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My Td5 Conversion - Installation

With everything ready, the engine dropped onto the mounts and up to the gearbox with no problems.

We then connected all the engine's equipment up:

  • Radiator and Intercooler assembly - required new brackets which bolted into existing holes in the wings, and bottom mounts had to be fabricated up.
  • Air Cleaner - needed the legs removing to fit in reduced space behind the engine.
  • Power Steering Pump - required a new pipe from pump to steering box, but otherwise no problems.
  • EGR solenoid - mounted where the old header tank was fitted.
  • Coolant pipework - most of the standard sprung clips were replaced with jubilee clips, nicer to fit and work with.
  • Air pipework - needed extending with (silicon hose and aluminium tube) by 2" each side on the intercooler because the engine was further back than standard.
  • Throttle pedal assembly - new holes drilled in bulkhead, and 3 bolts fitted instead of standard 2.

The propshafts went back on, as well as the interior panels and trim, it was starting to look presentable again!

We also re-fitted the bonnet slam panel, so we could get an idea of how the top fan cowl fitted. One part we'd missed off the parts list was the adaptor band between the air mass/volume sensor and the intercooler inlet pipe. A simple band was fabricated from a strip of alloy and two jubilee clips.

Then came the big job: the wiring. This is where the RAVE (electronic workshop manuals) came in invaluable. I could trace every connection the engine required, and determine where in the car we could get that feed from. So the new engine connector was connected to the existing harness, and the extra warning light cables run up to the dashboard from the ECU. We decided to fit the ECU under the passenger seat, as it is well sealed, and just about the only space left in the car! So all the required wiring was run down to there, clipped onto the gearbox and engine as necessary. The Alarm ECU was also fitted under the passenger seat, as opposed to under the dashboard on a proper Td5 Defender, as this would make power supply easier.

The antenna for the alarm (a thin cable, nothing fancy) was run under the sound deadening on the seat box, and now sits beneath the cubby box. All the other wiring was connected up systematically, soldering all connections and heat-shrinking them to ensure they were mechanically secure.

A major headache was caused by the fuel filler. Since the rear tank was used, it would require a new filler neck, which on the proper Td5's sits behind the rear wheel. I wanted to keep the car looking as standard as possible, and didn't want an 'aircraft' type fuel filler cut into the rear wing. So what we did was purchase a diesel transfer pump, usually used on HGVs, with the feed from the existing tank, and the output going into the rear tank via the plastic neck on the tank. This meant that as well as the 60 litre rear tank, we had a 'reserve' of 45 litres in the front tank. So overall, if the engine managed 27 mpg, we'd have a range of well over 600 miles, more than triple that of the old engine and tank. The transfer pump was mounted to the seatbox, wired up to a switch on the dashboard via a relay, and will move about 40 litres of diesel in a minute, so it takes just over a minute to empty the front tank into the rear.

With all the wiring completed, it was time to take the ECU to be programmed.

We towed my Land Rover to Warwick 4x4 in Kenilworth, who we spent about 4 hours with trying to get the alarm programmed with the 'plips', and the injector grades coded in, and all the other little bits of programming done.

However, the ECU refused to work, bringing up the engine management (MIL) lamp, and not letting the engine start. We checked the part number of the ECU, which was NNN000120.

The story regarding Td5 ECUs is a bit long winded, but here goes! Basically, for the 2002 model year, Land Rover replaced both the Discovery Td5 and Defender Td5 ECUs with a single part, which was one-time programmable to either Discovery or Defender. This part was NNN000120. The 2002 spec ECUs were supposed to be a supercession for all other Td5 ECUs, including the 1999 engine we had. We knew our engine had a new ECU, so it wasn't a surprise we had the newer ECU.

However, we talked to Guy Salmon who said that they had major problems when replacing older ECUs with the new type. Land Rover had admitted there was a problem but there was no known fix.

So, we had to get hold of an older-type ECU. We rang Guy Salmon, and ordered a 1999 specification ECU.

Whilst waiting for the ECU to arrive, we ordered a stainless exhaust system from Double S exhausts, which required a Land Rover front downpipe, so that was ordered from the dealership. The exhaust was fitted with minimal problems, but all new mounts had to be made as the mounting points were totally different to the TD system. We also had to shorten the exhaust by 2", again because the engine was further back than normal, and without shortening the exhaust it fouled on the rear fuel tank.

The ECU arrived within a few days, and we took the 90 back to Warwick 4x4. However, they still couldn't get it to run, although the MIL light wasn't coming on unless the throttle pedal was depressed, so it was closer to working... perhaps!

Totally fed up, we returned home, with a non-working vehicle. And so it stayed whilst we went on holiday.

A couple of weeks later, I posted a plea for help on the LRE forum...

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