We really haven't had much activity using the ISF engine series. I'm sure the main issue there is cost and the fact that the engines only offer SAE transmission adapters. Cummins offers the R2.8 in kit form which is 50 state smog certified, but you'd be looking at over $10,000 by the time you got it all installed. There are companies who do those swapped into Jeeps and the cost is in the $20,000 range. As far as I know, the 3.8 doesn't have any EPA certification and is mainly an import item. It's sort of interesting that although the ISF3.8 is a liter bigger, the R2.8 has the same power output.
The two engines have a very similar outward appearance...I thought maybe they where sisters. from what I have read on the ISF2.8 it seem so be somewhat reliable, used mostly in Europe and Australia. The R2.8 hasn't been around that long and so I don't know much of its reliability.... I thought the power out put was pretty good. Wish it did not have all the emissions on it, but these are the times we live in. I would like to hear from someone after they put 150K mile on it.
The isf2.8/ R2.8 is a "cheap" engine. It has an overhead cam to make it faster to assemble at the factory. Timing chain (not gears) is very light duty. Lots of plastic inside and on the engine.
Red flags to me are the fasteners are marked with grades, but are not what they say they are- 9.8 bolts easily twist/ stretch. Typical cheap Chinese feel. I found some bolts were made wrong- threadform and pitch were actually wrong. What made me laugh was they tapped the threads in the block to match the bastard bolts. I found a lot of debris in the brand new r2.8 I disassembled. Metal chips and glittery bearing material.
might think about that overhead cam statement, drove couple S60's over million miles and Cat 3406C went to overhead cam yes the Chinese engine doesn't sound like much we are getting throw away engines from every angle nowdays but most seem to hang in there .
I have one of the Foton Tunland single cab utes with an alloy tray, the 2.8ISF certainly gets up and goes quite well, 120kw/161hp and 420Nm/320ftlbs in something that weighs around 2 metric tonnes certainly doesn't lack any power. Fuel consumption is pretty reasonable too, I live in a small country town so any trips are on B and C roads to larger centres, no crawling in traffic etc. After 5 years it has only done about 24,000 kms so high mileage isn't likely to happen while I own it. I do have a friend with the same ute that has done 150,000 plus kilometres in the same period without any hassles.