D-90 Winter Driving - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 4th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Max(SD)
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Chehab Chehab
1959 Series II 88
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D-90 Winter Driving

I have been a lurker for a while and have just signed up to this forum. I usually post on the other Series oriented forums. I currently own a 1959 Series 2, that I drive year round. Last year we relocated from San Diego to Bend, OR. So the first thing that I did when winter came along was put on a fresh set of winter tires. The Rover is not my only car, but I do drive it all the time. Mostly local driving. I would like to start using my Rover for mountain runs during the ski season, but two things are standing in my way, no working heater and the 2.25 petrol motor is just too anemic to make it up the hill. It is a 20 mile drive up to the mountain, in which you climb from 3300 feet to about 5600 feet. I usually max out on the climb at around 40 mph pissing off everyone who happens to be behind me on the two lane road.

My 59 has a hardtop which gets taken off during the summer months and put back on during the fall and winter.

I have been looking for a D90, I am interested in the 95 with manual transmission, soft top and removable fiber glass hard top.

Now I have only been looking at d-90 with the removable hardtop, but wanted to know from the board regarding how functional the factory soft top is in snow winter environment. I have never owned a vehicle with a soft top and plastic windows, how do these work in cold winter. If they function well with the stock heater and there is no risk of cracking because of the cold, then this will open up my search for non hardtop convertibles.

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old September 5th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Mike
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The gas motor trucks seem to have a problem with getting heat into the cabin in the winter. The Metal hardtops are a little better. Some of the guys have added axillary heat or fume curtains behind the front seats that seems to do the trick when it is very cold. I have not heard of a factory soft tops having any problem with the cold. There are some high quality tops available, aftermarket, that are available. If you decided to go with the diesel, mine heat the cab great. The problem with the diesel might be the hills unless you play with the gearing and tire size, after all it is only A 2.5 4 cylinder.
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  #3  
Old September 5th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max(SD) View Post
Now I have only been looking at d-90 with the removable hardtop
Having ridden along in Jeff's truck plenty of times in cold weather, I can say that the soft top is perfectly fine.

From what I have seen/read of the removable hardtop (fiberglass) I have not been impressed.
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  #4  
Old September 5th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Dr. Gonzo
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I don't know what winter in Bend, OR is like, but I run mine in the Chicago winter.

The fiberglass top is really a lesson in compromise. Easy to maneuver, and you can put it on/take it off practically alone with simple hand tools. But it's too thin to offer much protection from the elements, still way too many gaps for moisture to creep in, and very little in the way of insulation.

In a NAS truck the heat is non-existent. If you have kids in the back, the fume curtain is useless too. If you breathe, the windows on the fiberglass top quickly get a coating of frost - on the inside! And the windscreen wipers suck.

Other than that, it's a lot of fun.
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  #5  
Old September 5th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by founD90 View Post
I don't know what winter in Bend, OR is like, but I run mine in the Chicago winter.

The fiberglass top is really a lesson in compromise. Easy to maneuver, and you can put it on/take it off practically alone with simple hand tools. But it's too thin to offer much protection from the elements, still way too many gaps for moisture to creep in, and very little in the way of insulation.

In a NAS truck the heat is non-existent. If you have kids in the back, the fume curtain is useless too. If you breathe, the windows on the fiberglass top quickly get a coating of frost - on the inside! And the windscreen wipers suck.

Other than that, it's a lot of fun.
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  #6  
Old September 5th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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I've driven mine for years in the DC winters. I have a Badger top and it's been fine. Been up to Canadensis Pa for ROVERS club events when it's been -10 and have been warm in the truck. The heat works fine but if you are worried get a drop curtain.
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  #7  
Old September 5th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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John B.
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All Defenders need real insulation added if you want to run in REAL winter. The stock heaters are "OK" if adjusted properly. It is not hard to replace it with a good one though or add a second one.
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  #8  
Old September 5th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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The heat sucks in my Defender 110 double cab. That's due to the lack of heat generated by the diesel and the draftiness of the whole truck. The heater in my buddies D90 ST is much better, but its even draftier in that.
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  #9  
Old September 5th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz
The heat sucks in my Defender 110 double cab. That's due to the lack of heat generated by the diesel and the draftiness of the whole truck. The heater in my buddies D90 ST is much better, but its even draftier in that.
Get a Webasto or two and you will be set.
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  #10  
Old September 5th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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Todd Kendrick
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SW doors on a ST make all the difference for me...........I have not used the fume curtain since getting the SW doors!
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  #11  
Old September 5th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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The heat is fine at non-highway speeds in a NAS ST. At highway speeds, you get more cold air in that the heater can compensate for.
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  #12  
Old September 5th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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Jon Ruti
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I've been through a bunch of winters in the mountains with the ST and it's really not that bad. I usaully drive with one hand on the wheel and the other hand half jammed into the heater vent on the top of the dash. Oh, and a shop rag/extra t-shirt/napkins/whatever is lying behind me in the bed, is expertly jammed in between the driver's side seat box and the driver's side door sill. Good to go.
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  #13  
Old September 5th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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I drove a ST (with a fiberglass hardtop) for 3 winters in the snow belt of Northeast Ohio and never had a problem staying warm. I bought a drop curtain but only used it for the first winter, as I just didn't need it to stay warm. The only thing I did was remove the heater vent covers, and that truck cranked out hot air. The fiberglass hardtop was great and really not that bad to remove and install which I did several times by myself. The worst thing is definitely the wipers, which as someone else pointed out, completely suck.
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  #14  
Old September 5th, 2012, 08:15 PM
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Don Bunnell
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The wipers do suck. I blew a wiper motor during a blizzard a couple of years ago.

In deep snow the NAS 90's are great. But tires make a huge difference. I remember being freaked out when I first got my 90 with the stocker BFG ATs on it. Was slipping around pretty bad but that was in a small accumulation/wet snow and one of the first times driving the 90.

I am usually warm enough in the ST but I typically wear pretty decent cold weather gear. I do know if it is sunny out the black ST helps tons. Sitting next to each other in the driveway, my Suburban will be ice cold inside but the 90 will feel very comfy if they are both in the sun for a bit. I also took the bottom heat vent covers off - that makes a nice difference too.

Overall a 90 is decent winter rig. Might not get you there as fast as an Audi Quattro with Hakapolekias on each corner but you should get to your destination no matter how much snow drops.
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  #15  
Old September 5th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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I am convinced you are all using old blades.

Just clean the windscreen before setting out and wipers with new blades (I have since switched to silblade as Walmart has stopped carrying the D90 size and I have finally run dry on spares) they work fine.
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  #16  
Old September 5th, 2012, 09:04 PM
Max(SD)
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Chehab Chehab
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I want to thank everyone for their comments. I am glad that I can now expand my search for ST without the fiberglass roof. I have narrowed to the 95's as I want the manual transmission. Will keep looking here and other places. If anyone has an interesting rig please pm me and will consider. Any rig that I buy will need to have the bench rear seat with seat belts. As kids like to come along on some of the adventures, not a big fan of the side facing seats.
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  #17  
Old November 11th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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Just lave your ski pants on. Makes a huge difference.

I had a ST as a daily driver with a fiberglass top. If you take the time to really seal it up it can be an improvement in draftiness- especially on the highway. With that said a top like a Badger can really seal well and provide excellent protection. Taking the heater vent covers off can help since they don't do much. And add seat heat- super easy to do and less then $200 if you do it yourself.
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  #18  
Old November 11th, 2012, 11:26 PM
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Chris Bird
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I have a Badger II with gutter kit & SW roll up window doors and have no problem with the Denver winters. And I don't need the drop curtain.
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  #19  
Old November 11th, 2012, 11:50 PM
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-20C yesterday. I had it at +25C in the cab with the heater on low...
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