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200Tdi injector nozzles: Buyer beware!


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Hi all,

I hope everyone had a great holiday and new year despite our continuing challenges ūüôā

I guess this is another PSA from me, as I wanted to report on my experiences in purchasing cheap aftermarket injector nozzles for my 200Tdi. I have two sets of injectors, one that came with the engine with about 114k miles and another set I purchased second hand from the wreckers with unknown mileage. After swapping the Tdi into my 1989 RRC and getting it up and running, I found that no matter how I adjusted the fueling I could not completely eliminate the production of smoke. There was always a haze and performance was never adequate. I had ordered a spare set of injectors because they are rare and getting rarer by the day, so I thought it prudent. I didn't think they would be in much better condition, but I installed them anyway and found them to perform much much better. The Tdi was now more peppy and had more usable power than the tired old 3.9 I had removed. However, I was not convinced that the second hand injectors were performing to spec. I have always planned to refresh both sets of injectors with a good cleaning and nozzle replacement. I decided to cease any more engine tuning until I had a good set of injectors installed. 

About two months ago I ordered some Defute injector nozzles (DSLA 145P208) from aliexpress for around $23. I figured they were inexpensive enough to take a chance on them. They took about a month and half to arrive, which was fine. I disassembled my original injectors since my second hand set were running fine, and cleaned all of the parts in my ultrasonic cleaner with hot water and a tablespoon of Dawn dish detergent at 60¬į C for 10 minutes.¬†¬†

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I don't currently have a bench vise so I improvised a 'bush vise'

 

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Disassembled 200Tdi injector

 

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Cleaned injector body following ultrasonic bath in the foreground compared to a dirty one in the background. 

 

I reassembled the injectors with the new Defute nozzles. The injectors assembly is actually quite simple and straightforward. The full job took less than 2 hours to clean all of them and fit into the engine. Unfortunately, when I started the engine it had a very low and rough lumpy idle. I thought maybe one of the injectors was not opening. I let it idle to operating temperature and noted that it was smoking quite a lot. I took it out for a test drive. I passed by my wife who was out walking our dog (Logan) and she later told me I had smoke screened them. There was something definitely wrong with the injectors or the installation.

The following day I removed each injector one at a time and substituted one of my known good injectors from the second hand set. With each iteration there was no noticeable change in the quality of the idle or quantity of smoke. I double checked the installation and did not detect a problem. I disassembled each injector to see if I had erred. As each injector looked to be correctly assembled, I was becoming increasingly convinced that there was something wrong with the nozzles. Using a jeweler's loop, I had a close look at the tips and did not detect any noticeable issues. I then had a look at the needles.

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The nozzle needles. The original Bosch unit on the left and the new Defute one on the right.

 

 

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This close up shows the difference between the two. The Defute needle has a flattened tip whereas the Bosch (left) has a well-defined point.

 

I am not sure how the flattened needle tip might affect the delivery of fuel into the combustion chamber, whether it is impairing the spray pattern, atomization, or perhaps causing fuel to drip. I decided to just do my best in cleaning the old nozzles and reassembling the original injectors. I wanted to see if they would perform at least as good as the used to, a sort of confirmation of Defute injectors being bad. I cycled the nozzles and needles several times in the ultrasonic cleaner and reassembled and installed the injectors. I once again fired up the 200Tdi, but this time it had a nice steady idle. I took it out for a shakedown drive and was more than pleased with how it performed. I was amazed at the improvement compared to my second hand injectors, it had noticeably more torque and pulled harder throughout the RPM range. I can now feel it pull in 5th gear when I accelerate from 70 mph up one of the nearby steep hills on the freeway, something I could not do before. Furthermore, I have not detected any smoke thus far. One issue, is that EGTs rise a bit more aggressively. I am going to shim the advance plate soon and see if that will help decrease the EGTs by improving combustion. Until then, I will drive it delicately, with the occasional burst of acceleration.

All in all, this was a worthwhile venture. I am happy with the results of a simple cleaning and glad to know that the Defute nozzles are not a good option for me. At least when I drop $200 on a new set of Bosch nozzles I will know that there is good reason for the expense.  I am curious, has anybody else here on the forum had a different experience with them or with other aftermarket nozzles?  

 

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Not with any of the Tdi engines, but 20 odd years ago tried some non genuine nozzles in a Turbo Diesel (19J) and like you, it seemed no different than the old ones. 

Gave up with that and bought a set of genuine CAV exchange ones, and the difference was night and day. Lesson learned !

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7 hours ago, Nonimouse said:

300 nozzles will fit the 200 body and give the same spray pattern and pressure

Very good to know! I have not seen this information before.

 

On 1/2/2021 at 9:54 PM, Snagger said:

Thanks for the warning!

You are very welcome! I have learned so much from other peoples' posts in this community, I want to contribute whatever useful information I can offer ūüôā

 

20 minutes ago, smallfry said:

Not with any of the Tdi engines, but 20 odd years ago tried some non genuine nozzles in a Turbo Diesel (19J) and like you, it seemed no different than the old ones. 

Gave up with that and bought a set of genuine CAV exchange ones, and the difference was night and day. Lesson learned !

Yeah, especially when you are doing the work yourself and saving on labor, it really pays to invest in genuine parts! I often think that the price for genuine rover parts are excessive, at least here in the US, but these are good examples for why cutting corners can cost you more in the long run.     

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13 hours ago, RRC200Tdi said:

Very good to know! I have not seen this information before.

I was quite pleased! 200 nozzles are becoming very scarce

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I bought a set of refurbished injectors a few years ago, they're in my truck and been running a few years now, but I've never quite been convinced by them. So this thread persuaded me to buy some nozzles and do a rebuild myself.

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14 hours ago, Maverik said:

I bought a set of refurbished injectors a few years ago, they're in my truck and been running a few years now, but I've never quite been convinced by them. So this thread persuaded me to buy some nozzles and do a rebuild myself.

I look forward to hearing how it goes ūüôā

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17 hours ago, Maverik said:

I bought a set of refurbished injectors a few years ago, they're in my truck and been running a few years now, but I've never quite been convinced by them. So this thread persuaded me to buy some nozzles and do a rebuild myself.

Where did you source the nozzles from? If they are getting quite rare and pricey, I wounder if there maybe opportunity for a group bulk purchase on this forum? 

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I'm going to contact Bosch directly to get some pricing and so I have have absolute confidence they are the genuine article. Who would be interested in a set of 200Tdi injector nozzles if I can source them at a better price than available on ebay? 

If available I will sell to forum members at cost price. 

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I have made contact with Bosch, I will update you with the outcome of any discussion and potential negotiation. Hopefully it won't be "sorry sir, that is an obsolete part"...

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I always thought injector refurb was a specialist job? This thread makes me think otherwise - is it just an unbolt old and replace with new job then afterall??

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24 minutes ago, reb78 said:

I always thought injector refurb was a specialist job? This thread makes me think otherwise - is it just an unbolt old and replace with new job then afterall??

 

I thought the same.

 

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22 minutes ago, reb78 said:

I always thought injector refurb was a specialist job? This thread makes me think otherwise - is it just an unbolt old and replace with new job then afterall??

reb78 it is a straight forward job to replace the tips but keep everything clean but without specialist equipment you’ll not be able to test the crack off values 

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What I have done in the past is clean and strip injectors, replace the nozzle and then find a back street diesel specialist (easily found using Google) to test the opening pressures and adjust where necessary. In most cases they have been fine. They will often do this for a minimal fee. I know someone near Wincanton who rebuilds vintage tractor engines and will test a set of 4 injectors for a tenner if you have a chat about tractors with him.

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I know a Bosch specialist in east Bedford who might do the same.  But if the parts are rare, this purchase would at least allow you to send the nozzles with the old injectors to a refurbishment specialist, rather than them dismiss the job for lack of parts.

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10 hours ago, monkie said:

I'm going to contact Bosch directly to get some pricing and so I have have absolute confidence they are the genuine article. Who would be interested in a set of 200Tdi injector nozzles if I can source them at a better price than available on ebay? 

If available I will sell to forum members at cost price. 

Thanks, Monkie, I am in. Depending on the price maybe for two sets

 

5 hours ago, reb78 said:

I always thought injector refurb was a specialist job? This thread makes me think otherwise - is it just an unbolt old and replace with new job then afterall??

It's true that it is best to have the injector crack pressures tested, and I would do so if I could. Unfortunately I have yet to find someone here in the states that will do it for a reasonable price. I got two hits on numerous emails I sent out to injector specialists here. One quoted me $200 per injector to rebuild and test, the other wanted more info and never responded to my followup email. I haven't asked for a price for just testing, but I suspect it would be quite high. Does anyone in this forum have a recommendation for someone in the states, preferably in southern california, that will perform this test? Although I don't know if they are calibrated to spec, the engine is performing so much better that the job was worth doing and probably improves all aspects, e.g., longevity, efficiency, etc...

If you have access to a tester, by all means do it ūüôā¬†But I still encourage you to rebuild yourself if you are capable and inclined to do so, as it is quite simple, and then send them off for testing as Monkie has done

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23 minutes ago, RRC200Tdi said:

Thanks, Monkie, I am in. Depending on the price maybe for two sets

Postage from UK to USA may make it cost prohibitive for you, but let's see what Bosch come back with first as if they can't supply this is all a bit academic really 

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13 hours ago, monkie said:

I'm going to contact Bosch directly to get some pricing and so I have have absolute confidence they are the genuine article. Who would be interested in a set of 200Tdi injector nozzles if I can source them at a better price than available on ebay? 

If available I will sell to forum members at cost price. 

Me too. 

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