Things to look for in a NAS D-90 - Defender Source
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Old November 13th, 2003, 11:18 AM
rayblake
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Question Things to look for in a NAS D-90

Wondering if the group could shed any light on things to look for in a D-90 other than what you probably should look for in any used vehicle? Tell-tale areas for rust etc. I've read about the cooling woes. I just recently sold my '95 Range Rover 4.0 and had some similar issues over the years. I'm thinking a '97 might make the most sense as the automatic tranny would make life easier off-road.
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  #2  
Old November 13th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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check for rest and a good service history. same as with any ohter vehicle. did i mention rust?
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Old November 13th, 2003, 04:18 PM
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Hmmm, Phil's right! Look for rust. For example my D90 hot spots for rust include: PS/DS door & hood hinges, external roll cage bolts, rear cross member, door sills, battery box, and PS/DS floor pannels. Most of these area's are rusting due to old fasteners and not the panneling itself. However, it can and will spread to the aluminum if not taken care of! I've replaced most of the problematic fastners with Stainless, cleaned up the rust and it's just fine. You can find most of the SS-fasteners at a hardware store except the roll cage. Those are difficult to find without buying bulk or the Motosource kit.

Other issues can vary widely as each D90 is different than the next. Some have cold start problems while others have electrical issues. As for cooling, well, I had to have my heads redone becasue the gasket gave up the gost at about 85K miles, but I've never heard of anyone else having this issue at that milage.

Oh yes, and let's not forget about water leaking into the cab. Basically, it's going to happen, well, you should know about this since you've owned a LR before.

In all, if you find a D90 that you like whether its a 94, 95, or 97 just take it to a local LR mechanic and if you have to, a Land Rover Dealership. Although, that could prove to be pretty spendy. Hope this helps!

Regards

DJ
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Old November 13th, 2003, 04:54 PM
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"However, it can and will spread to the aluminum if not taken care of!"

Are you sure the Aluminum will start to rust?
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Old November 13th, 2003, 05:25 PM
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Aluminum will not "rust", but it does oxidize, which is the same thing that happens to steel. when steel oxidizes, it produces iron oxide. This same reaction can happen to the aluminum, it just does not form iron oxide. Haven't you ever noticed a white crust build up on Al that has been left exposed to the weather for long periods of time? Probably a place in the steel that has rusted is going to be a place that is staying wet, which will start to work on the aluminum in time. If I mis-stated anything, don't rip me a new A-hole, it has been 10 years since I took chemistry .
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Old November 13th, 2003, 05:29 PM
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There will be no ripping, you are right on. It just takes a massive amount of time to make it problematic to the integrity of the metal. P.S. On another note, I was going to ask you earlier, why are there so many D's in North Carolina?? When I was looking to buy 1 out of 3 was there. Is there D-90 friendly legislation there or something?
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Old November 13th, 2003, 08:30 PM
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I almost never see Defenders where I live at in NC-2 hours from the coast. Believe it or not, I bought my first 90 out of Denver. My second truck, the 97 LE, was in the same city as me since new. I kept seeing it, and asking was it for sale. Always the answer was no. Then one night I was checking ebay, and it was on there for sale! Talk about luck. He had moved about 45 minutes away, so there was no way I would have known it was for sale. Call me crazy, but I think Defender sales are cyclical/seasonal, depending on region. By the way, it doesn't take long for the aluminum to bubble up under the paint and look like shite. I am getting a new one piece door courtesy of LR because of it.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 10:26 PM
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Ahh yes. But the integrity is fine, looks well, thats a whole other thing.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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Well, I want to thank everyone. The bottom line sounds like look out for rust and you shouldn't confuse "looks with integrity".

Ray
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  #10  
Old November 14th, 2003, 11:13 AM
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my years here in NC i can account for ever 90 i have seen
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Old November 14th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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There are a few things that I thought people would touch on but never did. You mentioned a 97. Just so you know the 94 had transmission woes and many are upgraded but some out there are not. The 95 is tpically the least problematic while the 97's had ovrheating issues. Make sure to have a compression check as with all vehicles. I would also check the condition of the oil in the tranny and t-case. When you inspect the vehicle pay very close attention to any areas where aluminim is bolted to steel. There areas a prone to issues. Inspect all the body mounts especially in the rear. Physically shake the axle links to see if the bushings need replacement. Not a big deal but people will bring down the price because of it. Closely inspect the rivits on the body. You can tell if the frame is tweaked or if it has been in an impact if the rivits have started to pull at the alluminum. Finally, even if it passes everything perfectly, know that it is a rover and things will go wronge. Happy hunting!
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