Thinking about LS Swapping the Discovery

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Dec 19, 2020.

  1. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    After buying the RV, we quickly realized we needed a tow-behind. See:

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...ng-about-an-atv-tow-behind-for-the-rv.127870/

    And we ended up getting a 1997 Land Rover Discovery:

    [​IMG]

    We do really enjoy driving this thing. However the one thing neither of us like is the engine. The 4.0 in these is only rated at 182 HP, and so the 0-60 time is best measured in ice ages. It also doesn't offer any real redeeming qualities. It's prone to head gasket failures (this one apparently had one and supposedly has new head gaskets), known for blocks cracking, and very prone to leaks. This car leaks both coolant and oil at a rather impressive rate, probably leaking a quart of oil every 500 miles and a quart of coolant every 100. In spite of these impressive consumption rates I've not been able to positively identify where the leaks are coming from, although I am thinking the oil may be from the valve cover gaskets (which are remarkably not as straightforward to get at as you'd think).

    The smart thing to do would be to just fix the leaks on this engine, which is temporary since new leaks will spring up from elsewhere, and maybe that's what I'll do. Not like I really need horsepower out of this thing for its mission. I could find a 4.6 and either rebuild or otherwise reseal it myself and swap it in if I wanted more power.

    But, even though I'm very much not one of those "LS Swap The World" people (in fact I generally dislike LS swaps because they're so overdone). However as one of my friends put it, "it's maddening how much sense LS swaps make sometimes." I kinda feel like this may be one of those times. Even a 4.8 LS (which they generally recommend as the ideal one) is rated at 285 HP, which would be a significant horsepower increase and really be plenty. Adapter plates exist to either mate to the 4HP22 transmission in there (this strikes me as a good way to blow up the transmission) or adapter plates exist that would let me bolt a normal GM transmission to the LS engine and then adapt the LT230 transfer case. Of course a manual transmission would be what I'd want to go with here, and some are available.

    The other fun option would be the Cummins R2.8 (which is a package that I've found extremely appealing), but that wouldn't help the horsepower complaint and at over $8k I think is still a good value, but a lot more money.

    The LS engine in this case is by far the cheapest part of the equation. Local Craigslist guys will sell a 4.8 complete with harness and ECU for $500. Basically every component after that will cost more, so the logical thing remains to fix the 4.0. But, it's really tempting.
     
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  2. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    Do a solid axle swap while you're at it. Dana 60's and then you can sling some real phat tahrs without breaking axle shafts :)
     
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  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    $300 saddle on a $50 horse?
     
  4. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I too am tired of all the LS swaps. Sadly it just makes too much sense especially with standalone fuel management systems on the market from Holley. Where it can start to get expensive is adapting the accessories to work like AC and such. You may have to mix and match accessory drives, oil pans, and radiator styles.

    I would go for the 5.3 with a 4l65E and adapt your current transfer case. The 5.3 doesn’t really cost any more than a 4.8 and has better TQ. Even better, track down a 5.3 from an 06 extended cab short bed truck and you get an aluminum block to save weight at a fraction of the cost of a 5.7 or 6.2 LS engine.
     
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  5. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    No. And the stock axles are already solid, and the transfer case is locking. No reason to change anything there. :)
     
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  6. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Why yes, that is how I roll.
     
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  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    This LS swap is a baaaaaad idea. :D

    Why?
    1. You are a knowledgable Jaguar owner. You of all people should understand and accept that vital fluid leaks are an integral, signature part of owning a British vehicle. :thumbsup:
    2. Futile attempts to stem the seepage of vital fluids is an expected pastime for all British vehicle owners. :mad2:
    3. Actually completely stopping the dripping by effective means, including a complete LS mechanical heart transplant, is entirely unacceptable. Having a British vehicle that doesn't leave daily fresh oil stains on the driveway just isn't proper. A total destruction of heritage and tradition (pause here for a few bars of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" march). An LS swap would be like having the Queen give up her crumpets for a Krispy Kreme, or trade Windsor Castle for a penthouse in Trump Tower.
    4. Remember, the Brits built an entire Empire - and won the Battle of Britain - with every single motor leaking oil...on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields, on the streets and in the hills; they shall never surrender...to effective seals or gaskets (pause here for rendition of "Rule Britannia").
    5. Face it, if you really didn't want to be dripping lubricants and coolants you'd have bought a Toyota SUV for a tow-behind. Decision made, accept that fate gracefully, find a cheap supplier for your SAE 10-30, and finish the Cobra instead of making another project out of the Land Rover. ;)
    6. Next thing you know you'll be expecting the Land Rover to actually start when it's raining. See the dangerous path where this can lead. :eek: Repent before you go down that slippery slope!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
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  8. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    @GRG55 makes valid points. Crazy enough the XKR also has a fluid leak I’m trying to fix (power steering). Although its more significant issue is intermittently losing the throttle position sensor, which throws it into limp mode. It’s a common connector issue.

    I did a bit more poking around last night and my thought is that although this thing supposedly had the head gaskets done recently, I bet that they didn’t machine the heads when they did it and the head gaskets are blown again. I have zero interest in attacking that job. Again breaking with Jaguar tradition, I’m likely to throw some Barr’s Leaks in (which a number of Land Rover people have said works to slow the head gasket leak issue) and ignore it. The oil I do think is the valve cover gaskets. I may attack those.

    I did some more digging further into the engine and transmission. It looks as though the engine should be a stock B-O-P transmission bolt pattern, which means the transmission should be as well. If that’s the case, then $80 will buy me an adapter plate from Summit to adapt an LS block to a B-O-P transmission. Obviously there’s more to it than that, but if that’ll get me going, that might make the swap more appealing once I get the shop set up and a few other things taken care of.
     
  9. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    Locking front & rear diff's as well?
     
  10. FancyG

    FancyG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    https://gobdp.com/product/head-gasket-sealer-38386/ and use the flush first. #1 mechanic in a bottle, worth a try.
     
  11. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Hey Ted, whats BOP? Ive not come across this yet?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  12. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Buick Oldsmobile Pontiac. The LR engine is based on the old Buick 300 engine. Which at the time differed from Chevrolet transmission bolt patterns.
     
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  13. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Based on the Buick 215, but otherwise you’ve got it right. :)
     
  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dare to be different and go for the LS swap. I am with ya on the LS into everything, way overdone, but sometimes it makes sense.

    Or be even more different and put an old Pontiac overhead cam straight 6 in it....
     
  15. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Everything British leaks oil. I'm guessing the Cutty Sark left an oil slick in its wake.
     
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  16. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Swapping an oil leaking problem for an oil burning problem? Lol. Just make sure you go pre-07 LS so that you stay away from that AFM bovine excrement they put on them.

    You could Coyote swap it and sort of stay with the history since Ford owned Land Rover for a short period, lol.
     
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  17. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I don’t think a coyote engine would fit. There is no real reason to go with the later engines but he could do the AFM delete and be back to a standard LS. The LS swap kit is like $1500 plus 250ish for an engine if you keep the LR trans. Bit of wiring work and some new hoses. Probably 3k all in, not bad for
    Better performance, and better fuel economy and reliability.
     
  18. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    You lost me at Cummins.
     
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  19. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    An L33 5.3 with a small cam upgrade would be the ideal choice.
     
  20. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Well donate a yellow engine to the cause and I’ll figure out how to shove it in. ;)
     
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  21. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Really the stock early 4.8 is ideal. 285 HP is a good bump up from the stock 185. This doesn’t need to be a drag racer, it’s just about getting a better engine in with more reliability.

    An old 4.3 is also a good option in terms of size, weight, and power, but I detest V6s so that’s an automatic no.
     
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  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Spoken as a true Jaguar aficionado! :thumbsup:

    V-6 engines are an abomination.

    In this crazy COVID world it's comforting to know there are certain immutable constants one can depend on...:D
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
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  23. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    Don't tempt me. Would a C7 shoehorn in there?
     
  24. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    I think he means Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac.

    Edit added: I see @Grum.Man slowed The Egg down just long enough to beat me to this. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
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  25. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    With a big enough hammer a C15 would fit :D
     
  26. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now that the MU-2 is gone, one might ask if Ted really should be putting a turbine engine in instead.

    (ducks and runs)
     
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  27. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I was being mostly facicious. For a toad that spends most of its time strapped to the back of an RV, I would just fix what's in it. Machine the heads and seal it up. Cheapest option and for the number of miles expected to be put on it annually crawling around national parks, I don't imagine the increased power would get much use.
     
  28. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    You’ve never seen my wife drive.
     
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  29. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    C'mon Ted... LS swaps are too easy and over done (as you said yourself.)

    I double-dog dare you to install a diesel engine into it! Think about how much fund that would be, and the fuel economy you'd get!
     
  30. rene86mx

    rene86mx Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  31. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'm not opposed, but the diesel options are limited and it's a much harder argument on something that I don't expect will really be a "forever car". There's the 4BT (which is way too heavy - roughly 2x the weight of the current engine), the R2.8 (which is too expensive) and, well, that's pretty much all I can think of. Maybe the Ecodiesel, but that's a V6 (I hate V6s) and is not straightforward to swap. No idea what it weighs, either, but I bet there's a weight penalty and it's got too much emissions junk on it. I'd love to swap the R2.8 in (sorry @NealRomeoGolf ) but someone else has done it and I don't expect Cummins will send me a free engine.

    If the R2.8 could be had for anywhere close to what an LS would run (or I got sponsored to do that or another diesel swap), I'd go for that even though it's got similar power to the existing engine (but in a better power band and I could always chip it for more... which I would do).
     
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  32. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Since the LR Discovery was built with a diesel, why not just transplant one of those into it?
     
  33. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    So the "LS Swap Kit" for the Discovery Series 1 (what I have) that's $1500 is really just an adapter plate between the 4.0 and the 4HP22, plus some instructions. I'm not willing to pay $1500 for an adapter plate that should be $100 or so. The part I'm having a hard time figuring out is what the bolt pattern is on that 4.0. Some reports on the internet say it's the standard BOP bolt pattern that I mentioned above. Some say it's the Buick 215 pattern, which was different from the standard BOP. And then some say the Buick 215 was a different pattern but Rover changed it to the standard BOP (which is effectively option 1). If it is a BOP pattern, $80 will buy me an adapter plate and then I need to figure out an appropriate flexplate.

    None of this would be immediate anyway. I have enough other things I need to finish up or at least make progress on.
     
  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That'd be an option as well, but those weren't sold in America. In the end I suspect it wouldn't make the job easier.
     
  35. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Just install the rotary from the new racecar. And a 13.11 rear end.
     
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  36. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Talk about "worst engine swap ever". :rofl:

    I'm really looking forward to running the rotary. Just not in a 5,000 lb SUV.
     
  37. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If Disco’s engine still turns and it’s capable of moving itself forward, I would not be thinking about an engine swap until I had my Cobra finished :)
     
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  38. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    My spirit animal:

    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Honestly, just thinking about all the things you're thinking about (let alone DOING!) wears me out...

    I think I've found your other spirit animal:

    [​IMG]
     
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  40. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I have a very multi-tasking brain that usually has several trains of thought going on at any one time.

    Regardless, I'm not talking about something immediate or even particularly near term. But the Cobra, as @3393RP pointed out, is a marathon and not a sprint. I do agree that finishing it is a higher priority (or at least getting it running).