I’ve got the crankshaft back from the machine shop. The main journals were fine and did not require any work however the big end journals needed two grinds to .020 (0.5mm) to clear the scoring.
I’ve got new bearings, piston rings, and a spigot bush from Turner Engineering which appear to be the best quality at the best price. I’ve also got a load of other bits from LRseries and some odds from eBay. Still need to get a timing kit and a 3 hole head gasket.
Had a bit of a disaster before Christmas, while on the motorway in the 109 one of the oil cooler lines sprang a leak, the engine was very rough when I left the motorway however was still running so must have happened just before I was turning off. The engine bay was covered in oil, I filled it up again at a petrol station and it ran fine again so I carried on until I got home which was only a few miles. However on starting the engine from cold the next day it was clear there was something wrong. I did a compression test and got following results:
Cyl 1 380psi
Cyl 2 420psi
Cyl 3 320psi
Cyl 4 415psi
Obviously 1 & 3 have issues, however as the lowest readings are not next to each other this suggests the head gasket is fine and the problem is bottom end, more than likely the big end shells have been trashed due to oil starvation.
So I finally managed to find the time to remove the engine last week. As it’s a Defender variant 200tdi it has to be separated from the gearbox to be able to remove the ladder frame as some of the securing bolts are in the flywheel housing, so the engine has to come out. Once on a stand I removed the cylinder head and everything was fine there. I’ve cleaned up the valves and replaced the valve seals with new genuine parts that I already had as spares. The engine block is extremely dirty due being covered in oil so I will degrease it and paint the block in engine enamel later. The bores look ok, no scoring and a lot of the cross hatching is still visible. Phew.
Got the sump off which was full of glitter, actually it should be described as a big pile of ground big end shells which confirmed my diagnosis. I unbolted the con-rod cap ends and the shells were indeed very trashed. Unfortunately the crankshaft journals have been scored as a result and will need a regrind. The mains however appear ok so I may have got away with just getting the big end journals done. The last pic below is one of the mains, the other three are big ends. I’m taking the crankshaft to the machine shop tomorrow.
After I installed the 200tdi I had to find somewhere else to put the battery as the standard Series 3 chassis battery tray has to be removed to make way for the 200tdi timing case. I’ve got twin fuel tanks under the driver and passenger seats as the land rover is ex-mod so I was unable to put the battery under the passenger seat. I thought about putting the battery in the rear tub but in the end decided to fix an ammunition box in front of the radiator between the dumb irons, it’s been there for the last two years without problem.
However I’ve always felt the battery was a little exposed there and also too easy for someone to steal, so I’ve decided to use the passenger side fuel tank to house the battery. The tank has not been used since it was in service as far as I know, and the change over tap is missing. The tank was fairly corroded but still water tight, so I have cleaned it up, cut a section of the top out and painted it.
One of the best things I have done to the 109 is installed a 200TDI engine. It’s gone from being a fuel hungry underpowered old truck to a relatively economical, powerful & useable vehicle. The 200di (fitting the TDI without the turbo) conversion seems to be quite popular at the moment and is a good idea if you just want a little more power and reliability, it’s a simpler job to fit and a lot of the original series parts can be retained such as the radiator and oil bath air filter – however the engine I bought came with all ancillaries, radiator/oil cooler, hoses etc so not to fit everything would have been a waste. I’m glad I kept the turbo and it would now feel underpowered without it – I now think if you are going to the trouble of fitting a new engine you may as well spend a bit more time and fit the full kit.
Whereas most people fit discovery engines as they are more common and cost less, I came across a defender engine and gearbox with low miles for the same price as the disco lumps. There are a couple of differences between the two versions – the manifolds are different – the turbo sits low down on the disco engines with injection pump up high but the turbo is high up on the defender engines with the injection pump lower down. It is the shape of the manifolds that give the difference in BHP between the two engines, with the defender variant being slightly less powerful. The timing cases are also different shapes.
The engine block is the same for both defender and disco versions and you have two choices of position or the right hand engine mount, the disco engine uses the front engine mount bolts and the defender uses the rear bolts which is the same set up as the 12J (2.5D), so the defender engine requires the right hand engine mount moving on the chassis because the the timing case is in the way – the disco engine does not have this problem as the timing case is a different shape so the engine bolts to the standard series chassis engine mount. I decided not to move the engine mount as my chassis is galvanised and I did not want to break the galv, so I decided to swap the defender timing case for a discovery case, the engine was on a stand waiting to go in the vehicle and I had the timing belt to do anyway. It was just a case of removing all the timing gear and fitting the disco timing case in it’s place. I also had to source the disco injection pump bracket as the pump was now sitting much higher, also needed disco injector pipes, all the pulleys had to be changed as the disco ones are different to defenders, disco water pump & disco thermostat housing. I could now bolt the engine straight into the standard series mounts. So now I have what has become a disco engine with defender manifolds! I’ve kept all the defender parts so I can convert it back at a later date.
I wired up the glow plug relay to a switch on the dash, though have I never needed to use them even in -5 temps. I had to relocate the battery as there is no room under the bonnet and I have underseat fuel tanks, I ended up fixing an ammo box between the front dumb irons and the battery has been in there for the last couple of years, however I am going to convert the passenger side fuel tank into a battery box as the tank hasn’t been used for years. I’ll be relocating the battery there in the next few weeks, I’ve already got the tank off to clean up.
I didn’t do any work to the engine as it was low mileage at 85k, just changed the timing belt and gave it a service before starting it – fired up first time, no smoke! Changed the oil and filters again after a few hundred miles and all has been well since. I’ve had no problems with the gearbox taking the extra power either.
This is the gearbox that came with the 200tdi engine I bought to replace the 2.25 petrol lump in the Series. I decided to fit the new engine to my standard Series box rather than this LT77 as the transfer box does not have selectable 4 wheel drive so would be running the front axle full time – the series axles have UJs rather than the Defenders CV joints and so are not designed to run on tarmac – as a result running a Series on tarmac in 4×4 can result in transmission ‘wind up’. You could get round it by fitting a Series 3 Stage 1 V8 front axle (which had CV joints), but these can be hard to get hold of. I’m also keen to get the best MPG possible from the Series and full time four wheel drive will not help.
However it was a nice low mileage box and I sold it to a guy who needed the short Defender LT77 bellhousing to go in his trialler.