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Defender 110 Station Wagon
3.9 EFI install, 5 speed upgrade and more
This Defender 110 Wagon has come to us from Maryland for a 3.9 new engine and gearbox. We'll also be converting the old 3.5 V8 twin carb set up to EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) and installing a new R380 5 speed gearbox to replace the old unit.
This images shows the old 3.5 with its twin carbs. This engine has been powering this 110 for nearly 20 years and it is definitely time for a change.
In place of the old 3.5 we will be installing this low mileage complete 3.9 EFI engine. This set up was a take out from one of our diesel conversions, so it has nearly everything you need to swap to 3.9 EFI all in one shot. The next step is to remove the old engine and gearbox and make the needed bulkhead changes to set the 110 up for EFI.
In the image above you can see that we have removed the old 3.5 and gearbox and are ready to start cleaning things up and making the engine bay ready for the EFI 3.9.
To set up for the 3.9 EFI system we need to drop the fuel tank and install the EFI fuel pump and EFI fuel lines. Once the tank was removed we found substantial rust in the rear cross-member of the 110. To cure this you can see in the image above we have removed the entire rusty rear cross-member section back to good steel.
After a little body adjustment and some welding the new galvanized rear cross-member is in place, and now we can make the needed changes to the fuel tank and fuel system knowing that rust will not be factor.
Here you can see the completed rear cross-member job with all the hardware, ladder, bumperettes and tow hitch back in place. Now we can start to plumb the fuel system for the EFI 3.9 V8.
Installing an EFI 3.9 into this 1980's Defender 110 will make it a lot more drivable and will give it the power that it has been missing. However, there are snags if you want to do this. As Land Rover only made a handful of EFI V8 Defender 110s, and they stopped production of all Defender 110s with V8s in 1993, some of the parts to do this swap are no longer available at any price. Some of those parts that are NLA are a few of the EFI fuel lines. The good news is that at ECR we are dedicated to making NAS Defenders last longer and perform better, so for this 110 we have installed a set of our CNC made stainless steel fuel lines. These lines are exact reproductions of the factory lines, but they are full 304 stainless with stainless fittings. As you can see in the image above the bends follow all the factory contours and they clip in correctly into the factory locations. These stainless fuel lines will mean that rust will never be a factor on the fuel lines on this 110, making for a long lasting install, and offering a solution to a piece that the factory no longer makes. We also have full stainless brake line kits and fuel line kits for Defender 90 as well as 110.
While we have the engine out it is a great time to complete some smaller work orders on the 110. Rust is really starting to take hold of this older 110, so we will be replacing the rusted power steering lines and replacing the leaking old power steering box as well, as you can see in the image above. These repairs along with new clutch hydraulics and such will make for a correct, long lasting install of the "new" 3.9 EFI V8 drive-train.
Here you can see the "new" R380 5 speed mated to the 110s original 1.4 LT230 transfer case. We have made all the needed changes to correct the shift linkage so that everything will operate properly and we have done some service jobs like freeing up the rusted hand-brake cable and so on. We will also be replacing the worn input gear on the LT230 transfer case and doing the rest of the conversion work (reverse light wiring, that sort of thing). Once fully prepared the gearbox assembly will be mated to the engine with a new clutch and pressure plate.
Inside the 110 there are a number of things to deal with. The add on wiring in this 110 done by another shop is really poorly done, but we have to work around it. In a 110 or a 90 all the stereo wiring is supposed to be run down from the seat box area to the frame, then out to the speakers or what have you. If you route the wires they way these installers did, then service of the gearbox and transfer case becomes a real issue. We need to move all those wires out of the way to do our work, but as they were all incorrectly run and hard wired into place, we have to leave this mess in place. Above you can see that we have installed the gearbox assembly into the 110 and mounted it in place.
To make the R380 5 speed fit in the older 110s you have to modify the seat box. The image above shows that we have used our templates to remove the needed material from the upper edge of the seat box. See the green arrows. These cuts are required for install of the R380.
Here you can see that we are fabricating a new seal lip to install onto the existing seat box so that the new tunnel cover, and new carpet will install correctly and look factory. Once this alloy panel is worked into shape by our fabricators it will be installed and made ready for the tunnel covers to go into place.
For longevity and some added performance we have also installed a complete new NRP stainless steel exhaust system.
The new EFI engine needed oxygen sensors and catalytic convertors anyway, so this was a great time to cure all the exhaust issues in one easy step. An NAS Defender frame cross-member is also required to install the EFI style exhaust system, and the take out cross-member for the D90 diesel conversion worked great to meet this requirement. There was some fabrication needed to make the NRP system fit the rest of the Euro 110 (as the system is designed for the NAS 110) but this was easily completed by the staff of ECR and now the exhaust looks, sounds and performs great.
This image shows the RH tool locker of the 110. We have installed the EFI wiring harness just like the factory does, and fabricated all the mounts and relay tabs for a clean looking install. The 14CUX EFI system has been custom wired to work as a stand alone unit for this 110, that originally had carbs, and all the correct fuses, color codes and wiring has been adhered to. This will make future work on the 110 a breeze as any Rover mechanic can trace wires, or read fault codes from the on board diagnostic display. As we have said many times, it doesn't take any longer to "do it right".
Even inside the 110, where you don't think about an EFI system, we have shown our level of attention to detail. The image above shows the factory correct EFI warning lamp binnacle has been installed into the Euro 110's dash and wired up correctly, without cuts to the factory harness and without any mess. This will give the owner all the correct EFI warning lamps (see the green arrow) just like a factory EFI Defender.
Here you can see the nearly completed install. The tired old 3.5 with its troublesome twin carbs is gone, and a "new" 3.9 EFI complete set up has been installed right down to the correct mount added to the bulkhead for the factory style air cleaner. This conversion entails everything from altering the motor mounts to changing the throttle cable, along with custom wiring the EFI system and even a new throttle cable.
It is not a small job by any means, but the difference in the road manners and enjoyment that the owner will get out of his Defender 110 will be amazing. The engine has also been fully serviced with new tune up parts and more to make it ready for the road. The Defenders original air conditioning system has been mated to the new 3.9 and everything is ready to roll.
Here you can see the completed 110 Wagon ready to head back to Maryland. The new 3.9 EFI drive-train with the R380 5 speed gearbox and NRP stainless exhaust will make this 110 perform well and be a lot more user friendly. If you have needs for your Defender contact ECR. We'll be happy to help you with everything from a simple bumper and winch install, to something like this fuel injection conversion. It doesn't matter if you have the newest Defender, or an older 1980's version like this one, we can help you make your Defender world class!