GM/Chevy 250 Conversion in 90/110/130

Parrie

Well-known member
Hmmm...silence from wife, how to interpret???

Just don't let her read that 2nd sentence in post #40...may be misconstrued!🤔
 

RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
The engine is very quiet and powerful enough to keep up with or lead in traffic.
I am going to install AC and a radio because now we can hear it.

Out in Oregon there should be some cheap Chevy 250s you could get into for a very small investment, then prep everything so you can do the work yourself over 1 weekend or 2 (once you have everything prepped and ready to install).
On our 110 I converted, routed the fuel lines and then used the sniper high pressure fuel pump to empty the diesel because the fuel tank was only 4 months old and didn't contain any sludge having never been run on veg.

Someone will likely buy your 300TDI engine and transmission for about what the entire conversion will cost you.
Then they will install the 300TDI and you can easily pass them with your Chevy 250 under any driving condition!
 
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
The cooling hoses have been identified with off the shelf parts.
For the bottom hoses, use the a Dayco 71188.
This connects to the right lower radiator pipe and comes up over and around the power steering box and steering hoses.
The other end of this hose connects to the left side a 3 way pipe T union (1 1/2" X 5/8" X 1 1/2") available from jagsthatrun.com.
The other end of the union goes to a Dayco 72062 and then to the water pump.
The top hose is also the Dayco 72062.
The hoses required a little trimming.
The 5/8" T pipe in the union goes up to the radiator overflow.
Very easy install.
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
The Chevy standard factory configuration is the inside V-belt is utilized by the alternator and the outer V-belt is used by the Saignaw power steering pump.
This setup goes right into a RHD Defender without any modifications.

With a LHD Defender, the factory alternator position under the power steering pump needs to move to the right side of the engine to prevent interference with the LHD steering box,
What all this means is the alternator and power steering pump need to reverse belt positions to accommodate LHD.
We have accomplished this on a small scale with factory and custom brackets, see pictures.
Because the demand for the Chevy 250 conversion has increased, we need to offer an adjustable power steering bracket that can mount the pump position for both LHD and RHD.
The custom bracket is being prototyped and when finished I will post up more some pictures.
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
For RHD
Integrated manifold Chevy 250 with the factory brackets for alternator, AC, and power steering.
These are all cleaned up after being removed from the $50 engine in post 36.
This engine with the factory configuration will bolt right into a RHD Defender with our conversion kit.
If you are thinking of having AC, and power steering, there are no changes to these mounts.
We still have to install a new power steering pump reservoir and clean and paint the pulley.

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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
For LHD
Integrated manifold Chevy 250 with the factory brackets for AC.
We modified the power steering brackets to use the first V-belt groove.
The alternator has been moved to the right side so it won't interfere with the LHD power steering box and uses the third V-belt groove.
The AC uses the center V-belt groove and remains in the factory position.
This engine setup will bolt right into a LHD Defender with our conversion kit.
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
An explanation of the Chevrolet fan belt layout and the final design for auxiliary brackets that allow the Chevy 250 to be installed in the Land Rover Defender:
Chevrolet left 1/2" between their fan belt grooves to prevent the belts from rubbing when they drive 2 devices on the same side of the engine.
I built around the flexibility from the spacing to accommodate being able to mount the alternator on either side of the engine to fit both RHD and LHD vehicles and provide a bracket for the Sanden style AC compressor for those who want AC.
In order to accomplish this brackets had to be designed and built to mount the alternator on the right for LHD.
An adjustable power steering bracket was also designed that allows the pump to be driven off of any of the 3 fan belts.
Since the 3rd fan belt pulleys bolt on, they are not needed for non-AC setups.
In the below pictures, it looks like the alternator and power steering are a long ways from the engine, but this is due to the picture angles.
The power steering pump for example is closer to the engine than the furthest edge of the manifolds.
 
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
The adjustable power steering pump brackets.
This is the unpainted prototype bracket the allows the pump to be driven off of any of the 3 fan belt grooves.
Please ignore the surface rust that will be cleaned off before the prototype is painted, but the pictures show the adjustability.
There is a 1/2" square made into the front bracket for a 1/2" breaker bar for easy adjustment.
In order to prevent manifold heat from being trapped, there are holes placed along the brackets.
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IMG_20200613_105308734.jpgIMG_20200613_105520611.jpgIMG_20200613_105829895_HDR.jpgIMG_20200613_110246068_HDR.jpgIMG_20200613_110530638_HDR.jpgIMG_20200613_110609663.jpgIMG_20200613_113712972.jpg
 
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
RHD with AC:
Belt 1 - Alternator on left, factory bracket
Belt 2 - AC compressor
Belt 3 - Power steering add on pulleys

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IMG_20200613_110906059.jpgIMG_20200613_110530638_HDR.jpg
 
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
RHD without AC:
Belt 1 - Alternator on left, factory bracket
Belt 2 - Power steering (factory bracket can be used if available instead of adjustable bracket)
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IMG_20200613_113700469_HDR.jpg
 
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Brrrrt

Member
Here is a quick update on my 250 conversion in my RHD 92’ Defender 90 ST with a R380 stumpy and 1.2 LT230....replaced a 12j diesel

I’ve put on 1100 miles of around town driving since the conversion with an average of 12 MPG. I know I could get better, but I couldn't care less about gas mileage and love the acceleration and rumble way too much to pinch pennies. This engine conversion has transformed my Defender into the truly fun summer cruiser I always wanted it to be...it is now the official fishing vehicle for me and my boys, which are now obsessed with fishing.

I still have the 1 barrel Rochester Monojet carburetor on it that seems completely fine, but I will likely upgrade to an EFI over the winter.

I’ve had limited highway use given my location and my typical destinations, but it gets up and goes no problem...It cruises fine at 70+, although I’m more into just using it locally.

-Brian
 

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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
Frank:
If you want to be added to the mailing list, PM me your email if you want pricing, but how much you spend determines total cost.
My daily driver has a good used 250 out of a wrecked pickup that only had 46,000 miles on the clock that I paid $125 for.
Others like Brian, had a shop completely rebuild their 250 which cost between $800 and $1,600 depending on what was needed.
EFI can add another $1,200.

The other factor is the easy install that can be undertaken by someone with basic mechanical skills because the whole thing just bolts in.
A weekend or 2 after the prep-work is done, you're up and driving and have an engine with an excellent power band suited for a Defender that is nearly maintenance free.
And Brian was not kidding when he said it is capable of easily cruising at 70, like with 15 to 25% throttle cruising.
No more flooring it while you loose speed negotiating an upgrade.
The other feedback I get is my wife and kids hated going anywhere in my Defender and now they like it or love it now that the slow smelly diesel is gone.

People accuse all this of sales pitch, but it's not... these are facts as others have stated.
 
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WreckITFrank

Well-known member
@RDavisinVA i got some pricing from you prior, so good on what the conversion kit will cost and have a good 250 and 292 to choose from. (Northeast has plenty to spare). I was only asking for the things that dont often come up in conversation, or maybe I just missed it. Not trying to poke and pry here on what your piece is, just get an idea and weigh out the options for the next project. As folks get more into these conversions, I would imagine each have their own story, what they used for cooling, gauges, floors, prop shafts, small ancillaries, etc moving to an overall general cost of the build. Ive seen that R2.8 build vary from $12k-25k, same with LS and others.
 

RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
The floors, prop shafts don't change unless you are starting with a V8.
In fact with a pre-300TDI 4 cylinder there is no need to even remove the floors and tunnel and if you're keeping the LT77, you only need to remove the rear driveshaft if you're going with the recommended 1.2 transfer case.
Most of it is small like the $200 electric fan kit if you're going new.
DIY, easy, cheap, reliable, and fast with over the counter local parts support (now that could be called a sales pitch).
 
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Parrie

Well-known member
@RDavisinVA i got some pricing from you prior, so good on what the conversion kit will cost and have a good 250 and 292 to choose from. (Northeast has plenty to spare). I was only asking for the things that dont often come up in conversation, or maybe I just missed it. Not trying to poke and pry here on what your piece is, just get an idea and weigh out the options for the next project. As folks get more into these conversions, I would imagine each have their own story, what they used for cooling, gauges, floors, prop shafts, small ancillaries, etc moving to an overall general cost of the build. Ive seen that R2.8 build vary from $12k-25k, same with LS and others.
I have one of RDs 250 conversions, unfortunately family health issues have put things on the back burner so I don't have a story yet. Mine is what I call the base model 250 swap; RHD, LT-77, normally aspirated carb, no AC. The only major modifications I need are converting the fuel system to petrol, add electric fans and slightly modify the exhaust to mate to the 250. I will be using the GM factory PS pump/Alternator and brackets. I anticipate my total cost will be well under $3k...that includes the cost of RD's kit, a used low mileage 250 ($450), flywheel and ancillaries. RD didn't have to give me a sales pitch, the whole idea pretty much sold itself and I'm still amazed at how well the 250/292 fits into the engine bay. After seeing some of the results I am stoked!
 

RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
Ive seen that R2.8 build vary from $12k-25k, same with LS and others.
There is a local guy doing and LS conversion and I replaced some worn out suspension bushings in an LS powered 110.
Power is a matter of opinion, but when I floored it, the vehicle did a 360.
The owner said he had never been over 80 and felt like he had to be careful not to loose control from the petal response.
In my opinion an LS is way too much engine for a Defender and this conversion made a lot of changes to that vehicle that I wouldn't want to see done to any of our Defenders.
Now granted I have only seen 2 of them, but prefer something that will bolt in and out and I don't believe this is the case for the other conversions.
Cost is relative for a lot of people that have the $12k-25k to drop on the table, but for those on a budget, the Chevy 250 conversion is 3 to 5 times less expensive.
 
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