daeman Dork
11/14/21 1:42 a.m.

It seems I have a sickness, an affliction... I have developed a serious weakness for landrovers that seems to be worsening. But do I want help for this ailment? Hell no! I want enabling, hair brained ideas and encouragement. None of the contents of this thread may ever come to fruition, but I figure it could be fun to discuss, and who knows where the madness could lead.

So, as it stands, I daily drive a series 1 discovery 300tdi. I like it alot, it's a 2.5l turbo diesel 4cyl, manual gearbox, manual center diff lock and pretty much free of electronics and nannies. And while alot of the time I like the wagon aspect of it, quite often I wish it was a truck. I also wish it had Moar power!

I bought a parts doner disco a while back, and part of me says, hack the thing apart and build a disco tray back truck. Still going to lack power though unless I start trying to really squeeze the 300tdi platform for all it's worth.

I thought about letting the wreck go after I've finished raiding it and doing the disco ute thing to a V8 disco, but the land rover V8 isn't renowned for its reliability, and from what I can see, modding them for power and reliability doesn't really come cheap

Then there's the Range Rovers, which in my opinion look better cut into a truck than a disco will. Same V8 issues as the disco, no diesel option, so if I wanted to go diesel that's another bunch of modding. Still, I do like the look, so maybe it's worth entertaining.

I love defenders, but they just don't like me in terms of price (25k would be a starting point)

But here's where I get to what I really think I want. I want an old series 2 or 3 Land Rover. They're archaic, in dire need of modernisation to perform as a daily and probably the least practical starting point in my ramblings here.

There's going to need to be a drivetrain upgrade, extensive suspension modification, fabrication and interior work at a minimum. And all that costs money.

So I get to thinking, maybe I combine a bunch of disco stuff into a series land rover, but look to a 3rd party for an engine. So let's say either a bigger better version of the 300tdi.... Something like an Isuzu 4bd1-t or a Cummins 4bt or their 2.8l crate motors? Or maybe someone has another diesel option? Otherwise, if I go petrol I guess the answer is LS swap? 

Whatever heart I were to use, it needs gobs of torque. This thing will be a work horse, not a speed machine. Loaded up for work, towing regularly and seeing time off-roading, I'd want it to pull like a freight train.

Ok, enough babbling, here's a few images of what's in my mind. Let's here your suggestions, how you'd do it or why I'm completely mental.

fatallightning Reader
11/30/21 12:07 p.m.

Did you import your Disco? I'm thinking about bringing over a 200tdi Disco 1 as a third car/brolander rig. I have a lifted Samurai right now, and it's pretty awful as far as road manners go, and being able to do some light towing (like a moto trailer, not a car) would be a boon. 

CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/30/21 7:02 p.m.

Why not get a Disco 2 with a blown engine (i.e. any of them that haven't rusted into the ground) and LS swap it?

Do whatever you want on the back I guess. Truck bed, etc.


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/21 7:12 p.m.

There have been a LOT of Series powerplant swaps over the decades. The one that I've been kicking around is to slide the drivetrain from a 3.4 Toyota Tacoma underneath. Shouldn't require any mods to the breakfast and that 3.4 V6 has enough power to be fun along with legendary reliability.

The little Cummins crate would be a fun but spendy swap as well. I'd stay away from the breadvan 4BT, it's a rattly little bastard.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/30/21 7:19 p.m.

There are a bunch now with the mercedes 5 cyl diesel running around, and also the VW tdi which is capable or surprising numbers.

andy_b New Reader
11/30/21 7:38 p.m.

I worked as a mechanic at a Land Rover dealer for around 4 years back in 07. The rover v8s never seemed that unreliable beyond needing head gaskets every 80k.  I guess I'm comparing it to some of their other offerings though, so my mental data points may be a bit skewed.

daeman Dork
12/3/21 4:04 p.m.

In reply to fatallightning :

No, I'm in Australia, so we got a few different land Rover offerings to the US.

Why 200tdi over the 300tdi? Other than the turbo manifold on the 200, the 300 is mostly a better engine.

I don't mind the disco as a daily drive, it's no luxury liner, but it does most things pretty well

daeman Dork
12/3/21 4:07 p.m.

In reply to CrustyRedXpress :

Possibly an option. Rusty discos aren't as much of a problem here as in the UK or US.

An LS swap could be fun, at least it's going to have good parts support.

daeman Dork
12/3/21 4:13 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hmmm, I hadn't really thought to hard about Toyota swaps because the Toyota tax is legit. Plus I kept getting stuck on the diesel v8 because I love the noise they make. I don't however, love the price of the damn things.  But availability and reliability are definitely strong arguments for Toyota swaps.

I guess the real draw back to the Cummins ideas would be they just aren't common here.

daeman Dork
12/3/21 4:16 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

Hmmm, interesting, haven't seen that one, but I can see how it would be a good option.

What Merc engine? How electronic are they? You can get discos here with td5's, but they're pretty electronic heavy. Nice engines though.

daeman Dork
12/3/21 4:22 p.m.

In reply to andy_b :

Interesting perspective. I guess my perception of land Rover v8s is tied to slipping liners etc from their older days.

Agreed that there have been some abominable land Rover offerings over the years.

Hell, even my fairly electronically sparse disco has been a pita.  Immobiliser  spider failure, alarm failure, had to reflow the solder joints on the power window control board. Then there's the struggle of trying to keep fluids where they belong haha. Could be worse though.

Our Preferred Partners