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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I own a 98 SI Discovery, having been quoted € 250 for an ABS sensor I've lost a little faith in them, she now has 120,000 mls and I fear further maintenance bills in the future. I'm considering looking at the Defender 110 0r 130 crewcab models. Any opinions on whether this is a good idea?
1. I'm of the opinion that the maintenace to a defender might be more straight forward or simpler is there any truth in this?
2. Is the TD5 engine along with the extra body weight 'man' enough, as I pull two horses at weekends ( about 2.75 tons approx ) or are the newer units carrying the 300 TDi? I have used a commercial 90 and it is a savage to pull, is there much difference between the 300TDi and the TD5?
3. Any difference between the 110 and 130 model in terms of mechanics or handling ( I know the 130 is a longer beast )

I'd be grateful of some objective opinions as the matter is causing me some serious headaches.
 

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From your post I'm taking it that you want to buy a NEW Defender.

In that case, you can only have the Td5 (although a new 2.7-litre DuraTorq engine from Ford is going in some time this year). The Td5 has both more power and torque than the Tdi, and is much more refined and quieter, although it isn't quite as economical (expect about 26-30 mpg). I've always found the Td5 to have rather poor low-speed torque until the turbo gets spinning, then it pulls like a train. The Defender is limited to 4 tons towing weight, so 2.75 tons should be easy.

Depending on what options you get the Defender with, it can be very, very basic (and thus cheaper to service/less likely to break down) or if you go for all the options such as Traction Control, ABS etc. it gets more complex and expensive if it goes wrong (which doesn't happen very often, but when it does, OUCH!). The Td5 has electronic controls which mean you have to have it on a diagnostic machine to fix it. As I said, it's generally very reliable, but when it goes wrong, it can get expensive. The actual servicing is quite easy- it's fixing it when it breaks thats the trouble.

There is no mechanical difference between the 110 and the 130 (expect for the longer chassis). Both are 5 or 6 seaters. I gather the 130 can be rather difficult to drive on narrow, twisty roads or in town. However, that very long wheelbase makes it an excellent tow vehicle. It will also be a bit underpowered because of the extra weight. Unless you feel you really need the extra space of a 130, I'd go for a 110 Crew Cab, which should be able to cope with most jobs.

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info Jozg44, I am considering both options both new and second hand, by the way would you consider a 2002 110 with 69000 mls to be a high miler for its age? At what milage ( driven under normal conditions ) would you expect a Defender to give problems? The Discovery I have, lost its clutch at 100,000 mls and I've been spending about £500 per year on maintenace since I bought it with 89000 three years ago. (All I want is a machine that will be reliable in the long run.) Also the 130 unit, is it seriously underpowered by its greater bulk? - PS Sorry about the poor prose but I'm like a kid in a sweet shop when I've got someones attention!
 

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PHOENIX said:
Thanks for the info Jozg44, I am considering both options both new and second hand, by the way would you consider a 2002 110 with 69000 mls to be a high miler for its age? At what milage ( driven under normal conditions ) would you expect a Defender to give problems? The Discovery I have, lost its clutch at 100,000 mls and I've been spending about £500 per year on maintenace since I bought it with 89000 three years ago. (All I want is a machine that will be reliable in the long run.) Also the 130 unit, is it seriously underpowered by its greater bulk? - PS Sorry about the poor prose but I'm like a kid in a sweet shop when I've got someones attention!
The key with Defenders is not their mileage, but how they've been serviced. If a 2002 vehicle is maintained well, then 69,000 miles in 3 years is no problem (although that is a lot of miles in sheer numbers terms). Defenders can easily exceed 200,000 (sometimes even 300,000) miles without problems if they are well serviced, even if worked hard. On the other hand, if it isn't serviced, it may be ready to blow at 69,000.

I'm sorry that isn't much help, but that's the way it works- a well looked after Land Rover will last forever, a poorly looked after one will quickly die.

If your main priority is long term reliability, the best bet would be to buy a new Defender, get all the bugs ironed out whilst it's under warranty, then religously look after it. Work it hard by all means, but look after it.

Another option is to find a vehicle a couple of years old that has been used by a utility company or building contractor. It may not be under warrenty, but 3 years of commercial use will have sorted out any bugs fairly well. These vehicles spend a lot of time off road at low speeds and are maintained well.

Having never driven (or even been in) a 130, I can't say how underpowered it is, but I have been in a 110 12-seater fully laden, and it was running out of puff very quickly. A 130 towing would be similar, I imagine. If you get a 130 and find it rather short on power, an advantage of the Td5 engine is that there are plenty of companies that offer 'chipping' (re programing the ECU to release more power), so that could be an option to consider. A 130 chipped up to 190 horsepower or so would be an awesome towing platform.

Jack
 

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jozg44 beat me to it, get a Td5 and chip it, you will increase your tourque by 30-40%, a builder mate of mine has a 130, when he is fully laden with trailor, tools, framework, bags of cement etc he weighs well over 4500kg and the rechipped Td5 pulls easily, as stated before, if the turbo has not yet kicked in the torque curve is a little low. Maintainence wise, look after it and it will look after you.:drive:
 

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I love it that's all I have to say.
Now seriously I towed a rollover (tojo, surf/4runner) 2 hundred or so k's heaviest thing I have towed. Power as stated before is lacking pefore the turbo kicks in at around 1500rpm, i am running larger tyres this does not help the towing process at all because of the change in gear ratios.
Changing gears or under momentum it's fine, just make sure that you keep the turbo spinning, with all this said i am in the decision process of when to chip it not if I am going to chip it. Truck has 100,000 km's on it since 99 I have had to have the gear box rebuilt because of worn syncro's due to extra heat changed the clutch at the same time. Maintanance is easy and i have had no other failures or problems.
Love the 130 for tray out the back and the 5 seats in the cab. Even if the ones in the back can seem a little small on a long drive.
Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your help guys, the 110 with 69000 mls is sitting on a forecourt so god knows what bull I'd be told about it but I'll have a look at the service book. When you say well looked after do you mean bog standard servicing or the meticulous work you guys do on your machines?
 

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PHOENIX said:
Thanks for your help guys, the 110 with 69000 mls is sitting on a forecourt so god knows what bull I'd be told about it but I'll have a look at the service book. When you say well looked after do you mean bog standard servicing or the meticulous work you guys do on your machines?
Hi again,

Although it may not always seem like it, Land Rover do know what they're doing, and they know how there vehicles get used. Most of my Defender experience comes from working on some local farms that have them, and they just service them exactly when the book says to, using the recommended oils/fluids and good quality parts. These vehicles work day in day out (and, it must be said, are occasionally worked a bit over the limit when it comes to towing and load carrying) and yet they never miss a beat.

They've never had any engine problems (one had the old oil-in-the-wiring-loom problem that has now been fixed), and one had a gearbox that refused to wear in and was still stiff after 30,000 miles, so it went back to the dealer, they dropped in a new one and it's been fine ever since. You get the odd water leak from the roof seals (find me a Defender that doesn't:dunno: ) but apart from that they have been brilliant. It seems that Defenders built in the last 3 years or so don't rust anything like as easily as the Tdi/early Td5 ones.

If only I could afford one.....oh well, the Series III is just as good in its own special way:clap:

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jack,
I'll have a look next week, the lastest brainwave I have is looking at is getting a 1978 109 SIII refurbushed that's sitting in the yard at home, so I may join the SIII club yet and you may find me on the SIII forum soon. I liked your website by the way!
 
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