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300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

75 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
peatmoor said:
Hi, not sure how I've found myself on this thread (because I know nothing about LDs) but its interesting to hear of defender reliability issues. Is that just generally on all, or are later models better? Ex-MOD? I have this dream of living in the country, with a black lab, defender (poss ex-MOD) with tow-bar, trailer and trackday car on the back. Should I get real and replace Defender for landcruiser?
What reliability issues?

Land Rover like this in general are very robust and reliable. The often suffer squeaks and rattles and annoying little niggles. But they'll usually get you home and keep you mobile.

They do like TLC, this is mostly due to their construction and basic design using parts from long ago. But they are easy to work on and bits are cheap.

The newer they get the more electronics they have, so that can cause more potential issues, but in reality they are still pretty simple vehicles.

peatmoor

187 posts

30 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
300bhp/ton said:
What reliability issues?
.
Based on the comments that Davel and Vette made on this very thread. As I said I was surprised as I always thought defenders were pretty solid.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

75 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
peatmoor said:
300bhp/ton said:
What reliability issues?
.
Based on the comments that Davel and Vette made on this very thread. As I said I was surprised as I always thought defenders were pretty solid.
I think a little more reading between the lines might be in order... wink

Having just checked I could see only 3 things mentioned:

-engine warning light, which seems it was a dogy sensor and not actually anything wrong. All modern cars or ANY make can suffer this and do so. Older Defenders (pre TD5) don't have ECU's so wouldn't suffer this anyhow.

-rattle. Is this really reliability? Yes they rattle, all LR's do and no you won't stop them doing it either.

-injector pump. But this from one person without any additional info on how, why or how old the vehicle was. 1000's of Defenders have been built over the years.



Do they break down? Maybe, but show me a car that doesn't, I've certainly not seen or even heard of one.

As for reliability, well my Uncle currently has 5 (yes five!!) 90's!

one is on 250,000 miles. It has had a timing belt break and maybe a HG. It burns a bit of oil and I think the gearbox needs replacing. This is a 1988 2.5TD but it is a farm works vehicle and has done lots and lots of hard work, on and off road and towing.

Another is on 160,000 miles one of the others 120,000 miles +

Davel

Original Poster:

7,581 posts

143 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Done 2,000 miles in her to date and the problems have been sorted by the dealer and they were not major issues just bloody annoying.

The seal(s) which go around the car, just below the windows and windscreen, had to be replaced, as water was coming in and it has rained a tad here recently.

The worst rattle was something to do with the rear side window frame, on the driver's side, which has also just been replaced.

Oh and they replaced the driver's seat belt, which was wet and affecting the reel / tensioner.

Engine wise - no problems at all and she never missed a beat on a recent trip to Scotland.

Picked her up last night and noticed another bloody rattle - which turned out to be because they hadn't shut the back door when they valeted it.

Really enjoying her now and a great daily drive.

peatmoor

187 posts

30 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
So my dream still lives!!
Advertisement

jeremyc

11,935 posts

169 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
peatmoor said:
Hi, not sure how I've found myself on this thread (because I know nothing about LDs) but its interesting to hear of defender reliability issues. Is that just generally on all, or are later models better? Ex-MOD? I have this dream of living in the country, with a black lab, defender (poss ex-MOD) with tow-bar, trailer and trackday car on the back. Should I get real and replace Defender for landcruiser?
Do it! It's what I did. smile Well, apart from the bit about the country and the black lab. biggrin

Defender with a Caterham in close company on a trailer. cloud9



peatmoor

187 posts

30 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
jeremyc said:
peatmoor said:
Hi, not sure how I've found myself on this thread (because I know nothing about LDs) but its interesting to hear of defender reliability issues. Is that just generally on all, or are later models better? Ex-MOD? I have this dream of living in the country, with a black lab, defender (poss ex-MOD) with tow-bar, trailer and trackday car on the back. Should I get real and replace Defender for landcruiser?
Do it! It's what I did. smile Well, apart from the bit about the country and the black lab. biggrin

Defender with a Caterham in close company on a trailer. cloud9
YES! Now thats encouragement for you! Now I have to persuade wife (to be) out of London.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

75 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Davel said:
Done 2,000 miles in her to date and the problems have been sorted by the dealer and they were not major issues just bloody annoying.

The seal(s) which go around the car, just below the windows and windscreen, had to be replaced, as water was coming in and it has rained a tad here recently.

The worst rattle was something to do with the rear side window frame, on the driver's side, which has also just been replaced.

Oh and they replaced the driver's seat belt, which was wet and affecting the reel / tensioner.

Engine wise - no problems at all and she never missed a beat on a recent trip to Scotland.

Picked her up last night and noticed another bloody rattle - which turned out to be because they hadn't shut the back door when they valeted it.

Really enjoying her now and a great daily drive.
Glad you are enjoying it. But don't get too content, if it isn't leaking oil out and water in, then there is something wrong with it!!

And no matter how many rattles you fix, there will always be more. It's just part of Landy ownership. Take it off road and all of these things are likely to get much worse too! biggrin

Davel

Original Poster:

7,581 posts

143 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
One minor annoyance is that the headlights are piss poor on main beam.

Has anyone else found this and do you upgrade the headlight bulbs or fit driving / spot lamps?

Just done another 600 miles round trip, with no issues whatsoever - apart from poor visibility at night.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

75 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Davel said:
One minor annoyance is that the headlights are piss poor on main beam.

Has anyone else found this and do you upgrade the headlight bulbs or fit driving / spot lamps?

Just done another 600 miles round trip, with no issues whatsoever - apart from poor visibility at night.
I don't know about new Defenders, but in the past they've always been fitted with sealed beam units and yes they are crap. They are the same unit as on an MGB or TR7.

Best bet is to upgrade to hologen. Budget kits from about £25 or £50 for some better lamps. Then just run some 80/100 or 80/120 bulbs. It'll make a huge difference.

Some spot lights might be worthwhile too to aide mainbeam.


Budget halogen lamps: http://www.paddockspares.com/rtc4615k-halogen-head...

Wipac's are slightly better lamps: http://www.mm-4x4.com/wipac-7inch-pre-formed-headl...

Some more options: http://simmonites.com/Defender%20Lighting.htm

Bulbs, the Halfords +90% brighter bulbs work pretty well (standard wattages), or their "rally" range which are higher wattages.

Assuming the lamps are the same on new Defenders this is an easy 15 min swap with a screw driver.

For spot/flood lamps get these:
http://www.x-eng.co.uk/X-Lite.asp

Davel

Original Poster:

7,581 posts

143 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Great ta for that!


Art0ir

7,108 posts

55 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
300bhp/ton said:
Glad you are enjoying it. But don't get too content, if it isn't leaking oil out and water in, then there is something wrong with it!!

And no matter how many rattles you fix, there will always be more. It's just part of Landy ownership. Take it off road and all of these things are likely to get much worse too! biggrin
Land Rovers don't leak, they're just marking their territory biggrin

billywhizzzzzz

604 posts

28 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Rustproofing is literally non existent. They rust before they've left the factory. Get it professionally waxoyled - absolutely essential - chassis in and out and bulkhead. Better still, get on that's had a galvanised chassis fitted at someone else's expense.

Build quality generally is pretty poor - but they're delightful and I wouldn't be without mine. It's a 300tdi with 220,000 miles - pretty much everything has been replaced bar the actual engine

TheBangBang

5 posts

25 months

[news] 
Thursday 25th October 2012 quote quote all
I have had my Defender 110 for 2 years. 10 years old, bought it with 70k miles and it has now done 90k miles. Originally it was going to be for occassional winter use and towing but like it so much I use it for most of my daily driving as well as family activities....

TimCrighton

858 posts

101 months

[news] 
Wednesday 31st October 2012 quote quote all
I use my Td5 90 daily and it's fine. It's a little bumpy, but for the lanes where we live it's great. Get it chipped, fit a galvanised chassis and bulkhead to stop the rust and it's even better!!

Davel

Original Poster:

7,581 posts

143 months

[news] 
Thursday 1st November 2012 quote quote all
3,000 miles in 2 months and no further issues whatsoever.

Really enjoying it

driving

zoom star

229 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Another thing I think you have to take into consideration,about reliability issues is,do you drive your car into a crater full mud, boulders and water possibly up to the windshield.
The off roading and abuse that these defenders are subjected to has to have an added degree of possible problems.
I am sure if you drove your car over a bomb site and through a river it would break down a tad more often.
I have a 110 defender that has never been on a British road in the winter,has covered only 55k miles in its 15 years,and looks like new,its been well maintained, it has been very reliable,it is what it is,but I have spent more money on repairs to our X trail than the defender.

Davel

Original Poster:

7,581 posts

143 months

[news] 
Saturday 8th December 2012 quote quote all
Well I spoke too soon.

After the EGR sensor fault, a couple of days after buying it, the engine warning light came on last Wednesday and so off we went to the dealer.

I collected her last night and, two hours later, the problem re-occurred.

Due to staff sickness the dealer wasn't taking cars in again for a week and they took the stance that the fault had been fixed and cleared and so the re-occurrence was a fresh issue, so I'd have to wait or take it to another dealer.

Courtesy car was provided of course, so no complaint there. I took the car to another dealer.

So with this and other issues (five visits in four months), I have told them that I want to get rid.

Apart from wasted time going to and from the dealer, I've had to postpone several trips to Scotland on Business and it is really becoming embarrassing now.

They are trying to arrange a new car at a discounted price and with a virtual credit on what I paid for it in August - but do i really want to risk all this hassle again?

I really don't know what to do now.

grand cherokee

1,895 posts

84 months

[news] 
Sunday 9th December 2012 quote quote all
welcome to the joys of LR ownership

in the late 90's when i ran my sporting agency in rural Perthshire i had a 110 County V8 - it would go anywhere - yes it rattled and the heater was an afterthought - and the green mould that used to grow around all rubber seals!

but it started in the most harsh conditions and never once failed to get me along the banks of the Tay or up to Rannoch Moor in the deepest of snow - only once got stuck and that was driver error by driving onto the Tay floodplain after a spate whilst the field was still waterlogged!

towed out many RR's/Land Cruisers etc but in truth that was mostly down to driver error/inexperience

but once had to drive to Cheshire and had a bad back for days!!

as i now am driving my 3rd Range Rover i'm often at the main dealers (thats a surprise?) - keep looking at 90's but even brand new cars have dreadful build quality (poorly fitting panels etc) and even worse paint - more 'orange peel' than a BMW!!

2.5pi

589 posts

67 months

[news] 
Sunday 9th December 2012 quote quote all
Hi Davel

Have you considered a Discovery 4 commercial? Not cheap but can spec your van with all the toys and enjoy a plush VAT efficient alternative to the Defender?

Reliability should be bang on

Cheers
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