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  #1  
Old August 28th, 2017, 11:35 AM
slikrik98
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Rick
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Defender Newbie - any guidance?

Hey Everyone,

I'm a Defender newbie, and I realize I'm the exception here, but I didn't see a forum specifically geared for beginners like me. I'm hoping someone can give me some directional advice. Let me give you the super quick summary:
  • I've been lusting over D110s for the last 15 years but never had the resources (including time) to do anything about it
  • For the last 5 years I've been patiently waiting for LR to give guidance on the next generation Defender, and while waiting until 2019 isn't the end of the world, I think I've decided no matter what they release, I'll still want the classic
  • I'm not at all mechanically-inclined, but look at Defender ownership as an opportunity to change that. I figure today there are more resources online than ever before so I could make at least a portion of this DIY
  • I've seen places like ECD and Arkonik and really love the look of their more subtle rebuilds - some of them are over-the-top, but what I really want is something that looks like a classic defender but which looks new (and maybe "fixes" some of the less desirable aspects of Defenders, even new ones) - I realize that last sentence may be blasphemy here, but while I want to have a classic Defender experience in most ways, if I can prevent water from dripping on me during a heavy rainstorm, or be able to drive faster than 65MPH, or have headrests on the middle row, I think I'd like that
  • re: ECD and Arkonik, I've seen on this forum everything from praise to warnings that we should never consider one of these shops, so I don't really know what to think. Also, I think rather than spending $150k on something that is already complete, I'd like to buy something that maybe needs a little work and gives me an opportunity to learn a thing or two about these machines (and maybe gain some man-credibility with my wife)
  • Ultimately, if I'm going to spend close to $100k on something, I'd like to know if it's going to retain its value.
  • On the other end of the spectrum (from ECD), buying one that needs a ton of work is probably not a good idea for me given the fact that I will (at least initially) be relying on 3rd parties for everything - fixes/upgrades/replacements/etc. And I'd like it to be drivable at least somewhat comfortably the day I take ownership of it.
  • So I'm wondering if finding a really good conditioned NAS model, spending somewhere around the $80-100k mark for something which can absolutely still be a daily driver but could also take ~$25K of improvements over the next few years, seems to be a good middle ground. There are currently two NAS models available on eBay which seem to be in great shape, for $70k and ~$100k respectively.
  • But am I destroying the value of a NAS by making some upgrades here and there (new paint, wheels, seats, etc.)? And would I be better off buying something with less inherent value if I'm going to be making changes? I get the sense (by reading this forum and others) that the NAS models that retain the most value are the ones that are the closest to how they appeared off the assembly line.

In summary, I'm not ready for a massive project, but I also don't think I want to spend a ton of money to buy a finished product. I see some in great shape which aren't NAS and which already have a lot of the changes I think I'd do myself, but I suspect these don't retain or increase value like a NAS, and I'm worried that modifying a NAS - even something like changing the original paint - would be damaging the value.

Thanks to anyone who can provide their thoughts.

-Rick
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  #2  
Old August 28th, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Find a good mechanic
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  #3  
Old August 28th, 2017, 11:50 AM
slikrik98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101stAirborne View Post
Find a good mechanic
Wow, this community is already proving so helpful!
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Old August 28th, 2017, 12:05 PM
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Any of these trucks no matter how well rebuilt are going to need maintenance. You either need to learn how to work on your own truck or have deep enough Pockets to take it to a good mechanic, even finding a mechanic willing to work on these trucks can be incredibly challenging.


If you have $100,000 budget buying an NaS and upgrading it seems like a logical choice. You may ruin the value for some purists but that's the chance you take.

If you have a very specific build in mine with mods I'd say go row truck instead of Nas, but it will never have the value or retain the value that a NaS truck will in the united States.

I think the best suggestion will be to arrange a solid budget ceiling, then approach the most well-known Builders and importers and tell them what you want. But again these trucks essentially run on parts, be prepared for maintenance and breakdowns
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Old August 28th, 2017, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slikrik98 View Post
Wow, this community is already proving so helpful!
It's good advice. A lot of us do most of our own work, but having access to a good mechanic is invaluable.

If you want to change a bunch of stuff, go ROW. Think of it as a blank canvas ready for your masterpiece. Plus entry price is more palatable for the money you will be spending on the upgrades.

NAS appeal for their NAS-ness. Once you start messing with these it is to your taste and the resale market (since you asked about retaining value) gets smaller. What you did to suit your tastes might not appeal to others.

Good luck. Other more knowledgeable people will undoubtedly chime in.
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  #6  
Old August 28th, 2017, 12:13 PM
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Find a truck that is in the best structural shape possible. That means no rust. It is the structural integrity that kills these things. Frankly, a LHD 1986-1992 European import in fantastic shape can be had for ~$30k and you can then modify it to your hearts content with members of this forum cheering you on.

Oh, and never forget the truth behind this saying, "Land Rover, turning drivers into mechanics for almost 70 years."
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Old August 28th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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If I see 110 NAS with rust issues now going for $ 70-$80, I don't think you will get anything close to what you want for $ 100K, if you go the NAS route.

Plenty of 110 (non NAS) on Ebay nowadays, also very nice ones. It looks like new ''restauration'' shops pop up every week. Donít know anything about their quality though. I would for sure do some due dilligence on a specific truck as I see nice and ''questionable'' trucks in every price range, especialy at the higher end.

I am on the other side of the lake, West Michigan, and do have a some Defenders 110/130 for sale. No NAS though and the others might also not exactly be what you are looking for. No high end restauration but original, LHD trucks with often the classis look. On the other hand, I am also not asking $ 100 K ..

You can PM me for more info and are always welcome to check them out if you want. Also if you don't buy anything from me, I can show you a little what to look for.
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Old August 28th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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They all need $30k+ engine upgrades & a good LR-specialty mechanic within AAA tow-in range & who is willing to work on a rig with the aforementioned engine upgrade. LHD ROWs make more sense to me in this here upgrade era but that's just me. Nobody ever got laughed at or trolled mercilessly for going with Johan.
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  #9  
Old August 28th, 2017, 01:13 PM
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X2,000 on Johan if I am ever in the market for another Defender he will be my first stop. There others on here as well who are good honest and reputable guys selling reasonably priced solid trucks. And if you are going to do a bunch of modifications then you don't want an NAS. They are essentially a collector car and any modifications you do will only erode the value of a truck you paid a premium for. If your budget is 100k then you should be able to pick up a solid ROW truck and then ship it to someone like Stephen at Safari HP and pretty much end up with what you are dreaming of.

As for Battle's advice on finding a good mechanic he is dead nuts on! When I take mine to a mechanic I either drive 75 miles south down south to Pompano Beach to Norman or 115 miles north to Stephen at Safari HP or 850 miles way up north to Uncle Douglas's Farm in Virginia. And by "good" we mean someone who knows Rovers/Defenders otherwise you are just paying someone to learn on your shit. Good luck with your search!
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  #10  
Old August 28th, 2017, 01:28 PM
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A shop like SHP can help you Source a new chassis and a complete new take-off body with complete interior and build you what you want. No sense in buying a NAS that's 20-something and changing it imo.

With that said, if you do start leaning towards a NAS110 I have a friend that has one with 40k original miles from Arizona that he's ready to sell. PM me if interested in getting in touch.
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  #11  
Old August 28th, 2017, 05:20 PM
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Some "stuff" laying around Safari HP, he can make your 25 year old truck better than new.
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  #12  
Old August 29th, 2017, 07:06 AM
slikrik98
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Thanks very much guys. Sounds like my first step will be to find what kinds of resources I have near me in the Chicago (and maybe broader) area, and make sure I'm not going about this thing alone.
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