Mercedes Diesel in a Land Rover

A Mercedes Diesel in your Series Land Rover?

Following is a collection of messages sent to the BC Land Rover E-mail List:

Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 15:29:16 -0800

Has anyone out there installed a Mercedes diesel in a Landy?

Jim Skelton

Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 16:06:00 -0500

I’ve corresponded with a couple folks who did, and eventually changed to

other engines for various reasons. A lot depends on what you want a

different engine to do that a stock one doesn’t do. Fully developed kits are

available, even on the used market. Doug Shipman had a 300 complete with

adapter kit for sale ($1500usd, if I recall correctly) for quite a while.

They are relatively heavy and large, although they do fit, and require

taller gearing, unless you’re strictly off-roading (an overdrive isn’t

adequate for extended highway use and has marginal strength for the power).

All that being said, I must add that I haven’t any personal experience with

the conversion, only what I was able to find while researching diesels. Drop

me a line, direct, if you would like to discuss it more. I can probably

track down the whereabouts of Doug’s for you, even if he’s sold it. My best

recommendation for a Series rig would be a 2.5, if you want a simple yet

extremely workable conversion, but I know they’re hard to find.


’64 109 2.25 Mercruiser/Rover diesel

Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 19:03:55 -0800

It’s been done.4 and 5 cylinder.I am looking for an adapter plate if

there’s one around,even if just to copy.


Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 19:12:46 -0800

I’ve done considerable research as well.I have installed toyota

diesels,worked with guys who have done perkins(mazda) and nissan units.I

also checked in to iszue.And i saw what was involved with the iveco

units.After all is said and done,the biggest problem with the toyota is the

noise,Land Rover is the noise,Nissan is the noise.Perkins(mazda) and

Mercedes is the smoothest and quietest of them all.Mercedes diesels used are

plentiful and with some patience a good one can be found relatively

cheap.The unit Shipman has,I don’t know if it’s for sale or sold because he

was reluctant to give me any concrete answer when i saw him in Belview last

year.I know of a couple of trucks with the mercedes in it but they are not

local and i still want to see them before i go any farther.


Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 09:31:15 -0700

My good friend Michael Woodger has had a mercedes diesel installed in

his NADA LWB. He is still experimenting with fuel economy and the likes

but I believe he is quite happy with it.

Colin ’63 SWB

Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 10:49:04 -0800

Is he running the 4 or 5 cylinder and where did he get the adapter plate

from or did he make his own? What’s he using for the rad and did he modify

any of the frame mounts?


Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 15:31:04 -0700

He is running the 4 cylinder. The adapter plate is from Cyprus. Our local Edmonton LR mechanic is from there and imports them. This mechanic also did the engine rebuild and conversion. The rad is the original and I believe the mounts must have been modified.

Hope this helps. Colin

Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 16:23:06 -0800

Do you have the phone # for this guy? or the name of his shop?

I have a friend in need of this kit ASAP. Thanx,

Chris Youngson VE7CST

Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 18:25:09 -0800

I lurk on your list.. put my two bits worth in every once in awhile.. this Mercedes diesel adaption sounds interesting !!.. What kind of horse power and torque do they have? Is there a turboed four cylinder?..

I know there are turbo fives… they most put out close to 175 – 200 hp and

gobs of torque.. be great in a 109…


Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 19:04:56 -0800

What does the plate cost approximately?And whats the address or contact of

this cyprus outfit?

thanx Andre

Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 19:26:30 -0800

Actually the 5 puts out just a little less than the toyota but is much

quieter and smoother and better mileage.I have a spec sheet somewhere.I

think the 4 turboed isn’t available in north america.the none turbo is very

close to rating as the original landy diesel,again better

mileage,smoother,and quieter.The turboed 5 is just over the toyota specs in

power.I have done several toyota swaps and it is only good with the late 3

trans because it is the strongest.And you definitely need the salisbury.


Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 10:30:55 -0700

Call Edmonton 1-403-455-2404 and talk to Chris. He imports them from Cyprus( the nice warm place way down south).


Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 15:18:44 -0700

There was a thread a while back about MB diesels in rovers. Someone

said there was a guy in Edmonton? who did the conversion. Is there any

more info on this guy, his conversion etc. out there?


Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 17:05:05 -0400

OK Clinton, I’ll start the ball rolling here. I don’t have any of the posts

from last time, but here’s what I’ve heard about MB conversions, 2nd hand:

1) Don’t expect stock gearing to work well- the Rover engine is one of the

faster turning diesels, and the gearing is appropriate. If you use a slower

turning engine (Mercedes, Perkins, York, etc), you’ll need “taller” gearing,

either by changing to 3.54 diffs, or “high-ratio transfer case, or a

different transmission. An overdrive will also help, but they don’t last

long (in my opinion) in high-torque use. The Rover engine can cruise at over

4000rpm, the Mercedes redlines at 3600 (depending on model), or about 55mph

with stock gearing. Keep in mind that’s the redline, and they cruise really

happily at about 2400 to 3000rpm, or 38 to 46mph. The overdrive will take

the redline up to almost 70, and “best cruise” to 45 to 58. Unfortunately,

the stock Mercedes engine torque band drops off near redline, although

they’ll have terrific climbing torque at idle speeds.

2) Don’t expect a used Mercedes engine to run better than your old Rover

engine. Rebuilding to top condition is extremely expensive, which is often

why they show up on the used market. They last a long time, if they start

out fresh, often driving well over 250,000 miles with average maintenance.

Oil consumption can get frightful near the end though.

3) They are loud, especially at higher revs. The nice quiet cars they come

in are heavily insulated for good reason. Listen to a Unimog, or

Massey-Ferguson tractor for comparison. Sidenote: earplugs are cheaper than

insulation, unless you want to converse with passengers.

4) On the plus side, other people have worked the bugs out of the conversion

and remained happy with the results. That can be a great help. The

conversion that Doug Shipman had a year or two ago was removed after a

complete conversion in a 109 because the owner didn’t like the way it turned

out. You may have other expectations. Doug was asking $1500usd for the

complete conversion kit and engine, and I think finally sold it after a long

time. Talk to the people who have done the conversion (obviously what you’re

trying to do here).

5) expect better fuel economy. 30mpg and better is common with the direct

injection engines.

Good luck,


’64 109 diesel (’63 MerCruiser/Rover 2.25 diesel)

Undergeared, expensive, slow and noisey. Just like it came from the factory.

Did I mention the 27mpg?

Comments are closed.