Discovery 1 Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted




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  1. #1
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    Default Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Our Disco 1 is a 1995 300 TDI with about 294K on the clock. Since I got him:

    • Timing belt broke twice and pushrods had to be changed (fortunately valves were not damaged).
    • Cylinder head was redone by engineers
    • Turbo was sent in for reconditioning
    • Stranded on the back roads and towed to the mechanic 4 times. The last time I towed him with my Daihatsu Rocky 2.8 TDI


    Despite the damage to my savings, I thoroughly enjoy(ed) driving him. We live in a rural home and the roads to us (~10km bad dirt road) require a strong 4x4 and sometimes difflock needs to be engaged in winter when the heavy rains come. We don't drive that much except for road trips and I use our vans to tow trailers with resources around the farm.

    Shamrock's body is in mint condition and I have come to really like this vehicle, but now he's sitting at the mechanic waiting for me to sort out the engine. I paid 24K for UK import from a company that imports engines but the fokkrs sent me a crappy 12L cut out engine which I had them take back. They picked up the engine on Friday and I'm waiting for the money to be put back in my account. Apparently they will have stock in 2 weeks again. My mechanic says he can get me a cut out 21L for 28K excluding.

    So here's where I need advice.

    I would love to get a re-manufactured engine, but they cost quite a bit. Plus my mechanic says its a lot of work to complete the re-manufactured combo unit which if I understand correctly is just the block and cylinder head - no injectors, fuel pump, alternator, starter etc.

    The positives of the re-manufactured are:

    • 100 KM gaurentee (a company in PE offers this for the 300 TDI)
    • I can ask them to make some modifications (blank off egr and port match inlet manifold to the head - advice form an ozzie mech)
    • peace of mind that I have a reliable machine


    Originally my idea was to get the complete import engine and sell the parts of my current engine to cover the costs. I have a complete engine with a blown cylinder head - but I think the block and pistons need to be redone as well. Now I'm leaning towards re-manufactured.

    One things for sure, I will definitely get one of those engine and egr monitors for the new engine.

    Has anyone been down this path before? Any suggestions or advice on who to contact between George and PE? What to do?
    Last edited by wunluv; 2017/03/20 at 02:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    I always prefer the devil I know. I believe that the 300Tdi can be reserved, and new pistons fitted. Then a new head and you are very close to a new engine without any of the hassles of police clearance etc for a new engine number in your old chassis. During the rebuild then you can also evaluated each piece that goes back and renew/refurbish as required. You are then very certain of what you have and also have a good idea of how to fix it when things go pearshaped.

    I fitted a water level sensor and and overheat alarm for engine water, gearbox oil and oil pressure to mine. That was good insurance and saved me a motor pottering up to richards bay once.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    My opinion, take it or leave it:

    fit a mechanical injection Jap TDi and be done with it

    Why do I say that? The 300TDi is a pretty simple engine and if your local "mechanics" can't get it right after 2 timing belt episodes then a complete engine rebuild is frankly beyond them.

    Low kilo imported engines are easy to find. You'll need a conversion kit and some re-routed coolant and intercooler pipes.

    M&D used to offer complete conversion kits for the Isuzu 280, 3.1 as well as various other engines.
    http://www.mdengineering.co.uk/shop/

    A Nissan TD27 or QD32 turbo with some pump tweaks and the D1 intercooler will kick a 300TDi's bum anyway.

    Gilo engineering in JHB should have an off-the-shelf conversion kit.
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Thank you both for the worthy advice.

    I would go the way of a rebuild of the current engine if I could afford another 6-8 weeks of downtime. The vans already been in the shop for over 3 weeks. This would mean I have to send my current engine off to the engineers for rebuilding a complete engine - as in fitting on the injectors, fuel pump, turbo etc. I'll keep this as an option if I can find someone to do this at a reasonable fee that located between here and PE.

    Thanks for the resources Jelo. I never thought of this one. I'm definitely going to look into it and follow up with the leads you provided.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Is there anyone here driving a Disco 1 with a Jap engine?

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by wunluv View Post
    Is there anyone here driving a Disco 1 with a Jap engine?
    I think there is somebody with a Range Rover Classic and a Jap engine. The Range Rover Classic is as close to a D1 as you can possibly get.
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    if you find some one to do the 300TDi make sure they know what they doing, if it not done right you will be back to square one with deep pockets

    piston protrusion is very important as that determines what head gasket you use

    when i did my own engine from top to bottom i had to get the rods resized due to excessive protrusion
    1995 300TDi Defender with VGT Turbo
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by clivemd View Post
    if you find some one to do the 300TDi make sure they know what they doing, if it not done right you will be back to square one with deep pockets

    piston protrusion is very important as that determines what head gasket you use

    when i did my own engine from top to bottom i had to get the rods resized due to excessive protrusion
    I think he's feeling that pain from the first two head gasket jobs...........
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    "if you find some one to do the 300TDi make sure they know what they doing "

    That's what it boils down to. The mechanic who works on my vehicles is a trustworthy person. He did not charge me for the work the second time the timing belt broke because he felt it broke due to something they didn't do correctly. I feel comfortable leaving my van with him, but at the same time I cannot expect him to know all the quirks and finicky details that a supposedly simple engine has.

    Why did LR come up with the EGR valve if it would be prone to getting clogged? And what about the inlet manifold port to the head? Apparently one is oval and the other is round. If you port match them there will be an improvement in the efficiency of the engine. Why didn't LR do that when they built the engine? Also if you're cruising on the freeway with the windows open and going straight, the only sign of a broken main belt is the temperature going up all of a sudden. But how quick is all of a sudden?!!! I swear I heard nothing and only felt the power steering was gone after I pulled to the side of the road. Why didn't LR design a light that would..say blink or flash when the temp goes up or the belt breaks? Bottom line is that its just crappy design - and yes I know my little rant will get drowned in the interwebs and LR will carry on business as usual.

    So here we have a vehicle that we've become fond of despite the fact that the makers of it did a half ass job. I think I have a love hate relationship with this machine. I love the vehicle but I cant stand the economics that governs the company that built it.

    I love that when I drive around in my disco its quite normal for me to greet another disco driver who more than not, immediately responds. I love when the other day I geared into low range diff lock and easily pulled the farmer out of his field stuck in his new white Toyota. Man I dig the two sunroofs. I know a little bit more of this vehicle now, as compared to when I first got it. I'm probably going to get the standard engine rebuilt and just plod along learning as I go. Someone wise here said "better the devil you know" and its true when you buy an older vehicle. Find one and stick with it.

    My partner and I are seriously considering getting a horse and cart - and one day I will build that electric 4x4. Meanwhile please keep an eye out for an engine for me.

    Thanks to the community here for all the good advice.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Also when I did my engine I went through and read the 300TDi engine over hall manual to make sure that what I did was in speck with what they say,
    once the sub assembly machining was done crank grind and re bore,did not go for new sleeves my choice, I put the sub assembly together checked main and big end clearance and ring gap, just to make sure as even the machining shop can make mistakes as well, we all human
    then was strip down and back together again once all checked

    did he say say why he thinks belt broke was it running true and the tension right, no oil leaking on it, rubbing
    1995 300TDi Defender with VGT Turbo
    2002 Defender with LS V8 in the making

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Hi wunluv

    You might want to read through my "landy saga" thread:

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ght=landy+saga

    And this one:

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ght=landy+saga

    Let this help you to decide how to proceed further.

    I have to tell you that, after all the drama you'll read about in the threads above, I do now have a very nicely running Disco with close to 40 000 km on the new engine. But, if you add the previous owner's cost for the rebuild, plus my added costs to cover those extra things when the warranty was declared void and I had to pay for the cost of parts, you get a total cost of about R100 000 for this rebuild.

    My personal feeling is that, for a D1 you need rather to have a good "small" indy with excellent contacts and good QC. He should do the rebuild himself, sending off the block and possibly crank to engineers that he trusts. And he should use a brand new cylinder head (from a reputable manufacturer).

    The bigger indies are just too much in demand with the later-model Discos and will put your "little" R50K rebuild at the back of the priority list as they can make that money on a couple of routine D3/4 major services!

    And the big remanufacturer mentioned, just has too many other jobs coming in, which are probably much easier and more frequently done - he will not treat your quirky, temperamental 300 Tdi engine rebuild with the care it deserves in order to ensure trouble-free running. He means well, but let's face it, you're just another number. Old Discos want to be more than a number - they want to be taken personally!

    I do most of the work on my Disco myself, but am very impressed with the small indy here in Tzaneen. I don't know if he's necessarily a better mechanic than the big guys in the city, but I do know that he still has the time and inclination to sort my Disco out to my satisfaction. What I'm saying is, that I think you need the kind of workshop where the guy who owns the business is still the one screwing in the bolts and pouring in the oil!

    That's my 2c worth, spoken as someone who had to spend a fat slice of his annual income sorting out unnecessary QC issues...

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    I'm going to go through those threads thoroughly tonight. Looks like you did exactly what I want to do, which is to have a Disco 1 in near perfect condition. Thats solid advice about finding the right mechanic. The mech that I send my vehicle to is hands on and he's more than willing to work with me to get it right.

    Thanks for mentioning the 300 TDI engine overhaul manual. I have already downloaded it and will go through it.

    Like both of you, I would really like to do the work myself, but for now I will settle on being more actively involved with the rebuild.

    When I purchased the Disco the previous owner said that it had a new cylinder head and pistons (I'm assuming the sleeves too). Smoked a bit on throttle and had a few oil leaks but it went very well. The body is in good condition. At ~294K probably the suspension is going to need work, but the body is spotless and the chassis is like new.

    The first thing that went if I recall correctly was the timing belt. Then the turbo, then the timing belt again. The first time the timing belt was badly worn. The second time it snapped I believe because it was not correctly tensioned. Then the main belt broke (worn bearings on one of the pulleys) and the engine overheated. The cylinder head was sent in for engineering work. Then it was going perfect until it started belching smoke out the snorkel and exhaust. Bye bye engine.

    The recon turbo, starter, alternator, fuel pump and air con compressor are all good. Probably it would be a good idea to get new injectors.

    Today I'm on the hunt for a replacement engine.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    antvz, quite a story you had with your Disco! I'm still going through the thread. Its becoming quite clear now that owning a good running Disco has a lot to do with luck as well. I dont know how in the world I'm going to find the time to factor in all the variables required to have a dependable engine. I even looked at getting an engine from the guys who re-manufactured your engine.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Hi wunluv

    Further to your pm please check my thread "my just about unstoppable Disco1" on the Landyonline Forum. you will find all your answers there.

    Be very careful when checking the piston protrusion. You will have to check all 4 pistons. The highest protrusion will determine now many notches the gasket will need to have (the thicker the more notches ).

    Do not under any circumstances re-use a warped cylinder head from an overheated engine, after it has been skimmed. You will do so at your peril.

    I sold my D1 300Tdi in 2015 at 380'000km unopened.
    George Bosch
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Hi George,

    Thank you for the reply. I'm drooling at those pics of your old Disco 1 on Sani Pass. I love that it looks so standard. But most importantly I am impressed with the economy you achieved after all the mods. Fuel economy is very important to me. The less carbon I put into the air the more comfortable I feel driving. On my old engine, I was lucky to get 700km on a tank. Worse after the cylinder head was done.

    At the moment I managed to locate an engine with a LR shop in Sommerset West who are testing the compression of two engines with around 195K on the clock. They will blank off the EGR at no extra cost and will quote me for a timing belt chain and ensuring its correctly set. Apparently they worked on the vehicles the engines come from - which feels better than an unknown cut out coming from the UK.

    I'm happy to say the engine importers paid back the money in my account and picked up the incorrect engine at their expense...after I told them I have no time for ### .

    About the piston protrusion, I take it that I won't have to worry about this seeing that I'm going for a second hand.

    I may not have bought a vehicle that was in perfect condition, but I can see now that a lot of the issues I had was because of my ignorance. I hope the second time around I will be wiser.

    Anyone have a madman or lbb + egt monitor lying around? I see madman has a monitor that can do egt by purchasing additional fittings.

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by wunluv View Post
    Hi George,

    Thank you for the reply. I'm drooling at those pics of your old Disco 1 on Sani Pass. I love that it looks so standard. But most importantly I am impressed with the economy you achieved after all the mods. Fuel economy is very important to me. The less carbon I put into the air the more comfortable I feel driving. On my old engine, I was lucky to get 700km on a tank. Worse after the cylinder head was done.

    At the moment I managed to locate an engine with a LR shop in Sommerset West who are testing the compression of two engines with around 195K on the clock. They will blank off the EGR at no extra cost and will quote me for a timing belt chain and ensuring its correctly set. Apparently they worked on the vehicles the engines come from - which feels better than an unknown cut out coming from the UK.

    I'm happy to say the engine importers paid back the money in my account and picked up the incorrect engine at their expense...after I told them I have no time for ### .

    About the piston protrusion, I take it that I won't have to worry about this seeing that I'm going for a second hand.

    I may not have bought a vehicle that was in perfect condition, but I can see now that a lot of the issues I had was because of my ignorance. I hope the second time around I will be wiser.

    Anyone have a madman or lbb + egt monitor lying around? I see madman has a monitor that can do egt by purchasing additional fittings.
    Hiwunluv

    on a 2nd hand engine with cylinder head in place, yes you are correct that you don't have to worry about the head gasket matching. If it has done 195'000km then don't worry about that

    Important is that the engine starts immediately and doesn't need multiple seconds for cranking.

    You are welcome to pm me if you need more info.

    Kind regards from Switzerland

    George
    Last edited by hgbosch; 2017/03/22 at 06:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Hi Wunluv

    Sorry to hear about your problems :-(

    I cannot tell you enough how important it is to have a monitoring system!

    My Madman has saved my previous disco on at least 3 occasions (cracked water bottle, rusted welsh plug (freezeplug?), can't remember other time...). Then there is the many times that it warned me about too high EGTs, too hot oil in transfer case etc.

    On the current 300tdi Disco I had a bad experience towing a vehicle trailer down to Natal, realising car constantly overheats due to viscous clutch kaput. Towing the trailer with 2 ton FC back was a nightmare. In the pass the alarm suddenly alerted, and by the time I saw the water temp on the madman shot up to 119 degC. I thought this was it. Motor moetoe. I lifted off and from there on I kept the temp 110 or below.

    The worst?? In all this, the standard LR temp guage DID NOT MOVE ABOVE HALF WHERE IT USUALLY LIES.

    I have come to the conclusion that the 300tdi is one hell of a tough engine. All the overheating issues are simply related to no warning via the needle. Diesels do not do well when overheated.

    Part of your engine rebuild cost should be the cost of a Madman.

    Regards

    Derik

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    That is one thing I hate about the disco 1 and 2.

    The temp needle stays glued to the centre point and only starts moving past the 120deg figure, which is to late. I assume this was done because a premium car should not have gauges moving up and down the whole time. but personally I would rather have a temp gauges rising and falling like the tide then wonder if its running good or not.

    I also am a huge supporter of engine monitoring equipment.
    2002 Land Rover Discovery2 4.0 V8
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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Chinese Democracy View Post
    I assume this was done because a premium car should not have gauges moving up and down the whole time.
    Spot on I believe. Apparently manufacturers get a lot of requests from over sensitive owners :-) At least the Disco HAS a temp gauge. Our Sandero has light that comes on when it deems itself too hot

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    Default Re: Disco 1 300TDI Engine Advice - Replacement engine wanted

    That's exactly what happened to me the first time the engine overheated. It went from half way to max in a matter of a minute. So now I understand the importance of the monitoring system and I will definitely include it in the build.

    I'm putting down a small deposit today with the shop in Somerset West for a and engine with 200K on the clock and I'm asking them to change the cam belt as well. The engine is from one of their customer's cars and they serviced it for the last 5 years. They will do a compression test before sending it and will blank off the EGR valve. I'll ask them if they can put that connector for the madman sensor on the blanking plate.

    Meanwhile I'm composing a list of the mods that George did to his engine (very inspiring to read about his success) and contacting people to supply me with the various bits and pieces. I'll do a build post here with the progress once I have the engine.

    We haven't visited the family in Durban for ages and I'll really love for my 1,5 yr old to see his grandpa more often, so I decided that I want my Disco to be a super efficient dependable machine. I want to jump in and do a nice long slow road trip often without having to worry about breaking down.

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