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Defender struggling to start between half a tank and quarter tank.

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2005 Defender TD5 runs and starts great until just over half a tank deisel until a quarter tank then once below a quarter tank it runs well again ?? Some black smoke when starting and accelerating. It also can cuts out a bit and sometimes stalls but only between  half and quarter tank.  We think it's had a new fuel pump. The fuel pressure regulator looks like it may be leaking.  Will end up fixing one thing after another and not finding problem so thought I would ask if anyone experienced?  

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