Comparing Rover Diesel Engines, VM vs 200Tdi - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 19th, 2017, 01:14 PM
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Jason McDaniel
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Comparing Rover Diesel Engines, VM vs 200Tdi

Having only driven a 200Tdi out of the three Rover diesels, I can't compare it to the earlier and later engines. How do the engines compare to each other?

Why do the later engines seem to always be preferred over any of the earlier engines? Noise and vibration? Parts availability? Longevity? Likelihood it will (not) start? Lure of the "new" always being better? The VM not being a true "Rover" engine?The bare-bones specs for the three diesels:

Diesel VM - Turbo D
Max power: 119.4 bhp (89 kW) at 4200 rpm.
Max torque: 284.0 Nm (209.5 lb ft) at 1950 rpm

Diesel 200 Tdi
Max power: 111 bhp (83 kW) at 4000 rpm.
Max torque: 265.0 Nm (195 lb ft) at 1800 rpm

Diesel 300 Tdi

Manual Trans
Power: 111 hp (83 kW) @ 4,250 rpm
Torque: 195 lbfft (264 Nm) @ 1,800 rpm
Auto Trans
Power: 122 hp (91 kW) @ 4,250 rpm
Torque: 210 lbfft (280 Nm) @ 1,800 rpm

And finally, the new Cummins for a non-Rover alternative. Costly, and likely slightly more expensive than an LSx swap, but about the same weight.

Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel
Torque: 267 lb-ft @1500-3000 RPM
Horsepower: 161 hp @ 3600

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  #2  
Old November 19th, 2017, 01:53 PM
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Not sure what you really want from this. The 200 and 300 are pretty much the same for power. The have pros and cons. The 300 fix some things and added some other problems. Parts are more available for the 300. VM engines are not common.

The Cummins swap cost will be nearly the same as an LS if you are comparing new to new. Obviously a new modern engine is completely different to a 20 year old used engine. It is better compared to a TD5.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 01:54 PM
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You forgot the TD5.
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  #4  
Old November 19th, 2017, 02:10 PM
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I did forget the TD5.

Diesel TD5

Power: 122 hp (91 kW) @ 4,850 rpm (Defender version)
136 hp (101 kW) @ 5,000 rpm (Discovery version)
Torque: 221 lbfft (300 Nm) @ 1,950 rpm

The "why" is that I've got a Rover being delivered with a VM. I was initially planning to trying to live with it's power, and if I couldn't, I'd swap an LSx. But, thinking about it some more I thought I'd just do a different diesel. Looking at the alternate, later, Rover diesels, they don't look any more appealing than the VM is. So I was wondering why some people liked the 200/300 Tdi.

All that said, I may find that I like the VM as long as it's not troublesome.

FWIW, this isn't a what-if pipe dream. I engineer swap kits as part of my job at a race shop. But I don't have much experience doing this with diesels, and less experience with Rover diesels.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 02:20 PM
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Personally I enjoyed the TD5 the most out of the rover diesels and it can be tuned way up.. try a quick google search of TD5 performance upgrades.

http://www.diablodemon.co.uk/TD5_Tun...formation.html
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Old November 19th, 2017, 05:00 PM
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Fly up here and I can put you behind the wheel of a 2.0NA, 2.5NA, 19J-Td, 200Tdi, 300Tdi, Td5, and R2.8...

I've got or lived with all of the above (the first R2.8 is still in build stage so no real world on that one for another month or so) - here is the short version.

2.0NA Diesel (S1) tractor

2.25 NA tractor

2.5 NA Tractor with enough power to not feel like you are going to get run over on the surface streets, but not enough to not feel like you are going to get run over on the highway Hills area still a no-go.

2.5Td (19J) - when fully rebuilt the engine works well enough to keep up on the highway (especially in a 90) but hills are a killer, and heat just sucks the power out of it.

200tdi - fast tractor - freeway is workable, hills still are painful as gearing (Lt77) is more off-road than on-road

300tdi (Lt230/R380) - freeway capable tractor, I can run 80mph all day, pass semi-trucks on an incline (barely) and keep it running with a mcguyver toolkit. My preference for long term ownership as maintenance is easier than the 200tdi or the Td5, parts are readily available (longest production lifespan of any Rover Diesel engine) and the engine operation is entirely mechanical. Downside is noise as it is still very tractor like.

Td5 - car engine feeling - same as a 300tdi but when you want just a bit more power than the 300 there is a bit more power. Not necessary to plan ahead for hills and passing as much as a Tdi. Downside is the reliance on electrical power for operation (fuel system is electrical and failed alternator or battery means the truck will not run)

Tdci - didn't feel like a Defender to me - nice engine, gearing was too close (overlap) - same reliance on electrical needs as Td5

R2.8 - TBD

As to the petrol engines - rover or other - I don't like them in a Defender so I will refrain from commenting.
Hope this helps -

My preference for myself is the 300Tdi (I have a 300tdi 110 and 130) for a truck that is used as a car first id do a Td5, and off-road only any of them 300tdi or earlier would fit the bill.

I just did a break-in run on a Td5 130 we are building and it was flawless averaging 800 miles a day over 4000 miles with a top speed of 150kmh (in a 130 with a roof tent, three passengers, and gear for two weeks) - my 300tdi could do the distance but not the speed, and if we were venturing further off pavement I'd prefer the simplicity of the Tdi.
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  #7  
Old November 19th, 2017, 07:55 PM
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I have had two Rover vehicles with the VM 2.5, Rover SD1 and a Range Rover. not the fastest for motorway work but on per with our first 200 discovery.

Only had to change the head gaskets on one engine in the thousands of miles of use. As for parts all will have to come from the UK but if the engine has been looked after you should get many miles of use.

Would I get another Rover with one, most likely if it was a two door RRC.
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  #8  
Old November 19th, 2017, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverman2010 View Post
...Would I get another Rover with one, most likely if it was a two door RRC.
Which is what I've got coming. For better or worse.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernbeat View Post
Why do the later engines seem to always be preferred over any of the earlier engines?
Your fundamental assertion is incorrect.

The later engines are almost never preferred over earlier engines.

The reason why your question is difficult to answer is that you're starting with a false statement and then asking us to prove to you why it's true. Which it's not. Which is why we can't answer your question.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 09:30 PM
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Exactly, early engines like the 200/300 tdi are desirable because they can get you to highway speed, easy to repair and completely mechanical. Trans and tcases are also widely available and they swap easily into trucks with even earlier engines.

My fav is the 200tdi defender spec.

If I ever upgraded and was willing to go electronic it would be to a later model td5 that can still fit on the r380 and can be tuned to about 200hp.

Without driving the new Cummins I'd take the td5 over it... At the moment.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Your fundamental assertion is incorrect.

The later engines are almost never preferred over earlier engines...
Well, when I said that, I had not mentioned the Td5.

It seems that people desire the 200Tdi, and many want the 300Tdi (the two "later" engines), but nobody wants a VM (the "earlier" engine). Is that untrue?
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Old November 20th, 2017, 12:44 AM
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Yea they just don't have e the power or the parts availability
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Old November 20th, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernbeat View Post
It seems that people desire the 200Tdi, and many want the 300Tdi (the two "later" engines), but nobody wants a VM (the "earlier" engine). Is that untrue?
Yes, it is untrue.

Are you someone who makes a living off selling engines and you have some kind of stockpile of old Range Rover diesels sitting around? It's really unclear why you keep asking about demand.

You have to understand that the Defender came from the factory with 200tdi and 300tdi engines. You're asking about the Motori D's "popularity" as if that somehow matters for an engine. It doesn't.

It's just that once people give up on the 200tdi and 300tdi, they're usually onto the OM617 or the Isuzu 4BD. Those engines are even more numerous than the 200tdi/300tdi. Then once you get past those, people just start looking at buying a brand new engine that will get them around trouble free for 150,000 miles, which in Defender terms is about 50 years.

The VM is probably not considered by most because they're not sitting around in junkyards or pullers like the alternatives are.

That said, if you could sell brand new crate VM 425 OHV's and sell them for cheaper than the new Cummins 2.8, you might have a market.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 11:51 AM
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The individual head gaskets on the VM is a hard pass for me.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 01:08 PM
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The VM has not been used in Rover products for many years (since the 1980s I think).
They were a basically good engine that got a bad rep, mainly by people who didn't maintain them.
The VM is smooth sounding compared to the clunky sound of the TDI.
The individual cylinder heads were a carry over from the days of marine and industrial use.
Would think that by now replacement parts would be expensive and/or hard to come by.
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Old November 21st, 2017, 08:13 AM
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Lots of good information in this thread, I'm glad I ran across it!

However, one of my favorite specs is missing.

Could folks chime in with MPG data on their rigs?
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Old November 21st, 2017, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Land Rover Daddy View Post
Lots of good information in this thread, I'm glad I ran across it!

However, one of my favorite specs is missing.

Could folks chime in with MPG data on their rigs?
Depends on gearing and individuall tuning.
In the 20 - 25 MPG range for all.
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  #18  
Old November 21st, 2017, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
Depends on gearing and individuall tuning.
In the 20 - 25 MPG range for all.
Way too many variables involved to give exact numbers but later engines are more efficient if driven at the same speeds (but then we don't drive them at the same speeds when the later engines will go much faster - so it's difficult to compare)

Tires, gearing, load, wheelbase, road surface, speeds, elevation, weather, maintenance, etc... all play a part.

My real world numbers are mainly in the 20-30 mpg range - but then again I don't run with a lift, or wide tires, and our road speed-limits are within the comfortable range of the engine.

I've seen 32mpg and 15mpg on the same 50 mile stretch of road on different times of the year because the headwind was a tailwind.
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