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gjm

Diesel engines... is simplicity, economy and performance possible?

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I'm looking at a medium- to long-term project, fitting a diesel engine and automatic gearbox into a 4x4, probably a Land Rover-based hybrid tow and camping vehicle. The swap of a BMW engine into a Land Rover is fairly common, and the M51 was used in the Range Rover.

I've looked at Land Rover's installations of 200TDi, 300TDi, TD5 and even TDV8 engines. The last two introduce a fair amount of complexity (but are great when working correctly).

By comparison, the BMW M57 is a more compact package than the 200TDi (or 300TDi), making for a better subject for conversion into a Series-looking Land Rover. The M51 is recognised as fitting (length-wise) anywhere a Rover 3.5 V8 will go.

I'll not be looking for 300hp, or probably even 200hp, but strong torque will be a requirement. Less power, more torque is not just acceptable, but possibly desirable. If pushed for a dream specification, I'd say 200bhp and 400lb ft, but that is very unlikely to be realised.

There are other engine options, but keeping this simple means looking  at proven solutions with good, albeit likely internet-based, support. Fitments where I'm not at the bleeding edge of engine swap and where (if at all possible) I can simply buy the parts I need to make this work, rather than relying on custom design and fabrication.

Does anyone have experience of the M51 vs M57 ? The M51 has an obvious simplicity benefit in having 2 valves per cylinder (vs 4 valve per cylinder in the M57) but the M51 is also significantly lower in output.

I quite fancied the idea of a Mercedes OM617 (5-cylinder) turbo swap, but that's a much less common change.

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M57 is a monster in comparison to the m51, super strong motor too. 

M57 has more complex control systems, but not anywhere near as bad as a proper modern diesel 

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My father has had his 1997 Range Rover DSE since new which has 220,000km on the intercooled M51 with automatic. Engine and transmission have always serviced and both been near flawless. It has a bit of turbo lag combined with a 2 ton chassis makes it sluggish off the mark till boost comes in a 3000rpm. I know they sell ecu chips which up the power a fair wack but probably with increased stress.

I think the M51 was perfectly adequate engine for its time and designed car but wouldn't think it would be worth it in an engine swap situation.

Lance (melopuf) had a E36 manual with the same engine fitted and he loved it till it was written off (was doing 15s 1\4 mile iirc)

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Have you seen the W210 E320 cdi on trade for $2k? 145kw and 470nm is not bad for something out of the 1990s. 

 

The 5.9 Cummins 6BT is a fairly common swap in Aus into Patrols and Cruisers and put out something like 140kw and 550nm. All mechanical so easier to work on. Huge aftermarket support out of the US too. Might be hard finding one in NZ and also pricey to buy. 

 

Does it need to be somewhat of a project? You could buy a decent out of the box 4wd such as the WH Grand Cherokee CRD with the Mercedes 3.0 V6 turbo diesel. Probably the best value for money 4wd. Fit a 2" lift, some decent 31-32" tyres, recovery/winch points, and with the Quadradrive 4wd set up it would be hugely capable. 

Same with the L322 Range Rover with the M57. These are cheap now and nearly everyone Ive seen for sale has had near ten grand spent on the gearbox. Although just keeping an L322 on the road would be an ongoing project in itself.

 

 

 

 

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Graham, there are a few threads on retrorides with Landrover diesel transplants, including M57 and OM series diesels.  

It's still going to be a draughty, noisy, uncomfortable thing when you can 'waft' at 70mph (it's a comparative thing, really - like wafting in a scaffold bridge) and overtake things... and you'll still need to make it steer.  

Just buy a Land Cruiser and be done with it. Errr,  I'll get me coat, then...

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13 hours ago, dirtydoogle said:

M57 is a monster in comparison to the m51, super strong motor too. 

M57 has more complex control systems, but not anywhere near as bad as a proper modern diesel 

image.png.d02aa393ef34ac0d169edfe3a206eab7.png

It's just complexity that gives me pause to stop and reconsider using a M57. And cost... They're a fair bit more expensive than the M51, and theoretically I could find a rusty Range Rover with the M51, gearbox and everything I'd need. That would present a good starting point (I have a good chassis) and a M57 upgrade could be considered later.

12 hours ago, Eagle said:

My father has had his 1997 Range Rover DSE since new which has 220,000km on the intercooled M51 with automatic. Engine and transmission have always serviced and both been near flawless. It has a bit of turbo lag combined with a 2 ton chassis makes it sluggish off the mark till boost comes in a 3000rpm. I know they sell ecu chips which up the power a fair wack but probably with increased stress.

I think the M51 was perfectly adequate engine for its time and designed car but wouldn't think it would be worth it in an engine swap situation.

Lance (melopuf) had a E36 manual with the same engine fitted and he loved it till it was written off (was doing 15s 1\4 mile iirc)

You can easily swap the turbo for a HX35 which will spin from 2000rpm, possibly lower. That, and a sensible remap should see a useful increase in power, torque and economy, without stressing the engine.

6 hours ago, coop said:

Have you seen the W210 E320 cdi on trade for $2k? 145kw and 470nm is not bad for something out of the 1990s. 

The 5.9 Cummins 6BT is a fairly common swap in Aus into Patrols and Cruisers and put out something like 140kw and 550nm. All mechanical so easier to work on. Huge aftermarket support out of the US too. Might be hard finding one in NZ and also pricey to buy. 

Does it need to be somewhat of a project? You could buy a decent out of the box 4wd such as the WH Grand Cherokee CRD with the Mercedes 3.0 V6 turbo diesel. Probably the best value for money 4wd. Fit a 2" lift, some decent 31-32" tyres, recovery/winch points, and with the Quadradrive 4wd set up it would be hugely capable. 

Same with the L322 Range Rover with the M57. These are cheap now and nearly everyone Ive seen for sale has had near ten grand spent on the gearbox. Although just keeping an L322 on the road would be an ongoing project in itself.

If I could find one, a W124 300TD Turbo 4Matic in right hand drive would suit very nicely! (Lurve the W124s...) Bit tough to find though, especially in NZ.

The Cummins is a solid performer but yes - expensive.

I've no aversion to the Jeep other than price, complexity, and support. Previous experience has shown that getting info can be tough. Good, capable and comfortable vehicle though.

2 hours ago, Olaf said:

Graham, there are a few threads on retrorides with Landrover diesel transplants, including M57 and OM series diesels.  

It's still going to be a draughty, noisy, uncomfortable thing when you can 'waft' at 70mph (it's a comparative thing, really - like wafting in a scaffold bridge) and overtake things... and you'll still need to make it steer.  

Just buy a Land Cruiser and be done with it. Errr,  I'll get me coat, then...

I'll take a look at retrorides. Hadn't thought to look there. There's a few groups on Facebook which are useful, too, including one dedicated to swapping BMW engines into Land Rovers.

A Land Cruiser... 🤢
I'll be over there, holding your coat for you... ;)
They're not bad vehicles, but older (affordable) ones have taken rusting to a new level. An artform, if you will... And maintenance is something owners of other vehicles do.

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19 hours ago, Eagle said:

Lance (melopuf) had a E36 manual with the same engine fitted and he loved it till it was written off (was doing 15s 1\4 mile iirc)

Yep, i brought it a year or so ago, and reshelled it into a 328i convertible body with a friend of mine, because why not. It is all stock except for a singl piece flywheel (still dual mass weight, but in one piece. you need the weight for the deisel), and wound the boost up 2psi using the boost tap Lance had on it. it walks away from a standard 328i, and thats including the extra 200kg or so for being in a cabby body.

Having said that..... The M51 is not a common engine in New Zealand at all, Graham i think you are thinking they are as common as they are in the UK, that is not the case. FInding consumables for it was a whole lot of misses until we ended up importing everything except for the Land Rover water pump which is the only cross compatible consumable, we picked up for $10 in the clearance bin, had aparently been put there over two years earlier.

Even the early M57 is uncommon, except in the X5, which wouldnt work for your application.

actually..... just get an X5 and be done ha.

Edit, we are also metric here, so lets use kW and Nm ;)

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You could go simple cheap and strong with an isuzu 4JJ1 

Can make plenty torque easily. They love a big bunch of boost

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On 8/3/2018 at 2:53 AM, Olaf said:

Graham, there are a few threads on retrorides with Landrover diesel transplants, including M57 and OM series diesels.  

It's still going to be a draughty, noisy, uncomfortable thing when you can 'waft' at 70mph (it's a comparative thing, really - like wafting in a scaffold bridge) and overtake things... and you'll still need to make it steer.  

Just buy a Land Cruiser and be done with it. Errr,  I'll get me coat, then...

But a land cruiser is all of what you mention above except the price premium you pay is two to three times that of a Land Rover. 

 

Ive had two cruisers in oz as service Utes. One 4.2 turbo 24 valve and a 4.5 V8. Extremely under performing and inefficient, horrible to drive anywhere. And people are paying over $100k for a decked out double cab! They tipped the scales at 3.8 tonne with my tools, oil, parts & consumables, but cruising at 100-110 both never bettered 16l/100km and take it up to 130-140 and she’s north of 20l/100km. Roads are all flat outback not like NZ. 

 

Graham, there is a W124 300te 4 matic on trademe. Over priced but could be a good buy with a few grand knocked off it. 

Alternatively if you were to go the petrol route into a Land Rover I have an M104 24v in an S320 I’m going to wreck. Sweet engines a bit like the m54. 

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3 hours ago, coop said:

Graham, there is a W124 300te 4 matic on trademe. Over priced but could be a good buy with a few grand knocked off it. 

Alternatively if you were to go the petrol route into a Land Rover I have an M104 24v in an S320 I’m going to wreck. Sweet engines a bit like the m54. 

A Land Cruiser is just way over budget (as you've said). They're not bad vehicles, but not what I'm after at all.

I saw the 4Matic. It's about twice the price it should be, assuming it is any good. However, i am familiar with the engine and were I to feel so inclined, swapping the M103 out and a OM606 in would be fairly straightforward. The 606 is good for an easy 400hp, (5,6 and 700hp aren't all that uncommon) so far more tuneable than I'm after. So a perfect base for my plans. :)

Sadly, even at half price, the W124 is way out of reach at present.

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The starting question is a good one, and the usual answer is pick any two of the three! But, i guess it all comes back to how much performance and economy you want from your diesel.

M57TU2D30 is quoted at 203hp and 390Nm I think, so could give a bit more with a chip / re-program. Last of the E46 330d  had that engine and I would say that is about the point all the electronics and control systems went overly complicated.

compared to the current diesels (the 4-cylinder 2ltr gives more power and torque) it is not in the same ball park, but the complexity goes through the roof as well - four turbos for six cylinders anybody?

Sounds like an interesting project, a "doing it for the hell of it" kind of thing!

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On 8/2/2018 at 12:43 PM, gjm said:

I'm looking at a medium- to long-term project, fitting a diesel engine and automatic gearbox into a 4x4, probably a Land Rover-based hybrid tow and camping vehicle. The swap of a BMW engine into a Land Rover is fairly common, and the M51 was used in the Range Rover.

I've looked at Land Rover's installations of 200TDi, 300TDi, TD5 and even TDV8 engines. The last two introduce a fair amount of complexity (but are great when working correctly).

By comparison, the BMW M57 is a more compact package than the 200TDi (or 300TDi), making for a better subject for conversion into a Series-looking Land Rover. The M51 is recognised as fitting (length-wise) anywhere a Rover 3.5 V8 will go.

I'll not be looking for 300hp, or probably even 200hp, but strong torque will be a requirement. Less power, more torque is not just acceptable, but possibly desirable. If pushed for a dream specification, I'd say 200bhp and 400lb ft, but that is very unlikely to be realised.

There are other engine options, but keeping this simple means looking  at proven solutions with good, albeit likely internet-based, support. Fitments where I'm not at the bleeding edge of engine swap and where (if at all possible) I can simply buy the parts I need to make this work, rather than relying on custom design and fabrication.

Does anyone have experience of the M51 vs M57 ? The M51 has an obvious simplicity benefit in having 2 valves per cylinder (vs 4 valve per cylinder in the M57) but the M51 is also significantly lower in output.

I quite fancied the idea of a Mercedes OM617 (5-cylinder) turbo swap, but that's a much less common change.

just buy a pajero

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10 minutes ago, kiwi535 said:

just buy a pajero

🤮

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well my 2009 pajero is rated at 147 kw and is amazing on fuel for 2.5 ton brick.quite nice on the road has few of the common rail problems an has a proper 4wd system.limited clearance and short wheel travel are the minus points off road.some of your boxes ticked

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1 hour ago, kiwi535 said:

well my 2009 pajero is rated at 147 kw and is amazing on fuel for 2.5 ton brick.quite nice on the road has few of the common rail problems an has a proper 4wd system.limited clearance and short wheel travel are the minus points off road.some of your boxes ticked

I was a bit flippant with my earlier response. ☮️

That said, I have driven the Mitsi Shogun (Pajero by another name, I think?) and didn't much like it. Mrs M tried a Shogun Pinin and hated that!
It's a better road vehicle than an old Land Rover, but the price is against it - cheapest decent 10-year-old one I've seen was $14k. :(

And I'd not have the fun of building it myself! As Jon suggested, some of the reason for doing it is because it's there to be done. :)

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The m57 in my f/l e53 is 165kw/500nm and no doubt the easiest variant to source in nz. Plenty more poke can be had easily. 

Is not a DPF equipped motor, nor does it have a reliance on EGR.

Mine is running EGR delete and no cats and goes pretty nicely. 

I would recommend one. But stay away from mine 

 

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The M51+4HP22 swap from a RR is the easy solution, and the gearbox is readily upgradeable with heavier duty parts from the 4HP24.

10 hours ago, dirtydoogle said:

The m57 in my f/l e53 is 165kw/500nm and no doubt the easiest variant to source in nz. Plenty more poke can be had easily. 

That's not a world away from my 'dream' spec.
I've been invited to acquire an ex-E46 184hp M57 with a 3000km-old Garrett turbo - apparently that also has 500nm. It'd come with loom, remapped and EWS deleted computers, DMF and SMF, bellhousing and a manual gearbox.

10 hours ago, dirtydoogle said:

I would recommend one. But stay away from mine 

Spoilsport! ;) 

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I would say with a generic remap that spec motor would be around the same power as the update like the x5 f/l so should do the trick quite well. 

Them turbos are spendy, I can buy them for 1.8k genuine... the P/O of my wagon paid ~5k for new genuine unit fitted 

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6 hours ago, gjm said:

The M51+4HP22 swap from a RR is the easy solution, and the gearbox is readily upgradeable with heavier duty parts from the 4HP24.

That's not a world away from my 'dream' spec.
I've been invited to acquire an ex-E46 184hp M57 with a 3000km-old Garrett turbo - apparently that also has 500nm. It'd come with loom, remapped and EWS deleted computers, DMF and SMF, bellhousing and a manual gearbox.

Spoilsport! ;) 

would that sort of torque make the clutch a difficult proposition?

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1 hour ago, kiwi535 said:

would that sort of torque make the clutch a difficult proposition?

We have over 400km on an original clutch in an e53 doing heavy towing with the 500nm spec, so I'd say clutch is easy even with oem gear

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