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  #1  
Old January 18th, 2013, 09:54 PM
FoxCustom
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Looking for Defender Knowledge...

Hey guys,

I found this site on the beginning of my research on Defenders. Since I am selling my lifted, 37's, AEV'd Jeep Unlimited (TJ), I am finally going to make my Defender dream a reality! I've been bit by the bug. It'll be daily driven primarily in the winter months and I really don't plan on modding it out...aside from XZL's and wolf wheels. I've heard all the "misconceptions"/traits that these trucks have and I am not afraid of working on it.

So, here's my list of questions that may help to steer me in the right direction:
which is more preferable - 2.5 Diesel, 200Tdi, 300Tdi, TD5, V8?

I've heard the older models are more "reliable"...true or false?

Body/chassis-wise, anything to keep an eye out for? I've read about the bulkheads and rear cross members...

Easy to work on/trouble shoot?

Are services like "GlobalLandRovers Ltd" or other importing services good options or no for a rebuilt/prepped vehicle? Any negative experiences with Ex-MOD's?
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  #2  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:27 PM
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XZL's suck, 200 or 300 Tdi are hard to beat
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  #3  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:47 PM
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You want to go ice skating in your new defender then by all means put the XZL's on.
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  #4  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:48 PM
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Welcome to the site! Search the threads and dont be in a hurry is the best advice! Everything else is personal preference. There is a ton of info to digest. Aside from a daily driver what are your plans for it? Have you ever driven one? You have a couple of 90 owners pretty close to you. I'd seek them out.
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  #5  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Why is everyone selling their AEV's recently? I swear over on Expedition Portal this week when I was checking the vehicles for sale there were like 5 for sale on just the first page!!!
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  #6  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Why is everyone selling their AEV's recently? I swear over on Expedition Portal this week when I was checking the vehicles for sale there were like 5 for sale on just the first page!!!
Haha. I'm just getting rid of mine because I kind of built it more than I ever needed and I feel that someone will enjoy it and put it to use more than I do now. Daily driving on the highway wears expensive 37's out quick.
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  #7  
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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They all want to upgrade to the real thing...a D90. Get ready for the run on them!!
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  #8  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
Welcome to the site! Search the threads and dont be in a hurry is the best advice! Everything else is personal preference. There is a ton of info to digest. Aside from a daily driver what are your plans for it? Have you ever driven one? You have a couple of 90 owners pretty close to you. I'd seek them out.
Thanks for the reply! I'll seek them out. I've never driven one, it's just been a dream of mine since I was like 5 yrs. old to have one.

As for plans, I'd like to find a 110 (3 door hardtop or ex MOD would be nice) with a Tdi...a couple inches of lift, 8.25 XZL's, mudflaps, bonnet-mounted spare. Like I said it'll see a majority of highway driving, but it'll also see the snow a lot and trails occasionally too.

A friend of mine also suggested visiting the local Rover dealers and talking with the service guys for some technical advice...so I'll start picking their brains too.
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  #9  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxCustom View Post
which is more preferable - 2.5 Diesel, 200Tdi, 300Tdi, TD5, V8?
What do you mean by "more preferable"?
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  #10  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxCustom View Post
Thanks for the reply! I'll seek them out. I've never driven one, it's just been a dream of mine since I was like 5 yrs. old to have one.

As for plans, I'd like to find a 110 (3 door hardtop or ex MOD would be nice) with a Tdi...a couple inches of lift, 8.25 XZL's, mudflaps, bonnet-mounted spare. Like I said it'll see a majority of highway driving, but it'll also see the snow a lot and trails occasionally too.

A friend of mine also suggested visiting the local Rover dealers and talking with the service guys for some technical advice...so I'll start picking their brains too.
From my experience local Rover Dealer won't be able to help much unless the tech is a defender enthusiast.

Might i suggest meeting up with fellow members and riding in their trucks to get an idea of what you want.
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  #11  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
What do you mean by "more preferable"?
Having no experience with these trucks, I was just wondering if one engine is "better" than another. Power, reliability, easy to service, longer life, overheating, etc...
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:19 PM
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The techs at the dealership are parts swappers, not true, hard core mechanics. Find a local LR specialty mechanics shop. They will be more familiar with the various LR engines.
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  #13  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:29 PM
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300tdi and 200tdi are both great engines. Reliable, efficient and easy to work on. 300tdi parts are easier to source but in all they are both about the same engine. Td5 is a great engine but has the electronics of a model diesel. Parts are hard to find for those here.

The 3.9 and 4.0 are good engines if taken care of. They last a long time, but they do have their problems. They are dirt cheap if you need to replace one and parts are cheap too since there were loads of them in the States.

Keep an eye out for chassis and bulkhead rust. Most of the other body panels don't rust or don't effect the truck in a big way.

Get some BFG AT or MTs in 255/85 or 235/85 and you should be set. No spacers needed and no major lift overhauling needed. XZLs and XCLs look the part but are scary as hell in snow and ice. I love my XCLs and are very efficient on the highway as there is little drag, but they take a while to learn how to drive in certain situation.
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  #14  
Old January 18th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxCustom View Post

Having no experience with these trucks, I was just wondering if one engine is "better" than another. Power, reliability, easy to service, longer life, overheating, etc...
Well, the v8's certainly have the most power and parts are easiest to find.

The 200tdis are the first of the good turbodiesels, simple to work on, v belts, and reliable. Parts are harder to find for them. 300 tdis are a newer 200tdi, parts are easier to find compared to the 200tdi, but still you are talking about an old uk engine that was never sold locally in America. Obviously as long as you are not servicing the diesel injection pump, the diesels have less going on in terms of regular service than the petrol v8 but fixing things can be expensive depending on the part. Overheating is really not an issue with the diesels. As they are small 4 cylinder ohv engines, the 200tdi and 300tdi leave a lot of room in the engine bay, making it easier to work around them.

The old 2.5 non turbo is said to be reliable but I have no personal experience with those or the td5. The td5 is a completely different engine from the other diesels. More electronics, more power, quieter and smoother.
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  #15  
Old January 19th, 2013, 12:27 AM
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Agree with everyone above...Get face to face with one of the local guys before you commit to anything. The dealership is fine if youre going to buy new or you're sight seeing. The guys on this site have more knowledge than any handful of dealer trained mechanics. I prefer a V8 but thats because I havent played with a diesel. Petrol is easier for me.
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  #16  
Old January 19th, 2013, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ini88 View Post
300tdi and 200tdi are both great engines. Reliable, efficient and easy to work on. 300tdi parts are easier to source but in all they are both about the same engine. Td5 is a great engine but has the electronics of a model diesel. Parts are hard to find for those here.

The 3.9 and 4.0 are good engines if taken care of. They last a long time, but they do have their problems. They are dirt cheap if you need to replace one and parts are cheap too since there were loads of them in the States.

Keep an eye out for chassis and bulkhead rust. Most of the other body panels don't rust or don't effect the truck in a big way.

Get some BFG AT or MTs in 255/85 or 235/85 and you should be set. No spacers needed and no major lift overhauling needed. XZLs and XCLs look the part but are scary as hell in snow and ice. I love my XCLs and are very efficient on the highway as there is little drag, but they take a while to learn how to drive in certain situation.
I agree with you 100%. However, I read on another forum that even though 300tdi offer more HP, they seem to have more issues. I think I would go with the 200tdi. Both are fuel efficient.
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  #17  
Old January 19th, 2013, 07:46 AM
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200 tdi and 300 tdi has the same hp and torque. The big difference imo is that the 300tdi is quietr (little bit) and the timing belt is easier acces then the 200tdi. I own a 200tdi and parts are as easy to find as the 300tdi. Both are "The engine" for defenders!
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  #18  
Old January 19th, 2013, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ini88 View Post
300tdi and 200tdi are both great engines. Reliable, efficient and easy to work on. 300tdi parts are easier to source but in all they are both about the same engine. Td5 is a great engine but has the electronics of a model diesel. Parts are hard to find for those here.

The 3.9 and 4.0 are good engines if taken care of. They last a long time, but they do have their problems. They are dirt cheap if you need to replace one and parts are cheap too since there were loads of them in the States.

Keep an eye out for chassis and bulkhead rust. Most of the other body panels don't rust or don't effect the truck in a big way.

Get some BFG AT or MTs in 255/85 or 235/85 and you should be set. No spacers needed and no major lift overhauling needed. XZLs and XCLs look the part but are scary as hell in snow and ice. I love my XCLs and are very efficient on the highway as there is little drag, but they take a while to learn how to drive in certain situation.
Good info! Thank you! I'm going to be doing my homework on these things all the way up until the day I buy one...which I'm hoping is early summer!
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  #19  
Old January 19th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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As someone who has both a 200 tdi and 300 tdi I would challenge anyone here to tell me one was quieter than the other if I didn't open the hood for you. The factory hp difference is like 3hp which is nothing and easily made up/ gained when the engine is properly tuned.
The blocks are the same, The difference is the cyl heads which can be interchanged.
For me my best running tdi's have been 200's. That said I prefer the ease of changing the timing belt and serp belt on the 300.
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  #20  
Old January 19th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsD90 View Post
From my experience local Rover Dealer won't be able to help much unless the tech is a defender enthusiast.

Might i suggest meeting up with fellow members and riding in their trucks to get an idea of what you want.
I concur with both of these statements. Rover dealers tend to be much less focused on defenders and much more on bigger sellers.

Regarding engine, I've had 2 300tdi powered Rovers (my '84 90 and my current Disco). I love that motor even if it has its quirks. Super easy to work on as well, even for somebody not previously versed in diesel mechanics. I've heard the 200tdi is largely the same experience, similar power and reliability as well. I have no experience with the 2.5 NA or TD. Regarding Rover V8s, really its a matter of choice between power (the V8) or fuel economy (the diesels). There isn't a whole lot of overlap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ini88 View Post
300tdi and 200tdi are both great engines. Reliable, efficient and easy to work on. 300tdi parts are easier to source but in all they are both about the same engine. Td5 is a great engine but has the electronics of a model diesel. Parts are hard to find for those here.

The 3.9 and 4.0 are good engines if taken care of. They last a long time, but they do have their problems. They are dirt cheap if you need to replace one and parts are cheap too since there were loads of them in the States.
Great point about parts availability on the V8s. Also a large amount of parts are interchangeable between different Rover V8s.

Having said that, I think I'd always go diesel over petrol with a rover.
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