Land Rover engine conversions

The simple ladder chassis construction of a Series Land Rover lets you do almost anything. And the boxy design gives you lots of room in the engine bay, gives you a long list of possible Land Rover engine conversions.

Upgrades to original engines


The 2,5 litre 200 TDi was the last engine without electronics.
Removing the turbo, before mounting it in a series Land Rover, has long been a favourite mod.

3,5 litre Rover V8


3,5 litre “Turbo Rocket”

Buick hired Garret to design a turbo version of the original Buick 215 V(, that later became the Rover V8. The turbo version was called the “Turbo Rocket”, and it had 215 HP and 300 lbp torque.
Getting hold of an original can be hard, as most of them were converted to carburettors, because getting hold of the methanol addative “Turbo-Rocket fluid” was expensive, and the tank needed refilling every 1-2 tankfulls of petrol, depending of the drivingstyle.

Rover V8 (or Buick 215)

Well the V8 engine is a late addition to the Land Rover Series game (it came with the introduction of the “Stage One” in 1979), so in Series IIa’s and earlier it still considers a conversion.

A bit off topic, as this Buick “nailhead” is a bit larger than the Buick 215 V8 that became the Rover V8, but it’s a great rebuild video:

Similar powered engine swaps:

Mercedes OM diesel

A long row of Series Land Rovers in continental Europe were converted to Mecedes Benz OM diesel engines.
The 5 cylindre OM617 was produced from 1974 to 1991, and produced from standard Series Land Roverish 79 HP to 227 HP as standard.

Toyota 4L diesel

The Toyota Hi-lux was known for two things. It was very prone to rust, but had an almost bulletprof engine.
One thing though…
…keep that bonnet closed when anywhere near other Land Rover owners, or you will quickly be the talkingpoint.

The more extreme engine swaps

Chevrolet LS3 V8

Silodrome has a good article about E.C.D Automotive Designs Land Rover Series IIa 430HP Corvette LS3 engine swap.

Tesla electric

Have you done an engine conversion on your Land Rover, or have you considered one? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment below.

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