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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I would like to fit a 300tdi diesel to my p38 manual. Has anyone heard of this being done? Bell housing and engine
mountings are easy but what about the electronics? I will be interested to know what will work and what won't.
Regards.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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478 Posts
Why god why? It's an engine so unfit for the P38 it's not even funny, they were already pretty **** in the Classic...
 

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I;ve driven a few 300TDi classics and sure wouldn;t wish that pig on a P38 considering how much heavier they are from an early Classic.
 

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A chipped TD5 would be a better proposition or look for a used BMW 2.5 ...
 

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I have to agree with the above. The 300Tdi was a good engine for a Defender in the mid-90s. And it does OK in the Defender. But the Range Rover Classic (softdash) had already evolved beyond such a basis engine when it got the 300tdi. Not much improvement over the 2.5VM either, if you ask me.
So I really don't understand why you would go to all the trouble to fit one to a P38a, much less a 200tdi! I'm not too big a fan of the BMW diesel either, although a good engine in it's way, it is not suitable for a big offroader. A TD5, even in standard trim, would do much better!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Given the major league hassle involved in doing a non-factory engine swop I figure about the only one worth considering is the Simtek TDV6 installation. Expensive but it appears you get a fully sorted mechanical, electrical and electronic set-up complete with documentation. Claims of mid to high 30's mpg without loss of performance seem reasonable given that a P38 is getting on for a ton lighter than the usual abode for a TDV6. Certainly something I'm mimbling over although for 3 or 4 thousand miles a year V8 petrol thirst is quite supportable.

Weak point of roll your own swops is documentation. You figure you are going to remember what you have done. Two years later you won't! Need to write up close to factory standard to be sure and that isn't easy if its not your trade. Good documentation might make it possible to sell the truck later on if need be. Undocumented you'd have to be very persuasive.

Clive
 

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I'm very interested in this subject myself, as I've come across a good deal on a 1996 P38 diesel with a manual gearbox.
Some of my research shows me that for us (diesel manual gearbox), is a straight swap between the BMW engine and the 300tdi, as both use the same R380 gearbox.
As far as the eletronics, there would be no need any longer for the BeCM, and by doing the swap, we could just get rid of it. Another option lost in the process would be the factory locking system (easily replaceable by an aftermarket unit), and the EAS, having to convert it to coils/springs.

I might be wrong, but I think this is pretty much it. If someone really has the knowledge about this swap, I would really appreciate you dropping your 2 cents.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Another forum member has a p38 which has been fitted with the International 2.8L diesel engine which I think is the same as the 300TDI engine. The auto box operation has however been a problem on the car. Using a manual box might be a better option for the conversion.

http://www.rangerovers.net/forum/7-range-rover-mark-ii-p38/98050-international-2-8-diesel-gearbox-ecu.html#post717578

All of these conversions entail a considerable amount of work and expense. A much cheaper option is to boost the power output of the original BMW M51 engine. 190-200bhp is fairly easy to achieve and more torque than the 4.0L.
The M51 engine is a good engine, capable of very high mileages and also has the big advantage of being happy to run on vegetable oil.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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As far as the eletronics, there would be no need any longer for the BeCM, and by doing the swap, we could just get rid of it. Another option lost in the process would be the factory locking system (easily replaceable by an aftermarket unit), and the EAS, having to convert it to coils/springs.
So you don't need headlights or indicators or instruments or anything? I think the BeCM is probably more important than you realise.

Without the EAS won't really be driveable. If it's high enough to be usable off-road, it'll be unsafe on the road, and if it's low enough to be usable on-road it won't have much ground clearance off-road. Not to mention that it will no longer have the self-levelling functions so the headlights will either be pointing at the road a metre in front of you, or at the sky.

It sounds like you'd end up with an unpleasant and unsafe mess of a vehicle. If you want a 300TDi engine and coil springs, why not just get a Defender?
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Having built my LSx powered P38, with EVERYTHING working, I can honestly say there is so much incorrect information in this thread, it isn't funny.
If you want an old diesel, coil springs, no BECM, and so on, why not just go buy the POS that all that came with?
Some need to go do some reading before posting such drivel IMHO.
No BECM......That's funny right there, and scary, all at the same time.

Martin
 
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I'm very interested in this subject myself, as I've come across a good deal on a 1996 P38 diesel with a manual gearbox.
Some of my research shows me that for us (diesel manual gearbox), is a straight swap between the BMW engine and the 300tdi, as both use the same R380 gearbox.
Not quiet right.... the R380 which is fitted to the BMW in the P38 does not fit to the 300Tdi without modifications. the other way around, a 3
R380 out of an D1 or defender won't fit into the P38 without modifications and that is without looking at possible differences in gear ratios.

what do you call a straigt swap? i guess the absence of the BMW engine will cause some issues with the other electronics, as said above, the 300Tdi will not be a 1to1 fit to the gearbox.


but WHY would you replace the BMW with a 300Tdi that has no more power, no more torque runs a lot more like a tractor?

As far as the eletronics, there would be no need any longer for the BeCM, and by doing the swap, we could just get rid of it. Another option lost in the process would be the factory locking system (easily replaceable by an aftermarket unit), and the EAS, having to convert it to coils/springs.

I might be wrong, but I think this is pretty much it. If someone really has the knowledge about this swap, I would really appreciate you dropping your 2 cents.
I guess the BECM is the least there for the engine... the whole electrics for the rest of the car is relayed over the BECM, sure all can be rerouted and be done with normal relays... but then you will be redoing the electrics of the car.. Sure, everything can be done.... but what is the purpose of buying a P38 when you want to turn it into a disco 1? a disco 1 would be a lot cheaper to buy...............
 

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I didn't want you to try convince me with the reasons YOU believe I shouldn't do it. I wanted a true technical discussion as to what would be involved in making this swap work, as real information on this is scarce and everyone I see discussing this subject are just "guessing".
I've seen a video of a P38 with one in it, so I know it is doable, but can't find it again to get in touch with the person that did it.
Hell, there is a guy in U.S. that have put a 6.2 diesel on a P38 that had an automatic transmission (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/71412-Range-Rover-P38-diesel-conversion) saying it was relatively easy, and you gonna tell me the 300tdi conversion is more of a hassle? I don't buy it.

Thanx dave3d for the heads up on that thread. I had seen it already, but now I truly get your last comment on there, LOL.
I've sent briang a pm.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I wanted a true technical discussion as to what would be involved in making this swap work
Well, start with a massive brain injury, and a powerful desire to build a really unreliable and slow car...
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I didn't want you to try convince me with the reasons YOU believe I shouldn't do it. I wanted a true technical discussion as to what would be involved in making this swap work
It's not so much the engine swap. If you've got access to the right sort of tools to make and modify items then you can fit just about any engine into any car. Christ there was even the guy that fitted a Rolls Royce Merlin engine from a Spitfire fighter plane into a Ford Capri! Your choice of engine is wrong though. Why remove the fitted BMW diesel engine and replace it with a 300TDi? You've already got a far superior engine there in the first place.

The main point that has caused everyone to realise you know very little about what you are considering is the suggestion of removing the BeCM. The clue is in the name, it's the BODY Electrical Control Module. Not only does it deal with the security but it deals with just about every other electrical function. The light switch doesn't switch on the lights, it sends a signal to the BeCM and it switches the lights on, the float in the fuel tank doesn't drive the fuel gauge, it sends a signal to the BeCM and it drives the fuel gauge, even the button for the windscreen washers doesn't control the washers, it tells the BeCM to operate the washer pump. Absolutely every electrical function goes through the BeCM so if you wanted to remove it, you'd need to virtually rewire the entire car and add hundreds of relays everywhere.

Hang on though. An incredibly complicated wiring system with hundreds of relays, a 300TDi engine and coil springs? You've just re-invented the Range Rover Classic.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I didn't want you to try convince me with the reasons YOU believe I shouldn't do it. I wanted a true technical discussion as to what would be involved in making this swap work, as real information on this is scarce and everyone I see discussing this subject are just "guessing".
I've seen a video of a P38 with one in it, so I know it is doable, but can't find it again to get in touch with the person that did it.
Hell, there is a guy in U.S. that have put a 6.2 diesel on a P38 that had an automatic transmission (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/71412-Range-Rover-P38-diesel-conversion) saying it was relatively easy, and you gonna tell me the 300tdi conversion is more of a hassle? I don't buy it.

Thanx dave3d for the heads up on that thread. I had seen it already, but now I truly get your last comment on there, LOL.
I've sent briang a pm.
What you don't see on that 6.2L conversion thread is that although that guy (an ex booted member from this group) changed the engine to a 6.2L Hummer engine (why anyone would do something like that is beyond me), none of the electrics in his vehicle from EAS to AC and everything in between work. It was a half assed job.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Half assed indeed. A N/A boat anchor in a luxury SUV......Not to mention he dumped the auto and put a manual in it.
Like I said, you may as well buy a Suburban etc if you want to go that route.
As far as someone who knows what it takes to make it work CORRECTLY, been there and done that. Look up my thread.
I see absolutely no point in putting a diesel into a P38 myself, unless they were available where you live, then why reinvent the wheel?

Martin
 
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I see absolutely no point in putting a diesel into a P38 myself, unless they were available where you live, then why reinvent the wheel?

Martin
I drive a p38 diesel (good available here in europe) simply because of the fuelcosts....

diesel 8 or 9 kilometres per litre, V8 about 6 or 7... 1 litre Diesel 1,37 euro, 1 litre petrol 1,70

1 us Gallon = 3,785 litre 1 euro = 1,387 Dollar which makes the fuelprices:
1 gallon diesel = 7,19 dollar 1 gallon petrol = 8,92 dollar
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I drive a P38 V8 with LPG (well I don't at the moment because the reducer is in bits, but that's a whole other tale of woe). It costs about the same to run as my work van with its 1600cc diesel engine - okay, a bit more around town, but on long journeys there's not a lot in it. Gas is half the price of diesel here, and petrol is only a little cheaper than diesel. With a suitably gentle right foot I can get the trip computer reading an average of 24mpg on a run.

Yes, it needed the engine replaced. No, I would not consider sticking a diesel in.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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I drive a p38 diesel (good available here in europe) simply because of the fuelcosts....

diesel 8 or 9 kilometres per litre, V8 about 6 or 7... 1 litre Diesel 1,37 euro, 1 litre petrol 1,70

1 us Gallon = 3,785 litre 1 euro = 1,387 Dollar which makes the fuelprices:
1 gallon diesel = 7,19 dollar 1 gallon petrol = 8,92 dollar
Thus my comment about "unless they are available where you live". Over here in the States, they were never available, so any swap is not well suited in my book.
I could have dropped in any available engine here. Petrol or diesel. I chose the LSx because of its great power and torque, availability of parts, refinement, and so on. I can swap out the 5.3 in there now, to a 7 liter and matching transmission, in a day. They are all the same!

Martin
 
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