You will probably not be suprised to hear that I am going to bin
the original thirsty 2.25 litre petrol engine. For serious off-road use
a diesel is essential in my opinion. Yes a V8 has loads of low down
grunt and instant power when you plant your right foot but show them
anything more than a puddle and they tend to cut out. As I am using a
hydraulic winch I wouldn't even be able to winch myself out of the
So what choices do I have? Land Rover 2.25 diesel? Hmm, let's see -
gutless, slow, noisy. No perhaps not.
Land Rover 200 or 300TDI? Very nice engines but way out of my price
range. There aren't many people out there willing to swap one for say, a
couple of diffs and a fuel tank!
How about a Montego 2L turbo diesel. Very economical, slightly more
power than the 2.25 petrol and a similar torque curve. These engines are
a very popular conversion and Montegos areavailable
for a couple of diffs and a fuel tank Oddly enough that is exactly what
I paid for mine.
The Montego engine will not bolt straight on to a Series gearbox but
adapter plates are available or can be fabricated. The same engine sans
turbo is fitted some LDV Sherpas. The Sherpa flywheel will take a Land
Rover 9/5" clutch so a dead Sherpa was raided for it's flywheel, starter
I could use a Dudleigh
converter plate to fit the Montego engine to the gearbox but £300
for an adapter plate sounds like a lot of money. By now you have
probably gathered that I don't like parting with money! After taking
some measurements I decided I could make an adapter from a combination
of the Sherpa back plate and a Land Rover back plate. The end result
isn't all that pretty but I think it will do the job.
Here is the adapter plate mounted on the engine. The
Sherpa backplate was mounted in a lathe and a register turned on it. The
LandRover backplate was turned to fit this register, hopefully keeping
everything lined up. The two parts are held together with 14 M8
countersunk bolts. I don't want it to move!
The Sherpa starter does not line up with the LandRover hole so the Land
Rover part of the adapter plate had to be machined to suit. I will make
some sort of cover to keep dirt and water out.
Here you can see the cutout for the starter motor.