A sheared bolt and a mini adventure

On Thursday night last week my charge light didn’t go out. Since it was very wet I just assumed it was down to a slippy fan belt and decided to fix it at the weekend, provided the never-ending rains let up.
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After a huge fry-up at the farm, daughter and I set about fixing the problem – which turned out to be caused by the alternator completely snapping off! The 200Di conversion involved making a custom alternator bracket. Though the bracket itself is made from 10mm sheet steel welded to a chunky steel tube I made on the lathe, the weak spot is the M8 bolt which runs through it. This bolt had sheared off, leaving the alternator hanging loose. Luckily the fan belt didn’t fall off on the way home and I didn’t drive far enough to overheat the engine (the water pump must have stopped working as a result of the belt going slack).
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In the end I used a length of threaded bar instead of the stainless set screw that Emma is holding in the photo. Hopefully this will last a bit longer; stainless steel being notoriously brittle.
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I wasn’t allowed to start the engine “unless we’re going on a journey” so, once the fix was in, we headed up the road to Bucklebury Common. After the weeks of heavy rain and strong winds the common was pretty muddy and there were fallen trees and branches everywhere. I think the daughter enjoyed her introduction to Green Laning.
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In fact she took it so seriously she started compiling some pace notes!

Official End of the Petrol Era

The Duke’s original engine and the lucky recipient

Yep, that’s The Duke’s engine 200 miles away from The Duke next to somebody else’s Land Rover!  Decided there was no point leaving it in the garage to go rusty so sold it to a fellow forum member.

He was kind enough to send me a photo and offer me some beer money too.  Cheers Ed!

Brum Brum! Plus some Welding

Brum brum!  Quite a big update today.  Spent a few hours this afternoon doing a couple of the nastier welding jobs on my list, plus there are some photos of some other bits and bobs related to the engine conversion.

Firstly though, a brum brum video…

Here’s a couple of photos of the high pressure fuel fittings I got to replace the leaky DIY hoses I’d connected to the fuel filter.   Found some information on a forum which explained how some bloke had done a great job of sorting his fuel lines. He even included info on the parts he used and recommended a great supplier – SSL Diesel Parts, who I used and they were great.

High pressure brass fuel line coupling and, above that, the DIY throttle linkage I made from an old choke.
Proper compression fitting for the fuel pump.  Only cost a few pence.
Not the best photo ever, but this is DIY exhaust MkII.  The flexi bit really helps lower the noise.

The big job today was sorting out the seat box hole on the passenger side and sorting out the rusty dumbirons.  Only managed one of the dumbirons, but after a lot of head scratching today, at least I have a plan for sorting the second one.

Simple patch for the footwell.
Starting with the right hand dumbiron

Since my dumbirons are different to most – being the military version – it’s not so easy to replace them with new ones that simply weld on.  The Duke’s dumbirons seem to have thick steel plates on each side which are still relatively strong, so just the bumper mounting bit in the middle needs to be swapped.  I did this by making a 75x75x75mm cube with one side missing, then drilling holes and welding in place.

Full of sand and rust.  Maybe somebody left The Duke nose down on a beach for a couple of years?

New bit made up from 2mm steel plate

Welded in place.  Bumper fits on perfectly… but one of the holes needs widening as it’s slightly too far to the right.

Hume amount of sand and rust!

Hopefully the weather will be nice enough to do the other one at the weekend…

Engine Start

Another visit from Dr Johnson this weekend and we got the new engine started!  Not a very complex process really, just took a bit of faffing about with the electrics.
Adding some fuel

A collection of batteries

Initially we tried starting the engine with jump leads and batteries on the floor.  The starter really struggled with one battery so we added another in parallel:  no better!  In the end, Dr J bolted a battery into the proper place and used the existing battery connections.  Amazing how much of a difference the jump leads were making!

Bit of smoke from the DIY exhaust.  Tightening the bolts later fixed the leak

The main positive feed for the 24v system was on the starter solenoid which is no longer needed, so I made a plastic block to mount things on instead.  This saves a lot of wiring and keeps thing neat.

Most people use the series alternator mounting to mount the alternator using the same belt as the crank and water pump.  My old engine had a massive military generator mounting instead, so I had to make my own alternator bracket.

The alternator mount.

There are a few jobs left to do – leaky fuel pipes being one – but things are looking good for getting The Duke back on the road soon!

Engine In

A while ago now, Dr Johnson popped round to help lift the 200TDi engine into The Duke.  This was by no means easy, but we managed it in the end!

Manhandling the engine into place
Lining it up with the engine mounts and gearbox was a nightmare – taking a good couple of hours
We started work at 6pm and finally got the engine and gearbox mounted by midnight

In the subsequent couple of weeks I have been working on mounts for the alternator, adapters for the fuel pipes and a pipe to link the exhaust manifold to the petrol engine down pipe.  The exhaust pipe has probably been the biggest job, so here are some pictures…

I used a spare mounting plate from the exhaust I picked up at Sodbury to make one end of the pipe.  This had a larger diameter than the pipe itself (as you might expect!) so I had to flare the pipe end as shown.
Pipe flared and welded to plate.  I tested the pipe for leaks by blocking up one end with my hand, blowing down the other end then squirting on cutting fluid to check for bubbles.  Found a few and fixed them.
Both ends of the adapter pipe.  The manifold mounting plate was custom made on the lathe/mill.  If I did this again I’d probably do the same for the plate on other end!
Welded together with appropriate curve
In place on the engine. 

The exhaust adapter will do for a while, but I don’t think it’s a very elegant solution.  The diesel engine’s exhaust port is about three inches further forward than the petrol, so the whole exhaust ended up getting pulled out of place.  This means that the back box is now fouling the chassis slightly, which may lead to noise in the cabin.

The best solution, I think, is to buy a new petrol down pipe then modify it to fit properly.  For the moment though, this will do.

Final picture is of the fuel pipe adapter I made for the fuel pickup.  This allows me to use 8mm hose all the way from the tank to the engine with no adapters and no need to modify any of the military tank connections.  Didn’t take long to knock this up on the lathe and I kept the old pipe in case I ever want to go back.

Fuel pipe adapter (the copper bit!)

Plenty more to do, including the alternator mountings, water pipes, electrics and so on.  Hopefully more updates soon!

Engine Out

Few more hours of work today and the Petrol Engine is out.  Lots of things to disconnect then some serious hoisting and out it popped.  Also found another connector on the oil cooler and managed to get that off really easily.

Radiator Off
Air filter mounting and oil cooler off.  Almost ready to go.

The engine hoist and strap I got off eBay worked brilliantly.  The annoying thing is that the lifting eye on the back of the engine is right up against the bulkhead, so getting the shackle on there was a pain.

Up up and away!

Was really pleased to see that the new clutch and oil seal I put in over a year ago were in tip top condition.  The inside of the bell housing was as clean as the day I bolted it all back together.  

Don’t know where to put the bloody thing now!

By the time I managed to get the engine out it had started raining pretty heavily, so I lowered it down, packed up and headed in for dinner. Hopefully the weather will be on my side tomorrow and I can get the gearboxes swapped over.

Off with his head!

Drove The Duke to work and back with a petrol engine for the last time last week.  On Thursday night I pulled him down the drive and put an end to the Petrol Era!

Am I standing on plastic?

In order to swap the engines over easily I need to whip off The Duke’s face.  Bonnet, wings, grille, radiator mounting and all the associated wires and pipes need to go. I also read on some forums that removing the bumper is a good idea as it makes it easier to slide in the engine crane.

Bonnet and bumper removed

The bumper was an absolute sod to get off.  The bolts were like fossils and tended to snap too high up to be easily removed from the bottom of the dumb irons, where they need to be pulled round a corner.

Jurassic fasteners

The condition of the bolts was a good indication that the dumb irons themselves were going to need a bit of attention.  I don’t know whether the RAF stored The Duke vertically on his nose, but somehow there is a mass of rusty and damp crud filling the dumb irons and providing perfect conditions for corrosion.

Cheesy dumb iron anyone?  Luckily, this is the worst of the two.

The Duke has extended, heavy duty, military spring hangers at the front, so a chop and weld job might be much more simple than trying to find prefabricated replacements and weld them on (as we did with Dr J’s Plum a few years ago).

Taking off the wings was also a pain in the backside – or more accurately, a pain in the arms.  Most of the bolts had rusted solid or were cleverly designed to be totally inaccessible.

Me eyes!  My beautiful eyes!

Nevertheless, after two nights of swearing, drilling, hammering and spannering the wings came off.  The Duke does not look so healthy without them and it’s a bit depressing seeing him looking so forlorn.  Still, the new engine will guarantee another decade of affordable motoring and secure his place on Man-ventures to come, so I guess it’s worth it!

Stripped back

Final job last night was to remove the radiator panel and on a normal Land Rover this couldn’t be easier.  The Duke, however, has a military oil cooler which means I need to disconnect the engine connection pipes and detach the cooler from the front panel.  The cooler uses massive, seemingly home-lathed connectors, so my 1″ spanner and it’s beefy mates enjoyed a rare chance to get out of the garage to help out.  Even the Mighty One Incher was too small to undo the pipe that connects to the top of the cooler, so the radiator panel remained where it is in the photo while I went inside to watch CSI and eat cake.

Snaky oil cooler in front of radiator

If I decide to go back and install the turbo in a few years the military oil cooler will be a good candidate to replace the Discovery version.  It makes sense to keep things original and since I have the tools I need to make connectors, it seems daft to throw it away.  That said, I’m not fitting it this time around, it can go into storage with the engine.

More soon I hope!