Jump to content

Clutch and tyre questions - please help.

Recommended Posts

Hello to everyone, I have some questions about my clutch and tyres.

My Defender is a 110 300 TDI Two Door Hardtop RHD MY 1997.
Would appreciate every sincere answer especially from those from you with personal experience.
A) Clutch - Unfortunately mine is DAMAGED:
1) Are the clutch cover assembly, clutch pressure plate, clutch plate, clutch central bearing, the flywheel and the clutch release fork the same on all Defenders, Discoveries and Range Rover Classics fitted with a 300 TDI engine? 
Should I modify something in order the new clutch to be installed?
I am asking this because the previous owner has mounted a 300 TDI engine from a Discovery with code 21L and number  61023A whereas the original 300 TDI Defender engine was with code 23L.
My Gearbox is R380 with number 56A.0529573J.
2) I use my Defender for expedition offroad fully loaded to its capacity maximum (as prescribed) from 3050 kg.
Taking this in mind what would you recommend me to buy:
a) a Genuine Land Rover Heavy Duty clutch kit and clutch parts or
b) some other brand ? 
If the last which brands offering Heavy Duty Clutch Kit would you recommend from your own experience? 
Are there  brands with better quality than the Genuine Land Rover Heavy Duty one?
Which brands should I definitely avoid because of poor quality?
3) Are there any other parts that I am obliged to replace when changing the clutch - bearings, bushes, bolts, clips, clutch release fork?
4)There are two types of offered Genuine Land Rover clutch plates:
a) 235 mm NORMAL DUTY
b) 245mm HEAVY DUTY
What is the difference between them in terms of vehicle driveability, reliability, torque deliverance (transmission) from engine to gearbox and resistance to wear?
B) Steering Swivels
If one of them gets damaged / broken could it be replaced for its own, or it is obligatory both to be replaced in order to be the same?
C) Tyres
My Defender was sold from the previous owner with 4 numbers of 285/75 R16 General Grabber AT1 tyres fitted with 30 mm wheelspacers. The suspension and axle components are factory standard. 
1)Do the size and weight of those 4 tyres cause excessive load and premature wear of propeller and drive shafts, hub wheel bearings, steering swivels and the bearings of the steering swivels?
When I am fully loaded and in offroad environment is there a danger of premature breakage of all components mentioned above while climbing a steep hill or driving through very deep mud and/ or snow with fitted snowchains on every wheel.
2) I am considering to buy offroad tyres in the future.
Which tyres in general give the Defender a better passability (negotiability) when offroad - thin (skinny) or wide (fat) ones?
Which one do you recommend from your own experience and why?
Thank you in advance for your answers.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 300Tdi clutch release fork is notoriously weak.  Eventually the pushrod goes through it.  However, it is an easy fix to weld a plate onto it to make it indestructible. 

Don't worry about the engine number prefix.  My Defender was assembled in Cape Town and has a VIN no that starts AADD rather than the UK type.  It has a galvanised chassis made locally I think but the mechanicals came from the UK.  It has a perfectly normal 300Tdi engine with a Disco prefix.  It has never had EGR which was a Disco thing and the air cleaner is held on by the cylinder head bolts so that makes it a Defender engine.  LR in the UK may have made the engines specially for export to SA. 

I have just reconditioned the engine at 341000 kms so it is now a new Disco engine! 

Oh, and I remember in the early days there was a coolant leak from the bolts that hold the air cleaner on.  I tightened them up and that fixed it.  But why did they loosen when none of the others did?  I think this WAS a Disco engine that they 'modified' to make it fit a Defender.  They just didn't tighten those two bolts up properly! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go for a valeo 245mm clutch kit for Defender 130, and a strengthed clutch arm.

If you break a swivel you're trying too hard, they do not need to be replaced in pairs. 

The thing that will cause the most problem on your car is the wheel spacers. Tyres themselves will be ok but they are a big tyre and won't help your clutch in a heavy car.  265/75 or 235/85 are better.  Type of tyre depends where you're going and what you'll be driving on. If you're not sure just go for an all-terrain. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you do the clutch it's worth buying a reinforced fork or welding a piece on the back where the clutch rod pushes as they are known to push through and fail.

Avoid Britpart parts, they are a lottery at best.

Swivels - if one breaks you can replace one, they don't need to be done in pairs.


1. Remove the wheel spacers, they just put more stress on wheel bearings and are an extra thing that can fail, especially on rough roads.

2. Sizes up to ~33" diameter are not too bad, and it completely depends on your driving style - some people can break anything!

3. It depends what sort of terrain you are driving - narrow tyres will cut down through soft mud or snow to the hard ground below... but only if there IS some hard ground below!

BFG Mud Terrain are reckoned to be about the best all-rounder and will last for a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wheel spacers VERY bad, especially for any off road use. Take them off. You may lose a little steering lock, but this is much better than the extra stress on bearings and swivels.

I would use Valeo or Luk clutches. I have never had a problem with them. I believe the clutch fitted to the 300Tdi 130 is heavier duty

As has been said, BF Goodrich tyres are long lasting and very reliable. Goodyear MTR are also good IMO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might  also look at LOF and Clutchfix clutches. The 130 LR clutch is marginally better than the standard (both normally Valeo) as it is slightly bigger, though both seem to have a tendency to lose the middle of the clutch plate before they are worn out. I guess it depends what you do to them. Swivels can be replaced individually but the odds are if one is worn the other will be similar. The clutch fork strengthening is a must (the ball it pivots on my be worn also). Change the spigot bearing in the centre of the flywheel if replacing the clutch. Check the rear seal on the engine isn't leaking - if you have to replace it follow the procedure for that scrupulously, with no trace of oil on the surface the seal contacts. 

I don't like spacers because of their tendency to come undone. I  use 265/75 tyres on rims with a greater offset - I have had no wheel bearing or swivel issues but I probably am not stressing things to the same degree. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy