To own a Land Rover Defender is to be at one with your tools. It’s a vehicle that demands the owner be handy on a set of spanners and keen with the pry bars. However, as with any car, working on it can be fraught with challenges. Here, we’ve taken some of the frustration out of it by giving some handy tips on how to tackle some of the most common Defender-related jobs. We’re good like that!
01 Oil changes
It’s a given that you’re going to have to change the oil on your Defender from time to time. However, if you have a TD5-powered model, it’s worth noting that as well as the standard oil filter, there is also a centrifugal one. This needs to be changed every 12k, so don’t forget it!
02 Timing gear
On TD5 engines, prior to changing the timing chain or removing a camshaft, the crankshaft and camshaft must be locked in the TDC position for No.1 cylinder. There are Land Rover special tools for this, or you can use 17/64” diameter drill bit or rod to lock the crankshaft, or a brake pipe union and an 8 mm drill bit to lock the camshaft.
03 Crankshaft bushes
The crankshaft spigot bush on TD5 engines can be removed by packing the bush with grease, then inserting a close-fitting metal rod into the bush. Tap the rod with a hammer, and the grease will force the bush from the flywheel. This trick can also work on other bushes and bearings, so give it a try.
Need to change the fan? If you have a TD5 Defender, it’s worth noting that the coupling for the viscous fan has an opposite, right-hand thread (to stop it undoing itself when it’s operational). Don’t forget, otherwise you’re just tightening it up!
If you’re putting new pads on your Defender, it’s easy to put them in the wrong way. It might sound daft, but there’s actually nothing to stop you – they’ll just slot in. As such, make sure the chamfered edges of the pad are pointing to the front of the vehicle. This will stop them breaking up prematurely.