The plan starts here !

This really starts the ball rolling as far as preparing for the trip is concerned. Our chosen vehicle has a 3.9 litre V8 petrol engine that also runs on LPG. The downside of this for a trip like we have planned is that it’s too thirsty to give us the range we need/want without using all the limited interior space for fuel.

Converting the vehicle to diesel makes the fuel situation and range problem a lot simpler so, with some trepidation our beloved V8 90 is going to have an engine and gearbox transplant. A couple of years ago I rebuilt the vehicle and in the process used the main wiring looms from a TD5 Defender. At the time it meant a lot of work integrating the V8 electrics with the TD5 loom but fortunately I did it in such a way that the main harness was untouched. I also changed the fuel tank to a rear mounted TD5 style so there is room for the ECU box under the driver’s seat !

So, we bid farewell to the glorious burble of the V8 and replace it with a tractor engine.. albeit quite an advanced one by Land Rover standards !

We’ve stuck with the auto, a reconditioned/upgraded unit from Ashcrofts, and tracked down a low mileage “15P” prefix engine back in October. I’ve simplified the fuel system, in comparison to the normal TD5 setup, with an external pump and some bits from a 300TDi.

Mike is going to give me a hand when I’m lifting the engines in/out and Patrick will come over with his box of tricks and set up the ECU once the TD5 is in and ready to fire up. I’ve already taken the rocker cover off and got the injector codes off it. The ECUs (I got a spare one) are both configured for a Discovery at the moment so he’ll also reconfigure them for the Defender. Just in case the weather turns nasty I’ve put my plastic “garage” up on the drive to keep the worst of it off.

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