200 TDi vs 3.5 V8? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 8th, 2014, 12:04 PM
Azarur
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200 TDi vs 3.5 V8?

Hi all,

I'm new here and about to buy my first defender. Wanted to get some feedback from the experts: should it be a 200 TDi with a 5 sp or the 3.5 V8?
Vehicle will have light use: about 10 miles per day of light commute. Occasionally highway drive from Boston to Vermont. Off-roading on the light side (have three kid under 10!).
May want to fit A/C at some point.
Any and all Opinions are most appreciated!
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  #2  
Old March 8th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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  #3  
Old March 8th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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Drive them both. Deciding this thing based on internet opinion is a very bad thing to do. A stock 3.5 does not really go much faster, IME. Uses 50 to 70% more fuel.
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  #4  
Old March 8th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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Low Range Acceleration not that important. Mid range torque more important. Fuel economy somewhat important. Most important reliability, durability. Will either be able to do 70-75 mph? Will both allow decent towing? Will diesel be completely inappropriate for mostly city driving?
Anyone able to provide comparison who has driven both would be very appreciated.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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Test drive both. The council has spoken
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  #6  
Old March 8th, 2014, 12:29 PM
Azarur
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I have driven them both. BUT could not do hiway on TDi as it has no registration and I'm also looking for features I can't get from the test drive: durability, reliability, maintenance requirements. Come on people! You can do better than tell me to drive them both! You are the creme de la creme of defender experts!!
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  #7  
Old March 8th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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Durability and reliability mostly depend on the individual vehicle. They are over 25 years old. That matters much more than anything else.

The V8 has more top end. Stock torque and power is nearly the same. They can both have a lot of power increases done to them. Both will do 70 to 75 and tow, but not like a modern vehicle. They are bricks with 110 horsepower.

I'm not sure I understand the concern over differences in town??
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Old March 8th, 2014, 01:27 PM
Azarur
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Red90:
Thanks for your answer. Not too concerned about torque/power for in town. I will take the vehicle north about once a month and would like decent cruise speed at highway and will need moderate towing (nothing heavy duty, a trailer with firewood or construction materials for example - 1000 lbs or so). Both engines have been rebuilt, so assuming equal starting point (and I know this is big assumption) any inherent differences in reliability (especially in cold weather!!).
Thanks!!!
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  #9  
Old March 8th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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It depends a lot on what you are getting as well. The stock 3.5 carb Defender was factory restricted giving low power figures. A bunch of easy power is available. The one you are looking at may have had many things done to it. The 200TDI is also easy to add power to, so it is impossible for us to make general statements as individual vehicles are not necessarily at stock levels.

The TDI is more modern, designed in the late 80s versus the V8 which is designed in the early 60s. The TDI shouldbe longer lasting, but you say they are both rebuilt and you will do low miles. Worrying about whether it lastd 200000 or a million miles is not a concern. In good shape they are both reliable and simple to work on. They are both fine in cold weather.

Are they both stock, original or modified?
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Old March 8th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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The 200tdi is also significantly noisier and smellier.

The reality is that nobody drives these vehicles for logical/practical reasons so you should just buy whichever one you enjoy the most.
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  #11  
Old March 8th, 2014, 03:03 PM
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Very well put!
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  #12  
Old March 8th, 2014, 03:52 PM
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Red90,
The 3.5 is the stock engine. The 200 TDi was a replacement for the older stock diesel. The 3.5 has 54,000 miles (15,000 since a major overhaul). The 200 TDi has 20,000 miles since it was installed after a full rebuild.
Thanks so much for your information. It has been awesome.
A
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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azarur View Post
should it be a 200 TDi with a 5 sp or the 3.5 V8?
I'm not an expert but speaking from experience, a 200tdi 90 at around 800ft elevation with a 1.222 tcase, with a 2 inch lift, 32" tires and 6-point exocage and LT77 will top out at around 60mph on a flat surface. It will struggle badly on hills (you will be in 4th gear and will not be going faster than about 50mph.)

If you are pulling anything, expect to go even slower. These engines had 110hp at their best and with age and wear, they just get weaker.

That said, the mpg on the 200tdi is very good, especially if you are able to keep it off boost.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
I'm not an expert but speaking from experience, a 200tdi 90 at around 800ft elevation with a 1.222 tcase, with a 2 inch lift, 32" tires and 6-point exocage and LT77 will top out at around 60mph on a flat surface. It will struggle badly on hills (you will be in 4th gear and will not be going faster than about 50mph.)

If you are pulling anything, expect to go even slower. These engines had 110hp at their best and with age and wear, they just get weaker.

That said, the mpg on the 200tdi is very good, especially if you are able to keep it off boost.
Something is wrong then Ed. My 200tdi 110 with 4 inch lift, winch bumper, roof rack on 33.25 tires ran 75 plus easily. Perhaps we should tune your truck.

My 300tdi 130, (same displacement engine) with 1.2 tcase and 35 inch tires will do 85 easily.
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  #15  
Old March 8th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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My only concern is the short trip (10miles or so). Tdi like to run warm and in that short period, and city driving, it might run all the time cold and its longevity will be reduce.. So will be the heater output.
On highway you might find it deafning. 70mph it will do but uncomfortable it might be.. You can get use to it, but, it is nothing like a modern pickup truck..
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Old March 8th, 2014, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Something is wrong then Ed. My 200tdi 110 with 4 inch lift, winch bumper, roof rack on 33.25 tires ran 75 plus easily. Perhaps we should tune your truck.
Thanks Doug, that sounds absolutely nothing like my truck! It is pretty weak. Any ideas on where to start??
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  #17  
Old March 8th, 2014, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azarur View Post
Red90,
The 3.5 is the stock engine. The 200 TDi was a replacement for the older stock diesel. The 3.5 has 54,000 miles (15,000 since a major overhaul). The 200 TDi has 20,000 miles since it was installed after a full rebuild.
Thanks so much for your information. It has been awesome.
A
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  #18  
Old March 8th, 2014, 09:48 PM
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A properly running tdi should happily sit at 75 all day long in a defender. If it doesn't there is something wrong. All defenders are noisy. That is easily fixable. It can be as quiet as any other car.
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  #19  
Old March 8th, 2014, 09:54 PM
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Roughly what would the rpms be at 75?
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  #20  
Old March 8th, 2014, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaco1 View Post
Roughly what would the rpms be at 75?
Around 3100 with stock 200TDI gearing and 32" tires.
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