Until last week, I had enjoyed nine months of blistering 200bhp performance from my tuned 2005 Defender Td5. Sadly, the expensive turbo disintegrated, dumping oil and shards of turbine into my expensive silicone intercooler pipes and intercooler, spitting it all out of my very expensive stainless steel exhaust system.
It looks like it’s going to cost a small fortune to repair and I feel a little apprehensive about it all happening again with the same cost implications.
I’m debating dumping the Td5 unit in favour of a naturally aspirated V8 and marrying it to the R380 gearbox for more reliable performance.
I have a reasonable working knowledge of mechanics, but would you consider this an ill-conceived venture?
Geoff Cockrell, Warminster, Wiltshire
Well, the conversion to a V8 is certainly possible. The most appropriate V8 would be from the Disco 2, along with its management system, though it’ll be a fair challenge mechanically and electronically to complete the installation.
Not only would an earlier V8 engine have an adverse effect on the resale value of your Defender, it may cause problems with emissions on the MoT test. This is because the Td5 is a much cleaner engine and the vehicle will be tested according to its build date, with no regard for any engine modification of change of engine.
Given these facts, especially the work involved, I personally think that replacing the engine with another Td5 is the best option. The Td5 is easily tuned but this inevitably increases the load on the working parts – especially if driven hard, using its full performance on a regular basis. Maybe try a milder tune next time.