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  #1  
Old June 3rd, 2011, 08:40 AM
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Craig Longenecker
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What to look out for

I have been a looking around for some time and am ready to pull the trigger on a D-90. I have read lots of things regarding what the best years are for the NAS's. My question is this, when looking at a 97, what specific things should I look for or look out for when inspecting. I imagine there things that will apply to the 94's and 95's years as well. Mostly what I hear is regarding the Automatic trans and the older trans in the 94's. I do see that some of the later model 94's have the upgraded trans.
TIA
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  #2  
Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:09 AM
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Steve
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Many should chime in here, but IMHO as a '97 owner, it's rust and leaks. Look out for frame, door, bulkhead, and crossmember rust.. My oil pan and t-box both leak, which is typical, but those can be fixed without much difficulty. Accept that you'll need to either rebuild or replace your drivetrain somewhere between 150-200k (varies). I haven't heard much about the auto transmission, mine works like a dream. If the interior/dash is shot, it's tough to find certain parts (cash helps). It's a 14-15 year-old truck, and most parts will eventually need to be replaced or rebuilt. A lot depends on what the PO did or did not maintain. Mine has 130k miles and was neglected pretty well by the PO - lots of stuff to be fixed. A few grand later and it's in pretty good shape.

If I could do it over, I'd get an actively driven 75k-100k '97 with as much documented maintenance as possible, and as little rust and as few leaks as possible. And one without body/paint damage and with a solid dash/console. Do a pre-inspection with someone from this board or a respected shop. (most of this is pretty obvious, i know)
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  #3  
Old June 6th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Craig Longenecker
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Great, thanks for taking the time to write. You mention the dash and body work. I was looking at a 94 that has a cracked dash, one dent without paint damage and one dent that was fixed with bondo and needs redone since paint is splitting. The seats are also cracked in spots. Owner also reports minor leak at transfer case and engine oil pan but no puddles on the garage floor. Needs tires, Millage is 94K single owner, but reports no rust. My instincts tell me 20K but they are asking 24.
I also have an option to buy a 97 with 11k on it. It was just checked out by my local LR dealer. Apparently it is looking pretty nice.

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  #4  
Old June 6th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK46er View Post
Great, thanks for taking the time to write. You mention the dash and body work. I was looking at a 94 that has a cracked dash, one dent without paint damage and one dent that was fixed with bondo and needs redone since paint is splitting. The seats are also cracked in spots. Owner also reports minor leak at transfer case and engine oil pan but no puddles on the garage floor. Needs tires, Millage is 94K single owner, but reports no rust. My instincts tell me 20K but they are asking 24.
I also have an option to buy a 97 with 11k on it. It was just checked out by my local LR dealer. Apparently it is looking pretty nice.

Checked out by you local LR doesn't mean anything UNLESS the tech that did it knows Defenders ...
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  #5  
Old June 6th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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On a 97, the odometer is digital....they tend to go out. So, be aware of that. Also, budget a few grand in your first year of ownership for the inevitable repairs.
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  #6  
Old June 6th, 2011, 03:51 PM
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Craig Longenecker
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I just got the skinny on the 97' It has 15K and was owned by a LR tech for the first couple K. Owner was told after inspection it will need new muffler and front drums for $1750. I am going to look at it tonight. Wants 50K
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  #7  
Old June 6th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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Where are they planning on installing front drum brakes?

------ Follow up post added June 6th, 2011 04:11 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOB View Post
If I could do it over, I'd get an actively driven [(read higher miles) truck] with as much documented maintenance as possible
Great advice. When I was looking it took many months for this to finally sink in. It seems sort of counter-intuitive to go with higher miles since we tend to believe that many items have lived out their useful lives with higher miles, but from my experience a driven truck is usually a maintained truck. And those parts are usually younger or better maintained because of use than a truck that is seldom driven, with issues unknown because of disuse.

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Originally Posted by SMOB View Post
and as little rust ... as possible.
very important.
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  #8  
Old June 6th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK46er View Post
I just got the skinny on the 97' It has 15K and was owned by a LR tech for the first couple K. Owner was told after inspection it will need new muffler and front drums for $1750. I am going to look at it tonight. Wants 50K

1750!!!!! should be more like 750! If they re-grease the hubs.... Rotors only cost $100 a pair for Brembo's, pads are $40 for EBC green... Guess I am a cheap ass...
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  #9  
Old June 6th, 2011, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK46er View Post
Owner was told after inspection it will need new muffler and front drums for $1750
I'm in the wrong business. That's maybe $300 in parts at retail, and a shop gets a trade discount...
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  #10  
Old June 7th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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Craig Longenecker
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I thought that sounded very high.
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  #11  
Old June 7th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK46er View Post
I thought that sounded very high.
As Jason mentioned, best to get work done by a shop that knows defenders.. Are you far from Treasured Motorcars? (then again, I've been screwed by a place that knew defenders well)

50k is a lot - if you want to spend that kind of scratch, call Copley, they have quality cars that don't need brakes or exhaust replacement. Or buy a nice $25k truck and throw 20 grand into it.
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  #12  
Old June 7th, 2011, 08:47 AM
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I agree about the milage factor. I have seen more than a few Defenders for sale lately with very low milage claimed ( under 50k). I would be very suspicious about these as I know for a fact that one 97 recently sold had a replaced odometer and had much more milage than claimed.
Just look for a clean truck with a caring owner who has kept up with it's service.
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  #13  
Old June 7th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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Bill Adams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK46er View Post
I thought that sounded very high.
You need some ejimication. Call Doug and throw yourself on his mercy. He will get you a fabulous vehicle and it won't require the excision of your left nut. He's in the Annapolis area.
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  #14  
Old June 8th, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Craig Longenecker
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Excellent, will do

I did look at this guys paperwork. The D-90 is legit on milage, but I don't want to be that much into one.

I will call Doug.

Thanks all
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  #15  
Old June 8th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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Frank Rafka
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I looked at a 94 90 that was owned by a LR tech, had paperwork up the wahzoo...passed on it...saw it at a local LR shop (Falconworks), it needed 6k in repairs to make it road worthy...


also x2 on talking with Doug...My '83 110 has had 2 issues (total of $600.00 to fix), and has less rust than 94/95 NAS 90's...
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  #16  
Old June 8th, 2011, 03:22 PM
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Jason England
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Take and post lots of pictures ... I want to see what a $50K 90 looks like ... For that kind of money you'd want Copley or Mike at ECR to bring it out of their personal secret stash of impossibly good trucks.

I'd also expect that Barry would have no issues eating his lunch from the inside of the cross member ...

The fact that the muffler needs replacing at 15K miles makes me deeply suspicious ...

I want to see the manufacture date on the speedo ... see ECR site for details of this typical replacement being passed of as a low mileage.

I'd also want to see the car fax and every bit of documentation in a calf skin binder ... read to me as a lullaby by a bevy of super models!
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  #17  
Old June 8th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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I have a friend with a 90 that has about 20k on the clock. He needed to replace the exhaust at 11k. When you barely drive a truck it tends to not have the water burnt out of the exhaust.

I think you need to look at every truck on an individual basis. High Mileage or low mileage might mean nothing.

Yes with high mileage you could have a truck that has been constantly maintained but that doesnt mean it isn't worn. People replace the obvious but I wonder how many are doing bushing and the like that are wearing out. Plus with higher mileage there is more ass time in the seat so I am sure the interiors of these trucks are more worn.

As for low miles you have to look out for plenty as well. bad seals, crap tires, cracked this and cracked that.

Just take it one truck at a time and see what you find.

It is funny the comment about the tech's truck needing so much work. I have found that mechanic owned is something you don't want. By the time most people are done working on customer trucks the last thing they want to do is deal with their own crap. They typically know how long a truck can go on worn out crap and will push it till the end.
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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  #18  
Old June 8th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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Exhaust at those miles does not worry me a bit.

x2 on trevor checking it out. He knows defenders.
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  #19  
Old June 9th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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Dont worry about mileage all mechanical stuff is easy to obtain.... Worry about rust. Get the cleanest truck you can afford . I would rather buy a truck that has been driven and maintained verses a truck that has sat in a gargae all its life drying up. Plus with a low mileage truck every time you drive it you depreciate it.

If you see something at copley you like I might be able to look at it for you.
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