THE DEFSTANG! An insight into how we installed a Coyote 5.0 Ford Mustang Engine into a Defender 110!

We thought everyone would like to see some images and information regarding the installation which we get asked about on a daily basis, below is a list of parts used (Including rough prices just to help people estimate a budget) Plus a bunch of random photos from along the way!

The Car: The original truck was a 2011 Defender 110 CSW with 60k miles, originally fitted with the 2.4L engine it was fairly slow and gutless, plus not very refined at all!

The Method: Instead of having the truck off the road for 12 months while converting to the Coyote engine (plus having limited space at our old industrial estate), we instead decided to build a rolling chassis using a brand new galvanised chassis from Marsland Chassis

Its worth noting at this point that your old engine/ gearbox/ rolling chassis will very much pay for much of the conversion, from memory we sold our rolling chassis complete for circa £7000. By doing this it meant we could ‘jig up’ and build a rolling chassis from new, and simply drop the original body shell onto the new chassis (Very helpful as it kept the 110 as a daily work horse!)

Below is a list of parts required to do the conversion, with links to some useful websites for info:

1.The Engine! 5.0 Ford Mustang engine (Coyote generation 2) is available new from a UK company called POWER TORQUE UK , If you go down this route you can expect to pay around £12,000 plus VAT, however if you search on ebay you can find second hand engines removed from cars for between £3000, £4000 which is much cheaper, its worth saying at this point that the engine has excellent reliability so in my opinion a second hand engine is not much of a gamble!

2. Gearbox, we used a one of one custom MT82 gearbox, the front half is the mustang manual Ford box with the Mustang gear ratios, the back of the gearbox was the Land Rover TDCI MT82 6 speed, this ‘hybrid’ was the work of Ashcroft transmissions in Luton! Options for others wanting to build a Coyote powered Defender would include a Tremec Gearbox, expect to pay around £7000 for one of these though!

3. Transfer box and differentials: We used Winchester Gears in Maltby for this, we had a Stage 2 transfer box with a ATB centre diff to help send power to all 4 wheels. We also had a pair of differentials installed with ATB centres, meaning permanent 4WD! (It sticks to the road like glue)

4. Exhaust: We started with two Cast Iron ‘headers’ (manifolds) from CJ pony parts (USA) These headers are used for the coyote engine from the F150 pick up truck, they work out around £350 landed in the UK, and is a much cheaper option than having custom headers made. The rest of the exhaust system was made by Demand Engineering in Suffolk, Dan the owner did an amazing job using 3.5″ stainless tube to make the system. We routed it as per the original TDCI system, with 2 silencers, and we also added a ‘ASBO Valve’ which at the flick of the switch gave a straight through exhaust which made the ground shake! (Exhaust cost £1300)

5. ECU and Wiring: We purchased a “PCM” kit from Power torque, the company who sell the coyote engine, this kit includes an ECU, Throttle pedal, Sensors, Body wiring loom and also an Air filter box with MAF sensor. (This loom was so easy to route, we left the ECU where the original 2.4 TDCI one was, and we put the fuse box under the drivers seat alongside the original LR fuse box! (PCM kit £3000)

6. Dash controller: In order to make the TDCI dash work with the ford PCM kit we used a ‘box of tricks’ From the company Futuranet, Martin the owner is very switched on and supplied us the perfect box which talked to the dash and the Ford kit! Martin also owns the Defender2.net forum! (integration cost around £1000)

7. Cooling: We used a full width full height radiator made by the masters at Allisport, This radiator was insane, huge in size and kept the 5.0 Engine cool! (Cost around £1000) The Aircon radiator was the original LR one and was made to fit with the custom Allisport Rad, some clever pipework was needed, we used our local commercial AC engineer. AC pump for the coyote engine is around £500 for a genuine unit.

8. Power steering: This one was fun! So because of the coyote AC compressor on the engine, we could not run the normal LR steering box mounted to the chassis. Instead we comissioned Blackbird Industries to build us a mounting bracket to fit the Range Rover P38 steering box to the outside of the Defender chassis rail, similar to the Land Rover V8 works defender! This conversion was awesome, the steering ratio was quicker than a stock Defender, and handles so so well. (Cost around £500 inc PAS box). For the power  steering box we had to use a reverse mounted pump facing the engine itself, the pump is a common US design for these sort of conversions, supplied by Pace Automotive

9. Suspension: We chose to run Bilstein Shock absorbers all round, with JE lowering springs on the rear, and genuine standard springs on the front, It sat nicely and would swallow up corners as flat as a mill pond! Very little roll at all. Other suspension upgrades included a full set of Super Pro bushes, far superior to the LR rubber ones! In addition we did the HD anti roll bars, much bigger in diameter and much stiffer, supplied by Defender upgrades. The whole set up cost in the region of £1000.

10. Fuelling: We took the 2.4 TDCI Fuel tank stack and fitted a fuel pump from Glencoe fuel pumps, and ran a wire through the LR chassis harness all the way back to the fuse box in order to power the pump. We used the standard fuel lines up to the fuel filter position, instead of the LR filter we ran an AC delco fuel regulator/ filter all in one. This piece of kit cost around £50 from Pace automotive, it regulates pressure to the fuel rail at around 85 PSI, and also filters it, so much easier than an inlet manifold vacuum regulator, our one requiring no wiring or vacuum pipes.

11. Engine mounts/ gearbox mounts: The way we did this was bolt the LT230 transfer box in its original place, Our MT82 gearbox also bolted in stock chassis mounts. This left the engine directly above the original LR chassis mounts for the old 2.4 TDCI. Using some aluminium/ Poly bush engine mounts from Pace automotive we fabricated the engine mounts to meet up and bolt onto the original chassis mounts. (we used 8mm mild steel plate with some gussets) Total cost circa £200. Distance between the front pulley and the chassis cross member was the same as the V8 works Defender. A standard 2.4 TDCI sits at around a 4 degree incline, we lowered the engine so it sat at 2.5 degrees incline. (the sump missed the axle casing at full spring compression on the bump stops)

12. Brakes: We used our LOF EXTREMEspec big brake kit on all 4 corners, the front kit is 345mm 6 pot, and 330mm 4 pot on the rear. The vehicle stopped very well, helped with the 20″ Khan/ Chelsea truck alloys and the Cooper AT3 tyres!

That pretty much covers the basics of the conversion, obviously the interior and exterior upgrades I have not mentioned as they are easy and not unique. If anyone would like any help/ advice about doing this conversion, feel free to send an email to Luke@LOFclutches.com!

If you are interested in having someone carry out this conversion for you, here is a list of our trusted people that would be able to do the job for you:

Pace Automotive- Dan Padmore- Peterborough

Blackbird Industries – Michael Brown- Lichfield

4×4 Fabrication- Dave Lea- Shropshire

Futuranet- Martin Lewis- Oxford

(Plus many more of our agents but these are some that we know have strong experience in the conversion)




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