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?
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?
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
’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?