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300tdi temperature confusion

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I'm running an ex 19j 90 with a full discovery 300tdu conversion with the engine and gearbox in the factory 300tdi defender position. 

I have also fitted a 300tdi defender temp sender.

The problem is that the temp gauge sits at the very top of the white, however with no thermostat in it sits below 1/3 on the white. 

I tried a new thermostat, no difference. 

Ive just replaced the water pump, viscous fan and a new thermostat but the gauge is still reading very high. 

I bought a thermometer today and took several readings. 

With the gauge at the very top of the white the header tank is between 76-80c when driving. When I got home I pulled the thermostat housing top plug out and took a reading with everything still hot and it was 82.4c. 

The thermostat is set to 88c IIRC 

so in my mind the engine must be fine and the fault is in the gauge? 

Any input is appreciated. 



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