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  #1  
Old February 6th, 2009, 09:09 PM
clthonraltam
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Matt Murphy
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D-90 Newbie

I am a newbie to land rovers and have never owned one. I have always wanted a defender, specifically a 90. I am doing some leg work on D-90's to try and decide if I want a NAS, POE, or a 83/84 import. there are obvious advantages to all of them. I am mainly asking about the maintence on either on of them. Seeing as they are similar. I am semi mechanically inclined. Nothing too complicated. But I would like to get an idea of what I would be getting myself into. Will it constantly be in the shop? What are some things I should look for. I know they have rust issues. Are there any helpful articles, books, websites that I should read before committing? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2009, 10:34 PM
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Paul Davis
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Search this site for virtually any question or random thought you might have. It is almost a certainty it has been covered.

The only real issues Land Rovers have are rust, electrical, paint, wiring, the occasional engine fire caused by old oil cooler lines, carburator issues, poor gas mileage, and the ever persistent need to go open the hood to see what the hell is leaking out of it now.

Other than that, they are a very well made and dependable vehicle.
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  #3  
Old February 6th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Matt,

I was in a similar position a year ago. I had an early 80's grey market G-wagon for years, but wanted the 90, too because im greedy.

The good thing is, the vehicle itself is not as complicated as most of whats on the road. The bad thing? Parts can get expensive and hard to come by. The best advice i can give you: have patience. Lots of clunkers out there. Plus, its always good to get the truck inspected. If the seller wont take it to the local dealership and you arent ready to replace everything on it yourself, don't buy it. I have a friend who bought one a few weeks after i got mine, and even mocked me for paying 28K (his was 22K). So far, he has put 8 in it and still has rust to contend with. So far, ive replaced a heater and a waterpump, and spent $60 on an OBDII so that i know what im getting into each time that damned check engine light comes on.

If you're lucky, you can get a truck that spends only a day or so in the shop a year. If you're really lucky, you wont kick yourself for buying it two weeks down the road when you are driving back from your first multi-hour road trip. After the San Francisco to Portland trip in the pouring rain with just an old bestop, I knew it was time to buy the girl a diamond. Oh, and buy a badger top.

Best of luck on your search
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  #4  
Old February 6th, 2009, 11:25 PM
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LandRoverHyter
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hyter Lancaster
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can you take a POE top off and run a soft top durring warm months?
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  #5  
Old February 6th, 2009, 11:45 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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No. It would be a big job and you wouldn't have the ST roll cage. If you want a hard top in the winter you should look for a fiberglass one that fits over the roll cage. From what I've heard the Badger top is better even than the fiberglass hard top though, so you may just want to replace it with one of those.
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  #6  
Old February 7th, 2009, 12:06 AM
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Jim Cheney
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Ok, what ever you do, don't equate these various options.

As a first Rover, unless you are mechanically inclined, a grey-market import (i.e. an 83/84 or any RHD Rover) is a bad idea. In general, these will require the most expertise, have the most difference in spec, require the most research regarding parts, and (theoretically) be the ones with the highest maintenance requirements (simply because they're older).

If you are looking for a driver, just buy the best 94, 95, or 97 that you can afford. Forget POE, except that it means "half-ass station wagon." Decide if you want a station wagon (hard top) or a soft top. If you want both, then that means additional hassle and expense. Being in Tampa, unless you exclusively want a cocoon of air-conditioned comfort (which any d-90 cannot provide) then I'd guess you want a soft top.

When yo are shopping for a "first" like your first d-90, its best to shop local and also assume that you won't be getting the best deal out there. What you need is a truck that you can do all your research on - get it inspected at a good dealer or quality independent shop, and don't buy until you are satisfied that you are getting exactly what you are paying for. Either that or shop for price only, and realize you might get a piece of crap.

Good luck!
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  #7  
Old February 7th, 2009, 01:08 AM
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Mark Morgan
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Matt, welcome. I am new to the D90 world as well . Bought my 94 ST about 6 months ago and just spent 3 hours tonight trying to figure out the rear light wiring. That said, it has been one of my best decisions and have thorughly enjoyed owning the D 90. Good luck in your serch and the D-90 source will be invaluable in your search and once you decide on your Defender.
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  #8  
Old February 7th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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hyter Lancaster
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a the badger top a fiberglass top as well? What do the LR fiberglass tops cost and are they hard to find?
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  #9  
Old February 7th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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no, badger tops aren't fiberglass. From what i can tell, though i havent had a fiberglass top, fiberglass has the following pros/cons: hard to take on and off, cracks easily, noisy (rattles at most speeds). You can pick one up for 1500-2000, though finding one is always an issue as they are very difficult to ship. You may have to go pick it up.

Usually, when someone is selling a fiberglass top, its because they upgraded to a badger. They are heavy-duty canvas and much quieter than the original bestop. Especially with the gutter kit, they are tough to put on the first time (not in a mechanical sense, but it's an involved process, so make sure you have 4 hours or so and a warm garage), but once youve done it you could do it in the dark in a half hour. They still aren't that quiet at high speeds, but they are worlds above other tops.

i think there is a more thorough discussion of this in the "tech articles" section
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  #10  
Old February 7th, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Clay DeWan
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To add to Bennetts comments as I own a Fiberglass hardtop:
Fiberglass has the following pros/cons: hard to take on and off -
CD: More time conuming than anything.

cracks easily -
CD - Kinda - they need to be stored where they will not be touched when not in use.

noisy (rattles at most speeds).
CD - I can't speak for everyone's but mine is nice and quite. I did put rubber weather stripping between each piece where they fit together.

You can pick one up for 1500-2000, though finding one is always an issue as they are very difficult to ship. You may have to go pick it up.
CD - Yep and most of the ones you find have cracks in them already which are repairable. I bought one for $1,200 which I overpaid and spent another $1,200 getting if fixed but that price included painting it the color of the truck on the outside, sound deadening on the inside with a white interior spray coat which makes it a lot more sunny inside the cab than the glooming gray

Also - Don't shy away from a higher mileage vehicle as long as it has been maintained. Mine had 260,000 on the motor when I bougth it and it still running just fine. The LT77 did take a crap so I replaced the tranny with an R380. Both of the previous owners where great about maintenance.

You may also want to consider a car that has spent its life below the rust belt, such as the southwest as it may be a more sound chasis.
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  #11  
Old February 7th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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LandRoverHyter
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hyter Lancaster
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great info on the tops... I'm a newbie as well looking for my first d90 not sure if I should go hard or soft...
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  #12  
Old February 8th, 2009, 04:56 AM
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Tom Pritchard
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Sound Deadening

CD,

Can the sound deadening be sprayed on while the top is on the truck? What did you use?
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  #13  
Old February 8th, 2009, 08:53 AM
clthonraltam
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Matt Murphy
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I know that some of them that are for sale are over priced and some of them are priced right. What would be a good price range? I have seen the 94's for sale from 16k-38k.
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  #14  
Old February 8th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Kevin Collins
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My fiberglass top is quiet as well. As was pointed out before...PITA to take on and off and you must have a very safe secure place to store it for the summer. Mine is suspended with lots of support from the ceiling of the garage between the ceiling and the overhead door.
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  #15  
Old February 8th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Take the time to find what you want. I bought my truck from a family member, not really knowing anything about them. I just bought it because I'd always thought they looked cool.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have bought a 97 SW. I've put too much time and money into my 94 ST to switch now. Carefully consider what you want before buying. You live in Tampa but will you ever move? I bought my ST and 6 months later, I moved to the mountains of Northern Utah.

As far as price goes, it just depends on the truck. Mid 20's for a clean 94 truck with no rust would be a fair price. If it's going to need work (rust, mechanical, or body issues), I wouldn't pay above the very low 20's. You'll pay more for a 97 but you'll get more, too.
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  #16  
Old February 8th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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kevin
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I have had both NAS and grey-market Defenders, I currently have a grey. Both have their advantages but my experience so far has been that my grey market Defender has been much more dependable and trouble free than the NAS I had. Mechanically it is much simpler and easier to work on. I was fortunate to find one without rust issues, or at least major rust issues. I was also able to get it about $15k cheaper than a NAS Defender.

Whatever you get, be sure and inspect it yourself. Do not be afraid to work on them yourself either. They are simple trucks with simple mechanics. You will save yourself a ton of $$ doing jobs yourself and you will learn the ins and outs of your truck which is invaluable.
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  #17  
Old February 8th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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Sean-Paul Ferrera
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I have a 94 POE and removal of the hard top is not terribly difficult. If you can get your hands on all the soft top cage bits it's just a matter of a few hours of work to remove it. A few beers and friends help quite a bit.

Best of luck,
S-P
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  #18  
Old February 8th, 2009, 02:16 PM
CDeWan
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Clay DeWan
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Matt,
I am not sure if you grew up in Tampa or not. I am from St. Pete so if you to look at a Florida truck make sure it has not been anywhere near the ocean or the gulf and be sure to check the bulkhead, especially under the windscreen seal and where the vents are above the hood. I would still opt for the soft-top WITH AIR CONDITIONING. Also, if you get a hard or soft top, being in FL., I would buy a drop curtain from Art Vigil in order to help keep the cab cool.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintek
CD,

Can the sound deadening be sprayed on while the top is on the truck? What did you use?
It is called V-Blok - High Performance Vibration and Thermal Control Compounds - VB-1X. The VB-1LV is especially made for interior and can be sprayed or rolled on.
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  #19  
Old February 8th, 2009, 10:13 PM
clthonraltam
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Matt Murphy
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Thats for all the input guys. I haven't really decided on weather I want a POE/NAS/Import. I really want a ST and a manual transmission. I also wouldn't mind a diesel. I don't want to rush into anything so I am taking my time. I was considering buying a boat because I wakeboard a lot. Instead I thought I might just buy a defender and pick up kiteboarding. However, I do not want something that will be a money pit. I want it to be something I can enjoy without throwing too much money into it. If the cost to maintain the truck is too much I may reconsider. Whatever I buy I will probably keep it the way I buy it. I would probably only throw on a tire carrier, bull bar, and a lift. I just recently moved to Tampa. I plan on being around here for a while. The tip about A/C is great. Thanks for all the input guys. It really helps.
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  #20  
Old February 8th, 2009, 11:51 PM
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Daniel Marcello
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If you can find a POE that would be great. They are great in the winter. If the seller includes the rollcage that is even better! removing the POE top to put the soft top on is easy. 5 hours max with beer.
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