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  #1  
Old October 4th, 2016, 11:51 AM
bbaileyga
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Bill Bailey
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D90 Buying Advice

I am sorry if this has been posted before but I did a quick search and didn't turn up anything obvious.

I am the current owner of a 99 P38 and a LR3 and LR4. I am looking at purchasing a 1988 RHD Defender 90 2.5TDI. What should I be looking for? What would be considered normal wear and tear and what would be considered a "negotiating point"?
Thanks for any pointers.
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  #2  
Old October 4th, 2016, 01:16 PM
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Look at all the typical failure points...bulkhead (up around the windscreen hinges, door pillars and floor pan), holes in battery box under passenger seat, frame & outriggers, rear cross member, door bottoms...typical stuff. As for the 2.5TDI...most will tell you to stay away as early models were unreliable. IMO 2.5TDI is an OK engine so long as it has been maintained & not abused. Biggest thing to look for in the 2.5TDI would be oil blow-by...oil getting to the air filter. This can be checked by inspecting the air filter...if the filter is saturated w/ oil things are not good. Also, all diesels will smoke a bit on cold start but any smoke should stop within a few minutes after start up.
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  #3  
Old October 6th, 2016, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for the info. I was looking at a engine upgrade in the future. I hope this one works out.
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  #4  
Old October 6th, 2016, 05:07 PM
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I would definitely pull the pipe off the valve cover and check for blowby.

A good engine should have zero to very little perceptible blowby at idle.

I've seen engines with so much blowby that they spray hot oil and air out at idle. Amazingly, the engines still run...
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  #5  
Old October 6th, 2016, 06:45 PM
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You could just buy mine
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  #6  
Old October 7th, 2016, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by NPT90 View Post
You could just buy mine
If you are serious about selling, i'd be interested.
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  #7  
Old October 7th, 2016, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ddelsol View Post
If you are serious about selling, i'd be interested.
It has a for sale ad so I'd say he's serious! Haha
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  #8  
Old October 7th, 2016, 10:29 AM
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Pay The Shop over in Norcross to do a pre-vehicle inspection.

Yes I know this costs money, but when they come back and inform you that it needs new axles, transmission, engine, frame, suspension, and there is bad galvanic corrosion on the body, it'll be well worth it.

But seriously, many of these RHD defenders are old farm trucks. Farm trucks aren't exactly well taken care of.
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  #9  
Old October 7th, 2016, 10:50 AM
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  #10  
Old October 7th, 2016, 10:53 AM
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  #11  
Old October 10th, 2016, 08:53 AM
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So I am lucky enough to have a guy that works on my current used car lot called my home garage. He came along for the inspection and drive. So here is the outcome It "runs" fine with two major exceptions. The aforementioned blow buy well ya we have a good case of that and two the clutch take a bit of time getting it in gear I am not certain if its just a bad spring in the pedal, cable need tightened or it needs a clutch rebuild. So bottom line is its going to need some work. the Exterior of the car is what I would expect from a 1988 Rover. The doors have seen better days and there are some spots in the paint that are bubbling. So body work is going to be needed oddly or blessed I am not certain which the undercarriage seems to be in very good shape and the interior is also in good condition. I probably should have been more clear in my first post, I am working within a budget for purchase and was able to negotiate a yearly restoration budget to do what I want to it. This maybe the one if the seller accepts the offer. I can see a future where I am spending some time on this board So thank you all in advance.

Any comments on the clutch issue and engine upgrade options feel free to point me to a thread or reply to this one.
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  #12  
Old October 10th, 2016, 09:04 AM
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First, if you want a Defender, start spending time here on this forum. Just read the threads and you will learn a lot even before you buy.

The clutch is hydraulic, so no cables. This is a common (and recurring) problem. In fact, I'm going to change the clutch master and slave cylinders on my 110 tomorrow. And I learned about upgraded master cylinder that one of the venders here recently started selling.

You didn't say anything about the condition of the bulkhead.

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  #13  
Old October 10th, 2016, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaileyga View Post
I am sorry if this has been posted before but I did a quick search and didn't turn up anything obvious.

I am the current owner of a 99 P38 and a LR3 and LR4. I am looking at purchasing a 1988 RHD Defender 90 2.5TDI. What should I be looking for? What would be considered normal wear and tear and what would be considered a "negotiating point"?
Thanks for any pointers.
1988 would be a 2.5 TD as in Turbo Diesel aka 19j engine if it has its original engine type

Conversely a TDI stands for Turbo w/Direct Injection. These engines were in 1991 model year defenders-starting with build dates in August 1990.

One is a pretty poor engine the other is a quantum leap in improvement.
As you read on the web and glean owners opinions as you develop your own its important
that you not proceed thinking you are getting a Tdi, unless of course the truck has had an engine swap.
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  #14  
Old October 10th, 2016, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
1988 would be a 2.5 TD as in Turbo Diesel aka 19j engine if it has its original engine type

Conversely a TDI stands for Turbo w/Direct Injection. These engines were in 1991 model year defenders-starting with build dates in August 1990.

One is a pretty poor engine the other is a quantum leap in improvement.
As you read on the web and glean owners opinions as you develop your own its important
that you not proceed thinking you are getting a Tdi, unless of course the truck has had an engine swap.
Save yourself the heartache, mine is already a 300 TDI with all major issues addressed (and all minor)
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  #15  
Old October 10th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaileyga View Post
So I am lucky enough to have a guy that works on my current used car lot called my home garage. He came along for the inspection and drive. So here is the outcome It "runs" fine with two major exceptions. The aforementioned blow buy well ya we have a good case of that and two the clutch take a bit of time getting it in gear I am not certain if its just a bad spring in the pedal, cable need tightened or it needs a clutch rebuild. So bottom line is its going to need some work. the Exterior of the car is what I would expect from a 1988 Rover. The doors have seen better days and there are some spots in the paint that are bubbling. So body work is going to be needed oddly or blessed I am not certain which the undercarriage seems to be in very good shape and the interior is also in good condition. I probably should have been more clear in my first post, I am working within a budget for purchase and was able to negotiate a yearly restoration budget to do what I want to it. This maybe the one if the seller accepts the offer. I can see a future where I am spending some time on this board So thank you all in advance.

Any comments on the clutch issue and engine upgrade options feel free to point me to a thread or reply to this one.
I fully understand the budget limitations but don't rush into a purchase just because it falls within your purchase price budget. What is the selling price? Do some homework...a yearly restoration budget can be chewed up in a matter of days. 10 months ago I purchased my Ninety p/u (2.5TD 19j) for $6k...so far I have spent another $4k and haven't even made it to the engine. I'm lucky that the 19j is running very good w/o blow-by and very thankful...I'd love to upgrade to a 200TDI or 300TDI but just the cost of the motor alone is scary. My point is getting into a Defender cheap isn't always the cheap way to go.
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  #16  
Old October 11th, 2016, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrie View Post
I fully understand the budget limitations but don't rush into a purchase just because it falls within your purchase price budget. What is the selling price? Do some homework...a yearly restoration budget can be chewed up in a matter of days. 10 months ago I purchased my Ninety p/u (2.5TD 19j) for $6k...so far I have spent another $4k and haven't even made it to the engine. I'm lucky that the 19j is running very good w/o blow-by and very thankful...I'd love to upgrade to a 200TDI or 300TDI but just the cost of the motor alone is scary. My point is getting into a Defender cheap isn't always the cheap way to go.
That's been the tag line I use when people look at my truck; realize what upgrades or frame swaps cost before you look at the price tag.

Frame swaps are running near $10K, 200/300TDI engine swap will likely run near $5k (closer to $10k) when you finish

Even 'down the road' these things still cost money and time without your truck. Try and buy the best truck you can first, that seems to be the unanimous opinion around here
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  #17  
Old October 11th, 2016, 10:31 AM
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This stuff adds up FAST. Buy the nicest truck you can afford.
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  #18  
Old October 11th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPT90 View Post
That's been the tag line I use when people look at my truck; realize what upgrades or frame swaps cost before you look at the price tag.

Frame swaps are running near $10K, 200/300TDI engine swap will likely run near $5k (closer to $10k) when you finish

Even 'down the road' these things still cost money and time without your truck. Try and buy the best truck you can first, that seems to be the unanimous opinion around here
No doubt...unless you plan to dive into this endeavor wanting a project you'll be much better off being patient. Even if you want a project be patient and look for one that isn't too far gone. IMO if you plan to swap out the 2.5TD for a 200 or 300TDI you'd be much farther ahead waiting for one to come up for sale...such as NPT90's.
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