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  #1  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:00 PM
klawler9
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Ken Lawler
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In over my head or good decision?

Hey Folks

Honestly I have always wanted to own an old jeep or an FJ40 but I have 4 kids and a wife and those vehicles won't carry that many people.

I recently came across a soft top 110 Defender 2.5 1985 and instantly fell in love with the look of it. I drove it today and really liked it. It drove hard with no power steering, it was difficult to get into 3rd gear to say the least, the paint job is a bit rough (it's a recently imported ex Mod that had to be stationed in the desert because there is no rust) but I liked everything about it otherwise. I even like the gun mount and the dozens of empty holes where one thing or another was attached over the years.

For my intended use of this vehicle it is all I could ask for. I won't be traveling great distances or even on a highway very often. I also won't likely be going off road.

My question is after the obvious things about buying one of these am I going to quickly get in over my head? Will I be turning around every month and sinking another 3k here or there? Frankly I don't think I would do much at all in terms of upgrading unless power steering were an easy option. I guess what I am really asking is, what is it like to own something like this?

Any advice is appreciated and if this is in the wrong section and you are the moderator please feel free to move it and accept my apology.
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  #2  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:22 PM
The Dro
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Hate to burst your bubble. But I'm of the opinion to be straight forward.

Unless you are doing all the repairs yourself, I'd say steer away. These are old vehicles that will need a lot of TLC. Even the nice ones.

If you are mechanically inclined and love this stuff... Go for it.
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  #3  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:23 PM
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"Will I be turning around every month and sinking another 3k here or there? Frankly I don't think I would do much at all in terms of upgrading unless power steering were an easy option. I guess what I am really asking is, what is it like to own something like this?"


The biggest variable is not the truck (assuming the overall shape is decent) but YOU. How good are you with wrenching, do you have the tools and garage space and do you enjoy getting under the hood? My first D90 I lived in an apartment and used it as a daily driver, so I became frustrated with taking it to a shop, waiting, riding my bicycle to pick it up, etc.

Don't expect the trouble-free reliability of a Toyota Camry. Well, these vehicles are more DURABLE (longevity, toughness, etc) than a Camry, but idiosyncratic and fussy. Things have to tweaked, fiddled with.

That said, these vehicles and other similar vehicles (FJ40, old Jeep, etc) are as simple as a rock compared to newer cars. Especially since yours is an ex MOD, so no complicated EFI systems to mess around with.
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  #4  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:27 PM
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Pedro speaks the truth. If you are not fixing leaks you are fighting electrical gremlins, doing battles with rattles and chasing down parts. If you are not a total do it yourself mechanic you will rapidly become angry with the truck, broke or divorced.
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  #5  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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What many non land owners do not realize is that Defenders and older land rovers are hand built. Thats what makes them easier to fix in the wild with simple hand tools, indefinitely recyclable (70% of all LR made are still on the road), and desirable as expedition vehicles.(that and killer ground clearance and, solid box frame chassi & suspension). Definitely not your cookie cutter integrated molded frame robotically made rolling appliance.

This give each LR their own personality and quirks. One might even say the LR knows you..it knows when it is being neglected, demands attention, and spanks you if you treat it like a Japanese import.

Being able or willing to wrench most problems is a must unless you have very deep pockets. The 80's defenders are simple and robust, but it's hard to find one that will not need immediate attention.

Best bet for a newcomer is to buy as best condition as you can find, in the configuration that you want, after much research on the subject.
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  #6  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelinadave View Post
Pedro speaks the truth. If you are not fixing leaks you are fighting electrical gremlins, doing battles with rattles and chasing down parts. If you are not a total do it yourself mechanic you will rapidly become angry with the truck, broke or divorced.
Likely all three...as that fits the profile of many of us whether we admit it or not. It's love, hate. Just do your research and if you go with it quickly build your network.

Good Luck!
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  #7  
Old December 18th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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New gearbox, clutch, seats to keep the boss happy and good seatbelts for the tribe, you'll want to do a tdi transplant as well, chase odd problems away. Say $20k in first year, that's less than $2k a month.

Well within your $3k a month budget.
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  #8  
Old December 18th, 2013, 07:02 PM
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Parts are (or can be) super cheap if you know where to look. They are stupid easy to work on. There is a ton of enthusiast support. As long as it is in good shape and you keep it stock and don't want to make it pretty, it won't cost anything.

I know a couple of guys running bone stock ex military trucks as daily drivers and they are not having any issues. It is all in making sure it is in good shape to start with.
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  #9  
Old December 18th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
New gearbox, clutch, seats to keep the boss happy and good seatbelts for the tribe, you'll want to do a tdi transplant as well, chase odd problems away. Say $20k in first year, that's less than $2k a month.

Well within your $3k a month budget.
Ha! You're killing me.

Red90 you aren't in sales are you because you sold me

I'm leaning towards doing it because my wife even likes the idea. We have a ton of fun as a family already and as long as this truck is somewhat dependable I think it would only add to our happiness. If I have to get rid of it I won't be overpaying for it so I should be able to get out of it.

I'm sleeping on it anyway. Thanks for the replies! I'll probably be back next week asking if anyone knows a good mechanic
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  #10  
Old December 18th, 2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klawler9 View Post
Ha! You're killing me.

Red90 you aren't in sales are you because you sold me

I'm leaning towards doing it because my wife even likes the idea. We have a ton of fun as a family already and as long as this truck is somewhat dependable I think it would only add to our happiness. If I have to get rid of it I won't be overpaying for it so I should be able to get out of it.

I'm sleeping on it anyway. Thanks for the replies! I'll probably be back next week asking if anyone knows a good mechanic
And there is a thread on that too!
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  #11  
Old December 18th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
And there is a thread on that too!
I went through most of it looking for someone local already. I haven't found the right search query yet I guess. That is one long thread!
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  #12  
Old December 18th, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Well, as long as the Defender is not your only car, and you make >150k a year (especially with a large family), then sure, go ahead.

It's not as expensive as owning an LR4 or a Range Rover, but I estimate around $7k in parts for 150,000 miles. Whether you pay that all up front or somewhere along the however many years it takes to drive 150k miles is really down to luck.

Note that is parts only cost, and does not include labor, which is crazy money.
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  #13  
Old December 18th, 2013, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klawler9 View Post
I went through most of it looking for someone local already. I haven't found the right search query yet I guess. That is one long thread!
if you PayPay Josh $5.00 I'm sure he'll task one of his "people" on it.
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  #14  
Old December 18th, 2013, 08:43 PM
The Dro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klawler9 View Post

Ha! You're killing me.

Red90 you aren't in sales are you because you sold me

I'm leaning towards doing it because my wife even likes the idea. We have a ton of fun as a family already and as long as this truck is somewhat dependable I think it would only add to our happiness. If I have to get rid of it I won't be overpaying for it so I should be able to get out of it.

I'm sleeping on it anyway. Thanks for the replies! I'll probably be back next week asking if anyone knows a good mechanic
Please don't take this the wrong way.

We are giving you a crash course on owning a Rover. Yes, they are great trucks and if you have some mechanical knowledge you'll have fun... Heck, even I can fix them. (Contrary to popular belief)

I'm not the most seasoned... but been a Rover owner for over 10 years and I always wanted a diesel 200/300tdi. After riding on a D with a 300tdi... I SWEAR I HAVE PERMANENT HEAR LOSS. ... and now I know they are not for me.

Look who's in your area. Ride shotgun with them. And, If you are certain you are going to buy one, take him with you to see the D.

Enough rambling...

See if you can get a ex-MOD Tithonus

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=48474

Good luck!
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  #15  
Old December 18th, 2013, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dro View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way.

We are giving you a crash course on owning a Rover. Yes, they are great trucks and if you have some mechanical knowledge you'll have fun... Heck, even I can fix them. (Contrary to popular belief)

I'm not the most seasoned... but been a Rover owner for over 10 years and I always wanted a diesel 200/300tdi. After riding on a D with a 300tdi... I SWEAR I HAVE PERMANENT HEAR, AND WRITING LOSS. ... and now I know they are not for me.

Look who's in your area. Ride shotgun with them. And, If you are certain you are going to buy one, take him with you to see the D.

Enough rambling...

See if you can get a ex-MOD Tithonus

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=48474

Good luck!
Fixed it!!
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  #16  
Old December 18th, 2013, 09:36 PM
The Dro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post

Fixed it!!
Ha
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  #17  
Old December 18th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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Is this the white 3 door that has been for sale on craigslist?
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #18  
Old December 18th, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Ken, you have gotten some awsome advice from some EXTREMELY knowledgable Land Rover enthusiasts. It all comes down to your disposable income. Because you WILL dispose some income on a Defender. Even if it runs like a champ and never gives you a problem (doubtful) you will still dump a shit ton of money into it.

But if you gotta have one, you are gonna need to sell it to the wife (trust me on this one). So how you do this is, you tell her you are addicted to Meth and you have a love child with a stripper who is a crack whore. And as the tears well up in her eyes, you tell her "no Honey I'm only joking, I really just bought a Defender"

And even though owning a Defender is gonna cost more than having a love child with a crack whore while you are on meth, she will still be cool with it and thank God every day your only vice is a stupid English truck.

If you need any other marital advice just pm me.
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  #19  
Old December 18th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddymow View Post

If you need any other marital advice just pm me.
why do I here Vincent Prices voice when I read that line ?

http://www.soundboard.com/sb/scaryman
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  #20  
Old December 18th, 2013, 11:06 PM
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But if you gotta have one, you are gonna need to sell it to the wife (trust me on this one). So how you do this is, you tell her you are addicted to Meth and you have a love child with a stripper who is a crack whore. And as the tears well up in her eyes,
... duck as she pulls out the 9mm she keeps in her purse waiting for this very occasion and starts shooting ...
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