While the go-anywhere vehicle was known for its ability to take on the most challenging terrain, it has also been known to have several other issues that would require the Defender owner of today to make some upgrades to keep the vehicle running consistently. The original Land Rover Defender was powered by the Rover V8 engine (after some updates and also a diesel option), a favorite among classic Defender enthusiasts. When looking for a powerful and modern engine option for fully rebuilt custom Defenders, the lineup of small block engines at Chevy is the perfect choice to rival the heritage of the original Rover V8. The Chevy small block engines have been featured in many hotrods, restomods, and rebuilt classic vehicles starting in the 60s and only getting better with time.
The planning and technical work involved in swapping the restored Defender’s engine required ECD to hire an engineer to craft a series of blueprint books that make engine installation seamless, organized, and easily maintained. This engine swap required testing, fitting, and testing again. By 2016, ECD was ready to reveal its first Chevy LS3 powered vehicle appropriately named, The Beast. The Beast became the standard for engine swaps at ECD, and the blueprints were ready to put into play.
Gutting the Defender and starting to rebuild from scratch gives ECD the opportunity to efficiently install a new crate engine from Chevy with a new wiring harness and electrical setup. The vehicle’s original engine and wiring harness are stripped, and the chassis, once cleaned and refurbished, is turned into a rolling chassis for the new wiring harness to be installed, along with the vehicle’s suspension and shocks. The new engine is a brand new crate engine; our V8 lineup includes the Chevy LS3, LS3+, LC9, LT1, and LT4, the perfect powerhouse for swapping the engine of a Defender.
With the engines coming ready to install from Chevrolet, they also include a maintenance warranty, 2-year 50,000-mile, and this isn’t the only upgrade with this swap engine Defender. The Land Rover Defender going from the classic Rover V8 to a Chevy LS3, gives the vehicles a night and day boost in power and ability. Some of the apparent benefits are having a classic vehicle that can withstand being a daily driver, a vehicle that can easily manage both the back roads and the highway, and no need to worry about whether or not you’ll make it home. In terms of power, one can expect their Chevy V8 Defender to go from 190 hp to an aggressive 650 hp, 4.0L to 6.2L, and a massive jump in torque. Instead of pushing 0-60 in just over 12 seconds, we’ve seen our custom Defenders with a new Chevy crate engine go from 0-60 in under 6 seconds.
With maintenance and performance being the ultimate upgrades for vehicles in the 21st century, it only makes sense to swap the engine of your Defender to bring the vehicle into modern times. A new engine will give you the chance to enjoy your vehicle at your current level of modern convenience without having to worry about finding someone who can repair or provide maintenance for your vehicle. With a new V8, the classic Defender becomes a true V8 powerhouse with the same enthusiasm as the original Rover V8.
Ready to start building your V8 powerhouse? Get in touch at [email protected] for more details on which V8 engine best fits your dream build.
Feel free to contact ECD Automotive Design today, and you’ll embark on a journey filled with boundless possibilities for tailoring your automotive dreams. Our team of experts is eager to collaborate with you, ensuring that your vehicle reflects your unique style and preferences. With ECD, your automotive vision becomes a reality.
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© 2022 ECD Automotive Design. All images are the property of ECD Auto Design and cannot be used without our consent. E.C.D. Automotive Design is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Jaguar Land Rover Limited, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, including Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. DEFENDER and RANGE ROVER are registered trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited. We build restored defenders, range rover classic’s, and jaguar etypes.