Los Angeles area 300TDI mechanic? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 4th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Jason Herring
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Los Angeles area 300TDI mechanic?

I'm continuing to have problems with the 300TDI I installed a few months ago and I'm wondering if there's a shop around the Los Angeles area who has some familiarity with them.

* poor mileage - I've never got better than about 17mpg in 3 months of driving. I'm wondering if it's actually running on all 4 cylinders - I have no idea how much vibration the motor should have (definitely more vibration than my old V8) but 17mpg is suspiciously 75% of the mileage most people report (~25mpg or so).

* it overheated & when I opened the hood I saw that the center valve cover bolt popped up (also a big puddle of oil under the truck was disturbing...) - I had to helicoil it but suspect there are more problems to come from that.

* It overheats now unless I have the thermostat removed... when I got it it came w/o a thermostat, so it was run prior to me without for some reason(?). If I install a thermostat it usually overheats within 5 miles of driving down the freeway (though I can run around town w/o problem). During my first two months driving it the truck ran w/o a thermostat and w/o overheating... but during this time the gauge was sometimes (when on the FWY, but load/ambient temperature didn't seem to correlate) sitting 'past' the mid-way point, which usually means too hot but it didn't cause a problem at the time... then one day it simply overheated.

* I don't have the tools to check compression on a diesel (actually not sure how - glowplug or injector removal?) though admittedly I could solve this one. Since a few overheating events I notice a bit more black smoke than it used to produce, so I'm worried there has been compression loss. A local station tried the chemical check for exhaust fumes in the coolant system which came back negative (and I changed the oil & it looked fine if black), but the overheating only seems to happen on the freeway so the test might not catch it.

* Replaced water pump, has new hoses/rad cap/two different thermostats, I had the cooling system flushed and had the tanks taken off the radiator to inspect for blockage. The heater core had some resistance to a flush so I bypassed it for now.

I called a local diesel shop but they are hesitant to touch it since they have never seen an LR diesel before. I might be able to convince them, but...

If the head gasket is blown (or worse) I'm considering doing a quick in-truck refresh (new rings/bearings/etc) if the cylinders are OK.

Fun stuff.
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  #2  
Old February 4th, 2011, 07:40 PM
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Geoff M
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I know California Rover in San Diego has installed tdi engines before. They are in Cardiff North of the City. I have had them work on my 90 and I highly recommend them. Talk to Lavon.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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barry f
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Larry at four oaks works on them
British Car Service works on them as wel but will ass rape you on cost.
British Eurotech which is close to you might be a good choice. Owned by a british guy who works on defenders but also from what I heard his brother is a mechanic in the UK so I am sure there is some cross reference there.

I am sure California Rover is good but a 300 tdi is simple and you should be able to get it looked at in LA wihtout having to ship it to San Diego.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 09:10 PM
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Chris Baldewin
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Give Eddie a call at West Coast Rovers, I believe he did his apprenticeship on the 2.5s years ago and has done work on Bucks 300tdi.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Jason Herring
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Ah, I didn't know Eddie worked on diesels - he's helped me on some things in the past & is great. I already called Nigel at British Eurotech (also a lot closer to me than Eddie) and he's worked on plenty of 300TDIs so I'm taking it to him next week.

LOL re: British Car Service - I went there *once*. Raped. Never again. They must get too many customers from Manhattan Beach.

Thanks for the referrals...
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Old February 5th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldewin View Post
Give Eddie a call at West Coast Rovers, I believe he did his apprenticeship on the 2.5s years ago and has done work on Bucks 300tdi.
Eddie basically rebuilt the top end. It runs better than it has in years.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 11:19 PM
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Chris Solis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s View Post
Eddie basically rebuilt the top end. It runs better than it has in years.

i second the Eddy at west coast rovers, just transplanted my 200tdi, runs super well, drove it from Irvine to Stockton 400plus miles home that day no problems.
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  #8  
Old February 8th, 2011, 11:26 PM
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barry f
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Damn would have liked to see that rig on your way.

Let me know how british eurotech works out. They are close to my house.
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