I bought my 2.25 petrol-engined Series III in 2010 as a non-running project.
The front dumb irons were rusted through and the wiring was semi-burnt out. My ambition was to build a capable off-roader that also had good on-road cruising, using easily obtainable parts.
Initially, I thought about fitting a 2.5-litre petrol engine but settled on a 200Tdi and mated it to the original Series III gearbox. I replaced the cambelt, head gasket and water pump first though.
I wanted to keep the original manual steering, so ditched the power steering pump and belt, and modified the alternator to mount in its place.
To make the exhaust easier to fit, I sourced a 300Tdi turbo and manifold, which also needed a 300Tdi oil pipe instead of the 200Tdi item.
I fitted a bespoke Autosparks wiring loom, marrying up the Series III components and Tdi engine perfectly. I opted for a Defender radiator/oil cooler unit and planned to mount it and the intercooler side-by-side to maximise air flow. Unfortunately, the steering relay arm proved to be just in the way. My solution was to move the radiator and intercooler back behind the chassis crossmember with the intercooler fitting neatly into the standard insert in the wing. I fabricated top and bottom mounting plates to hold everything in place, just 25mm behind the position of the original Series III radiator; very neat.
‘Plumbing’ was always going to be a challenge but I’ve found that a standard 2.25 petrol bottom hose is an almost perfect fit between the bottom of the radiator and the engine, using a small, straight extension hose. I made the radiator top hose from two Series III top hoses.
The intercooler came from a Discovery, which needed the bottom intake elbow to be rotated to accept the input from the 300Tdi turbo. This was kindly done by fellow LRO Show Manic Mechanic, Gary Tuffnell. I used a combination of 200 and 300Tdi hoses to connect the turbo to the intercooler – thanks to Flatdog, which supplied them. Flatdog also supplied the specially modified front winch bumper to house the Britpart 12,000 Pulling Power winch. The finishing touches are a cage from Whitbread Off-Road, a new rear crossmember and a set of parabolic springs, gas shocks and polybushes all-round.
Our buyers' guides gives you essential tips if you're thinking of buying a Land Rover. Check out our Series III guide here.