The Engine

 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 puddle!

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 and sump.

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.

Adapter plate on the engineHere 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 starter holes don't line up

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.

Starter cutoutHere you can see the cutout for the starter motor.