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defender advice needed


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hi guys im new to the forum so just want to say hello to everyone,

also would like some advice on defenders, i am considering buying one and was just wundering how the run and have they many folts etc, i test drove a 2001 defender 90 county 2day and i was well impressed seriously considering buying her, any help would be much appricated :)

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Hi there and welcome.

I used to own a Series III 2.25 diesel - top speed about 60, and it took about a week to get there. However, at that speed it was so loud that I had to wear ear plugs, so there was noise generated top speed of about 55.

I then skipped over the 200 and 300 Tdi and went straight or a Td5. What a revelation! Fast (relatively) and much better handling. They will never corner like a Lotus Elise, but can be hustled along quite rapidly. You've driven one, so I don't need to tell you that they aren't overly noisy inside, and you can have a normal conversation without shouting. Despite the basic looking seats, they are comfortable over long journeys. Actually, if I'm honest, the Series III military seats were more even more comfortable, despite being two bits of sponge covered mdf. Probably an ergonomic dream - very good at keeping your back straight.

As for faults - mine has been pretty reasonable. It had a dodgy fuel pump and flywheel replaced under warranty. It has had a couple of front wheel bearings go, and some bearing or other went wrong inside an axle. That sounds like a pretty long list, and objectively speaking it is, but it does get rough treatment, and whatever its faults, I love it. Once you've driven one, you'll never look back. And when it snows, all your colleagues look to you as the hero who can get into work - for the rest of the year, they don't understand - but just those 2 or 3 days in the winter will provide you with enough good will to last the rest of the year.

Buy it - you won't regret it (as long as it's a good one (2nd hand) - and there are plenty around - if it's a bit rough keep looking.)

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Hi there and welcome.

I used to own a Series III 2.25 diesel - top speed about 60, and it took about a week to get there. However, at that speed it was so loud that I had to wear ear plugs, so there was noise generated top speed of about 55.

I then skipped over the 200 and 300 Tdi and went straight or a Td5. What a revelation! Fast (relatively) and much better handling. They will never corner like a Lotus Elise, but can be hustled along quite rapidly. You've driven one, so I don't need to tell you that they aren't overly noisy inside, and you can have a normal conversation without shouting. Despite the basic looking seats, they are comfortable over long journeys. Actually, if I'm honest, the Series III military seats were more even more comfortable, despite being two bits of sponge covered mdf. Probably an ergonomic dream - very good at keeping your back straight.

As for faults - mine has been pretty reasonable. It had a dodgy fuel pump and flywheel replaced under warranty. It has had a couple of front wheel bearings go, and some bearing or other went wrong inside an axle. That sounds like a pretty long list, and objectively speaking it is, but it does get rough treatment, and whatever its faults, I love it. Once you've driven one, you'll never look back. And when it snows, all your colleagues look to you as the hero who can get into work - for the rest of the year, they don't understand - but just those 2 or 3 days in the winter will provide you with enough good will to last the rest of the year.

Buy it - you won't regret it (as long as it's a good one (2nd hand) - and there are plenty around - if it's a bit rough keep looking.)

thanks for the reply, i am serously considering buying it as it is in mint condition its a 2001 defender county td5 milage is only 43000 as it has just been sitting in a barn for 3 years i take it thats pritty low miles for the age, and for 9 grand i carnt complain i think that is a pritty good price after looking at what they go for on ebay what do you think?

can you tell me if there easy to service your self cos im sure its gana need oil and filters etc changed with it sitting for so long, also whats the fule consumption like on a 2.5 td5 version?

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They do about 28mpg, give or take a couple depending on how you drive.

Servicing is not difficult, but some repair jobs will need a garage (independent or main) due to the Td5 having an ECU and fuel injectors, plus a few sensors. Unless you buy the black box yourself.

I'd be looking to find out why a (then) six year old vehicle was parked in a barn and forgotten about though. Seems unusual as it's not a rare or collectors car. Bear in mind if it has been sitting for three years and has not even been taken for an MOT that some of the parts need splash lubrication, so they won't have seen any oil for a long time.

I'm sure others can advise if this is likely to cause future problems or not.

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I agree with the mpg - about 28-29ish (even with a full external roll cage and a snorkel).

Don't know about servicing - I take mine to the garage. My work provides medical care so they can rescusitate me when I have been given the bill ;) I have heard that they aren't too difficult. People just get frightened because they know it is "electronic"; however oily bits is oily bits, and if you can chaneg an oil filter on an older car, a Td5 won't be different just because there's an electronic chip in it somewhere.

Servicing is expensive - they seem to justify that on all large 4x4's by saying that the oil capacity is greater, but they don't change gear box and diff oil every service, so why the higher price? Even if it was true, they could probably justify a £50 hike for the extra oil (at garage prices), so where does the much larger than that hike come in?

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They do about 28mpg, give or take a couple depending on how you drive.

Servicing is not difficult, but some repair jobs will need a garage (independent or main) due to the Td5 having an ECU and fuel injectors, plus a few sensors. Unless you buy the black box yourself.

I'd be looking to find out why a (then) six year old vehicle was parked in a barn and forgotten about though. Seems unusual as it's not a rare or collectors car. Bear in mind if it has been sitting for three years and has not even been taken for an MOT that some of the parts need splash lubrication, so they won't have seen any oil for a long time.

I'm sure others can advise if this is likely to cause future problems or not.

thanks for the reply, i think the defender is going to be machanicly sound as the farmer who has owned it from new is a friend of the family, the reason it has sat for so long is down to the jeep belonging to his farther and when he passed away 4 year ago it sort of got stored away due to him not wanting to drive it because of hurt feelings or something like that, it has just been for the mot and it passed 1st time and he is going to put 12 months tax on it too.

now with it sitting for so long i think i will change all the filters and engine oil, but what about the geer box and diff oil should i change that too or will it be fine? also can you advise me on what other parts will need a splash of lubrication etc...

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For what it costs, if you've got time, I'd change all the oils anyway, but be careful of the grades - make sure you get the right ones. The gearbox takes a weird grade (MTF 94 from memory - don't use EP90). It probably hasn't done any harm sitting there, and probably is't necessary to change them, but as I say, it'll cost a few tens of pounds to buy enough oil to do the changes, so in the first flush of romance when you get it, I would do it.

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For a newbie the biggest thing is that a Land Rover is not a car. You can't expect it to be like one (even though modern ones have things like carpet and other such fripperies, and will fool you into thinking it's a bit like one) and you certainly can't expect to treat it like a normal car (EG just keep filling it with fuel & driving it for 100,000 miles).

They are robust IF LOOKED AFTER, but they require TLC, especially if used off-road. Lots of people neglect this and hence lots of people end up doing a lot of fixing. Just have a read round these forums to see all the stuff people are doing on their cars.

Aside from that, it's a sickness really. Any sane person would buy a Land Cruiser. Of course, none of us did or we wouldn't be here :lol:

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thanks for the info guys, have not bought the defender yet but looking to get it by the weekend, going to change all the oil and filters just to be on the safe side, may even look into re greasing the driveshafts aswell but i am unsure how to go about this yet need to get a haynes manual first, what about drive belts and cam belt an stuff would these be fine after sitting for 3 years or should i change them too???

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For what it costs, if you've got time, I'd change all the oils anyway, but be careful of the grades - make sure you get the right ones. The gearbox takes a weird grade (MTF 94 from memory - don't use EP90). It probably hasn't done any harm sitting there, and probably is't necessary to change them, but as I say, it'll cost a few tens of pounds to buy enough oil to do the changes, so in the first flush of romance when you get it, I would do it.

yes i use to own a landrover freelander and the gear oil was mtf 94 grade so im guessing the defender will be the same.

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Not necessarily. It depends on the gearbox fitted.

For LT77-equipped models (200Tdi and previous) it's ATF Dextron III, and for those with an R380 (300Tdi and Td5) it's MTF94. Transfer box, swivel housings and differentials are all EP90. Engine oil will depend on the engine.

Have a good read of the owner's manual that it comes with, they're quite in depth. For proper work though you'll need a workshop manual (green bible). A Haynes is good, but the pukka Land Rover book is more reliable in my opinion. They can be had online in PDF form for free, or on paper too.

With regard to your question re. timing belts etc. my general rule of thumb is that if the previous owner hasn't got paperwork showing it has been done and that it isn't due, then I generally do it as a matter of course. Good way to learn a bit about how the car works too, was the first job I did on my 90, albeit with the help of my dad :P

Good luck :)

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The electronic RAVE manuals are available to download, I'm sure there's a link round here somewhere - if not, google will find it.

I've never found Haynes very useful, the most useful book is the white parts book as it shows you everything in full detail, exploded diagrams with all the part numbers which makes identifying things & ordering new ones sooo much easier. Green bible is handy if you need to know oil specs, torques, pressures, etc. but I find I very rarely look at it, especially with the parts book to hand.

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The electronic RAVE manuals are available to download, I'm sure there's a link round here somewhere - if not, google will find it.

I've never found Haynes very useful, the most useful book is the white parts book as it shows you everything in full detail, exploded diagrams with all the part numbers which makes identifying things & ordering new ones sooo much easier. Green bible is handy if you need to know oil specs, torques, pressures, etc. but I find I very rarely look at it, especially with the parts book to hand.

so whats the best book to buy? i usualy go for haynes but if there is better ones i will try another one..

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