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  #1  
Old December 6th, 2015, 11:09 AM
TravelinLight
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Matt
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LTB my first Defender

Hello all,
I have researched and researched but wanted to start my own post. Ive owned multiple jeeps including an 83 CJ7 that I did a v8 swap on but always wanted a Defender. The past few years I have been commuting and now I think I am ready to jump into this world. It will be a daily driver and my weekend rig for camping and festivals. My budget is 15-25k so realistically I am looking for a RHD 1980s Defender 90, most I've seen come the 2.5 turbo. I have found two that I am very interested in and wanted to ask if you have any advice for me as certain things to look, listen, or smell for. Any other advice?
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  #2  
Old December 6th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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John B.
1991 Defender 90, 200TDI
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Sure. Buy a Civic for a daily driver and use the Defender on the weekends.
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Pissing people off on the "net" since 1983.

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  #3  
Old December 6th, 2015, 12:24 PM
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Brian Morton
1991 Defender 110 "Blanca"
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Lots of people daily drive Defenders but I would not drive one daily on the highway or long distances. Since you've owned a Jeep and it sounds like to can perform mechanical repairs working on a Rover isn't much different than a older Jeep. Look for rust areas that are common on Rovers in the bulkhead under the windshield and at the doors and the floor areas under the dash. They are all rusty but lookout for large holes and bad previous repairs. The door bottoms are also prone to rust other than that it's just normal leaks and maintenance items that you need to ask about. I saw a D90 in Austin on Craigslist that had an upgraded engine to the 200TDI that wasn't in bad overall condition and in your price range. I think the hardest part is getting hands on with the trucks to check them out in person. Good luck in your search.
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  #4  
Old December 6th, 2015, 02:51 PM
cowboy
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steven
'84 110 & '90 127 LHD 2-carb V8's
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Not that I've ever priced 90's, but I was skeptical re the assumption that a LHD 90 can't be had for $25k. Sitting here watching a game, so I eventually ran a Dailylister search for "Defender 90" & got this:

1988 Land Rover Defender 90

Assuming that's a legit & representative listing, you might want to contact "Johan" here to discuss the possibilities of scoring a decent serviceable LHD 90 for under 25K.
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  #5  
Old December 6th, 2015, 03:03 PM
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Paul Kennington
'85 Ninety V8 SW
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My advice is to wait until you can find one with an original 200Tdi (so 1990). I know they are only a year inside the 25 rule, but the 200Tdi was such a massive leap over the previous engines that, especially if you're going to DD it, I'd try to get one. Be careful though. 25 years is a long time in the UK, and there is a good chance it'll need quite a bit of work, all the way up to a new chassis & bulkhead (that would be a good time to swap to LHD). Also, make sure you either lay eyes on, or better yet have inspected, anything you buy. There are some real dogs out there.

As has been mentioned, you should be able to find a LHD for that money. LHD & 200 Tdi, even better!

Edit:

The one above looks great, you could upgrade to a 200 or 300Tdi for your budget!
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Current fleet: '85 Ninety 3.9 V8i Auto SW, two Discovery 1's (one for my Nephew, one for my Niece),'07 BMW 335Xi.
Past Land Rovers: '96 Discovery SD, '00 Range Rover HSE, '04 Discovery SE7, '07 Range Rover HSE, '08 LR3 SE7.
Past fleet: '89 Classic Mini, '83 Porsche 911 SC Coupe, '89 911 Carrera targa, '96 911 Carrera 4, '07 Toyota FJ Cruiser, several Minis.
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  #6  
Old December 6th, 2015, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul K View Post
My advice is to wait until you can find one with an original 200Tdi (so 1990). I know they are only a year inside the 25 rule, but the 200Tdi was such a massive leap over the previous engines that, especially if you're going to DD it, I'd try to get one. Be careful though. 25 years is a long time in the UK, and there is a good chance it'll need quite a bit of work, all the way up to a new chassis & bulkhead (that would be a good time to swap to LHD). Also, make sure you either lay eyes on, or better yet have inspected, anything you buy. There are some real dogs out there.
Paul is spot on with this one. If you want to stay in budget and not need to replace the engine immediately, I'd steer clear of the 2.5TD powered trucks and wait for a 200tdi. Alternately look for the best body and interior you can find and plan to spend another $25k to upgrade the engine and chassis.
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  #7  
Old December 6th, 2015, 04:01 PM
TravelinLight
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Matt
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I am with you on the TDI, I play with the thought of waiting another year or two for them to start rolling in more frequently as that motor would best suit my needs. The one in Reno seems to be in great shape and being a LHD is a plus but I am not afraid of a RHD. The one in Austin is definitely one I need to add to my list. I drove my Cj as a daily driver for 3 years with only a bikini top and soft doors, I loved ALMOST every minute of it. I am mainly looking for a solid body and good running gear. Thanks for all of the replies.
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  #8  
Old December 6th, 2015, 04:06 PM
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john
97 D90 ST / 1957 S1 109/ 1983 LS110
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you might want to investigate an LS swap especially if you've done a V8 swap in the past....Makes for a very smooth and efficient daily driver.
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  #9  
Old December 6th, 2015, 04:34 PM
TravelinLight
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Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
you might want to investigate an LS swap especially if you've done a V8 swap in the past....Makes for a very smooth and efficient daily driver.
You know in all honesty the swap was what made me finally get rid of the Jeep. The 351w I built for it was great running and loads more power than the previous stock 4cyl but it was a frankenstein after that. Plus I am a big fan of a diesel motor.
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  #10  
Old December 6th, 2015, 04:59 PM
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Paul Kennington
'85 Ninety V8 SW
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You might have to move quick on the Reno 90. Best deal I've seen in a while!
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Current fleet: '85 Ninety 3.9 V8i Auto SW, two Discovery 1's (one for my Nephew, one for my Niece),'07 BMW 335Xi.
Past Land Rovers: '96 Discovery SD, '00 Range Rover HSE, '04 Discovery SE7, '07 Range Rover HSE, '08 LR3 SE7.
Past fleet: '89 Classic Mini, '83 Porsche 911 SC Coupe, '89 911 Carrera targa, '96 911 Carrera 4, '07 Toyota FJ Cruiser, several Minis.
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  #11  
Old December 6th, 2015, 05:18 PM
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john
97 D90 ST / 1957 S1 109/ 1983 LS110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelinLight View Post
You know in all honesty the swap was what made me finally get rid of the Jeep. The 351w I built for it was great running and loads more power than the previous stock 4cyl but it was a frankenstein after that. Plus I am a big fan of a diesel motor.
apples and oranges... motor from the 60s vs modern drivetrain but i hear you on the diesel.
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  #12  
Old December 6th, 2015, 05:31 PM
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johan
2009 Range Rover
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, I have a nice grey 90 D NA, if you are interested I can give you more details.



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Also a green one, which I have listed here before.




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  #13  
Old December 7th, 2015, 01:35 PM
WatchTimes
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Jeremy
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+1 for johan

Has a great reputation here on the board and has been very helpful on my end!

I am in the LTB my first as well.
I have loved the Defender since I first saw them in the late 80's when they came stateside.
I lusted after a Yellow D90. Id still LOVE the 90 but being married with a kid even though this is
going to be my second vehicle the 110 is more practical (practical and Defender isn't that an oxymoron?).

I drive a BMW 335 ix daily but this will be replacing a 08 Wrangler Rubicon UL I had all done up (OME lift, AEV tires etc etc)

I am after a 110. I think I am leaning towards a V8 as I will not be using this for mudding, hill climbing etc just for crappy snow days here in Michigan and driving to the cabin up North. As I am not very mechanical I am trying to find as clean of an example as possible under 35K (hard to do!). Body/frame etc is my main concern as I will likely have a newer V8 put in within a year or two I think...

Anyway good luck in your search! You have found a great forum to help you in your search and as it sounds like you are handy there is a ton of good info on wrenching here!
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  #14  
Old December 7th, 2015, 08:57 PM
TravelinLight
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Matt
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Is there any way to check VIN numbers on a defender? I've stumbled into a vehicle that seems to good to be true with an owner(military) over seas. Says the truck is tagged and titled in Nebraska.

Vin SALLDVBBBEA343914
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  #15  
Old December 7th, 2015, 09:00 PM
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john
97 D90 ST / 1957 S1 109/ 1983 LS110
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These guys can tell you more about the vehicle associated with that VIN.. but id be careful...lots of scams around defenders.

Heritage Certificates & Archive Services
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  #16  
Old December 8th, 2015, 03:50 AM
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johan
2009 Range Rover
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I always use www.clifton.nl

SAL Manufacturer code: Land Rover
LD Model: Defender (for early models: Ninety, or One Ten)
V Wheel base: 92.9 inch, but designated 90
B Body type: 2-door station wagon, or hard top
B Engine type: 2.5 litre diesel turbo (model 19J)
B Steering and transmission: Unknown code
E Model year: 1988
A Assembly location: Solihull, UK
343914 Serial number
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  #17  
Old December 8th, 2015, 05:16 AM
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Chris
72 + D1 drivetrain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelinLight View Post
Is there any way to check VIN numbers on a defender? I've stumbled into a vehicle that seems to good to be true with an owner(military) over seas. Says the truck is tagged and titled in Nebraska. Vin SALLDVBBBEA343914
There are many scams out there involving Defenders. The Owner is overseas is a classic scam line.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #18  
Old December 8th, 2015, 09:47 AM
TravelinLight
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Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
There are many scams out there involving Defenders. The Owner is overseas is a classic scam line.
Luckily I was once in the USMC and can ask a few questions that only military personal should/would know. Definitely believe it is a scam but doesn't hurt to dig a bit deeper. You never know when someone wants to give something away. Thanks everyone for the information. Johan, you sir are a wealth of knowledge.
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