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My Td5 Conversion - Preparation

The first thing to do was remove the old Turbo Diesel engine and LT77 gearbox.

The bumper, radiator surround and grill were removed, the radiator taken off and then all the connections (electrical, fuel, power steering, air) were taken off the engine itself. The air cleaner and coolant header tank were then taken out, the exhaust removed, basically leaving a 'bare' engine sat in the vehicle.

We decided that it would be much easier to remove the gearbox and engine separately, so the next job was dropping the gearbox out. Fortunately, I'm a dab hand at this, having changed the gearbox at Easter when it blew up..

With the gearbox out, it was time to unbolt the engine from the chassis, and lift the engine out. So with our borrowed engine crane set up, the old engine left my Land Rover.

With the engine out, the chassis and the bulkhead were given a proper clean and degrease, it's amazing how dirty it was..

The next job was to remove the old engine mounts, and fabricate up the new ones. The Td5 uses big (and I mean big) rubber engine mounts, which mount on a horizontal surface, which is completely different to any other Land Rover engine. We also had to decide how we were going to mount the engine and gearbox.

We had two options. We could either mount the engine as it is in a proper Defender Td5, which is right at the front of the engine bay. This would mean we would have to fabricate up new gearbox mounts, as well as engine mounts, as well as replacing all of the interior floors, the transmission tunnel and the propshafts. The other option was to use the LT77 gearbox mounts on the R380 (as the castings are virtually identical), and fit the gearbox where the old one was. This would mean the engine would be sat slightly further back in the engine bay, but we could keep the existing interior panels and propshafts. It would also be much less work.

You guessed it, we went for option 2. So with the engine bay cleaned up, it was time to fit the new gearbox. Instead of doing the usual trick and 'rolling' the new box under the vehicle and then lifting it, we put the new box in through the front, which was much easier. The new box went straight into place, and didn't foul anything, and the props we'd got were going to fit, so we were happy.

We then took a series of measurements from the gearbox and the engine, and tried to work out where the new engine mounts should go. After a lot of messing about, we gave up and offered the engine into the engine bay, marked the chassis up, took the engine out again, and that gave us perfect measurements!

The existing engine mounts were removed using an angle grinder, and the chassis modified, again with the grinder, to clear the engine mounts. New engine mounts were welded up, and welded onto the chassis. Extensive testing of the mounts (jumping up and down on them..) was carried out, and the mounts painted in anti-rust primer, then black Smoothrite.

With the mounts ready, and the gearbox in place, it was time to offer the engine up..

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