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Old July 5th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Lee Smith
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN, US
Posts: 1
Dumb questions to ask when looking at a defender...

So I really like the defenders and series landrovers.... Been trying to do a bunch of research, but hey, its all still new...

so when you guys/gals go looking at a defender/series land rover.. What do you ask/look for?

I love the looks of the 110's(yes, I know this is a d-90 site, but I hope you wont mind me intruding, this is one of the better forums I have found. Point me to other forums if you have links please)... so I think I pretty much want to stay in that realm... I dont know if I want to pay for a 93(but I might if I am not feeling especially attached to my wallet one day!!)... I like the looks of the semi stock units, and am not especially fond of the off-road moded out units(no offense!).

So I guess questions I have are...

1) What do you all look for/ask?

2) Where are the spots to look for rust(seems like that is one of the bigger problems)

3) What other mechanicals should I be worried about.

4) How expensive are diesel motors/trannies?

5) Is there some major killers in the deal? Like if "This" is gone, just walk away... for the record I am not necessarily against motor/tranny replacements.. I have done that before(mostly muscle cars, etc so no 4x4's).. but I am wary of getting into a basket case where I get lost with soooo much to do.... and definitely dont want to be the proud owner of a defender that needs X part that cant be bought in the US unless I pay off 16 columbian king-pins and sell my firstborn to get it into the country....

6) Is there anything that cant be retrofitted? Like if I got a bug up my arse and wanted to put in a Chevy V-8 with overdrive tranny from a Yukon, are there people out there making kits to help me in this process, or am I SOL and in virgin territory?!?! For the record: I dont care ford from chevy from saab(okay maybe not saab) from whatever.. But I dont know if I am ready to get a car with shot suspension and no one makes the bushings/etc...

7) Since the 93's are sooo expensive, is there any real catch 22's with the older units(60-90's)...

8) What are some good websites/phone numbers of suppliers... I have a few already, but would like input on where you all like to shop....

9) anything I need to underbody immediately upon receiving my defender? I live in Indiana, and we use salt in the winter....

10) Anything I need to worry about with a Right Hand Drive unit? Insurance, licensing, etc? Obviously I would call and ask my insurance agent, but curious if anyone has any experience in this avenue....

11) Anything I need to worry about with cars that were imported? Insurance, licensing, etc? see question 10 for disclaimer. hehe

I guess I would like a car that I can enjoy and not be constantly nickle and dimed to death... yes yes, I can see a bunch of you saying "Then you prolly dont want a Defender!!" hehehe Everything costs money, I am not TOTALLY nieve... I just dont want to get totally upside down in a car and feel like its the anchor holding me down in the ocean that is life... hehehe

I'm a big boy, you all can let me down easy!!! I guess it's only money, but I would like to enjoy it!! hehe

PS- I am currently thinking about this unit... If I decide to call the guy, any questions I should be asking? beside the standards and "Can it make it home to indiana or do I need to tow it?!?!" hehe

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Old July 6th, 2005, 07:16 AM
Mike Hippert's Avatar
Mike Hippert
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94 D-90 Grinding Rover
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Manchester NH USA
Posts: 4,790

Don't forget to Search first then ask questions later! The loose nut behind the wheel
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Old July 6th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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Robert Ragland
1994 Defender 90
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 638
There are a number of sources that post info on buying Rovers, including East Coast Rover, Northwest Pacific, and many other vendors.

As for keeping sanity, I think what's true for most other hobby cars is true for a Rover. Buy the cleanest, best shape vehicle you can afford. Repairs are more expensive then a straight car from the start. If you are unsure what will come of the truck, keep it relatively stock. Your dream machine is someone else's screw-up. You can typically divide by 4 every dollar you spend on custom modifications, and you will be lucky to get that back. If customizing, think Camel Trophy, not Tonka.

In other words, buy well and drive it a while to see if you really like Rovers. Skip the wild hair engine jobs, but put the money into maintenance and keeping the truck in good running condition. The Rover market usually favors something that resembles the way it left England, and the aftermarket generally sticks to that theme in large part. For example, should an engine swap be desired later on, go the route of a rover 300 Tdi, not chevy small block. Remember this, and you will not lose your scalp in testing the Rover waters.

Good luck, they're great trucks.
"Uhh...I think they all leak like that."
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