Looking to get into a D-90 in the next few months - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 28th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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Marcus
1994 D-90
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Cool Looking to get into a D-90 in the next few months

Hey guys-

First, I'm new here. So if my post seems ignorant or pointless, I'm sorry.

I have some questions about a D-90, prices and some basic info.

I want a truck that I can take out, drop the top, drive hard, play hard and have fun with. I could careless what the outside of the truck looks like, because it's going to get worse when I own it. My major concern is with the mechanical reliability of the truck. Basically, I don't want to buy a repair bill.

Are certain years of the D-90 better than others mechincally? Is milegae near 100,000 a problem? Other than the obvious corrosion issues on the body, what effect does the rust have? Should it be ground down and patched?

Thank you in advance for any general information and for allowing me to be a part of this club.

Marcus
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  #2  
Old July 29th, 2009, 01:49 AM
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oscar
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I hope you have deep pockets. Land rovers are not meant to be abused unless you want to spend$$$ I would suggest a Land Cruiser. I'm probably going to get it for that last comment. but its true. I have two rovers a 97 D90 that sits in the ac garage and a 03 disco that gets to hits the trails. with that said nothing has the character of a rover in the trails!!
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  #3  
Old July 29th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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Tyler
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By abused what do you mean? The trucks can take a good bit of punishment in stock form but be prepared to spend a good bit on repairs. Alternately you can replace all the running gear with toyoyta or some other style gear and have less worries. Or just save your self the money buy a jeep and beat that up.
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  #4  
Old July 29th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFett
Hey guys-

First, I'm new here. So if my post seems ignorant or pointless, I'm sorry.

I have some questions about a D-90, prices and some basic info.

I want a truck that I can take out, drop the top, drive hard, play hard and have fun with. I could careless what the outside of the truck looks like, because it's going to get worse when I own it. My major concern is with the mechanical reliability of the truck. Basically, I don't want to buy a repair bill.

Are certain years of the D-90 better than others mechincally? Is milegae near 100,000 a problem? Other than the obvious corrosion issues on the body, what effect does the rust have? Should it be ground down and patched?

Thank you in advance for any general information and for allowing me to be a part of this club.

Marcus

You should probably buy a Jeep.
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  #5  
Old July 30th, 2009, 05:56 AM
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Marcus
1994 D-90
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I don't know where you all got the idea that I wanted to "abuse" a D-90. All i said was I wanted something to have fun with and off road in. Why could a Land Rover of any sort not handle that?
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  #6  
Old July 30th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Phillip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFett
Hey guys-

First, I'm new here. So if my post seems ignorant or pointless, I'm sorry.

I have some questions about a D-90, prices and some basic info.

I want a truck that I can take out, drop the top, drive hard, play hard and have fun with. I could careless what the outside of the truck looks like, because it's going to get worse when I own it. My major concern is with the mechanical reliability of the truck. Basically, I don't want to buy a repair bill.

Marcus
thats why.
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  #7  
Old July 30th, 2009, 07:59 AM
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Greg
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When it comes to Defenders, there are as many opinions about what is better, or preferred, as there are options. I think the point the guys are trying to make is that these are expensive trucks to maintain, as they are all over 12 years old. If you plan on using them off-road, then the maintenance costs will be higher than if you just drove it to work all week.

IMHO, '97 Defenders have a higher price tag, generally speaking, so you might want to look at '94s or '95s. I personally like the '95s because of the updated tail lights, among a few other minor changes. There are plenty of guys on the Board that know tons more than me on that subject.

Sounds like you definitely want a soft top. Being in Texas you probably want to have AC as well. Maybe not though. I live in Vermont and only need it about 2 days of the year.

I wouldn't worry about a high mileage Defender. I would worry about maintenance and RUST. Those are the big ticket items. Any Defender could have rust issues, or mechanical issues, regardless of the mileage. There are some sticky threads that can answer all your questions, too.

In the end, I wouldn't trade my Defender(s) for a Jeep. But I do know that there are tons more aftermarket options for Jeeps, and repair costs are generally cheaper.

That being said, there are plenty of deals out there on Defenders. Prices seem to be way down. With patience and knowing what you want, and what to look for, you could find a nice truck that meets your needs. The same truck in Jeep form will cost you half the cost of a comparable Defender, I would guess.
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  #8  
Old July 30th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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"I personally like the '95s because of the updated tail lights, among a few other minor changes."

The 1995 tail lights are the worst part of the 1995/97s as they corrode.

If you leave it stock (ie no lockers or bigger tires) you should be fine beating on one for a while, but there is no such thing as a D90 that does not need lots of maintaince and repair.
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  #9  
Old July 30th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Greg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
The 1995 tail lights are the worst part of the 1995/97s as they corrode.
Very true.

I guess I was speaking from a more aesthetic standpoint. Replacing the tail lights is a relatively cheap fix tho' at under $100. And this may solve the problem, at least temporarily, depending on your location (snowy and salty).

There are other ways to fix this too. . . LED tail light upgrades ($$$) or the Tail Light Boot Kit from Rovers. North.
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  #10  
Old July 30th, 2009, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozman
Very true.

I guess I was speaking from a more aesthetic standpoint. Replacing the tail lights is a relatively cheap fix tho' at under $100. And this may solve the problem, at least temporarily, depending on your location (snowy and salty).

There are other ways to fix this too. . . LED tail light upgrades ($$$) or the Tail Light Boot Kit from Rovers. North.
All true, but the 94 lights for the most part never have issues.
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  #11  
Old July 30th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
"I personally like the '95s because of the updated tail lights, among a few other minor changes."

The 1995 tail lights are the worst part of the 1995/97s as they corrode.

If you leave it stock (ie no lockers or bigger tires) you should be fine beating on one for a while, but there is no such thing as a D90 that does not need lots of maintaince and repair.
I've had my '97 SW for about a year now - had an FJ62 LC before and it was, IMO, boring by comparison - and I think working on the truck myself is about 50% of the ownership enjoyment. Getting it back into fighting shape (fixing the leaks, replacing the trim, swapping in SS hardware, de-rusting, consulting this forum 2xday) and driving it around is the kinda shit that I look forward to every week. You have to love the Defender for it's challenges as much as the driving experience.

Like restoring and maintaining a Ferrari 250 Lusso, the needs essentially transcend the cash money requirement. (no, I don't own a Lusso)
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  #12  
Old July 30th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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First of all, welcome.
I thought your questions are valid, and worth asking.
But also, everthing is relative. I have found that for the most part Rovers are solidly built and hold up well on the trails. (that's a personal take on it)
If you plan on hardcore wheeling, (once again, this is a relative term) you will need to do some upgrades that can be costly. If you plan to run stock on moderate trails, I would bet you will be fine.
If you lift over 3 inches and throw on 35's and some sort of locker's and hit more challenging trails without upgrading the necessary parts. You will break something.

I think a big variable is what's your tolerance for repairs.
If you plan on running it to the dealership for every small problem and expect it to never leak, you will not be happy most likely. And you may run into a whopper of a repair bill.

If you don't mind doing some of the work or have someone that can tackle some of the problems that arise without it at being at a dealer (not that I don't think they aren't good, just it can add up quickly with the shop rates and getting dealer priced parts)

Read thru all the "rough idle" or "won't start" posts and see if you can tolerate those issues.
A problem like rough idle, can be a multitude of parts that fail. Like a MAF, Last I heard they were $1400 at the dealer (this may be urban legend) as they are limited in supply. But they can be found used for $100. So it depends on how you plan to maintain the vehicle.

I would read thru pages and pages of posts and see if the issues scare you.
That's my $.02
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  #13  
Old July 30th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Charles Galpin
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First welcome, and I think btate sums it up well. If you like to work on your truck yourself you'll love a defender. If not, get a Jeep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
All true, but the 94 lights for the most part never have issues.
Mine do
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  #14  
Old July 30th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin
First welcome, and I think btate sums it up well. If you like to work on your truck yourself you'll love a defender. If not, get a Jeep.


Mine do
You could break a 1/2in steel plate.
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  #15  
Old July 30th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Charles Galpin
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True I am the king of demolition.

But this particular problem is not my doing. One of the bulb holders doesn't hold well any more, making it a bulb sometimes-holds-and-usually-holds-long-enough-for-an-inspection-holder
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  #16  
Old July 30th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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I will send a spare bulb holder with DB along with your piece of capping as I have some spare bits for the rear lights. Is it a one filament or two filament bulb that the holder is bad on?

Ron
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  #17  
Old July 30th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Thanks!

2 filament please!

charles
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  #18  
Old August 1st, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Marcus
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Thanks for you help/input.
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