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  #1  
Old August 1st, 2016, 02:45 AM
Cobrakillerta
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Newbie and taking a look at my first Defender

So, I'm not new to working on cars, but I'm new to Defenders. Besides my many daily drivers, I've had a few pony cars over the years and have always done my own work. I've always liked the Defender and came across an '86 Defender 90, RHD, manual, non-turbo diesel that is being sold by a local Land Rover shop which is asking $15k.

What should I look for?
Is the non-turbo diesel a big negative?
Am I crazy thinking I may daily-driver this 90?
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  #2  
Old August 1st, 2016, 03:07 AM
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Jason England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobrakillerta View Post
So, I'm not new to working on cars, but I'm new to Defenders. Besides my many daily drivers, I've had a few pony cars over the years and have always done my own work. I've always liked the Defender and came across an '86 Defender 90, RHD, manual, non-turbo diesel that is being sold by a local Land Rover shop which is asking $15k.

What should I look for?
Is the non-turbo diesel a big negative?
Am I crazy thinking I may daily-driver this 90?
Non-turbo means it will be very slow ... not ideal for driving on the LIE.

price is always a function of condition ...
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  #3  
Old August 1st, 2016, 03:11 AM
Cobrakillerta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Non-turbo means it will be very slow ... not ideal for driving on the LIE.

price is always a function of condition ...
That has crossed my mind as I do have quite a heavy right foot. But, my girl has a brand new vehicle which we would use on trips and such. I could always LS swap it
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  #4  
Old August 1st, 2016, 03:16 AM
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Jason England
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$15K for what is probably the least desirable defender is a lot of money unless it's in very good condition ... post a picture and I'm sure Josh will be able to give you some background on it.
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  #5  
Old August 1st, 2016, 03:36 AM
Cobrakillerta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
$15K for what is probably the least desirable defender is a lot of money unless it's in very good condition ... post a picture and I'm sure Josh will be able to give you some background on it.
I hear what you're saying, here's a pic...
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  #6  
Old August 1st, 2016, 03:40 AM
GunnyUSMC
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Eric
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There are a bunch of videos on youtube on how to inspect a Land Rover prior to purchase. This will save us from typing out a lot of stuff.

If you could wait and find a 200tdi, you will be a whole lot happier in the long run. The 2.5 NA is not going to break any speed records but you can do 55 comfortably. Not what I want in a daily driver. I have a 91 200TDI Defender 90, with the discovery transfer case to give me more top end and the fuel turned up, I can go faster than I should in a 90. I have it 80+ on the motorway.

Depends on how far your commute is if you want to daily drive it. I daily drive my 90 and also have DD’d my V-8 110. But then again my commute was only 15 miles. I have no problem getting in my 90 and driving for 3-4 hours. But then again, I swapped the seats with ones from a Mazda Rx-8, and that makes a world of a difference.

Cheers,
Eric
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  #7  
Old August 1st, 2016, 05:38 AM
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Mike
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Cons
1. RHD Some people love it others don't. Conversion to LHD can be expensive.
2. Very slow motor, great off road, but not getting onto an interstate or passing
3. No A/C
4. No air bags, traction control, stability control, roll bars, etc
5. Harder to talk on the phone wile driving, can be noisy on the inside
6. It is after all a 30 year old vehicle

Pros
1. A blast to Drive
2. Unique off road icon
3. Pretty good gas mileage
4. Great conversation at the gas pump and just about everyplace else
5. Good community of fellow enthusiasts
6. Easy to work on and lots of engine upgrade options
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  #8  
Old August 1st, 2016, 06:22 AM
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Ryan Stevens
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I don't know what it's like in your state, but RHD insurance can be tough to find and expensive. I know here in Canada it varies from province to province. Just a thought.
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  #9  
Old August 1st, 2016, 09:00 AM
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I saw that thing at sitting at Formula One the other day. They had a poorly painted rough white RHD 110 with auto tranny swap sitting there that they wanted $85k for a couple weeks ago.

That truck sounds a lot better for $10k then $15k.
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  #10  
Old August 1st, 2016, 09:11 AM
Naplm00
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Matthew
1983 110 200tdi 3 door soft top
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanclean View Post
I don't know what it's like in your state, but RHD insurance can be tough to find and expensive. I know here in Canada it varies from province to province. Just a thought.
Makes no difference in ny
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  #11  
Old August 1st, 2016, 09:22 AM
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1991 D90 SW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naplm00 View Post
Makes no difference in ny
I had an issue in general with a couple companies, but my truck is LHD so nothing to do with that. Allstate wouldn't insure it. A few other companies wanted between $1500-$3000 /year.

Ended up with SafeCo $345 a year full coverage.
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  #12  
Old August 1st, 2016, 10:24 AM
Cobrakillerta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st0k3d View Post
I saw that thing at sitting at Formula One the other day. They had a poorly painted rough white RHD 110 with auto tranny swap sitting there that they wanted $85k for a couple weeks ago.

That truck sounds a lot better for $10k then $15k.
I hear you, this is why I posted so I can know what I'm looking at exactly before I even look at it as I don't know much about these Defenders.


I noticed that you're in Sayville, I'm right in Oakdale
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  #13  
Old August 1st, 2016, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobrakillerta View Post
I hear you, this is why I posted so I can know what I'm looking at exactly before I even look at it as I don't know much about these Defenders.


I noticed that you're in Sayville, I'm right in Oakdale
Sweet, right next door. I haven't received my truck yet. It just cleared Customs finally last week, came from Italy, should have it in my possession on Friday. I will PM you if you want to come take a look and shoot the sh*t. I can probably help steer you in the direction you want to go if you are serious about getting one. You could get something LHD and turbo for that money.

There is another member on here from Bayport doing a really nice build on a 110 too.
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  #14  
Old August 1st, 2016, 11:02 AM
RBBailey
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Looks good from the outside. But very difficult to tell from just a few pics.

The RHD could be an issue. Most people don't mind it, but then..... Personally, I just think it would get annoying after a while. Conversion to LHD is at least $2k. But it would be a good opportunity to do an engine swap.

You have to get more pics, details of the bulkhead, under the floor mats, the frame and all. Bottoms of doors, etc... And a lot of things that "don't matter" are signs that the vehicle was not taken care of. Is the dash all straight? Are the seats good? Does everything work? EVERYTHING.
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  #15  
Old August 1st, 2016, 11:10 AM
Cobrakillerta
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Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st0k3d View Post
Sweet, right next door. I haven't received my truck yet. It just cleared Customs finally last week, came from Italy, should have it in my possession on Friday. I will PM you if you want to come take a look and shoot the sh*t. I can probably help steer you in the direction you want to go if you are serious about getting one. You could get something LHD and turbo for that money.

There is another member on here from Bayport doing a really nice build on a 110 too.
Awesome, I'll definitely take you up on that.
I know there is someone nearby who has had a couple of 90's and 110's over the years that looked very clean.

The Defender has always been a thought and when I saw this 90 that seemed to be priced somewhat fairly it got me thinking...
But, now after some research it may not seem worth it, atleast not on this one. I will still swing by his shop for shits and giggles.
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  #16  
Old August 1st, 2016, 06:25 PM
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Tom Schuler
1988 Defender 90
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In addition to the Pros and Con's offered (all of which I 100% agree with, by the way):

From What I have read, you DO NOT WANT any 2.5 TD engine prior to the 200 and 300 TDI's (launched in 1990?). All they did was take the motor you have and slap a turbo on it. Heads simply couldn't handle it and tremendous engine problems. On the other had, the 2.5 NA Diesel is very reliable, but man, it is slow, and I should know, it's what I currently own.

That said, mine has 200k Miles on it, is my daily driver and starts with ease every time, and burns no oil at all. I think I'll regrind the valves and put in new seals when I do the timing belt, but if I never get around to changing out the motor, I probably won't worry. However, I don't much like Interstate driving with it....

Other thing about the lower HP engine...I pull the front axles/cv joints out of mine to swap out the front swivels and bearings for the new Teflon coated ones, and they were in fantastic shape. I suspect that a little less HP and torque is a bit easier on the entire drive chain.

Mine is LHD. Took it Climbing in Uhwarrie with the Defender Club here in NC this spring, and I was very impressed with where we went and what we could do, but I only did the intermediate run, so likely did not challenge it all that much. That said, when you are already in low range, the 2.5 NA Diesel went everywhere everyone else did...it was a blast!
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  #17  
Old August 1st, 2016, 06:49 PM
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I'm in Bayport and have a 110 200tdi, crew which I built, also had a 90 for years. You can come check mine out to if you want. Mine both started life with engines that needed replacing. My truck needs more of a heavy left foot then a right.
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  #18  
Old August 1st, 2016, 09:21 PM
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Tim
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Hey Joe, ask them to allow you to take it for a small test drive around town.
Find a hill. Drive it up the hill. You will see why I'm telling you to do this as you are about 1/2 way up the hill. I was looking hard at a 2.5 when I was at the beginning of my quest. Johan was kind enough to turn me loose on his harem at his house and check out all the different engine/tranny combos. It really was eye-opening to see the pros and cons of each. I ended up getting a v8. Lots of fun and power, only minor drawback is not so great gas mileage. The 200tdi was an impressive specimen. My wife was a gas over diesel fan though... Gotta pick your battles. Anyway, find a hill, and find a street with a 55mph speed limit and release the hounds.
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  #19  
Old August 1st, 2016, 11:43 PM
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1985 110
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I find the 3.5 V8 to be a perfect mix of power, low noise and great at all speeds. They can be thirsty on fuel (high teens) if the carbs are tuned right but then again, I believe its a non-issue especially when looking in the grander scheme of maintaining a 25+ year vehicle.
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  #20  
Old August 2nd, 2016, 02:47 AM
GunnyUSMC
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1991 Defender 90 200TDI
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The 90 with a 3.5 V-8 that I had was a blast. It was faster than my current 200TDI. I would love to drive a LS conversion and see how that is. I think it all depends on your intending application.
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