Originally Posted by 1775NavyMike
I am in a similar situation. I am an American living overseas who just bought a 1986 110. The truck currently has a 19J under the hood. I also have a 12J I will install before I ship the vehicle back home. I intend to buy at a minimum a new engine and perhaps a whole drive train before returning to the US. Three questions I guess: 1. What would you consider the best drive train to consider? Which is the best engine (300 tdi or 200)? and 3. Would it be better to stick with a low gear Xfer case mated to an overdrive unit (want it to be a driver and decent weekend warrior)?
Lets stay with direct answers regarding Rover engines and not open up to engine conversion which I have some experience with...
The 300TDI engine is better that the 200 for a number of reasons.
The bridge between the valves on the 200 is much smaller and prone to cracking.
For a coolant leak on the front cover:
The 300 uses the "P" gasket which is easily replaced.
The 200 requires a complete tear down removal of all the timing components and front cover.
The 200TDI heads are discontinued.
300 heads are available still even though they are no longer manufactured in South America. AMC in Spain had several production runs, before the 300TDI heads were produced in China (that may be the only current source).
Knowing this buy a 300TDI with long belhousing R380.
Buy a later timing kit with the crank gear belt guide if you don't have one.
Also obtain the radiator frame, new copper and brass radiator, and intercooler.
Start with a 1.4 T-case and skip under or overdrive for now.
Get the thing moving with the new power plant and transmission/T-case before you dick around with more variables.