VDO Gauges for Defenders

Started by Red90, December 01, 2017, 12:13 PM

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Someone was asking about gauges and I thought it would be useful to add some details somewhere for reference.  Pre-TD5 Defenders used Lucas gauges and these are not very good at night.  TD5 and Puma trucks used VDO gauges that are much better.  There are ways to change to the TD5 gauges, but I won't cover that.

For the TD5 conversion, read this thread: https://forums.lr4x4.com/topic/14892-wibbly-wobbly-speedo/

The most common change is to use VDO Vision series of gauges.  They match the stock look well.  They have through dial lighting and look great day and night.  I'll cover the options here split over a few posts.


Speedometer: 4"

Model 437-156 200 km/h

Model 437-151 120 mph

You can use regular spade connectors for the wiring or get the VDO multi plug, part 240-024.

For a sender you want to use Land Rover part number YBE100530.  This is a hall effect sender made by VDO.  For some transfer cases, you may need to customize the drive end to work properly.  It was designed for the TD5 era LT230s.

The connector for the sender is Land Rover Part STC4637. Note this is the brake light part and the wire colours are wrong.

Wiring on the sender end.

Wiring on the speedo end (ignore the wire colours, see below),

Colours match the brake light connector STC4637 suggested above.
Sender 1 (red wire) to Speedo 2
Sender 2 (green wire) to Speedo 3
Sender 3 (Black wire) to Speedo 6 and 8

edit:  I bought an STC4637 with different colours......
Sender 1 (Black wire) to Speedo 2
Sender 2 (Green wire) to Speedo 3
Sender 3 (Blue wire) to Speedo 6 and 8

One other tidbit.  If you want the odometer programmed, VDO in the US will do it for free.  You need to send it to them and include a pre-paid return label (the expensive part).  I found UPS to be the cheapest option (still not cheap).

Send to:
Technical Support Team
Business Unit CVAM
Continental, Division Interior
6755 Snowdrift Road
Allentown, PA 18106


Include a note telling them what you want done and include your contact information.  They emailed me to verify what was to be done and let me know when it shipped back.  From receiving to sending back was a couple of hours.


Engine Coolant Temperature: 2-1/16"

Part 310-108 120C

Part 310-105 250F

Sender depends on the engine.  Note there are two used on the V8s and you need to see what you have.  I've never been able to figure out when it changed.  The first is small and the second large.
300TDI and some V8s, 1/8" NPT, Part 323-095
200TDI (Defender) and some V8s, 5/8" UNF, Part 323-422 or 323-026 (includes warning light switch).
200TDi (Discovery) uses M16x1.0, which is  a strange size.  Many people drill and tap the stock sender out.  There may be an adapter out there.  I'm not sure.
Isuzu 4BD1, M16x1.5, Part 323-417

You can use the stock wiring, but I suggest running a new wire from the gauge to the sender as many times the engine loom multiplug causes problems with the readings.  Make sure your engine ground is very secure.  Make sure the main loom ground (on bulkhead in engine bay) is very secure.  Any ground issues will cause the gauge to read wrong.


Tachometer: 2-1/16"

Part 333-156 4000 RPM

Part 333-158 6000 RPM

IMO, it is best to get the signal from the alternator.  Use the "W" terminal.  If you do not have a "W" terminal, the alternator can be pulled apart and one added.

The best way to calibrate it is to buy or borrow a non contact tachometer.  These are around $20.


Fuel Gauge: 2-1/16"

Part 301-105 E-F 240-33 Ohms Fuel Level

This works with the stock Land Rover fuel sender.  Nothing to do, but plug it in and enjoy.


Oil Pressure: 2-1/6"

Part 350-101 5 bar Oil

Part 350-104 80 PSI Oil

Most Land Rover engines use an M10x1.0 low oil pressure switch (don't hold me to this...).  You normally need a standoff or remote hose to get the oil pressure sender to clear everything.  You can use a TEE at the same time and retain the stock switch or use a combination switch.  I won't cover all the options with different engines as I have not seen them myself.

On my 200TDI, I used this one and was happy.  I plugged the side port and used VDO sender 360-006: https://www.merlinmotorsport.co.uk/p/oil-pressure-gauge-t-piece-m10-x-1-mse050m

Options for senders:
360-003 - 1/8-27 NPT
360-009 - 1/8-27 NPT with 7.0 PSI warning light switch
360-001 - M10x1.0
360-006 - M10x1.0 with 7.0 PSI warning light switch


Voltmeter: 2-1/16"

Part 332-103 8-16V


EGT: 2-1/16"

Part 310-153 1650F EGT Kit (includes thermocouple)

Part 310-159 900C (hard to find around here...)

You need to find a place between the engine and the turbo and add a port or drill and tap for a type K thermocouple.  This is very engine specific.  For 300TDIs, you can get plates for the EGR port (just Google it).  Make sure the tip is in the middle of the flow.

Keep continuous temperatures below 720 C.  This is the specification set by Garret for the turbos.  It seems safe for the Land Rover engines.

In this instance, I prefer and would suggest a digital gauge that has a maximum memory.  It tends to be better for adjusting things as you can look back later and see how hot things got.  Can leave the discussion of digital EGT gauges to another thread.


Oil Temperature: 2-1/16"

Part 310-109 150C Oil

Part 310-106 300F Oil

For the 200TDI and earlier diesels, there is a port on the oil filter housing.  I think it is M16x1.5, but could be 5/8"UNF.  They are very similar threads.....  M16x1.5 was correct for my 200TDI.

323-056 - M16x1.5

There is no 5/8" UNF sender available, but you could use an adapter.

For the 300TDI, there is nothing.

I think the V8s have a port.  I'm not sure the size.


Boost: 2-1/6"

Part 150-1041 30 PSI Boost - Kit

This includes the tubing and you will need connect to the manifold.  200TDI, you need to drill and tap. 300TDI has an existing port.  There is some debate on the size but probably M12x1.5. Many drill and tap the plug.

There is also a metric gauge, but it is 3 bar.  IMO, the range is too large.

I would not suggest using the 15 psi gauge as they tend to get damaged and read wrong after a while.


Cheers, Bill


Great info John, thanks for posting! I've been pondering swapping out the stock guages on mine, this will help a lot.
"You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves."
― George Orwell, 1984

Freedom Convoy Truckers -- Canadian Heroes!
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Matt H

Answered all my questions before I had asked. Brilliant! Been considering gauge options lately.

Perhaps it's finally time upgrade my wobbly speedo?
No Road Except For Land-Rover.


VDO has discontinued the Vision line.  Their replacement series is called SingleViu.  It has some good improvements.

- Waterproof (IP67) with waterproof connectors (Molex).
- Built in LED lighting with adjustable colours (white, amber, red, yellow, blue and green) and adjustable brightness.
- They all have trouble lights which can be triggered at an alarm point and the larger gauges via a remote signal.
- Can bus or analog signals.

The downside is that they don't have the same number of options for gauges.  One of the worst ones is a 52mm tach.  They have one, but it does not work with an analog signal.

Here is the manual which lists available gauges and all of the installation information.


The larger gauges are sold in packages both with and without connectors.  It is easiest to get the versions that include the connectors, but check if buying the connectors separately saves money.  The connectors are standard Molex MX150 connectors and can be bought separately. VDO sells them with wire pigtails installed.


Vision on the left. Singleviu on the right.