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  #1  
Old April 30th, 2016, 03:51 PM
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So how do you go about finding a good Defender from a trustworthy source?

I've been trolling the forums for a while but so far nothing that has come up for sale has been of significant interest for me.

I'm in the market for a good quality 90 (or maybe an 88 on coil springs) - preferably with a motor readily capable of highway speeds that doesn't need any major work. I don't mind eventually tearing something down and having bodywork done and repainting it, but I'd prefer to avoid that, at least for a while, if I can.

My plan is to have something that I can take the roof off of for the summer and put it back on in the winter. As I understand it it isn't too difficult to buy a hard top for a soft top truck, so I'm not adverse to a soft top - but I definitely want to have the option of the hard top.
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  #2  
Old April 30th, 2016, 04:16 PM
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Lots of unspoken requirements here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Blue4.6l View Post
preferably with a motor readily capable of highway speeds that doesn't need any major work.
Of course you do Who doesn't?

The real question is how much you're willing to pay.

Quote:
My plan is to have something that I can take the roof off of for the summer and put it back on in the winter. As I understand it it isn't too difficult to buy a hard top for a soft top truck, so I'm not adverse to a soft top - but I definitely want to have the option of the hard top.
Lots of prospective Defender owners seem to want this, and most of these people come from the Jeep world and therefore assume Defenders have removable hardtops.

I have no idea why. The Defender 90 hardtop is probably more than 70 lbs of aluminum and steel that spans around 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. Removing it requires removing a bunch of bolts, then sides, then remounting seat belts and other hardpoints. Doing this once in your lifetime is enough. Doing this twice a year is almost madness. We haven't talked at all about where you plan to store the roof and van sides of a 90, which are the longest and most unwieldy components of the Defender. They take up an incredible amount of room.

Ed's conclusion: Buy a Soft Top the beginning and be done with it. Tons of people in the USA with soft tops drive them year round and they have no problems with it.

If you absolutely need a removable hardtop, you should really reconsider your choice of vehicle.

Perhaps buy both a Defender and a Miata.
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  #3  
Old April 30th, 2016, 04:22 PM
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Don't know if I am thrust worthy but I do have a few nice ones coming in,

Grey soft top with a 200 hp V8, green 4 cyl gas, red 4 cyl diesel
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  #4  
Old April 30th, 2016, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Blue4.6l View Post
I've been trolling the forums for a while but so far nothing that has come up for sale has been of significant interest for me.

I'm in the market for a good quality 90 (or maybe an 88 on coil springs) - preferably with a motor readily capable of highway speeds that doesn't need any major work. I don't mind eventually tearing something down and having bodywork done and repainting it, but I'd prefer to avoid that, at least for a while, if I can.
.
Me too. It's taken me 2 years and lots of $$ and I'm almost there.
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  #5  
Old April 30th, 2016, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Blue4.6l View Post
I've been trolling the forums for a while but so far nothing that has come up for sale has been of significant interest for me.

I'm in the market for a good quality 90 (or maybe an 88 on coil springs) - preferably with a motor readily capable of highway speeds that doesn't need any major work. I don't mind eventually tearing something down and having bodywork done and repainting it, but I'd prefer to avoid that, at least for a while, if I can.

My plan is to have something that I can take the roof off of for the summer and put it back on in the winter. As I understand it it isn't too difficult to buy a hard top for a soft top truck, so I'm not adverse to a soft top - but I definitely want to have the option of the hard top.
Honestly (not being a dick) it really sounds like you are describing a JK.
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  #6  
Old April 30th, 2016, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Lots of unspoken requirements here.



Of course you do Who doesn't?

The real question is how much you're willing to pay.
I'm not too concerned with spending a fair amount

Quote:

Lots of prospective Defender owners seem to want this, and most of these people come from the Jeep world and therefore assume Defenders have removable hardtops.

I have no idea why. The Defender 90 hardtop is probably more than 70 lbs of aluminum and steel that spans around 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. Removing it requires removing a bunch of bolts, then sides, then remounting seat belts and other hardpoints. Doing this once in your lifetime is enough. Doing this twice a year is almost madness. We haven't talked at all about where you plan to store the roof and van sides of a 90, which are the longest and most unwieldy components of the Defender. They take up an incredible amount of room.

Ed's conclusion: Buy a Soft Top the beginning and be done with it. Tons of people in the USA with soft tops drive them year round and they have no problems with it.

If you absolutely need a removable hardtop, you should really reconsider your choice of vehicle.

Perhaps buy both a Defender and a Miata.
that doesn't sound that imposing to me (but seatbelts alone are a good reason to start with a soft top). I have plenty of space to store stuff. We currently have a 64.5 Mustang spread out through a couple of floors of garage and in the basement.

It may sound silly - but I'm not concerned about a soft top in the winter per se (and it won't be my DD). I just really like the hardtop look.

------ Follow up post added April 30th, 2016 10:32 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddymow View Post
Honestly (not being a dick) it really sounds like you are describing a JK.
yeah, I have 0 interest in Jeeps

------ Follow up post added April 30th, 2016 10:33 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by johan View Post
Don't know if I am thrust worthy but I do have a few nice ones coming in,

Grey soft top with a 200 hp V8, green 4 cyl gas, red 4 cyl diesel
thanks Johan. You definitely are - but are also a ways away from me
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  #7  
Old April 30th, 2016, 09:45 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Blue4.6l View Post



thanks Johan. You definitely are - but are also a ways away from me
For what you want, you should plan on taking a trip. Read all the horror stories of crap vehicle purchases on here and all of them contain a statement along the lines of, "I should've spent the extra couple of hundred bucks on a personal inspection."
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  #8  
Old April 30th, 2016, 10:11 PM
Naplm00
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1983 110 200tdi 3 door soft top
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Lots of unspoken requirements here.



Of course you do Who doesn't?

The real question is how much you're willing to pay.

Lots of prospective Defender owners seem to want this, and most of these people come from the Jeep world and therefore assume Defenders have removable hardtops.

I have no idea why. The Defender 90 hardtop is probably more than 70 lbs of aluminum and steel that spans around 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. Removing it requires removing a bunch of bolts, then sides, then remounting seat belts and other hardpoints. Doing this once in your lifetime is enough. Doing this twice a year is almost madness. We haven't talked at all about where you plan to store the roof and van sides of a 90, which are the longest and most unwieldy components of the Defender. They take up an incredible amount of room.

Ed's conclusion: Buy a Soft Top the beginning and be done with it. Tons of people in the USA with soft tops drive them year round and they have no problems with it.

If you absolutely need a removable hardtop, you should really reconsider your choice of vehicle.

Perhaps buy both a Defender and a Miata.
I own a defender and a Miata! Lol
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  #9  
Old April 30th, 2016, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naplm00 View Post
I own a defender and a Miata! Lol
lucky man!

I personally think having a hardtop is great (I have one). Technically speaking a hardtop is removeable by definition. The Series guys running open top absolutely love it. It's not like having a shoulder belt is absolutely necessary.



In truth anything is possible and I definitely don't want to dissuade anyone from buying a Defender because of my opinion. Nor do I want to give the impression that the idea is silly. It's not.

Hopefully someone else can speak more truth to what it takes to make it happen short of buying a series.
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  #10  
Old April 30th, 2016, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
Lots of unspoken requirements here.



Of course you do Who doesn't?

The real question is how much you're willing to pay.

Lots of prospective Defender owners seem to want this, and most of these people come from the Jeep world and therefore assume Defenders have removable hardtops.

I have no idea why. The Defender 90 hardtop is probably more than 70 lbs of aluminum and steel that spans around 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. Removing it requires removing a bunch of bolts, then sides, then remounting seat belts and other hardpoints. Doing this once in your lifetime is enough. Doing this twice a year is almost madness. We haven't talked at all about where you plan to store the roof and van sides of a 90, which are the longest and most unwieldy components of the Defender. They take up an incredible amount of room.

Ed's conclusion: Buy a Soft Top the beginning and be done with it. Tons of people in the USA with soft tops drive them year round and they have no problems with it.

If you absolutely need a removable hardtop, you should really reconsider your choice of vehicle.

Perhaps buy both a Defender and a Miata.
I respectfully disagree. The series/defender aluminum hard tops are like 20 bolts to get off, can be done in 1-2 hours, and is very easy to do. There are even less bolts if you only install the "essential" ones back on. Of all the jobs I've done on my rovers, I would hardly call it memorable, let alone a job that I would only do "once in a lifetime".
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  #11  
Old May 1st, 2016, 01:52 AM
Edmond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johan View Post
Don't know if I am thrust worthy but I do have a few nice ones coming in,

Grey soft top with a 200 hp V8, green 4 cyl gas, red 4 cyl diesel
Johan is very trustable and His collection speaks alot..

True, he is in Michigan. he could be a bit far from you, but he could probably find a very good fair priced source for transportation, or just take a small trip to him to inspect the 90s.
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  #12  
Old May 1st, 2016, 09:33 AM
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I have a couple convertible trucks...4 door JK. CJ5, 69 Bronco and LR 90. I havent taken the top off the 90 yet because truth be told I kind of like the look of the top on...and the headliner is still in great shape...and the roof doesn't leak...yet. But for the others, I can take the top on/off by myself in about 10 minutes. For each truck, I have a multiple ratchet straps hanging from the ceiling joists. Just hook em up and lift em off and drive away. Works great...even for the JK which is pretty heavy.

As for Johan, I would really recommend taking a road trip over there. I bought my truck from him and it was a great, flawless experience. The guy is as cool as they come. One of the greatest bonuses about paying him a visit is he has one of everything. You can really get a feel for the different engine types and gear boxes, etc. He is on top of the honest, good-guy list.

Best of luck, finding one is half the fun.
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  #13  
Old May 4th, 2016, 04:56 PM
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Thanks everyone for the input. I think I'll search for a soft top and consider adding a hard top later on.
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  #14  
Old May 4th, 2016, 05:08 PM
Naplm00
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I run a soft top on my 110 year round in the north east. Frankly when it's cold it sucks, heater is useless.

I wear pretty much full ski gear when driving my 110 in the snow,it sucks but I wouldn't have it any other way... Sold my hard top



Edit: also don't buy from Dr Aaron Richardet he is a lying sack of shit.
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  #15  
Old May 4th, 2016, 05:36 PM
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Sounds like a ROW vehicle would be best.
The NAS plastic top is bound to get brittle with age but is designed to be removed unlike the hardtop NAS

If I had the time all over again, I'd try to get my hands on ROW. Import if necessary with Uncle Doug locating and bringing over the vehicle. With ROW you get the choice of RHD and LHD as well.
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  #16  
Old October 1st, 2016, 01:01 PM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Blue4.6l View Post
I'm not too concerned with spending a fair amount
Baller.
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  #17  
Old October 1st, 2016, 01:16 PM
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Smile

removable hard top ROW truck.....
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no thanks whatever I tell you, you will low ball me
I would rather keep the parts in storage
good luck with your search
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  #18  
Old October 1st, 2016, 01:18 PM
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You're in VA. Go to the MAR rally this weekend and learn more faster than sitting on this forum.
I have a HT but would probably in balance would be happier with a soft top.
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  #19  
Old October 1st, 2016, 03:15 PM
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You're in VA. Go to the MAR rally this weekend and learn more faster than sitting on this forum. I have a HT but would probably in balance would be happier with a soft top.
This^^

I've owned both versions and for me the SW is more of an all year round daily driver.
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  #20  
Old October 3rd, 2016, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
You're in VA. Go to the MAR rally this weekend and learn more faster than sitting on this forum.
I have a HT but would probably in balance would be happier with a soft top.
I would have loved to, but I was down in Corolla.

I'm working on a truck purchase from a forum member. Will post more about it in a month or so.

------ Follow up post added October 3rd, 2016 09:18 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron View Post
removable hard top ROW truck.....
what roll bar is that?
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