Zeus Timing Gears-50,000 km Review

May 2000, saw the installation of Zeus Timing Gear kit SN 8990A to my 1995 300 Tdi Discovery. At the same time SN 8990 was fitted to a 1996 Defender. These 2 kits were purchased as part of an evaluation process prior to taking responsibility for Zeus's products in Australasia.

The successful evaluation process then led to a formal agreement between Zeus and YiCan, such that we became their local agent, and 2 years later saw an even closer working relationship with Zeus.

In view of the lack of published data on long term studies on the Zeus gears, I decided that every 50,000 kms, I would remove the front cover, and inspect the gears and various associated components. This would then lead to a factual record of a long term study of the gears, as opposed to the current anecdotal material.

In carrying out the 50K inspections, a photographic record would be made of the components, and these are provided below.

Over the last 2 years, the Disco has performed a wide range of activities that included:

In other words, all the things that the vehicle was designed to do, but now does much better as the engine can be used from about 1100 rpm, rather than waiting for the turbo to kick in at 1850 rpm.

While I would like to be able to report that this vehicle has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturers' recommended schedules, and oil changed accordingly, this is not the case. As this is a working vehicle, it has been treated simply as a work horse, but without the close attention to scheduled servicing and oil changes as I would have liked, but as a small business operator time restraints have made this difficult. Despite this the gears and associated components show just how well they can stand up to such treatment.

300 Tdi Zeus Gears, front cover removed

Closer view, front, messy oil,small idler gear

large idler

Small idler, cover removed

closer view after clean up

Close view, camshaft gear and lge idler

Inside lge tophat

Inside lge top hat View 2

Inside small top hat (dirty)

Lge idler, aluminium boss.Black silastic remnants still visible.

Another view, lge idler aluminium boss.Black silastic remnants still visible.

Slightly shaky view, of lge idler boss-Black silastic remnants still visible.

In reviewing the first 50,000 kms, an informed view of the system, leads me to conclude that all is running well, and that the gears are all running true. A good example of this can be seen in the small idler.

Close up view, small idler, oiling hole visible at top of small section

As can be seen in the above photos, it is fair to conclude that while the oil was overdue for a change, the gears are performing to specification and running well. There is no evidence of any wear on the gears, top hats, or the supporting aluminum bosses for the 2 idler gears.

Zeus Timing Gears are doing what they are supposed to do, and if the above is any indication, one could extrapolate that these gears have a very long life time in front of them.
I'll repeat this exercise when we get to 100,000 kms, and then at 50,000km intervals.

Phillip Simpson
Frankston,VIC 3199
June 11, 2002

January 5, 2007

Thank you Ian for reminding me that I hadn't kept this page updated, so here it is.

The odometer now reads 228,749 kms, which means it has done just over 125,000 kms with the Zeus gears. Over this time the vehicle has been remarkably "boring", but still exhibits the benefits of improved performance and economy, which is a real blessing with the increases in diesel prices since fitting the gears in May 2000.The ability to use the engine from 1100 rpm upwards continues to be appreciated in both off road and city driving.

When we started this project a 1996 Defender 110, was fitted with the Zeus gears at the same time as my Discovery. These gears were fitted at 24,932 kms. This vehicle was a special vehicle being setup by an old friend who has many years experience with Land Rovers, and is a real "craftsman" with the way he sets up his vehicles. When ill health made it difficult for him to drive the Defender, I jumped at his suggestion for me to buy his Defender.

The odometer now shows 67,135 kms which gives it 42,000 kms on the Zeus gears. As with the Discovery things have been quite "boring".

The Defender had been well setup for long range touring (winch, bull bar, long range tank, internal storage system, dual batteries etc) and as such is much heavier than the normal 110. Being able to utilise the engine from 1100 rpm onwards (yes it has a tacho fitted) makes this 110 much easier to drive around the city than when it had the timing belt.

Phillip Simpson
Frankston,VIC 3199

Frankston, VIC 3199
Fax: 61-3-9787 9228
Tel: 61-3-9775 2279
Web: www.yican.com.au
Inquiry: zeus@yican.com.au
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