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2002 ECU Farce

This is basically a description of the ECU incompatibility farce facing owners of Td5 Defenders and Discoverys.

Quite of lot is what I was told by my local Land Rover dealer, and so may or may not be true! But it's a warning....

For the 2002 model year, Land Rover apparently decided to consolidate all Td5 ECUs (for both Defender and Discovery) to one part, and therefore one part number.

At the same time, Land Rover Parts superceded all of the 1999-on ECUs with the new part, so in theory it is no longer possible to get a new pre-2002 ECU.

This would all be fine, you'd think, as long as the 2002 spec ECUs worked on 1999-2001 vehicles. That's where the problem is....

The 2002my ECUs do not work with the earlier engines, it is a known problem by the Land Rover dealers, but Land Rover Parts do not seem to recognise the problem and allow the sale of the previous specification ECUs.

So, basically, if you break the ECU on your pre-2002 Defender or Discovery, you could be waiting around for a long time to get hold of the correct ECU, if you can at all. Apparently there are 'numerous' Land Rover Td5s parked in dealerships up and down the country waiting for ECUs.

The correct part numbers for Defender and Discovery ECUs are (as far as I know):

Vehicle 1999-2001 2002-on
Defender MSB000080 NNN000120
Discovery Manual MSB101330 NNN000120
Discovery Automatic MSB101340 NNN000130

The 1999-2001 spec ECUs (MSBxxxxxx) are still available from dealers, but you will probably have to ring up one a long way away, and get them to physically check the shelf, because even if the dealer orders an MSBxxxxxx ECU from Land Rover, the NNN000120 is very likely to turn up, as it has offically superceded the older part numbers.

These new ECUs are also one-time programmable to be either Defender or Discovery, which means that in the future (5-10 years time) if you need a replacement ECU, and have to go second-hand, you won't even know if a 2002 spec ECU is Defender or Discovery compatible by looking at it, and you won't be able to change it to work.

Only Land Rover, eh?! :o)

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