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  #1  
Old March 15th, 2014, 10:41 AM
Stone6
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Brian
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Newbie Questions

Hi all. I am a newbie to the forum but long time troller. It's astounding how much support and value this forum provides. I have been wanting a Defender for over 10 years now and it looks like I have the ability to finally buy one. I have owned 3 Jeep Wranglers in the past and understand that Defenders require more TLC. Mechanically, I have beginner/novice (oil change), anything beyond that I took to my local shop. BUT, I am willing to learn, get the right tools, and understand that when I get a Defender, you're buying the "experience" of owning to include the good (being a part of a limited community, the envy of everyone on the road) and the bad ($ and time investment for upkeep).

I am very close to buying a high mileage NAS D90 SW. I'd be the 3rd owner. It's mileage is consistent with 10-11K/year and the previous owner was also an enthusiast who took great care of it. It would not be a daily driver, more of a weekend. I have scoured the forum and am requesting the expertise of the forum members to make sure that I am not missing anything when making my final decision:

  1. Dial service clock back to zero & receive vehicle in as great a shape as possible: Per forum members, this was the biggest suggestion to new owners. That way the new owner can get a consistent servicing schedule. I read that getting a 30K major service completed upon buying a D90 is a good idea. Belts, hoses, lube bearings, filters, replace/flush all fluids. Also heard read about the fire issues with the oil lines and replacing with stainless. Am i missing anything critical necessary to dial back to zero? Any other suggested services? The more info the better. Again, its a high mileage D90 (10-11K/year)
  2. Get eyes on the vehicle: Forum members provided links to the eastcoastrover.com buyers guide. there was mention on the forum (in a sellers guide thread) that someone was going to compile a forum buyers guide but was unable to find it (maybe this could be it) :-). Other than ECR and forum resources, is there any other external sources to get me read up on what to look for when I get eyes on? Any suggestions by members of critical "money pit" issues to steer away from would be great as well.
  3. Rust: This was an predominantly an east coast vehicle. As the rig is sitting in a rover specialists shop, I am thinking of having them do a waxoyl service. Worth it? Thoughts on this value and my intent of getting the D90 in as good a shape as possible (back to 0) as possible? Or save $$ on something else? They also were transparent in disclosing that there were a few spots that they will repair as part of sale (cut out/replace). On a side note, some members hailed west coast vehicles as having significantly less rust than east coast. Per your opinions, is there merit to this assessment?
  4. Documentation: There is no past maintenance history. Alot of the rigs that have sold on this forum had owners also including binders full of past service records and lineage. This is a 2 owner D90. The first owner kept it bone stock. The second owner (current) is extremely knowledgable/enthusiast and has been very communicative. There is no reason (as far as email correspondence) for me to have doubts about credibility as he's provided me the good and not so good with the vehicle. Very easy to deal with. As he was very good with the wrench, he did most of his D90 work and replaced all parts with OEM or better.
  5. Learn: After searching the forum, I couldn't find a thread on this. As a newbie, what are THE CRITICAL/COMMON problems/fixes that I need to look for, stay on top of, learn to repair, and complete on my own (think home garage and basic tools). Basically the 6 P's (prior planning prevents pi$$ poor performance). As a military veteran, I became accustomed to PMCS'ing (preventive maintenance and checks) my wranglers every month to catch issues before they become full blown problems. This has allowed me to learn my YJs/TJs and keep $ in my pockets by always checking, knowing what/how to fix things on my own, AND know when I need to take it to a shop. Is there such a owner checklist? With the amount of Military and vet types on the forum, I gotta believe there is something like this floating around. I also had my "basic wrangler toolkit" of all tools commonly used in my previous rigs. Do you guys have a suggestion to make a "basic defender toolkit"?
  6. Servicing: I'm in the DC area now and will eventually be on the California Coast/Northern LA (Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo) area by 2015. I've viewed the forum recommendations. Just checking on any updates. I have been recommended Independent Land Rover Specialists in Bethesda, Maryland. Also read good things about Gary Landes from Rover Works but there was no answer when I called. Any other recommendations for this area? How about the Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo area?
  7. Join a club: already on it. been looking at VA Rover Group and saw the happy hour meetup thread. Any other recommendations?
  8. Am i missing anything??
In advance, thanks for all the suggestions!
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  #2  
Old March 15th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Bill Adams
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Hi Brian. You are, fortunately, in the viscinity of many members of this forum. I suggest that you come to Happy Hour this thursday, see trucks, meet locals and get dialed in to the network. After that, things will fall into place way easier.
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  #3  
Old March 15th, 2014, 10:55 AM
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Russell
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Brian,
Welcome to the threads. Good news for you is NOVA has one of the higher concentrations of Defenders and Rover nuts you will fine.
As for rust, please get a few 2nd hand options before pulling the trigger as that could be come an upside down situation quickly.
Post pictures here or you are welcome PM me the details.
Good luck.
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  #4  
Old March 15th, 2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Hi Brian. You are, fortunately, in the viscinity of many members of this forum. I suggest that you come to Happy Hour this thursday, see trucks, meet locals and get dialed in to the network. After that, things will fall into place way easier.
X2 on that! and Welcome!
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  #5  
Old March 15th, 2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Show up at happy hour and meet the crew. For mechanical exposure, hanging out with Pedro while he takes every thing apart will get you familiar with Rovers, and what not to do. Church on sundays will help it you want your truck to work again.

-Jeff
That's like some kind of Jedi saying or something!
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  #6  
Old March 15th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Russell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
That's like some kind of Jedi saying or something!
That is a Cali dude living vicariously though the NOVA crowd. Funny, as usually it is the other way around. ;-)
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  #7  
Old March 15th, 2014, 07:19 PM
Stone6
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Brian
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Thanks all. It's a strong maybe for this Thursday's meetup b/c I'll be out of town in the earlier part of the week. I'll try to shift some things around.

In the event I can't make it out, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my questions. I may want to get a rig before the next April meetup. My other hobby is homebrewing beer and I have a rye IPA carbonating in the keg right now. I'll be sure to save some for April.

Lastly, the Nova rover club is perhaps the longest thread in the history of this site...and amidst the witty and friendly banter of the group, I cannot seem to find the location and time for the meetups. Please advise. thanks!
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  #8  
Old March 15th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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Bill Larson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone6 View Post
Thanks all. It's a strong maybe for this Thursday's meetup b/c I'll be out of town in the earlier part of the week. I'll try to shift some things around.

In the event I can't make it out, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my questions. I may want to get a rig before the next April meetup. My other hobby is homebrewing beer and I have a rye IPA carbonating in the keg right now. I'll be sure to save some for April.

Lastly, the Nova rover club is perhaps the longest thread in the history of this site...and amidst the witty and friendly banter of the group, I cannot seem to find the location and time for the meetups. Please advise. thanks!
The location rotates from time to time...just check back 2 or 3 days before the meet.
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  #9  
Old March 15th, 2014, 09:04 PM
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Bill Adams
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Kilroys.com every third Thursday. Park in rear and meet in the tent.
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Bill Adams

1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
1968 2A 88

All my troubles are Rover
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  #10  
Old March 15th, 2014, 09:16 PM
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Jeff B
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Brian, nice 1st post.

You don't sound like a noob; you've done your homework.

Come on down to Rovers At Wintergreen and see some real Rovers and Defenders in action. I'm sure someone could hook you up with a seat if you don't have a truck by then...



.
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Just a few miles from 4x4 access!
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  #11  
Old March 15th, 2014, 09:43 PM
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Jeff - not to worry I fixed it...


Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Show up at happy hour and meet the crew. For what not to do mechanical exposure, hanging out with Pedro while he takes every thing apart will get you nowhere with Rovers, just ignore him. Church on sundays will help it come on up to bloody knuckles mountain - you want your truck to work again.

-Jeff
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  #12  
Old March 16th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Brian, welcome to the Board and looking forward to meeting you at one of the NovA HH. There are at least two-three local guys that own 97's, including myself, that will a good source for trouble shooting quirks re 97's. In the meantime feel free to drop me a PM if you have anything specific you're wrestling with. I've had mine for about nine years with no big ticket issues, knock wood.

X2 re the Wintergreen event. I can't think of another better suited event for a new 90 owner. Great setting, great trails and solid knowledgable owners that love talking shop.

Clay
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  #13  
Old March 16th, 2014, 09:36 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Welcome Brian

It sounds like you are well suited to Defender ownership. Here are my thoughts on this topic

1. Look at and drive as many of ours as you can. You'll immediately get an idea of what's normal/common and what's not. We are all open and honest about the quirks of our trucks. Some have nice stock rigs, others wheel the crap out of them and it shows. When you test drive one you might buy it will give you a nice reference point.

2. Get others to look at the truck you are considering if possible. Even though we could all list a number of common things to look for (and they are all over the site if you search hard enough), there is no substitute for having someone else look at it - not just for their experience but also their emotional detachment (as much as is possible for a defender lover).

3. Don't be scared by mods or high mileage - just use it as a bargaining tool. It's condition is all that matters.

4. Don't have them waxoyl - they will just be hiding stuff. If after purchasing it you want to waxoyl, then you can do so (and clean the F out of it beforehand as well as any necessary repairs).

5. For the initial service I strongly recommend you get involved and do it yourself. The aforementioned church would be a good place to do it. The net result is you'll know what the condition was before as a reference, and know what you'll need to keep an eye on and maintain going forward (and how for the most part). Short of things like bushings, you can do all the regular service stuff in a day without any experience if you have someone to guide you.

6. And last but least, please please please don't go spending any money on anything other than common sense maintenance until you have owned it for a while. Save it for the problems which will arrive. This is not a if, but a when. But let her tell you what she needs when she needs it. All too often people piss away a bunch of money on crap that is pointless.

hth
charles
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  #14  
Old March 16th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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Brian, thanks for the PM's. Sounds like you have a good game plan going forward. As a litmus test for the PO's condition/upkeep/disclosure, give Billy a ring to check out the sister D first hand. This will provide you all the confidence needed to make the trip north.
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  #15  
Old March 16th, 2014, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for all the inputs Gents! Please keep them coming.

I gotta tell ya, this forum is a goldmine. I have PM'ed a few of you already and the suggestions are invaluable. Will you please provide more info on the aforementioned church meetups?

I will try to make it out to Wintergreen. I do want to absorb as much as I can while in the Nova area before I move back to the West Coast.
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  #16  
Old March 16th, 2014, 04:38 PM
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Ray Gerber
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Brian-
Welcome aboard! If you end up with a 97 the attached is a useful starting point (if you want it in word to edit it, hit my email: ray.gerber@gmail.com). I'd say it is far from authoritative (everyone has their own version of what is necessary). Worthwhile to point out what you can fit in a 97 SW depending on loadout of gear/pax is different than what the D1 will haul but regardless there is a lot of crossover.

Couple of thoughts for you:
-PMCS & the like, best to start with the Haynes manual or something generic and use that. Much like the military what I've found is that checklists work well until SOP is muscle memory, and then at that point it is good for when you are tired/cold/etc.
-Tools/repair/etc; one thing that I started doing in 2002 when I got into Rovers was built a tool kit for onboard that basically lived by the rule that if it was used on the truck for a necessary repair or maint procedure it went in the tool kit. The art of this is finding out what you really need so you don't end up with the kitchen sink. Everyone has their quirks with tools too; been well discussed on here ad nauseum. A thread not to long ago had people showing their tool kits, here's mine: http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ican+1510+tool

Def come to Kilroy's if able. Wintergreen will also be a lot of fun and you an always hop in with someone for the trails if you don't have a Rover.
r-
Ray
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