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Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998

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  • Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998

    Hi Folks,
    As requested by Robert, here is a bit of detail on a vehicle - mine. It has been running largely on biodiesel for most of the last 50,000 km and I am not looking to turn back!

    I will include a bit of a profile here and may update this as time goes on to show an ongoing profile of a vehicle and any performance or other issues that may come up that may be of interest to someone trolling around looking to read of the experiences of a biodiesel user if they are looking to shift to biodiesel with their current diesel vehicle.

    It will also give some detail relating to a specific vehicle configuration for those looking to purchase a diesel vehicle so they can move away from petrol to an environmentally preferred fuel. My strongest advice is to work out what your needs are and all of the considerations are for you and to perhaps make up a table in excel or something and then list the specifications and considerations for each of the vehicles you look at. Eventually this should help you to make a solid decision as to what meets your needs. As you will read my vehicle is pretty bloody big (but still fuel efficient) but it was what I needed to meet my needs. Being a pommy car it pisses me off occassionally but overall I am happy.

    Others might find that an old mercedes or a vw golf or a diesel van or smaller ute than mine or even a diesel gemini suits their needs better. The reality is that diesels in Australia are still mainly commercial vehicles like utes and vans and are often 4wd. The diesel vehicles coming out of Europe have amazing fuel efficiency and fantastic performance and with great pollution reduction technologies as standard. Combine all of that with biodiesel and you are making some headway (but remember to walk or ride your bike more or public transport it more and drive less all the same!) because we have already reached the age of 'Peak Oil'. You can read up on that elsewhere as well. We might put some links onto the forum somewhere.

    I researched a lot about what to get once I had heard about biodiesel and wanted to get away from petrochemical fuel. I had previously considered shifting to gas but even though I figured that it would be better than petrol it is STILL a product of the petrochemical companies that I was trying to get my money away from. Those same companies are associated with the ongoing reliance on agricultural chemicals (chemical fertilisers and chemical pesticides) and the abuse of farmers and home growers around the world - particularly the developing world but us as well - with the introduction and hard sell of hybrid plant varieties and genetic modification of seed etc

    As someone interested in organic gardening these things are bad! You can read up on that lot somewhere else though. We might put up a link for you ...

    The things I wanted were a small intercooled turbodiesel that was not computer controlled so I could learn to fix it and wouldn't leave me stuffed if it went haywire out the back of Bourke. I looked for an engine that had a good reputation for reliability and longevity. It had to be efficient for running around but also have the ability to carry and pull heavy loads safely. The 300 tdi was the last of the non-computerised engines that Landrover brought out before they went for the newer td5 motor which can be tweaked up through the use of an upgrade chip for better performance. Interestingly though it is fairly well accepted that the 300tdi (which superceded the 200tdi) is more fuel efficient than the more modern td5. It doesn't have the same get up and go but that was not my primary concern. I drive smooth and steady for efficiency - I don't try and drag off from the lights. This makes a big difference too.

    I also was after an engine and vehicle package that would tow really well and that could allow me to still carry 5 passengers and a heavy load of tools or whatever I needed to cart. We often run educational displays and events and so I need to take all the stuff we need in one run plus 4 helpers. That is where the 130 configuration kicks in. 130 is a reference to the length of the wheelbase in inches.

    The 130 is a dual cab ute which suited my purposes although it is one long sucker! They have crap turning circles but after a little while I have gotten used to it and just modify my driving and plan what I do with a slightly different attitude - ie a quick u-turn on a busy street is just not an option! The rear seats are a bit upright but I have found that my solar panel also fits in perfectly protected from bumps and jolts behind them. I have a 50 litre water bladder under the rear seat as well so I have power and water without compromising passenger space.

    I have a dual battery set up under the passenger seat which gets recharged by the solar panel when I am camping and an air compressor is mounted under the drivers seat. Soon there will also be a pressure pump for hot showers and washdowns. This will also be a useful setup if we are ever unlucky or careless and need to clean any little spillages when fuelling up with the biodiesel. So far with careful management of the process I have never had a problem.

    The HCPU reference is landrover speak for a 'high capacity pick up' which means it is a ute with a tubbed back rather than a flat tray. It can legally carry 1.5 tonnes which it has on many occassions whether we were building a permaculture garden somewhere or setting up a display or something or just moving stuff for work. Strangely this vehicle with a 4 cylinder engine, at only 2.5 litres, is smaller than many on the road has the highest legal load capacity on the market and it lugs it with ease. Higher than a 6-7 litre Ford F250. Until you move up to a full on truck this thing carries the most. It also tows the most - in this case the same as the 7 litre V8 Ford F250 though with nowhere the same grunt. I would notice it - especially on hills and would need to rely on gearing rather than simply having an enormous fuel guzzling engine. For thsoe sorts of weights you would need to be towing a trailer with brakes but I have it set up with an electric brake controller as well.

    More in the next post...

    Last edited by Cameron; 1 October 2005, 03:41 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998

    When I was about to first start using biodiesel I was a bit nervous because I had heard and read that because biodiesel is a great solvent that it would clear all the muck and varnish out of my fuel system and dump it into the fuel filter which is exactly what the fuel filter is for.

    Years ago I had owned a Bedford van to lug stuff around in and I had removed the fuel tank to check it out and 'clean' it. When I refitted I made the mistake of adding gasket goo to the sender unit gasket. Of course this then dissolved from the petrol and I had filter problems for yonks so I knew all about blocked filters and was pretty nervous!

    I prepared for it by keeping relevant tools in the cab all ready to go and had two spare fuel filters in the car at all times just in case the biodiesel did what it does which is to clean the fuel system out. I was driving around wondering if I was going to have to jump out somewhere and quickly change the fuel filter if it got blocked up. Never happened though and I just cruised through to my next service, informed my mechanic that I had shifted to biodiesel and asked him to make sure that he changed the filter over which was a standard part of the service anyway. I timed it pretty deliberately too by shifting over a few hundred kilomtres BEFORE my service was due to maximise my chances of clearing out any gunk and then get it seen to without too much delay.

    My vehicle has a 135 litre (approx) long range tank fitted as an aftermarket accessory which is great for trips plus it is great for getting a big load of biodiesel since outlets aren't exactly at every servo yet. The fact that this was an aftermarket fitting and also that the vehicle wasn't really all that old probably added to not having too much gunk in the system and it will be as clean as a whistle now!

    Eventually I used up my spare filters when doing my own 5000km fluids and filters change but still always keep one spare in the vehicle just as a precaution.

    I have also changed my fuel filter over to a cav fitting with a glass inspection bowl on the bottom that collects any gunk before it goes into the filter itself and I can drain that too. I can see what is in it and whether it seems clean or dirty and if there seems to be any water or sediment present. I check under my bonnet every week to make sure that my oil level is OK and not too dirty and that my various fluids are all topped up and that my fuel filter bowl is clear. Takes a couple of minutes tops and is worth it for peace of mind.

    This involved buying a screw on adaptor but by doing this I am able to use a high quality filter that is available from many, many more outlets than I found landrover filters to be sold from and at a fraction of the cost. For what I save on fuel filters I should have done this sooner as it would have paid for itself by the time I convinced myself to fork out the dosh.

    ***Drivers of petrol engined vehicles can get away with less frequent servicing but they should not take this attitude across to a diesel engined vehicle as it will not run as well, will produce more pollution and the fuel economy will go out the window.***

    By the time I did fit the cav filter adaptor I was confident because it was recommended by both Berrima Diesel (renowned diesel engine specialists) and also by the 4WD Service Centre who were doing some work to my vehicle at the time and who also have a very good reputation and which has been my own experience with them as well. I suspect they buy the adaptors wholesale from Berrima Diesel who make them but didn't bother to ask as they were charging the same price and it was right there and I had the plastic in the hand at the register.

    more in the next post ...
    Last edited by Cameron; 1 October 2005, 03:16 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998

      Other than my little scare driving down into the Sydney harbour tunnel before dawn in the middle of winter with gelling, non-winterised biodiesel (that you can read about in response to John's posting in a previous thread) I have only ever had one other problem in my change over to biodiesel.

      I have been greatly relieved about this because I was determined to use biodiesel as an environmentally preferred fuel. I would have hated to go to the trouble and expense of changing vehicles and to switch to biodiesel only to find that it did not live up to my hopes. To top that off I prefer the fish and chip oil smell of biodiesel to petrodiesel fumes and even more importantly I genuinely find that my engine runs A LOT smoother on biodiesel than it did or ever does when it is run on petrodiesel.

      So this 'other' problem I experienced involved the softening up and slight weeping from some of my fuel lines. People really worry about this (as was I) but luckily when I did notice it happening I had some people handy who had some self-amalgamating repair tape for the fuel line and who were happy to help out. You can buy this stuff at auto parts shops for a few bucks and it is a handy thing to have in your tool kit for all sorts of emergencies.

      Anyway the fuel line was obviously made of natural rubber and so eventually the biodiesel was going to soften it up. It was a low pressure fuel lines that returns unused fuel from the fuel injectors back to the fuel pump.

      A slight smell of fuel was the hint to check it out. Luckily diesel engines don't run as hot as petrol engines and diesel fuel requires A LOT more heat to ignite and biodiesel requires even more heat than petrodiesel. Diesel engines need to compress the atomised injected fuel to ignite it and so a tiny dribble of uncompressed biodiesel on a hose in the cooler area outside of the engine and in the airflow from the moving vehicle through the engine bay wasn't too risky but worth you being aware of to start with.

      Maybe Robert could start up a thread of vehicles with rubber or synthetic fuel lines so people know what they should change as a precaution?

      The patch up job got me home and gave me enough time to organise some replacement fuel line. I asked around and called the Landrover dealers but they only wanted to sell me a full system replacement for HEAPS of money. Typical as LandRover Australia (LRA) don't have much of a reputation for looking after their customers these days. We (landrover owners) are all looking forward to them changing this attitude but time will tell). For some reason it was impossible to sell me three little 10cm lengths of braided fuel line that are standard on my standard engine.

      So I ended up at Super Cheap Auto. They had plenty of fuel line which, though not braided, turned out to be pretty much the same stuff though probably not as good quality as the original landrover stuff (because it didn't last as long). I bought some for next to nothing and cut it to length and fitted it as easy as you like. After a while though (weeks later) I noticed that it started to go a bit soft too. I was keeping a very close eye on it by then so I had no dramas. I replaced it in a few minutes to be sure and went on a search for a better solution.

      I ended up at my local Pirtek dealer who were great to deal with and who fixed me up with a length of some suitable viton hose which I bought for just a few bucks and with about a metre of spare hose just in case. It was a lot harder to get over the little barb fittings on the engine but once on was rock solid - no problems since then.

      more in the next posting ...

      Last edited by Cameron; 1 October 2005, 03:25 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998

        OK this is all for now ....

        Now you know my vehicle and my biodiesel journey of dicovery and some of the little lessons I have had along the way.

        But what about Fuel Economy?
        I find that I get around 10 litres per hundred kilometres in the city which is great for a dual cab ute that can carry 5 people (and often does) plus can legally hold more weight (1.5 tonnes) in its tray than a Ford F250 and has the same legal towing capacity at 3.5 tonnes (you need to be using electric trailer brakes if towing over 750kg) as a F250. I tow a fair bit for work and often tow a camper trailer when I go camping on my holidays so this is perfect for me.

        The vehicle runs most efficiently at about 80km/h. On the highway there is a bit more wind resistance at the higher speeds however with the reduced stop-start driving I generally expect pretty much the same economy - about 10 litres per hundred km unless I am carrying and/or towing heavy loads and there are lots of hills.

        If I lost any power or fuel economy when I shifted the diesel vehicle over to biodiesel then I sure didn't notice it. I noticed a big difference coming from a larger petrol engine to a smaller diesel engine but I am used to that now and it suits me just fine with the way I drive and for the purposes I use my vehicle for it 'performs' much better.

        Once we get the users group up and running with a regular supply we might start to document what fuel economies different members are achieving with their different vehicles as a guide for others.

        Landrover Defenders have their quirks as does everything but if you ever ride in one you will quickly notice that every other defender driver on the road will give you a little wave to say "Hi - I'm OK are you OK?" or "I feel your pain!" or some such thing. This is kinda cool and always cracks passengers up until they get used to it. They start out by asking "Do you know that guy cause he just waved to you?"

        The biodiesel is great - the real change is shifting from petrol to diesel in the first place. Once you are using biodiesel you simply won't look back. Especially if you care about your health and that of your family and also for the environment in which we live.

        We really cannnot afford to ignore our ever warming climate. Not if we like snow, and coral reefs, and biodiversity, and stable weather patterns. Not if we like homes in areas that should have temperate climates and without tropical diseases. Not if we don't like droughts and freak storms and melting ice caps and glaciers. Not if we don't want to see our ocean levels rise and our favourite beaches washed away. Not if we care about the homes and lives of the people who are our neighbours in the Pacific region, and whose island homes are starting to sink into the rising sea.

        Biodiesel is not the answer to all our problems but shifting over to it and promoting it and other environmentally preferred options at every turn are a couple of little things that we can all do to help.

        Last edited by Cameron; 1 October 2005, 03:31 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998


          Nice post. Do you still have the Landy ? I'm considering a 99 110 Extreme.

          Although getting it past the other half might be the bigger question.
          Any advice ?

          97 Jeep XJ Cherokee on B100. 0 km's on B100 and counting !!!! (Sold)
          2002 Merc ML270 now on B100. (Sold)
          2006 Ssangyong Musso 2.9 t idi (Sold)
          2015 NP300 Navara ( Sold )
          2018 NP300 Navara ( B5 )

          Stainless processor with blue water pump.
          Tetragonula Hockingsi

          Take the Leap and grow wings on the way down


          • #6
            Re: Landrover 300tdi 130 HCPU - 1998

            Hey! I've read this thread many times, just to be "sure" I'll be doing the right this! and I really want to ask you, all these years that u had used biodiesel, any advice, or something had happened in a long term?? did you replace the fuel line from the tank/pump ? or just the return lines? and which was the diameter of the line (or both lines) used?