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Home > Expedition & Overland > Which engine is best for overlanding?
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Member Since: 11 Apr 2012
Location: Devon
Posts: 424

England 2003 Defender 90 Td5 HT Rutland Red
The TDCis can have issues in the very cold - Went to Nordkap with a group of 4 Landys and with temps down to -44C. My TD5 engine was fine, one of the TDCis had to stop every hour to defrost some pipework and another came home on the back of an AA lorry - kept going in to limp mode - once back in the UK it was fine with no faults - just did not like the cold.
Post #1037623 16th Jun 2024 7:15pm
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Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 17070

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
There was a service bulletin for that problem - vapour freezing in the crankcase breather. Essential for ultra cold climate operation.
Post #1037625 16th Jun 2024 7:26pm
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Member Since: 20 Jul 2016
Location: Uganda at the moment
Posts: 1020

United Kingdom 2012 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 SW Indus Silver
Never be a problem for Henry then, home is now going to be Namibia.
Post #1037626 16th Jun 2024 7:39pm
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Member Since: 10 May 2024
Location: Norwich
Posts: 52

United Kingdom 
As I own a 300TDI so I am defiantly biased, but wouldn’t have any other engine. Its like a tractor and I love it. Mine on 306K miles original Engine/gearbox and transfer box – never been rebuilt. Spent year living out the back of it and its never failed or even so much as coughed. been crashed into twice and still got me home each time.

I hate ECU’s and Emission controls in modern cars. You can end up battling with software/hardware and then red tape if you try and remove any of it now in the UK.

You have the common failures being heat related but once you have a switch float for coolant from RRC and you are doing good maintenance they are bullet proof. You have so many more options on bush mechanics if needed and they can take far more abuse in my opinion/experience. Only thing I added was a delph sedimentor to mine as didn’t have one and didn’t just want only a fuel filter.

The Puma is a nicer/car like engine but they can have Ecu and crankshaft issues both are something I wouldn’t feel 100% out and about in the middle of nowhere. They can be a mixed bag as can any of engine setup in a defender I know some that have done loads and others that just quickly gave up. They are a pain to work on in comparison just because there is more on them.

The TD5 injector loom issue long as you’re doing good maintenance is ½ way between the 2 but I don’t like ECU’s and also feel like the TD5 is like the 200 TDI had they just refined it a little more with a “v2” that would have been a belter of an engine.

With 2.2 they aren’t old enough to have killed of the weaker ones yet. If a TD5 and TDi is still going after 20 years chances are the weaker ones have already died off.

200tdi’s are also a good choice I preferer the parts availability and longevity of the 300’s due to the wider use. Also, as the UK MOD rejected them initially always put me off.

I also think the Sailsbury rear axel is better due to dyna core.

Quick cheap upgrades are oil cooler for R380 and the deeper sump for LT230 (same for puma/td5) and your golden.
Post #1037675 17th Jun 2024 11:18am
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Member Since: 22 Mar 2010
Location: South Wales
Posts: 1897

Wales 2010 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Santorini Black
I can only speak from experience, I have a 2.4 TDCI and used it on the Pyrenees, Swiss, Italian, French alps etc, done many miles as an expedition vehicle.
It’s does have an uprated intercooler, remap, silicone hoses etc and has been faultless when in the high hot climates.
If I had to choose again I would pick another 2.4, there’s plenty of parts supply and mechanics where ever you go that know this engine. 2016 Range Rover Autobiography 4.4 TDV8
2010 110 XS Utility 2.4TDCI
2010 Range Rover Sport TDV8 (gone)
2007 Discovery HSE TDV6 (gone)
1993 110 csw 200 tdi (gone)
1994 90 HT 300 tdi (gone)
1994 discovery 300tdi (gone)
90 hybrid 3.5 v8 (gone)
Range rover bobtail 3.5 v8 (gone)
Post #1037676 17th Jun 2024 12:06pm
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Member Since: 27 Oct 2021
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 202

There’s enough Defender and Series travelling all over the world to make which engine you choose pretty irrelevant. Which ever one you go for get a good one, prep it well and go travelling. If you are only going in Europe I personally wouldn’t get a defender, 4x4 sprinter would be my choice. Comfortable and more than capable of pretty much anything Europe has to offer.

Each engine for a defender has its known weak point, mitigate for them and just go and explore, in Europe you are never far from a good garage and parts. Don’t sweat it.
Post #1039074 3rd Jul 2024 8:46pm
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