Originally Posted by AZROVER
I just posted my basic idea for a diesel conversion in the General Discussion area. I probably should have posted my thoughts in this thread first since it seems there are some very knowledgeable people on the subject in the hybrid section. Any of you thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
Ignoring the technical legalities of running a TDI in the US I also agree it would be the easiest option.
A 200 or 300TDI is an easy swap as they have no electronics to worry about (except a few latter 300Tdi's which had ECU's but I'd stay clear of them).
What tranny have you got at the moment and do you have air con (and do you want to keep it?)?
The TDI will bolt up to most of the recent tranny's (LT77 or R380 manual or the auto's) all you need is the correct bell housing. The transfer box should be the same.
I'd also recommend looking at getting a bigger intercooler it will make a difference. If you have air con the condensor will be in front of the rad this means you can't run a full width intercooler but high efficeny stock size ones are available. If you don't use the air con much I would consider getting rid of it so you can run a decent sized full width intercooler.
Have a look at Allisport, Jeremy J Fearn and Twisted Performance for ideas of performance mods (use Google to find them).
Apart from engine mounts and other minor accessories you should be set to pretty much drop it in and bolt it up (well kinda, but it should be pretty easy as far as engine swaps go).
200/300Tdi's are pretty available here, either 2nd hand or as a new/rebuilt engine. Only last year I bought a nice 200TDi from Ebay.co.uk for only £475 low milage and good condition. 300Tdi's are a bit more money, you generally see them for around £700-900. Or you could buy an entire vehicle just to get the engine out of it.
The TD5 is quite a different engine, well 5 cylinders for a start but it'll still fit the engine bay although might be a little tight in places. These are much more revvy engines but still very strong performers. They are fly-by-wire but that's not a major issue and of course have a ECU, but it's a pretty basic setup really. If you go this route you'll also need the ECU and probably the latter transfer box. There is also an in tank pump which you'll need to sort.
Prices are a tad more but surprising not that much more. I have seen TD5's go from £900-1100 range so still quite feasible. But it won't be a straight bolt in and will require a little more fab work.
This however would be worth it in my opinion, while the stock 122bhp (Defender - Discovery II TD5 had 136bhp) isn't all that impressive the engine does respond to mods very well. 190bhp is easy and Twisted Performance can supply bolt on's for 220bhp and well over 300lb ft torque and still have good MPG.
Remember numbers on diesels don't mean much, it's how they develop the power that counts, as in instant. Very very different to a V8 and IMO much much better in an off roader.