CONVERSION: NAS Defender 90 to 300Tdi

I thought I would try to document several of the different types of conversions I have performed, and for which I supply the complete engine ‘Swap Kits’ for here at Zombie Motors.   The conversions themselves are rather straightforward, simply removing the old original engine and gearbox and replacing with the supplied engine and transmission/gearbox.    However, hopefully, these photo diaries will help somewhat with getting an idea of what needs to be done to convert a Land Rover to Tdi power.


I’ll be updating these ‘Instructional Diaries’ as I go, so if this post ends suddenly, do not worry… I’ll be here updating it every few days so be sure to check back periodically and if you have any specific questions or concerns you can message me at  – Thanks for your interest!


Just with me now this week is a 1994 Land Rover North American Spec Defender 90.   Customer has requested that the thirsty and trouble-prone 3.9L V8 be removed and replaced with a fully rebuilt-as-new 300Tdi 2.5L turbo diesel engine kit, and the correct matching R380 5-speed transmission for same.

Here are a few photos before I got started on the job, nice clean looking D90!

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The first thing I do is to disconnect the battery, which lives under the driver’s seat:


The next logical thing to do is to remove the front roll-cage cross member which is under the windshield.   This allows you to open the hood up high enough to detach from the hinges.   Once straight up and down, and with the help of someone else to take a side, you can lift hood straight up and off (after disconnecting hood stay bar in front) and place someplace safe away from the truck.   In these photos you may notice I did not do this until a little later, after disconnecting some wires and hoses:

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After this, the first thing I typically like to do is drain coolant and oil,  and then remove radiator and fan to get more access around engine.   Good idea to remove lower radiator hose first and have a catch pan underneath.   Remove oil cooler lines from radiator, and I zip tie used gloves around each one to keep them from dripping on the floor.   Remove smaller hoses and upper radiator hose.   Free fan shroud from radiator, and push back as it will not be able to be removed yet, unless you have the correct fan hub nut wrench and removed fan from water pump at this time.   Finally, remove the two securing brackets at the top of the radiator,  then simply lift radiator straight up and out of vehicle.   Once radiator is out of the way, you can easily slip fan shroud forward off fan and out of truck, too.


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