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Preparations for a Laid up 2004 Defender 110 TD5

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Any suggestions, please, regarding what I should do to keep a 2004 Defender 110 TD5 in the best shape after it's been laid up for 8+ years?

Long story - After owning a Discovery 2 TD5 ES for 5 years,  I decided I needed to find something without 7 leather seats and ACE that wouldn't need new air springs every 2 years or rust out from under me. So, in 2009, I bought a 2004 110 Hardtop in a last minute E-bay bid for just over £5,000. A bargain. 120K on the clock and a good runner but slow and noisy as hell after the Disco.

9 months of Defender ownership later, fate saw fit to give me a challenge - a massive stroke in 2010 that half-paralysed,part-blinded me and gave me Epilepsy. The DVLA took my licence away, the Discovery had to go and the Defender, on axle stands in a detached garage while I painted the chassis, has been sat there ever since. I had to move away after my marriage failed, so its only a memory now.

I'm mostly not paralysed any more, haven't had a seizure for 5 years and I have 93% vision. I still have to persuade the DVLA to let me drive again but my  goal/dream is to get behind the wheel again, preferably in something big, slow and noisy as hell with 3 seats.

My current thinking is to start preparing the car next year, then push for a licence in 2020 when I can afford an auto conversion. I'd changed all the oils in everything before my stroke but will probably do them all again before it drives anywhere. The chassis was half-painted; the interior of the front doors had been waxoyled.

With luck on my side, it can get back on the road in 2 years. Is there anything I should perhaps do to give me the best chance of it still working? It's been suggested that I spray diesel into the cylinder heads via the glow plugs, change the oil and hand crank it. The battery will be stone dead so I'd better take it out.

Any other suggestions, please? 

My thoughts were:

1. check the ECU for oil;

2. drain the tank.

3. finish painting the chassis.

It had a new fuel filter while on the stands and the radiator and intercooler were off while I was taking the EGR off.

Thank you for any suggestions!

Damian (the One Armed Landy Man)



Edited by One-Arm-Landy-Man
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Good work on getting better after your stroke.

The Defender will probably start first time if you put a new battery on. But you’ll want to give the brakes and running gear a once over, change all the oils and brake/clutch fluid.

check the tyres for cracks etc (they should be alright if it’s been stored in the dark) 

As long as the garage was dry you should be OK. 



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Just as a precaution, once you've change the oil, I would disengage the inertia button  on the bulkhead and crank until your oil pressure light goes out. Re-connect the button to start of course.

As above, after doing what you suggest, it'll probably turn and start with a new battery. If changing the fuel filter you will need to purge the fuel system a few times...

(Ignition on and push the throttle pedal down fast 5 times. Engine management light should flash and you should hear a lot of gurgling.)

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I'd change all the oils [engine, gearbox, t/box, diffs] and the clutch/brake-fluid (which will have absorbed atmospheric moisture during the layup).

You may well find a few 'tight'or seized pistons in the brake-calipers, and/or that the friction surfaces of the pads have 'grown' on to the discs. Same applies to the handbrake-shoes if the handbrake's been left on. A "stuck" handbrake may free off [with a loud bang!] when you try driving: alternatively the linings may come unbonded from the shoes in the process, causing a bit of a mess....

Also check all the coolant hoses for perishing and change the coolant: after 5 years though it may still have the 'right' level of freeze-protection the corrosion-inhibitors will be well past their best. The oil/water heat-exchanger on a TD5 is made of very thin metal and can 'pinhole' if the right coolant's not in there.

Then give the engine a couple of fuel-system-purges as described, and go for liftoff!

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