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!

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