Changing a gas guzzler


Well I am half way through the tune up. Oxygen sensors are in and my sum gas mileage benefit of spending 250$(US) is….Zero. My first tank came in right at 13.5mpg.
To say I was disappointed would not even begin to describe my mood. I dearly love my Land Rovers and of all the things that upset me most, even if I could go out and replace just one of them with a fuel efficient vehicle I’d loose my shirt on the trade in. Trading the Classic is totally out of the question as it is paid off and 15 years old. No dealer in their right mind would give me anything close to an amount I’d be happy with.
And the selection of vehicles is terrible. Jeep put out a diesel Liberty a couple years ago. And they have a 3.0L V6 diesel for 2008. They boast 450 miles on a tank. EPA estimates of 18 city/23 highway. Hell that’s almost tolerable at 4.30$(US) a gallon for diesel fuel. They are only offering the CRD on the Grand Cherokee model for 2008. Who made that decision?
Lets look at the Land Rover Website. There you have it, TDV8. Boasting a 25.1 mpg in a RANGE ROVER.

Lets look at the Discovery 3. “The TDV6 engine has been developed to cope with the specific requirements of a Land Rover: strength and durability when operating in dusty environments, on steep inclines and wading through rivers.” I couldn’t have said it better if I tried. TDV6 available.
Lets look at the Freelander 2. I would at first say I wouldn’t drive one, but hey, 37.7 mpg out of the 2.2 TD4.

And finally the Defender. “Defender´s all new 2.4 litre Diesel engine produces a class-leading 360Nm of Torque (90 percent of peak power is on tap from less than 2,200rpm to over 4,350rpm) and enhances its legendary capability yet again.” This is not a vehicle you worry about fuel mileage with but RANGE of the tank.

So to summarize, 4 different diesels. NOT ONE AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Mercedes has diesel vehicles but no SUV models. Isuzu has diesel motors, I know our cousins in Australia speak highly of them. None available in the USA.
I could go on for an hour. Every auto maker has a diesel available for each of their product lines, EXCEPT for the American auto companies. I can’t even get a diesel motor in their Chevy 1500 or Ford F150 pickup trucks. I have to order a 3/4 ton model or more to get one.
So where is all this logic headed?
I want to replace my petrol 4.2 for a diesel. I have for a while. I know I’ve read a few threads on many boards about people who have done it themselves. What I’m wondering is, if I ordered the diesel motor Land Rover used in 1990 versions of the Classic and had it shipped here, how much would I be out?
My friend JagGuy says, “Why? you could buy a lot of fuel for 6000$.” I answered, “range”. But really I think its for economy. He is correct about the fuel cost, it’s just under two years worth at 4.00$(US). But then I’m right back where I was.
I made a Fuel Cost Comparison spreadsheet. You can download a copy with this link (MicroSoft Excel).
Depending on the numbers you use. You can see savings in just a couple of years that would pay for a motor swap.

Lets use these numbers for my 2003 Discovery.
Petrol
$4.00 Price per gallon
13.5 Miles per gallon (mpg)
$0.30 Cost per mile
22 Fuel tank volume (gallons)
297.00 Range in miles
$88.00 Cost per tank
48 miles per day
$14.22 Cost per day
$3,555 Cost at 12000 miles

With a diesel getting 25 miles per gallon.
$4.60 Price per gallon
25 Miles per gallon (mpg)
$0.18 Cost per mile
22 Fuel tank volume (gallons)
550.00 Range in miles
$101.20 Cost per tank
48 miles per day
$8.83 Cost per day
$2,208 Cost at 12000 miles

Total savings compared to the Petrol 4.6
$5.39 Difference per day
$161.71 Difference in 30 days
$1,967.43 Difference in 365 days

How about the 2.2 TD4, getting 37 miles per gallon?
$4.60 Price per gallon
37 Miles per gallon (mpg)
$0.12 Cost per mile
22 Fuel tank volume (gallons)
814.00 Range in miles
$101.20 Cost per tank
48 miles per day
$5.97 Cost per day
$1,492 Cost at 12000 miles

$8.25 Difference per day
$247.64 Difference in 30 days
$3,013 Difference in 365 days

So you can extrapolate that after 2-3 years for the cost of a decent used car in America you could put a diesel in your beloved Land Rover and begin to recoup your investment.
How many more years do you plan on driving your Landie? I intend to keep my Classic forever, and why wouldn’t I if I can still get parts. And when I can’t there are dozens of axles and transaxles to choose from, upgrades even.

What are the costs? I will be looking into this in the coming months and I’ll compile some of the threads to find what will work and how much.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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