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  #1  
Old September 16th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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Intro & questions...

All:

I plan to buy a RHD Defender 90 diesel auto SW within the next 5 years or so. I've been corresponding with Mybluett (Thanks Brian!) but rather than further pester him with questions, I thought I'd ask here. Here's an example of the kind of rig I am considering importing;

http://www.landrovercentre.com/listings/g940keg/

Note: I will leave the vehicle in storage in the UK until it is 25 years old.

Questions;

-Can an automatic transmission be mated to the old 2.5 Turbo diesel? Is said transmission worth the work?

-Can the old 2.5 Turbo diesel be upgraded to a 200Tdi using the existing lower part of the engine & engine mounts?

-Was the 200Tdi available with an automatic tranny, and if so, was it a good match?

-Will D1/RRC rims fit any defender?

-How much work (time, $) is required to upgrade to the 300Tdi?

-Can A/C be fitted to RHD rigs?

-How much work (time, $) is required to upgrade to disc brakes?

-If the rear cross member (right below the rear door) is shot, can it be swapped out without removing the body?

-What is the cost of using an agent to do all the shipping & paperwork to bring a 25+ year old Defender into the US?

-Is it cheaper to kit out the rig (brush guard, dog guard, upgraded engine, automatic gearbox, etc.) in the UK or US?

So here's some background & why I want a defender. I grew up in the UK. Spent some time in Land Rovers at work- mostly an '81 Series 88" hardtop and an '84 90 hardtop, both diesels. They sucked, mostly because they were loud and underpowered. Then in late 1990/early 1991, I took the 90 in for servicing and they gave me a brand new Defender 90 as a loaner. The Defender was a breath of fresh air after the older rigs- quieter, tighter, much more power, and actually comfortable. I didn't want to give it back!

Fast forward to now. (On my 5th Land Rover- past '96 D1 SD, '00 RR 4.6 HSE, '04 D2 SE7, '07 RR HSE, and current '08 LR3 SE). In ten years or so my wife & I plan to retire to the U.S. Virgin Islands. They drive on the left (in LHD cars!) and the top speed on the island is 35 mph. Parking is limited (a 110 won't work) it rains a lot, much of the island is steep, there are a lot of rough/steep/washed out roads (beach access) and I need something that I can put my 10' inflatable on a roof rack and carry 6 people (airport runs). So the aforementioned D90 should fit the bill perfectly. I am not ready to buy yet (still need to sell my Porsche & get the LR3 paid off) but want to have a plan for the 90.

If you can help answer my questions I would appreciate it. Any thoughts/comments also appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Paul.
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  #2  
Old September 16th, 2012, 04:23 PM
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Everything is possible if you throw enough money at it.
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  #3  
Old September 16th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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Paul Kennington
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Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Everything is possible if you throw enough money at it.
I'd like to keep it under $20k. Sound feasible?
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  #4  
Old September 16th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Most of what you've asked can be answered by going to SEARCH --> Advanced Search --> and looking through threads that bossman429 and Wolf Fabrication have recently started.

Good luck!
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  #5  
Old September 16th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul K View Post
All:

I plan to buy a RHD Defender 90 diesel auto SW within the next 5 years or so. I've been corresponding with Mybluett (Thanks Brian!) but rather than further pester him with questions, I thought I'd ask here. Here's an example of the kind of rig I am considering importing;

http://www.landrovercentre.com/listings/g940keg/

Note: I will leave the vehicle in storage in the UK until it is 25 years old.

Questions;

-Can an automatic transmission be mated to the old 2.5 Turbo diesel? Is said transmission worth the work?

-Can the old 2.5 Turbo diesel be upgraded to a 200Tdi using the existing lower part of the engine & engine mounts?

-Was the 200Tdi available with an automatic tranny, and if so, was it a good match?
i would really just leave it as stick
-Will D1/RRC rims fit any defender?
shouldn't have an issues bolt pattern is the same
-How much work (time, $) is required to upgrade to the 300Tdi?

-Can A/C be fitted to RHD rigs?
yes
-How much work (time, $) is required to upgrade to disc brakes?
just swap an axle out, from a D1, might be a little more work than that but not too bad
-If the rear cross member (right below the rear door) is shot, can it be swapped out without removing the body?
i think if it doesn't need the outriggers then yeah.
-What is the cost of using an agent to do all the shipping & paperwork to bring a 25+ year old Defender into the US?
no idea
-Is it cheaper to kit out the rig (brush guard, dog guard, upgraded engine, automatic gearbox, etc.) in the UK or US?
getting the motor, but not installing it would be cheaper there, the rest of the stuff i would buy here
So here's some background & why I want a defender. I grew up in the UK. Spent some time in Land Rovers at work- mostly an '81 Series 88" hardtop and an '84 90 hardtop, both diesels. They sucked, mostly because they were loud and underpowered. Then in late 1990/early 1991, I took the 90 in for servicing and they gave me a brand new Defender 90 as a loaner. The Defender was a breath of fresh air after the older rigs- quieter, tighter, much more power, and actually comfortable. I didn't want to give it back!

Fast forward to now. (On my 5th Land Rover- past '96 D1 SD, '00 RR 4.6 HSE, '04 D2 SE7, '07 RR HSE, and current '08 LR3 SE). In ten years or so my wife & I plan to retire to the U.S. Virgin Islands. They drive on the left (in LHD cars!) and the top speed on the island is 35 mph. Parking is limited (a 110 won't work) it rains a lot, much of the island is steep, there are a lot of rough/steep/washed out roads (beach access) and I need something that I can put my 10' inflatable on a roof rack and carry 6 people (airport runs). So the aforementioned D90 should fit the bill perfectly. I am not ready to buy yet (still need to sell my Porsche & get the LR3 paid off) but want to have a plan for the 90.

If you can help answer my questions I would appreciate it. Any thoughts/comments also appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Paul.
I put some in the quote.

I believe the automatic from the discos will mate up the 200, i have no idea how much work is involved.

Is there any specific reason why it can't be stick? that will save you major time and money, and will be much easier to maintain when you leave the lt77 in it.
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  #6  
Old September 16th, 2012, 10:17 PM
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Paul Kennington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsD90 View Post
I put some in the quote.

I believe the automatic from the discos will mate up the 200, i have no idea how much work is involved.

Is there any specific reason why it can't be stick? that will save you major time and money, and will be much easier to maintain when you leave the lt77 in it.
John:

Thanks for the answers! I am afraid I'll be eating clutches if I leave it as a stick. The island is very hilly with twisty roads & a bunch of traffic, so unless clutches can stand that (I suppose they do in the UK) I would rather go auto.

Maybe I'll upgrade to a 200 Tdi when I get it here, and try it out- then maybe swap the transmission if I really need to.

All:

Thoughts on the '89 I posted the link to? Looks like the perfect candidate to me!

Cheers,

Paul.
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  #7  
Old September 16th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul K View Post
John:

Thanks for the answers! I am afraid I'll be eating clutches if I leave it as a stick. The island is very hilly with twisty roads & a bunch of traffic, so unless clutches can stand that (I suppose they do in the UK) I would rather go auto.

Maybe I'll upgrade to a 200 Tdi when I get it here, and try it out- then maybe swap the transmission if I really need to.

All:

Thoughts on the '89 I posted the link to? Looks like the perfect candidate to me!

Cheers,

Paul.
Looks great, that truck i love the county strips and the Blue color. From the pictures that looks like a good deal, make sure the bulkhead and frame are in good shape too, but storage and shipping fees could add up. I really encourage you to find the motor you want and have it put in the back while its there as getting the motor here will not be as cheap. I would keep the LT77, even if you go through clutches every 80k-100k miles, are you going to be driving it 200-300k miles in the virgin islands? I doubt you will even burn the clutches that bad.
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  #8  
Old September 16th, 2012, 11:38 PM
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Paul Kennington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsD90 View Post
Looks great, that truck i love the county strips and the Blue color. From the pictures that looks like a good deal, make sure the bulkhead and frame are in good shape too, but storage and shipping fees could add up. I really encourage you to find the motor you want and have it put in the back while its there as getting the motor here will not be as cheap. I would keep the LT77, even if you go through clutches every 80k-100k miles, are you going to be driving it 200-300k miles in the virgin islands? I doubt you will even burn the clutches that bad.
John:

I can spend time finding a 200Tdi whilst the 90 is in storage, but thinking about it, if I find one a year newer (1990, first year of the Defender) it will already have the 200 Tdi in it. I really won't put many miles on it in the USVI, but might if it's my DD whilst I'm still in the US. I'm going to ask my Dad to get me quotes on storage- will let you know what I find out.

Thanks,

Paul.
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  #9  
Old September 17th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul K View Post
John:

Thanks for the answers! I am afraid I'll be eating clutches if I leave it as a stick. The island is very hilly with twisty roads & a bunch of traffic, so unless clutches can stand that (I suppose they do in the UK) I would rather go auto.

Maybe I'll upgrade to a 200 Tdi when I get it here, and try it out- then maybe swap the transmission if I really need to.

All:

Thoughts on the '89 I posted the link to? Looks like the perfect candidate to me!

Cheers,

Paul.
Don't make it an auto. You will not eat up any clutches if it has a the standard 1.4 transfer case. the gearing is so low that it will pull like an elevator up the steepest grades. you could let it idle and it would climb 10-15% grade in 1st gear.
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  #10  
Old September 17th, 2012, 08:18 AM
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The 200tdi swap into a 2.5td truck is very straight forward. Especially if it's a defender engine. Some fuel fittings, radiator frame and fan shroud were basically the only items that didn't swap over.

Yes the crossmember can be fixed with the body in place, but it's a good bit of cutting and welding. Figure 500-1000 in labor depending where you live

What your describing can easily be had in the USA for 15k, and that's probably being Conservative

If you can drive stick, the clutch will be fine. If you can't then you should learn. Lol
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  #11  
Old September 17th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Paul Kennington
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman429 View Post
If you can drive stick, the clutch will be fine. If you can't then you should learn. Lol
Heck, I had to learn how to drive an automatic!
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  #12  
Old September 17th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Better plan on a truck that's all galvanized; frame bulkhead, door frames, and Waxoyl'd. Every Rover I ever saw in the US/BVI was on it's way to death by rot.
I would also say that an auto box would be the better choice. Tdi, auto, LT230 pretty nice setup. I would go with RHD. You can find some nice UK trucks right now. I am also not 100% that US EPA regs are enforced vis a vis importing vehicles. I have seen a lot of ROW vehicles in the USVI that would never be allowed on the mainland. Perhaps with a V5 in hand you could bring over a nice Puma 110?
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  #13  
Old September 17th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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Paul Kennington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Better plan on a truck that's all galvanized; frame bulkhead, door frames, and Waxoyl'd. Every Rover I ever saw in the US/BVI was on it's way to death by rot.
I would also say that an auto box would be the better choice. Tdi, auto, LT230 pretty nice setup. I would go with RHD. You can find some nice UK trucks right now. I am also not 100% that US EPA regs are enforced vis a vis importing vehicles. I have seen a lot of ROW vehicles in the USVI that would never be allowed on the mainland. Perhaps with a V5 in hand you could bring over a nice Puma 110?
I am torn because if I get a Defender the 200 will already be in there & it'll be ready to drive but if I get a pre-Defender I will have to take half the rig apart & that would be a great opportunity to powder coat/galvanize stuff.

Auto would be much nicer to drive there, I have no problem with a stick but I would be constantly shifting & that would get old, especially after a few clutches. Do UK spec Defenders come with the LT230 stock? Can one be fitted (relatively) easily to a 200 Tdi in place of the stick box? I know I'm going to have to spend half a million dollars on the console but so be it.

Not sure about importing to the USVI- I'd rather have one here for a while to get it sorted, plus as I mentioned, a 110 is just too long down there.

Cheers,

Paul.
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