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Old March 31st, 2007, 08:10 PM
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97 D-90
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 190
What would you choose

Considering two extremes for my D90 purchase; a lower (35k-60k) 1995 from Copley or a 1994 Soft-top with 70k miles from a private seller who is a Ranger Rover fanatic (has owned 5; has a D90 and a 110 awaiting resortating now) that has had EXTENSIVE mechanical restoration. He had receipts for ~$25k from the 4X4 Center in VT for items such as: new water pump, timing belt, new headers, stainless steel exhaust system, a new RXXX (i forget) transmission, new transfer case, arb air lockers and new axles, new radiator, etc. I looked hard and was unable to find any rust on this vehicle. So, the question is am I better off with a lower mileage Copley car or this vehicle. I realize there are other choices but this is just to keep it simple. We will probably drive this vehicle 6 months a year and put, maybe 6k miles/yr as it will be on the road and on the beach at a summer house. Obviously I would take the later D90 to the dealer for a thorough check unless someone has a suggestion in SW Connecticut. Thanks for the input
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Old March 31st, 2007, 08:24 PM
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Jim Cheney
NAS 110 #145
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Location: Stuttgart, Germany
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If you are big on cosmetics, then take that into account. Otherwise, I would probably buy the more well-documented example. I'm guessing that the one from the private seller will be a lower price as well. Buying a low-mileage one doesnt necessarily mean its the better truck. I'll pay a premium for top-notch maintenance and verifiably excellent condition, but I'm personally unwilling to pay a premium for low miles exclusively.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 08:46 PM
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Shawn Palmer
1997 SW-Arles Blue
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lake Lanier, Ga.
Posts: 1,134
It's up to you, but there is nothing wrong with getting a 90 that has been well maintained. Personally, I don't think that 70K is that high of milage anyway. Both of my 97's have around 70K and run great. The 94 sounds like it has had some nice upgrades that you might have to make at some point to a lower milage car. Remember this: Just because the car has low milage doesn't mean that it is mechanically in excellent condition. It is still over 10 years old and there is a lot of plastic and rubber that will degrade and need to be replaced. So, the one that has been driven and taken care of might be a better choice than one that has been sitting somewhere. Cars need to be driven to keep them in good shape. The worst thing for a car is to let it sit and not drive it. Not saying that the ones you are looking at have been sitting for a while, but you never know.
There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness.

97 D90 SW
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Old March 31st, 2007, 08:54 PM
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1997 D90 ST #1444
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Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,329
Another thing to consider is how you are going to use it... If you want a stock truck or a truck that has been set up for off-road. The one with ARB lockers and upgraded components would be very well suited for hitting the trails, but would be over kill for a mall cruiser.

Eitherway, welcome to the club.


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Old April 1st, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Gary Baxter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: York, ME
Posts: 1,003
Hi Mike,

Having lurked here for years and finally getting my D90, I'll share the best advice I received from the members here:

1. Decide what you want beforehand. SW or ST, stock or mods, color, etc. Once I decided I wanted a stock 97 Coniston Green SW, I become more focused on finding the right one. If you're not going to offroad it, but want one with a lift, winch, skid plates, and monster tires then go for it. Get what you want.

2. Avoid rust as best you can. As one member said, you can always swap out an engine or a transmission but if a truck is rusty you may never be able to keep up with it. I know you're in the Northeast so buying a local truck without major rust will be a challenge. My advice is to widen your search to the entire country. Shipping a truck via DAS is relatively cheap.

Make sure you have the truck inspected by a D90 member and/or a Land Rover dealer. Any reputable seller should be willing to have the local dealer inspect it if you will pay for it but any knowledgeable owner will know that the dealer will be very picky and quote outrageous repair costs. Take the inspection report to your local Rover mechanic and see what he thinks. Don't be afraid to buy a truck that needs work if you've got a good mechanic.

3. Pounce on the right opportunity. Have your finances ready and make contact with the seller right away. Even if the truck's a little more than what you want to spend, stretch a bit for the right truck. There are several people/dealers who peruse the market for trucks to resell and they will pounce so you'd better also. Copley had the exact truck I was looking for and I contacted them when it hit their web page and was in transit. I couldn't get down there until the weekend and Keith called back the day it arrived and said someone bought it. Remember that you're not the only one out there looking for that D90.

Be a D90 predator and check these sites often: autotrader, cars.com, autoextra, LRX, LRO, D90 source. Copley and landroversforsale always have trucks but I don't have personal experience with them. I found the trucks on eBay to be generally overpriced. I would also recommend using crazedlist which allows you to do global searches on craigslist. You may need the firefox browser to make it work right.

4. Buy some sweatpants. I got my truck a week or so ago and my constant erection is becoming a problem. Cialis has nothing on the D90.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 08:51 AM
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Sterling M Archer
1995 AA Yellow NAS D90 #2986
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 728
Maintenance Over Miles

Never look at a D90s mileage. Look for condition and maintenance. They are all over ten years old now...
1995 NAS Defender 90 AA Yellow #2986: Current
2009 Range Rover Supercharged Black/Black: Current

1993 NAS Defender 110 #375/500: Sold
1995 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top Beluga Black #2556: Sold
1991 Range Rover Hunter Green: Sold
1997 NAS Defender 90 Station Wagon Portofino Red #128: Sold
1993 NAS Defender 110 Beluga Black #215/500: sold
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Old April 1st, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Donald McDowell
Black 1997 D-90 soft top
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Delray Beach, FL/ Bequia, St.Vincent & Grenadines
Posts: 221
My 2 cents...I bought my 97 D-90 from Copley and have been very pleased. His prices might be a bit higher than market prices, but you know you are getting a good truck with accurate records and history. I shopped around and kept my eye on Copley's web site or almost a year and then found the truck I wanted. After agreeing to the purchase price, without even asking, Stuart at Copley sent the truck to his LR garage for a full inspection and they even replaced a few things that needed changing/updating and he didn't charge me. He has been great with follow up support as well.

You may hear some negative comments about Copley on this web site, and it is mainly due to his prices, but there are few dealers that specialize in Defenders and Copley is one and I can recommend them. I doubt if anyone actually pays the prices Stuart posts on his website.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 10:20 AM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
1997 Defender 90 SW
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, Cook
Posts: 883
Originally Posted by Jon_Winningham
Never look at a D90s mileage. Look for condition and maintenance. They are all over ten years old now...
Jon and Muddy Oval got it right. I bought a very low mile 97. It had 3000 miles on it. Sat for the longest time. Took me way to much money and 2 years to get it stable. Heads, Radiator, emmissions, altenator, full exhaust and O2 sensors... Cars need to be driven.

Rust isn't an issue IMO. Frame, Doors, and Bulkhead are still available. My truck has a little rust on the body cappings. A good body shop can fix it if you catch it quickly.

Stu seems like a nice guy last time a spoke with him...

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Old April 1st, 2007, 10:59 AM
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Jesse McCoy
'89 RRC SWB (needs work)
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 1,044
I think the majority of people have been more than pleased with Copley, truly a place where you get what you pay for.
But, I'd rather save the $10 to $20K and buy a well maintained driven vehicle. I mean, you can buy a stocker POS on here for right around $20K and do a galvanized frame and 300TDI motor swap for $25K. Puts you at $45K for a truck with a new frame and new diesel for the price of a 60Kmile clean Copley vehicle.

But I also whole heartedly agree with Gary. Figure out what you want, and then look for that specific vehicle. If you want a SW don't settle for a truck that has the aftermarket top. Find a SW out there that the top's never been off of and doesn't have water leaks. If you want a beefy ST, wait on it, it'll come up, and when it does be the first person to look at it and the only one with cash in hand. When I bought mine I called the guy at 11am the morning it went on sale, I was the 3rd call. I looked at it at 3pm that day, he had 21 calls by then. I made an offer at 3:30pm, the 3rd. He accepted. I picked it up the next day with cash, he had 8 offers over mine if the deal went south. I came back a week later to pick up random literature from him, he had 11 other offers in that week.
And find a D-90 source member to look at it for you if possible. Search for Stealership on this site and you'll see numerous posts on dealerships that missed obvious things, but pointed out stuff that was fine.

Oh, and welcome to the club!
"Pump one is on for the black Jeep"
"It's not a Jeep"
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