F20 Taft/Scat Compatible Engines


Hi all, this is my first ever post here. I'm new to Daihatsu - I was sick off trying to off road a Disco (The family car!) so found a 1979 1.6 Taft. I'm happy as hell with it, but the engine is 1. too thirsty and 2. goosed!(pos head gasket) So I was wondering what would be the best and easiest substitute? Was offered a Peugeot 205 with a 1.9 diesel cheap, could that engine go in without too much hassle? Any other recommendations?

BTW - the first thing my litte motor did was pull a Defender 90 out of the mud at Toms Farm in Mid Wales!


You could always do what i did with an F20 and throw in a GMC 6.5 litre diesel, then for more power supercharge it (300BHP), but you would need considerable experience.

More practical options are to search the Toyota range as this was a Toyota 12R engine, and originally fitted into the F20, Toyota Hi-lux 4X4, and the Hi-ace vans.
Larger petrols were available, these were the 18R and 20R, being 1800 and 2000cc respectively.
Diesel units were available in the Hi-lux pick up, these may be considered, as would other Toyota van diesel engines.

Another option would be to buy a Fourtrak with a good engine and running gear, probably a write off, or one with terminal tinworm, and transplant the engine, transmission and axles. This would ensure spares availability, and sufficent power.

Head gaskets are still available for the 12R engine and easily replaced.

Pug 1.9 engines were a popular conversion for many vehicles, Milner Off Road manufacture engine adapter kits to fit these engines into many vehicles, so a call to them may yield another option. My favourite conversion was the Renault 2.1 diesel, 110BHP, no turbo, and lovely flat torque, these fit easily, but transplants always require considerable work, and the expertise to modify everything form engine mounts to wiring to manufacturing new exhausts or fuel systems.

Re: F20 engine

I've just put a DL-50 2.8 TD into mine from a 1986 Fourtrak. What a transformation! You need the diesel bell housing as well, which will bolt straight up to your gearbox. You will need to weld up some new mountings on the chassis for it though.

On the other matter of the head gasket, I've got a new old stock head gasket set and a sump gasket for the 12R engine which I don't need any more. You can have them cheap if you want to rebuild yours. Send me a PM if you are interested.

Regards - Al.

Thanks for your

Thanks for your comments...but....
I think a 6.5L diesel would be less economical than the 1600cc petrol! I see no point in repairing the original motor - it just guzzles gas. A small diesel (2-3 litre) seems to be the way to go for me. Anyone out there done a Pug unit into a F20? or anyone got a 4Trak diesel, a cheap[i] one?


Looked at the option of a Pug unit, but some i know transplanted these, but were the turbo units.
Problems were locating the unit, this engine was designed to sit on a slant, putting it upright means additional problems with internal oil flow.
Problems they all had were the weight distribution from mounting an engine on the slant within what is a spacious underbonnet area, this is what prompted me to use the Renault 2.1 normally aspirated diesel.
Sitting upright, this is a well laid out engine with everything accessible, it requires new engine mounts, gearbox adapter, and of course all plumbing in. Using the original radiator with an oil cooler proved useful, and the original Bosch ancillaries, meaning plentiful spares supplies.
Being a non turbo unit meant low underbonnet temperatures, particularly when compared to the turbo units, and a lovely power delivery,
Taking full advantage of the transplant, everything was engineered properly, such things as making a stainless exhaust system for example.
Clutch friction plates were matched from an original Toyota commercial item, and everything was realtively easy.
Fortunately i have access to most things in the motor industry, whinc meant anything i could not do at home, i could get done for free.

As for the 6.5 V8 diesel, it did around 32mpg on the road as the engine never went above 2000RPM in normal driving, considerably more than the 1.6 petrol, and it was pulling no weight.
Off road it was phenominal, hill climbing particularly, despite its tyres, traction was the biggest problem, it could have done with more weight.
This was a full rebuild, and included suspension, brakes, chassis reinforcement, the full monty.

Think the above would be my

Think the above would be my preference (2.8 terbo) as it is the easiest to do, and you can get a doner vehicle with all ancileries you'll need for little money. You could fit F50 axles (same case but higher ratio diffs) or bigger tyres to rase gearing, as Diesel in a standard F20 is very low geared. Good for off road only, but not good for fuel efficiancy on road.
I converted an F80 (petrol 4trak) to Diesel in 3 days once. Needed it to tow a trailer to a compertition, and it decided to blow up less than a week befor going... What a shake down cruse that was. Biggrin

Any veiws expresed in this thread by me are purely from my own experience, and (sometimes) falible memory. Hope my comments help, but please don't take them as gospel.

Any veiws expresed in this thread by me are purely from my own experience, and (sometimes) falible memory. Hope my comments help, but please don't take them as gospel.

So.... I will call some

So.... I will call some scrappies after the weekend, see if there's an Toyota or Daihatsu diesel engines near by for the right price, or maybe a Renault? Just a couple of things Assassin, how difficult was the Renault diesel to fit and which engine was it? from a Trafic? Also where DO you source a GMC 395ci V8 diesel engine (A Detroit wasn't it?)?

One more general question... would a HiAce diesel fit easily, seen a few on €bay?

Thanks for all your help folks!


The GMC was imported from America as a batch for a UK company, they went bust, and my relatives in the States asked me to recoup the costs by selling the batch on. Recouping the costs left two engines, so one was a freebie, which i had.

Renault fitted derivatives of the 2.1 engine in many vehicles, the unit came from either a renault 21, or 25, caannot remember which as it was a write off with a totally trashed rear half.

Fitting the unit meant stripping the entire bolt on front off the F20, leaving full access to the chassis rails, setting the vehicle on stands, and locking the transmission in place to ensure its security and location.
Removal of the old engine is easy, but the adapter was made to fit the engine to the gearbox, the two units were married together in the vehicle, it fitted nicely with everything reasonably accessible.
Made up new engine mounts to locate the unit properly and fitted van engine mountings from some i already had, believe they were Iveco, and the unit sat nicely in alignment.
Removed the engine and transmission as a unit and stripped the lot, the gearbox was rebuilt to handle the extra torque of the diesel engine and the transfer box final drive gears were altered using Toyota items which were matched to fit the shaft sizes, and raised the final drive ratio.
While the unit was seperated the spigot bearing was sourced from my bearing catalogue, and a clutch plate from another clutch catalogue, the flywheel was skimmed in my lathe to ensure a flat surface, and balance checked., the lot was bolted together and refitted.

New two part stainless fuel tanks were made, these bolted in the original tank position, but being two part, allowed fitment either side of the chassis rail, and were shallower, but with more capacity and internal baffles, and clearange for the exhaust.

Standard Renault housing was used for the fuel filter assembly, this was a Bosch water heated unit, and simply bolted to newly welded brackets.
New fuel and return pipes were manufactured to fit the fuel system, and an extra non return valve fitted.

New exhaust manifolds was manufactured from stainless, this was not necessary, but allowed easier changes as the pipe flange was more easily accessed from under the vehicle. New exhaust system was bent from stainless steel, and loose fitted underneath, this was tacked with TIG on the vehicle, and new hangers made. Once fully located the sections were removed and fully TIG welded.

Wiring was undertaken, a new fuse box and relay housing were sited inside the vehicle, and the entire vehicle was rewired, including tappings for any future ancillaries which may be fitted.

Serck Marston manufactured a radiator with integral oil cooler to my design, the lot were plumbed in, as well as a new oil cooler radiator to replace the leaking heater radiator, this was an exact fit into the original housing.

All ancillary works were undertaken such as recalibrating the speedo to account for the differing final drive ratio, and all the other little jobs which take so much time.