Land Rover TD5 engine tuning for the Discovery & Defender models

Tuning & Diagnostics information

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Land Rover Discovery & Defender TD5 Performance Tuning by Diablo Demon

The TD5 engine was basically de-tuned by Land Rover to meet various specifications & regulations set out by countries from around the world. With the Standard Defender running from 122 to 127 hp and the Discovery at 139 hp however the engine is capable of producing allot more power, designed and developed by Land Rovers own in house technicians based in the UK, contra to popular belief it was not designed by BMW, VW or any other vehicle company.

 “The engine has proved itself on numerous expeditions in hostile terrain (including Land Rover's own G4 Challenge). The engine's mechanical strength and electronic control systems makes the Td5 much more tunable than the older engines. Numerous after-market companies produced tuning upgrades offering as much as 220 horsepower.” source Wikipedia 

The Land Rover TD5 engine has the Garrett GT20 Turbo charger fitted as standard capable of producing up to 250 hp. Re-tuning to 200 hp can be achieved with relative ease depending on the parts used. 200 hp should not be exceeded if your Land Rover has an Automatic gearbox fitted and is the recommended maximum power output for long term reliability.

Performance Intercoolers lower intake air temperature increasing the oxygen content they also work under higher boost pressures, if you run a standard intercooler we recommend boost pressure is kept below 20 psi for heat generation limits and to reduce the risk of damage to its cooling tubes, especially for vehicles fitted with the original factory intercooler, inspect yours, check for: expanded or swollen lower air tubes, visible through your front grill trim, your intercooler sits in front and to the top of your radiator.

Not all Land Rovers where fitted with Catalytic converters, for vehicles that are, removal kits can be purchased online, these will help to increase your power output a little more.. giving an extra 7 to 11 hp gain on average.

Performance upgrades are popular and make the most noticeable difference to the Discovery range than that of the Defender as the standard Defenders gearing of 1:4 produces effortless top speeds in the 70 mph /112 kph range, higher torque is produced from higher revs at lower speeds, combine this with Land Rovers heritage and you have one of the best off road vehicles in the world, however for those who use their Defenders for heavy duty towing or Off Road 4x4 Motor Sports fitting performance enhancements is common practice.

When road use becomes more than off road many Land Rover enthusiasts fit the Discovery transfer box and running gear to their Defenders.

After fitting performance tuning products adjustments including Turbo pressures should be set to ensure no smoke is emitted from your exhaust. Black smoke is mostly unburned diesel produced from over fuelling & includes Nitric Oxide & Nitrogen Oxides it leaves a sooty deposit that is bad for your Turbo, harmful to the environment and an M.O.T. compliance fail, (stationery visual exhaust emissions at full governed RPMs). If your TD5 engine is tuned sensibly you will make it more efficient produce more power, improve your mileage, reduce your emissions resulting in no problem when it comes to your M.O.T.s exhaust inspection, based on current UK rules & legislation.

Over many years the use of 2 stroke oil as an additive has been widely practised both with fleet operators and the general public, it lubricates the top end, reduces diesel knock and prolongs engine life, with some tests reporting increased mileage and lowered emissions.


Shopping list for performance tuning parts for the Land Rover TD5 engine ..

EGR removal Kit .. (make sure the kit comes with fixing bolts, gaskets & vacuum pipe blanking plugs)

High Flow Performance Air Filter .. Pipercross available on Ebay for about 35

Engine Oil .. Millers EE C3 Long Life Nano Drive 5-30 fully synthetic (one of the best oils for your TD5)

Oil Filters .. Both Engine & Turbo, best to use Land Rover original parts for these

2 stroke oil .. Use as additive, about 100 ml per half tank (Comma TST Green mineral, cheap and tests well)

Performance Intercooler .. (full size to achieve 200 + hp Discovery .. Defender)

The Boost Demon ..

This will let you increase boost pressure and make a number of adjustments to your TD5’s fuelling (10 settings)

The M.A.F. Demon ..

This will let you make adjustments to engine response and acceleration tolerances (9 settings + diagnostics)

The Gate Demon ..

This will help you to accurately set your desired boost pressure and test your waste gate valve


Useful contacts for your Land Rover TD5 engine ..

Parts supplier for the Garret Turbo charger .. Turbo Rebuild


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