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Old August 16th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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Franck Skobieranda
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philly USA
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by terrapin
My choice of a Rover is a lot like my choice in computers. I am an Apple user because I love the way their operating system runs, the looks of their sexy aluminum cases and even though I can get a functional PC for thousands of dollars less, I wouldn't trade my Macs for anything. I think that if you feel the same way about a Defender, then this is the vehicle for you.
Hmmm...interesting. I do have Macs at home (even though I "Know" PCs more from work) and love them. Good analogy.

Great discussion, guys. Thanks for the honest opinions. I think the only way of knowing for sure is to buy one! (thumbs up!)
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Old August 16th, 2005, 10:20 PM
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Chris Vitale
Status: Offline
'95 D90 ST 2.8L TDi #2050
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North East
Posts: 411
The best quote I have read is "I own a D-90 because I get the jeep thing"

Prior to owning my D-90, I have never worked on an engine in my life. Now, if that statment turns you off, turn around, run and NEVER look back.

I am not saying that I enjoy my truck breaking down, however, I have enjoyed learning from members on this site to appropriately diagnose and fix my D-90 without having to pay a mechanic to do the work for me. No offense

If you like to own unique toys and enjoy projects from time to time, buy a D-90.

Ps. I didn't buy a D-90 for resale value...because I never intended to sell...
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Old August 17th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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little black duck
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Michael Jude
2004/D90 Td5
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by Chris Vitale
If you like to own unique toys and enjoy projects from time to time, buy a D-90.

Ps. I didn't buy a D-90 for resale value...because I never intended to sell...
This one I agree with, I have a Defender 90 in the laand down under, I have had this one for a year and plan on having it for many years.

I had a look at the Wranglers at the time when I purchased my D-90 but the Wrangler couldn't do what I wanted (Recreational 4x4ing and towing a 2 ton trailer)

The Defenders seem to hold there value better than most other models down here and there must be a few good reasons for that.

Take one for a drive on the road, If you can cope with how it is on the highway you will love it of road.

Mine is a Td5 and so I can get 450+km out of a tank and the only time it struggles is on very soft sand.

2003 Defender 90 Td5 (Atlantic Blue)
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Old August 18th, 2005, 02:13 AM
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Michael Elliott
1997 D-90 Hardtop (#2369)
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 117
I have a 1998 Wrangler TJ soft top and a 1997 D-90 SW. Both are similarly equiped (lift kit, 33 inch tires, dual air lockers, winch, etc.). Based on my side-by-side daily experience with each I would add the following comments to what has been noted thus far:

1. Be carefull of any comparisions between the D-90 and other "Jeep Wranglers." In 1997 the Wrangler (thereafter designated the Wrangler "TJ") was completely and totally revamped with a new frame, coil suspension, and so many more things the list is too long to write about here. The bottom line is that it is far superior in almost every respect to the pre-1997 Wrangler (called the "JY"). I had a 1994 YJ Wrangler and it had all of the problems noted above--bad ride, poor air conditioner, loose noisy leaky top, poor axle articulation, etc.). However, the 1998 TJ is a 100 % different vehicle. I guess what I am saying is that, since you are considering buying a new Wrangler, any comparision to a pre-1997 model (especially an old CJ) is irrelevant.

2. In my experience the 1997 and newer Wranglers have far better air conditioners, heaters, and the soft tops are much easier to use and quieter, especially if you get a post 2000 model with the new Sailcloth style top.

3. Do not be fooled into believing all the hype about how "massive" the D-90 frame is in comparision to the TJ. In fact the D-90 frame is larger, but this is offset by the fact that it is only made of 14 guage steel (1.9 mm) In contrast, the TJ frame is made of 3/16 steel (4.8 mm), over twice the thickness of the metal used on the D-90 frame. In addition, the NAS D-90 frames were never painted properly on the inside, and barely painted on the outside. As a result they rust much faster than a comparable TJ frame. I have considerable welding experience on both types of frames and can tell you without reservation that there is no comparision in this regard with respect to longevity. Just look at the photos all over the net of Bill Burke's D-90 near the transfer case--it is completely caved in from hitting rocks. This is the REAL reason they sell "frame sliders" for D-90's. I have bashed my TJ frame into the worst rocks imaginable (Johnson Valley, Rubicon, Moab, etc.) and I have yet to put anything more than a scratch in the frame. The REAL reason 70% of Land Rovers are still on the road is because idiots like me can't get enough of them and blow all of our time and money repairing rust and keeping them running.

4. D-90's will in fact have a much worse "overall" problem with rusting than a TJ. Again, comparisions to rusty old 1970's CJ's are irrelvant. The newer Jeep TJ's have zink plated bodies--that's right, the body is galvanized. Try welding on one with the wrong process and see what happens. Hold your breath though because the fumes are toxic! It is true that the D-90 body, made of aluminum, will not rust. Unfortunately, this solution is the classic example of the principal of unintended consequences--all of the contact points between the aluminum and steel will eventually suffer from the ever present galvanic corrosion problem that all of us know and love so well. This problem is far more difficult to deal with than rusty steel, which in all but the worst cases can simply be cut out and repaired by a competent weldor. In addition, D-90's have a terrible time with rust on the steel parts that do exist (check out how many posts there are on this websit regarding rusting bulkheads, frames, door trims/frames, and the corroding body contact points).

5. Buck-On 37 is 100% correct about the issues related to the strength of the front axles. There is no way in the world you can build the D-90 outer stubs to be stronger than a Dana 44 with chrome moly axles and CTM/OX U-joints.

6. In the really hard, rocky off road environments the D-90 does not, and will not, outperform a comparably equiped TJ. It simply cannot because it is so much heavier than a TJ. Obviously, a good driver can make the difference, and you can build your D-90 like Buck-On has done to overcome this issue, but based on my actual driving experience with both vehicles the D-90 gets stuck far more often. But then again, I have a SW so......perhaps not a fair comparision.

OK, after that rant I know you are all wondering why in the Hell I even have a D-90. It's simple--you all listed the many reasons/good things above so I do not need to bother. I just wanted to address several of the issues discussed above so our new friend can make an informed decison. But, as everyone has pointed out, the decision to buy a D-90 is one of the heart, not of the mind..... If you can afford one and can't get it out of your mind you owe it to yourself to get one. If you don't you will keep on wishing you had every time one drives by.
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