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  #1  
Old April 24th, 2007, 12:36 PM
Epsom_D2
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Sean-Paul Ferrera
1994 D90 POE
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Looking to purchase a D-90

I'm in the market for a D-90. I'm planning on using it mainly as a trail vehicle. That being said I have found a couple of 1997s locally but they have auto boxes. I'd prefer a manual but I was wondering if there were any years of the D-90 that were better than others or if the 1997 has more electronics and is therefore a bad idea.

I've done enough looking around to have a good idea of what to look out for on the body and being a Rover owner I understand the maintenance that accompanies ownership but I'd like a little more info about the 90.

Thanks in advance,
S-P
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  #2  
Old April 24th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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kevin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsom_D2
I'm in the market for a D-90. I'm planning on using it mainly as a trail vehicle. That being said I have found a couple of 1997s locally but they have auto boxes. I'd prefer a manual but I was wondering if there were any years of the D-90 that were better than others or if the 1997 has more electronics and is therefore a bad idea.

I've done enough looking around to have a good idea of what to look out for on the body and being a Rover owner I understand the maintenance that accompanies ownership but I'd like a little more info about the 90.

Thanks in advance,
S-P
The 97's had autos. 94 and 95 had manual boxes. I used to think auto boxes were for wimps but after 20 plus years of wheeling I just cant find a good argument not to have a auto box. My truck is stick but I would prefer auto if I had the choice.
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  #3  
Old April 24th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Scott
1997 D90 ST #1444
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94 and 95 were manual transmissions and they both have the 3.9 engine. It all comes down to your perference. Then you have to decide between a soft top or a hard top (Station Wagon).

Congrats,

Scott
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  #4  
Old April 24th, 2007, 01:02 PM
Epsom_D2
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Sean-Paul Ferrera
1994 D90 POE
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So other than the engine size and the slushbox there is no appreciable difference in electrics? I know I'm in the market for a ST it's just a matter of deciding on auto or manual box. I have to say I enjoy rowing my own.

Thanks for the quick replies,
S-P
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  #5  
Old April 24th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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lou manfredo
95 D90 Conn Green
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and....most of the 94's have the LT77 and the 95s have the RT380 (RT380s have the reverse down and to the right). I have had both and prefer the RT380 in the 95.
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  #6  
Old April 24th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Scott T
1995 Defender 90 ST
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsom_D2
So other than the engine size and the slushbox there is no appreciable difference in electrics? I know I'm in the market for a ST it's just a matter of deciding on auto or manual box. I have to say I enjoy rowing my own.

Thanks for the quick replies,
S-P
Than by all means go for the manual! I know there are good arguments for auto's on the trail, but I like the added control of the manual both on road and off, and I don't think that someone that is good with a manual is at a particular disadvantage to an auto truck in at least 99% of recreational off-road situations. Now if you are going to build a rock buggy...

That being said, there are some minor differences between the '94 and '95 trucks. Most notably the earlier '94's came from the factory with the LT-77 manual gearbox. Some say the R380 is stronger, some say it is just smoother, but either way you are likely to find a ninety with the R380, as many of the early LT-77's were changed out under warrantee (For identification purposes, the LT77 has reverse up and to the left, R380 in the more traditional down and to the right position).

The '94's also did not come with a top (although almost all of them were purchased with the optional top), and only had the forward portion of the roll cage. The optional tops were gray canvas, made by "Tickford" out of England and used snaps to secure them to the body (and included the rear roll cage section to support the top. These also had roll up side and back windows). The '95s came with "Bestop" branded black nylon tops and used a belt rail system to secure them to the truck, with removable side and rear sindows. Again, you will find most trucks that came with Tickford tops have been converted to the Bestop design, or even better yet a "Badger" brand top.

Other differences are mostly minor. Those that I remember off hand are... The '95 model added different interior door panels with map pockets, front door hinges that lock open, and an external key cylinder to the tailgate so you can lock or unlock it from outside the truck. Minor conveniences at best, but they can make life with your truck happier in certain circumstances.

As for the '97, the changes were a bit more involved, with the D-90 taking the Discovery's driveline to save on having to re-certify a new driveline from an emissions standpoint. This means the Discovery's 4.0 GEMS ignition system motor, serpentine accessory drive, ZF auto box, OBDII emissions system (complete with four higher dollar O2 sensors) compliance, new center console design. Yes there are some added electronics with this package, including ABS wheel speed sensors, even though there is no ABS on the truck in addition to the added engine diagnostic/emissions electronics.

Hope that is of some help to you. Hopefully I didn’t “screw the pooch” on any of the details, but I’m sure someone will correct me if I have..

Oh, I almost forgot. Coming from the D2 world, you may be unaware of the rather serious and common spline wear issue where the transmission output shaft mates to the transfer case input gear. Because of inadequate oiling, the splines have a tendency to wear and fail. This requires a complete overhaul of the manual transmission (as the main shaft needs to be replaced) and at a minimum the replacement of the input gear (get the cross-drilled one fitted to later model year vehicles) in the transfer case. Be careful to check for significant wear here, as it will cost you. Auto vehicles are much easier and less costly to fix this issue, since an adapter shaft was used on the back of the ZF, and this adapter and the input gear can all be changed without removing either the transmission or transfer case from the vehicle, just by working though the LT230's PTO cover...
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  #7  
Old April 24th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Epsom_D2
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Sean-Paul Ferrera
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Thanks for the info. I was worried that the 97s would be hindered by OBDII etc. Definitely looking for a 94-95 at this point.

With regard to the spline wear problem is there any way to determine how much wear is present from a test drive or does this require dropping the transmission and tcase? Additionally, how much do the parts for this kind of repair typically cost or if I were to have it done by a shop any idea what it may cost?

S-P
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  #8  
Old April 24th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Jeff
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AFter going to Moab with the manual d90 for the first time this past weekend, I would say that on a steep ascent, it would be nice to have an auto. On the descent, I think a manual is just as good if not better, and for everyday driving, a manual is way more fun...
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  #9  
Old April 24th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Scott T
1995 Defender 90 ST
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsom_D2
Thanks for the info. I was worried that the 97s would be hindered by OBDII etc. Definitely looking for a 94-95 at this point.

With regard to the spline wear problem is there any way to determine how much wear is present from a test drive or does this require dropping the transmission and tcase? Additionally, how much do the parts for this kind of repair typically cost or if I were to have it done by a shop any idea what it may cost?

S-P
Hey Sean,

The most accurately way to asses the spline wear issue is to pull the PTO cover off the back of the transfer case and actually pull the input gear out. This way you can truly see if there is any damage to either the output shaft or input shaft. Sometimes you can see the wear simply by looking into the open end of the input gear and looking at the mesh between the two, without actually removing the gear.

From a driving standpoint, it can be hard to tell. Some will tell you to look for excessive driveline slack, but honestly, the driveline slack is excessive in every manual transmission rover I have ever driven. When I had the spline wear issue with my Discovery it manifested itself as a prominent whine at highway speeds that got worse as it progressed, till it eventually was heard as a "clunk-clunk-clunk as I drove slowly through a parking lot. It was toast at this point, and after seeing the parts when they came out, I was surprised I was able to drive it to the shop.

As for cost, allot depends upon how much work you are willing to do and capable of doing. The Parts themselves are not that incredibly expensive, but the labor is pretty horrendous if you are going to pay someone to pull the transmission and transfer case, do a complete overhaul on the transmission and replace the input gear in the transfer case. Figure 2-3K easy if you go hands off approach...
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'95 D-90 ST - AA Yellow
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  #10  
Old April 24th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Donald McDowell
Black 1997 D-90 soft top
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I am up the road in Delray Beach have a 97 ST if you want to check it out. I checked out 7 or 8 D-90s before buying this one. Tried 94 95 but knowing what the traffic is like in So Fla...the automatic made the most sense for me...can't imagine non stop shifting in rush hr traffic.
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