This LRO reader emailed LRO.firstname.lastname@example.org to ask our experts if it is possible to fit an ABS and ETC system to a 1996 300TDi Land Rover Defender with a Td5 engine replacement.
I bought my 1996 Defender 300Tdi in 2005 and replaced its engine with a Td5. Continuing its transformation into a proper Td5, I’m considering installing an ABS system and Electronic Traction Control (ETC), but this has proved quite a challenge because I can’t find a competent source or reference about the components I need and how to install them.
I’ve been told I’ll also need to change the differentials. If this is correct, will I have to change the ARB lockers when installing ABS and ETC? If so, what type of ARB lockers will I need to buy? Have any other LRO readers installed these systems? If they have, I would be grateful if they could offer guidance and advice, possibly through your letters page.
Ravi Corea, Sri Lanka
When you’ve made all these expensive changes you will still not have a ‘proper’ Td5 but a 20-year-old modified 1996 model, whose value is already quite low. Also, your vehicle will be off the road for some time while you attempt these modifications.
What it amounts to is that, as well as making mechanical modifications, you’re rebuilding the whole computer system. It won’t be just a plug-and-play job but will need dealer programming. My advice is to sell the vehicle in its current state and look for a Defender Td5 with the bells and whistles you want.
I agree with Steve – retrofitting ABS and ETC is a major job and getting it even slightly wrong would be dangerous.
This workshop advice appeared in the February 2016 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.