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Old 08 May 2007, 07:17   #1
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Defender 110 TD5

Hi All.

Iím interested to hear from anyone knowledgeable about what a 1 or 2 year old 110 TD5 Defender would be like to live with as an everyday car.

Some background
Towards the end of this year, or early next, Iíd like to swap my 52 plate 3.2TD Shogun in.
Iíve really enjoyed owning it, and its never got stuck anywhere, even on gravel beaches with the boat and trailer on the back. It is however a little bit fragile, and is going wrong quite often now at 110K hard worked miles. But it does offer very good on road comforts and performance.

The plan was to go for a 1 or two year old 4.2TD Amazon, but the marine electronics industry doesnít pay as well as the Tobacco industry I came from. So weíll upgrade Mrs Nashers car to something we can use more often, and the 4x4 will be to tow the boat, get me to work, and camping trips etc.

Iíve always liked the look of the defender in a mid-life crisis type of way, and the smaller Nashers tell me they are ĎCoolí. They do of course come with Air Con etc so the general spec will be similar.
There is also great scope for me to Ďpersonalise ití at a reasonable cost. Did I mention mid-life crisis already?

Having spoken to a couple of people already (Thanks guys) Iím a bit concerned by the following.

The 2.5l TD5 engine is less powerful than my 3.2TD.
Cruising speed on the motorway will be reduced.
The noise on road will be greater.
They leak as the doors donít fit or seal properly especially at speed.


Nasher.
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Old 08 May 2007, 07:33   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasher View Post
Hi All.

Iím interested to hear from anyone knowledgeable about what a 1 or 2 year old 110 TD5 Defender would be like to live with as an everyday car.

Some background
Towards the end of this year, or early next, Iíd like to swap my 52 plate 3.2TD Shogun in.
Iíve really enjoyed owning it, and its never got stuck anywhere, even on gravel beaches with the boat and trailer on the back. It is however a little bit fragile, and is going wrong quite often now at 110K hard worked miles. But it does offer very good on road comforts and performance.

The plan was to go for a 1 or two year old 4.2TD Amazon, but the marine electronics industry doesnít pay as well as the Tobacco industry I came from. So weíll upgrade Mrs Nashers car to something we can use more often, and the 4x4 will be to tow the boat, get me to work, and camping trips etc.

Iíve always liked the look of the defender in a mid-life crisis type of way, and the smaller Nashers tell me they are ĎCoolí. They do of course come with Air Con etc so the general spec will be similar.
There is also great scope for me to Ďpersonalise ití at a reasonable cost. Did I mention mid-life crisis already?

Having spoken to a couple of people already (Thanks guys) Iím a bit concerned by the following.

The 2.5l TD5 engine is less powerful than my 3.2TD.
Cruising speed on the motorway will be reduced.
The noise on road will be greater.
They leak as the doors donít fit or seal properly especially at speed.


Nasher.
all of yur observations are correct in my mind, they need chipping to get a good turn of speed.

the very best advice would be to loan one or hire one or test drive one over the weekend as see if it is the type of vehicle you are happy with for every day use etc, i know of 2 people who purchased them and then changed them in quite quickly as not ideal for main car......caravanners!
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Old 08 May 2007, 07:46   #3
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I think Defenders are an aquired taste. Do not expect car like levels of comfort or refinement. Having said that they are FUN which is sadly lacking with normal vehicles.

They need a bit more looking after than a normal vehicle but they do reward TLC.

You mention aircon - it is fitted in the front passenger footwell and restricts the limited legroom quite a bit. The rear mounted one is fine though. To be honest I wouldn't bother as the front flaps are better than any aircon unit!!!

The later TD5 engines were great - not as good offroad as the old 300tdi though but much better on the road.

Get one with traction control if you can - it makes an awesome vehicle just about unstopable - other than that try to avoid all other fancy electrics.

Get a full length roofrack with a ladder at the back. Kids just love climbing up there. The roofrack is just so versatile - I have carried 2 complete 3 piece suites on mine no problem.

As standard the 110 has awesome ground clearance - I can get my knee under the sill and I am 6' - other offroaders don't even come close.

You mention the costs of a 2nd hand Amazon - have you any idea how well 110s hold their money? You may be shocked. Buy a Landie right and you won't lose money on it.

As to door leaks etc what's the problem? Don't think mine ever has but you don't tend to notice silly things like that on a Land Rover.

Defenders are not really motorway tools - you can battle along at 90mph but they hate strong headwinds.

As for towing and offroad there is nothing that comes close. A bloke I know in Swansea has a 110 TD5 that he uses for boat deliveries all over Europe. He even has a tacho fitted. He wouldn't use anything else and has done over 165,000 miles of heavy towing with NO problems at all - not bad.

Best engine in a 110 is the V8 but sadly not made anymore!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 08:47   #4
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...Best engine in a 110 is the V8 but sadly not made anymore!!!
Mmm, maybe, cos you'll be lucky to better 12mpg when towing.

Nasher, if you can live with moss growing in your inside window channels, then you'll be ok with a Defender. I can't.

See if you can pick up a Disco at about 50k miles; still not luxurious but a whole lot better than a Defender for general use. Shouldn't be too expensive either.
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Old 08 May 2007, 09:43   #5
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Thanks All

Keep the comments coming.

I was wondering who would be the first to suggest a Disco. Both Mr 7 and Mr Halliday suggested the same thing.

Iíve noticed the defenders do appear to hold their value well.
How much extra torque can you get out of a TD5 with a chip upgrade? Iíve read a bigger intercooler helps as well.

Iíve tried to borrow one for an extended test drive, without any luck, our local Dealer wasnít much help mainly because I took an instant dislike to the salesman who was more interested in the guy looking at Range Rover Sports than me.

I have months and months to make up my mind, and could yet decide to buy a slightly older Amazon or something completely different.


Nasher.
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Old 08 May 2007, 09:47   #6
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My V8 returns about 18mpg when used gently - 16 is more like it. I am one of the few people who actually gets BETTER economy when towing!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 09:52   #7
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My V8 returns about 18mpg when used gently - 16 is more like it. I am one of the few people who actually gets BETTER economy when towing!!!
are you saying that when towing your boat you get better than 16-18 using a v8 landy?
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Old 08 May 2007, 09:54   #8
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As regards the Discovery the finest is a TD5 series II - I had one on lease for a while - it was fantastic. It was an automatic which is normally sluggish but they remapped the later ones to give it the same performance as a manual - it was quite thirsty though but I do have a lead right foot.

Offroad it really was awesome - traction control is brilliant. It is better than a Series I Discovery because it has better clearances. I drove across bare mountain when I lost the track - it just went over the heather and boulders and anything else I pointed it at - the sort of terrain I thought you could only walk. Defenders are better but considering the Discovery would cruise at 100mph on the M4 it was pretty bloody good.

I still prefer the Defender though - it is more fun and you know it's just not another car. In my discovery I seem to be invisible to people and they will never let you out of junctions or anything - in my Defender I NEVER get that problem!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 09:55   #9
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are you saying that when towing your boat you get better than 16-18 using a v8 landy?

I get about 16 - 18 when towing or driving gently - 14 when pushing it. It really is suprising considering I was getting 22mpg out of a Vectra!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 09:57   #10
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Thanks All

Keep the comments coming.

I was wondering who would be the first to suggest a Disco. Both Mr 7 and Mr Halliday suggested the same thing.

Iíve noticed the defenders do appear to hold their value well.
How much extra torque can you get out of a TD5 with a chip upgrade? Iíve read a bigger intercooler helps as well.

Iíve tried to borrow one for an extended test drive, without any luck, our local Dealer wasnít much help mainly because I took an instant dislike to the salesman who was more interested in the guy looking at Range Rover Sports than me.

I have months and months to make up my mind, and could yet decide to buy a slightly older Amazon or something completely different.


Nasher.
both friends choped in their defenders for discos as the defenders were too raw!
the es models have plenty of toys and comfort and are pretty good. we have had landies for years and the td5es is the best of the bunch we have had, 300tdi and 200tdi.

they are around 125 hp standard and 135 for auto version, chipping takes them to around 160hp and chip and intercooler etc takes them to around 200hp

there are a lot better engines out there than the 2.5 landy in my opinion, the fiat 2.8jtd common rail for example wipes the floor with the landy engine
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Old 08 May 2007, 10:02   #11
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I get about 16 - 18 when towing or driving gently - 14 when pushing it. It really is suprising considering I was getting 22mpg out of a Vectra!!!
well i am gobsmacked you can get that mpg out of a v8 landy towing your boat!
was it measured while towing down one of the welsh mountains
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Old 08 May 2007, 10:21   #12
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Managed 8mpg from my 110 V8 towing a rib to Poland

The advantage with the Disco is its more confortable over the 110 and they are much cheaper as there are lots about to choose from.

Pete
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Old 08 May 2007, 10:26   #13
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well i am gobsmacked you can get that mpg out of a v8 landy towing your boat!
was it measured while towing down one of the welsh mountains
Not at all - my 110 V8 is a beast - it is ex Police - goes like stink and pretty good on juice as well. I had it tuned and it was pinking like a bitch - richend it up a bit and now it's a dream. Unfortunately it is now in bits being totally rebuilt even though it didn't really need it - Landies have this habit of making you waste valuable time and money on them!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 15:13   #14
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Just a thought Nasher-have you ever driven a Defender any distance? You're tall and the cab is quite cramped if you have long arms.
I used several 110's for work for about a year and while I loved them as a tool,I had to drive with the window open to give me enough elbow room. It didn't make for a pleasant drive in the winter.
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Old 08 May 2007, 15:36   #15
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I've a Defender 110 TD5 for 7 years now. Use it every day. Made a sort of camper in the back. Towing my RIB is peanuts.

I love it very much but there are a few things to consider:
---I'm 1.76m tall and just about fit in it, because with the airco there is not that mucht space.
---Before I used to play classical music in my car, no way in a Defender; to much noise.
---The gearbox is not that good.
---I chipped the engine, but I advise NOT to do that. Extra heat made the exhaust, at the engine side, bend.
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Old 08 May 2007, 15:43   #16
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Just thought I'd add my two pennorth for what its worth as I was considering buying a Defender last year. As I have driven many over the years and like them for what they are. Unfortunately for me I just wanted one for about £5000 as a run around. At that price all I could find was wrecks. And as I looked at better and better models I found you were buying some pretty average and abused motors for £10000. For me I would have had to go to a Land Rover dealership to get something I would be happy with which would mean £15000 and upwards. Silly money for a run around so I scrapped that idea. Best of luck with your search and don't expect to do what I expected which is to find a good one for cheap money.
Now Disco's are half the price for the same age as a Defender. But they do seem to suffer from the sort of rust that disapeared in other manufacturers cars in the time period 'Life in Mars' was set in.
Having said that if you find a genuine deal at a good price let me know and I might rekindle my interest in the Defender.

Why not bin all the car like attributes you can get with the upmarket Defenders and go for an ex Army wolf. Its got the TD5 engine and some have front and rear winches. Well cool. trouble is at this time all Wolfs are accident write offs and have been rebuilt.
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Old 08 May 2007, 15:49   #17
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I paid £2500 for my Defender and I love it - the bloke selling it didn't have a clue and thought the gearbox was knackered. It was just the prop shaft UJs - £80 and that's all I have ever needed to spend on it!!! Nobody seems to want V8s - mine is pretty good on juice but get a gas conversion and it's like having your cake and eating it!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 16:14   #18
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just a thought....i used to drive the old 21/4 21/2 whatever engines they are in the long wheelers and shorties in the forces for years, they did not have power steering and had the fuel tanks under the seats. they were awful to drive for any distance, i expect the modern ones are very nice by comparison but those old ones were pigs in my opinion.
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Old 08 May 2007, 16:58   #19
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just a thought....i used to drive the old 21/4 21/2 whatever engines they are in the long wheelers and shorties in the forces for years, they did not have power steering and had the fuel tanks under the seats. they were awful to drive for any distance, i expect the modern ones are very nice by comparison but those old ones were pigs in my opinion.
Like chalk and cheese - coil springs versus leaf(japs and yanks take note). Worst thing of all was the drum brakes all round - scary. They also had selectable 4x4 just like many of the modern jap vehicles.....

First time I drove a Series III I was really shocked just how rough it was. Drove it back from Brum for a mate - by the time I had got it home I had fallen in love with it. We named it Monty and the kids loved it in Cammo.

The old ones were much tougher - you could steam clean the inside as well as the outside. No need for silly checkerplate wing protectors etc - the metal was much thicker. The old doors are much better than the new ones which is why the Army still use Series doors on the Wolf. Best of all the winch was behind the front bumper - a much better place for it.

It is suprising just how good the old ones are. Did anyone see the Top Gear test where all the modern top 4x4s got stuck but the old Series I just ploughed past them - classic!!!
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Old 08 May 2007, 17:09   #20
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the lightweights were ok even great but the old long wheelies were awful, especially in 4wd turning from lock to lock on rough ground, take your thumbs/fingers off if not careful

i would have a lightweight for off road days if one came along at the right price
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