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Buying a Ex MIlitary Defender 90


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Hi all hope all of you experts can help me. I am wanting to buy an ex military defender 90 as I have always wanted one and I also like the look of them. I was wanting advice on where to get one, what to look for when buying one and what condition should I expect it to be in. I hope you can help thanks a lot for your time and happy driving!

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condition can vary hugely, i went round a disposal yard one time and some of them were wrecks, where as some were ex reserve meaning that they had very few miles on the clock, and had been dry stored for long periods of time. where to get one from depends on where abouts in the world you are.

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I will post the same replies I gave to your question on the other forum.

Don't take all that was written on there as gospel, the quote that "Theres no difference...unless you mean the paint" is just plain rubbish but there are often heated words on that forum so I tend not to get sucked into a argument.

All the usual stuff applies, check the chassis, bulkhead, oily bits etc.

Don't worry about buying an FFR, unlike the Series vehicles which were 24V throughout 90's & 110's retained there 12V vehicle electrics and the 24V system was an add on which can be completely removed in a very short space of time. Likewise the NATO lighing arrangement, this can be removed and a standard civly light-switch fitted in under an hour making it completely standard. Reverse lights are the same, just fit a switch into the gearbox and the harness is there ready to be connected up.

If you get the right one you will find it will have been fitted with all manner of new parts before being cast whereas if you get the wrong one it could be a complete dog.

It will be basic and be fitted with the 2.5NA D but if you get a good one (I did) you will find it a fine engine with adequate power and will go on forever, things like PAS are an easy DIY fit afterwards.

To the reply that you should buy from auction.

The days of buying direct from MOD by auction are over, the auctions and/or tender sales run by Witham are a poor replacement but better than buying from a third-party dealer who will then be taking their own cut and bumping the price up.

My 101, Armstrong MT500, 90 & Sankey all came direct from auction (bought in the 80's & 90's) and I had the pleasure of registering them and being the first owner on the log-book with no middle man.

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Thanks again Litch I know its the same question I asked on the other forum. The advice you gave me was great and is again I just thought I would try this forum to. The other one seemed as though they had been asked my question a million times and some couldnt be bothered which they probably have been, except from yourself your advice was spot on and is again. Im new to all this so just trying to find out as much as I can before I jump in. Thanks again!

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Every time I've looked at ex-mod stuff it's mostly seemed like an overpriced lottery, there seem to be three categories:

Stuff that can look brilliant but be totally f***ed.

Stuff that can look f***ed but be totally brilliant.

Stuff that looks f***ed and is f***ed.

The fourth category is usually all gone by the time you or I get anywhere near the yard, snapped up by eagle-eyed and well-connected types with cash in their pockets. There are oddities that are worthwhile if your specialist need matches the specialist kit that is for sale - for example, not many people want to drive round in an ambulance, but if you're looking for something to sleep in then compared to a bespoke camper van you may get a bit of a bargain as the only alternative is to pull the thing apart and try to make something more popular out of it, like a tipper or whatnot.

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Can echo Litch’s sentiments, I bought a military 91 Defender five years ago from Withams, great condition, sound 2.5 N/A engine and low mileage. Mines ex RAF and that may make a difference if its only been trundling around an airfield or I may just have been lucky. Go and look, or subscribe to their (Withams) webpage and notifications

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If you are going to Withams, make an appointment, don't just turn up, you could get turned away if they are busy. FF's categories are good :D , the second one is worth keeping an eye out for, been cases of vehicles getting major new componenets (engine, chassis etc) and then getting a dented wing and is cast as it's used up it's budget.

Have a look on www.milweb.net as well

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1986 & 1991 contract 90's & 110's have civvy spec plus;

2.5NA engines-91 build have revised breather/oil cyclone spec, suffix 51A Lt77 gearboxes with lowered 1st&2nd gears (110's), 1.6ratio transfer box (110's), lift up door handle doors apart from Winterised spec '91build 90&110's that had civvy push button doors, 6 way lighting switch, rear convoy light on diff cover, pioneer tool holders on rear doors, basic squab seats-apart from winterised models, oil coolers on engines-'86 build have seperate cooler, 91 build have it built into the radiator, FFR models have 24vdc additional alternator, wing top antenne mounts, tub side antenna brackets, hand throttle, Lucas 'frog eye' screw off indicator/side lamps-no reverse lights, dash mounted map reading light, SA80 gun mount, KPH speedo, towing pintle front bumper, NATO rear hitch, Jate rings, rear bumperettes, bonnet mounted spare wheels, jerry can side lockers.

1996 build 'Wolf' models have 300tdi engines, uprated chassis, braced P38/Puma/rover rear axle, side air intake baffle things, roll cage, 'Wolf' rims, and probably loads more things.

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The differences listed above need a 95 page catalogue for the 1986 contract and 130 pages or so for the 1991 contract, the catalogues are supplemental to the civvy catalogue so there's a lot. The later 'Wolf' XD Defenders bear little resemblance other than shape to a civvy Defender.

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How much of that stuff is of any great use to the average punter though? Sure it's nice to have a map light and Series style doors, but other stuff like incredibly low gearing and assorted extra wiring half painted green can just be a hinderance. I know I curse the freelander for not having somewhere to mount my assault rifle on the daily commute.

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Lol- My series 2 is ex military (decommissioned in 1978) and everything on that was looked after pretty well, everything that should come apart did- and the stuff that shouldn't didn't.

My civilian 90 is much the opposite, things that shouldn't have come off did- and those things that should come off invariably sheared off instead. :ph34r:

The 101 however was different- that just had sand behind every panel and some extremely well fillered dents!

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"1986 & 1991 contract 90's & 110's have civvy spec plus;

2.5NA engines-91 build have revised breather/oil cyclone spec, suffix 51A Lt77 gearboxes with lowered 1st&2nd gears (110's), 1.6ratio transfer box (110's), lift up door handle doors apart from Winterised spec '91build 90&110's that had civvy push button doors, 6 way lighting switch, rear convoy light on diff cover, pioneer tool holders on rear doors, basic squab seats-apart from winterised models, oil coolers on engines-'86 build have seperate cooler, 91 build have it built into the radiator, FFR models have 24vdc additional alternator, wing top antenne mounts, tub side antenna brackets, hand throttle, Lucas 'frog eye' screw off indicator/side lamps-no reverse lights, dash mounted map reading light, SA80 gun mount, KPH speedo, towing pintle front bumper, NATO rear hitch, Jate rings, rear bumperettes, bonnet mounted spare wheels, jerry can side lockers.

1996 build 'Wolf' models have 300tdi engines, uprated chassis, braced P38/Puma/rover rear axle, side air intake baffle things, roll cage, 'Wolf' rims, and probably loads more things."

I think that proves the point I made earlier about the quote on the other forum saying they were the same apart from the paint! ;)

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