Originally Posted by st_za
I don't know if it was the same for all years but the Defender's drivers seat was a bit too close to the B-pillar. I am tall and if I moved the driver's seat all the way back, my shoulder presses against the B pillar. Lean a bit to the left and the pedal position becomes uncomfortable over long distances. Move the seat a bit forward so I can wind down the window and use the sill as an armrest and my knees hit the dash. And don't get me started on the handbrake position...
+1 st za, yes it is the same for all of them.
Defer seat only moves about 10cm back to forwards. You just can't compare a Defer to a JK Wrangler (at least to my Wrangler). Driving position, comfort, cruising ability, performance etc etc. As I've said, the Wrangler is closer to a Range Rover than a Defender!
There is a very good reason why defer drivers drive with their window down (other than the fact the aircon is useless) and it all has to do with being able to turn the steering wheel.
If the OP is serious about buying a TD5 I just hope he is fully aware of their issues and their constraints . I loved my TD5, but I had to do a lot of mods to make reliable. So, in good faith, my OP friend, if you are looking at a TD5 then here are some things to consider:
1. In stock engine form, expect to cruise to FNQ at around 90km/h on the highway. It will do more, but you'll be pushing it and your economy will show. Hills will slow you down more than you want. Add a decent remapped ECU and it will help greatly. Remove all mufflers etc for a straight through exhaust and that also helps (and isn't really any louder - turbo takes care of that). Upgrade turbo and that will also help (about $350 from UK for a performance one - keep your stock for a spare - it's about a 15 minute swap over with basic tools on the side of the road). Do all that and you can cruise at 110 with better economy and it will pull like a bloody train and get rid of the turbo lag at low RPM (especially good in sandy situations). HOWEVER, it will also dramatically increase your exhaust gas temps if you start really pushing it. It will hammer hard but that is the trade-off and it can be catastrophic for a TD5. IMO, essential that you fit an exhaust gas temp gauge if you do any engine mods.
2. Replace your turbo anyway. They have a habit of the inner seal failing that can result in a runaway state - and that is terrifying
. That's actually a TD200. But the goose below continued to drive his TD5 in a runaway state until it ran out of oil
Of course, had he pulled over, it woudn't have made any difference as once the turbo seals let go the engine just continues to suck out all the oil until it runs dry and self destructs - no you can't turn it off.
3. Ensure that you either pull the head off and replace the plastic dowels with steel ones (no I'm not kidding), or make sure that you have documented evidence that this has been done. Otherwise going up north, high temps, towing, engine mods etc. can all contribute to higher engine temps and then the plastic dowels soften and allow the head to walk. Result is leaking coolant, overheating, blown head gasket, warped head (it's an alloy head and hates getting overheated at the best of times).
4. Don't expect the air con to keep you cool once outside temps start to climb over 30 degrees. Might as well turn it off and open all the windows - of course you'll have to do that manually. Problem then is with the drivers window that the handle will will be sticking into you leg as there is only about 10mm between the door and your body (see above).
5. Replace fuel pump. They are also a bugger for letting go. Keep the old one as a spare though. The good thing is that they will run without the pump working, but you won't go very fast, but the engine will run. But of course that can cause confusion if your TD5 will start and idle all day long but won't accelerate.
6. Check rear engine seal. They also have a habit of weeping and they are a real pain to replace.
7. Oil still leaking? Check the fuel pressure regulator, another common issue, but an easy fix.
8. Replace both MAF and MAP sensors.
I could go on and be happy to help. But to be honest, are you happy to accept all those issues? Of course you could be very fortunate and not have a single problem - but I reckon you'd be lucky, unless you can find one with all those things already addressed. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Defer, and mine was in exceptional condition and why I got top dollar for it. So even though it was unstoppable as a fwd, but given the extremely poor ergonomics, noise, heat and slowness, I still don't think I would trust it to drive to the cape and back IF I had another choice. I'd buy a Wrangler (I did) or an 80 series for sure. So I'd be ignoring the romanticism of the 'land rover' and enjoying my trip away in hopefully something less potentially troublesome.