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  #1  
Old September 20th, 2011, 10:52 AM
bjlover
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Shop'n - diesel v. gas advice!!!!

This is my first post!!! Whohoo!

Not a newbie to Rovers but I am buying now my first Defender and need help shopping and how many miles is too many to buy a used Rover? I dont want to buy and then need a rebuild because of high mileage combined with lack of maintenance. Any suggestions for inspection to gauge engine condition besides engine compression and visual of oil on dipstick?

I will say that I love diesel and have more faith in a high mileage diesel than a gas. So I am now deciding between the following, please give pros and cons and what you think is limit for mileage...

200/300tdi on 1983-86?

3.9 V8 on 1994-95?

Thanks!!!
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  #2  
Old September 20th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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The question of gas vs diesel comes up quite often. There's no correct answer, it has a lot to do with personal choice and vehicle usage.
As for the condition of either, milage alone is not always a good indicator . I have seen engines with 50k in far worse condition than those with 150k. It has a lot to do with how it was maintained and used. Compression checks are ok, but a leakdown test is a better way to go. Neither will indicate whether there are major issues with bearings and other wear items.
I would suggest, if you haven't already, driving both a diesel and a v8 gas Defender for comparison.
Also, if possible look for a Defender with a good ownership record. I am always amazed at the CarFax records of how many hands these trucks have gone through and where they have been.
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  #3  
Old September 20th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Kevkon, thanks for the reply.

My biggest concern is reliability. That being said the real question is all else being equal what is more reliable the 200/300tdi from 1985ish or the 3.9 V8 from 1994ish?

Also, thanks for the tip on the leakdown test. Anything else that would be recommended considering the age of the older diesel models?
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  #4  
Old September 20th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Diesel, hands down. The aluminum V8 cannot be trusted not to blow.
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  #5  
Old September 20th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlover View Post
Kevkon, thanks for the reply.

My biggest concern is reliability. That being said the real question is all else being equal what is more reliable the 200/300tdi from 1985ish or the 3.9 V8 from 1994ish?

Also, thanks for the tip on the leakdown test. Anything else that would be recommended considering the age of the older diesel models?

The Defenders that are over here have Tdi's in them that are much newer than the trucks they are in and most likely newer than the V8 in the NAS 90 if that helps you out at all.
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  #6  
Old September 20th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Diesel, hands down. The aluminum V8 cannot be trusted not to blow.
What about a runaway diesel? Or a rod smashing a softball-sized hole in the block?

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29751
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  #7  
Old September 20th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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No matter what you chose it is important that the previous owner maintained and took care of issues as they came up. No engine is indestructible. Everything needs care.
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  #8  
Old September 20th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlover View Post
Kevkon, thanks for the reply.

My biggest concern is reliability. That being said the real question is all else being equal what is more reliable the 200/300tdi from 1985ish or the 3.9 V8 from 1994ish?

Also, thanks for the tip on the leakdown test. Anything else that would be recommended considering the age of the older diesel models?
In a way the diesel is far more reliable if you talking a mech pump Tdi since there really are no electronics. As far as catastrophic failure, that really has a lot to do with maintenance and sometimes bad luck. Any engine can self destruct if it is not serviced properly and on schedule and Tdi timing belts are one example. I always change my oil in my diesel engines more often than is probably necessary and I am particular about where and what fuel I put in it.
Honestly, I think with a Defender my primary concern would be the frame and bulkhead, not the engine. I would also be wary of badly done additions and restorations. That's one great advantage of getting a one or two owner vehicle, you can ask about the history and feel the owner out. That can be especially important if an engine swap was done ( as is often the case with the Tdis). You really want to know if the swap was done professionally and properly or else you will be into all sorts of headaches.
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  #9  
Old September 20th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
What about a runaway diesel? Or a rod smashing a softball-sized hole in the block?

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29751
What about a 2x4 falling off a truck and flying thru the windshield, skewering your brain? Or what if you are in the Elite seats of the Reno Air Races so you can be close to the action? Sh1t happens.
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  #10  
Old September 20th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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@ Quick123... what do you mean when you say all the tdi's are newer? and where is "over here"?

It seems that the concensus is that the diesel will be more reliable than the V8? I am part of this camp in general and wanted to get your thoughts here on the board in regards to defenders.

So lets say that I go diesel what are somethings that I should additionally watch for on those engines? You guys say that most of them are swapped in and not original it that so? So I would have to get the VIN on the engine to verify the year of it but then the problem becomes how would I ever know the mileage? Any other mechanical issues that I should be concerned with?

Thanks to all and this board is awesome...

Btw my name is BJLOVER because of Toyota BJ40 not anything else incase your wondering... I picked it because its not easy to forget...
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  #11  
Old September 20th, 2011, 05:54 PM
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seems like this thread should have been in the technical section
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  #12  
Old September 20th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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@130tdi... How can I repost thread over in the tech forum? Can the admin do it?
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  #13  
Old September 20th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlover View Post
Btw my name is BJLOVER because of Toyota BJ40 not anything else incase your wondering... I picked it because its not easy to forget...
thanks for clarifying!

I fall on the diesel side of the fence, but that said the V8s are smooth and torquey (and obviously quieter)
Nobody has mentioned efficiency yet, but when you're filling up two times a weekend I think you'll be wishing you had a diesel.
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  #14  
Old September 21st, 2011, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
What about a runaway diesel?
Easy.
http://www.amotusa.com/Z_Dead%20Datasheets/4261.asp
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  #15  
Old September 21st, 2011, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bjlover View Post
@130tdi... How can I repost thread over in the tech forum? Can the admin do it?
Moved. My opinion on the choice between trucks is first decide if you want a soft top or hard top, then drive both a NAS truck and a ROW. The engine choice is big but not as big as the overall experience imo and the engine can always be changed. Of course the best is to test drive the kind of truck you think you want in both variants as well, and then as others say, the least rust the better!

Welcome to the forums.

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  #16  
Old September 21st, 2011, 09:18 AM
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bjlover is better than bjflover
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #17  
Old September 21st, 2011, 09:40 AM
reb78
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Originally Posted by bjlover View Post
@ Quick123... what do you mean when you say all the tdi's are newer? and where is "over here"?

I think he meant the tdi is generally newer than the truck that it is in. The vehicles that you guys can import are supposed to be at least 25 years old (is that right?). 25 year old 90s and 110s (they wont be defenders at that age as that technically came in in 1990) had some pretty underpowered engines, so most have been changed for later tdi units which have both good reliability and decent enough power delivery. These tdi engines, more often than not, came from scrappy old discos and so some could be relativley high milers. The old 2.5NA lump is a good engine, but probably underpowered by todays standards. The 19J TD (turbo disesel) engine is an indirect injection and had pretty poor reliablility so avoid it in favour of a tdi. There really isnt much between the tdi engines when it comes down to it and it seems to be down to personal choice.

It seems that the concensus is that the diesel will be more reliable than the V8? I am part of this camp in general and wanted to get your thoughts here on the board in regards to defenders.

As above, go for a tdi and you wont go far wrong.

So lets say that I go diesel what are somethings that I should additionally watch for on those engines?

Get one that has a good history and has been maintained properly and you wont go far wrong. Trouble is, if the engine has been changed, the history often seems to dissapear. Check it starts easily, not huge amounts of smoke other than a black puff at startup. None of the diesels are what i would call quiet, but have a listen to see if there is any knocking or if they are particularly tappety. Take it for a run and check that it pulls well. The engine is probably a lesser worry than a rusty holey chassis to be honest.

You guys say that most of them are swapped in and not original it that so?
Yep - 200tdi came in in 1990 and the earliest 300tdi was 1993 i think. So in a 1986 truck there would originally have been a 2.5NA or possibly a very early 19J turbo diesel.

So I would have to get the VIN on the engine to verify the year of it but then the problem becomes how would I ever know the mileage?
Engine number wont help identify engine year. If its a 200tdi it will be in the years above. If its a 300tdi, i think they made them up until 1998. Mileage would be difficult to verify. As above though, mileage isnt such an issue in a tdi if its been maintained - i know someone in the UK who is on around 300k on his original 200tdi.

Any other mechanical issues that I should be concerned with? Check the gearchanges are smooth enough and that there are not too many clonks when you take up drive. Other than that, chassis is the most important to me - i'd rather buy a truck with a dog of an engine and a good chassis than one with a chassis that is just rust and dust! Engines are easier to change!

Thanks to all and this board is awesome...

Btw my name is BJLOVER because of Toyota BJ40 not anything else incase your wondering... I picked it because its not easy to forget...
See my replies in red.
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  #18  
Old September 21st, 2011, 09:47 AM
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bjlover is better than bjflover
Way to early for me to have to crush you. I will agree either version of the name is terrible though. Now continue horsey to give your worldly advice on which engine to get.
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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