My Land Rover project has been put on hold since my girlfriend's LJ80 decided to go kablooey on the weekend. It's a stock, well restored (excepting the mechanics) example. Initially I was looking at rebuilding the motor, since the Altrom Group supplies a gasket set, some seals and the needed bearings. But, I'm having trouble sourcing pistons, rings, liners... and from what I've heard, they aren't cheap when you do find them.
So, if (and it seems likely) I can't get or afford the necessary parts, what should I do. She uses it for commuting and mild off-road trips (camping and the like), and would obviously appreciate more power. Also, it'd be nice if it would turn at less than 458432432 rpm during highway commuting. Fuel mileage is also a concern.
I don't know much about Suzukis so I have some questions.
Should I swap the engine and adapt it to the stock transmission? And if I do, can I swap out the front axle for a disc-braked SJ unit with a taller gear ratio to lower the engine rpms on the highway? And if so, can I swap an SJ's center center into the stock rear axle? Are the track widths the same? Will an SJ front center section fit into the LJ's front axle?
Or should I drop in a complete drivetrain from something else; I was thinking 1.3L Samurai. I know it's not much power but the truck only weighs 1,620 lbs and I don't want a powerplant that's going to break axles.
Or should I go a little farther afield and figure out how to swap in a motorcycle engine or something of that ilk?