Originally Posted by Max...
For many enthusiasts (me included) the last great engine was the 300tdi which is why I run a '98 110 - last year they made them.
Not quite. I have a factory 2006 model year Defender 110 though in worldwide terms they are a rare beast
Until two weeks ago I was the dealer principal in the Falklands and had been doing that for 15 years so have a fair bit of practical experience in all of them. I bought a last of line export model 2006MY 300Tdi in April 2007 because I wasn't sure about the Puma. Having seen them for four years I'd not be worried about buying a Puma now, but I still don't like the Td5 much and never have. There's nothing terribly wrong with it, it just (to me) drives like an engine that was designed by an engineer and never tried in a vehicle until they started building them.
All the engines (and gearboxes) have strengths and weaknesses but the later 300s (post 97) are probably the most bombproof. Td5s had flywheels and head gasket problems, Pumas have some bother with injectors, fuel pumps and pressure sensors/valves on the fuel rails but no real show stoppers - if a planet fell on my 300 tomorrow I'd buy a Puma. 300 and Puma clutches are both crap and the Puma especially is not up to the torque IMO and WILL break the centre with heavy towing or a lot of heavy off road use.
The only real drawbacks to a 110 are the weight (in soft ground) and in some circumstances the approach/departure/breakover angles. In the real world they are simply far more practical - speaking as somebody who has owned 3 90's over the years and chopped the last one in for a 110 because it wasn't big enough.
A 90 is great for 2 people and a bit of stuff, but no more. Having said that I would love to have another 90, but I already have 3 vehicles and a boat and I think getting another one would lead to divorce...