TDI Christmas


Well-known member
Has anybody successfully ordered from Bell?
It looks like they have some stock, and I hear the wait from Allisport can be a while.


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I wanted to follow up on this because as Doug alluded to, there was a lot of activity with my d90 in the last two months. It was an absolute ton of work, and I can't help but feel I was super fortunate to get my truck to Doug when I did. He had a delay from the foundry, which allowed him to concentrate on my truck for a bit.

With a 25 year old truck, there's a lot of deferred maintenance, as well as correction of some major mistakes by the last few owners. Suffice it to say I was only marginally confident that my truck would make the three and a half hour drive from NoVA to Doug's place, but am now confident I could drive this truck just about anywhere in North America. There are a few maintenance items I'll continue to work on, but Doug was able to get me to a comfortable starting point.

There were three major areas of focus for this project - Engine, electrical/interior and axles.

Upgraded Turbo & intercooler, replace radiator, water pump, thermostat, glow plugs, timing belt and tensioner. Adjust valves, set idle and timing. This 200tdi now runs like a top and pulls like a freight train. 60 mph is a non event, 70-75 easily attainable. In mixed city/highway driving in Northern Virginia, I am easily achieving 25mpg, and expect to do quite a bit better on long range drives. The motor is "Quieter than my 300tdi" per JimC, and is just making a ton of power. Running like a sewing machine. Very finely tuned.

Electrical / interior:
install/replace with VDO - Boost, EGT, Tach, Fuel, water temp and Volt gauges. It's amazing to have a working fuel gauge for one, and that was no easy task given the way previous owners had run the signal wire across the passenger footwell - under the mat of course. All of the turn signals were replaced with LED and supplied pigtails installed. There were a few electrical gremlins, most notably someone had cut the power to the glow plugs and left it dangling - likely for some previously installed accessories. New heated seats from RN, and carling switches to control them. Super nice and warm. A pair of jump seats were also installed in the rear, along with an Exmoor trim front sound matting, which has made a huge difference. There were a handful of other issues, which Doug soundly resolved.


25 years of use had my steering box out of whack, which needed adjusting, as well as a loose steering wheel. When that was done, Disco 2 24 spline axles were installed with upgraded ring & pinions, plus true track diffs from GBR. NAS front and rear disc brakes were also installed. The suspension needed to be leveled, and of course bushings throughout were replaced as well.

This has been transformational - I'm now daily driving the defender, and enjoying the heck out of it. It's quite competent in the left hand lane and capable of keeping up with any flow of traffic. Driving dynamics have changed completely and I couldnt be happier. The other stuff was out of scope (and schedule) so I'll continue to work on them in the coming weeks (with help from a lot of my new NOVA rover friends!) . For now, I'm just enjoying the hell out of this thing.

Can't wait to see everyone @ Wintergreen in April.


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Well-known member
...there was a lot of activity with my d90 in the last two months...
Now THAT'S an understatement! Your post is my new "To do" list, except without Uncle Doug's local help, it's going to take me like...ten years! Your description of how it performs is exactly what I'm shooting for. I think this means there really is a finish line. That's encouraging :)!