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Disco 200tdi into Defender


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Well thats what DSN and i though after we did it, so if your contemplating the change, go for the disco engine, its alot cheaper than a defender 200 tdi and worth it.

Full write up (i know loads of others have done it already) to follow.

B) And here it is:

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Hello all,

Yes I will get on to writing up a bit about the conversion that James and I did to my motor then we will get it posted on here.

To give you an idea, we drove it into workshop at 3pm Tuesday with TD, at 5pm Thursday it ran with Disco tdi, Friday evening after a few adjustements etc it drove from Taunton to Leamington Spa with no engine problems at all!

The rear wheel bearing did die at Bristol so I ended up nursing it all the way home from there but that is not the engines fault! I can't wait to see what state they are in after that trip!

Will keep you informed.

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I know there are various other write ups on this forum and others but thought we (DSN and JST) would add our comments and how we did it. The overall impression was that its a lot easier than people make out to fit the disco engine, but we did cheat with the exhaust bit!!!

We were converting a 90 TD to 200 TDi using a disco engine. We were lucky in that we had a garage to work in (no heating though!!) with engine crane, air tools etc easily to hand, this made life more pleasant than it could have been! Unfortunately we had to get the vehicle from Warwick to Taunton to do the job, (that’s where the garage and new to us engine was!) rover and trailer to the rescue then:


Fastest the TD has been in a long time!!! (and furthest without breaking down!!!)

We started the job at 1600 on Tuesday and we had the engine fitted and running by Thursday 1730hrs. (well it ran for 30s before it dumped all the oil as we failed to notice the turbo oil feed wasn’t connected properly!) That included several trips out for spares.

We used the TD alternator, starter, and PAS pump and PAS bracket. This resulted in the PAS being mounted in the same position as a 200 defender lump (ditto the alternator ) Not in the std 200 Tdi Disco location. Brackets were made up from 5mm plate to hold the alternator front and rear.

All locations are described standing in front of the vehicle looking at the engine. Part numbers are from EPC with the associated LR pricing from last year (dealer prices)

In detail:

Belts: 2 drive belts were used. One for the PAS (tensioned on the PAS bracket), Halfords Part no HB800A (length 800mm, ‘A’ being their thinnest belt) and one for the alternator, water pump, and crank. A Std Tdi and TD fan belt. Note on a disco 200tdi the PAS pump would normally have a belt driving the Alternator.



PAS: The standard Defender TD and Defender TDI mounting bracket (ETC8854, £71) and the pumps front, flat, mounting plate (ERR1976 £11) was used to mount the PAS pump at the bottom RHS of the engine. In this position the pump runs off the front 200tdi disco crank pulley. This is the same pulley the water pump is also in line with. To have one belt going from the PAS to the water pump and around the crank we deemed would not provide enough drive due to the limited contact the belt has with the crank pulley. Therefore we decided to move the PAS pump back (using 13mm spacers and longer bolts on the back of the mounting plate) to bring the PAS pulley (single pulley as from TD pump) in line with the rear crankshaft pulley. This was then tensioned off the PAS mounting plate and a Halfords (details above) belt used. The PAS system does not need to be broken into to do any of this, it can just be unbolted and left in the engine bay whilst the old engine is being removed.

Alternator: The alternator needed to run off the front crank pulley, with the same belt also driving the water pump. Tension was achieved off the Alternator mountings. The std TD/Tdi adjusting bracket was used on the front left, attached to a timing cover bolt, with the bottom mounting being made up from 5mm steel plate. The front mounting was a triangular plate, using the front alternator mounting hole and two PAS mounting plate holes. A spacer was also needed at the top for the alt mounting.


The rear mounting was again made from 5mm steel plate with two lugs welded on with bolt holes in them. This was attached to the rear alternator-mounting bracket and the top PAS bracket (not plate!) mount.


Intercooler hosing: We had some old/spare intercooler pipes from 300 defender, 200tdi disco, the old TD blue turbo pipe and defender TD5 pipes lying around. A combination of these made the pipework for the intercooler piping. The schematic below shows the pipe combinations we used with associated part nos.



Fuel connections: The std TD fuel filter and housing was used. The existing fuel feed pipe from the tank to the lift pump fitted. (no extra parts needed) The existing lift pump to filter housing pipe was used with the unions fitting. A new pipe was made up to go from the filter to the front of the fuel injection Pump (FIP) with the older style union at the filter end and new banjo style connector onto the FIP. (about £3 from a local FIP specialist for both connectors). If you can’t get hold of the parts locally the tdi fuel pipe is ESR395 (£6.45) which has the correct Banjo on the FIP end but you will need to replace the union at the filter housing end with one off the old ones. (you will also need a new olive). The old filter housing to rear of the TD FIP was removed and blanked off at the filter housing using blanking plug 517689 (£2.49) and washer 517706 (£0.13) The TD injector leakoff back to the top of the filter housing was removed and blanked off. The Tdi leakoff from the injectors goes to the back of the FIP. From the banjo connector here it goes back to the fuel tank. The std TD fuel return pipe was used with a push fit of the pipe onto the back of the Tdi FIP.


(Note: Shown without the planking plug fitted hence short, blocked off pipe on the LHS rear of housing)

Air filter: Like a lot of the conversion, I had all TD bits but not all Tdi bits. We therefore looked at using the TD air filter assembly.

Due to the intercooler pipes etc, the vertical installation of the TD air filter housing is no longer feasible (well we couldn’t see it was so ditched the idea early on) so we needed a new location. There is lots of space in between radiator and engine as no viscous fan is fitted, but we didn’t want to block the space too much as this would limit air flow around the radiator and onto the engine. An electric fan is still to be fitted so best to keep the space clear.

Having seen the 300tdi method (filter lying down so to speak), we had a look at this idea. In the end, we decided to mount onto the flat area in front of the fuel pump where I think an A/C system would go. This already has some threaded holes so gives a base to work from.

We ended up making a bracket that went onto two of these then clamped onto what was the bottom of the filter. We also left one of the original 3 mounting legs on the bottom of the filter air box. This runs rearwards towards the bulkhead and is then bolted to an upright stay that in turn is bolted to the throttle cable plate. (Only because it was convenient and there!) This was to add strength to the mouting.

The location idea works very well as my drivers side mounted snorkel tubing now runs under the wing then pops through between the PAS bottle and the expansion tank. In line with this is the air intake hole to the filter (side mounted) so it runs straight into filter. We then have the pipe running out the front of the filter, around the front of the engine and down into turbo intake. The setup also minimises the pipe lengths with a driver side mounted snorkel.

The only current issue is the filter is currently not supported well enough. There is too much weight in front of the bracket so the first offroading will no doubt end up with the filter mounting struggling. The plan is to build a support bracket up the front of the timing case and then sit underneath the main filter body with it resting on a rubber mount. This should then support the weight and provide some damping. I will also look to have a strap over the back of the filter again with some rubber to isolate it all. Update to follow.


Exhaust: To save time and many bodges, (and because JST is carp at welding (see pics!!!)) I bought the Steve Parker exhaust system. At £105 +vat and delivery, it is not cheap but considering the time and effort saved, it was worth it I felt. If you are an expert at fabrication and welding etc then you will certainly be able to make it cheaper but I definitely don’t fit into this category!

The system comes in 2 parts and comes with 2 crimping clamps, new manifold seal and new nuts for the studs.


As the studs were knackered on the engine I got, I ended up using bolts to hold it onto the manifold.

I had expected the kit to have a flanged (the triangular bracket with 3 bolts to pull the 2 parts together) end so it would mount to my TD pipe work but it didn’t. It came with a flared end and a lose piece of pipe stuffed into this. Due to the size variation, I found I needed to chop my old much smaller bore exhaust and weld on this short piece. This then mounted into the flared part and was clamped tight.

As there are no instructions with the kit, this was my assumed method so might not be how Steve Parker expects it to be used.

The problem I found was where the join occurs was not where my old pipe was running in a straight line. It was in fact where the pipe is curving over the front of the gearbox cross-member so I struggled to find a suitable alignment and then work out how to cut and weld on the extra bit. If I did it again, I would purchase a longer piece of tube and weld that to the old exhaust further back so a straight run into the main curved down pipe.

You will need to cut the clutch pipe support bracket that is on the bulkhead as this will be too close to the exhaust. There is enough slack to cut it then push it away from the centre line. Note that once you have disconnected the slave cylinder from the bell housing pushing the clutch pedal to take the vehicle out of gear!!! Really buggers things up (JST!!!!!) Its also quite hard to bleed again as the ‘new’ exhaust limits access.


Bulkhead proximity


Radiator mountings: Won’t mention much here as Les Henson’s report covers how he did it and basically we copied this. As it was a 300tdi Disco assembly I had, I chopped the 2 side lugs off the assembly so it fitted into gap. I then chopped off the rubber mounting holes on the chassis cross member then cut approx. 28/30mm off the legs then rewelded the holes back on. We then chopped a bit off the pins on the bottom of the radiator as these were almost resting on the cross member rather than floating in the rubber mounts.

This is exactly how Les did his. (But his welding is/was much better)





The bit we did differently was the top mounts. The tdi mounts seem to work from the front latch plate rather than side mounted plates like the TD. We decided to mimic the TD system by using the same brackets and simply welding on 2 studs to the top of the radiator assembly which then slotted into the rubber mounts just like the TD. Made it nice and tidy.


Electrics: This ended up being very easy (the main reason we all like mechanical diesel engines I guess!). As the starter was the same for my TD and the 200tdi, there is no change there. We ended up using my old alternator as well so again, no change needed.

The coolant temp sensor is mounted to the thermostat housing on the Tdi where the TD has it at the back of the block. It appears Land Rover were very nice and actually had a second cable in the harness in the correct position so the connector which has sat on my TD doing nothing with me not knowing what it is, is now the temp sensor wire for the Tdi and the old one is now redundant.

As I did not have the glow plug relay system with the engine, I simply connected the glow plugs in the same fashion as my TD was so I decide how long it heats for. Just need to remember I don’t need so long nowadays it seems!

Oil pressure and stop solenoid wiring again simply plugged onto the new engine.

The only bit I am not sure of currently is the relation between the temp sender and the gauge. I was told it would read wrong and currently, it does seem to sit just into the white but I am not sure where it should end up. The other option is to try a 200Tdi Defender engine sender in the block and see if this matches the current gauge? I will see how it goes and let you know.

Heater connections: The disco engine did not come with the coolant hoses that go to the heater matrix for internal heating of the cab. If it did come with some you could possibly adapt these to fit the defender (using copper plumbing pipe to make the joins with jubilee clips) Out initial approach was to adapt the old TD pipes, although due to the 90 deg bends needed in the pipe we opted for replacing them the proper pipes. The two pipes are BTR447 (£14) and BRT445 (£5)


Costs: Obviously this was one of the drivers for going this way and it certainly paid off (excuse pun!).

Ultimately it will depend on what you pay for the engine, and what comes with the engine, plus what you can salvage off your old lump.

In the end, I acquired the engine (minus PAS pump and brackets, starter, fuel filter assembly) and a radiator/intercooler assembly for £500 along with some coolant and intercooler pipes. I then bought the exhaust for approx. £135. The remaining pipe work for the fuel and radiator/intercooler connections, came to about £20. And additional £10-£15 was spent on belts, fuel pipes and unions. The starter, PAS, alternator, fuel filter, air filter were all sourced from TD.

The total so far then is £660/£680 not including service items or clutch assembly which I changed anyway to avoid removal in near future.

This is a brilliant saving over the money people want for Defender 200Tdi lumps and is also a good saving over the 300Tdi prices.

Recommendations: The Tdi is so much better than the TD. Unfortunately, I hadn’t driven the TD too recently prior to the engine change but even so, it was noticeably quieter than the TD. It also has a lot more go in it despite this fitment obviously having some potential constrictions in the pipe work etc. Economy I will have to wait and see but I hope there may be a slight improvement there as I won’t have to work the Tdi as hard.

I think our installation is reasonably tidy as it is an awkward fit. One option could be to take the cobbled together pipe work out and get one of these specialist firms to then make synthetic bespoke pipe work. It wouldn’t be cheap I guess but should improve the airflow and asthetics.

I will also have to see how the fan and PAS belts go. Obviously the mountings are spaced and aligned by eye so there is a chance of misalignment and rubbing but inspection after the first 150 miles doesn’t seem to show any of this. Time will tell.

Due to using the TD PAS pump, it saved any hassles with the hydraulic PAS pipe work as well. In fact we never took it apart so it didn’t even need any bleeding.

We were a bit apprehensive to start with but actually it came together easier than expected. Obviously to basically complete it in effectively 3 days and drive it 120 miles home is good going we felt.

We did put in a lot of hours between the 2 of us to get it done but some of it was spent looking at things, scratching heads, going to town to get bits etc. I guess total time was 34 hours with 2 people but I would have thought around 6 hours of that was going to town, lunch etc.

It did help that we had quite few bits of radiator/intercooler pipe work available to play with to try and find the best routing and set-up combinations. We have listed part numbers above for the intercooler pipe work. This will hopefully help any others who take this route.

If you have the time, space and are willing to play around a bit and do a few bits of fabrication, I would definitely recommend this as a cheaper solution to getting a Tdi.

I would like to thank Les Henson for his information prior to the change as it certainly helped immensely. Hopefully the above will just help some others and maybe provide a slightly different solution for some of you.

Obviously the above is just our solution to the problem and the way we overcame the fitting. It ‘should’ work for any similar conversion although if it doesn’t we accept no liability or responsibility. It is recommended that part nos and prices are checked prior to ordering, MPN were correct at time of producing this although should all be double checked before you part with your cash!

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Really Tidy Job Guys :D

as for --------------------

The other option is to try a 200Tdi Defender engine sender in the block and see if this matches the current gauge? I will see how it goes and let you know.

If the Defender 200Tdi sender fits the housing OK, it will work fine with the existing TD gauge, my 110 used to be a TD now it's been a 200Tdi for ages, the new engines temp sender worked ine with the original TD temp gauge. :D

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Already looked at this option. If I recall the thread is different between the def and disco thermostat housing. Better off going for an aftermarket job.

Nice write-up by the way. I am looking at moving the PAS ans alt to the positions you have so that I can fit my def manifolds. So your pics have come in real handy.

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Well there are three different MPN for the Discovery 200tdi,

PRC 9942

PRC8001 - Orange?? (in the description not colour (i presume))

PRC9917 - Ornage + intercooler????

So what the diff is between them i dont know.

and one for the defender from what i have found: PRC8593 (£6)

From the pics they look about the same threads, but you cant really tell and the schematics only show it for illustrative purposes anyway as opposed to technical reasons i understand.

at £6 it is prob worth trying a def 200 one.

Walfy - whats yours currently fitted with and where does the guage run???

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My motor was originaly a 2 1/4 petrol before going into a couple of V8s and now finaly the TDI.. The sender is disco and the gauge is as per the original engine. The gauge reads about a needles width above the centre of the gauge. It survived 2 days laning with James over new year without overheating or the needle moving to far to the right, so I'm assuming that it works correctly. When I leave home in the morning you can see the gauge climbing at a steady rate. Now I know where it sits I'm quite happy with it. I do have an aftermarket gauge to fit which will be more accurate but haven't got round to fitting it.

If you need to chat about anything James has my mob no, feel free to call.

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Just checked part numbers for the Lower thermostat housings & relevant gasket to the head, gasket is the same on Def & Disco 200Tdi's although the housings have different part numbers, [Discovery err492] so I can't see why a Defender thermostat housing [err1499] can't be fitted to a Discovery 200Tdi head, bolt pattern is the same Cos' the gasket [etc8007] is the same as is the Upper section of the thermostat housing [etc5967 non air conditioned vehicles], so if needed just get the Lower part to fit the Defender temp sender :D

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i think Dan (DSN) said his needle just managed to creep into the white. (std '88 LR 90 guage from TD originally) fitted to the disco sender (at the moment)

in traffic it did go up a little (no fans etc)

This could be his working datum i reckon, we tried a different guage on it when it was at running temp, but made no difference (same needle position).

therefore new sender, or live with it reading where it does i suppose.

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Does the angle of the top hose differ between disco and def as it leaves the thermo housing. That would be the only difference that I would forsee.

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Does the angle of the top hose differ between disco and def as it leaves the thermo housing. That would be the only difference that I would forsee.

Top part is the same for both vehicles [if it doesn't have air cond fitted]

the other part number etc5958 Defender or err809 Discovery for the top part is for air cond fitted vehicles which has the 2 vertical holes drilled & threaded for air cond senders, so I don't think Dan wants either of those, parts cat pic doesn't show if the hose connector elbow is in a different position.

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Fantastic write up guys, I wish I'd had this thread to refer to when I did my Tdi conversion!

Nice arrangement with the drive belts - mine's slightly different as I used my old V8 PAS pump and a 90a alternator.

As with anything like this, you'll end up doing some things slightly differently as encountered. The nice thing is that the engine's so simple and the conversion's so easy.

And what a fantastic difference to the performance!

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Looks good guys, well done, and thanks for the credit. Good idea with the top radiator mount, it never occurred to me to do that. It looks a lot better than the chopped-up brackets I made. Does you pipework for the turbo go into the wheel arch? I know it's damned tight down there on the intake side. Clever idea with the PAS pump too, I just looked to see if the TD one could be bolted to the engine as-is.

Les. :)

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Yes Tony, a big THANK YOU!

The way you also leaned over the wing and looked into the engine bay, risking getting your fingers dirty on the wing top was most admirable! ;)

Thanks very much for the source of engine, parts and advice. Most appreciated.

Hope you liked the DVD and vid. Might need to work on my motor before get to that sort of level!

Cheers for now and see you soon no doubt.

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as you state it is tight down there for the turbo outlet pipe.

we didnt 'adjust' the inner wing when we did this. the td5 U bend works a treat although granted you will not the current cable tie holding it up to help retain its shape so the hose doesnt collapse in the middle of the bend.

it just seemed to work well for us with the parts we had to hand. the cross sectional flow of the pipe is not reduced physically although i dare say that the flow dynamics will have changed somewhat in there. :P We were just trying to get that HiFlow system installed slightly cheaper :P !!!!!

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