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Hello from new LR owner


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Hey Gringo,

tel us about yourself, what car do you have? how long you been into landies? what's the offroading like in Jamaica?

ncie to see another new face.


I am not in Jamaica, I moved from the USA to the Turks and Caicos Islands almost two years ago. Wife and I are building a home here. Its a real adventure. This is our first LR. I am not new to off-road driving. I have owned Jeeps, Ford trucks, and Suzuki Samurai's. I am building my second Samurai up for offroad now, in fact. I drove a LR diesel in Pakistan for three months back in the 70's, a Jeep Wagoneer in the jungles of Guyana for two months, and a Toyota LandCruiser in NW Australia for two months. I restored an early Ford Bronco ( '74 model) from the frame up, including roll cage, headers, intake manifold, cam, and lifted a fiberglass body two inches. So I know the basics and what works and what doesnt. We imported a Ford Expedition down here a year ago, and quite frankly, the local 'roads' are kicking its ass. Whoops. Sorry. Bum? We dont have nice pine needle covered forest roads here. We have hard scrabble exposed limestone boulders. The road bed itself is quite often exposed bedrock. About 20 % of the roads here are paved. Its more like W. Australia or Utah than anyplace else I can think of at the moment. Beautiful ocean though.

We were looking to replace the Ford with a Jeep Wrangler, a new one with the 4 doors, and I was looking seriously askance at how they designed the lower shock mounts, when we spied a new-looking used LR on the lot for sale. We looked into it.

It's a 2005 Defender 90 with a Tdi turbo diesel and full soft top. I dont know much about the LR engines, but this is the one that is no longer available in Europe. It has 6200 miles on the clock. The original buyer got transferred off-island and had to leave it with the dealer to sell for him. We made an offer of US $ 30K for it, not knowing much about LRs, and he accepted. We picked it up Wednesday. Do you think that was a good deal? An unmarked '05 Defender 90 with 6200 miles for 15,000 quid (about)? Theres no sales tax, road tax, etc. here,so that was the full price ready to go with half a tank of fuel.

So far we have only driven it maybe 20 miles, with maybe four miles of that on pavement. We were used to driving on the left, but this LR is full UK syle, with the steering on the right. Biggest change for us is shifting with the left hand ( its a 5 speed). I know I will end up modifying it, and am very interested in roll cages, a step bumper, a tow ball to haul my boat, etc.

I dont have a photo yet, and I am presently on another island, but will be glad to take some photos this weekend.

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It sounds as though you have a 300tdi engine rather than a TD5.

The tdi is simpler in electronic management terms and easier for you to work on without specialised diagnostic equipment should you have a fault.

This forum is the best for good advice and technical assistance.

Do ask if you need any help.

John :D

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A guy buys a lottery ticket on his way to the office, and later in the day discovers he has won several million dollars. He phones the wife and says "I just won the lottery, and decided that my life is going to change for the better. I want you to drop everything, and pack up for a long trip, probably never returning to this town". She says "Wonderful! should I pack for a warm climate, or a cold one?" and he replies (drum roll) ' I really dont care where you go, just be out of the house by the time I get home..."

(sorry, Les, but you started it)

Its definitely a four cylinder, so that rules out the TD5. Besides, they told me it was a Tdi, available only in "certain markets" outside Europe. What other Tdi choices are there than the 300? How do I determine which it is?

Also, a question on the mounting on the bonnet for the spare wheel. It flexes a lot when hitting these bumps. I moved the spare to inside the rear box, but ideally should be on a swing away carrier on the back. I am thinking of removing all the mounting studs, etc on the bonnet, and covering it with a plate. Is this common? i dont see any advangage to having the heavy wheel there. It makes it pretty troublesome to open the bonnet, with all that weight, too.

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The other TDi is the earlier 200TDi that stopped production in about 1992 so yours is almost certainly a 300.

Sensible move to shift the spare, swing away carriers are about £120 here for reference.

If you're in to modifying this is the place to be. Check out the members vehicles forum and tools and fab forum for inspiration!

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Ah, thanks. So, in the esteemed opinion of the many experienced LR experts here, is the 300 Tdi a good engine?

Someone has said, elsewhere, that if you let one overheat it destroys it. I didnt get any other details, but I would imagine that possibly the turbo is the susceptible part in that. Not that anyone would let one overheat on purpose, but we DO have a very warm climate here year round. Last winters low temperature was something around 63 deg. F. We actually had to crank down a couple windows on the windward side...

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Thank you. It's good to hear that I bought a good motor, even though I did not know one LR engine from another when I made the offer.

Its moot now, and I realize that something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it especially in a little third world country such as this one I live in, but do you think 30,000 USD was a reasonable price for it? I know they are a lot more in the US, but then I believe they havent imported any Defenders since around 97, which would drive demand up.

We were pretty happy with the way it handled a very rough road on its shakedown cruise, although to be honest I think those rear seats are a hazard to man and beast. I also am going to need some help trying to figure out all the straps, ropes and buckles on that soft top. But so far, we love it.

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Given the current exchange rate that's about £15 - 16k.

Knowing the huge mark up in the states for defenders that is a bargain.

Over here it would be a little over the odds, but D90's are 10 a penny here of course!

Anyhow, enogh of this chit chat - where are the blooming PICTURES!!! :lol::lol::lol::lol:

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Well, that makes me feel better. Subtract $1500 shipping costs, and another 40% Import Duty, that would make the portion of that $ 30,000 that actually went toward the Defender itself about $ 16.5K so that probably looks a little better. In any case, we were glad to pay it.

I am presently on Pine Cay, a small private island a few miles from Providenciales, which is where the Defender is located. We are boating back over this afternoon, and will take some photos.

In the meantime I could fill in with some nice beach, clear water, or boat photos????

Heres a baker's dozen of Queen Conch wife and I picked up out near the reef yesterday to feed wife and I and four visiting teenagers:


Heres the US Ford 4x4 that has now been replaced in our hearts by the Defender 90 LR;


We even have an English dog,


This is the main, paved, most improved road in the entire nation after a rainstorm


did I mention that over the years I have bought junked motorcycles and have rebuilt, driven, and owned a BSA 441Victor, a BSA 650 Thunderbolt, a Triumph 650 Bonneville, a Triumph 500 Trophy, and my favorite, a 73 Norton 750 Commando? I am not unfamiliar with the names 'Lucas' and 'Amal".

I PROMISE you I will send some proper Defender 90 photos as soon as I can get back to it, later today most likely. We are due to go out to the new home construction, and that will give you a real good idea why we bought the Defender.

I am not shy about photos, so be careful what you ask for.

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Welcome. Also looking forward to some photos.

What on earth are you doing on the internet when you have fishing and a sea like that??!!

I have a 200Tdi (1994) Fantastic engine! The 300Tdi was the next one along. More refined and quieter. Some deem it to be the best low tech engine Land Rover ever made.



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We are on the water just about every day. We keep the boat in the water year round, and can be on it and outside the reef in minutes. We fish a lot. We dive a lot. We search for old shipwrecks from the 1600-1800's. We found and recovered a 300 lb. UK Admiralty anchor dated around 1800.


Heres part of the stone ballast pile from a European wreck, circa 1720, dated from bottle fragments and fire brick:


wife coming down to join me searching for firebricks..lobster, or whatever;


back end of a cannon, from that earlier misunderstanding called The War of 1812..


Wifey and I just before we left the USA for the British West Indies. We sold the Ultralight to move.


I guess this all comes under the heading of introducing myself, where I live, etc. but Unless you particularly want boating, fishing, and beach type photos, I will restrict future postings to LR and offroad stuff...soon to come.

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Glad you liked them. Photography is one of the hobbies, and over the past few years, specifically aerial photography. the ultralight aircraft was bought for that purpose. hated selling it, actually, but it didnt make sense to bring it down here.

Lately have been getting some really nice aerial photos using a helium blimp with a 1 kg. r/c digital camera package with a video downlink and uplink camera control.

Looking forward to getting into the 'new' Defender. Just spent an hour online looking for the rear step bumper, a good front bumper/nudge bar, a swing-away wheel carrier, and a roll cage to replace the soft-top support cage.

Am still struggling with some of the different terminology between UK terms and US lingo...little things trip me up. Your 'Undershield' is what we call a skid plate, etc. It goes far beyond boot and bonnet....I have discovered.

Just more new tricks for an old dog to learn...

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