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  #1  
Old January 10th, 2012, 08:18 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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Buying a Defender

Hey guys, I'm thinking about getting me a Defender as a second car. I'm creating this thread to ask for tips on what to get and what not to get. I'm also hoping a couple people can inform me what to check for and to avoid when looking at a used Defender.

I'm sort of set on the Defender 90 because I will mostly be driving it alone or with one extra person. But I'm open to what you guys have to say. It will be used as a run about car and a occasional stroll up in the rockies.

Lastly, I'm not completely new to the Land Rover world. My family owns a Land Rover series II on our farm for almost 2 decades and we love it for all it's goods and bads, so I know what I'm getting myself into.

Thanks
Louie
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  #2  
Old January 10th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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Mike
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What do you want to spend? Lots of options, just money.
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  #3  
Old January 10th, 2012, 08:28 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC22958 View Post
What do you want to spend? Lots of options, just money.
I know they are super expensive. My ideal spending range is less then $20K
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  #4  
Old January 10th, 2012, 08:52 PM
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Jesse Hardin
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At that price, you'd probably need to look at the 94's and perhaps one with a few miles on it. That assumes you're looking for North American Spec 90. I bet if you search "buying Defender" you'll pull up tons of posts with what to look for. Typical stuff, rust...rust...and oh...rust. They're a blast and quite addictive, just be willing to spend some money and keep your patience.
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  #5  
Old January 10th, 2012, 08:56 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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Yeah I read some posts about the problems and it's sad that they didn't do anything when they made it do prevent the rusting.

While I'm typing... What engine do you guys prefer? I've seen a couple of diesels/TDi's and a V8, but would like some input on what people experienced using these engines.
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  #6  
Old January 10th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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Try this site, It has some pretty good write-ups on what to truly look for:

http://www.repairmylandrover.co.uk/d...r-buyers-guide


If you go mid 80's you can get TDi. Also, Right Hand Drive, do you want A/C? Those options add a lot of money With out them you should be around in the mid teens, low twentys.
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  #7  
Old January 10th, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Louis,
I have a buddy here in KC that has a Black 95 w/ fiberglass hardtop that he would probably sell, although I am 100% sure that his price is going to be above your $20K limit.
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  #8  
Old January 10th, 2012, 10:17 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosproline157 View Post
Try this site, It has some pretty good write-ups on what to truly look for:

http://www.repairmylandrover.co.uk/d...r-buyers-guide


If you go mid 80's you can get TDi. Also, Right Hand Drive, do you want A/C? Those options add a lot of money With out them you should be around in the mid teens, low twentys.
Hmmm I would love to get a diesel, but wonder how right hand drive is accepted here in Kansas. If it doesn't have A/C does it atleast have a heater standard for colder days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattarm View Post
Louis,
I have a buddy here in KC that has a Black 95 w/ fiberglass hardtop that he would probably sell, although I am 100% sure that his price is going to be above your $20K limit.
If you can ask your buddy and send me a PM. My parents live in Olathe so I'm around that area quite often.

Thanks
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  #9  
Old January 11th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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He is not on d90. Let me confirm that he is still looking to sell and what his price would be.
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  #10  
Old January 11th, 2012, 02:30 PM
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You know the saying, "A boat is a hole in the water in which you throw money"? Well....With the Defenders you get what you pay for. Sub 20K Defenders are mostly projects. ROW, rest of world, Defenders are mostly RHD in your price range. All NAS trucks came as V-8 gas trucks. Most of the ROW trucks are diesels. So if you want a project you will be able to find a lot in your price range. If you do not, then you will have to spend some more money. Here on D90 or Ebay would be good starting points to start pricing stuff out.
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  #11  
Old January 11th, 2012, 04:19 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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How pricey are repairs and parts? I might considder restoring a Defender if it's worth it price wise
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  #12  
Old January 11th, 2012, 04:19 PM
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Clark Bowen
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I've had 2 RHD Series vehicles, and while they are fun initially (uniqueness, freaking out other drivers when you are alone and no one is "driving"), it gets old. Pulling out to pass - always iffy in a Series or a Diesel Defender anyway - gets a bit scary because you are halfway in the other lane before you can see oncoming traffic.
Pulling up to a drive-up-window, coffee kiosk (do they have those in Kansas), toll booth, etc. is problematic and while they are cheaper to buy in the US they are much harder to sell.
Also, if it is from the UK and it hasn't had complete restoration - frame, axles, bulkhead, doors, floorpans - there will be rust somewhere. Nasty, cancerous, wallet-eating, gaping hole rust. Probably concealed by the seller and I don't mean the stateside ones, but our cousins in the mother country.
Find a well taken care of, high mileage NAS and have it independently inspected before you buy. You should be able to find one for less than $20,000 if you have the patience and don't get the fever.
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  #13  
Old January 11th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdb View Post
there will be rust somewhere. Nasty, cancerous, wallet-eating, gaping hole rust. Probably concealed by the seller and I don't mean the stateside ones, but our cousins in the mother country.
That is the truth, whole truth and nothing but...
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  #14  
Old January 11th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Jesse Hardin
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Lets put it this way, I bought a very nice example of a 97 LE, and so far, I've purchased $300 oil cooler lines and spent a grand on installation of some additional parts and a thorough 60k mile service. I've got at least another $2-4k in service work and little items I want to change. Point being, don't try and stretch yourself to thin by just getting the truck. Plan some money to get it up to snuff and a reserve for the unexpected issues THAT WILL come up.

Regarding restoration, there are many more knowledgeable resources on this forum than I to speak to restoration. I do know parts can be quite pricey based on what it is. If it were me, I think I'd buy a truck as close in my price range from a member on this forum that's really looked after a truck.
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2008 LR LR3 HSE (Alaska White)
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  #15  
Old January 11th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Here's a great thread to read through.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=29633

x2 - set aside $3-5k for the first year for things that can go bump in the night before you know your truck really well. I luckily only ended up using about $2.5k of that my first year. That included new tires though.
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #16  
Old January 11th, 2012, 05:26 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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Interesting stuff I have been reading. The reliability isn't really a problem since it wont be used as a DD (will be more a project car), but over time I think I might replace the engine with a newer more reliable engine and do some interior upgrades. So..I'm not too worried about keeping it stock. If something needs work I might just replace it with something more dependable.

I'm just worried about the chassis and body. Oh... I never asked. Can the canopy be removed to make it a open top?
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  #17  
Old January 11th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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joe heins
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I think you can get away with a daily driver for under 20K. I bought my 95 D-90 a couple of years ago, has been my daily driver. I never fear a break down at all. I just think you have to do some work on your truck to get to know it and you'll gain confidence.

Only problem I had was an 02 sensor and a fuel pump. Neither stranded me, always drove fine. It costs a bit to do normal maintenance, but if you have had work done on any other "modern" imports, you'll find the cost for this vehicle is pretty reasonable.

My wife has an 04 RR that has been super through 120k miles, but that truck is essentially a BMW.


So I would say look for rust in all the obvious places, and then just the standard stuff you would look for in any used car.

Joe
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  #18  
Old January 11th, 2012, 07:34 PM
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Adrian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shifty22123 View Post
Hmmm I would love to get a diesel, but wonder how right hand drive is accepted here in Kansas. If it doesn't have A/C does it atleast have a heater standard for colder days?

Thanks

As for RHD, you'll get used to it in 5 minutes, and its not illegal by any means, and will not be cause for any trouble...(other than occasionally hopping in the wrong side of the truck when your looking to drive off.).... which I'm very guilty of still
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  #19  
Old January 11th, 2012, 07:41 PM
shifty22123
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Louis Swanepoel
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Originally Posted by bossman429 View Post
As for RHD, you'll get used to it in 5 minutes, and its not illegal by any means, and will not be cause for any trouble...(other than occasionally hopping in the wrong side of the truck when your looking to drive off.).... which I'm very guilty of still
Haha yeah the driving part should be ok. I grew up in South Africa and we drove on the right side. That's why I want a defender. My uncle had a Defender 110 that they used to do missionary up in Zambia and I grew to like it. Our Series II is like a member of the family because it almost never works but when it does we love it even though the steering wheel tries to break your arm off every time you turn it.

Here is our other Land Rover for your enjoyment
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  #20  
Old January 11th, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Bill Adams
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One thing I have found with Rovers; you don't find them, they find you. Every one I have ever owned have been happened upon. I have never had to search. If it is meant to be, it will.
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