1960 Land Rover Series 2 88 “The Merc”


“The Merc”

I built this one with a ton of help from my friend John White in 2007 and have kept it, it’s just a great driving little truck. 1960 Series II 88 powered by a Mercedes-Benz 240D engine.


The adapter plate from Jim Young of Series Trek. This mated the Series transmission to the ¬†Mercedes motor plate. The rusty metal square is a template used as a guide to narrow the Mercedes oil pan so it doesn’t interfere with the Rovers’ front diff.


The donor engine. It was a Mercedes reman with only 33k miles and a 4 speed tranny. The old 240D had rusted out around a perfectly good motor…….out it came.


Material for making the motor mounts. The footings were fabricated by Tri-Angle Metal Fab in Milton, VT……..they’re exact copies of the alloy Mercedes mount footings, but made of a weldable mild steel



Motor mounts roughed out


It’s in! Now the details……..plumbing, wiring, and exhaust


A custom stainless exhaust bent up by Vermont Custom Auto, Mean Green starter mounted, radiator hose found that work

IMG_3158 IMG_3156

The bulkhead finished up. It got new footwells, center tunnel, and a few repairs of the upper section. Time to prime & paint.


Fits like a glove and runs like a champ. A great combination…….one of the best four wheel drive trucks ever made, and one of the best small diesels ever made. This truck will outlast me by a long shot.


8 Replies to “1960 Land Rover Series 2 88 “The Merc””

  1. I just found this site. Superb standard of work. Truly inspirational. I love the idea of the Merc engine and will have a good read up on that. I just wish I had a proper workshop like you have there.

    Keep up the great work.


    PS. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve put a link to your site on my own.

    PPS. I can’t seem to find a subscribe option on your site and I’d like to be able to either get email updates or updates in my wordpress reader, do you have a subscribe option somewhere?

  2. Hi Ian,
    Thanks very much for the kind words. I visited your site and it looks like you suffer from the same Rover addiction as I do. The Mercedes 240D conversion is not without it’s challenges but results in a great little driver in a Series 88.
    Thanks for the link on your site. Thanks also for the heads up on adding a subscribe feature to my site. I’ve talked to the gent that helps me with the site admin and should have a subscribe box up in a couple of days.

    Thanks again,

  3. Hi Colby,

    Many thanks for that. As soon as the link is available I’ll subscribe.

    I’m going to be trying out the 200TDi conversion in the very near future in my Series 2 (a bit of a mongrel really, more Series 3 than 2 now) and if that doesn’t work out as I hope I may consider the Merc engine. Either that or the 1.9TDI VAG engine but that will also be a ball ache to install and my gut instinct is that the Merc engine will be the better conversion, although I’m after great economy too which the VAG engine should provide. Do you have any mpg figures for the Merc conversion? (I’m mainly interested in 50-56 mph’ish journeys on open roads (freeway) as that is what my work commute entails.

    Kind Regards,


  4. Hi Ian,
    The 200TDi is the simpler conversion by far and really makes sense for 109’s………the 240D Merc would have a tough time pushing the larger trucks. The Merc has appeal stateside because of parts availability vs the “very rare in the USA” 200TDi. Power wise the 240D engine pulls very much like a very well tuned 2.25 Rover engine with a high compression head…..the benefits are fuel consumption and longevity. Driving around town the 240D returns low to mid 20’s mpg, I’ve never really taken the truck on an extended highway drive but assume it would return easily in the high 20’s with an overdrive.
    Thanks again and let me know what you decide on,

  5. What a great job ,
    Can you tell me if the adaptor plate you have used for the merc engine will fit any of the other merc engins ie the later 250 diesel or the 300 diesel s from the 124 mercs series.
    Kind regards

  6. Hi Will,
    I’m unsure if the plate will match up to the 300D’s. The real issue here is getting the adapter plate made. The gent that used to make them has stopped production. His name is Jim Young, great guy and has built a few really nice trucks, one of them being a 109 that he put a 300D motor in. Jim’s website is http://www.seriestrek.com……..I‘m sure he will be happy to answer any questions about the plates he used to make and what Merc engines they’ll fit…….maybe he even know’s of one that may have never made it into a truck……..it’s worth an email.

  7. What kind of tires did you fit. I have a 65 and am trying to find cool tires for it since the existing tires are over 20 years old.

  8. The tires on the 1960 Series 2 are the last generation BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain (unfortunately no longer available) in 235-85-16.

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