300 Tdi Engine back in, nearly - Story and at the end Questions

This site contains affiliate links for which LandyZone may be compensated if you make a purchase.


My brother-in-laws old defender 90 truck has sat gathering leaves since I freed the handbrake and drove it home 100 miles with a slipping clutch and clouds of black smoke as the revs rose every time the road was anything but completely level, or downhill. I took a chance and bought a low mileage 300 Tdi engine rebuilt by another and then 'abandoned project'. It arrived on a pallet from the top of Scotland for £45 and sat in my shed for 2-years.

I pulled the old engine out a few weeks ago, thankfully I have a 1.5t excavator as sitting on range rover size wheels my 2T hoist wouldn't lift it over the front cross member despite removing the bumper and front end between the wings to make it easy. What did I notice at 140k. Well the turbo was knackered and I'm sure the black smoke was related to that. When I started it after a long spell of non use the dreaded revs rising without accelerator pressing happened so I engaged gear and stalled it quickly.

The clutch had recently been replaced and was in good condition and the crankshaft oil seal was good and a dry bellhousing so my theory of a knackered or contaminated clutch were wrong. I took out the clutch master cylinder that's made reasonable when the engine is out and found the adjustment nuts locked up. I watched a fantastic Youtube on clutch master cylinder adjustment so a massive shout out to Mike at Britannica Restorations Ltd. Whoever replaced the clutch got lazy did not sort out the jammed nuts and so adjustment would have been the issue causing my brand new clutch to slip. I see from the forums its a common problem when using many garages who are 'lazy' or non Landy.

Son Charlie came to visit and having replaced the clutch and clutch fork with a heavy duty one, I asked him to operate the excavator and used a £20 adjustable engine bar to line up and reinstall the engine. It was a rush there was a birthday party planned for the workshop area but we connected it together we with a few bolts and slid it back in. This time Mike's tip of removing the engine mount studs was used making it easy but leaving the studs yet to go back in. The old 300Tdi engine still had its EGR and is being kept for a rebuild.

The replacement engine has a stainless steel decat front pipe and will have EGR delete. Tomorrow I need to tug the engine around as my engine mount holes are not quite aligned to replace the studs. I can see its not in quite straight. I tried to jack it back using a screw jack against the bulkhead but its a heavy beast and that was no good. I'll use the power of the 1.5t excavator arm to give it a tug tomorrow.

A new rad is arriving so then it will be connect it all up, new air filter, oil, oil filter, antifreeze and fill, and heading towards the exciting key turn and see if I bought well, or a duff. It all looks good and tight, turbo feels good, engine builders grease used etc.

Once its going it'll be off for a test MOT, waxoil the rear end (front done), then all the little bits, replacement windscreen rubber, sort the clear coat peeling roof, a new back door frame repair, replace the seized solid standard foot plates, etc., Most of all it will be great to actually drive it and show our young adults (no loner kids) what having a Landy that works is like and how fun and useful that is.

Finally a few questions for all you knowledgeable folk. My new stainless downpipe has no hanger whereas the original did so I was going to make one up to use the hanging point after the cat - yes/no? 2. I assume I can pull all the bolts from the factory hard top with delux sunroof (lol) lift it out and get it on the floor to sand back and repaint as it looks dreadful, easy? 3. Cut the front screen rubber to get the glass out then soapy water and a cord to get it back in - do I need to 'pretty please' my good lady, or can I do it alone?

Enjoy your Landies - they can be good 'switch off' therapy

300 Tdi.jpg