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Old 31 Jan 2007
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Zeus Timing Gears

Has anybody had any experience of fitting Zeus timimng gears in place of the Cam Belt on a Defender TDI 300 ? I'm thinking about gettinng that done but not reallu sure of a). how much it mighth cost and b). is it worth it and does it work ?


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Old 1 Feb 2007
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There'll be lots of people who say that there's no problem, the danger is minimal, that their Def/Disco did the whole trip unmodified etc.

Rubber belts still scare me more than electronic injection.
My Iveco has a chain driven cam, lubricated by supm oil so completely sealed from the elements. Personally I would feel nervous taking a belt driven cam engine away from the European service network. (I would even avoid wading but I can't justify my fears)
But that's not useful to you as advice.

My advice would be that if you have to ask the question, you have doubts; do the mod.

Isn't there a chain kit that might be cheaper than the gear kit?
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Old 1 Feb 2007
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The price of the Zeus kit would buy you a lot of belt changes or even a couple of months living on the road.

Other than with the early 300tdis there are no real 'design faults' with the timing belt system. Pretty much all of the iffy ones will have been fixed by now anyway and if you have a diligent mechanic fitting your belt you have nothing really to worry about. Make sure they change all the pulleys and seals while they are in there.

If it's still a source of anxiety, take a spare belt and the kit to change it (timing tool kit, fan spanners etc.) if you do your next belt change yourself they should pay for themselves.

If you're likely to wade - take wading plugs!
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Old 3 Feb 2007
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The Zues kits are renowned for breakig the gears and mashing the front of the engine up. i've got bits of a friens engine in my garage that had the same thing happen to it.

there is a thread on one of the other 4x4 forums (i'll try an find it) all about it.

I'd change your belt before you go, an carry a spare belt/push rods/idler pulley with you. only takes about an hour to do the job.
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Old 3 Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by diesel jim
I'd change your belt before you go, an carry a spare belt/push rods/idler pulley with you. only takes about an hour to do the job.
Unless you work like me - in which case don't make plans for the afternoon!
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Old 4 Feb 2007
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I had zeus gears fitted to my 200tdi Disco. I had it fitted by Zeus (Exeter) which cost me roughly £800. Looking back, I would not bother as belt changes are easy for the average LR garage to do. Plus, the noise that they generated irratated the neighbours, deafened my ears and eventually when I sold it the new buyer was not interested in the gears - so no value add!

In summary, use the money to learn how to replace the belt yourself or get a garage to do it!
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Old 11 Feb 2007
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If the belt is set up correctly with the later parts it is fine - over 150,000 miles on my 90 - 3 belts, no problems - (I change them every 50 thou ish miles)

The zues set up is noisey, not that dependable and as mentioned that money buys a lot of belts.
also it doesnt hurt to have a look at the front of the engine every 50 thou miles anyway and check your front seal etc.

There were around 25,000 Tdi's made each year since 1990 - so theres a lot of them about - they were used for all military wolfs, some exported rovers and used in KDKs in Brazil - even used in some Fords in South America it only went out of production in 2006 - it is a well proven engine.

A chain would be nice, yes, but get the belt set up correctly and its fine, also I only use genuine parts timing belts - (about the only genuine part I use!)


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'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
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