The Defender

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Bailes1992
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The Defender

Post by Bailes1992 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:20 am

For as long as I can remember (I'm 24 now) my Father has always wanted a Defender. 2 years ago he tracked a really nice 1996 90 County 300TDi. Trying to explain to him that these things need constant attention, TLC and money spent on them was met with deaf years and since he bought it he has only used it for tip runs and doing the weekly food shop. It hasn't even been cleaned!

When he bought it I gave the engine an oil change (Chevron Supreme 10w40 A3/B4),changed all the engines filters and changed the oil again 12 months ago even though it had only done 1500miles. Other than that it's been to a mechanic who I'm sure bought his indentures for a clutch, slave and timing belt.

Looking through the service history it seemed to be meticulously looked after until it was about 10 years old. After that it's had around 5 owners including my Father and there's very little in the way of bills.

Earlier this year my Father got caught drink driving (don't worry, I think he's a tool too!) so I decided to adopt the Defender for the next 2 years until he gets his licence back.

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First thing I done though when I picked it up was check the tyre pressures and tank it up with diesel. I parked it up in Tescos carpark and walked across town for a haircut. When I got back there was a puddle of diesel under the drivers side of the car. It would seem that the tank is rotten around the centre line and is weeping and I ended up driving it up and down the motorway for an hour trying to drop the fuel level somewhat!

My only other experience driving a 4x4 is driving my Mothers 2013 Suzuki Jimmny which at just 4 hours old I dunked in the Ogmore river! The Jimny is underpowered, slow, 'wandery' and generally crap to drive. I was quite surprised when I got in the Defender. It feels very solid, it doesn't wander and even cruising at 'outside lane' speeds it's very settled even though the engine is screaming it's tits off!

Today, I threw the keys at my Missus and we drove from Bridgend up to Ebbw Vale to pick some garden bits up. My Missus absolutely hauled it up the A4060 which is a 4 mile long STEEP dual carriageway at full throttle. Half way up the hill I can smell a horrendous burning and told her to back off convinced the engine was getting a bit hot. A few miles later and the smell wasn't getting any better so we pulled over on the A465 to find the bonnet lining on fire just above the turbo!

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I ripped out the burning lining and threw it on some wet grass on the side of the road before making sure it went out, stuffed it in a bin and continued on our journey!

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My Missus usually moans driving anything other than her own car but 50 miles in a filthy, smelly and wet Defender she didn't moan once! Not even about her soaking wet feet where water was dripping under the dash or having her hair in a mess as you HAD to drive with the window open because it smells so bad.

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So 24 hours with a Defender and I certainly have fallen for it's charm. I love the low down grunt of the 300TDi and the general agricultural feel of it. I'm sure my Missus is won over too but she's staying very quiet about it and not admitting anything.

I think it's obvious though that I need to do some work on it. It drives lovely, no worrying noises. It was a good truck when he bought it but I think if it isn't given some TLC soon it's going to turn into a dog very very quickly. My Father has agreed to pay for anything within reason and I don't mind stumping up for a few bits and bobs.

The car was waxoyled early on in life and has been done every few years since. I've had a poke around and the only rust I can see is on the rear crossmember.

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I'm planning on getting rid of the loose bits, treating all the rust with Bilt Hamber products and welding two plates over it. The entire underside is going to get the old waxoyl stripped and I'm going to protect it with Bilt Hamber Dynax UB and S50 for the cavities. Hopefully that keeps the chassis sound for a few years unit I have the room to do a full chassis swap.


I've now done a good 300miles in the Defender the last week or two and got a real feel for it.

Issues...
  • Water Ingress From Alpine Windows
  • Water Ingress From Front Vents
  • Water Ingress From Windscreen Hinges
  • Clunks/Clinks When Taking Up Drive In 3rd, 4th & 5th
  • Clutch Fluid Keeps Dropping (Not Long Had New Clutch & Slave)
  • Battery Light Stays On Until You Give The Engine A Little Rev
  • Windscreen Wipers Wont Park And Noisy
  • Rotten Fuel Tank
  • High Handbrake
  • Rear Crossmember Rust
  • Rocker Cover Leak
Plans For This Year...
  • New Gauges (Rev Counter, Fuel gauge, Water Temp, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp & Boost)
  • Full Engine Service (Oil + Filter, Fuel Filter, Air Filter, Valve Lash & Valve Caps)
  • Transmission Oil Change (Diffs, Transfer Box & Gearbox)
  • EGR Removal & Intake Clean
  • De-CAT
  • Fix All Interior Leaks
  • Rip Out Interior And Clean/Wet Vac
  • Get Crossmember Patched Up
  • Remove Old Waxoyl & Protect With Bilt Hamber Products
  • Replace Window Wiper Park Switch, Cables And Wiper Boxes
  • Rustoleum 'Rolled-On' Paint Job (Unsure What Colour? White?)
Plans For Next Year...
  • Overhaul Cooling System (Radiator, Water Pump, Thermostat)
  • Electric Fan Conversion
  • Replace Fuel Tank
  • Interior Retrim
  • Remove LR Alarm/Immob & Replace With Aftermarket
  • Brakes Overhaul
I popped about 5 litres of veg oil in with 15 litres of diesel (can't put more than 20 litres in at a time or it all falls out) and it's quietened the engine down no end!

I've been 'umming and 'arring about what gauges to fit and I found some gauges made by Durite that I liked from their Marine range. I decided to order a rev counter to see what they're like and got it fitted this weekend.
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I really like it and I will definitely be going for the same gauges for the water temp and fuel gauge. However, they're about 3" long so wouldn't fit in a the small 3 gauge pod I want to fit on top of the dash above the ash tray so may need to look at something else.

And my cat, Bertie who thinks he's a dog also seems to approve of the truck!
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I had plans for a boost gauge to be fitted on top of the dash by the drivers side A pillar. Therefore I decided it wasn't vital it matched any other dials, which is a good thing because standard these things boost to 15psi and tuned around 18-20psi and I managed to find the perfect gauge!

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It's hard to find a gauge that doesn't have a vacuum scale let alone is in PSI and also in the perfect range so I had to have it. I imported it from Australia and typically got stung for import duty. :roll:

I'd removed the clock to fit a rev counter and as the rev counter needed a switched supply I just piggy backed it off the temperature gauge. BUT the boost gauge needs a permanent feed so I decided to solder the old clock loom onto the new boost gauge loom to have a 'plug and play' type install! :cheesy:
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So hopefully I'll get that fitted at some point this week and see what she's boosting as because it sounds like she has a little leak. I've got all new intercooler hoses as a precaution/preventative maintenance already!
2016 Ford Focus Style 1.5TDCi (120ps) - Company Car
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PeterN
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Re: The Defender

Post by PeterN » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:04 am

Nice gauge job, I like the cat to. We could do with something like that (not the cat we have three) as we have to traverse a forest track to reach the road although all the cars we have had have coped with it OK. Mind you until the 406 they had mostly been hydropnumatic Citroens which were very good but the 406 is fine.

Those land rovers may be plagued with problem but they last, I think there are more original ones on the road than any other car. I drove one belonging to a friend of mine in the '60s and thought it was dreadful but they have come on a bit now. I did fancy a Range Rover at one time but not the fuel consumption!

Peter

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Bailes1992
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Re: The Defender

Post by Bailes1992 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:42 pm

PeterN wrote:Nice gauge job, I like the cat to. We could do with something like that (not the cat we have three) as we have to traverse a forest track to reach the road although all the cars we have had have coped with it OK. Mind you until the 406 they had mostly been hydropnumatic Citroens which were very good but the 406 is fine.

Those land rovers may be plagued with problem but they last, I think there are more original ones on the road than any other car. I drove one belonging to a friend of mine in the '60s and thought it was dreadful but they have come on a bit now. I did fancy a Range Rover at one time but not the fuel consumption!

Peter
The cats cool, I have two... well the Missus does. I've always been a dog person and never really liked cats but my Wife loves animals and wanted a pet. When we moved out I was working 12 hour days with around 2 hours travelling either side and then I ended up working away for 12 months. Becca is out of the house 9 hours day so it really wasn't fair to get a dog. My one cat lives in the garden and only comes in for food, even if it's raining. She never leaves the gardens of the row of houses we are attached to but she will always come if you call her. The cat in the picture, Bertie is a totally different kettle of fish. He loves people and loves being picked up, cuddled and generally made a fuss of. However, my new job means I work from home a lot now so Wifey is starting to nag that she wants a dog. :roll:

I think owning a Defender is just a case of keeping up with the niggles and lots of preventative maintenance. There's plenty of people who do 20-30k in these yearly dragging around 3.5tons behind them. I've been practising using the transfer box smoothly when pulling off on hills, using low range from 0 - 30mph and then shifting it from low 4th to high 3rd without loosing momentum.

I think the best way to keep these reliable is to overhaul something every 6 months. For example you might just replace the steering box, pipework and PAS pump for a few hundred quid and maybe 6 months later you decide to overhaul all the brakes with new pistons, seals, lines etc. Parts are plentiful, parts and cheap and these are so easy to work on!

I'd love to build a less 'off-road' more 'on-road' Defender. Something with slightly lowered suspension, large alloys/load rated road tyres, polyurethane bushes, lots of interior sound insulation, nice sound system, heated windscreen and some really nice heated seats. Something that would be comfortable and enjoyable to run day to day but you could stick a few ton of caravan or track car on the back on the weekend and haul it about comfortably too.
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Re: The Defender

Post by PeterN » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:28 pm

I like cats, always have done, my wife is the dog person. The only dog I really like is a German Shepherd, what I call a dog shaped dog, so I compromised and let her have one. We have kept them since the mid '60's.

We had a siamese cat and a moggie that were 18 and 20 years old respectively, sadly they both died last year within 2 days of each other, we looked at getting another chocolate point kitten but the price was ridiculous, I told the wife I'm not paying more for a cat than I do for a car! so we managed to find someone who wanted to rehome 3 siamese, we didn't really want 3 but they are lovely.

At least as you say the parts for the defender and cheap and available which makes life easier for you. I go more for comfort than speed nowadays - well I have for sometime, I ran the big Citroen estates for many years largely for their superb ride comfort and their space, I was a TV engineer for 50 years and used to deal in ex rental TVs which I went all over the country for so needed a bit of room.

I originally bought my first CX because of the superb diesel engine, up until then I had been doing diesel conversions as you couldn't buy a decent manufactured diesel car, but I didn't realise what a superb car they were until I started driving them.

I started with the CX then XM's and finally the C5 but I wasn't impressed with that, nothing like as good a ride as the early ones, so I switched to the 406, ride not as good although acceptable but handling much better.

Peter

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Re: The Defender

Post by OllieNZ » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:32 pm

Iirc you can pick up -50mm springs for them, combined with some bilstein offroad b8 series shocks the difference will be night and day.
A discovery transfer case will give you a slightly higher high ratio 1.2:1 vs 1.4:1 but the low dosen't change. The transfer case is known as an LT230 Google will turn up more info about them than you'd care to know.
As a side note, look into a steering damper kit for your mum's jimny (if she still has it) they bolt on in about 10mins and will dramatically improve the steering feel.

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Bailes1992
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Re: The Defender

Post by Bailes1992 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:44 am

OllieNZ wrote:Iirc you can pick up -50mm springs for them, combined with some bilstein offroad b8 series shocks the difference will be night and day.
A discovery transfer case will give you a slightly higher high ratio 1.2:1 vs 1.4:1 but the low dosen't change. The transfer case is known as an LT230 Google will turn up more info about them than you'd care to know.
As a side note, look into a steering damper kit for your mum's jimny (if she still has it) they bolt on in about 10mins and will dramatically improve the steering feel.
I seen a Defender a few months ago in LRO magazine that had the -50mm springs and B8's. Was also sporting a TD5 with 200bhp!

I like the current range of gears it has now and wouldn't want to make it slower. If anything I think I'd add an overdrive to give me another 10 speeds or even a 6 speed box out of a Puma and an overdrive so I would have 24 speeds.

Interesting about the Jimny steering damper. It's due a service in October to maybe I can sneak one on while my Mother isn't looking. :lol: It's almost if the steering is too light on them so a damper should really help things.
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Re: The Defender

Post by OllieNZ » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:01 am

Bailes1992 wrote:
I seen a Defender a few months ago in LRO magazine that had the -50mm springs and B8's. Was also sporting a TD5 with 200bhp!

I like the current range of gears it has now and wouldn't want to make it slower. If anything I think I'd add an overdrive to give me another 10 speeds or even a 6 speed box out of a Puma and an overdrive so I would have 24 speeds.

Interesting about the Jimny steering damper. It's due a service in October to maybe I can sneak one on while my Mother isn't looking. :lol: It's almost if the steering is too light on them so a damper should really help things.
The Disco T-case would lower your RPM for a given speed. I've run some numbers through this, http://www.grimmjeeper.com/gears.html
Assuming 31" tyres and a stock R380 5 speed box, a Defender T-case will see an engine rpm of 2900 rpm @ 70mph in 5th vs 2500 rpm @ 70mph in 5th for a Disco T-case.

This is a damper kit for the jimny: http://www.jimnybits.com/jimny/suspensi ... r-kit.html
I'm cheap so I built my own out of a bit of box section I had laying about
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Welly
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Re: The Defender

Post by Welly » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:22 pm

One Life.

Live it.

:cheesy:
Volvo Forum Member wrote:Oh do shut up.

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Re: The Defender

Post by steve_earwig » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:24 pm

Can you still buy spray on mud?
Talking bollocks sin©e 2007

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Re: The Defender

Post by Bailes1992 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:55 am

Managed to get a day working on the Defender yesterday. Engine needed a service (although I haven't done the fuel filtet yet) and it's habit of leaking oil is driving me nuts.

As I was planning on replacing the valve caps and adjusting the valve clearances I decided to remove the glowplugs to make it easier to turn over the engine. I must admit, I was a bit worried that the glowplugs would snap off. However, it would seem the rocker cover oil leak for the last 2 years had freed them up nicely and they practically fell out!
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The engine was looking in a pretty sorry state where it's been leaking oil for YEARS!
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I whipped the rocker cover off to find she was very very clean internally.
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Stuck a new set of valve caps on and adjusted the valve lash to 0.20mm.
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Old valve caps looked okay if I'm honest but the valve lash was excessive.
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I degreased the rocker cover to remove as much of the varnish as possible and threw a new gasket on it.
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One of the breather hoses was split so I've ordered a new one and bodged this one up with insulation tape for the time being.
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I replaced the 'O' ring on the catch tank as the old one had gone flat.
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New glowplugs got a healthy smearing of this stuff.
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Read somewhere that it was designed by Mercedes for use on glowplugs and spark plugs. I use it on both and has done me well!
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Although I'm convinced all the oil leaks are a result of the rocker cover leaking and running down the block I threw a tube of this stuff in too. Hopefully it will soften and swell all the old seals.
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I decided to go for a heavy duty diesel engine oil. They have much better detergents and soot holding characteristics, also cheap at £50 for 25 litres. I've used a few HDEO oil on sludged up engines and it's amazing what a few thousand miles running a HDEO will shift!
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I then soaked the engine in a strong TFR for half an hour and pressure washed it off.
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I also flushed out all the chassis while I was at it. It's amazing how much crap was in them. I don't think the chassis has ever been injected at all. Certainly something that needs doing ASAP.
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Re: The Defender

Post by Bailes1992 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:29 am

Gutted. Took it out for a drive and the engine is covered in oil again! :frown: :cry:

This was after 3 miles...
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The oil level hasn't been dropping quick enough for this amount of fluid and the new rocker cover gasket isn't leaking anywhere so I can only assume it's the injector seals. Strange how it looks oily. Maybe it's a bit of carbon in with it?

At least the injectors should come out easy as it's been leaking so bad.
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Re: The Defender

Post by rwb » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:56 pm

Bailes1992 wrote:... heavy duty diesel engine oi ... soot holding characteristics ...
So these are the ACEA E specs.

Interesting. It's disgusting how the oil on the 407 goes black almost immediately compared to the 406 where it was still golden after 6k.

How do I work out which E is suitable for C2? Looks like E6 or E9.

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Re: The Defender

Post by OllieNZ » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:47 pm

It's amazing how far a little oil goes, especially when it's hot. I'd be surprised if you've lost much more than a tablespoons worth. You also appear to be missing a pipe connection on that injector?

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Re: The Defender

Post by Bailes1992 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:51 am

rwb wrote:
Bailes1992 wrote:... heavy duty diesel engine oi ... soot holding characteristics ...
So these are the ACEA E specs.

Interesting. It's disgusting how the oil on the 407 goes black almost immediately compared to the 406 where it was still golden after 6k.

How do I work out which E is suitable for C2? Looks like E6 or E9.
I think the only way to stop oil going black in modern diesels is to remove the EGR. My Focus turns it's oil black no matter what I use.

However, the colour of the oil does not indicate it's condition at all.

Likewise, my 406 without and EGR and my Mondeo without an EGR or CAT used to keep the oil a lovely dark brown/golden colour even after 5000miles.

Lets have a brief overview of the ACEA car oils.

A1/B1 - Thin *w30 or a *w20 oil. "Fuel Saving" High SAPS
A5/B5 - Thin *w30 or a *w20 oil. "Fuel Saving" High SAPS (Successor to A1/B1)
A3/B4 - Thick *w30, 40 or 50 weight oil. "Performance Oil" High SAPS

C2 - Thin *w30 or a *w20 oil. "Fuel Saving" Low Saps (Less than 0.5%wt)
C3 - Thick *w30, 40 or 50 weight oil. "Performance Oil" Mid SAPS (Less than 0.8%wt)

Now when you see that Ford, Volvo, Peugeot/Citreon and BMW all use or have used PSA engines and every manufacturer looks for a different grade of oil it's obvious that the DW/DV engines aren't too picky.

Problem with SAPS is if they get into the combustion chamber they will block up the DPF and can't be burned off during regen.

Now my argument is if the engine burns no oil then why does it matter? My Focus doesn't use a drop of oil.

My Focus asks for a 5w30 A5/B5 or WSS-M2C-913D oil which is HIGH SAPS.
Volvo who use the same engine ask for a 0w30 A5/B5 oil.
BMW who used the DV6 in the Mini asked for a BMW LL04 oil (meeting ACEA C3).
PSA/Citreon ask for a C2 oil.

So how essential is it that a low saps oil is really needed?

Now for years Ford specified a '913(B/C or D depending on the year) oil for everything so I've always assumed it's a compromise between SAPS, wear and fuel economy/emissions. So I thought I'd try a few different oils and get oil analysis done at 5k intervals.

My engine produces far less 'wear metals' when I use an oil with a higher HTHS such as an A3/B4, C3 or E6/E9 oil.

I've had oil analysis done using Ford OE oil, Castrol Edge 0w30 A5/B5, Total Quartz 9000 0w30, Mobil1 0w40 Turbo Diesel, Total Rubia 8900 10w30 and Mobil1 ESP 5w30.

I really like the Mobil1 ESP as it has a high HTHS, mid SAPS and gave me very low wear metals at analysis but it's £7 a litre where Total Rubia is just £2.50 a litre and gives me identical results.

I now look for an oil with SAPS of less than 1% as a 'compromise' with HTHS of 3.5 or above and I look for a Group III basestock as a minimum (which all Fully Syntehtic oils are).

Try the Lubrizol comparison tool, it's quite interesting.
https://www.lubrizol.com/en/Lubricant-a ... mance-Tool

When I'm looking at an alternative oil for any of the cars I buy oil for, I look for something I fancy and put all the specifications it has into the comparison tool and then overlay the specification the car asks for to see how it compares.

There's also an American forum called 'Bob Is The Oil Guy' which is superb!
2016 Ford Focus Style 1.5TDCi (120ps) - Company Car
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1996 Land Rover Defender 90 County SW 300TDi - Toy

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