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Been thinking over the christmas period about the joys of owning a defender,

i used to own a "90" back in the early 2000's which morphed from a daily drive into a challege truck which was all good fun, i was fortunate enough to inherit my late fathers 110DC Xs 5 years ago, its pretty low mileage for its age (100k on a 2004) & in our ownership between my dad & myself its never been used to clock up a high yearly average mileage, in fact its done 8 miles since its MOT in febuary,
 

recently with the increase in defender thefts & being stripped to order i feel its almost becoming a chore to own a defender, i cant be the only person in here questioning if its worth the paranoia of whether your defender will be there when you get home or up for work

 

suppose the question im posing is, does anyone else feel this way about defender ownership or is it just me?

 

 

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You are most certainly not alone in feeling this way Mike , I've had several friends raise the same concerns and our conversations always end up with the sad conclusion that all one can rely on is good insurance and taking sensible precautions.

 Unfortunately it's not just Defenders now , Series are equally under threat and in rural areas such as where I am Farms are constantly under attack , batteries , red diesel tanks drained , wheels and tracks(!) stolen off plant in barns or fields - even cabs stripped of GPS operational systems and glass , it does feel like a free for all sometimes I have to say .

Steve b

 

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I must be lucky, crime appears really low here, to the point where I don't care about locking car doors very often.

That said, I would be nervous leaving one in a car park in a city centre for more than half a day, heck I even get nervous leaving my classic Audi.

The paranoia was strong recently when parked up in bristol and I managed to mis-remember the level I parked on and spent 10 minutes looking for it!

 

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10 hours ago, RedLineMike said:

Been thinking over the christmas period about the joys of owning a defender,

i used to own a "90" back in the early 2000's which morphed from a daily drive into a challege truck which was all good fun, i was fortunate enough to inherit my late fathers 110DC Xs 5 years ago, its pretty low mileage for its age (100k on a 2004) & in our ownership between my dad & myself its never been used to clock up a high yearly average mileage, in fact its done 8 miles since its MOT in febuary,
 

recently with the increase in defender thefts & being stripped to order i feel its almost becoming a chore to own a defender, i cant be the only person in here questioning if its worth the paranoia of whether your defender will be there when you get home or up for work

 

suppose the question im posing is, does anyone else feel this way about defender ownership or is it just me?

 

 

Yep. Felt like this for some time now. Luckily mine has had no engine and a front wheel off for six years, so its hard to move. 

Brother in laws 130 crew cab with Hicap tub and a little Hiab and a center mounted winch went from outside his house about 18months ago. Took two years to build and had only been finished a few weeks. Was devastated, and will not have another Defender.

One went from up the road in October, plus a mini digger.

Scrap stuff disappears from our yard all the time. Police are not interested.

What with that, and the fact that mine are always off the road when needed, is making me feel like not bothering any more. Also, if you defend your property, you are likely to be on the wrong side of the law.

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Having owned and driven Defenders for the last 20+ years I don't feel particularly threatened by theft-issues; my bigger fret is that more and more towns seem to be introducing, or planning-to-introduce, swingeing taxes on legacy Diesel-engined vehicles they class as 'gross polluters'.

Hence, I'm moving-on my 90TD5 - I've got a Toyota Landcruiser 'Commercial' on order, which is Euro-6-compliant so I'll still be able to drive in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and London without risking a £50-a-day wrist-slap.

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I don’t let it become a serious worry, yes I am wary about leaving it in some places but that would go for just about any half-decent or desirable car. I don’t think it’s something that one should let detract from the fun of owning and driving a vehicle you enjoy. 

The emissions stuff is a pain for sure, but hopefully that will stay in the cities for the foreseeable future.

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I have avoided several nice Defenders as potential daily drivers because of this - I just can't be doing with worrying about the thing going missing, plus the somewhat higher cost of ownership over a lot of other vehicles.

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I just take it as a bonus if I find it where I left it. I watched mine drive away once and very luckily got it back but since then I just take theft as part and parcel of ownership, dont leave anything in them that is irreplaceable.

 

Crime is especially bad this time of year and it helps to be extra cautious, I left some bluepoint crimpers between the seats in my transit for one night last month and they had gone between 11pm and 3.30am (wasn't locked) much to my annoyance. But it doesn't matter what you have you will notice they get stolen, just like you notice how many models of a vehicle there are after your mate buys one.

 

Insure it and enjoy it or sell it and live without it. Depends which is the lesser of two evils for each of us.

 

Will.

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40+ years of Land Rover ownership here so I well and truly bought into the ethos. My last few Defenders were bought new, however the ever shrinking dealer network, poor build quality, problematic warranty work and risk of coming back from somewhere to find some Herbert or gang of Herbert's has taken a shine to your doors, bonnet or complete vehicle meant the last one became a liability, the downtime an inconvenience rather than a practical pleasure. Sure I could have rolled up my sleeves and fixed the issues myself but on a 30+ grand vehicle - nah - I can't be arsed, I would only expect to do that on something well out of warranty - of which I've had plenty.

At the moment the only LR product I would consider is a Series as a hobby vehicle but since buying another WW2 Jeep back in the summer I'm just not feeling the desire at present.

 

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It's one of the reasons I never had one despite loving them. I also wont buy the bling looking version of any car to try stop it standing out. For me first and foremost they have to get you around, everything else is secondary. I also try to stop the kids (and my wife) leaving things like tablets in view. I try to get them to put them away before we pull into the car park incase someone is watching and wont take shopping back to the car then walk off again. My wife is terrible for leaving her purse and keys on the window ledge  They will take anything if it's easy. Cats from 4x4s, spare wheels from vans, tools. We've had a run of cars being pinched from where I live where people break in and take the keys. At first it was high end stuff but the last few have been 7+ year old astras and things. You wouldn't think there would be enough in it for the risk but they must be making enough on it. They even took 4 tractors and a pickup from a relative one night. My theory is the best you can do is make it harder to get than the neighbours. 2 houses been done on my street in the last month :(

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The solution to this problem has been staring me in the face all along. Literally. Sitting on the drive.

Questionable reliability. Infuriating. Temperamental. Just as we like it. You will have to make room in your coffin for it, as no one else wants it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you …………. FREELANDER 1

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17 hours ago, smallfry said:

The solution to this problem has been staring me in the face all along. Literally. Sitting on the drive.

Questionable reliability. Infuriating. Temperamental. Just as we like it. You will have to make room in your coffin for it, as no one else wants it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you …………. FREELANDER 1

Still two of the best LR products I've owned - a couple of well-known and easily solved issues and then they're by far the most practical economical and reliable thing with a green oval out there.

Only reason I don't have one now is that if I have one as a daily driver I end up off-roading it and that causes damage and stops me from getting the 109 finished.

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I am a bit amazed about the going missing problem; many people I speak with that own one are worried about it happening, but when asked about theft deterrents, there usually isn't one. So, yes theft is a problem, but add a few X-engineering goodies at it, and the chances of it happening are very small. 

Just prepare for it basically.

Daan

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First one was pinched  after 5 years of ownership, this one I've had for 14 years. I have have various 'measures' in place, but if they want it !!  . I look every time I use the loo, to check it's still there .  BUT , I do feel the time has come to part with it, I have galv capping to fit, plus other little jobs, but I'm putting them off, because I don't want to spend time fettling, only for it to dissappear .  I think selling it would be on my terms, not just finding a space on the drive one morning. But my problem is what to replace it with. It's a 110 HT, and I would like something of equal volume, with ability to fit a proper roof rack, with side windows and under 2.0m high ( without roof rack), and some rear seats, and the ability to fit bikes in the back, upright, without removing any wheels, for around 10-12k that's euro 6.  Not interested in 4x4, never used Wallace off road anyway. The ONLY thing that fits the bill , is a s/h  ( prob 2 years old 25k) Nissan NV 200 combi. Half of me wants Wallace to be pinched, so I can move on, without the sadness of selling it. Ho hum.

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20 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Still two of the best LR products I've owned - a couple of well-known and easily solved issues and then they're by far the most practical economical and reliable thing with a green oval out there.

Only reason I don't have one now is that if I have one as a daily driver I end up off-roading it and that causes damage and stops me from getting the 109 finished.

Sorry - cant resist - just for balance, the Freelander 1 was absolutely the worst car I have ever owned (not just the worst Land Rover although it easily gets that prize too!!). Heap of rubbish spent longer in bits with me under it than on the road. We sold it (and at quite a loss - so yes, couldnt give it away), and bought the D2 instead about 8 years ago. Even the D3 is beating the freelander in terms of reliability (currently).

 

Back on topic, the 110 is still the only one that I worry about getting nicked. Its the one I have most sentimental attachement to and have done the most with (toured the UK and wider Europe in it) and it has been in the family since about 1992. It looks really tatty at the moment (but runs perfectly) and I will need to do a chassis, bulkhead and all doors swap on it in the next year or so and I am worried about the fact that I will need to re-spray it really and then it will look shiny and new an be much more attractive to theives.

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9 hours ago, Yostumpy said:

First one was pinched  after 5 years of ownership, this one I've had for 14 years. I have have various 'measures' in place, but if they want it !!  . I look every time I use the loo, to check it's still there .  BUT , I do feel the time has come to part with it, I have galv capping to fit, plus other little jobs, but I'm putting them off, because I don't want to spend time fettling, only for it to dissappear .  I think selling it would be on my terms, not just finding a space on the drive one morning. But my problem is what to replace it with. It's a 110 HT, and I would like something of equal volume, with ability to fit a proper roof rack, with side windows and under 2.0m high ( without roof rack), and some rear seats, and the ability to fit bikes in the back, upright, without removing any wheels, for around 10-12k that's euro 6.  Not interested in 4x4, never used Wallace off road anyway. The ONLY thing that fits the bill , is a s/h  ( prob 2 years old 25k) Nissan NV 200 combi. Half of me wants Wallace to be pinched, so I can move on, without the sadness of selling it. Ho hum.

I do not live far from you Yostumpy, and the problem is definitely getting worse round here, so I feel your pain.

What about a Volkswagen Transporter LWB. Ticks ALL your boxes, and does 35mpg too. Unfortunately though, they seem to popular with thieves too, but are a lot harder to steal.

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5 hours ago, reb78 said:

Sorry - cant resist - just for balance, the Freelander 1 was absolutely the worst car I have ever owned (not just the worst Land Rover although it easily gets that prize too!!). Heap of rubbish spent longer in bits with me under it than on the road. We sold it (and at quite a loss - so yes, couldnt give it away), and bought the D2 instead about 8 years ago. Even the D3 is beating the freelander in terms of reliability (currently).

.

Problem I have with the Freelander, is undoing the bodges made by "professionals". None of them, including main dealers, seem to have absolutely no ability to diagnose any faults, Let alone fit any new parts properly. And the BMW diesel engine is sh1te.

I really like driving it as it goes, but the cost of the road tax is too much to bear !

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As I own a 1995 Defender I too look to security. The last time I came back from Namibia I was travelling to the docks to collect my Defender when I recieved a phone call from the shipping agent. He wanted to know if the steveadors could pull me Defender out of the container. I said yes and to;ld him how to work the security. Another call asked me how the security worked so I explained again. When I get to the docks my Defender was still inside the container. So I pulled it out. Nobody working there could get the security system to work. Now I told two people how it worked but neither could getb it started. SO ? Is that a good system i have ?   NO I'm not telling you

 

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  • 2 months later...

well to follow up this post, im pretty much decided on parting ways with my defender, unfortunatley it brings the million dollar question of whats it worth,

2004 110 XS double cab with ifor top, is curently set up with an 8274 up front, twin batterys in the rear tub under a custom storage setup, Xmoor seat upgrade, wright offroad mats, long range fuel tank (removable) , snorkel, Storm Tuning remap etc etc

 

 

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18 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

, and to a disappointing extent also appearance.

aggree there when you see trucks that have been tarmaced raptor coated over the rusty bits & are making 30k

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1 hour ago, RedLineMike said:

aggree there when you see trucks that have been tarmaced raptor coated over the rusty bits & are making 30k

Years ago I was talking to a guy at an ex-MOD supplier, he said they bought a batch of lightweights from auction and basically sorted them out by condition - put all the good solid ones in the warehouse for further attention, then took all the scabby ones, jet-washed them, dusted them over with a gallon of NATO green & stuck them in the LR mags for top whack and cleared them all out in no time!

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