97 d-90, should I get? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 1st, 2004, 05:20 PM
Spencer-w1vvk
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97 d-90, should I get?

There is a 97 d-90 for sale near me. green, soft top, 80k miles, 26k price tag

I have a 97 tj, with all kinds of stuff, but want something that can haul around more stuff, kids etc, and still be one of the coolest, capable 4x4 vechicles ever produced! I think the d-90 might just be the coolest.

So If I leave this jeep world, what am I getting into?

How can I get a hardtop for it without sailing to England.

Do any of these d-90's have rear lockers stock? Are there good axles, bad axles to avoid? Why is there so few suspension systems for d-90's? No one really lifts them beyond 2.5 inches. Seems odd. Maybe that is enough.

I just need a little overview of what I am getting into.

Thanks, Spencer
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  #2  
Old September 1st, 2004, 06:10 PM
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haha look around here there are a number of guys upwards of 3.5" as well as an equal number on 35"+ tires. No D-90 came from the factory with a front or rear locker, just a center diff that is lockable. Look around this site and the BB you will see what you could be getting yourself into. and yes the D-90 is one of the coolest 4wd's.

http://www.d-90.com/forum/attachment...achmentid=1277
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  #3  
Old September 1st, 2004, 06:31 PM
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[QUOTE=Spencer-w1vvk] and still be one of the coolest, capable 4x4 vechicles ever produced!


Spencer,
2.5" is all you need (refer too photo @ left). Trust me Bro. I am thinking of selling mine, Problem is I CAN'T seem to place the ad??
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  #4  
Old September 1st, 2004, 08:36 PM
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There are tons of suspension systems out there. Just have to do a little leg work. The hard tops are also available in different forms from different companies. The reason that you usually see 2.5 inch lifts is because with a little fender trimming, you can fit 37in tires. Compared to the minumum 8inch lift you would need to run that with your TJ. The suspension is also much superior. But, all the axles suck. They need serious attention at 35in tires and larger.
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Old September 1st, 2004, 08:53 PM
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how mcuh trimming w/ 37"
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  #6  
Old September 1st, 2004, 09:01 PM
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If you are running the stock front radius arms suspension, not very much, mostly at the rear of the front tires. It all depends on how flexible your suspension is. I took off my fender flares and then cut in a little on the metal and reattached them and it looked good. That is more than most would need.
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  #7  
Old September 1st, 2004, 11:08 PM
Spencer-w1vvk
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Thanks for the info.

I replaced my TJ's rear with an 8.8. I guess it all starts over here.

I like 33's, I bet they will fit with little help. Are the stock gears enough for 33's. They come stock with 31's right?

d-90's look like they are already lifted compared to Jeep etc. Wait til Rover puts out that concept d-90. It will look like a lowered explorer.

Well, I know it is not as cool. And I want one before the old ones get too old.
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  #8  
Old September 2nd, 2004, 12:27 AM
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yeah jeeps are garbage stock everyone knows that.. you can get 285/75/16 on a stock D-90 ~33 they have ~32 stocker what are jeeps?I have a friend with the 8.8in his YJ...... You could get some rovertracks,GBR (what comes to mind) axles a detroit some 4:10 gears mild lift, some armour and hang with most trucks on the trail. But there are no limits, I think there are a few folks with the ford 9" and another guy running some Dana 60's (Doug someone). O yeah stock gears will work with the 33's I think a few people with 35's, the stock 3:54's are strongest but 4:10's seem to be the norm? If you lock your 90 you def need to upgrade your drivetrain, also no chains in the t-case or those homo t-caSE spacer thing to compensate for driveline angle here. I could continue but who cares, o yeah my hatred towards J**Ps is obvious. good luck hope you are able to get a D-90. FWIW
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  #9  
Old September 2nd, 2004, 12:28 AM
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Michael Elliott
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Spencer,


I currently have a 97 D-90 hardtop, a 1973 NAS Series 3 (88 inch), and a 98 TJ. Over the last 20 years I have also had a 1971 Bronco, a 1993 Suzuki Samurai, and a 1994 Jeep Wrangler (YJ). One thing that I have definitely learned from driving all of these vehicle, both on and off road, is that every vehicle has its advantages and disadvantages. I do not think that you will be disappointed if you sell the TJ and get the D-90, but you might be surprised after you do it that the TJ was really not as bad as you thought it was. Go test drive that green D-90 soft top on the freeway and you will know exactly what I am talking about.

If space is a major issue you will love the D-90 as the rear compartment is twice as big and so much more easy to access.

Of course the real answer to your question depends on what you intend to use the vehicle for. If you want to go to Johnson Valley and crawl around on Sledghammer you might want to think about keeping your TJ, because after you destroy it you won't feel so bad and you can find a replacement about as easy as going to the store and buying a box of Tide. You might feel a little different doing that to a vehicle as rare, expensive, and difficult to obtain as a good condition NAS D-90 (Especially a hard top model). What is your intended use? Rockcrawling? Mud? Forest Trails? Vacation? Beach?

As for the off road ability, it seems to me that the answer will depend more upon the level of modification and driver skill than anything else. Do not buy into the hype that somehow D-90's can "go anywhere" and "do anything." Again, I am saying this from personal experience--unlike many who like to comment on this issue I actually have both of these vehicles and have driven both D-90's and TJ's off road extensively in a wide variety of terrain. The D-90 can get stuck and break just like any other vehicle, and is not particularly well suited to areas like Johnson Valley or any of the other self-proclaimed "hard core rock crawling" venues. That is not to say that you could not make it through such trails in a well equiped D-90, but in my experience the D-90 is much better suited to Moab, the Rubicon, etc. where its flexibility in terms of size and payload capability really shine through. That being said it is a truly awesome vehicle and is outstanding off road. It has its problems (small gas tank, weak axles, thin frame material, etc.), but like all vehicles you can overcome these issues with a little thought, time and effort.

I thought your observation about how low a stock TJ appears was very interesting as I just fabricated a set of rock sliders for my D-90 and had occassion to compare the height of the D-90 next to the TJ. You might be interested to know that my D-90 with stock springs and 265 MT tires (I just bought this one) actually has about the same or maybe even a hair greater side clearance than my TJ which has a 4 inch lift and 33 inch tires. Same thing with the diff's. I know it is obvious that the D-90 had greater clearance, but I never realized how much more until I did this comparison. It is very striking when you actually park the vehicles next to one another. The frame does hang about two inches lower, but that is because the box section is so large. Too bad the metal is so thin.....)

As for the "coolness" factor, I think the answer to that question is obvious. Buy one and go drive it around town and you will see what I mean--everyone and their uncle will stop you and ask you questions about it.

One final thought with respect to parts and service. One of the major complaints that you are likely to hear with respect to D-90's is that the parts are outrageously expensive. I heard this same thing when I rebuilt my Series 3 for off road use. That is another area of complete hype. If you want to buy everything from places like Atlantic British, then yes, the statement is probably true (sorry, no disrespect intended, they are nice but their prices are crazy). However, if you take the time and really look around you will find that the parts are not that much more than for your TJ. Especially quality used parts like you can find on this board. True, sometimes there are things that are just rediculous, like $300 ignition swiches, but if you make the right contacts (like this board and many others) and are willing to order stuff from overseas you can generally find decent prices. Also, because of the D-90's design, it is just as easy to fabricate parts for as with your TJ (winch mounts, rock sliders, bumpers, roll cage parts, tire racks, etc.). Same thing goes with service shops. For example, BCB in Paso Robles, California will install a RD-56 Air Locker (ARB) in a D-90, Series truck, ect. for $250 flat if you are willing to take the third member out, clean it up, and drive/ship it to their shop. In 1998 I had two ARB's installed at the "world famous" Tri-County Gear Jeep shop in Pomona and they charged me over $2,000!!!! You get the idea--I fell for it once but never again...

Good luck with your decision. I will interested in your opinion after the test drive.

Michael
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  #10  
Old September 2nd, 2004, 12:35 AM
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okay yeah so they are expensive high maintenance etc. etc. they are still bad ass.
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  #11  
Old September 3rd, 2004, 12:51 AM
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Michael Elliott
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"Bad ass".... Now I know that may be a big consideration when buying a skateboard, but an off road vehicle? Are you serious?!?!?!?!

By the way, I did not say anything about the D-90 being "high maintinence." I do not believe that the D-90 requires more maintence than the TJ, especially if you are talking about a 97. Get a Series truck and you will find out where the term "high maintence" originated....)

Michael
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  #12  
Old September 3rd, 2004, 10:03 AM
Eric Siepmann
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I agree with Seriesman. And the first landrovers were based off a surplus army jeep....

Anyway, maintenance is a function of how well the previous owner took care of it. Did he cut corners, forget to change the oil, blog blog blog.

It really not to unlike any other used car. If the PO took care of it you'll have less problems. I think the D-90 has gotten some sort of bad rap with maintenance costs over the years. If you want the high cost, find and take it to a dealer! Otherwise find a local Roverman mech and take it to him. The only major thing I have had to do is replace my CATS and serp belt. Everything Else I have done was just to keep the 90 in tip top shape and not necessary.

EwS
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  #13  
Old September 4th, 2004, 08:02 AM
Spencer-w1vvk
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I believe the d-90 is a 94 I was looking at.

So, that would be a pre BMW built right?

Would you guys stay away from that one? 11 years old still at 26k.
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  #14  
Old September 4th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer-w1vvk
I believe the d-90 is a 94 I was looking at.

So, that would be a pre BMW built right?

Would you guys stay away from that one? 11 years old still at 26k.

Based on your questons. You should stay away from the 94 D90.
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  #15  
Old May 27th, 2017, 05:56 PM
Spencer-w1vvk
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Back after posting 12 years ago! God, bet that one I passed up would sell for double in 2017. I am now looking into a 110. Most likely a 3 door panel truck that I will add windows to, and setup for daily driving and overlanding/some trail use.
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