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  #1  
Old February 8th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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Advice on shopping for 1st D90, 97 ST

Hey Guys, been lurking a little while and I am stepping up my status from looking to shopping for my first 90. Been wanting one since I was 13 and I first saw one on my day to day tear away car calendar! It got taped on my dresser and stayed there for years. Fast forward to now, 26 years old, daily driver about to be paid off and ready for a toy!

I am looking for a 97 soft top in any color besides green. I want an automatic so most likely a 97 but i would do any auto tranny really but not seeing many modified 94-95s to auto so a 97 is most likely where I will end up. I am no mechanic and I basically want to know what the most important things to look for are when I walk up to a D90 for sale. What says buy and what says run away! Thanks
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  #2  
Old February 8th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Josh will chime in a few seconds to get you the information you needed. Hold on tight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NealK View Post
Hey Guys, been lurking a little while and I am stepping up my status from looking to shopping for my first 90. Been wanting one since I was 13 and I first saw one on my day to day tear away car calendar! It got taped on my dresser and stayed there for years. Fast forward to now, 26 years old, daily driver about to be paid off and ready for a toy!

I am looking for a 97 soft top in any color besides green. I want an automatic so most likely a 97 but i would do any auto tranny really but not seeing many modified 94-95s to auto so a 97 is most likely where I will end up. I am no mechanic and I basically want to know what the most important things to look for are when I walk up to a D90 for sale. What says buy and what says run away! Thanks
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  #3  
Old February 8th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover26c View Post
Josh will chime in a few seconds to get you the information you needed. Hold on tight!
Waiting for Josh.....
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  #4  
Old February 8th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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Horsey

Your expertise is required.

At a high level you need to do the following:
Run a carfax
Check for rust, repaints, etc
Have it mechanically checked out by someone who knows his way around defenders
Ask the board their opinion. Horsey will tell you as long as it is black it is a deal.
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  #5  
Old February 8th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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What is your budget both for initial purchase and for annual repairs and maintaince?

If you don't do the work yourself or at least have a good reasonably priced rover mechanic nearby, D90s can be very costly.
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  #6  
Old February 8th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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This question is asked so infrequently, I'm having trouble formulating a response.

At the very least, after you've looked around on this site and done a bunch of your own research on what you want the truck to be for you (weekender, offroader, 90%road/10% offroad, 100% garage etc.), and the many things you need to look for/be prepared for (mentioned both above and 1,000 times elswhere on the board), come up with some figures for what you'd be comfortable with in terms of initial purchase price, known issues you'll need to quickly tackle (those two should hopefully be diametrically opposed), then buy Barry a round trip ticket to go personally inspect the vehicle and give you a rating based on, "I'd like to take a piss/shit on it", "the truck is ugly, but the seller is handsome", "Mechanically sound, but I hate the rims", "aestheticall beautiful, you should part it out for three times the money", "fuck NAS spec Defenders, I'm importing from now on", "This truck is perfect...put a winch bumper on it without a winch and never bring it anywhere."

Then, after you've put all this effort into finding the perfect truck, be prepared to own it for 2 years and have your gf/wife get pregnant and tell you that it's time to sell it.
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  #7  
Old February 8th, 2011, 03:57 PM
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Neal, good luck! I was that same guy when I bought mine around 25/26 years old. Loved the truck the day I saw one in my neighborhood 15 years ago.

Get one you like and that matches your specs, even if it means waiting out 6 months to a year. It will become part of your life and you will never want to sell it.

Major things to look out for is frame rust. Minor things are high miles. These engines have a lot of give and can run up high miles no problem. And they are also real cheap to replace if you ever have to.
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  #8  
Old February 8th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Take some time and go talk to Vic at The Rover Shoppe. Spent a summer in Houston and stumbled upon this place. Nice folks and they had a bunch of Defender's in their shop at the time. Were helpful in answering some similar questions when I was shopping.

Disclaimer - I only spoke with them a few times. I have not personally purchased anything or had any service performed by them. Perhaps someone else in Houston can share their experience

1902 Taft Street
Houston, TX 77006-1430
(713) 526-8482
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  #9  
Old February 8th, 2011, 04:45 PM
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Alright, some more specifics I about what i will be looking for.

1st off I wont be impulsively jumping into something so the time frame to buy can and probably will be awhile unless the perfect one pops up in Houston and is just too easy to hard to pass up.

It won't be my daily driver and will be mostly road driven. Offroad would consist of grass and beach at most, I'm not an off roader or trail driver.

Thanks for the tip on the Rover Shoppe, I'll need to get over there and check them out.

I will probably have 25-35k cash on hand at time I am ready to buy and don't mind buying one with some mileage on it, not worried about something that is going to double in value or anything, I just want one to drive and enjoy. Not looking for a Copley for 60k with 4 1/2 miles on it.

What is expected in yearly maintenance for a mostly on road 90? And how to you diagnose problem frame rust, i mean I can look and see if something looks rusty but I am sure there is a difference between surface rust that can be cleaned up and problem rust but how do you tell?

Sensing a little sarcasm, guessing some people are just born driving a D90? Anyway, thanks for the help guys.
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  #10  
Old February 8th, 2011, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealK View Post
.

What is expected in yearly maintenance for a mostly on road 90? And how to you diagnose problem frame rust, i mean I can look and see if something looks rusty but I am sure there is a difference between surface rust that can be cleaned up and problem rust but how do you tell?

Sensing a little sarcasm, guessing some people are just born driving a D90? Anyway, thanks for the help guys.
Are you practical? ... the cost difference between doing something yourself ( cheapish parts readily available and lots of great advice from the board ) and having a dealer do it ... as Neil once eloquently put it ... is like a having a 12" dildo inserted in your posterior!

If something looks rusty ... small rusty particles ... and the underneath is solid ... then all good. If you have big rust particles that flake off with a screwdriver and leave holes or depressions in the item .. not good.

Familiarity with the underneath of a few trucks will give you a good comparison ... beyond that buy beer for your local owners and rely on their experience!
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  #11  
Old February 8th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
This question is asked so infrequently, I'm having trouble formulating a response.

At the very least, after you've looked around on this site and done a bunch of your own research on what you want the truck to be for you (weekender, offroader, 90%road/10% offroad, 100% garage etc.), and the many things you need to look for/be prepared for (mentioned both above and 1,000 times elswhere on the board), come up with some figures for what you'd be comfortable with in terms of initial purchase price, known issues you'll need to quickly tackle (those two should hopefully be diametrically opposed), then buy Barry a round trip ticket to go personally inspect the vehicle and give you a rating based on, "I'd like to take a piss/shit on it", "the truck is ugly, but the seller is handsome", "Mechanically sound, but I hate the rims", "aestheticall beautiful, you should part it out for three times the money", "fuck NAS spec Defenders, I'm importing from now on", "This truck is perfect...put a winch bumper on it without a winch and never bring it anywhere."

Then, after you've put all this effort into finding the perfect truck, be prepared to own it for 2 years and have your gf/wife get pregnant and tell you that it's time to sell it.
Horsey you made me laugh. I would never say fuck NAS spec defenders though. I plan to be buried in my 90. I love NAS 90s. NAS 110s on the otherhand....

As for pissing on trucks. I limit that to one or two piles of shit. The red SW that recently came up and yours. Mostly I want to piss on your truck to watch the urine bead up on the rhinoling.

As for parting trucks out for three times the money. Is that possible? If so sign me up.

As for the winch bumper and no winch. NO FUCKING WAY. I have no issue with a winch bumper and a winch and never using it but the bumper with no winch is awful. There are plenty of arbs out there like that and it makes me throw up in my mouth like your girlfriend does every time she rolls over and sees you.
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  #12  
Old February 8th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Are you practical? ... the cost difference between doing something yourself ( cheapish parts readily available and lots of great advice from the board ) and having a dealer do it ... as Neil once eloquently put it ... is like a having a 12" dildo inserted in your posterior!

If something looks rusty ... small rusty particles ... and the underneath is solid ... then all good. If you have big rust particles that flake off with a screwdriver and leave holes or depressions in the item .. not good.

Familiarity with the underneath of a few trucks will give you a good comparison ... beyond that buy beer for your local owners and rely on their experience!
Like I said, I am no mechanic so If it has to do with the engine or structural integrity of the truck I'm most likely going to take it somewhere.

If it is something that I can do myself with out a slew of specialty tools and some instruction or help from the boards I would certainly do it myself.
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  #13  
Old February 8th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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A hammer is the default defender specialty tool ... this can be usually substituted for a rock!
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  #14  
Old February 8th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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I would strongly encourage having a potential candidate checked out by someone with Rover experience, acting on your behalf.
FYI- Land Rover Harrisburg has a AA yellow soft top 97 for too much money for the condition, but the condition is not terrible. Also, my sister's shop, Treasured Motorcars, recently had a customer looking for a new home for their station wagon. Don't know the details or dollars, but give her a call. 410.833.2329 Allison Timms.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Look for Rust on the frame, rear cross-member, hinges, door bottoms. Take a door panel off and see what is really behind there as far as rust at the door bottom. Its like 20 screws, thats it. Look at the bulkhead and passenger footwell areas. Make sure oil cooler lines have been replaced. A solid service history is nice. Make sure all the parts to the cage are there. Look inside the batter box for rust issues. Look at the area just above the rear crossmember on the tub for rust.

Whatever you do, make sure it has new rotors!!! Youll have horsey beat in that department from the get-go.

It sounds like you want the 97 because of the auto. Can you drive a stick? Sticking to 97's will limit you in what is available, unless money aint a thang. You should easily find what you are looking for.

Budget 4k in firs year of ownership for unknowns. Another 2k once the addiction fully sets in.

Look for: Rust usually starts from the inside out. California trucks generally have no/little rust from what I have seen.
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  #16  
Old February 8th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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I would love to meet a seller who would let me take apart the doors. Also make sure it has badger seat covers. If it doesn't run away fast.
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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  #17  
Old February 8th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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A Badger top is a great plus if you can find a ST truck with one already on it. They are a huge improvement over the stock tops and are $3-4k new. Check with Josh, he may have a couple extra. Last fall he took a run at cornering the all things badger market.
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  #18  
Old February 8th, 2011, 09:26 PM
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hmmm 97 for the auto. ODB II and first year of it with coil packes which means no distributor and lots more errors codes to throw engine lights. Why the reso on stick shifts? I saw my first defender in 94 AA Yellow and it took me 12 years to get into one, mainly because I forgot about them. Check the trasfer case for leaks and the back of the heads as this will give you an idea of the cost of a head gasket and reseal on a transfer box. Also spend the money and have a pre-purchase inspection done by an independent LR shop. The dealerships are too unfamaliar with the vehicles in my humble opinion as I think most of the techs originally working on them have moved on. $4k first year and $2 each year after sounds about average for me too! The sarcasism on the forum comes from the heart as we are all united in telling ourselves it is just a hobby not an obsesion. Josh seriously the wife is asking you to give up the truck...ouch.
My wife is about 8 months along, I hope he doesn't look like Barry when he is born, and she hasn't mentioned a thing about getting rid of the truck, just the noise, the gas smell, the exhaust smell, cutting spending on the truck and where the he** are we going to the kid when he arrives. My response is
"That's what your Volvo S60 R is for". I talked her into the R version so I get to tune it bboooohaaaa haaaa except she found the reciept for the remap of the ECU and the 3.5 inch downpipe. ARGH!.
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  #19  
Old February 8th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVaKevin View Post
Look for Rust on the frame, rear cross-member, hinges, door bottoms. Take a door panel off and see what is really behind there as far as rust at the door bottom. Its like 20 screws, thats it. Look at the bulkhead and passenger footwell areas. Make sure oil cooler lines have been replaced. A solid service history is nice. Make sure all the parts to the cage are there. Look inside the batter box for rust issues. Look at the area just above the rear crossmember on the tub for rust.

Whatever you do, make sure it has new rotors!!! Youll have horsey beat in that department from the get-go.

It sounds like you want the 97 because of the auto. Can you drive a stick? Sticking to 97's will limit you in what is available, unless money aint a thang. You should easily find what you are looking for.

Budget 4k in firs year of ownership for unknowns. Another 2k once the addiction fully sets in.

Look for: Rust usually starts from the inside out. California trucks generally have no/little rust from what I have seen.
Thanks! This is what I am looking for.

Never learned to drive a stick and think even if I did I still would want an auto. I think I may have to get someone to teach me but I think the only person I know with a stick has a corvette, might be a little different feel. Anyway, thanks for the info.
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  #20  
Old February 8th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CDeWan View Post
Josh seriously the wife is asking you to give up the truck...ouch.
HA. Nope, she's just my gf (and also not preggers), and (I think) she likes the truck...especially when it's warm out. There have just been too many For Sale-Vehicle threads lately by guys saying their significant other is telling them they have to sell the truck to make more room for the baby! All this after they've barely had enough time to fully enjoy them!
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