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Eric The Viking

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That's a bit unfair (only a bit!): I got 200 housebricks in the back of mine - gert posh Salisbury rear axle & uprated springs on them 110s, see.

Seriously, I agree: it's not the most useful load space - the rear door is narrow, and the rear wheel arch covers waste a lot of room too. But with the early Defender I had, the middle row seats would either fold right down, or come right out (two cotter pins each), which did leave a decent bit of space. And I often put longer stuff through onto the middle seat space in the front row (or on the roof rack).
 

AJB Temple

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How interesting. I had a used 110 (bought from Landy dealer) for 5 years about 15 years ago, as a general run around. I had a proper car as well, but just wanted one. I used it a lot with my son (who was then about 7) and his friends, and it would deal with any ground conditions. It never gave me any problems at all. No leaks, always started, no rust problems. I liked it and wish I still had it.

It was a tad uncomfortable to drive, as I am a bit over 6'2" and there was not enough leg room. I think they are quite cool if you get a good one.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Land Rover or in general with cars?
What kind of things went wrong? Just curious as being a younger chap I am used to cars being fairly reliable, our current car has never broken down in almost 8 years of owning it and it wasn't a new car either.
Cars in general. Usually electrical, but often carburation, cables, locks, window winders and all sorts of paraphernalia.
I had a Mini van that I drove home from school one day in third gear for ten miles - the gear stick (which was about two feet long) came off in my hand.
 

Rorschach

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Cars in general. Usually electrical, but often carburation, cables, locks, window winders and all sorts of paraphernalia.
I had a Mini van that I drove home from school one day in third gear for ten miles - the gear stick (which was about two feet long) came off in my hand.
See now that's funny because I often hear (old farts normally) decrying modern cars saying they are too full of gadgets and things to go wrong. They seem to want to go back to a time when "things were built proper". But from what I hear from seemingly more sensible people, when things were proper they kept breaking.
I don't have an awful lot of gadgets in my car and neither do relatives but a breakdown just never seems to happen. My car is 13 years old, starts first time, runs fine and everything works. It's never broken down and has needed very little in the way of replacement parts, all just consumables (battery, brakes, bulbs, fluids etc) really apart from the wishbones I had to replace a few years ago and a rusty exhaust bracket. Seems to me we have never had it so good for cars.
 

Nigel Burden

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Land Rover or in general with cars?
What kind of things went wrong? Just curious as being a younger chap I am used to cars being fairly reliable, our current car has never broken down in almost 8 years of owning it and it wasn't a new car either.
Morris Minor 1000, I've lost count of the times laid on my back in the freezing cold removing a gearbox.

Original Mini, the secondary hose that went between the cylinder head and the water pump was a right pig to change being only a couple of inches long but the gap it had to fit between was only about an inch. You could buy a thinner concertinad hose, but that didn't last that long.

Austin A35, the brakes were forever needing adjusting, no such thing as automatically adjusting brakes on cheap cars in those days.

Nigel
 

novocaine

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with all vehicles of this ilk i.e. old, you should see them as more of an adventure than a car. I love my classic VW. I enjoy my mothers classic MG.
I love when they decide where we are stopping for lunch.
 

custard

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I don't intend to travel far, 8 - 10 000 per year.
8-10,000 miles a year in a Defender is an awful lot of miles, I bet fewer than one in ten privately owned Landies do anything like that.

I've got a short wheel base TD5 Defender and do about 2-3,000 miles a year. The specialist Land Rover garage that I use says that's bang on the Defender average these days.

Incidentally, one thing that's not been mentioned in this thread is the eye watering expense of insuring a Defender.

Because there's such a market in used components, Defenders are one of the UK's most stolen vehicles. Sadly that's reflected in sky high insurance. If you park a Landy on the road there are not many brokers that will touch them at all, and in a growing number of post codes they're now virtually uninsurable. My annual premiums on a Porsche Macan is only about 20 or 30% more than the price for my twenty year old Defender with a cap of 5k miles a year. Ouch!
 

Nigel Burden

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Cars in general. Usually electrical, but often carburation, cables, locks, window winders and all sorts of paraphernalia.
I had a Mini van that I drove home from school one day in third gear for ten miles - the gear stick (which was about two feet long) came off in my hand.
I replaced the gears in my Mini with straight cut gears as I'd had trouble with gear boxes on my Minor 1000 and didn't fancy pulling out the engine and all that that involved. I also used the box from a BMC 1100 as the gear lever came up through the centre tunnel and not from up by the baulkhead. The gears were quite noisy though, and coupled with the hard suspension,( I'd replaced the hydro elastic with the original hard rubber cone type as the hydro elastic was leaking), not uncommon on BMC Minis, 1100s and 1300s. It was not a comfortable car at all. Having said that, my daughters Mini Cooper S Checkmate which runs on 17inch wheels and run flats is not that comfortable. It's better now that she's changed to normal tyres though.

Nigel.
 

Spectric

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Hi

I have owned a 90 for some time, 300TDI and slightly modified. What is really good and made the landrover what it was, is the fact they are like mechano sets. Everything is bolted together and simplistic so easy to keep running. No electronics on the earlier models and will go anywhere. They do have faults, most people think of these as characteristics and parts cheap. One big issue is corrosion of the chassis, especially the rear x member area if it has been owned by a boat owner but fixable. Driving one is like going back to a bygone era, rattles and water ingress when it rains, doors not fitting perfect, basic controls, wipers that sort of work and a heater that may or may not be that good, rather like a motor from the seventies like Leyland and Fords.
 

RGIvy

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See now that's funny because I often hear (old farts normally) decrying modern cars saying they are too full of gadgets and things to go wrong. They seem to want to go back to a time when "things were built proper". But from what I hear from seemingly more sensible people, when things were proper they kept breaking.
The way I see it is that essentials (power/transmission train, chassis and suspension) were unreliable in the old days whereas they are much better nowadays, but the other "stuff" like door handles and knobs were much stronger back then than they are now. Actually, modern motors are based on much thinner metal sheets and plastic which lowers the weight and price and some people don't like that. I remember when BMW first took over Land Rover they said that they needed to shave 250kg of the weight of the Defender. The Landy die-hards didn't like it one bit.
So yes, you do have a point!
 

disco_monkey79

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Hahahaha, I'd forgotten how cars overheated. It wasn't a summer holiday if the the heater was going full blast in July, trying to bleed off some excess heat from the engine bay.

My cousin has a 110 landy - he loves it, and has done loads of work (newer disco engine, comfier seats, overdrive etc etc) but is still always having to fix something.

As said by various, an old car should be bought for the overall experience (including it not working).

A family friend cut an allegro in half and made it in to a 3-wheeler, so he could enter it in to bike trials. When (inevitably) asked why he had done this, the answer they got was because it gave him half the aggro...
 

ivan

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Been driving Series diesel LR since 1969, beginning with a 2A; diesel was cheaper than petrol then, just as well as ~27 mpg in general use. Just parted with last diesel series 3, made in 1984. The whole series design is from the 1930's rehashed after the war to make an ali vehicle as steel in short supply. 3,000 mile service was quite good for '30's motors, father's early cars needed a service every 1000 miles. Big advantage was simplicity, you could strip and rebuild anything with very few special tools, which most long term users will own.... I liked the practicality, ideal for rough camping, fishing trips, etc, driving in wellies, when dirty hose out the interior. Fully comp insurance never over £100 pa. that's rural living. Early Defenders still had a fair bit of galvanising like series models, better engines, and softer coil springing, but alas I have never owned one. I'm 6'1" in old money, and had no trouble driving several 100 miles in a day, but even with overdrive, ear plug noisy, anyone tried noise cancelling earphones??? Also easy to shoulder your way round Hyde Park Corner in the rush hour.
The toyota pickup (with machine gun mounted) looks idestructible - but usually in a hot dry country. Possible best alternative, now LR catering for hairdressers only.
 

artie

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See now that's funny because I often hear (old farts normally) decrying modern cars saying they are too full of gadgets and things to go wrong. They seem to want to go back to a time when "things were built proper". But from what I hear from seemingly more sensible people, when things were proper they kept breaking.
The way I see it. Waaay back before I was driving, car bodies were solid. Engines, gearboxs, brakes etc were not up to scratch and were outlasted by the bodies. By the 60' when I got a car the bodies had deteriorated and the mechanics had improved. Now engines are fantastic, bodies are brilliant and the electrics are less than reliable. That's in my opinion.
MY LAST CAR A bmw x3 @ 14 years old was a joy to drive, looked fantastic but alas developed an intermittent fault which couldn't be fixed and it had to be retired. My present car, a 2011 Kuga, is a great car engine great body fantastic, but has lights blinking and beepers beeping for no apparent reason.
I long for the old days when you could weld a bit to the exhaust or rewire a tail light or trailer plug without much drama.
 

Spectric

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Hi all

We have gone to far in the wrong direction, modern cars are too complex and mainly because of the ever demanding Euro emision standards, euro 6 when I last worked in powertrain development. Ok so old diesels were 0 to 60 in half hour but would just keep on going, now just a naff connection on say the FPS and it needs computer diagnostics. My old landrover may smoke and rattle but will always keep going, just a nice simple bosch VE injector pump wheras modern common rail diesels may produce as much power as a petrol but I would not want to drive one through 6ft water. The new Landrover that claims to be a defender is just a joke, it would never survive off road and would anyone take it into the extreme knowing that if it goes wrong they could not repair it, where the real defender ethos was that it should keep going and get you out of trouble come what may and with simple tools and minimal spares you could fix it. Then what about the bodywork, easy to replace a wing on my old landy but not on the new imposter.
 

marcros

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Hi all

We have gone to far in the wrong direction, modern cars are too complex and mainly because of the ever demanding Euro emision standards, euro 6 when I last worked in powertrain development. Ok so old diesels were 0 to 60 in half hour but would just keep on going, now just a naff connection on say the FPS and it needs computer diagnostics. My old landrover may smoke and rattle but will always keep going, just a nice simple bosch VE injector pump wheras modern common rail diesels may produce as much power as a petrol but I would not want to drive one through 6ft water. The new Landrover that claims to be a defender is just a joke, it would never survive off road and would anyone take it into the extreme knowing that if it goes wrong they could not repair it, where the real defender ethos was that it should keep going and get you out of trouble come what may and with simple tools and minimal spares you could fix it. Then what about the bodywork, easy to replace a wing on my old landy but not on the new imposter.
horses for courses though. There are several posts on here about enjoying the experience of old cars, and that fixing them is part of it. I do almost get it, my dad is into vintage farm machinery. The advantage that an old 35 has, or whatever he has at the moment is that their limitation is that they are only a few HP, and that is all he needs for a bit of playing around with a plough, a drag, pulling a trailer, haymaking. whatever. The rest of it is as good or better as the modern garden tractors (maybe in a slightly bigger size). Cars are a bit different, where starting, stopping and going in the right direction are fundamental.

The thing with old cars is that they are all horrible to drive. It is like getting a rental car in the USA. An E Type may be beautiful to look at and sound nice, but the steering, brakes, suspension is not comparable to modern day cars. I have never been fortunate enough to drive one but I would think that many normal cars would beat it around the track- say a mid range focus, or the vauxhall equivalent- just because they handle better. You would put up with the lack of creature comforts but you wouldn't choose to not have them given the chance. Things from the 70s, 80s and early 90s weren't much better but were starting to improve. My first car, a base fiesta was truly awful.

In defence of the old landie, although it has the faults of all old cars, at least it doesn't pretend to be anything else. That is why it is cool. For all its faults, I would happily have one for doing 1000 miles a year but the cost of buying a decent one alone, and the tax/insurance on another vehicle each year makes it a flight of fantasy.
 

Trevanion

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The whole hobby aspect of constantly having to tinker with it is fine so long as you're not absolutely depending on it to be reliable every time you hop into it.

Trevanion
Mentioned a pre 2000 Grand Cherokee as a better option. I must say that having owned an AMX Javelin in the mid to late 70s in Canada my regard for AMC was not high.
Having done a quick search the cherokee might not be so bad, would sourcing parts be a problem?
The Grand Cherokee hasn't been totally maintenance-free admittedly but near enough for a vehicle of its age, parts don't grow on trees but they're not super rare in the UK either and there are plenty over in the states! It's worth having one that's completely busted sat somewhere so you can cannibalise it if needed as with any vehicle you never know what may go wrong but that has been a very rare occurrance. The regular Cherokee is also pretty decent, if you pick one up that's from before 2006, I think the road tax is massively less than ones that are later. An automatic Cherokee can tow 3 tonne on paper which is kind of ridiculous for its fairly compact size.

Apparently the Ssangyong Musso Saracens are a pretty no-frills workhorse for a fair price, plus a seven-year, 150,000-mile warranty from new. I actually know someone who bought a double cab Defender at pretty much the end of the production, used it for four years daily as a very heavy work vehicle and took it to a dealer, swapped it for a Saracen, and left the dealership with a cheque in the back pocket... That's how silly the prices of the Landys have got, essentially sold it for more than they had bought it for initially.
 

TFrench

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My dad runs a V8 petrol 90. It's a very early one - C reg. He got it as a basket case and had the fun of rebuilding it and getting it going again - previous owner had taken it all apart, blasted and painted everything and then lost interest. We always laughed about landies and the unreliability thing, but its only been towed home once (unimog to the rescue).
Negatives: It drinks fuel faster than an alcoholic at a free bar, there's no elbow room, its slow and the steering is vague
Positives: Sounds like God is angry when you start it. You can't not like a V8. Doesn't matter how dirty the inside gets, it just washes off. It's towed home a lot of broken down cars, trailer loads of machinery and an L200 that had beached itself trying to offroad. Most important - it's got SOUL!

All that said, if I wanted a 4x4 daily driver I'd have my old Jeep cherokee back in a heartbeat!
 
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