3.5 V8 vs 200 Tdi - Defender Source
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Old August 27th, 2010, 09:56 PM
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3.5 V8 vs 200 Tdi

Hello all. I am new to this forum and am considering an older (83-84) 110. The question I have is the choice of engines. A 3.5 V8 vs the 200 Tdi engine. I have read through the forum and seen both pros and cons for both.

Done some research and read about the maintennace for both. Can anyone give me an idea for costs to rebuild the 3.5 V8? What parts other than the cams and the timing chain need to be done? How about a rebuild on a 200 Tdi. I will end up going to a mechanic for both. No experience whatsoever.

I know this has probably been covered before but I could not find it in the search feature.

Any info on this topic would be helpful in choosing which vehicle. By the way, I would probably want to add A/C at some point.

Thanks.

Dan
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  #2  
Old August 27th, 2010, 11:33 PM
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Well, in a 110 neither engine is going to give you very much in performance. They're both kinda slow. I would skew toward the diesel. The down side of course is they are loud and smelly. On a long ride that will add greatly to driver fatigue.
If it is a matter of rebuilding the 3.5 I'd say forget it and put in a 4.6. It's a no brainer. Not worth rebuilding. Ballpark for a rebuild with machine shop work ( this will be a MAJOR delay ) is about 2500 dollars on your 3.5.
You should be able to find a good tdi shipped from the uk for similar money.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Well, in a 110 neither engine is going to give you very much in performance. They're both kinda slow. I would skew toward the diesel. The down side of course is they are loud and smelly. On a long ride that will add greatly to driver fatigue.
If it is a matter of rebuilding the 3.5 I'd say forget it and put in a 4.6. It's a no brainer. Not worth rebuilding. Ballpark for a rebuild with machine shop work ( this will be a MAJOR delay ) is about 2500 dollars on your 3.5.
You should be able to find a good tdi shipped from the uk for similar money.

Really ?
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  #4  
Old August 28th, 2010, 12:52 AM
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OK, I have a 200TDI 90 and a friend has a 3.5 V8 90. I was driving both back to back quite a bit over the summer. The 200 is stock other than some light fueling adjustments and small boost increase. The V8 is an RPI build with higher compression and cam running a stock Rover EFI system.

They both feel like they pull around the same. The only real difference is the V8 keeps reving up so the shifts tend to be longer.

The V8 uses 50 to 100% more full.

The V8 sounds nicer.

The diesel is neither noisy or smelly. Not sure where that comment came from. In the trucks I'm talking about, engine noise levels are similar. There is no smell from the diesel. The V8s tend to be set up rich, though and do smell....

I would suggest the diesel is more reliable overall. The Rover V8s are a very old design and the TDI is (relatively speaking) a modern design. The V8 was designed in the early 60's with improvements over the years. The 200TDI was a modern diesel design in the late 80s.

------ Follow up post added August 27th, 2010 11:06 PM ------

To expand.... Stock power and torque numbers are the sameish.

In Defender guise.
3.5l V8
111 hp@ 4000 or 134 hp@5000
185 lb-ft@2500

200TDI
107 hp@ 3800
188 lb-ft@ 1800

Both have a fair bit of room to safely add power above these numbers, so it can depend what specific engine you get and what changes have been made to it. The TDI, especially stock, has turbo lag giving it less torque off idle, but it builds fast to an earlier peak.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Ballpark for a rebuild with machine shop work ( this will be a MAJOR delay ) is about 2500 dollars on your 3.5.
You should be able to find a good tdi shipped from the uk for similar money.
I would respectfully have to say that this is not useful or accurate info. Either motor in a ready to run state will cost at least twice that and that doesn't include removal / refit and in the diesel case a complete conversion.

John on the other hand is right on although he doesn't touch on the price points.
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  #6  
Old August 28th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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Okay. Thanks for the info so far. I appreciate it.

Dan
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Old August 28th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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I have two diesel trucks, a 300tdi D90 and a Ford Power stroke F 350, so I am a little prejudiced toward the diesel. They can't be be beat for reliability, have tons of torque, and pretty good fuel economy. Neither is "smelly" but they are a little noisier than the gas equivalents , though in a Defender that's hardly an issue given the other noises.
I think it's important when comparing the gas engine with the diesel to make sure it's not apples and oranges. For example, are you comparing an computer controlled engine with a mechanically controlled engine. My Powerstroke engine is a lot smoother than the TDI because it is a fly by wire engine where the TDI is all mechanical. The trade off being a lot more complexity and potentially more to fail.
Also, how will you use the vehicle? Short runs around the block are not where the diesel shines.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Again thanks for the input. In general, this vehicle will be a daily driver with a commute of 50 miles r/t. I'll average 10-12 k miles per year. Weekend getaways as well as construction site visits during the week.
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  #9  
Old August 28th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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It really is personal preference.. but after owning many Land Rover V8s.. RR..Disco..and D90s.. I have found I really enjoy the Tdi.. on the highway camp trips I return close to 30mpg and that is always a plus for me.. I also really enjoy the feel of the diesel.. I have logged around 12k miles this year and daily drive a 110..
I aslo asked myself why is the soul of Land Rover and over half the world driving diesels?
good luck with your decision I'm sure you will be pleased with the V8 or Tdi...
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Old August 28th, 2010, 02:50 PM
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The decision really is as simple as:

Poor performance with bad gas milage, or, poor performance with good gas milage. Er, I mean, diesel milage. Don't want to get chided for that.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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The 200TDI is NOT noisy. If it didn't give me that nice puff of black smoke when I started it - I would barely know it was running. Nor is it smelly, unless you're meaning the briefest of odor until said smoke clears away.

When taken care of, I understand that the TDI's can turn thru 500K without much trouble. Oh, and the ladies dig it. Or maybe thats the RHD....
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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A friend of mine here in the UK has a genuine DEFENDER (not an ex disco) 200Tdi for sale. with a decent turbo too.

Linky to the advert

Not sure if he can arrange shipping, but i'm sure that he can strap it to a pallet, and he lives in Bristol, where many a container is shipped out of Portbury docks to arrive stateside.

PM me for his contact details.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Well, in a 110 neither engine is going to give you very much in performance. They're both kinda slow. I would skew toward the diesel. The down side of course is they are loud and smelly. On a long ride that will add greatly to driver fatigue.
If it is a matter of rebuilding the 3.5 I'd say forget it and put in a 4.6. It's a no brainer. Not worth rebuilding. Ballpark for a rebuild with machine shop work ( this will be a MAJOR delay ) is about 2500 dollars on your 3.5.
You should be able to find a good tdi shipped from the uk for similar money.
loud - they're all like that
smelly - not if the exhaust points out of the vehicle

Diesel - better torque for off roading, won't stop dead at the first splash of water, power lower down the rev range, much more economical, I'm currently getting 500 miles between fill-ups on my 200 tdi 110.
200,000 miles and no problems so far. Most V8's are dead by 150,000.

I've a 200 tdi 90 for sale if anyone is interested
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Old August 29th, 2010, 01:08 AM
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Ferk if they aren't noisy! Diesel clatter plus turbo whine isn't noisy? Are you girls deaf? I love diesels as much as the rest of you but that love comes with strings. The older you get the less you want to put up with all that.
All rover gayety aside, you can't kid yourself that a little 4 banger oiler has any real guts. It may get you around but you can't haul a boat or a trailer up a hill. In the real world, not "off road" a tdi is a wussy engine. In a heavy 110 it bogs down.
Ditto a 3.5 and it's gonna suck down gas like nobodys business.
Ideally you want an ls6 if you're thinking gas, and for diesel, that tdv8 would be cool.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Ferk if they aren't noisy! Diesel clatter plus turbo whine isn't noisy? Are you girls deaf? I love diesels as much as the rest of you but that love comes with strings. The older you get the less you want to put up with all that.
All rover gayety aside, you can't kid yourself that a little 4 banger oiler has any real guts. It may get you around but you can't haul a boat or a trailer up a hill. In the real world, not "off road" a tdi is a wussy engine. In a heavy 110 it bogs down.
Ditto a 3.5 and it's gonna suck down gas like nobodys business.
Ideally you want an ls6 if you're thinking gas, and for diesel, that tdv8 would be cool.
No, I can barely hear the engine. Of course, I have noise proofing. Wind noise is much higher than engine noise. No problems listening to the radio and have a normal conversation without raising your voice at any time.

The question was 200 vs. 3.5... He did not ask if they had "enough" power. That is a personal thing. I think they are acceptable. Both need to be tuned up a bit. Both are easy to tune up. I suspect you have never driven a properly tuned TDI. When fully tuned up, they go quite well.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Sorry to have started up a litle ruckus there. It seems that the majority prefer the diesel for longevity and ease of maintenance.

I thank you for the input.

I'll keep you all posted as to what I end up with.
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