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Which Range Rover to buy

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The 200 TDI is a very good engine, I used to tow 2.5-3 ton trailers, with a lot of aero drag, with a 200TDI Defender and the engine was quite happy, and I believe you can up the output a bit too! 

But if you want something that will compare with the pulling power of the D3, you'll need to think about a different engine.. as I suggested the Merc OM605 or OM606 they will produce up to twice the power of the D3's engine let along anything that a Classic comes with. The biggest problem with the V8 is lack of low end torque, so if you went for one then an auto is a must... get a manual and you'll be forever slipping the clutch to get it moving when towing!

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Err, really? A mate used to pull away in fifth in his 3500S P6....

 

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Plop in a 4.6 on LPG. I had a 300TDi Classic, it wasn't exactly what you'd call quick. Geriatric snails would go "what's the holdup?"

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It's all horses for courses.... Petrol is better performance, but with 2 drawbacks... consumption and maximum torque is in the higher rev range.

Yes a 4.6 on LPG would be great at towing, but you'll be getting the equivalent to  20MPG max, and that is being generous, and would also depend on the type of LPG fitted, you'd really want the more expensive multi point injection... and there is also the rather inconvenient lack of space in the boot.

And I hear you say under floor tanks! That is all well and good when you've got a long wheel base and a big chassis, on a standard Classic you'd more likely end up with a reduced size petrol tank, and having to fill up every 150 miles.... which is the very last thing that you want to do when towing!

Have you never wondered why a Diesel engine is normally a litre smaller capacity than it's petrol equivalent? That is because they produce so much torque at low revs, as a result they can fit a smaller engine that will do the job and return better fuel economy.

As an example look at the output of a V8 petrol engine and compare it with the same size diesel unit... A 3.9 V8 is 188BHP @ 4700 and 250 ft.lb @ 2600 even with a tune up 240 bhp is about the best you can get... A 3.6 lt V8 diesel engine produces 268bhp @ 4000 and 472 ft.lb @ 2000 and can be tuned to 315 bhp and 590 ft.lb... Whatever the fuel type the Diesel engine produces more ft.lb at much lower rpm than a petrol engine. Torque is the stuff that makes you go, the more torque the quicker you can accelerate to your maximum speed that is governed by your maximum power (bhp)

The only drawback with torque at lower revs is you need a stronger engine case to contain it... typical petrol compression ratio is 9:1 typical diesel ratio is 20:1... that diesel engine needs to be twice as strong as the petrol, therefore it is heavier, and that is the trade off. As the OP wants to tow with the car I suspect that steer pulling power is more important that 0-60 times... but you can get both with a diesel.. 

 

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A 4.6l V8 is around 250lbft at 1500rpm, I don't think that is anything to be sniffed at really.

Appreciate low down torque is nice, but it also breaks things.

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Posted (edited)

miggit said ;

"And I hear you say under floor tanks! That is all well and good when you've got a long wheel base and a big chassis, on a standard Classic you'd more likely end up with a reduced size petrol tank, and having to fill up every 150 miles.... which is the very last thing that you want to do when towing!"

Not so. Not a problem fitting sill tanks to a standard Classic - certainly the coil sprungs. I don't know whether there would be minimum ground clearance with air sprung when the suspension is all the way down

That's how mine are fitted & the standard petrol tank is unaffected.

Car empty or fully loaded with trailer I get around 180 miles to a full fill of LPG which is the cost equivalent of a V8 doing around 26/27 on a gallon of petrol.

ETA I fuel twice on the Leicester to Cornwall run, at J17 Bristol/Catbrain (Shell garage 24/7) & then top-up at Carland Cross. Makes convenient comfort stops!

 

Edited by paintman

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1 hour ago, miggit said:

And I hear you say under floor tanks! That is all well and good when you've got a long wheel base and a big chassis, on a standard Classic you'd more likely end up with a reduced size petrol tank, and having to fill up every 150 miles.... which is the very last thing that you want to do when towing!

I've got a 90L tank in the spare wheel well. Gets me about 300km, even when towing. And that's with a multipoint LPG system without much tuning, really.
Just last weekend we were getting about 13 UK MPG on LPG towing a car trailer. Plenty good enough.

Not sure I've ever seen a Classic with an LPG tank where the spare is, but I don't see why it wouldn't work standing up?

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Posted (edited)

Incidentally, no good reason why if weight & conditions dictate you can't pull away in low box & then either stop & change back to high OR change from L to H on the move.

I do both - even though mine's an auto, but I learnt on manual RRCs.

The 'how to' is set out in the owner's factory handbook. Takes a little practice but easily mastered.

Low is also very useful for manouvering trailors/caravans in tight spaces.

ETA Make sure the linkages are free & not partially seized due to lack of use!

Edited by paintman

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Chaps I'm not saying diesel to be difficult, I tow for a living... Last year I covered 16000 miles towing trailers that were 10 foot tall, 8 foot wide, 20 foot long and tipping the scales at over 2.5 tons. Add in the fact that they are slab sided and you couldn't get a worse trailer to tow, unless it had an open parachute behind! Yes a petrol engined Range Rover will tow, but a Diesel engined one will do the job better...

Remember that we are going from a D3 DTV6 (190 bhp and 320 ft.lb) more than likely coupled to an automatic gearbox (which doubles the torque at low speeds)... The D3 is a serious bit of kit when it comes to pulling power, and will be a hard act to follow... the biggest problem with the D3 is the level of complication which makes it expensive to maintain. 

For 17 years I was towing for a company that used various 4x4.. we started with 200TDI Defenders and progressed to Japanese 4x4's for reliability... I left and started doing the same thing but working for myself, I started with a TD6 Range Rover L322 and very quickly found out that it wasn't up to the job... Having thrown best part of 9k at it I cut my losses and looked elsewhere. I now use a diesel Mercedes ml which is manual, and I 've got a Classic as a backup. One day I hope to have the Classic at a stage where I can drop the Merc and get a second Classic.. But that is a long way off!

I don't use my car for towing twice a year... it's used everyday! 

I have been thinking about going petrol powered, due to the way that diesel is getting demonised, but the sad fact is to get the same sort of performance I'd need to be looking at 6 lts + and would require more than 90 lts of lpg in the tank! I don't want to be filling up 3-4 times a day once is enough! Immediately you start using anything other than diesel, you are forced to used conventional filling pumps, no popping in the HGV lane, so you then have to wriggle around loads of cars and obstacles to refuel... With a diesel you can get 300_400 miles on a tank towing, that should get you to your destination in one go, allowing you to drop the tin tent before you go fuel hunting!!

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55 minutes ago, paintman said:

That would be a vertical toroidal tank. I've seen a few pics of those installed in RRC. (I've had a a quick Google, but can't find any - although photobucket did a lot of damage)

http://tinleytech.co.uk/complete-lpg-guide/converting-to-lpg/how-to-choose-your-lpg-tank/

Exactly, plenty of room for that in an RRC.

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Posted (edited)

Is the OP looking for something used for occasional towing - which I would suspect will be the vast majority of users & a revisit says he does less than 5k a year - or in a business involving daily towing of heavy trailers?

If the latter I would certainly go with advocating the use of something with a big diesel engine.

I do a lot of business with a caravan company that employ several drivers purely for collecting & delivering caravans of all sizes to & from customers & between their retail sites. All use larger engined diesel cars. Petrol costs would be horrid. (That said, one of the owners currently has a supercharged RRS as a toy in addition to his various other cars - and he does occasionally tow with it!)

Years ago they did try the P38 Range Rover petrols for moving the vans around - petrol was a lot cheaper then! - but had the block issues with both & haven't touched them since

Edited by paintman

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Think I should add my 2p's worth.

I have 2 Disco 2's a Classic and a P38 and only one runs and that is because I bought it recently. 

My first Disco 2 I rebuilt on a galvi chassis which is the reason I keep it. I bought it with 137k on the clock and it now has 182k on it. It is off the road becuase of a water leak that I cannot find and keeps boiling over the one I am running now will donate the engine if it breaks down before I find the water leak. The car is brilliant however a little agricultural compared to the P38.

My P38 is refined and great car. Off the road for the last 12 month because of over heating have since fitted a new V8 but cannot get it to fire. I had the aformentioned Disco 2 and this P38 running at the same time but my divorce got in the way and both cars failed on me intend to get both back on the road very soon and also buy an L322. Like both the P38 and the Disco 2 but for different reasons.

:hysterical::hysterical::hysterical:

For £5k to use occasionally go for the Disco 2 easy to keep and very little to go wrong that cannot be repaired with old technology

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On 06/01/2018 at 1:40 PM, elbekko said:

Exactly, plenty of room for that in an RRC.

My 1994 classic has a vertical tordial tank and multipoint LPG feeding the 4.6, seems to tow well...

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On 1/6/2018 at 12:20 PM, miggit said:

Have you never wondered why a Diesel engine is normally a litre smaller capacity than it's petrol equivalent? That is because they produce so much torque at low revs, as a result they can fit a smaller engine that will do the job and return better fuel economy.

As an example look at the output of a V8 petrol engine and compare it with the same size diesel unit... A 3.9 V8 is 188BHP @ 4700 and 250 ft.lb @ 2600 even with a tune up 240 bhp is about the best you can get... A 3.6 lt V8 diesel engine produces 268bhp @ 4000 and 472 ft.lb @ 2000 and can be tuned to 315 bhp and 590 ft.lb... Whatever the fuel type the Diesel engine produces more ft.lb at much lower rpm than a petrol engine. Torque is the stuff that makes you go, the more torque the quicker you can accelerate to your maximum speed that is governed by your maximum power (bhp)

You're forgetting one important factor: all the diesel engines you mention, are turbocharged! So not a fair comparison to a NA petrol engine. A 2.5 NAD will only give you about 70hp, it's doubled because of the turbocharger. It's because of this low output (despite the higher compression giving the diesel an efficiency advantage) that turbocharging was soon adopted for diesel engines. And the main reason for their increased popularity. Only recently have manufacturers looked into turbocharging petrol engines, to be able to downsize in an effort to appease the green lobby. Previously turbocharging was only reserved for sportscars. Supercharging is another interesting path, especially if you're looking for low down torque.

More on topic, my 2cents on a tow vehicle:

Enginewise, there isn't much difference, the V8 will do a great job in any car. The V8 certainly has ample to torque to pull away, even with a manual and without slipping the clutch much. More difference for the diesels. I'm not a great fan of 200/300Tdi, but love the TD5 and have a soft spot for a 2.5VM just because.  

An RRC V8 would do a good job towing, and look great doing it. But hard to find a good one for a reasonable price.

P38's are cheap, but can be very reliable and tow even better (longer wheelbase, wider track, heavier car and EAS). Even the BMW diesel with a manual isn't too bad. I'd stay away from the diesel + autobox, you'll always feel like you're pushing it with any load behind. Most problems reported are due to not understanding the different systems. Find someone who knows the P38 or be prepared to make the effort yourself.

I found the L322 not so nice to drive. Very comfortable, but detached and feels big/heavy compared to the P38. They do tow well, the 3.0 BMW copes better than the 2.5 in the P38.

D3/D4 TDV6 make for a very relaxed drive, and the trailer stability program does add safety. But I've always been more found of Range Rovers.

I used to drive a Defender 110 TD5 with a trailer for work, never could fault it but you have to cope with basic creature comfort. Which is why I got a P38 Range Rover instead.

As said, the more recent the vehicle, the more complex the systems will be, making DIY less obvious.

Filip

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If you're doing low miles, a V8 will be cheaper to buy because people don't want to pay the fuel cost, and it will tow effortlessly with less stirring the stick than a TDi. For occasional towing I'd be looking at cheap 4.6 V8 P38's, ignore the LPG lark it's not worth the small saving for low mileage.

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I started my search for a RR Classic but it soon became apparent for my budget everyone required a lot of work, pretty much restoration which wasn't part of the plan, the other recommendation a D2 which do come with problems, rust, cylinder heads. All P38 owners i have talked to love em, for me it seems the way to go comparable comfort for a lot less money, {thanks Fridge} pretty much parked on the drive until we take the caravan away the D3 gobbles £'s in tax and insurance. ok i have to expect some electrical issues, as it's not a daily drive i can live with that, the D3 returns 23 mpg when towing not sure about a 4.6!! P38 history is obviously the key thing we buying.

 

 

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"23 mpg"

Expect half that... but you can offset that against the insurance savings and £300 less road tax!!

Edited by miggit

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You should manage to stay above 15mpg when towing unless you're trying to race or are towing something massive over the alps, bigger lumps have worse base-line MPG but suffer less under load as they're not trying as hard and you don't have to flog them.

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My pal is getting 13 mpg towing the same oversize poorly streamlined trailers that I do..... I'm getting 26 from the ML!!

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On 1/9/2018 at 8:29 AM, Escape said:

You're forgetting one important factor: all the diesel engines you mention, are turbocharged!

Not just that the 3.6 diesel V8 he mentions is the 3.6L TDV8 which was launched in 2007 and designed not long before so a 2000's baby. From a quick Google it looks like the 3.9 Rover V8 has been in production from the 60's so only about 40 years of engine development in between them then. Even if you consider the end of the production run (2006 according to Wikipedia) then it was being phased out as the TDV8 was being developed.

On the subject of turbo charging the TDV8 doesn't make do with just one either...

I think on the subject of a fairer comparison you would be better off doing a comparison between the 4.2 supercharged and 3.6TDV8 since they were introduced into the L322 at the same time.

3.6TDV8: 270hp, 470 lbft
4.2 supercharged: 385hp, 406 lbft

Very little in it then.

[edit]Putting some figures behind it - towing the 110 to Wales into a strong headwind (by far and away the scariest drive I've done) with the 3.6TDV8 I averaged 30mpg. Had no issues with power - just the trailer I had and 110 made it quite a tall combination (110's bonnet was level with the Range Rover's roof) - but boy was the wind fun! :blink:[/edit]

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You're somewhat missing the point.. yes the 4.2sc produces 406 ft.lb of torque.. BUT, it does it at 4000 rpm, the diesel engine does it at 2000 rpm. Bearing in mind that most factory automatic gearboxes stall at around 2000 rpm, you're getting maximum torque at pull off speed in a diesel, and nothing like that in a petrol (with or without forced induction). When you are towing, you want maximum torque at the lowest revs possible, that way the car doesn't struggle to get rolling. Once you're rolling it's not so important!

A diesel engine produces more torque at lower revs than a petrol equivalent of a similar size, the trade off is it reaches maximum revs a lot quicker than the petrol! So diesel is good for getting heavy loads moving and petrol is good for getting somewhere quick!!

Got to say that the best example of high rev torque / automatic miss match that I have diven is the diesel Land Cruiser.. the 100 series (late 90' to mid 2000's) had a very low stall torque converter and an engine that hit maximum torque at around 2500 rpm.. net result you buried your foot in to the carpet when towing a crawled off at a snail's pace.. then you hit the maximum torque at about 10 mph and all merry hell broke loose, took off like a scalded cat, trailer and all!!

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39 minutes ago, miggit said:

Got to say that the best example of high rev torque / automatic miss match that I have diven is the diesel Land Cruiser.. the 100 series (late 90' to mid 2000's) had a very low stall torque converter and an engine that hit maximum torque at around 2500 rpm.. net result you buried your foot in to the carpet when towing a crawled off at a snail's pace.. then you hit the maximum torque at about 10 mph and all merry hell broke loose, took off like a scalded cat, trailer and all!!

Isn't that typical of too large a converter?

I have a manual 300Tdi RRC.  I love it.  It doesn't have the lovely V8 sound, nor is it as sprightly, but it can easily keep up with traffic and is very comfortable in all environments and speeds (though it feels like it could do with a sixth gear for motorway cruising).  I think elbekko is being a bit harsh on it - it does 90mph, 35-40mpg when laden, is very comfortable and extremely reliable, and that's without any mods or fiddling.

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5 minutes ago, Snagger said:

Isn't that typical of too large a converter?

It's more of an example of a poor match.. the earlier mechanical injection engine hit maximum torque at 1600 rpm and was noticeably better at pulling away under load... The 100 series could have done with a higher stall converter, but then it would have screamed it bits off!! 

To be honest my L322 TD6 was excellent at getting going under load, just was underpowered for what I wanted it to do! That's been replaced with a 6 speed manual ML and it tows all day long in 5th gear very happily, too happily truth be know, I have to keep slowing down! The Rangie wasn't really happy over 50 and what's confusing is the ML is lower powered!

Got to be honest that my experience of towing with Automatic Land Rover products is limited, and somewhat jaded.. My first was an automatic '84 RRC which I never towed with, should have cos it went really well. And then all have been manual except the L322, which has got the weakest gearbox ever made in automotive history... Great for a small trailer, disaster for a heavy trailer!

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Keeping all options open in my search, if I didn’t love the green oval so much it’s clear there’s plenty of choice.

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