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Hi everybody, am looking at changing my 200 tdi and buying a TD5 Defender on a v 99 plate, anyone had experience of an early TD5? What should i look out for (heard some rumors that the early Td5´s had some ecu gremlins) would love to hear from landie owners who´ve experienced both.. will help me make up my mind :unsure:


ed b


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I have driven loads of Td5s of all ages and I reckon the very early ones have much more ooooomph than any of the others. We've got a good 110 on the company fleet which was near the beginning of Td5 production and the absolute best one I have ever driven was a 90 that was less than 100 vehicles from the beginning of the Td5 vin range. It would just go like stink in every gear even on 265/75R16 MT's, awesome thing and brilliant fun. I've driven another 90 of the same age that was nearly as good.

The only downside of the early ones is the throttle response is more jerky than later ones. A lot of the late ones feel like they are running on FFO rather than diesel, they are so dead! I'd rather have the jerky throttle and a lot more get up and go. I have driven a fair number of post 2002 vehicles and they have all been sh&te in comparison!

Early vehicles sometimes had injectors, ECUs and fuel pumps go phut but by now any defective bits should have gone phut and been changed I should think. One does wonder how long such bits will last before owners start having to pay for them though. Injector harnesses can go on any age of Td5 (regardless of what LR say about it only affecting the early ones) but are not an expensive fix.

I still prefer a Tdi but the early Td5s are probably the best ones IMHO, if you want a Td5.

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Mines a 1999 model 130 and has absolutely no problems, its not been chipped and the 'cooler

is bog standard.

I read somewhere about a bolt dropping out of the oil pump drive due to lack of loctite when

fitted in the factory but these probs would have come up on early engines by now anyway.

There are plenty of Td5s in europe that have well over 200000kms on the clock and are still

going strong.

My landy weighs 3.2 tons and can still do 130kmh easily on the motorway and climb hills in 4th

that my old landy would do in 2nd....! B)

I think the Td5 has proved itself to be an excellent engine.



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i reckon the TD5 is an excellent engine aswell, when i'm looking to spend a bit more money in a year or so, i'm going to look at a TD5... :)

i'd be a bit warry of those that have been chipped and tuned, they need to be very well maintained as the tuning can stress the engine a bit.... personally i'd buy a standard one from a nice family type... not a tuned one from a lout like me ;)

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i am running a 99 td5 90 hardtop. 72k from new. changed the oil every 6k miles and it runs well.

its had a new injector loom and fly wheel position sensor plus fuel regulator, all of which i fitted myself, its not that difficult to work on (to date) and new turbo (my fault that one though! (just dont use instant gasket! when sealing the turbo oil drain after knocking it changing the oil filter!)

it leaks water in, but no oil out.

JE chipped, overdrive, webasto and straight through mid pipe, good for 30mpg pretty much whatever its doing (less motorway/high (for landrover) speeds.

i love it and intend to keep it forever. can't recomment them enough, td5 is superb.

just dont let it run out of fuel! that seems to the cause of starting the fuel pump problems.

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Some think the TD5 relies too much on electrics, but they have now been building them for about 8 years and as far as I am aware there have not been that many problems.

The pre 2002 models do have a slightly jerkier throttle, and do not have the later modifications of the dash pod and the one piece rear door which are very minor improvements.

I do prefer my 300TDi for serious offroading where deep water will be found, but that is a personal preference.

For regular use though I much prefer my TD5.


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