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Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Defender 90 / 110 / 130' started by Danny Fireblade, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    Who said buying cars was easy? I like to think I am fairly clued up on mechanical bits, and I can turn my hand to most things, however this hunt for a 110 preferably, possibly a 90, is making me realise just how little I know about Land Rovers.

    What I do know is they hold their value very well, they rot, they need lots of things replacing on them, they break down a lot, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they are priced to sell, they can be modified in countless ways, and they are very good at what they do.

    Now I am in no rush to buy one, I was thinking about later in the year, or even next year, for a purchase. This would leave me plenty of time to do research, but I have so many questions left unanswered.

    Would it be cheaper to buy a cheaper one with a rotted chassis and bulkhead, then get them replaced with galvanised?

    What engine is considered more bulletproof, when was that introduced, what changed and when for trim levels/engines/etc?

    I like to think I could do all the individual bits myself, but the main things I am looking for would be a solid chassis and bulkhead, diffs and drivetrain to be sorted, bottom corners of windscreen solid (Don’t know what they are called?), and the rest of the metal work to be only surface rust, if none at all.

    Now I understand I am most probably hunting for a unicorn, however I really don’t know where to start? Ive been looking at various listings on all different places, however for the same money there could be 5 or 10 years between vehicles?

    Then I wonder if the best place for a purchase would be off this site, as whoever had it before would know what they were talking about, and be honest about what has or has not been done, and what would be needed?

    I am thinking my max budget would be £10k. I would like it to be a good bit cheaper than that, but am I living in cloud cuckoo land?

    Any pointers or hints/tips would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. flat

    flat Well-Known Member

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    10k should get you an excellent condition 200tdi/300tdi that is mechanically and cosmetically in good nick- however plenty of chancers that pass dogs off as good vehicles. Or a reasonable td5.

    They actually aren’t unreliable - they are a more complicated vehicle than ‘normal’ cars so require more maintenance (often neglected) - looked after they are actually quite good.

    Give the non-turbo and the early turbo diesel a miss as they are a bit gutless - while the non-turbo is solid and reliable (bulletproof) it’s a bit guyless. The early turbo is unreliable.

    200tdi - excellent and bombproof but slightly ‘unrefined’

    300tdi - excellent and reliable perhaps some might say less tough than a 200tdi but is more refined

    Td5 - 5 pot diesel, lovely and smooth, very tunable and reliable

    I don’t know about the ford engine’d defenders.

    When I brought mine I brought on structural condition as engine/axle suspension parts etc are more easily sorted than a massive welding mission imo
     
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  3. Sofasurfer

    Sofasurfer Well-Known Member

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    I drew up a spec for what I wanted, late model hardtop 90 Tdi 300. It took me a year to find a good one. Don't rush into it, walk away from rust on the chassis.
     
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  4. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke Well-Known Member

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    It's not that they hold their value it's just some people will pay massively over the top for a shed that they've been ripped off for. :eek:

    What do you want one for? Blank canvas? Four door? Station wagon?
     
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  5. callisr

    callisr Well-Known Member

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    I bought my ex mod ninety as a daily vehicle. I looked at loads and spent a whole day at PA Blanchard before I chose mine, based on structural condition. The chassis is mint and the bulkhead, while needing some footwell repairs, is as solid as a rock.
    It came with the 2.5na diesel ( which as already said, was bullet proof but very slow) which I replaced with a 300tdi from a donor discovery.
    In the 3 years I’ve had it, it has only let me down once when the alternator seized. This was my own fault because I ignored the squealing for a week!
    The Landy still looks shabby (I like em like that!) but it’s solid and dependable. Above all else it was the best way of getting what I wanted for the price I could afford, and has given me something to tinker with.
    Keep on top of the maintenance and it’s as reliable as owt.
    Another top tip is MOT it in summer so you don’t have to spend the cold wet and snowy winters lying under it doing said maintenance and MOT prep / repairs!
    Happy hunting!
     
    frog hopper, flat and Danny Fireblade like this.
  6. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    Thank you everyone, all very informative and just what I wanted.

    A part of me wants a four door, then a covered load area, while another part wants the 2 door and longer load area, hence heading more towards the 110.

    I will rarely, if ever, have more than one passenger, and in all honesty it will mainly be used for when I partake in field sports, from deer stalking, to rough shooting.
    So in theory the back will need to be big enough to take a couple of deer, with red's being the biggest (about 90-190kg each), and could also be used to trek to scotland a few times a year.

    I like the idea of security in the back, should I leave things like rifle cases, deer trays, etc, in the back while I am away shooting, or I could lock them in the front?

    Definitely want a solid chassis etc, then I can bolt on trim, light bars, alloys, radios, lights etc as and when I want.

    I am pretty clueless on different specs, but I am thinking a 110 300tdi, possibly 4 door, possibly 2? I honestly don't mind it looking a bit rough, as long as its solid underneath?

    I am glad everyone thinks it is achievable with my budget:)

    Please keep the hints, tips and advice coming, I will gladly accept it all. Thanks
     
  7. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke Well-Known Member

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    I'll have you know it's quite refreshing welding and rebuilding hubs when there's a minus 13° wind blowing down your neck like there was last Thursday :oops:
     
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  8. dag019

    dag019 Well-Known Member

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    If you are unlikely to carry passengers with any regularity I would be looking at a 110 hard top. I am biased however as that is what I have. This will give you a large load area, and you can get them with or without windows in the rear side panels (I have windows), but windows are easy to retro fit if you get one that is currently a van. Like you most of the time it is just me in the vehicle and occasionally one other, but I have then fitted 4x individual side facing seats in the back that came out of a 90 station wagon (I originally had benches but they were very uncomfortable). These fold up out of the way so do not meaningfully impede load carrying, but when needed you can carry more people. This solution gives you a full length load area most of the time and eliminates the expensive rust problems of second row doors and b-pillars that you get with a 4 door while still allowing you the option to carry more people on the rare occasion it is needed.

    Personally I would not consider a 90 for what you are looking at as I think it will be too small for you, they are only slightly larger than a golf in terms of external dimensions. However that is your decision to make.
     
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  9. Disco1BFG

    Disco1BFG Well-Known Member

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    Some good advice above.

    In terms of engine choice, IMHO it depends on whether you can tolerate electronics or not - if you can, and you're prepared to spend on your own diagnostics, then the TD5 is a fine engine, which can be tuned significantly, and which is more refined than the 300Tdi - widely considered as LR's finest engine.

    If like me, you can't tolerate electronics, then stick with the 300, it can also be tuned to a decent level -

    145HP easy £400 should get you there -

    165HP still quite easy, but requires more money -

    200HP possible, but maintenance becomes critical, and careful use and cool down is part of the SOP - any slip ups = knackered engine.:eek:

    Good luck :)
     
  10. callisr

    callisr Well-Known Member

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    Lols:D I thought you’d see that post!!:D
    Your plight was on my mind when I wrote it!!
     
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  11. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    So listening to that it is looking like a 110 hard top, with a 200, or 300tdi engine. As said I can stick a couple of seats in the back should I need more passengers, and it will give me the space I need too.

    Any ideas what years I should be looking between to get the engine I want and best vehicle i want? I am not too fussed about getting wonderful HP out of the engine as I have other vehicles for speed and luxury, lol. Also what would the tax be on a 110 hard top as I have seen there are a few different rates?

    While I will enjoy tinkering with the 110 as and when it is needed, I think doing welding (which would be first for me anyway) when it is arctic conditions, would certainly test my patience a tad what, lol.
     
  12. capo

    capo Well-Known Member

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    Nah, put a V8 in it, it's the only way......:D
     
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  13. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    I used to drive LR APV's in N.I which had a V8 in them. I must admit the engine was the best thing about them:)
     
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  14. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke Well-Known Member

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  15. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke Well-Known Member

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    It passed its mot with no advisories which was the main thing :p
     
  16. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    Yeah that would be the sort of thing that would be perfect.

    I wouldn't have a clue though if that was a good price, as what affects the prices, such as the year or anything else, or what to look for when looking at it?

    There is another on his website that is 7 years younger, with less kit, but about the same price? This is what I mean by how varied the pricing is for land rovers, there is no sense in it all??:(
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  17. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke Well-Known Member

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    Bulkhead and chassis condition and also originality. There's usually a compromise when fitting newer engines to older defenders so I would expect a genuine 300tdi to fetch more than an older model that's had a 300tdi fitted to it as a replacement engine. But the number one thing to check with defenders is the all the numbers match the v5. Due to the amount of stolen vehicles that are being rung then if in any doubt walk away.
     
  18. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    How could I check if the engine is original? You have set the bar fairly high as I have been looking for a comparable one and I cant find one.

    It makes me think is there something wrong that they are not saying? I have asked them for details anyway so will see what they come back with? Anything in particular that I need to be looking for/asking?
     
  19. lightning

    lightning Well-Known Member

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    Dealer prices can be expensive but on a private sale you should get a good TD5 110 HT for your £10,000

    Don’t worry about mileage, if looked after they can do 250,000 easily, l just sold our TD5 90 and it was on 126,000 miles running perfect.

    Dealer prices can make you think you will never get a good one for under £10,000 but look at “completed-sold” listings on Ebay for instance the expensive ones don’t sell, most sold ones are well under £10,000
     
  20. Danny Fireblade

    Danny Fireblade Member

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    So would it be better getting a 10k one, then hope it is ok, or a 5k one, and be prepared to spend a little in time and money to make it better?

    If I had hair, it would be pulled out.
     
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