there all, Newbie here,<br>
    I have recently purchased a Defender 90 TD5 and I want to convert it to a V8, AUTO Box, so that the wife can drive it too. What would be necessary to do this? i.e. what donor car, RR classic or Disco 1?<br>
    I used to own a 50th anniversary defender 90 V8, and foolishly sold it back in 2004, when I moved to France.<br>
    Now I want one again or something pretty similar. I am not a mechanic or a welder, so I wish to do it in the simplest way possible, I know my way around a toolbox, but not into welding and the like.<br>
    I have been reading some forums, and everyone has different ideas on the best way to go, but it all gets a bit confusing when people start quoting LT this D1 that, Want i would like to know is what donor should I buy to get the Defender working with a V8 with the least amount of cutting and chopping? ideally I would just like to just unbolt from donor car and after refurbishment re bolt onto defender, I am willing to buy a new Richards Chassis if that is what is required, just don't want to buy RR classic and find the bits don't fit. and likewise for a Disco 1<br>
    HELP!!!!!!!!!!

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    Engineer Neil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    The oily bits are probably the easiest part of the swap. The gearbox mounts on a variety of brackets, all of which are bolt on components. The engine mounts for the V8 are different to those for a TD5 and you will need to replae those either by getting a local welder to do it or by replacing the chassis. The electrics are relatively simple if you seek out a hot wire injection system, preferably before the introduction of catalytic converters.
    Your biggest problem is going to be getting the completed vehicle through the French Immatriculation system. I doubt it will pass, because of the engine change. AFAIK they do not allow such modifications

    1984 One_Ten CSW with 4.2 V8 Bliss!
    Iyam proud to be a member of the YCHJCYA2PDTHFH club

    previously owned 1981 diesel, 1968 2a, 1994 300Tdi but it was a hardtop

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    The oily bits are probably the easiest part of the swap. The gearbox mounts on a variety of brackets, all of which are bolt on components. The engine mounts for the V8 are different to those for a TD5 and you will need to replae those either by getting a local welder to do it or by replacing the chassis. The electrics are relatively simple if you seek out a hot wire injection system, preferably before the introduction of catalytic converters.
    Your biggest problem is going to be getting the completed vehicle through the French Immatriculation system. I doubt it will pass, because of the engine change. AFAIK they do not allow such modifications
    Hi thanks for that, My intention is to keep the 90 registered in the UK, do all the work then send V5 back to UK for changing then the French won't know anything about it, as it will still be a UK car.
    I thought I would need a new chassis, OH well looks like a Richards chassis will so be on order. will a Richards chassis take any V8 engine Range rover of course. i.e if i buy a 4.6 auto will it fit straight onto new chassis?

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Is a V8 really the best option, you could fit an auto to the TD5. I used a 95 disco for for my auto conversion, but mine was a v8110 beforehand. I sometimes think of converting my 300TDi to auto also, the diesel is much cheaper to run here.

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    I want V8 so does the wife, we have had one before you see, and want to go that route again, I have always been a bit of a power freak, V8s V12s, just love them, also defender freaks here, so only option Defender V8

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    Engineer Neil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Do you intend to register the vehicle in France, or keep it on UK plates?

    1984 One_Ten CSW with 4.2 V8 Bliss!
    Iyam proud to be a member of the YCHJCYA2PDTHFH club

    previously owned 1981 diesel, 1968 2a, 1994 300Tdi but it was a hardtop

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    Disco 1 TDi specialist zollaf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    buy a discovery v8 and use that. the only real thing thats going to be hard is the electrics, the dash etc.. use the complete wiring loom for the engine from the disco and bin most of the tdi stuff. personally i would bin the td5 clocks and use earlier ones, no electronics to worry about. quite straightforwards really, just get new engine mounts welded in place by a mobile welder. cut them off the disc chassis, weld them to the defender. if you want really simple then didtch the efi system and fit carbs. a nice big holley would be good.
    currently between landrovers, just a scabby old audi with 359,000 miles under it.

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Hi there, I am keeping it registered at a UK address, then once the work has been completed I will Export to France,

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Since getting the Landy home I have discovered that it has already got Disc's on the rear and it has a plastic fuel tank mounted in the rear, It is a TD5 and I was wondering if that it is one of the first of that kind from Land Rover. does that mean I don't have to change the axles, why are the axles changed anyway??? is the TD5 chassis the same as the V8 chassis???? will a 4.6 auto from a Range Rover fit straight in??? I have checked over the chassis but it is fine really for it's age, but I WILL be getting a new chassis from Richards, but i need to know whether the 4.6 will fit without tooo many changes, will the props from the RR fit , I will be an expert by the time I have finished, (hopefully). I want a 4.6 because I just like the power, had a V8 50th anniversary before and want that or better.

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    Disco 1 TDi specialist zollaf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    all landrovers went to discs in the 90's, and all td5 90's have a rear mounted plastic tank. yes, a v8 will fit, you will need to weld engine mounts. its a lt230 transfer box you already have, same as used on everything, so if you keep the gearbox in the same position then it should all just bolt up. i dont know anyone thats done a td5 yet, you might be the first.
    currently between landrovers, just a scabby old audi with 359,000 miles under it.

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    Engineer Sandy M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanynam View Post
    ..... will the props from the RR fit....
    No the Range Rover rear prop will be too long.

    If you mount the transfer box in the original position, the Defender rear prop will do the job it was designed for.

    You might need to fit the RR front prop, if it is the 'skinny' type, to clear the offside exhaust downpipe.

    Slight flaw in the plan in changing from a Td5 to 4.6 petrol could be the MOT. AFAIK the MOT will presume that the car will meet the emission standards for a petrol engine relevant to the year it was registered. That may require much wiring, catalytic converter and ECU work. That makes the 10 minute job of welding some engine mounts pale into insignificance for me.

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    All rover V8 engines have the same basic external dimensions. Thus if one will fit they will all fit. The tubular manifolds from the P38 will not fit a Defender chassis. I tried many years ago and I think it was the left hand manifold ended up directly above the chassis. The chassis are different, apart from the engine mounts the TD5 has a different rear crossmember. The gearbox crossmember is different as well, though the blade type xmember on the TD5 makes it easier to find an exhaust which will get past it without fouling.
    I don't know if he is still in business but there was a fellow called Mark Falmer who rewrote the fuel map for Rover V8s. Managed to double the power output of mine in an hour, as well as improving the fuel economy.

    1984 One_Ten CSW with 4.2 V8 Bliss!
    Iyam proud to be a member of the YCHJCYA2PDTHFH club

    previously owned 1981 diesel, 1968 2a, 1994 300Tdi but it was a hardtop

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Thanks for the info, I am not moving the engine mounts I am going to purchase a new Richards Galvanized chassis and rebuild everything refurbished or new.

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    I am looking at a 4.6 but people seem to be trying to turn me off that option in Favour of the 3.5 carbs version. but I would like more power,

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    Default Re: Defender V8 Rebuild

    Hi there thanks for the info, I thought that the MOT thing would make me do that, in that case so be it, as long as I can do it, or get someone to do it that is all I am worried about, I just want the 4.6 fitted to a new Richards V8 NAS chassis and do what ever it takes to get it going.

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