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  #1  
Old December 18th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Emerson00
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Matt J.
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New here. A gen question re: Rovers

I'm looking for my next field vehicle for my land surveying firm. I need, essentially, a vehicle that will carry me and my equipment to any site around the region, and then across that site w/o hesitation. I've relied on Jeeps (currently a Rubicon) for a while now. The 2 I've used for work have been rock solid. Never in the shop unless I did something to them in well over 300k miles.

Would a 1997 D90 be a huge mistake for a small business? I'm considering switching because it's getting near time to replace the current ride, and it would be nice to have a bit more room inside. I'm not a fan of the '07 Wrangler, even in Rubicon trim. I also like the possiblility of being able to convert to (bio)diesel. That's perhaps a big driving factor right now - something I can put on diesel at some point when the original engine is tired.

There's a '97 up in Boston that looks clean. Price is high, but I think that may be more indicative of it's condition, and is negotiable.

I've heard a lot of people - always unfamiliar with Rovers - bashing their reliability. Many of those people bash Jeeps, and I've proven as wrong as I can. I've got a transplanted Brit friend, however, who swears by them and thinks a D90 (or an '04 Disco he found for me) would be ideal.

Realizing this is a biased board, any opinions out there on relying on a LR to feed the family? I've heard a lot of crap locally ("just a yuppie car", "not reliable", "too expensive to maintain", etc...) and wanted to hear more honest opinions from an informed crowd.

I do most of my own maintenance, and there's some money for repairs/maintenance (business cost), but I can NOT afford to have a vehicle out of service for days at a time.

Thanks in advance.
-Emerson
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  #2  
Old December 18th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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Honestly I'd say get a diesel pick up. If rovers were as numerous in the US as they are else where I'd say go ahead and get a 90. But since there are so few around and they are all older and do require a good bit of maintanence they might not be a good call for a small business. Now if you relaly want a Rover maybe a Disco I instead? They are more secure than a 90 and have a very useable cargo area with the rear seats folded flat or removed.
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  #3  
Old December 18th, 2006, 08:35 PM
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If you can find one with a 300Tdi Conversion I would say go for it. They are reliable and actually reasonable to repair, usually. Also, there is not really an SUV available that you could convert to Biodiesel other than an Excursion. But, if reliability is paramount, a Rover isn't the best option for you. Actually, a Jeep wouldn't be either. A Toyota would be the best choice.
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  #4  
Old December 18th, 2006, 09:08 PM
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I wouldn't use a Defender day in and day out in a business that depended upon it.

I would want something with parts that are cheaper and easier to find. And easier to find someone who knows how to work on them. It doesn't make sense cost wise for me to turn down work so I can work on my own vehicle.

Might be tough to fit survey equipment and materials into it also. Even the Station Wagon models would be easy to break into. I guess no worse than a Jeep though on the last two points.
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  #5  
Old December 18th, 2006, 09:19 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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Gotta agree with the 2 guys above, if you go Rover, take a bit of time and see if you can't find a diesel Disco, you'll find it much more agreeable on storage space and security for your equipment (i.e. 90's are real easy to break into). But truly, I'd trust a rover to get me home no matter where I was. On the same token, I'd trust a land cruiser FJ60 to get me home too. If you're going to spend the cash on a vehicle like this, you can find a diesel for sale in Rover or Toyota, you just need to look for it (Try ih8mud.com). You could probably find a Jeep w/ a diesel too. Aren't they supposed to be putting out a Liberty diesel. Now, I'd never buy a liberty, but depending on your circumstances (i.e. do you need the back seat space, how hardcore is your offroading, do you plan on modifying whatever you get, etc.) even a Freelander might do you.

But go find a truck in your area and take a look at it. Someone on here will let you put your cargo in the back and see how it fits. Or take it to the local stealership that has a 90 on the floor and see how it fits.
And if that 97 in Boston is at Copley's you are going to pay a bit more for the truck than if you found one on this board, but a lot of people have had success through him.

But first things first, search on this site for "What should I look for" or "New Owner" or "First 90" etc. and read those threads, they'll help you out big time.
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  #6  
Old December 19th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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Seems like you should look at a Toyota Tacoma
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  #7  
Old December 19th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Jim C.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4
Seems like you should look at a Toyota Tacoma
agreed...
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  #8  
Old December 19th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Jeep Rubicon Unlimited. It's a 110 with airbags and lockers, tons of aftermarket parts available and cheap to fix. I think they're going to be available with diesel power next year.
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  #9  
Old December 19th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Wait a year or two and get the bluetec diesel powered wrangler.
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  #10  
Old December 19th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Monkeyboy

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For a business vehicle?

(1) Check the GVWR sticker in the door - yeah, I know, the Defender sticker is in the footwell. You will want it to be > 6k pounds to get a reasonable depreciation life for tax purposes.

(b) call your accountant.

(Finally) I think there's a list somewhere of the over 6k pound vehicles ... I'll go look for it.

KAA
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  #11  
Old December 19th, 2006, 11:22 AM
Emerson00
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Matt J.
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Thanks for the candor, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

My last vehicle was a Tacoma. There was a surprising cost in maintaining that truck, and it was babied, particularly in comparison to the Jeeps. I eventually dumped it when the clutch fried at 80k. The clutch always stunk on it, but when it let go that early, and the crew Tundras had to have transmissions replaced at 100,500 miles (two trucks both tranny's failed within 200 miles of each other on the odometers!)... I decided Toyota may be running on past rep ITO reliability.

The Jeep is a front runner. The '04 Disco still makes sense. It's GVWR is >6k, it is sold in diesel elsewhere in the world, meaning diesel conversion in a couple years when I kill the V8 is possible.

I do love my Jeeps, but I really hate the thirsty little I6 with no *easy* diesel replacement. Perhaps it's a perception thing - I have always perceived LR as diesel options. Other than the cute little Liberty, Jeeps are only diesel for very serious enthusiasts with aftermarket money to rebuild the drivetrain.

I agree that a Defender, particularly nearly 10 years old, would be less than ideal.

Admission of guilt; style of LR is a draw. Domestics just don't interest me. The vehicle is practically my day to day business partner - for 8-12 hours a day, I'm in or with the vehicle. Something fun makes a difference. The crews get dull Tundras (well, not next time); I enjoy my ride.

Again, thanks. I'll look around for a suitable pre-2007 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited if I talk myself out of the Disco. More space than I'm used to in an Unlimited, and all the wall climbing abilities I'm used to.
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  #12  
Old December 19th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Well if you think the I6 is thirsty then you deffinantly don't want a rover. The v8 are measured in gallons per mile.
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Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
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You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and you're the only girl in town.

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  #13  
Old December 19th, 2006, 11:57 AM
Emerson00
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Matt J.
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Understood that. I get roughly 17-18mpg in the Jeep. There's no diesel replacement I've found that I'm willing to deal with.

I understood the Rovers to get 15-16mpg average; not much worse, but with a more straightforward path to diesel conversion, it makes more sense.

Reading the thread, I may be coming across as stubborn.

What got me to [re]consider LR in the first place was the diesel "option." As to reliability, Jeeps always get miserable reviews for reliability, but I've either been ridiculously fortunate, or the reliability stigma is inaccurate. I started thinking perhaps LR's reliability is more of a stupid-owner thing (the well-off soccer Mom and mall cruiser set).

Has anyone here done all recommended maintenance and had no catastrophic or even frustrating failures? Are there, on a board of enthusiasts, really so very few who can state the vehicles are "reliable" with maintenance done properly? The company pays for maintenance or I do it myself, so "maintenance" as per the LR manual, isn't an issue. But, if that's done, do you guys still expect failures that keep the trucks off the road?

Another example, I've got a Ducati motorcycle... it's had one glaring issue that's had it back to the shop twice. It's been otherwise reliable. The reliability or lack thereof for Ducatis is... well, it makes LR and Jeep look like Japanese products. I find it's really just not that bad. Same with our old wooden boat. (risk taker? glutton? me? naaaah)
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  #14  
Old December 19th, 2006, 12:09 PM
Monkeyboy

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Hilarious!

Ex-Duc owner here too

We all advise you not to buy the LR, yet we all have at least one !

There are folks on this list - Pendy comes to mind - who perform regular diesel conversions. If you nose about you should find some references to their projects.

Best,

KAA
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  #15  
Old December 19th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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flippedrover
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Tyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson00
Understood that. I get roughly 17-18mpg in the Jeep. There's no diesel replacement I've found that I'm willing to deal with.

I understood the Rovers to get 15-16mpg average; not much worse, but with a more straightforward path to diesel conversion, it makes more sense.

Reading the thread, I may be coming across as stubborn.

What got me to [re]consider LR in the first place was the diesel "option." As to reliability, Jeeps always get miserable reviews for reliability, but I've either been ridiculously fortunate, or the reliability stigma is inaccurate. I started thinking perhaps LR's reliability is more of a stupid-owner thing (the well-off soccer Mom and mall cruiser set).

Has anyone here done all recommended maintenance and had no catastrophic or even frustrating failures? Are there, on a board of enthusiasts, really so very few who can state the vehicles are "reliable" with maintenance done properly? The company pays for maintenance or I do it myself, so "maintenance" as per the LR manual, isn't an issue. But, if that's done, do you guys still expect failures that keep the trucks off the road?

Another example, I've got a Ducati motorcycle... it's had one glaring issue that's had it back to the shop twice. It's been otherwise reliable. The reliability or lack thereof for Ducatis is... well, it makes LR and Jeep look like Japanese products. I find it's really just not that bad. Same with our old wooden boat. (risk taker? glutton? me? naaaah)
I'd love to see 15-16 mpg. The reality is something more like 10-12 less if it has any mods on it. But if we can't dissuade you from a rover then go for it and hopefully enjoy it.
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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


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  #16  
Old December 19th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flippedrover
I'd love to see 15-16 mpg. The reality is something more like 10-12 less if it has any mods on it. But if we can't dissuade you from a rover then go for it and hopefully enjoy it.
I've been getting around 17mpg on average...
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  #17  
Old December 19th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Tyler
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How?
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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


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  #18  
Old December 19th, 2006, 01:15 PM
Monkeyboy

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Our completely stock '97 SW gets ~14 in town and up to 17 on the hwy ... completely dependent on the prevailing winds

Now, if I add acetone to the fuel ... naaaah, just kidding

HoHoHo,

KAA
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  #19  
Old December 19th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Ok you two suck!
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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


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  #20  
Old December 19th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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With a Disco he should get 15-17 easy...at least ours did

Keith's right though, we're all saying get something else, but we all have (had) at least one (myself, had 2 and I'm looking for another to replace them).

But if work's paying for it, and you're ready to dump 25-35K into a low mileage Defender, why don't you look at spending 5K for a high mileage '96 Disco 1, and put 15K into a diesel conversion and some purposeful mods (lift, protection) and have the Diesel you want, with a body style that's secure and large enough for your gear, and a fairly reliable truck (new engine, any drivetrain upgrades that you put in it) for the same or less money.
Just a thought.
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