Far from the truth? - Defender Source
Defender Source  

Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:30 AM
chrisvonc's Avatar
chrisvonc
Status: Offline
Chris von C
No Defender at this time
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Va
Posts: 4,135
Far from the truth?

Caught this article linked off LRO this morning. While some may not like it, being a Defender owner and understanding what he was talking about, I thought it was hilarious and really not far from the truth!

Originally found here on Tom Relf's blog site, Field Day:
http://www.fwi.co.uk/blogs/rural-lif...ver-rated.html
Quote:
Something else, it seems, that polarises opinions. Land Rovers. People either love 'em or loathe 'em - and one guy who very definitely falls in the latter category is Hampshire farmer and motoring buff Charlie Flindt.

Here's a sneak preview of an article he's written for this Friday's Farmers Weekly. It's very much a personal opinion so maybe you'll think he's talking complete and utter hogwash? Post a comment and let me know.

-------------------------------

Oh no. Land Rover are about to launch a new Defender. I can't believe it. I really had hoped that they would send this ridiculous machine to its grave - and not a moment too soon.

I just don't get the Land Rover Defender. To many it'll seem sacrilegious to knock what is probably the ultimate iconic farm vehicle, but I just don't understand why people worship the damn things. We have had plenty of Defenders/90s/110s on this farm, so I like to think that I speak from experience - sometime bitter experience.

My father always had 108/110 pickups, with the canvas roof. These were very useful machines for feeding cattle, pottering round the farm, and towing a toboggan in the days when we used to get snow, but for anything else they were rubbish.

Taking one into town was a nightmare, thanks to the under-powered engines and awful handling. A trip into Winchester justified packing a Thermos flask, plenty of hot food and a change of clothing.

But back in those lucrative days, there was a smart Volvo in his garage, which my father used for the most of his travelling. The Land Rover would sit in the yard, open, with the keys in the ignition. It was quite safe; if anyone tried to nick it, PC Wheezy the one-legged overweight asthmatic policeman could have another cup of tea and a bun (or two), and still catch up with the embarrassed and misguided thief after only five hundred yards.

When I took over the farm, I traded in the 110 pick-up and my trusty (if a bit rusty) Fiat Panda 4x4 for a low mileage Defender 90 Van. It was a fairly icky green, and had one of the early diesel engines - hardly run in at 40,000 miles. Yes, it was bigger and quicker, but I soon became aware of the pitfalls of Defender ownership.

There's nowhere to store anything in the cab - the rubbish mono radio was apologetically glued on somewhere near my right knee. The rear door was too narrow to be practical, and I lost count of the number of times the rear belt loop in my trousers got pinged by the door latching point. It was only recently that I realised why seasoned Defender owners climb into their machines with one hand behind them, tucked just below the small of their backs. They are protecting a vital part of their trousers.

Then there were the idiotic wipers, the useless heater, and the comedy handbrake - don't apply it, it might jam! And whatever you do, don't get any nasty dirty mud near the propshaft UJs - they'll seize within days.

And God help you if you got a puncture. Haul the spare wheel off the bonnet or off the rear door, and then start the process of jacking up. Two major problems here: the first is that the jack appears to be made of tinfoil-covered cardboard, and the second one is that when you have finally got the corner up, and the wheel off, you'll discover that you've forgotten the 'apply diff-lock and use wheel chocks' procedure. The Defender will elegantly roll one way or the other, wrecking the jack and crashing down onto the wheel hub. Perhaps that's why mileage was kept to a minimum, to avoid punctures. And that's why every seasoned Defender owner had a 3-ton jack somewhere in the back.

Remember the nicely run-in diesel engine? Well, the camshaft snapped after another 10,000 miles. Nothing trivial. Just a whole new engine needed.

The replacement engine saga epitomised Land Rover's biggest problem: reliability. Don't take my word for it. Have a look in your local paper, check out your neighbour's barn conversions. Every other parish has a Land Rover specialist beavering away in a barn, trying to sort out jammed hand-brakes, replace damaged wheel hubs, or installing new engines. When was the last time you read about a similar establishment, but servicing Toyotas or Mitsubishis? Never. They're just not needed. As the Australians say: "You can visit the outback in a Land-Rover, but if you want to come home alive, you take a Toyota."

OK, so we're not visiting the outback. But even for farm use, the Defender never seemed practical. Yes, it was good off road, but my Fiat Panda, and the old Mini van I had before that, were quite capable of handling the vast majority of farm situations given careful driving and the right choice of tyres.

The Defender's rear door and load area were too narrow to be useful, the turning circle was a joke, and the damn thing filled with water after the smallest of showers.

But the most off-putting thing about the Defender in recent years has been its metamorphosis from no-nonsense if uncomfortable and unreliable farm workhorse to girlie-wirlie Chelsea tractor.

All sorts of bells and whistles have appeared: there's air-conditioning, electric windows, alarms - lost of electrical gadgets and gizmos which I would have thought, given Land Rovers reputation for reliability and the hostile environment in which Land Rover are meant to work, is a recipe for disaster.

And there are plush seats and fitted carpets - even more of a problem bearing in mind that Land Rover seem incapable of keeping rainwater out of their vehicles. It always makes me chuckle, when I see another convoy of Fast Show "let's off-road"-types churning noisily along the lane, to spot how many have deep-wading snorkel air-intakes to keep water out of the engine. How much more useful would a properly shutting door be?

There's one thing we can predict with absolute certainty about the new Defender when it arrives: it will not be any simpler than the old one. I doubt that there will be a vinyl-floored, gizmo-free version with the slenderest of wiring looms. It will look much the same, but you can guarantee that it will be laden with even more sophisticated electronics. And, to keep up with the rest of the Chelsea Tractor market, it will be even plusher and even more comfy. Not quite the machine for carrying two dead calves to the kennels.

I wish the new Defender well - of course I do. But when the 4WD market is so full, it's going to take more than a comfy seat and a well fitted radio to make me buy another one.
__________________
Chris von C

Please email one of the current MODs if you need assistance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
[/size]
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:44 AM
dave_lucas's Avatar
dave_lucas
Status: Online
Dave Lucas
None
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: CO USA
Posts: 3,126
"lost count of the number of times the rear belt loop in my trousers got pinged by the door latching point."

Been there done that and have several pairs of Leviís with missing belt loops to prove it
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 11:01 AM
Davis's Avatar
Davis
Status: Offline
Chris Davis
94 NAS D90 6.2LS
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,506
yeah, that happens to me a lot too. Also, the seat belt gets caught on the loop when I get out and I repeatedly damage the belt by slamming it in the door...
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 11:04 AM
Gore Ranger's Avatar
Gore Ranger
Status: Offline
Jeff
1989 RRC
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 536
I guess a Chelsea tractor is their term for mall cruiser. Pretty funny...



Dont they sell American pick-ups over there? Why would anyone use a defender, even in pick up form, for farm work????
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 11:07 AM
JBurt's Avatar
JBurt
Status: Offline
Jesse McCoy
'89 RRC SWB (needs work)
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 1,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore Ranger
Why would anyone use a defender, even in pick up form, for farm work????
Because that is what they were theoretically designed for. I know I've thought a few times a 109 PU would make a great farm truck.
__________________
"Pump one is on for the black Jeep"
"It's not a Jeep"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 11:11 AM
cellulararrest's Avatar
cellulararrest
Status: Offline
Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
Posts: 1,544
I still love mine =]. And the funny thing is that it's because of almost all his reasons for disliking it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 01:13 PM
Hans's Avatar
Hans
Status: Offline
Hans Haase
The D-90.com Lab Rat
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,381
Wow, he just described the first week of when Dad got a new F-150 a few years back.

Sounds like another grumpy old farmer, I've known far too many over the years from visiting Dad's home town. Each one will have the same old batch of complaints as this guy, except some replace Defender with Dodge, some with Chevy, Some with Ford, and I don't think there is a Toyota dealership within a 3 hour drive of where Dad lives.

Always remember, Farmers hate everything.

-Hans
__________________
My oil line fix

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
My 100k stopped odometer fix

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Brace for impact, I'm in a "modifying mood". Massive thread count inbound.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 01:39 PM
Overlander's Avatar
Overlander
Status: Offline
mark kellgren
in between D's in an 04 D2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 6,531
Registry
I have this life long rule: I will never, ever buy anything from a company that contributed to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 if I have a choice. Ya Mitsubishi, you listening? Kiss my gritts! I'll move to France before that every happens! (Ya, like that is EVER going to happen?)

P.S. Enough time has passed to forgive the Brits for the revolutionary war too. (Oh ya, we kicked their A#$'s too! Hear that Chiraq? Are you listening? What you got? Bring it on?)

No I'm not a hater...(I just have have a hard time letting go)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 01:55 PM
Stmpede's Avatar
Stmpede
Status: Offline
Andrew Najarian
'93 NAS D110 #43
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 2,459
I don't know what makes everyone think Mitsubishi is so great.

I was talking to someone who worked in Mitsu service. She just had her engine rebuilt in her eclipse and when I commented that it didn't even have that many miles she said that it is a common problem for Gen II Eclipse engines' main bearings to "Walk". There's quality for ya!

I do have to say, with regards to his comment on leaking door seals, that I have always been amused by the fact that rather than properly sealing the cabs Land Rover decided to simply slope the floors so the water would run out!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 03:28 PM
DJ Menasco's Avatar
DJ Menasco
Status: Offline
DJ Menasco
#500/500
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Oregon/South Carolina
Posts: 920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stmpede
I don't know what makes everyone think Mitsubishi is so great.

I was talking to someone who worked in Mitsu service. She just had her engine rebuilt in her eclipse and when I commented that it didn't even have that many miles she said that it is a common problem for Gen II Eclipse engines' main bearings to "Walk". There's quality for ya!
Perhaps it [Mitsubishi] is just piggy-backing on the Japanese/Toyota quality?

Can't really say as I've no experience with any Mitsubishi. I do know that the vast majority of cars I see in Japan are Toyota.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:28 PM
Hans's Avatar
Hans
Status: Offline
Hans Haase
The D-90.com Lab Rat
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,381
My personal experience with Mitsubishi has been across the board horrible.

Little known fact, the original Hyundai Excell...remember the one that got Hyundai the reputation of being a crappy car company? It was actually built by Mitsubishi, IIRC it was also sold as the Mitsubishi Precis.

I also had an '87 Starion. Almost killed a little kid when he ran in front of me and the ABS brakes locked in the OPEN position. Not a good feeling to hit the brakes and have them freeze in that spot. Oh yeah, then there was the routine cylinder head cracking issue.

-Hans
__________________
My oil line fix

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
My 100k stopped odometer fix

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Brace for impact, I'm in a "modifying mood". Massive thread count inbound.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old March 23rd, 2007, 09:39 AM
paulb's Avatar
paulb
Status: Offline
Paul / Boultbee
1994 D-90, Green #1576
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Los Altos Hills California USA
Posts: 787
That is a funny,funny article. But it needs to be read by Ford and Land Rover Management. Within the humour are two key points; 1. the Defender has an iconic stature and 2. he has outlined a series of issues that need to be fixed in the next generation vehicle. This is a blue print of what to do.
Just look to the Mini - an excellent redo.
Oh, and the references to Panda 4x4. damn I had forgotten that little gem of a car.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:23 PM
stevewhitaker's Avatar
stevewhitaker
Status: Offline
Stephen Whitaker
1994 D-90
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bruceville, Indiana
Posts: 145
Registry
Hay Hans, my brother used to work for Mitsubishi as an engineer and has many horror stories to relate (they basically ignored any American engineering input; and there were many rather strained conversations). With his inside knowledge, he related to me a humorous true story about the naming of the Starion. It turns out, when Mitsubishi made the car, which was supposed to be their answer to the Toyota Supra, they delivered it to the west coast and as all the cars were getting offloaded, the Americans noticed that the head office had neglected to name the car. A frantic call was placed to Japan about the problem, to which the vice president responded that they had decided to name the new car "Starion".

Name plaques were created in California and afixed to the cars then shipped off to the dealers. The cars started selling fairly well and after a few months, some of the dealers began calling up the California office stating that several buyers were curious if the name "Starion" meant anything special. No one had thought to ask that before, so the head engineer called up Tokyo and asked if the name meant anything. The vice president replied, in his thick Japanese accent, "Ahhh, yes, it is a mayar (male) horse." Dohhhhhhhhh!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old March 24th, 2007, 01:40 PM
flippedrover's Avatar
flippedrover
Status: Offline
Tyler
'94 D-90
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ashburn,va
Posts: 3,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stmpede
I don't know what makes everyone think Mitsubishi is so great.

I was talking to someone who worked in Mitsu service. She just had her engine rebuilt in her eclipse and when I commented that it didn't even have that many miles she said that it is a common problem for Gen II Eclipse engines' main bearings to "Walk". There's quality for ya!

I do have to say, with regards to his comment on leaking door seals, that I have always been amused by the fact that rather than properly sealing the cabs Land Rover decided to simply slope the floors so the water would run out!
I buy Mitsu electronics and that's the only Mitsu's I've ever bought. They just don't have any cars I like.
__________________
Can't you feel 'em circlin' (closin'in) honey?
Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and you're the only bait in town.
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and you're the only girl in town.

Jimmy Buffett


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Misc. Chit-Chat

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does it agitate anyone else... D90user Misc. Chit-Chat 34 October 8th, 2009 01:12 PM
Truth in 24 flippedrover Misc. Chit-Chat 5 April 23rd, 2009 12:31 PM
100000K miles TexasD-90 Misc. Chit-Chat 14 October 6th, 2005 06:43 PM
Dana44ARB with 35spline redrover Misc. Chit-Chat 2 May 9th, 2004 12:41 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:18 PM.


Copyright