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1961 S2 Land Rover SD33 Engine and Running Gead
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I’m new to the forum so go easy.

I’ve recently acquired a Land Rover series 2a with fully swapped in patrol running gear. Engine, 4spd box, axles, brakes etc.

I bought the car as a non running project having sat for years (1.5-2 minimum).

first port of call was to see if the engine even ran

Rigged a makeshift fuel can, primed the lift pump and jumped the plugs and starter (could only reach plug 1 so maybe not much heat at back?)

Turned the engine over several times to build pressure before putting heat in the plugs to start it.

started up semi easily but makes a horrible clatter and doesn’t seem to run on all cylinders.

couldn’t run for long as the cooling system wasn’t in place.

here’s a video of it running.


See what you all think.

Very clattery, dreading the bottom end but it doesn’t seem to have that sound to me - I might be wrong though.

Cheers
Nial
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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10,857 Posts
Hmm, I had an NA SD33 that didn't fire on all cylinders, plenty of white and grey smoke and had a knock.
Number 1 rod bearing had parted company with the con rod.

However your issue could be injection related too.

Easiest thing to do is to drop the oil and change the filter, if its bearing related you will see a metallic shimmer in the oil and likely bits of bearing stuck in the pleats of the oil filter.
If it's chewed a bearing, it'll likely be a rod bearing. The good news is they're not too hard to change with the engine in the car. The bad news is, the crank bearings will likely be garbage as well and it's just not worth trying to change them in the car. The oil gears and housing may also be damaged, so I'd pull that off and check it too if necessary.

If its injection related, it would be uncommon for an injector to fail by sticking closed, but if there has been fuel contamination or corrosion it may stick open.
Start by making sure there's no air leaks in the system, check hose clamps, hose condition etc, then I'd try cracking the injector lines loose at each injector with the engine running and listenting for a change in running condition.
 
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1961 S2 Land Rover SD33 Engine and Running Gead
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hello,

Thanks for the reply and sorry to get back so late.

I’ve bled the fuel system but am now held back by non functioning glow plugs.

Hopefully that’ll sort it.

SD33 engines are incredibly rare in the U.K. so if I need a replacement I’m looking £1500 and there’s only two listed for sale in the whole country.


Are there any other engines that you know of that mate up to the 4spd box.


Cheers
 

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Nice rig. I nearly bought something similar years ago when i had an MQ. Having previously had a defender county with the v8 i though this was a great conversion.
Sorry i cant offer much advice on the sd33.
Hope you get it going without too much headache. And look forwaed to seeing some more pics of it
 

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nissan g160
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Are there any other engines that you know of that mate up to the 4spd box.
They came out with a few different motors. One was the P40 which I once heard was cast copied from a TK Bedford motor which I'm sure you could find a few of. I've never sat them side by side to check tho. Most commonly available motor that they had would probably be the L28, as they came out in Nissan Laurels, 280s, Cedrics, Glorias and 22 years of Patrols.
Still, I would be following the advice of @james008 above; figure out what's wrong, may just be an injector issue.
Neat little truck, will be a great project. Enjoy :)
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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Hello,

Thanks for the reply and sorry to get back so late.

I’ve bled the fuel system but am now held back by non functioning glow plugs.

Hopefully that’ll sort it.

SD33 engines are incredibly rare in the U.K. so if I need a replacement I’m looking £1500 and there’s only two listed for sale in the whole country.


Are there any other engines that you know of that mate up to the 4spd box.


Cheers
A sniff of brake or carby cleaner down the intake will get the engine running with non functional plugs, it is not a long term solution though.
Even starting with no glow plugs the engine should be running smooth with all cylinders firing in under 30 seconds anyway. Unfortunately I doubt your running issue is glow related.

I wouldn't be looking around at a replacement engine just yet, even if yours needs work. As far as engines go these old SDs are reasonably easy to work on, and parts availability is quite good considering the age of them.

There are other engines that utilise the 4 speed box, but nothing that will directly bolt on to my knowledge. An SD22/23/25 might, but even the SD33T requires an input shaft swap. P40 and L28 require different bellhousings, too.
 
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1961 S2 Land Rover SD33 Engine and Running Gead
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Discussion Starter #7
Hello All.

Been away fixing. Thanks so much for all your replies by the way.

I got the engine running pretty sweet with a full bleed, replacing the fuel lines etc.

**** load of compression. All 6plugs were bad so I whacked in 3 replacements (only three in stock at local shop) and left 3 **** ones in and it fired straight up on 3 plugs with all the lines and injectors bled.

I’ve done about 20 miles in so far just ironing out and working out a to-do list

Engine has been sweet sounding pretty good.

Today however I was going for a 1st to second gear change and a massive clattering noise started as I depressed clutch (I think - I’m pretty sure)

I should explain previously when I got the engine going there was a rattle from the gearbox/ bellhousing/ trans tunnel that was very loud and disappeared with the clutch depressed. I left it because I was going to tear it apart in a month or so anyway.

So the clatter is not present at idle (engine sounds fine at idle). From inside the car it sounds like it’s from trans tunnel but from the front of the car it sounds engine.

the noise only comes when the revs are raised and there’s a slight delay for it to kick in and then disappear almost as if it’s not 100% in time with RPM.

Fairly worried it’s rod knock.

However I feel it’s more gearbox/ clutch assembly related. I should mention it drives still and can be driven in all gears bellow 1500 ish rpm.

The noise that was originally there that disappeared when the clutch was depressed has also now gone (At idle it was very loud but now isn’t here)

I’ll include a video.

cheers lads.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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10,857 Posts
That does not sound like a rod knock to me, that wasn't a slight, quiet knock which would indicate to me that it would be there at idle if it was rod.

Given that you mention there was previously a noise from the trans tunnel area, I wouldn't be surprised if this is related. My first thought would be a loose flywheel or pressure plate, perhaps a broken clutch disk, maybe even something to do with input shaft or its bushing.
 

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1961 S2 Land Rover SD33 Engine and Running Gead
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Discussion Starter #10
Rather strangely the noise has now disappeared and doesn’t seem to of come back? I’m going to be extra careful. See if it reappears and investigate further.

Whilst I’m here.

in order to maximise both the lifespan (no idea how many miles are on mine) and the performance. Could you give me an idea of any maintenance or good practice specific to this engine?

My expertise really centres around small block Chevys and BMW engines so this is rather foreign.

for example baring in mind the milage isn’t known is it worth using a higher viscosity oil? Also I believe this has an internal water/oil cooler?

just any general tips would help!

these engines are very far and few in the U.K. so if I ever have to source a replacement I’ll struggle or be paying loads.

so rather keep it going.

Cheers
Nial


That does not sound like a rod knock to me, that wasn't a slight, quiet knock which would indicate to me that it would be there at idle if it was rod.

Given that you mention there was previously a noise from the trans tunnel area, I wouldn't be surprised if this is related. My first thought would be a loose flywheel or pressure plate, perhaps a broken clutch disk, maybe even something to do with input shaft or its bushing.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
Joined
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10,857 Posts
Rather strangely the noise has now disappeared and doesn’t seem to of come back? I’m going to be extra careful. See if it reappears and investigate further.

Whilst I’m here.

in order to maximise both the lifespan (no idea how many miles are on mine) and the performance. Could you give me an idea of any maintenance or good practice specific to this engine?

My expertise really centres around small block Chevys and BMW engines so this is rather foreign.

for example baring in mind the milage isn’t known is it worth using a higher viscosity oil? Also I believe this has an internal water/oil cooler?

just any general tips would help!

these engines are very far and few in the U.K. so if I ever have to source a replacement I’ll struggle or be paying loads.

so rather keep it going.

Cheers
Nial
If its gone away, then we can rule out major engine damage entirely. Unfortunately I can only go off what I hear in a video and what you say - but I'd wonder about a broken piece of something or foreign matter in the bellhousing moving around, occasionally into a position where its not impacting any moving parts.

Unless the engine is showing signs of excessive oil consumption, low compression or excessive blow by theres no point in deviating too much from the recommended service intervals.
That can be found HERE
Just use good quality filters and a good mixed fleet or diesel oil and there's no point going too heavy in viscosity if the engine doesn't use an excessive amount of oil.
Since the history of the engine is unknown it wouldn't be a bad idea to get the injectors rebuilt, and give it a good oil and coolant flush with your first service.

Performance in an NA SD33 is a foreign concept lol. Adding a turbo is the only way to improve performance without wasting money unnecessarily.
I'm a bit surprised by the small block knowledge, I wouldn't have thought they'd a common engine over in your part of the world! But unfortunately an old SD just won't repsond to extractors, a manifold or cam changes like a petrol V8, besides no one makes that stuff for them anyway lol.

Yes there is an internal oil cooler, unless the cooling system is spotless they are notorious for filling up with rusty crap.
The only way to clean it is to take it off and do it manually, unfortunately.
 

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1961 S2 Land Rover SD33 Engine and Running Gead
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Discussion Starter #12
Ah brilliant.

Just what I need! When I say performance I mean getting it back to roughly the same output as original or at least as good as possible for an engine of the age. Just make it last at least. Because as I say they are few and far between in the U.K. Not bothered about power beyond what it would of had new. As series land rovers are scary enough over 50mph and with a 4spd box (I’ve no idea what diff ratio is) it seems to be geared pretty bloody low. And I’ve no rev counter wired yet so I’ve not got my ear in yet for what sound = what RPM

As far as Small Blocks, I’m actually a US citizen as well as UI live in the U.K, but we are a Chevy family haha! I’ve a 65” C10 with a little 283 in it.

I got the car with no coolant. And as you can imagine it’s bloody ridiculously rusty. I’m on my 4th flush and it’s just starting to come clean! I’ll as cleaning the oil cooler to a little to do list.

I’ve just about finished the wiring (it came with just a massive mess) unfortunately mine seems to be a 24v engine so I’ve just wired it up as 24v and it runs happily enough. Safe to say I set fire to a few wires haha. Before wiring I was just jump starting it off leads and driving it around

If its gone away, then we can rule out major engine damage entirely. Unfortunately I can only go off what I hear in a video and what you say - but I'd wonder about a broken piece of something or foreign matter in the bellhousing moving around, occasionally into a position where its not impacting any moving parts.

Unless the engine is showing signs of excessive oil consumption, low compression or excessive blow by theres no point in deviating too much from the recommended service intervals.
That can be found HERE
Just use good quality filters and a good mixed fleet or diesel oil and there's no point going too heavy in viscosity if the engine doesn't use an excessive amount of oil.
Since the history of the engine is unknown it wouldn't be a bad idea to get the injectors rebuilt, and give it a good oil and coolant flush with your first service.

Performance in an NA SD33 is a foreign concept lol. Adding a turbo is the only way to improve performance without wasting money unnecessarily.
I'm a bit surprised by the small block knowledge, I wouldn't have thought they'd a common engine over in your part of the world! But unfortunately an old SD just won't repsond to extractors, a manifold or cam changes like a petrol V8, besides no one makes that stuff for them anyway lol.

Yes there is an internal oil cooler, unless the cooling system is spotless they are notorious for filling up with rusty crap.
The only way to clean it is to take it off and do it manually, unfortunately.
 

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Rust is just natural weight reduction.
1986 SD33T SWB
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10,857 Posts
Ah brilliant.

Just what I need! When I say performance I mean getting it back to roughly the same output as original or at least as good as possible for an engine of the age. Just make it last at least. Because as I say they are few and far between in the U.K. Not bothered about power beyond what it would of had new. As series land rovers are scary enough over 50mph and with a 4spd box (I’ve no idea what diff ratio is) it seems to be geared pretty bloody low. And I’ve no rev counter wired yet so I’ve not got my ear in yet for what sound = what RPM

As far as Small Blocks, I’m actually a US citizen as well as UI live in the U.K, but we are a Chevy family haha! I’ve a 65” C10 with a little 283 in it.

I got the car with no coolant. And as you can imagine it’s bloody ridiculously rusty. I’m on my 4th flush and it’s just starting to come clean! I’ll as cleaning the oil cooler to a little to do list.

I’ve just about finished the wiring (it came with just a massive mess) unfortunately mine seems to be a 24v engine so I’ve just wired it up as 24v and it runs happily enough. Safe to say I set fire to a few wires haha. Before wiring I was just jump starting it off leads and driving it around
As long as the engine is in good health - good compression, no excessive oil consumption or blow by, it has clean air and fuel filters (including the lift pump screen filter) and the injection system is in good order, then it'll be making pretty close to standard output. The service interval for the injection pump is supposed to be 100,000km, but a rebuild that often is unnecessary in my opinion not to mention expensive, its a good idea to do injectors though.
Depending on how your conversion has been done, a more restrictive exhaust or intake may hurt performance slightly, but they did only put out 70kw from new lol.
As for making it last, don't baby it. Its an old commercial diesel so just don'f flog it when its cold, keep it maintained and load it up every now and then.

That would explain the small block knowledge! An old C10 would be a rare sight in the UK, and an old carby Small block would be a rare noise.

That's not a great sign, I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that the oil cooler will be pretty clogged with crap. the housing to block gasket is no longer available, so you'll need to make your own and/or use RTV. All the other gaskets and O rings are still available last I checked. These are:
1x Top water connector P/N 21310-90011
2x Oil cooler radiator to housing P/N 21303-C6800 or 21334-05D03
4x O rings P/N 21306-61520. They are absolute rip offs, but I can't remember if you can use generic O-rings or not.

Yes most if not all SD33s from UK and Europe were 24v, most likely to help with cold weather starting and all the wiring carries less current which is a good thing too.
 
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