Converting Land Rover Discovery to Diesel

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Patrol, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Patrol

    Patrol VALE 46!

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    We have a 2004 Discovery that we love, but the gas mileage is ridiculous. Our Suburban was a hybrid by comparison. I just got a promotion that came with a company car, and was contemplating selling the Rover. Then I started pondering the idea of converting it to diesel. I'm a weekend mechanic at best, in fact, that's giving me too much credit, but I've been maintaining our cars/trucks and my bikes successfully. Jesse James I am not. This would be by far the biggest project I've tackled.
    Does this sound do-able? Is it going to be so expensive that it's just dumb? I have a lead on a very low mile diesel motor from a Toureg that got written off in Michigan, and I was thinking about using that. What do you guys think about time, cost, probability of success?
    #1
  2. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Only thing that would really put me off that toureg plant is the engine management and probably security system built into it. Old engines dont' have any b.s. I don't know the toureg has this or not, but I would consider it.

    Also to go diesel you may need to rethink the transmission, and axle gearing.
    #2
  3. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    Your best bet is to get a turbo diesel out of a defender 110. I don't recall seeing diesels in any other range rover products here in Germnany. Being in Canada, you should have more diesel powered vehicles than we do in America.
    #3
  4. big adv

    big adv I need supervision

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  5. Grider Pirate

    Grider Pirate Long timer

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    The Cummins 4BT motor is nice for conversions because it's all mechanical* - no electronics to deal with. However, doing a conversion like this requires a LOT of fabrication, scrounging, and money. I recently saw a delivery van for sale with a 4BT, and at around $3000.00, it was about the cheapest I've ever seen a 4BT with a transmission.
    *it's also reported to be loud, rattly (well duh, it's a cummins) a bit high on vibration, and some versions don't make much power).
    Google 'Diesel Conversions' and see if you can join a forum.
    Cheers,
    #5
  6. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    I think a 4BT weighs about 750 lbs., though.
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  7. Grider Pirate

    Grider Pirate Long timer

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    No argument there! All the Cummins egines are HEAVY.
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  8. Mully

    Mully Kineticist

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    I wouldn't regard what you're proposing as a viable project: you'll have to change gearbox, wiring harness, trans crossmember, exhaust, radiator, fuel tank, fuel filler, springs, and more in addition to the engine. Run, don't walk, away from the idea. :wink:

    Before you write off your DII, there are some simple things to look at on the fuel economy issue: O2 and Mass Airflow Sensors, mufflers, cats, fuel type.

    mully
    #8
  9. Wasser

    Wasser Spilt my beer

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    I'd do a comparison first.

    What kind of gas mileage do you get now?

    What kind of mileage does a defender get with a diesel? Or, find a similar vehicle that weighs the same with a diesel for a comparison.

    I'm guessing on the fly but, I would wager your conversion to probably cost at least $4-5K. Probably more for your local.

    Figure out how much you would gain by the extra fuel mileage.

    How long would it take to recoup your outlay? Is it worth it?

    Diesel here in the US is more expensive than the least expensive gas at the pump.

    $4-5K or more, is a lot of gas!

    Me, I'd find an affordable used vehicle that got good/great fuel mileage and drive the Discovery less often.
    #9
  10. Doc.Snyder

    Doc.Snyder Long timer

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    D1 and 2 were available with the international / LR 2/300tdi 4 cylinder and later with the LR TD5 5 cylinder diesel.
    But the conversion would be really expensive. Too expensive ...
    #10
  11. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Years ago - I forget how many - the 300tdi was offered as a common crate motor/replacement for the Buick engine. I think that applied to both D's and Discos.
    I'm sure the newer Discos are more complex.
    The only redeeming qualities of the new Rovers has gotta be true passion and love of the brand.
    If you never look in a mirror, you can justify most anything...
    #11
  12. Patrol

    Patrol VALE 46!

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    Thanks Mully, you may have saved me from my own foolishness. Maybe a Honda Pilot is a better idea.
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  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Rovers may be the epitome of cult vehicles, or at least very close. Some of them were crap-on-a-stick, but loved by many people. The cult vehicle thing can be a lot of fun.
    I never had one, but still would like to have a D90. The fit and finish wasn't good - OK, call it really bad - and their logical value was 1/3rd of their selling price. But they're cool, on a personal level. I like the seating position, myself, and the wheelbase, and some other stuff.

    Sexy isn't always logical....:D
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  14. Patrol

    Patrol VALE 46!

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    My wife grew up in England and she's wanted one ever since. I got an incredible deal on it. It had belonged to the owner of a LR/Jaguar dealership. 13000 miles and 50% off, hard to go wrong. I don't think we'll get rid of it, but the way it drinks gas is unreal. I've never owned anything that came close to it as a guzzler.
    #14
  15. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Of what? :D
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  16. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    Sounds like it's resolved... same story almost as the diesel KLR... the conversion costs as much as a about a 5 year supply of gas.

    One other consideration is if you have emissions requirements for registration.... some governments are not very understanding. Our local Municipality for one.
    #16
  17. Patrol

    Patrol VALE 46!

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    Sorry, 50% of sticker price, that is.
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  18. Mully

    Mully Kineticist

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    Yeah, Disco's are pretty shitty on fuel consumption: I think about that all the time as I drive around town, but never when I'm out in the back-country in it (well, maybe I think "do I have enough fuel to get back?".....). :evil

    BLUF: if you're getting around 12 in traffic and 15 on the highway, that's ball-park. If it's worse than that, see a good mechanic or spend some time on Land Rover Repair Forums to learn what effects MPG.

    mully
    #18
  19. Jman

    Jman a.k.a. FUglyK

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    Patrol, where in the land of flat and straight are you? If you attempt something like that I could lend a hand if you were close by. (I'm in London.)
    #19
  20. Patrol

    Patrol VALE 46!

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    I'm in Belle River (suburban Windsor). What do you do in London? I'm from Grand Bend originally.
    #20