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This is my first post here and I'm afraid its requesting info rather than offering . . .all advice I've already read on these boards greatly appreciated.
I am looking to buy a Landrover 110 and kitt it out for an African overland trip. Entertaining as that Landy/Toymotor debate is I am only looking at diesel Landrovers - lets just say for historys sake.
Has anyone any opinions/advice about what I've currently narrowed my options to? - that is:
1. early 90's Tdi defender, ex BT or Local Authority or suchlike - from a dealer with about 100,000 miles on the clock - top of vehicle budget at around £6000
2. ex-MOD mid to late 80's 2.5 N/A diesel- a few around with 60,000 plus miles on clock - around the £4000 mark for a tidyish one.
3. buy privately - has downside of not knowing when right vehicle is going to come up, and being based in London lots of trips around country viewing . . .
I am swinging toward option one - and spending £6000 on a vehicle thats done over 100,000 miles - is this foolish?
As the last Landie I drove was a series II (and that was about 10 years ago!) - are there any specific faults I should look out for in 110/defenders?
I realise this would sit better on a Landrover forum but I'm not aware of any good ones....?
If this vehicle is going to be a long term investment then I'd be looking for 110 Defender 200 or 300Tdi. You need a long wheel base for the load / kit you want to carry and the 200 and 300Tdi's are far superior to the early Tds and the normally aspirated 2.5. With a Defender you also get coil suspension, disc brakes and power steering which will make your driving experince far more pleasant. If your max budget is 6000 then you are probably looking at a 200Tdi. What you want is a vehicle with proven service history. Re mileage I a have 300Tdi with 150 thousand on the clock and its still sweet. It has however been run on fully synthetic oil from new (reducing engine wear) and serviced like clockwork. Has your average ex utilities vehicle been looked after so well? You also have to wonder about the gearbox on a vehicle with such high mileage.
However if you just want to make the Africa trip and sell the vehicle then I would buy the tidiest LWB ex military Series III I could find. It will cost you a lot less which in turn will mean your carnet will be cheaper. Travelling in a series vehicle is "basic" as you will probably remember. Embrace the fact that you are driving what is now a relic from the past. You should be prepared for mechanical difficulties but in your favour you will find local mechanics are familiar with the vehicle.
In either case get the vehicle fully serviced and prepared before you leave and check it at the beginning and end of each day whilst on expedition. That way you'll catch things before they stop you in your tracks.
I would also read chris scott's book Sahara Overland and Tom Sheperd's Vehicle Dependent Expeditions. I also recommend (dare I say it) that you subscibe to a Land Rover magazine (just dont tell your friends). You'll pick up a lot about the various vehicles and there are also a lot of adverts for vehilces for sale.
I agree with ctc - a 200 or 300 Tdi is much more suitable than a NA diesel or a TD. More economical, more powerful, more reliable.
Check for signs of overheating - that's what kills the TDis - that one occasion when it got hot and the driver thought he would just go a few more miles to the next Services.
A 300 TDi for £6K is possible, but you'd probably be better off going for a 200Tdi in better shape. On a private sale you do tend to get much better value, but you need to know what to look for. An AA test is probably worthwhile as a sanity check just before you actually part with your cash. (Offer to split the cost with the seller, and he gets to keep the test results if you don't buy. If he's confident the report will be good, it will be very useful to him to show to the next prospective buyer).
Good choice of both vehicle and adventure! Have fun
Thanks for what sounds like good solid advice ctc & Michael . . these boards are a god-send.
I have Tom Sheppard's book already (and am in complete awe of the thought and detail - amazing!) and eagerly awaiting delivery of Chris Scott's ....also (confessed only to a few!) am subscribed to Land Rover Monthly - as it feels to me the least 'glam?' having tried LR World and LR Owner International.
So plenty of reading material! I'm planning on this being a long term thing so all signs pointing toward a TDi - definitly seems you get a lot more for your money privately. Just a case of waitng for the right one to come up I guess - fingers crossed! Anyone got a 110 200TDi hardtop they want to sell?!
Thanks again for advice.
[This message has been edited by Huey (edited 15 March 2003).]
Roman - I did indeed mean 200 Tdi - I was wondering if there were any significant performance differences (other than capacity) between the 2.5 Tdi fitted into early 90's Defenders and the 200 Tdi's fitted later . . . .
Despite all appearances, the 200TDi has the same capacity as 300Tdi. Confused? I know, but there are more strange things about landrovers :-)
300Tdi is believed to be more modern and refined - read: adapted to the needs of the school-run brigade. In terms of performance both are, however, the same engine.
Since you seem to be new to this wonderful world of second hand vehicle reliability game, I'd advise you to buy somethig as cheap as possible that looks relatively good, then have it completely serviced and (most likely) rebuilt by an experienced and trustworthy mechanic. Don't fall for a FSH, dealer-maintained landrover that costs a fortune to buy and another fortune to repair afterwards.
Im in a simular dilema,
Planning a trip London to Cape Town leaving around Sept. But stuck on vehicle....im looking at Defender or Landcruiser.
We should talk!
Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
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