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Thread: Engine Swap Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    El Paso, Texas/Austin, Texas
    Posts
    90

    Engine Swap Question

    Ok I need some help.

    I've done some research online and read into things that can be done about swapping out the Land Rovers engine for a Ford or Chevy engine. I know it can be done with time and money as well as the ECU computer swap.

    So I've had my 98 Disco I for 3 years now. It's had numerous problems as I told a land rover would. I live in El Paso but we dont have a dealership here. I am currently going to school in Austin so I have been getting the truck serviced there. On my last trip out there in August the trucks transmission (or so I think) died on me. It's been sitting at home in El Paso since august waiting to get shipped to austin for yet another pricy repair. (We've put close to $17-$20K) in the truck which seems Absurd to me thats a new car. Especially for it to not be running right...Would it make sense to ship it there for repair with the original parts (I'm sure itll be $3-5K) or would it be smarter to wait to buy a new engine/tranny that I know I can get easier and cheaper parts since they're US brands. I am torn what to do and I love my Disco so I don't want to get rid of it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Yucaipa, CA
    Posts
    144
    You need to download the Rave manual then go to the local Sears and buy a decent 247 piece tool set for $124.99. Then you need to roll up your sleeves and get to learning how to fix your truck. You have a 14 year old vehicle, dealerships don't typically like anything older than 5 years. They might do a good job but it will cost you a lot. An independent shop is a good option but again you have a 14 year old truck. It's going to cost a lot in repairs.

    I'm not saying you need to learn how to do all of your own repairs I'm just saying if you want to keep the vehicle on the road and you out of bankruptcy then you need to learn how to fix some things yourself.


    In most cases it's not worth trying to swap in an American engine. Really how much money could you save? Oil and a filter will cost about the same no matter what engine you put it in. Yeah you might be able to get an oil pan gasket for a Detroit V8 for 10 bucks less than one for a Rover V8. Really though how much will it cost to buy that 'merican V8 and put it in your truck?

    I don't think an engine swap is worth it in your situation. I think you just need to learn how to fix it yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    69
    First of all, your truck's probably only worth $3-5K if it's in good shape. Putting that much in repairs into it seems out of the question.

    Secondly, the rover V8 is an american block (Buick 215). Yeah, it has it's issues, but if maintained correctly it can easily run for 200K. Is the engine bad? Nothing in your post suggests that your current engine is having trouble. I'm confused as to where the issue is with keeping your current engine and fixing the tranny.

    It seems like you're jumping past the first step of diagnosing your current issue. As Keanan said, learn to wrench on your truck. It's a necessity for owning one of these vehicles if you don't want to spend $20K maintaining it.
    '04 Disco
    '89 RRC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Silicon Valley.......phooeey!
    Posts
    643
    Quote Originally Posted by rwhitmo04 View Post
    Secondly, the rover V8 is an American block (Buick 215). Yeah, it has it's issues, but if maintained correctly it can easily run for 200K. Is the engine bad? Nothing in your post suggests that your current engine is having trouble. I'm confused as to where the issue is with keeping your current engine and fixing the tranny.
    The '97 D1 that my daughter recently acquired, just went 250K miles. So far, so good. As for the Rover motor being American, yes, there is a fair amount you could do to it. Get the cam reground to a better profile (not an off the shelf Buick car grind), & go to 6.00" rods with pistons made to match the rod length. Doing that little bit, along with a basic rebuild will put you dollars ahead of swapping in a Chevy or Ford. With a bit more usable power & torque increase throughout the rev range. Aside from that, the Rover motor is quite a bit lighter. Another problem with Chevy/Ford swap, (aside from $$$) will the drivetrain handle the increased torque, which could lead to more expensive repairs.

    As previously asked, "What's wrong with your motor?".
    "I am never more serious than when I am joking."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    468
    Ok, this isn't going to answer your questions or provide a solution, but I just have to ask - what on Earth have you done in 3 years to amount to $20,000?

    If your Rover has actually required that much money to keep it on the road, find another Rover. I've owned 3 Land Rovers over the last 4 years (a '95 Range Rover Classic, '97 Disco, and '05 LR3). Combined I have put into them 1/8th of what you have into your one Disco. I'm serious when I say buy a better one. Despite what people say, there are actually GOOD Land Rovers out there that aren't money pits. You just have to find them. I wouldn't dare put anymore money into the vehicle you have. It has proven there is no end to it with your Disco. Cut your losses now.


    Colin
    Last edited by cnfowler; 12-20-2012 at 02:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    El Paso, Texas/Austin, Texas
    Posts
    90
    To answer the $ question I've had a bunch of suspension trouble (replaced), first time it went to the dealer it had a bunch of engine problems, coolant/heating problems, $8,000+, then it got sent in for a few coolant leaks, and this past spring it had a bunch of issues that wouldn't pass state inspection. I'm fine with working on the truck on my own for moderate stuff. I am just uncomfortable with bigger issues. The other thing is that I live in an apartment for school (im in austin) so I can't work on it conveniently.

    I just got annoyed with power issues, leaks, and the engine gets really hot during the summer. I figure swapping the engine, powerterain, and tranny and starting fresh would help but I really am open to working on the truck on my own..I don't have any diagnostic gear either to target problems or I don't really know what It could be when it has problems other than the obvious issues. The power problem was so annoying. I would have the accelerator all the way down going up a hill on the high way and the truck wouldnt respond. Now I know that was the tranny. I guess I could pick up a used on from ebay and drop it myself then try again. Any other advice? I really want to keep the truck I'm attached to it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Georgetown, CA
    Posts
    28
    Here are a couple of quick thoughts. First, on the power issue, , ,before you get carried away with the transmission, (how did you diagnose it was the transmission?) ,get some MAP sensor cleaner, and clean the sensor and the Throttle position sensor. I was experiencing the same lack of power on hills, ,and that did the trick. As far as the heating situation, ,radiator! There are a couple ways to address this, , ,easiest is to get the engine good and warm, , ,shut it off, , ,pull the top section off of the fan shroud, and carefully put your hand on the radiator to see if the radiator is hot throughout. If you have an infrared temperature gun, that is much more accurate, but what you need to know is this, , ,are there spots on the radiator that are cooler than others? Very likely your radiator is partially plugged, , ,take it to a good radiator shop, have them pull the tanks and rod the radiator. . .This did wonders for mine, also VERY important on these aluminum engines, as they don't tolerate heat well.

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