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Old 7 Apr 2010
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sorry Col Cambell but don't agree with you at all about the td5. The TD5 disco is quite simply the worst 4x4 I have ever driven (and I've driven a few).

There's also the fact that 'Landrover' and 'Electronics' are not 2 words that sit that well together. The extra complexity is also an issue, either fixing it yourself (we aren't all as capable as you!) or using local bush mechanics.

Given the budget for a td5 I would sooner (as in fact I have done) buy an older landie (a 300tdi in my case) and spend the left over doing the necessary renovating and rebuilding.

just my 2 pennith of course


Land cruiser H60
Landrover 130 300Tdi
Ford Ranger
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by nibshis View Post
and no a Toyota is not an option!

The best thing you want for an overland, is a sense of humour and want for adventure.

You have the humour, the rest will be easy.

2005 - 120 seies D4-d Land Cruiser.
Front Bar
50mm raised
Big Muddies to play.
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Old 8 Dec 2010
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ozzies are falling out of love with toyota!!!

Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post

There are 2 very good sayings, most of you will know them,

1. If you want to go into the bush, take a Land rover, If you want to come back again, then take a Toyota.

2. 80% of all Land Rovers ever produced are still on the road, The other 20% made it home,

3. Any body got a No. 3?

Yes, I had a few LR in the past.
They were great fun, only one of them broke down regular, ( old series 3 SWB diesel) the other, an ex airforce SWB petrol, that was reliable enough.

Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series- "Oh what a lemon......"

Toyota 200 Series GXL Land Cruiser Major Dust Problem | 4x4galore
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Old 12 Dec 2010
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looks like as with mercedes, bmw, landrover and others it's now the bean counters are running the show, not the engineers, with the result that quality takes a complete dive
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
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Old 23 Mar 2011
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My two cents on this topic:
Pick a vehicle for which parts (engine, gearbox, diffs, and everything else) are available in the countries you are traveling. And are available in abundance. LandRovers I prefer are those with a 200tdi or 300tdi engine. I like the 300tdi more.
Do not overload the vehicle. Fuel economy is a big deal both for cost but more importantly because of the extra weight that carrying lots of fuel causes. The heavier the vehicle, the harder it will be to avoid getting stuck or more importantly the harder it will be to get yourself unstuck.
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Old 11 Apr 2011
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I don't know much about Defenders but on the topic of what is a better vehicle. When buying used you can buy a terrible example of the best car and it will be a proper snotter.

I've had a Landcruiser 80 series and a Discovery 300TDi both of the same year but the Discovery had less miles. The Discovery was hugely capable and pretty reliable having only small problems although it did rust. My 80 series Landcrab was much larger and really was in another class offroad thanks to the 3 diff locks and what seems like better axle articulation. It never once broke down although the alarm system failed and I had to bypass it to get it to start, and it had no rust even where I rolled it into a tree the damage never rusted. I don't mean rolled like a 40mph crash, just tipped a little too far over and brushed against a tree.

If I had to do any long journey/trip/adventure I'd first look at a Landcruiser but only the larger ones another 80 series or a 100/105 or a 200 (If I could afford it!), second would a Nissan Patrol Y61/GU , then a Defender 110.

I have offroading friends who absolutely swear by their Landies, they where highly impressed by the Landcruiser and where happy to accept a tow from it but would they change their LandRovers for a 'cruiser? Nope....

I guess it comes down to a brand loyalty thing?
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Old 20 Jul 2011
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James is right, there is a brand loyalty thing going on.

I've had nothing but Landrovers for over 8 years. Defenders, Discoveries and a couple of late shape Range Rovers. All awesome vehicles. I have always had a Defender for offroading and trips.

However, I'd personally advise something a bit more comfy if you are going to spend a lot of time in it. When I went to Morocco I took a Discovery and it was SO much better. More comfortable, decent air-con and all the oily bits like a Defender so if I had an issue the locals could fix it.

However, my brand loyaly has been shaken recenty.
I'd happy take a 4x4 Yeti or a Toyota now...

But back to the original question, you're looking at a station wagon or a hard top van 110. If it's just for the trip it's going to be the van. Cheaper to buy and easier to secure. If you go the station wagon route you can remove the rear seats, but why?
A good 110 Station wagon will cost a lot more than a 110 van if you are looking at the older 300Tdi engine.
If you are looking at the later engine the price difference is not so severe. But it's still there.

Overall, I'd take a Td5 disco if it's got to be a Landrover. Did it myself and it was good.

Nice to pull up at camp and all the Defender drivers are sweaty and caked in dust. But you are fresh from your bigger more comfortable seat and have had the air-con set at 20c for the last 8 hours. It may not be such a "hard core" experience, but do you really want that day after day after day?
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Old 9 Dec 2011
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td5 or 300tdi?

Cool thread!

I´m in the same situation at the moment.

Searching for the vehicle spec. to take me from Stavanger, Norway, to Kathmandu, Nepal in a 1 or 1.5 years time. A 4-6 months trip. Sweden, Poland, eastern Europe down, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India. Tibet, China, the "Stans", Russia, the "Baltics", Finland, Sweden and back. It WILL be a LR Defender 110SW.

I have one in hand that could be it, 2002 mod. td5. About 125000 km. BUT I´m not sure about this engine.. Anybody with experience with this one vs. the 300tdi? This car is very nicely held and since I am going to have it fully rebuild, (galvanised frame and so on) less things have to be done. I will use the Landy daily when I come back from the trip. Therefore I will have it build for the "long run". I was over at Nene Overland, Peterborough, UK, 2 weeks ago to check out their operation. They do most of the work onsite and seemed to be experienced and they even tried to moderate me when I stated all the equipment I wanted in the car.. (?) Well, my BMW R1200GSA got all the "works", so maybe that´s why I go all the way. It´s a guys thing, isn´t it? :-) Anyway, they also told me about the 2.8l. version of the 300tdi. I got a test ride in an 110SW with it, and, my god, that was something different.. It was really fast and with a lot of torque. The Extec roof is the way I want to go. The Defender will have 4 single seats, Exmoore or Recaro with an National Luna between the back seats. I will even build a frame that will allow 2 persons to sleep downstairs when the starboard back seat is folded. The frame will be folded and put away on the roof when not in use. The car will be a "commercial" edition with no windows in the back department. Extec inventory.

So the question is: Should I go for the td5 engine or the 300tdi?
What about the gearbox? Any suggestions?
I understand that less electronics is better for any overland travel, but will the td5 do it if you have the right diagnostic equipment on board?

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Old 13 Dec 2011
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Long term in less developed countries, I would go 300tdi every time, as working on Land Rovers every day I see TD5s in all their unreliable detail. The 2.8 tgv engine is better than either, but make sure you've got a GOOD/recon/new gearbox (or auto) to take the torque, and I would advise a 4 pinion front differential and heavy duty (Ashcroft) halfshafts and cv joints (although for peace of mind I'd have those whatever engine and indeed do in my 300 110)
If it has to be a TD5, go with a new clutch AND flywheel as the dual mass flywheel is a tricky one to source and expensive to ship when you're abroad! Get the head gasket changed and steel head locating dowels fitted in the block (sorry Mr Land Rover, but plastic? What were you thinking?) Might also have the sump removed to check the oil pump drive gear is fitted correctly. Take at least 1 spare injector harness, and get the fuel pressure regulator block replaced so it doesn't drip diesel onto the starter and kill it. (If there's evidence of leakage already, I'd add a QUALITY starter motor to the spares kit too, or fit it before departure.)
Might be worth carrying a spare ecu (tested on the car before departure!) in case you don't spot the oil contamination coming down the injector harness in time.
A spare in tank fuel pump might be handy as they don't like poor quality fuel. At least they're easier to change in a 110 than a 90.
Make sure there's no evidence of water pump leakage (difficult to spot, ask Nene) and finally (for now!) if you're getting a performance upgrade (they do go well I have to say) get the exhaust manifold studs uprated to 10mm otherwise they fracture and the manifold warps...
I've just done 6500 miles through Europe and Morocco, last month, in a rebuilt 1983 110 with 300tdi fitted, and my only real gripes are the oil leaks from diff, transfer box and steering box, dust coming in through every orifice and non genuine front shocker bushes collapsing after 1 day en piste. (Amazing what old conveyor belt rubber can be used for - started out as mudflaps!) I'm sure a TLC would not have had these problems, but that's another thread;-)
If that doesn't tell you my preference... Bear in mind a 300tdi only requires 12 volts to the fuel solenoid to run. A TD5 needs all sorts of electrical impulses to be correct or it will hardly tick over let alone drive you to the nearest DHL office!
As far as gearboxes, Land Rover auto's are reasonably reliable if serviced properly-it's down to personal preference, and the tow start if it won't go argument for manuals is a small thing to weigh against knee fatigue in heavy traffic on the Kathmandu ringroad with the heavy duty clutch on the 2.8 engine!
Safe travels whichever your choice, most vehicle problems are surmountable in the end.

Last edited by mossproof; 13 Dec 2011 at 22:21. Reason: Additional comments
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Old 15 Dec 2011
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I would go 2.8 engine over td5 for all reasons given above , re gearboxes, have it overhauled, and then run on a really good full synthetic oil eg Redline.
manual is just about a necessity, nice and as reliable as the ZF autos in landrovers are . mainly as the tow start thing , as they are front pump only .
Autos are more susceptible to heating problems when worked hard . The heavy clutch with a 2.8 HS is easily solved just put a little inline servo as used in some mini. mg etc. LC even have a optional extra servo clutch setup but dont think will fit to defender, and being toyota probably cost a fortune anyhow! HTSH .
Current : 1986 110 CSW 3.0Tdi6, 1991 90 300tdi auto, 1999 Rangerover 2.5 dse auto, 2001 Freelander TD4 Auto
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Old 14 Nov 2012
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Here is my Land Rover 300TDi 110 Hard Top

Our landy is a 300 TDi 110 Hard Top (van) ex-Environment Agency 1997 plate. We did 48,361km through Africa 2010-11. We averaged 28 mpg, never had a puncture, had a few minor mechanical issues but that was it.

Our Landy got us there. We did one year on the road and some "good" African off-road (dunes, rock, deserts, mud) and needed to use the winch several times. When we finished, we did some mods and changes from all the mistakes we made and things we learnt (see link)

Langebaan Sunset: Land Rover Upgrades 2.0 - Part B

We found that 2 extra seats is a defo plus for guides or giving lifts. Sitting inside was also good for privacy and warmth in mountains and African winter at altitude. We can now sleep inside if needed - also a few times when we could have done with that as a fall back plan.

Bottom line on choosing a Land Rover or any vehicle (bike, truck, car, Land Rover or Toyota) is determined by:

1) How far "OFF" road do you really want to go, might go or end up going?
2) Compromise - There is no perfect vehicle as you will find that you will make mistakes, learn what works for you and your kind of traveling style and will probably change a few things if you do it again
3) A lot of roads in many developing countries (and I can speak for many in Africa) are having their main roads tarred..... in reality a serious 4x4 is not needed much of the time but it does give you options.
4) What kind of trip are you going on....slow and plenty of time or time limited and need to motor.....this has an impact on what route you might choose and thus the vehicle you drive.
5) The van varient gives you plenty of options for rear fit out. We opted for a rear seating / sleeping and storage area...... a result of living on the road for 366 days and mainly camping / bush camping.

We like Land Rovers, other people like Toyotas, but in the end the choice is yours. Our 110 300 TDi lived up to its trademark reliability and we are on 190,000+ miles and she is still going strong.


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