Rad Rig: 1983 Land Rover Defender 110 ADE Conversion

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Words & Images Andrew Middleton

If someone told you that your vehicle sounded like a tractor, it probably wouldn’t be a good thing; unless you’re Ray Preston. Tractors, as we know them, are over-engineered for high loads, probably lack maintenance, and do thousands of hours of towing ploughs all day. Which sounds ideal for an overlanding machine, except for one problem – they’re dog-slow.

This is not a criticism you could level at Ray’s 1983 vintage Defender. Apparently, this particular Landy was the first prototype 110 model to come to South Africa in the Eighties. It was bought
by Ray in April 1990, but was (before then) the special ride of Ron Shires, head of Atlantis Diesel Technologies (ADE) at the time.

He had it converted to run on the intercooled and turbocharged ADE 236, which was a development under licence of a 3.8-litre naturally aspirated Perkins engine. The idea behind the conversion
was to build an economical diesel to replace the thirsty Rover 3.5-litre V8 that was supplied in 110s at the time.

The four-cylinder Perkins was pretty agricultural, and its 60kW output was considered enough to power Massey Ferguson tractors at the time; but, with a bit of ADE fettling and a Garrett turbo
bolted in place, it developed a whole new 100kW persona. And the result was given a new name – this was the very first Land Rover 110 236Ti.

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