Generic Advice on What to Look for During Inspection - Defender Source
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Old June 11th, 2013, 03:38 PM
Dragon Breath's Avatar
Dragon Breath
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1994/D90 ST (white)
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 64
Generic Advice on What to Look for During Inspection

I'm doing a pre-inspection, insepction tomorrow (meaning if I like it and can agree on a price I will have pro look at it) before I buy. I'm wondering what sort of tell tale signs I should look for (I don't imagine I'm the first to ask, but couldn't find another thread on this subject) -- as good signs or bad signs.

It's a 94 ST, got about 75k miles, and has A/C. Spent 1/2 of its life in Colorado and 1/2 in California.

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Old June 11th, 2013, 03:49 PM
rijosho's Avatar
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1995 Black ST - Rhinolined edition
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Check all of the rust spots highlited in this thread. Bring a screwdriver and poke around.

Then have a KNOWLEDGEABLE mechanic who has experience with Land Rovers (RRCs, D1s, Defenders) go over the truck while you also look at the following:

Also, bring the car up to temp during a drive, then let it sit for 10 minutes while running while you look over the truck. Keep hood closed for now. Check for leaks, etc. Then check the temp gauge and see where it sits. The list can go on and on and on but rust, leaks, overheating, electronic (are all lights working and functionining?) are a good start. If the oil cooler lines (search) have not been replaced with braided stainless or upgraded (or deleted) then you'll want to replace those immediately if all else checks out.

Walk around look for dings, dents evidence of bodywork
Have door jambs been painted over, are tags and badges clean or covered with paint
Rust in door bottoms, general condition, body panels straight?

Under the hood:
Check inside of oil filler cap for color
Look for leaks and stains on engine
Backpressure in overflow tank from rad
check viscous fan
bulkhead rust? footwells?
leaks in tran cooler, oil cooler lines
plug wires genuine or better?
Serpentine belt condition?
Pulley wear?

Check LT230 for play in front and rear output bearings, excessive play in Tcase
Check Ujoints for movement
Chassis rust?
Obvious repairs or welding
Condition of gearbox, leaks?
Exhaust condition, tap cats, do they rattle?
Look for evidence of exhaust leaks

Condition of seats
Pull back carpet is there rust?
Does odo match the condition of the vehicle
are the pedal pads worn a lot
Burns in carpet, seats?

Turn the key don't start
Do all the idiot lights come on?

Listen to engine sounds, AC off, noises?
Do all the lights go off properly

Turn on AC
Cold Air?

Turn steering wheel back and forth
Noise, Squeel, Feel?

Clutch pedal feel right?
Brakes feel right?
Is the emergency brake adjusted properly?

Drive windows down, AC off
Noises, pull, power, does it brake straight

Slowly in parking lot turn both directions with wheel to lock, do the CVs clunk and clank, tire scrub?

Engage low range
Does it go in easily? Does diff lock light come on when engaged?
Drive in low, excessive noise or whine?

Drive normally, wobble or shimmy in front end, overall feel of vehicle?

Drive for 15 to 30 minutes

Park, open hood, engine running
Is engine too hot, is viscous fan working, any noises, everything in good nick?

Turn off engine
Tell the owner everything that needs to be serviced from what you have seen. Look at service history if available. Find out everything you can about who has owned, how many owners, area of the country (salt on roads in winter)

Make offer. Leave number and don't look back when you leave. Don't show up with cash! Don't become emotional. Don't buy any car that you cannot live without or you will pay too much.

Originally Posted by bjf View Post
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 03:58 PM
rover4x4's Avatar
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1995 SW #487/500
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Location: The Old North State
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rust, service records, rust. Have a look in the oil filler, sludged up = neglect.
Poor gas mileage gets you to the best places on earth
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:19 PM
Dragon Breath's Avatar
Dragon Breath
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1994/D90 ST (white)
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 64
Thanks for the excellent and thorough advice.
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