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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2015, 10:03 PM
pizzamaker_8888
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Paul
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Need help learning the ropes

Hello.

I'm new to the forum and I've been reading the threads, searching the CBP website, general counsel interpretations, etc. for a few weeks. I've even checked with my state safety inspections folks and DMV to make sure I can get it tagged. I'm ready to jump in with my questions. Sorry in advance if they should be clear to me, I don't mean to clutter up the forum.

I'm located in the UK, I want to bring a 25+ year old Defender home with me to the states in the next couple years. I'm not going to be looking for anything fancy necessarily when I'm ready to jump into the market. I don't need restored, refurbished, new bodies on original chassis, or any of the other stuff that is going to have potential trouble getting through customs. I am going to be looking for an as close as possible to original Defender, even if it has some blemishes. I want to do it as smooth and as above bar as possible. So, on to the questions.

1. Other than checking the VIN against the configuration of the vehicle, how else can I ensure the vehicle has not been modified?

2. What modifications cause red flags with CBP? What are reasonable repairs/mods...respray? new welded chassis crossmembers?

3. Ex-MOD Defenders: Are some of the features typical of the MOD Defenders considered original configuration by CBP or should I not even look at them? For example, the snorkels, paint schemes, rust protection measures, etc.

4. Am I completely in the clear with the EPA if the vehicle is over 25 years old, or is there still some sort of certification I have to go through? Are the certain engines that will or won't pass?

5. I've seen insurance mentioned as a concern. Assuming I go through a major reputable insurance company, will 25+ year old Defenders be covered for liability if there is an accident?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old December 12th, 2015, 07:48 AM
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Paul, welcome to the board and thanks for stating what it is you've done and know thus far in your research. That'll be an effective and efficient way to get helpful responses. I'm not an expert in this area but we have experts here so you're in good hands.

Many will envy your position to have the time to find the right vehicle first and not making buying decisions based in iphone pics.
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  #3  
Old December 12th, 2015, 08:30 AM
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Paul;
I would seek out Uncle Douglas and have him handle your paperwork.
You'll literally be home free when this happens.
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  #4  
Old December 12th, 2015, 08:32 AM
pizzamaker_8888
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Paul
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what I know and don't know....

1 of 40....Thanks for the reception. I appreciate it. I do have time on my side. I do have the fact that I'm not looking for a restoration that looks like a 2015 vehicle on my side as well. Don't get me wrong, those are cool and I tip my cap to the guys that can afford it. My main requirement is finding a Defender that is what it says it is and will not raise alarms with customs.

What I do know? I know how to inspect a used car to the extent a non-mechanic can prior to purchase. I know how to verify that the vehicle is in it's original configuration per the VIN number, and I know general speaking the history of the Defender and that I shouldn't find a 200 TDI engine in a pre-1990 Defender if I expect to get it into the US on my own.

What I don't know? When an owner is forthcoming about mods-to what extent the mods are acceptable to CBP. When an owner is NOT forthcoming about mods-how to sniff it out other than what I have stated above.

------ Follow up post added December 12th, 2015 01:36 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
Paul;
I would seek out Uncle Douglas and have him handle your paperwork.
You'll literally be home free when this happens.

I have actually contacted Uncle Douglas by email and he was very helpful. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it.....I already have a means of getting my vehicle home . The unfortunate part about that is, I'm own my own in ID'ing my Defender because my situation isn't conducive to hiring an importer(as far as I can tell). To me that is fun, exciting, and scary all at the same time. The horror stories I've heard and read about are what I am trying to avoid.
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  #5  
Old December 12th, 2015, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
Paul;
I would seek out Uncle Douglas and have him handle your paperwork.
You'll literally be home free when this happens.
While an excellent resource with amazing knowledge, there are more than one ways to skin a cat. The process can be done by anyone willing to do research.

To the OP, general rules are, original motor or identical replacement, same with transmission. Chassis must be original, not a replacement chassis. Body is usually ok when painted, but it will certainly make your car appear newer than it is, and could make them go through the vehicle with a fine comb, but as long as the basics are in order you should be fine. The other important point is the steering wheel must be in the original location as stated by the Vin number!

Original military rovers are very good way of getting a solid original truck, a inspection of those are still highly recommended as most militaries do drive in the ocean occasionally!
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  #6  
Old December 12th, 2015, 09:43 AM
pizzamaker_8888
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Paul
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John,

Thank you for chiming in.

On the topic of chassis. I gather that this is a particular sticking point and based on my research, there is some conflicting information out there. As I ask questions that have already been answered, please direct me to already existing posts that you know of. I've searched the forum and I am only asking things now that are still unclear after a lack of info or conflicting info.

1. Is galvanized is out of the question? That being said, I have seen some of the British exporters advertising complete restorations, including the chassis; some going so far as to guarantee customs clearance with these vehicles. I assume this is in some cases due to a long standing positive relationship with CBP.

2. Is Waxoyl ok with CBP?

3. Are welds okay with CBP on some of the corrosion hot spots on the chassis? What about new crossmember in the rear of the vehicle?

4. I had someone show me the security stamp on the chassis VIN of an un-restored Defender. Is a lack of security stamp a deal breaker? Also, I've seen a unique circular stamp and a star for the security device. What should I be looking for there? If someone re-stamped a chassis for some reason without that symbol should I run away?

5. Ex-MOD defenders apparently have a feature on the chassis that allows easy replacement of the gearbox. Is this considered part of the original configuration or a modification?

------ Follow up post added December 12th, 2015 02:49 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsD90 View Post

Original military rovers are very good way of getting a solid original truck, a inspection of those are still highly recommended as most militaries do drive in the ocean occasionally!

What do you mean by original military rovers? Does this mean as it was when purchased from the UK MOD? Still with green paint, and other features unique to the ex-MOD Defenders?

Reason I ask this, I've seen ex-MOD Defenders which now have a civilian paint scheme.
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  #7  
Old December 12th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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There is a "sticky" thread @ the top of the vehicles for sale part of this forum, all the information you seek is there.
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  #8  
Old December 12th, 2015, 10:25 AM
pizzamaker_8888
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Paul
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Doug,

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. That should be enough to cover most of this. I am already starting to find some of the answers to my own questions. I will circle back if I can't figure something out. I am realizing now after registering as a forum member, I have better search capabilities.
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  #9  
Old December 12th, 2015, 06:42 PM
pizzamaker_8888
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Paul
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Chassis VIN stamp security asterisk

Ok,

I've searched the internet and the forum for a few hours trying to figure out conclusively what the VIN on a defender is supposed to look like and I'm throwing in the towel. What should the security stamp on the VIN number of any defender look like? If you have a picture, that would be helpful. Should the plate on the brake servo look exactly the same as the one on the chassis? I want to make sure the chassis on any defender I look at is legit.

The reason for the question. I had a UK land rover specialist show me the VIN security stamp on an unaltered 110 chassis and it was in the shape of what I would describe as an imperfect circle made up of several symmetric curved lines.

I looked at a privately owned Defender 90 that had no security stamp whatsoever before or after the VIN on the chassis. It was a 1989 I believe.

After searching the internet and the forum, I am seeing and reading there should be a 6 point asterisk before and after the VIN.

Thanks in advance.
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  #10  
Old December 12th, 2015, 07:35 PM
the rover shop
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I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong but early frames had the Leyland logo (that circle with lines..) before and after.. And later ones had an asterisk..??
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  #11  
Old December 12th, 2015, 07:47 PM
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the asterisk has been copied by dodgy Nigel in a dark garage in Yorkshire with a screw driver and hammer. Customs are looking for the age appropriate stamps
for instance https://www.google.com/search?q=brit...ZVk20nDg9TM%3A
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  #12  
Old December 12th, 2015, 08:24 PM
pizzamaker_8888
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Paul
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THAT's THE ONE. Thank you.

Which years are supposed to have that on it versus the asterisk? Should it be the same on the other spots you see the VIN?
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  #13  
Old December 12th, 2015, 09:54 PM
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That's the Leyland stamp-only used to 1986 when the UK govt took over the ownership of the company.
Gov sold the co to British Aerospace in 1988 who owned it till 94 when it was sold to BMW. BMW sold Land Rover to Ford in 2000.
Clear as mud isn't it ?
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