should I rebuild TD5 in Kenya for $9500 - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 10th, 2016, 01:24 PM
portis
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Tyler Hicks
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should I rebuild TD5 in Kenya for $9500

Iím an American photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya. For the past 5 years Iíve been driving a 2001 Defender 90 Td5 diesel with manual transmission. Iíve had relatively few problems since purchasing the truck when it had 50k kilometers on the engine. It now has 178,000 km (about 110,000 miles).

When I cold start the truck in the morning it takes at least 6 attempts to turn over. When it finally starts it emits a huge amount of white/gray smoke from the exhaust. The smoke fills my whole driveway. Subsequent starts throughout the day tend to be okay but the engine has very little power now. Hills are getting harder to climb and it feels like the turbo never really kicks in.

Thereís a longtime Land Rover mechanic here told me my engine is dying and that it needs a complete rebuild or replace the TD5 with a used one. He said that the smoke is one indicator and also when the oil cap is loosened with engine running it shouldnít dance around. The bounding of the oil cap means that air is being forced into the engine. My cap looks like its going to fly away.

The full engine rebuild will cost $9500 usd parts and labor. He said that Iíd basically have a new engine after the 2-week job is done.

Option 2 would be to swap in a TD5 from a 2002 Land Rover Discovery. The engine (now in Kenya) has 46,000 km on it. Iím told it came out of a Discovery with automatic transmission. The engine was recently imported from the UK so hasn't been subjected to Kenyan diesel fuel. I don't know the history of the engine or how it was used. For all I know it was thrashed but who knows. The cost for that engine installed would be $6500 usd and the mechanic keeps the TD5 he pulls from my truck.

Keeping in mind the still import duty for parts from the UK does $9500 sound about right for an engine rebuild? Would you suggest that or should I go with second hand TD5 from the 2002 discovery? If I do the rebuild would I really be likely to get another 170k km out of it?
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  #2  
Old April 10th, 2016, 01:31 PM
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Any coolant in the oil/oil in the coolant?
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  #3  
Old April 10th, 2016, 01:33 PM
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Something doesn't sound right. 110,000 is nothing for a LR diesel. I'm no Td5 expert but it sounds like the turbo seals are leaking. Also if it is an earlier Td5 they have a known problem with oil seeping into the injector harness causing running issues. At a minimum I would get a second opinion and get a compression check to see if there is blow by in the cylinders. You could also have a head gasket issue which would cost to fix a fraction of what a rebuilt or exchanged engine would cost.
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  #4  
Old April 10th, 2016, 01:43 PM
portis
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Tyler Hicks
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I’m sure it’s obvious to you from my original post that I don’t know a huge amount about the mechanics of engines so please bear with me! How would coolant get into the oil or vise versa?

That’s a good idea to get a compression check. I’ll take the truck to another mechanic tomorrow for a second opinion.. I just have to find out who’s good here.

What does it mean when there’s blow by in the cylinders? Is that what could be causing the oil cap to behave that way?
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  #5  
Old April 10th, 2016, 01:49 PM
javelinadave
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Blow by is when the piston rings are not making a good seal and exhaust passes thru and pressurizes the crankcase.
A bad head gasket will let oil into the coolant or coolant into the oil. This may also pressurize the crankcase.
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  #6  
Old April 10th, 2016, 01:59 PM
portis
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Tyler Hicks
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That's really good to know and I appreciate your input on this. I don't exactly have ten grand sitting around right now for a rebuild. The trick here is to find where to bring the truck for a second opinion.
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  #7  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:00 PM
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mark kellgren
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I would certainly rebuild vs put in another used engine with no known history. But full rebuild includes all the lower end, which may be just fine for you. This may just be headgasket. are you losing coolant? coolant in the oil turns the oil acidic and begins to destroy the bearings and turbo. I'm getting a full rebuild on mine right now for that reason. If you are losing coolant, you may just need upper end headgasket, and have the turbo checked, as they are very vulnerable to contaminated oil.

I'd trust a seasoned mechanic over there over most over here with that engine. It's been hell for me to find competence over here with my 2.8, which is a simpler TDI. That engine is an even rarer bird over here than the 200/300.
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  #8  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:11 PM
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Before digging in with your check book, lets do some basic health checks.

I wouldn't hesitate to take the intake ductwork and intercooler out for a good cleaning. You'll be amazed at the crud that will stream out. No it wont solve your problems but being able to breath properly is useful.

Do you need to use the glowplugs to start in the AM? Are they working correctly?

How are the injectors, clean good spray?

Fuel pump pressure, fuel filter?
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  #9  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:15 PM
portis
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Tyler Hicks
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I'm not losing coolant from what I can see. If I was losing then I would see it on the ground after the truck has been sitting for a while right? Looks all dry where I park at night.

Yeah the mechanic here is good but expensive. He's been tricking out Land Rovers for like 30 years. He also breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

There are lots of Defenders here in Kenya. The safari outfits often run them, as do the cops and Kenyan army so there are lots used and parts are available. I bought mine for $17 thousand. Prices are going up here now that they're not made anymore. Probably the same deal in the USA.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 09:23 PM ------

I had the glow plugs replaced pretty recently. Also replaced the injector nozzle from the first cylinder. That cost $900. This was done by a mechanic who I've used for small stuff for years (I also like here in the 1990s for a while so go way back with him). I trust him but this is over his head now. So I broke down and dropped it with the pro but the sticker shock is pretty severe. He said the same job on a Tdi would only cost $3 grand but that the TD5 parts are hugely more expensive. I'll have the intake ductwork and intercooler taken out for a cleaning thanks for that.
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  #10  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:25 PM
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I don't know squat about diesels but your comments about it feeling like the turbo isn't kicking in are telling. Perhaps one of the diesel guys can better describe how to access it's condition as well. But definitely get more data and a second opinion before throwing money at it. Who do the safari outfits and cops use for their maintenance?
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  #11  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portis View Post
I'm not losing coolant from what I can see. If I was losing then I would see it on the ground after the truck has been sitting for a while right? Looks all dry where I park at night.

Yeah the mechanic here is good but expensive. He's been tricking out Land Rovers for like 30 years. He also breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

There are lots of Defenders here in Kenya. The safari outfits often run them, as do the cops and Kenyan army so there are lots used and parts are available. I bought mine for $17 thousand. Prices are going up here now that they're not made anymore. Probably the same deal in the USA.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 09:23 PM ------

I had the glow plugs replaced pretty recently. Also replaced the injector nozzle from the first cylinder. That cost $900. This was done by a mechanic who I've used for small stuff for years (I also like here in the 1990s for a while so go way back with him). I trust him but this is over his head now. So I broke down and dropped it with the pro but the sticker shock is pretty severe. He said the same job on a Tdi would only cost $3 grand but that the TD5 parts are hugely more expensive. I'll have the intake ductwork and intercooler taken out for a cleaning thanks for that.
When I say losing coolant, i mean seeing the coolant level drop in the expansion tank with no visible loss external. That a clear symptom of internal coolant leak, and hence usually a failed head gasket. failed head gaskets can also include internal oil consumption and internal compression, pressurization of the cooling system from exhaust gas.
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  #12  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:32 PM
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With a bad head gasket your cool would be going out your exhaust pipe as steam and not on the floor.
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  #13  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:36 PM
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Tyler Hicks
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The coolant issue is something I can't say right now but I'll look into it when I pick up the truck tomorrow and check it out. One thing I forgot to mention (and again I don't know if this is relevant here) is that the speedometer needle had been a bit erratic while driving. Like if I was driving steady the needle would bounce up and down about 10mph from my actual speed.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 09:44 PM ------

My Defender and Ridgeback.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 09:45 PM ------

My Defender and Ridgeback.
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  #14  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:47 PM
portis
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Tyler Hicks
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My Defender and Ridgeback.
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  #15  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:48 PM
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I'd go for the rebuild. But only after getting a second or even third opinion. If you can't find a Rover mechanic, a diesel mechanic should at least be able to tell you what is going on, even if they don't really want to work on it.

By the way -- where are the epic pics of your Rover out in the bush?

LOL ^^^^ good timing on the pic.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portis View Post
The coolant issue is something I can't say right now but I'll look into it when I pick up the truck tomorrow and check it out. One thing I forgot to mention (and again I don't know if this is relevant here) is that the speedometer needle had been a bit erratic while driving. Like if I was driving steady the needle would bounce up and down about 10mph from my actual speed.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 09:44 PM ------

My Defender and Ridgeback.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 09:45 PM ------

My Defender and Ridgeback.
I would normally say not related as the speed is picked up off the transfer case, not the engine, but I'm not savvy with the ECU details regarding the TD5
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  #17  
Old April 10th, 2016, 02:58 PM
portis
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Tyler Hicks
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Near Lake Magadi, Kenya.
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  #18  
Old April 10th, 2016, 03:00 PM
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Maybe take a pic of the coolant level at the beginning of the day, again at the end and again the next morning. Coolant expands so the most accurate is when it is cool again in the morning. Good luck.
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  #19  
Old April 10th, 2016, 03:00 PM
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Injectors

I would bet its the injectors needing a rebuild, which I have done and it is easy.

Cost is ell under 100 bucks.

Coolant is def a sign of a hg. Which you could do on your own as well. If you catch it, there is no need for a complete rebuild. That is crazy talk.

That mechanic should take a wrench, slowly shove it in his ... and sing to you in his native tongue of his plight.
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  #20  
Old April 10th, 2016, 03:03 PM
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Ok here is what I would do. 1. Check to make sure the injector loom is clean going into the ECU, if not spray with brake cleaner and use compressed air to clean it out. 2. Verify that the injectors are firing at the correct time. 3. After you do this start the engine (it will spray oil all over) and disconnect each injector and reconnect. The truck will run on 4 but not 3. If the truck dies on any cylinder that means that that particular injector is firing. If you see no change then you when you pull a wire that means that particular injector could be a problem. 4. Again while you have it open go ahead and reprogram all injectors with the proper ECU. If they are not programmed it will not run correctly.

Please send feedback after you do this.

------ Follow up post added April 10th, 2016 03:06 PM ------

Also. Check the end of the cam shaft and ensure that the three bolts are tight and it is somewhat centered on the slots when the timing pin is in. You can slightly advance or retard the engine with these slots but you should start at zero first.

If you do not have good timing, you WILL crack your head!!!!


^^^ trust me.
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