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Old 08-18-2007, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Chevy V8 conversion: help needed

Hi all,

Iíve been trawling the internet trying to find out a bit more on the subject of Chevy V8 engine conversions. Thanks to my vehicles previous owners before last my í86 Land Rover 90 had itís original diesel NA replaced with a 2.5l TD (new crate block). Itís a great little engine but ideally I need something that will allow me to cruise at 70/80+ mph on the Motorway (or private road if itís over the speed limit obviously) and still have extra to give if needs be (my fiancee and I have decided that itís primarily going to be used on the road).

Luckily, petrol consumption is not too much of an issue as we both work from home so itís mainly going to be a car to have fun with. Although putting in a Rover V8 is a popular choice, Iíve heard very good reports on the Chevy small block 350. Although Iím currently doing an engine conversion on my Nissan 300ZX (so far itís up to 2 years dropping in a Nissan VH45DE V8 because all the parts have had to be designed and custom fabricated, mainly by my good friend whoís doing the swap along with me on both our cars) I admit to not having much knowledge of either Land Rovers or Chevy engines! However, despite this, Iím a reasonably competent grease monkey myself (as long as I have a good run up to it ) and my friend, although not a Landy owner, is a very experienced engine guy and heís offered to do the swap as long as I can supply the necessary parts. I was originally going to find a garage to do it on my behalf as unfortunately Iím often in and out of hospital but with him stepping up to the plate, it looks like it might just be do-able as a DIY jobÖfingers crossed. Iíve heard itís a popular conversion in Australia but sadly Iíve not been able to find much information on it so far.

I ďthinkĒ Iíve found a place that might be able to supply a 5.7l lump in the UK (although other sources would be good to know as itís by no means a definite) however, what Iíd like to ask is:

a) is there an ďoff the shelfĒ kit available for this conversion (adaptor plates etc) and
b) what parts would I need to get?

If itís possible to get together a list (ideally also places to source the parts), that would be great. I imagine that with an engine like this the stock manual gearbox and transmission wouldnít be up to the job and, of course, the brakes and suspension would need changing. Any help that people could give me as to what the build entails, what, if anything, would need fabricating/altering, and in compiling a list of necessary parts would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers (and sorry for the long first post!)

Leigh.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What you need to consider still is the fact that the Rover power train won't take the torque. Your talkings diffs, t/case and tranny, much less the fact that it would be way to front heavy.
By the way, as far as I know no one makes any kits.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Do a search of Marks Adaptors in OZ. They have the kit you need.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p76rangie
Do a search of Marks Adaptors in OZ. They have the kit you need.
That is exactly what I needed, thank you!
: http://www.marks4wd.com/products/eng...evy-V6-V8.html

I now need to find out what the options are regarding clutch/gearbox-transmission as I'd prefer to uprate if it's needed rather than chance anything.

p76rangie, would you happen to know if there are any Australian forums you'd recommend where I might find write ups on similar conversions?
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The main issue that you will have in putting a EFI Chev motor is the computer. Most of the Chev V8s will come out of an auto. The computer system wants to talk to the auto and gets upset when it is not there. So you will either have to find a V8 out of a manual to reprogram the computer. Not sure whether the Chev V8s in the US run the same computer as here, but if they run the AC Delco unit, this site can provide software to reprogram the ECU to what you want.
http://www.kalmaker.com.au/page17.html
In regard to what to upgrade in the drive train to handle the extra power, it is about the same as what you would do for off-road anyway. A ZF4 auto should handle the power. The old original combined 4 speed manual and transfer case will. Of the 5 speed manuals, some are stronger than others. Transfer cases are not normally an issue.

Put in McNamara Hypoid diffs and lockers, upgrade the axles and CVs. There is a mob in the US that are now doing upgraded axles and CVs that have proved to be particularly strong and the comp guys are importing them here. I hust can't remember the name at the moment.

But there are guys here running Gen3 Chev V8s with relatively standard drivetrains without great issue. But it depends on how heavy your foot is and when you choose to use it.
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you want info on modifying 4X4's, the guys on this site will probably help the most. Just take into account that most of them are Nissan and Toyota drivers and will try to get you to put those parts in. If you can find WAyne Smith or Mike Smith on there, they are the top Comp team here that is still driving a Rangie.
http://www.outerlimits4x4.com/
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One VERY important thing to concider is this...is the cost of the refit going to outweigh the value of the 90? I'm not one to talk as i have just spent over£6k on a chassis refit and engine teardown on a 27 year old 109. what I am saying is an 86 90 with a new TD is worth alot more than a V8 any day. Being that V8 90's here in the UK are quite common You could upgrade quite easily without a massive swap cost.Is the Chassis sound enough to warrant such a cost as the average life expectancy for a Defender Chassis is only 10 years.Max! You could sell your Tdi and get a solid donor 90 and do the swap? If you are and Idiot like me and have a sentimental atatchment to you truck then go for it mate.
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Series 3 guy
the average life expectancy for a Defender Chassis is only 10 years.Max!
That might be the case where they put salt on the roads. Here, I would expect 30 years minimum, unless it has been used on the beach.
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p76rangie
That might be the case where they put salt on the roads. Here, I would expect 30 years minimum, unless it has been used on the beach.
Good point!! In the UK we salt the roads too much.It is a car killer. A chassis on a defender/series doesnt stand a chance.The chassis on my 109 lasted 27 years but thats only due to the fact things like the outriggers were replaced and cross members were swapped as well as continualy welded. Austrailia must be the perfect enviroment for the Defender.I'm jelous!!!!!!!
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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p76rangie: thanks again for the info Luckily I'm saving my lead foot for the V8 300ZX, lol

Series 3 guy: I'm lucky in that the chassis/bulkhead is sound and that, all in all, she would be an ideal candidate for a swap. The thought of taking a day or two to swap in a 200Tdi (Disco) is very appealing (despite the small downpipe modification ) and my head keeps telling me to do it but my heart says V8 all the way. Again, a Rover V8 would be a less tricky route but I'd at least like to try and see if a Chevy conversion could be do-able. By keeping her well looked after, I'm hoping to have many years of motoring pleasure out of her yet and so she has to be right. For me, that means an engine swap. Luckily I'm no stranger to going a bit mad on older cars! My 1991 Nissan Z32 has had ridiculous things done in the name of it's nissan V8 swap and thinking of the cost makes my legs go funny
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have always wondered who actually made the conversion kit, and now I know. As for an EFI GM 305/350/400 ci V8 you can get a crate motor that has EFI on it installed already, with a computer/driver that doesn't need an electronically controlled tranny as a reference, plus the ZF trannies use a cable for the throttle valve in the tranny, so it is down to adjusting the cable so it will coincide with throttle position.

Or if your GM V8 is carb-ed than, you don't have to worry about a computer as the heart of your motor.

The only other issue is making the dash not have any idiot lights coming on with the conversion, if the vehicle is a daily driver. As far as I know the PCM for the rover EFI motors are not linked to the ABS or SRS modules if the vehicle is equipped with such systems, for instance my 95 LWB.

But now that I see that there is an actual company that makes an actual kit, it has my possible interest as a project for another Rover I could line up for.
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Old 08-25-2007, 04:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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One thing that really bugs me is when someone says NO it can’t be done, No they don’t make it or NO that wont work... And there experience on the subject is nill all they have is a regurgitation of someone else post or opinion...
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Old 08-26-2007, 06:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p76rangie
Put in McNamara Hypoid diffs and lockers, upgrade the axles and CVs. There is a mob in the US that are now doing upgraded axles and CVs that have proved to be particularly strong and the comp guys are importing them here. I hust can't remember the name at the moment.
Rovertracks. http://www.washbrook.net/landroverparts.htm Norman Hall is an AU distributor.
Keith is the one making them. http://www.rovertracks.com/
They had an axle breaking machine at our last rally, and the Rovertracks parts were strongest by far.
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Old 08-26-2007, 06:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friday
That is exactly what I needed, thank you!
: http://www.marks4wd.com/products/eng...evy-V6-V8.html

I now need to find out what the options are regarding clutch/gearbox-transmission as I'd prefer to uprate if it's needed rather than chance anything.

p76rangie, would you happen to know if there are any Australian forums you'd recommend where I might find write ups on similar conversions?
You should advertise your 2.5 on some American forums when done as people are always looking for turbodiesels over here. Probably make a great Series engine.
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obstacle.Ē Michael
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1987 RRC
1996 DI
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