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"Project Gemini" - The 200Tdi engine

by Alain Hoffmann

The engine is without bigger problems when you respect 2 rules: Change your oil frequently (I do it every 7000 Km, 5000 miles) and change the timing belt every 80.000 Km / 55.000 miles.

The engine is without doubt one of the best diesels ever fitted in the Land Rovers. Sure, it's a bit noisy but it lives very long, has no starting problems, pulls well once it's warm and, best of all, it gives an excellent fuel economy. Real world figures are around 10 liters per 100 km with an achievable 8 on long runs and an upper limit of around 12,5/100 if you tow a heavy trailer flat out.

BTW, Discovery and Defender engines aren't identical. You CAN swap them but you need specific parts and you best ask a reputable shop what's needed.

It wasn't the smartest idea to fit an rubber timing belt to this engine but it was done to reduce the already harsh noise. You can buy an retrofit kit from ZEUS that eliminates the belt but it isn't exactly cheap and it produces a lot of noise which is however only noticeable when driving slow. On the other side there's no preliminary warning if the belt goes to snap and this means in all the cases I've seen a new engine.

The performance may be increased by having a reputable shop tune the fuel pump to increase pressure. This brings much better acceleration and an increase of about 10 Mph in top speed.

The next step would be a bigger Intercooler thus reducing the intake air temperature. By this 2 ways you can easily achieve around 135 Horses without impeding engine longetivity.

Some engines have a tendency to shake the fuel return lines loose thus soaking the right side with diesel. An correction kit for this exists. Or you do as my wife does- she always carries an 7/16 open ended wrench in the glove box.

More to come.