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  #1  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 07:59 PM
fireball
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ROW90 as a reliable "daily driver"

Greetings all,

I've been lurking on the boards for a few months now while semi-actively looking for a ROW90. It looks like I've got a line on one that just might be "the one" so since things are getting a bit more serious I thought it might be time to get realistic!

That said, I'm wondering just how feasible it is to turn a 30 year old 90 into a fairly reliable daily driver type vehicle. Or perhaps the more pertinent question is how much will that cost!

As way of background, this will be my first Rover. Have been into the off roading and overlanding crowd for a few years now and have made a few friends with Rovers. They look like good fun About 6 months I sold a '76 Bronco that I had fully restored, and since then have been looking for the next project. At the end of the day I made the Bronco too nice and pretty to go out and do what I wanted, but the truck was super fun and very reliable. I had ~$30k into it, rebuilt original drivetrain but new suspension brakes wiring fuel lines fuel tank, etc.

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So I would love to hear your opinions. What all would I want to have on my short list to make the truck pretty reliable for daily driving duties? I put that in quote because it will not actually be a DD. But rather a 4th vehicle to putz about around town occasionally and to take on some closer by solo off-roading and camping excursions. The family hauler is a rather well built '99 Land Cruiser and I'm smart enough to know that likely no amount of money would make a Defender as comfortable and reliable as that truck to cart my family of 4 and all our gear around.

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Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
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  #2  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:27 PM
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ok... I've been trying to figure out what ROW means. Its hell to search... 2nd ROW seating and all.
I accidentally ordered an ROW gasket that didn't fit my EX MOD. Rover Overland Wagon? No.. that was willy's overland... hmm. I'm sure its a forehead slapper... but please... someone.

I don't remember it being an abbreviation last time i was roving.
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  #3  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:34 PM
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Rest of world

It means not domestic market and not some other specific market like North America.

Though most here use it to mean not NAS (North America spec), including the UK domestic market vehicles.
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  #4  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefenderMd View Post
ok... I've been trying to figure out what ROW means. Its hell to search... 2nd ROW seating and all.
I accidentally ordered an ROW gasket that didn't fit my EX MOD. Rover Overland Wagon? No.. that was willy's overland... hmm. I'm sure its a forehead slapper... but please... someone.

I don't remember it being an abbreviation last time i was roving.
ROW, is anything that's not NAS, if you need to ship anything use UPS or USPS, you can send it COD ,but it might get RTS's , ROW = rest of world,
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  #5  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 09:04 PM
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They're fun, and as reliable as the next old car (as good as their maintenance) but less comfortable than anything made in the US since the first bronco. The fastest ones are slow... the slow ones can't maintain 55 mph. the fast ones can't maintain 55 up hill (but lots of stuff couldn't back then) The slow ones last forever, as does their accelerating to 60 .

I drive a slow one. I do not take it on the highway. There are no significant hills around here, and it still takes constant shifting. The v8s are thirsty... I know little of them... But i know some rover v8s are best thrown away



my JK Rubi is objectively better in every way.. but I end up driving the rover on the weekend.

I also get a kick out of the fact that, excepting the alternator, the only wire on the engine is the glow plug wire loom. Ok.. that's hyperbole. It has the gauge sending units and the cutoff solenoid.


To make it reliable? isuzu diesel... copious maintenance
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  #6  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 09:24 PM
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Several narrow bandwidth opinions based on limited experiences.

The 83 and up V8 trucks have little trouble running 70 plus. My 83 110 5 door with a 200 tdi transplant and 33 inch tires would run 75mph for close to 400 miles before it needed fuel,forcing a stop. My tdi 130 will run 80 plus on 35 inch tires for as long as I can stand the tire hum. Any defender can be updated to comfortable surroundings reasonably. I have used Exmoor's leather retrim kits with firmer foam and seat heaters to re-trim original seat frames with awesome results for about $900 a pair. Defenders are some of the most easily modified vehicles on the planet with a wealth of aftermarket bits to improve interior comfort, most choose to keep it spartan and bitch about their choice. That said the 90 has half the room of your cruiser so will be a step backwards as far as family travel.

What it costs is dictated by what you have to pay others to do. Cost is a large part of what drives the sub culture of self reliance that is a large part of the requisite ( my opinion only) personality type that goes with being a defender owner.
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  #7  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 09:38 PM
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If I had a/c and different insurance I'd DD mine all year long. Except road trips. Even then if I wasn't in a huge hurry.
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  #8  
Old November 3rd, 2014, 09:46 PM
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Swankiest defender is a prettied up series with coils. Maybe the newer ones have tilt wheel and did away with the flat doors and seat box. They've got the ergonomics of a cj5 regardless of seat shape/materials. Ymmv depending on size and shape
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  #9  
Old November 4th, 2014, 06:30 AM
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We have 3 Defenders and the one I prefer to drive is our 96 110 300TDi with 208,000 miles on the clock.

I have put on 190,000 miles since 97.

Yes it is slower and louder then the Pumas but it is reliable. Trips we have done in it includes crossing the deserts in the centre of Australia as a solo vehicle. You do not do that sort of trip in an unreliable vehicle.

Look after them and they will look after you.


Brendan
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  #10  
Old November 4th, 2014, 07:05 AM
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I use mine as a d/d, this is after thousands of dollars of up grades , some necessary some not, like a/c and s/s exhaust , I completely updated brakes and steering, rebuilt head, which were necessary, I don't drive much on the highway, last weekend I was on I 95 doing 70 + into a 40 mph head wind, while the 90 will run on the highway it was not designed to be there, I love to drive it around town and on short trips ,
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Old November 4th, 2014, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for the responses, sounds about like what you'd expect for a 30 year old vehicle

I like to fancy myself a slightly above average shadetree mechanic. I can do all the easy stuff, maintenance, fluids, brake work, electrical, etc. I probably wouldn't tackle an engine swap or a clutch replacement job myself. Part of the fun of this is a new type of vehicle to learn about and work on so that's part of the enjoyment.

A few more questions if you'll indulge me:

What is on the short list of work that you'd do to baseline a new truck? If you were starting off with a fairly nice running truck, where would you spend your first few weekends and few thousand bucks getting it ready to go?

It sounds like a 200Tdi would be necessary if I want this to be highway capable truck. That would be somewhere down the road, but wondering if initial engine choice (petrol, 2.5NA vs. TD, v8) makes a difference in how difficult that swap would be down the road?

I was very happy with how nicely the Bronco rode with a 2.5" lift and 30" all-terrains. Soft coils up front, large leaf pack in the back and a nice set of Bilsteins. I'd assume the same could be accomplished with the 90. I'd like a front bumper, winch, sliders and 265/75/16 or 255/85/16 Mud Terrains and call it a day.
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Old November 4th, 2014, 08:37 AM
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Old November 4th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireball View Post
Thanks for the responses, sounds about like what you'd expect for a 30 year old vehicle

I like to fancy myself a slightly above average shadetree mechanic. I can do all the easy stuff, maintenance, fluids, brake work, electrical, etc. I probably wouldn't tackle an engine swap or a clutch replacement job myself. Part of the fun of this is a new type of vehicle to learn about and work on so that's part of the enjoyment.

A few more questions if you'll indulge me:

What is on the short list of work that you'd do to baseline a new truck? If you were starting off with a fairly nice running truck, where would you spend your first few weekends and few thousand bucks getting it ready to go?

It sounds like a 200Tdi would be necessary if I want this to be highway capable truck. That would be somewhere down the road, but wondering if initial engine choice (petrol, 2.5NA vs. TD, v8) makes a difference in how difficult that swap would be down the road?

I was very happy with how nicely the Bronco rode with a 2.5" lift and 30" all-terrains. Soft coils up front, large leaf pack in the back and a nice set of Bilsteins. I'd assume the same could be accomplished with the 90. I'd like a front bumper, winch, sliders and 265/75/16 or 255/85/16 Mud Terrains and call it a day.
Fluids,tires, brakes, exhaust. For some reason most imports need a battery. One of the upgrades that's high on my list on 80's trucks is swapping in an oem blade type fuse box for the old glass ones and use smart fuses so when one blows an led comes on and is glowing @ you when you open the fuse box. Costs around 60 bucks (smart fuses are pricey) and takes a couple hours but one of the best upgrades that can be done on an early truck.
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  #14  
Old November 4th, 2014, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireball View Post
Thanks for the responses, sounds about like what you'd expect for a 30 year old vehicle I like to fancy myself a slightly above average shadetree mechanic. I can do all the easy stuff, maintenance, fluids, brake work, electrical, etc. I probably wouldn't tackle an engine swap or a clutch replacement job myself. Part of the fun of this is a new type of vehicle to learn about and work on so that's part of the enjoyment. A few more questions if you'll indulge me: What is on the short list of work that you'd do to baseline a new truck? If you were starting off with a fairly nice running truck, where would you spend your first few weekends and few thousand bucks getting it ready to go? It sounds like a 200Tdi would be necessary if I want this to be highway capable truck. That would be somewhere down the road, but wondering if initial engine choice (petrol, 2.5NA vs. TD, v8) makes a difference in how difficult that swap would be down the road? I was very happy with how nicely the Bronco rode with a 2.5" lift and 30" all-terrains. Soft coils up front, large leaf pack in the back and a nice set of Bilsteins. I'd assume the same could be accomplished with the 90. I'd like a front bumper, winch, sliders and 265/75/16 or 255/85/16 Mud Terrains and call it a day.
That's going to vary so much depending on the vehicle purchased. I think rims/tires/bolt ons should be way down the list of items you'd add for your first few grand.

If you're talking row/UK spec you're looking at cross members, outriggers and spring mounts for structural. Bushings, tie rods, and steering boxes for stability. That's your first few grand I'd say.

Initial engine choice doesn't make a huge difference imho. If you're thinking diesel, start with diesel. In some states it's listed on your title and its a PITA to change. The 200 tdi can mate with an lt77 transmission (2.5na/2.5TD/200tdi) and will have the appropriate body bits and tunnel. If you're going 300 tdi then you'll need more bits.

My advice, look at the builds threads and send guys pms about just what this or that actually cost them in the end. Best information you will find!
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Old November 4th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Fluids,tires, brakes, exhaust. For some reason most imports need a battery. One of the upgrades that's high on my list on 80's trucks is swapping in an oem blade type fuse box for the old glass ones and use smart fuses so when one blows an led comes on and is glowing @ you when you open the fuse box. Costs around 60 bucks (smart fuses are pricey) and takes a couple hours but one of the best upgrades that can be done on an early truck.
I've got one of these fuse boxes waiting to be installed. Do you just cut the existing metal panel or are replacements easily available?
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Old November 4th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jafir View Post
I've got one of these fuse boxes waiting to be installed. Do you just cut the existing metal panel or are replacements easily available?
Jafir I just cut it with a dremel but I'm pretty sure Brian @ Defenders NW mentioned having the correct panels.
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  #17  
Old November 4th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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Uncle Douglas, do you use the "Fuse Box Repair" kit from RDS or do you have another source you'd recommend for the fuse box conversion?

/Sorry to hijack the thread.
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Old November 4th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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I went off the Rover reservation with fuse box and used a bussman which includes space for mini relays. That makes it easy to wire and its waterproof
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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.

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Old November 4th, 2014, 10:10 AM
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I went off the Rover reservation with fuse box and used a bussman which includes space for mini relays. That makes it easy to wire and its waterproof
Part number?
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  #20  
Old November 4th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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Uncle Douglas, do you use the "Fuse Box Repair" kit from RDS or do you have another source you'd recommend for the fuse box conversion?

/Sorry to hijack the thread.
I bought this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20-Way-Bul...item1e78ab8714
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