Need 2 D-90s - help edumakate me! - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 4th, 2010, 12:18 PM
caj13
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Carl
D-90 SW # 434
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Location: Auberry Ca
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Need 2 D-90s - help edumakate me!

Ok guys,
I’m brand new here. My previous experience with Rovers was 2 different NAS (I assume US market units are referred to as NAS units - I don’t know for sure) units - D-90’s a 94 #215, and a 95 sw #434 (I think it was a 95.) I traded 215 for 434 - hardtop & roll up windows!

I very reluctantly sold 434 because I needed the down payment for the house - man I hated that!

So now fast forward 10 years – and my partner and I are needing 2 field vehicles. We are research Biologists working in the western US- we need something that can carry gear - roll down the highway for 500 or 1000 miles comfortably - then head off - mostly on unpaved roads - but occasionally getting into gnarly 2 track and eroded out goat trails strewn with bushel basket sized boulders. We are often 100 miles from civilization of any kind - and 50 miles from a paved road. Seems to me to be the perfect opportunity to get back into rovers! We on occasion have to haul a 3000 lb radar trailer on dirt roads and highway as well.

My 94 and 95 had the Buick engine - and the tiny gas tank.
So my first questions are :

How different are the NAS units from the imports. I loved my NAS units because they really were good daily drivers - comfortable on the road – went 75 – 80 mph smooth - good for traveling, how does that compare with the import units? I have been told the suspension is the same - but I don’t have any idea how they compare.

We are looking for dependable capable units. Seems to me we need to go to diesel engines:

TDI - is there a difference between “European and US? If so - what are the differences?
200 or 300? About the same - one better or worse? Dependability? Durability? Hauling power?

Transmissions?
I am about dead set against autotrans - to much magic going on inside - no bumpstart - lots of other things I do not like.
So seems to me my choices are either the L77 or TL 380 (I may have the letter designations wrong - I’m working off the top of my head)
Better? Worse? The same? I thought early L77 had issues with input shafts -
And what about syncromesh issues.

I guess that’s plenty for starts - can anyone help illuminate my mind - any and all inputs are welcomed!

Carl Johansson
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  #2  
Old June 4th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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leastonce
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Jason England
D-90 White 95 SW #65
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I'd buy a domestic Detroit or Japanese mass market box if you are going to depend on it for work ... the ability to get it fixed in the wilds of the middle america will out way the cool factor of a 25 year old import defender in no time ...

Having said that ... if I were to do what you are doing ... I'd get a Defender!
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  #3  
Old June 4th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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AmityD90
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Gery
1987 ROW D90
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Would you be comfortable with RHD vehicles?
If you are dead set on Defenders, I would go with two exact 110 TDIs imported from UK.
That way spare parts would be easier to manage. It can be done and there are people here that can help import.

If your research is in the western US, why not just go domestic diesel?
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Old June 4th, 2010, 01:26 PM
caj13
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Carl
D-90 SW # 434
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Auberry Ca
Posts: 184
DEPENDABILITY IS AN ISSUE, so domestic variants would be an option, . bUT IN OUR EXPERIENCE THE DOMESTIC DIESELS AVAILABLE - THEY SUCK OFF ROAD - AND ON ROAD TOO - SUPER STIFF SUSPENSION THAT KILLS YOU AFTER 10 OR 12 HOURS ON A WASHBOARD RUTTED OUT ROAD - MY d-90'S WERE NEVER HARSH RIDERS (ignore the caps - screwed that up!)

That being said - maybe it's asking to much to get a dependable defender (although I put 100K miles on each of my NAS - never being stranded, never a major problem)
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  #5  
Old June 4th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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JimC
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Jim Cheney
NAS 110 #145
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Heck, they're all kinds of dependable, but you gotta keep 'greased. I did a Tdi conversion 6 years ago on our NAS 90, and I've put 100k on it and it only failed to start one time, and then it needed a battery.

Personally, I would build my own trucks for this purpose, with identical engines, axles etc, so that you could have spares of the most common items and have them work with either truck.

Do you need 2 90's or would one 130 work? Why not look at Mike Slade's truck assuming he's still selling it (a 130 with a cargo box on the back and a chevy v8). That would be perfect for the kind of work you're doing.

If I had to have two trucks and I was going to work them to death, I'd look to find a pair of ex-mod 2-door 110 hardtops. Ideally LHD trucks.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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evilfij
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I would shoot myself if I had to drive my defenders that much.
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