Another Chevy 250 Conversion

bboretsky

Member
This is the start of my journey. Many thank for Robert Davies for pioneering the conversion and taking the time to tool this up. Let me start by saying that what I am working on is a 91 Land Rover Santana 2500. Haters, just troll somewhere else as I will give you no mind.

So to start, I have the 12J with the 5Speed trans and 1.6 LT230. Drives nice around town but highways are a life here in Montana. I can get up to 70, but it is struggle. So here is the plan:
1. Purchased GM I6 250 (integrated head) from yard: $100
2. Purchased MOST of the kit from Robert: $1400 (Some I will not be using.
3. Purchased 153 tooth flywheel:$60
4. Purchased starter: $150
5. Purchased Alternator: $100
6. Purchased 100 amp relay and fuse block: $20
7. Purchased (already had) Holly Sniper 2300 and Hyperspark Distributer and coil pack: $2000
8. Purchased Disco 1 LT230Q with the 1.2 final drive: $400

1. I had to tear down and degrease the motor. It was a runner from the yard with less than 10k on the clock after a rebuild. Remove all emissions crud and simplify the motor to it's essentials.
2. Next was to build an aluminum adapter from 3/4 billet. There is no adapter for the Rochester 2SE to Holley 2300 flange. I have it mocked up in the picture.
3. Test fit all components
4. Drive the heck out of it till the fuel tank is LOW. Easier to remove when it is on empty.

That is all for now. If anyone is curious, there is the same amount of space from bell housing as a Solihull built D90. The Trans is the same one used in the V8 Land rovers (LR OEM'd it from Santana).
 

Attachments

JimC

Super Moderator
Staff member
The differences with Santanas are always mind blowing to me, it’s more like a ”Series IV” than anything else. Crazy rear door latch set up, big fat hinges that will actually carry a tire. Is the roof fiberglass? So much is interesting. Good luck with the swap, I’m certain you’ll make it work and be happy with it, Rob‘s conversions drive very well.
 

bboretsky

Member
The rear tire carrier is supported by the hinges, not the door itself. Yes the lid is fiberglass. I have heard many time it's more akin to a series and in the EU they often call em Series 4. Ride is similar to a friend's D90. Steering is tight. No death wobble. The snorkel is a joke. Just screwed into the side, no cutout, and on the wrong side. Heater box right in the way.
 

bturcina

New member
Good luck with this, Bryan. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on your conversion. Thanks for talking me through my swap...you couldn't have been more helpful. I ordered an inline 6 with the complete adaptor kit and flywheel from Robert Davis this morning, so the wait begins! Since I'm not a mechanic, I just wanted the engine delivered ready to bolt in.
 

pfshoen

Member
I have the same trans LT85 in my 127 V8. Rubber tunnel cover is NLA. There is more than one type Santana rear door. Some are squared off on top. The spare tire carrier looks good, def better than oem Solihull. Is it possible that the snorkel is hiding the oem heater intake? SIII's had a vent there. Some period modded Series plumbed the snorkel thru the bonnet, although it might be possible to plumb it like an NAS, or with a Southdown kit. Is the Defender badge correct? I thought Santanas had their own model names, like "Super." The 6 cyl will transform that truck. I believe Santanas had parabolic springs as oem. The only reason I know why Santanas sometimes get a bad rap is that some pose as Defenders or Solihull Series. Some Series trucks pose as Defenders as well.
 

bboretsky

Member
Snorkel is just screwed to the wing. They never even cut a hole for it. I will probably do the southdown when I am done. Badging is incorrect. Should say Santana 2500 (for the 88 inch wheelbase) and Santana 3500 (109 wheelbase). Yes for parabolic springs, very nice ride with those springs.
 

RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
I have the same trans LT85 in my 127 V8. Rubber tunnel cover is NLA.
The Santana LT85 has a short belhousing that connects to the Land Rover 4 cylinder engines.
This makes for an easy conversion because the Chevy 250 adapter will bolt right up to the Santana transmission.
The "Solihull" LT85 that bolts to the Rover V8 is very different that only bolts up to the Rover V8 engine.

Not sure if there is a rubber tunnel cover that fits this particular Santana.
 
Last edited:

RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
Thanks Robert, I forgot that the Gassers had a different bell housing and input shaft.
No problem. I just don't want people to think the Chevy 250 adapter bolts right to the "Solihull" LT85.
The V8 Defenders can be converted to a Chevy 250, but it requires a short LT77 or the R380 Stumpy.
 

bboretsky

Member
Update 1. Engine is cleaned up. Carb adapter gasket is in place and bolted down. Working on the Sniper install next. Flywheel comes back from machine shop this afternoon with 6 new M8 holes for the clutch pressure plate. Gaskets on side covers replaced, Hyperspark disti installed. One problem I can across was when I had the engine at TDC, the marks on the Harmonic balancer were 120 degrees off. So I start poking around and decide to pull the balancer. The outer ring that the rubber is mated to must have separated and was slipping. As I used the puller the two pieces separated completely. No big deal, Ordered a new one and I will be a week behind. oh well. but it give me a chance to clean up behind the balancer and replace the time gear cover seal. Cannot find a valve cover for the engine. It originally had the exhaust pipes with the two rectangular pots on top of the cover. Took all the lines off and sealed up the ports with brass plugs. I am reduced to using a spot weld drill bit and removing the pots on top by hand and repainting them. Running low on diesel so I need to be ready to do the swap soon.

Oh, and big thank to Robert for sending over a bracket that was 'missing' from the parts he sent over. i will have a mocked up engine tonight!
 
Top