90's defender 110

Kottonwood

Adventurer
Hello all!

Well after driving American made cars my whole life I am finally delving into the land rover world, but I am doing it right! I am catching a ship to the UK in January where I will by a car. I am then meeting up with some friends in Germany and we will drive to Mongolia.

Because of the amount of people we are traveling with and the necessity of fourwheel drive for crossing the terrain/countries we will have to during the winter I think I have decided on a defender 110.

Since I have never owned a LR before I am wondering about any reliability issues. Anything specific I should look out for? What spare parts should I bring? Should I be going for the 2.5 or 3.0? I don't have a lot to spend on this... around 5k pounds, so I will not be getting a perfect vehicle, just something rugged to get me and six-seven friends to Mongolia.

Thanks!!
Keith
 
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LR Max

Local Oaf
Get one with a TDI in it. If you open the hood and don't see a TDI in there (there is another turbo diesel and a normally aspirated diesel engine version, pass on these). On that engine, I'd say look at doing basic diesel maintenance. Check for leaky injectors/replace. Same with glow plugs. Get the timing belt replaced if it hasn't already been done. If get get a truck with the 300 TDI, then clean out the EGR.

Actually pay extra and get a 95+ truck. It'll have the 300 TDI and the R380 transmission. Both are desirable.

Other than that, look at the other things that plague 20 year old vehicles. Clogged radiator, wheel bearings, clutch, driveshafts, wheels (steel wheels do bend!), tires, steering, suspension bushings, etc. Some of these items might have been replaced or the car has been driven on smooth highway and they are fine or its a farm truck and someone learned how to drive stick on it and the clutch is fried. Or its been a city truck and driven through every pothole 3x a day and all of the bushings and shocks are done. Or they ran the engine hot and then didn't let the turbo cool off. Or they ran the car through water (it floods in England) and the axles are full of crap and the starter motor is rusted inside. Too many variables but that is just a few ideas on the subject.

On that note, don't buy a farm truck. If you can find one that someone has garage kept and just been a daily run around, that should be good. Only issue is the low range and diff lock linkage might be seized. This is easy to fix, but fix it before you need it. Finding out diff lock and low range doesn't work when you need it is a bad time. I've seen a few imports that were farm trucks. Not well taken care of. Lots of "there I fixed it" things on it, and overall in rough shape.

Stick with stock tire size but try to get new tires put on the truck. A small rover turbo diesel + bigger tires + tons of crap = bad performance. Also you don't need big tires to go across Africa. I just watched a show (wreck trek, its on amazon, might want to check it out to get a different perspective on a similar trip) on going across Africa. They did it in small cars. Seems awesome. You'll also be happy about having decent performance on the highways down to the ferry.

As for upgrades, I like armor so I'm going to tell you to get a front steering guard (not the axle guard, that is just a giant plow) and a big bumper for the front. Probably do OME HD springs since you are carrying a bunch of crap. Also get a good air compressor. Look at throwing a bigger intercooler on it for a bit more power. Also research into aftermarket turbos, especially if you are going to replace the one on the engine. I've seen them with variable boost so you could crank up the boost on the drive down there then turn it down to save fuel once you hit the slower roads. You can take a lot of the car apart with a 10mm and a 13mm, so have those handy. Also a test light and a voltmeter.

BTW make sure you like the people you are going with. Once I got stuck on an island with a person I didn't like. It was a bad time. Pretty much the same with 4 people in a car for a month.

That is my opinion. Knowing the internet someone else will inform me I'm wrong and then tell you something different. At least you'll have 2 opinions to consider.
 

wuntenn

Adventurer
May post more later, but quickly there's no 2.5 and 3.0 as in 2.5 litre and 3 litre. There's only 2.5's - old 19J Turbo Diesel, later 2.5 200tdi, and later 2.5 300tdi. Pre those are 2.5 and 2.25's in Series vehicles. You want 200 or 300 Tdi flavours, starting around early 2000 m.y. or so (not sure exactly).
 

newhue

Adventurer
as others have mentioned Tdi 200 or 300. The timing belt is required every 120K km or 74K mile and isn't a big job, but needs a little know how. A bit of reading, some you tubing, and a sense of adventure you can do it yourself. Plus anyway if your are driving a cheap Defender across a Africa your going to need a tool set, plenty of rags, and a good sense of adventure. You can down load a work shop manual on line, better have one of them handy.

Now in the one show you can do the timing belt, flush the cooling system, and replace the P gasket. You want a new timing belt kit, thermostat, water pump, and bloody P Gasket. Don't buy Britpart. And for your sake, lock the timing correctly, get it wrong.....well just don't get it wrong. Maybe buy the timing belt service tools, they are cheap and you can on sell them afterwards. Perhaps you can loan them, those tools seems to work the community a bit.
Over heating is a Tdi's worst enemy and if you do that basically kiss the head and your trip good bye. If the timing belt breaks, your in the same situation so it's worth paying attention too.
When you pull the timing belt cover off, put the bolts in a numbered or patten configuration that makes sense to you in a piece of card board, push the bolts into the cardboard so they stay there. They are different lengths and if you jumble them up, you have just bought an hours worth of fun trying to work them out with still a large margin they will be the wrong bolt in the wrong hole and potentially cause damage.

Those issues above are the biggies in my world. From there as mentioned its a 20 year old car. Wheel bearing would be high on inspection, staring ball joints, oil levels, change filters and have spares would be next.
Just stick with a standard car or as close too if possible. Stay with standard tires, just get AT or muds. The rest will probably be fixed by you or by some hodge bodge mechanic in the back waters of Africa somewhere.

Maybe haunt this site http://www.defender2.net/forum/index.php Also don't rule out a Discovery 1. Similar car in mechanics, but more plentiful so cheaper than a Defender.

Good luck
 

tacr2man

Adventurer
try going on ebay UK to get some idea on what you are likely to get for your £5k budget , 1995 0r so will be about it , depending on model , eg hard top ute , or station wagon . Their value even in UK has being increasing as we get nearer to 2015 end of production .
You need to budget £2k for a good going over , and replacement of some components , to ensure a reliable vehicle to do the trip , particularly if you are having to pay someone to do the spannerwork. 200tdi or 300tdi are the engine choice to go for, both being 2495cc
The V8 versions are fairly rare , as fuel costs to operate in UK are horrendous , at £5.45 per imp gallon which gets you about 15miles!!
traveling with 6 or 7 in a 110 for that sort of trip isnt going to be very comfortable , other than for driver and front seat passenger .The other thing to consider is payload weight limit , i hope you are all good at traveling light! I take it you are planning to stop in hotels ? HTSH
 

Ohlins

New member
May post more later, but quickly there's no 2.5 and 3.0 as in 2.5 litre and 3 litre. There's only 2.5's - old 19J Turbo Diesel, later 2.5 200tdi, and later 2.5 300tdi. Pre those are 2.5 and 2.25's in Series vehicles. You want 200 or 300 Tdi flavours, starting around early 2000 m.y. or so (not sure exactly).
200tdi from 1989 Disco...1991 Defenders......Td5's from year 2000 on...

To end of 1989 (FA) Model Year

2.5TD Engine, LT77 Gearbox, Front (Solid) Disc/Rear Drum Brakes

Vehicles Badged - Land Rover 90, Land Rover 110 or Land Rover 127

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1990 (GA) Model Year

2.5TD Engine, LT77 Gearbox, Front (Solid) Disc/Rear Drum Brakes

Vehicles Badged - 90, 110 or 127

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From 1991 (HA) Model Year to End of 1993 (KA) Model Year

200TDi Engine, LT77 Gearbox, Front (Solid) Disc/Rear Drum Brakes

Vehicles Badged - Defender 90, Defender 110 or Defender 130

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1994 (LA) Model Year

200TDi Engine, LT77 Gearbox, Front (Solid or Vented) Disc/Rear Disc Brakes

Vehicles Badged - as previous Model Year

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From 1995 (MA) Model Year to End of 1998 (WA) Model Year

300TDi Engine, LT77 Gearbox - Changed to R380 Gearbox part-way through MA Model Year, Front (Solid or Vented) Disc/Rear Disc Brakes

Vehicles Badged - as previous Model Year

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From 1999 (XA) Model Year

TD5 Engine*, R380 Gearbox, Front (Solid or Vented) Disc/Rear Disc Brakes

Vehicles Badged - as previous Model Year

* = 300TDi Engine still available for RoW (Rest of the World) specification vehicles.





:)




.
 

wuntenn

Adventurer
Ohlins - I bet you did all that from memory!

Mine's a 1989 and has the 19J and I knew they changed to 200Tdi's shortly after. I guess mine must have been one of the last of the old models before they got 'sophisticated'. :)
 

Abu Buckwheat

warrior-scholar-shooter
This is a great forum and a whole raft of overland knowledge but for what you are doing I recommend you pay a visit to NENE overland or Foley's and get a full assessment of your journey, kit needed and talk about buying certified vehicles they have in stock or can source for you from the huge LR community in the UK. There are fully kitted vehicles which have already done Capetown to London and reconditioned for resale on the UK market. Go to the experts. Its fun asking us and you'd get a million differing variations of what to do and who to see but these two companies are rock solid and will spend time with you to make sure you get your money's worth and out to Mongolia and back.

The recommendation of sourcing information through Defender2.net is a good one. They may have good leads on locally owned cars for sale in your price range. Check the back of Land Rover Monthly has a good for sale section.
 

optimusprime

Proffessional daydreamer.
You can get a 2000 - 2004 discovery 2 for less money than a defender over here, i've been looking myself.

A 110 station wagon in good nick,you'd struggle for less than 6k .....most cheapo defenders need work,therefore money spending on them.

Dont forget to add in your road tax and insurance requirements.


As said above, don't ignore the discovery in its various guises.
 

spikemd

Explorer
Jealous. Sounds like a great trip.

I would opt for diesel. In or last trip to the Sierras, the 110 and 90 used 1/4 tank while my rangie petrol used 3/4 tank and the 90 was pulling a trailer.

Are you going to ship it stateside after your trip? If so, then the 25 year rule will apply for importing it.
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
Good call. A D2 with a TD5 would be a pretty awesome rig if you didn't load it down too much. If its anything like the US, a decent number of road trucks and some even well cared for.

Will be far more comfortable and less fatiguing.
 

Kottonwood

Adventurer
Good call. A D2 with a TD5 would be a pretty awesome rig if you didn't load it down too much. If its anything like the US, a decent number of road trucks and some even well cared for.

Will be far more comfortable and less fatiguing.
WOW! Thanks everyone for all the great advice! I love this forum. Anyways the final numbers are six people and two dogs so it looks like a disco seven seater will work perfectly. Some folks won't be picked up until turkey and kyrgyzstan so it won't be fully loaded the whole time but will be for crossing through siberia fun fun. The price is much cheaper than the defenders and they seem much more luxurious. I will be looking for a tdi manual model idealy with a factory locker that has been kept mostly stock. I will certainly try to find one with a record of the timing belt being done or will do it myself while in germany.

We are all pros at traveling light so no issues there, we mostly met while backpacking/hitchhiking. We will be swapping the car for horses once in Mongolia so traveling light is key, no hotels or hostels on the way, just good ol fashioned winter camping, gotta keep it cheap! Luckily I am the official driver for this journey as many of these folks don't drive (another reason for me to get a manual hehehe)

I will bring with me tire chains, a strap, jumper cables, metric wrenches, a leatherman, a lug wrench, tire repair kit, antifreeze stopleak, an extra belt, a voltmeter, some diesel fuel additive for cold weather, ether (for cold starts), a quart or two of oil, a shovel, probably some good ol duct tape, a hand tire pump, a thick ratchet strap, anything else you can think of?

I have been searching ebay and will likely purchase from there, seems like lots of good deals available. I will keep you all posted with what I end up with.

Another quick question, though, what is the payload like on a disco? Any easy upgrades like springs to make it better?
 

rlynch356

Defyota
Also check over on Defendersource.com for knowledge - there is a lot of collective input there. For UK buys, you may want to check with Uncle Doug on whom he uses for inspections in the UK (he imports Defenders to the US) and if that is something you are looking at you need to pay attention to the requirements for importation. If not your free and clear but an inspection is highly recommended . Having a difficult truck to keep going could make a trip like that a bit sporty.
Personal opinion... i would opt for diesel if possible (200tdi or 300tdi) mostly for mileage and less care and feeding needed on the road plus these are the most common engines for the defender in europe making spares easier to come by.
my 2 cents..
 
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