Thinking of buying a '94 ST Defender - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 05:47 PM
Mark M
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Mark Mathews
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Thinking of buying a '94 ST Defender

Hi everyone, after years of lusting after a Defender I'm finally able to afford one. I have my eye on a '94 ST with around 50,000 miles. It has an updated R380 5-speed. My question is with regards to the engine. Is the 3.9 litre V8 a good reliable engine or should I wait until I find a '95 or '97 to get the 4.0 litre? (I'm pretty sure that I want a manual transmition so that rules out the '97 -unless I change my mind again.) Are there any known issues with '94's vs. later models. I would appreciate any opinions you might have.

Thanks.

Mark Mathews
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  #2  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 06:04 PM
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Glenn Guinto
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Mark,

Both the 94 and 95 D90s came with Manual Tranny and 3.9V8. The 97s are the only ones with Auto and 4.0V8. Here is a link to some great information http://www.eastcoastrover.com/INFOD90.html

That 94 with 50K should be okay and should last long providing it was (and will be) maintained properly. If you do a search a few posts back (and some in the Non-Tech section) you will find other threads similar to this. Good luck!

Glenn

P.S. When you get it, don't forget to send pics to the admin so you can have your very own D90 bio.
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  #3  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 06:06 PM
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They all have their own good and bad points. I have a 97 ST with an automatic transmission. I have never owned anything but a stick shift up to this point. I guess as I get older I get tired of any extra work. I would not own a stick shift anything anymore. That's just me.
The 94 soft top is different than the rest of the years. It snaps on all the way around. All the years after that have a rail system instead of the snaps.
The 97 has distributerless ignition and a transmission cooler. They also have a different center console.
There are other small differences, some are good for the goose, and some for the gander. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.
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  #4  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 09:59 PM
A10MileHusker
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Doug Kramer
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Buying a D90 soon!

I just received my Eagle Scout and for that my Dad is going to buy me a D90 (my favorite car of all time) and so i was wondering, what should I look for when buying one? I have been researching D90's for at least 3 years now but that has been mostly about products for the D90 once I get one. Ebaymotors.com seems to have a lot of choices but for some reason i am not too keen on using ebay. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.

Doug
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  #5  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 10:31 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Get the thing inspected first, the LR dealer I took mine too for a pre-purchase inspection claimed it needed 5k in work almost immediately - which was a "generous" estimate. It was a good bargaining chip when it came to price.

Maintenance is more important than low miles, especially considering how many d90's had a lot of work performed under warranty. Records are key.

Other than that, make sure you get the manuals and stuff so that you can understand your vehicle.

As far as finding a nice d90, I'd scour traderonline.com and cars.com and get a flavor for the market. Buy the right truck for you when it appears.

Now you need to make your father understand that you cannot uphold the "always be prepared" motto without a winch, sliders, protection, air lockers, snorkel, pioneer tools, and all the kit. He's gonna have to shell out for all that stuff too or it will simply be hypocritical. Of course I could have misinterpreted you when you say you've been researching products - ypu might be looking for a set of spinners

Good luck you spoiled brat
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  #6  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 10:47 PM
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Hey, I'm merging the threads as they are the same.

Don't buy the first 90 you find hold out for what you want. When you find one inspect it carefully, look for rust! Look at the rear cross member and at the gas tank skid plate. Take it to a trusted shop and have them do a compression check on the engine to make sure everything is in order.

Oh yeah, have a look around the site, there is a TON of info in the F.A.Q. section.
And Good Luck!
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  #7  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 12:11 AM
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Dennis Newman
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I bought my Defender off ebay, 97 SW as pictured in my signature, and had it shipped to me for a little over 18k. It does have 100k miles but is in good condition, not great but good.
I also bought a 96 Land Cruiser and a 66 Shelby. The Shelby was the only deal that went bad as the seller could not prove the car was authentic.
I agree though find what you want, don't just jump on the first one you see.
Dennis
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  #8  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 12:30 AM
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Wow, all I got getting my Eagle Scout was a hand shake. You must have done something right!
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  #9  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 01:04 PM
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Michael Walter
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Check out lrx.com and do a search for all. There are several D90's on there.
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  #10  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 01:38 PM
A10MileHusker
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Doug Kramer
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I guess you could call me spoiled...i consider my self lucky! HAHA but i guarentee you i am not looking for spinners for my D90...winches, snorkle, etc. is what I'm looking for.
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  #11  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 06:24 PM
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Dennis Newman
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Doug, you a Cherry Creeker then?
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  #12  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 09:03 PM
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Tony Fannin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A10MileHusker
I guess you could call me spoiled...i consider my self lucky! HAHA but i guarentee you i am not looking for spinners for my D90...winches, snorkle, etc. is what I'm looking for.
Hehe, I was at PepBoys last weekend and they had a sale on cheap spinners, like 4 for $40. I was seriously gonna buy some to make my friends think I'd gone nuts but they didn't have any 17s.
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  #13  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 09:20 PM
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Two things you have to consider:

1. your tolerance for "issues"
2. your ability to remedy "issues" at reasonable cost

Personally, I look for something that is either ridiculously cheap (so I can fix issues and have money left) or something reasonable from someone I feel comfortable with.

If someone says "needs nothing" generally it means they know jack S**t and just don't know or don't want to admit the problems. If someone gives you a small-medium list of nit picky things then odds are you have someone who was really anal about the truck and has kept it up well. Even a somewhat large list is not a no-go automatically. I would venture to say that most 5-speed trucks have significant synchro wear which is $3000 for a new trans at the dealer, however, you can drive them like this indefinately and if you get a new trans the new synchos will wear unless you drive it like it has worn synchros so . . . likewise most all of them have a rear main leak and some head gasket oil leaks another couple grand again no biggy.

I agree as far as rust goes, but if it is not too bad it can be stabilized for ~400 for a waxyiol treatment. The cappings on the tub are not easily remedyable and doors do rot out but in the grand scheme of things doors are ~100 a pop and the tub is ~2000 and it is not like it is going ot be more than cosmetic with the tub. If the bulkhead and frame are ok then it should be fine.

Ron
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  #14  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 09:42 PM
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Y b 12 two many Miller lights. at any rate dont rush into the first 90 you find. service history is important in addition to how it all looks avoid rust..............................
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  #15  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 10:14 PM
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Doug,
Congrats!
We can always use more D90's here in Colorado.

Best,
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  #16  
Old June 6th, 2004, 06:32 AM
Mark M
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Mark Mathews
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Thanks to all for your input

I would like to thank all of you who responded to my post. It looks like I'll soon be a regular in this forum. As soon as I get my D90 I'll post pictures (and plenty of questions).

-Mark
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  #17  
Old June 6th, 2004, 09:52 PM
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I have owned four Defenders now...they are great. However, those of us that post on this board regularly are addicts. Here are my only qualms...just so you know what you are getting yourself into...

- Heater -
I have lived in Colorado (currently in Los Angeles) and these vehicles are cold in the winter because the heaters suck and they don't seal very well.

- Noise -
Sure a road trip to Moab sounds like fun, but bear in mind that these vehicles are very noisy (regardless of how much you dump into a stereo system). Forget having a conversation on your way to Telluride...bring earplugs. I don't know what the local Conoco stations are charging for gas...but my Defender is less than fuel efficient...ha!

- Soft Top -
I have owned a 94 and a 95 ST...the 95 is far superior in design and ease of use. However, the quality and durability of the 94 is probably better. If you purchase the 94 there will be a little bit of a learning curve in figuring out how to put your top back on without breaking a finger. If the 94 comes with the interior tonneau cover it will make a big difference having something easy to put on quickly when those random showers hit the Front Range in the summer.

- Comfort -
Again...you are not purchasing a car...so forget about power windows, power mirrors, lumbar support, heated seats, and power everything else. My wife owns a Disco II and the Defender is not even close in comfort compared to her vehicle. If you can learn to live without such acoutrements you will be fine.

- Misc -
Parts...there is no shortage of reliable part dealers on the Web. However, do your research before you bring your vehicle to your local dealership (Denver East, Flatirons) to have any work done. Parts and labor and can very expensive.

Other than that...these guys have pretty much covered the other things that you need to look for. Don't get me wrong....I love my Defender, which is why I have owned four. I get tired of them...purchase other vehicles...and then quickly realize that there is no other vehicle out there that suits/fits my lifestyle better.

Just my honest opinion....

God...what a disappointment the Avs were this year?
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  #18  
Old June 6th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boshea
God...what a disappointment the Avs were this year?
Ouch!


I suppose somebody had to say it; you're absolutely right though
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Arthur M Vigil
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'72 Series III 88" NADA Turner 2.25 petrol (Lovely Rita)
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  #19  
Old June 6th, 2004, 11:17 PM
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Dennis Newman
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I third that on the Aves,

Art, I have been meaning to ask you, were you downtown near Wazee the Thursday before last?

Dennis
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  #20  
Old June 7th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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Art Vigil
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Arthur Vigil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnewman9
I third that on the Aves,

Art, I have been meaning to ask you, were you downtown near Wazee the Thursday before last?

Dennis

Probably, I'm downtown quite a bit since I live nearby. If it was a red SW, it was most likely me.
I can't say I've seen another one around for a while.
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Arthur M Vigil
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'95 RRC - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'72 Series III 88" NADA Turner 2.25 petrol (Lovely Rita)
'95 RRC Brooklands/TWR Edition 3.9V8
'97 D90SW NAS #2426 - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'95 D90ST NAS#2620 - Original owner
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