Land Rover History


New member

Initially held back by the low power of the Land Rover engines (other than the thirsty V8 petrol engine), the 127 benefited from the improvements to the line-up, and by 1990 was only available with the two highest power engines, the 134 hp (100 kW) 3.5-litre V8 petrol, and the 85 hp (63 kW) 2.5-litre

The original One Ten of 1983 was available with the same engine line-up as the Series III vehicles it replaced, namely 2.25-litre petrol and diesel engines, and a 3.5-litre V8 petrol unit. The intention had always been to provide more powerful engines as soon as the new vehicles had found their feet and the Series III had ceased production. Indeed, in 1981 the 2.25-litre engines had been upgraded from 3- to 5-crankshaft bearings in preparation for the planned increases in capacity and power.

The 2.5-litre version of the diesel engine, producing 68 hp (51 kW), was introduced in both the One Ten and the newly-arrived Ninety. This was a long-stroke version of the venerable 2.25-litre unit (the new version displaced 2495cc), fitted with updated fuel injection equipment and a revised cylinder head for quieter, smoother and more efficient running. A timing belt also replaced the older engine's chain.

In 1985 the petrol units were upgraded. An enlarged 4-cylinder engine was introduced. This 83 horsepower (62 kW) engine shared the same block and cooling system (as well as other ancillary components) as the diesel unit. Unlike the diesel engine, this new 2.5-litre petrol engine retained the chain-driven mr gasket camshaft bolt of its 2.25-litre predecessor. At the same time, the 114 hp (85 kW) V8 was also made available in the Ninety- the first time a production short-wheelbase Land Rover had been given V8 power. The V8 on both models was now mated to an all-new 5-speed manual gearbox.

1986 saw an important development. For many years Land Rovers had been criticised for their low-powered engines, which, despite the recent improvements, still lagged a long way behind much of the competition. Designed to be simple and durable, the engine had worked for decades, but the venerable engines began to feel old-fashioned and underpowered in an era of high horsepower motors. Drivers were less inclined to use the gearbox to compensate for the older motor's relative lack of power. The "Diesel Turbo" engine was introduced to make up for this long-standing shortfall. The engine was essentially a lightly-turbocharged version of the existing 2.5-litre diesel, with several changes to suit the higher power output, including a re-designed crankshaft, teflon-coated pistons and nimonic steel exhaust valves to cope with the higher internal temperatures. Similarly, an 8-blade cooling fan was fitted, together with an oil cooler. The 2.5 diesel, 2.5 petrol and Diesel Turbo engines all shared the same block castings and other components such as valvegear and cooling system parts, allowing them to be built on the same production line. The Diesel Turbo produced 85 hp (a 13% increase over the naturally-aspirated unit, and a 31.5%increase in torque to 150 lb·ft (203 N·m) at 1800 rpm). This finally provided a powerful yet economical powerplant for the vehicle. Externally, turbodiesel vehicles differed from other models only by having an air intake grille in the left-hand wing to supply cool air to the turbo. The engine was only intended to be a short term solution to compete with more advanced Japanese competitors, but was quickly adopted as the standard engine for UK and European markets.

Early turbodiesel engines gained a reputation for poor reliability, with major failures to the bottom-end and cracked pistons. A revised block and improved big end bearings were introduced in 1988, and a re-designed breather system in 1989. These largely solved the engine's problems, but it remains (like many early turbodiesels) prone to failure if maintenance is neglected. Well-maintained engines are capable of long service lives in excess of 150,000 miles (240,000 kilometres). Despite its early problems, the Diesel Turbo was a popular engine choice in its time, especially since it offered improved power, torque and economy over the 2.5-litre petrol engine. Contemporary road-testers compared the engine favourably to its Japanese competitors, despite the age of the basic design. Whilst not being able to match the performance of a V8-engined Land Rover, the Diesel Turbo provided adequate performance for most commercial and private buyers and was a key aspect in Land Rover's sales revival.

At the same time that the Diesel Turbo was introduced, the V8 engine was upgraded. Power was increased to 134 hp (100 kW), and SU carburettors replaced the Zenith models used on earlier V8s.

I really like the the chain-driven camshaft idea. By the way, I also agree that early turbodiesel engines gained a reputation for poor reliability and that's a fact.
Last edited: