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Moral dilemma


Extreme Landy Fan
Two weeks ago I saw an advert for a 1996 110 300TDi station wagon in our local Junk Mail - that's similar to the UK's Exchange & Mart.

The guy didn't want much for the truck, so I took it for a test drive and did all the usual checks, gave him his money and transferred the truck to my name. I need to point out that it came with a roadworthy certificate - SA version of MOT.

Today I finally got around to spending some time with the new Defender.

The first thing I noticed when I opened to store room was the huge puddle of oil under the truck. I also noticed oil dripping from the hub seals on two weels.

After scratching around and checking oil levels I realised there has a serious leak in the transfer box. I filled the transfer box up and tried to start the truck.

I could sit here for the next hour typing up my tale of woe, but the short of it is:

The truck's been clocked. The speedo says 150,000km. I reckon it's close to 500,000km.

The engine's a gonner. He's been putting gear oil (EP90) in with the engine oil to keep the compression up. After I drained the sludge and put proper oil in I could hear the pistons slapping. There's now also a pretty nasty knock. It could be a con rod, it could be something worse...

The transfer box needs seals. Not a problem.

The back diff leaks oil and needs seals. Not a problem.

The hubs need to be rebuilt.

There's probably much more....

I could rebuild the engine, but the parts would cost me more than I paid for the truck.

I could buy a good engine out of a Defender that's gone onto it's roof and fit it. That would cost me less, but still more than the price that I paid for the truck.

I could sell the whole lot "as is" to the scrapper for more than I paid for it.

If we look at this in a cold, hard financial manner, I should sell it, take the money and run, but my heart rules my head when it comes to these trucks...

Do I fix or do I sell?

110 station wagons are as prolific in SA as 90's are in the UK.

What do I do?
first of all, go round to the previous owners house and brak hi legs with something Big and heavy...let's say a 110.. then Keep it ;) price up an engine and see where you stand there.. Is the body work keeping? hows the chassis??
He's put EP90 in to try to stop the bigends knocking, it's an old trick.

If the truck has done 500,000 km, then everything has done 500,000km so will be pretty tired. You will just be chasing problems.

Sell it.

Some of you may remember me fitting a Toyota 2.8D into a Series IIA two years ago.

I've been looking at the shagged station wagon and thinking about fitting a Toyota H1Z 4.x litre straight six normally aspirated diesel to it.

The way I see that truck is that if I keep her, everything needs to be replaced. She needs to be stripped down to the chassis and rebuilt with new or recon parts where they are needed.

The biggest problem is that it's an expensive engine. The average price for a good second hand one is US$5,000 A new one will cost a lot more.

Engineering wise, Me thinks that I'll be able to get away with making a spigot shaft extension and a conversion plate to mate the Toyota engine and the Land Rover gearbox. I'll obviously have to move the engine mounts on the chassis.

The R380 handles the BMW M52 engine without drama, but I'm not sure if it'll handle the Toyota's huge amount of torque. I may have to look at the Toyota gearbox.

If this works, this could be the ultimate 4x4 for Africa. Legendary Toyota reliability on legendary Land Rover running gear.

Bro KT, your thoughts please?
I'd go with the Toyota box, it's been designed to be matched to the engine.

If you're going to strip down to the chassis, fit the engine and box, then build the panels to fit.

As you say, would be a good truck and would last for years.

Sell it.


The advantage of fitting an Auto box is the slip in the Convertor, that can take some shock load out.

Matbro Telescopic Loaders used to fit the Chrysler Box to a Ford Industrial/Tractor engine, and blank off the auto position, so it became a manual shift. They could take a fair amount of abuse.

Fitting a high torque engine to a Manual box will find the weak point, whether it's the box, UJs or axle.

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