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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day fellas,

For the last 10 years I have been driving a Ford courier 4x4 super cab. (a What?? - Mazda built, ford badging, mitsubishi engine... bitsa!) It has taken me all over OZ including 2 trips across the simpson desert, great victoria desert & cape york. It's been a great car but as I now have a family, it is getting too small inside , I don't want a japanese independent front end, and it is time to update.
I have been looking at replacing it with a defender 130 crew cab with a 300Tdi (want an oil burner , don't like computers!) but would love some inside information from some people who know landrovers about what to look out for. Specifically:

1. usual corrosion or rust points
2. common worn out parts
3. Is it a myth that landrovers break axels (or is this a series thing?)
4. People have told me "If it doesnt leak oil, it cant be a landrover", how true is this and from where do they leak (don't say everywhere, please!)
5. Any other defender perculiarities.......?

Any help would be great.
 

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hope this helps

hi, i dont no too much as im looking for a defender myself but i have a mate who knows all and he's been going with me to check on some possible buys. i do know that you need to check:

*the bulkhead (front bit under windscreen) for rust and holes
*check the outriggers on the shassy for corrosion.
*look at the back sill under the back door, some of theese are realy bad.
*clutches and gearboxes can leak oil
*power steering can leak fluid if landy been thrashed about offroad.
*also look at the floors in the cab under the mats, if theres sound proofing rip it up, if the soundproofing gets wet the floors stay wet for ages and rot right through
*when you have a test drive make sure the hi/low range gears both work smoothly.
 

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the original landrover axels do have a tendency to flog out, it is advisable to replace them with maxi-drives, a far superior product and cheaper than original axels. Also if there is no service record for the vechicle it is advisable to replace the timing belt, having one of them go on you is not a pretty experience.
I purchased a second hand 130 Tdi about 12 months ago, nearly 30000Km done in that time and loved every km travelled. Excellent truck. Overall the landy is like any other vechicle, if it is looked after it should be a good buy, a thrashed one it a thrashed one. Hope these thoughts help:drive:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, thats a good start! My real problem now is finding one.
they are as rare as hen's teeth down here.
I see regular adds from Qld and NSW (1500km seems a long way to go to look at a truck that my be cactus!) but either there aren't any in Adelaide or anyone whos got one doesn't want to sell it.
 

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same here in england

backyard said:
Thanks guys, thats a good start! My real problem now is finding one.
they are as rare as hen's teeth down here.
I see regular adds from Qld and NSW (1500km seems a long way to go to look at a truck that my be cactus!) but either there aren't any in Adelaide or anyone whos got one doesn't want to sell it.
its the same here, i give up looking for a half descent 90, iv traveled miles and found loads of rubbish not worth half of what some guys wanted, in the end a mate put me onto a farm mechanic who is gona put me one togeather for a small fee of £1800, he's using a 1986 shassy that is in excelent nik and a good body that is sound appart from a blistered door bottom on passenger side and a 300 tdi engine, all ready to pick up in 2 weeks. cant wait.
 

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Hey Backyard,
Whatever you do, don't do what I did. I have a 300tdi 130 which I am now really happy with. Most of the things that I would have alerted you to you seem to already know. Eventually I seem to have gotten all of the anoying and/or unsafe things under control.

So what did I do that was a BAD idea?

Even if you start to get desperate looking for a 300tdi 130, don't, whatever you do, buy from 3WJ or 4wdcity as they also call themselves these days. They are in Sydney but deliver anywhere. I am sure I have to be carefeul with what I say on here so as to not breach any forum protocols so I will restrict it to (just) a few of the things that happened to me before I decided that the supposed warranty cover was not worth the on the ground realities of pursuing them and the FACT that they 'legally' rebirth cars that have been written off by insurance companies. Or at least they were when I bought from them.

When asked about some of the disparities in the ages of some of the parts (for example how come the windscreen rubbers on a three year old car were completely perished? Apparently no reason...it just happens some times!) and some remaining roof damage they flatly denied that it had been rolled or anything of the sort. You would not believe the amount of broken shattered windscreen and window glass I have found in every nook and cranny of that car when crawling all over it and pulling the dash out and other various bits and pieces (seat boxes, window slides and frames, batteries etc) at times!

Funnily enough although they promised log books and service history it never arrived despite me asking for it so many times I was like a broken record. More fool me you say and you are right. I had given a holding deposit and they weren't going to give it back unless I could PROVE why they should. You can only take so much time off work to drive out to the yard so many times.

http://www.4wdcity.com/profile.htm

Walk around the yard or their website and they have some cool 4bs at what generally seem like really good prices which they explain as being due to the volume of vehicles that they sell. From my own experience (plus others that have relayed to me plus what an insurance guy told me plus NRMA roadside assist guy plus tow truck driver plus 4wd specialists plus some of their former stockists etc) some of their stock has obviously been not just heavily damaged but insurance write offs.

They probably have some good stock too but how can you tell unless you get it up on the hoist and dynoed and have it crawled over to within an inch of your life. It all takes time and money and eventually you just want to buy and get on with life. Wherever you buy try to get an independent landie expert check it out for you rather than just NRMA or equiv. person check it. Not just a 4wd expert but a landie expert. Don't let the seller recommend the expert either ... more fool me again.

They are in Sydney, Aust and I didn't find out about their reputation amongst the industry until after I had bought from them. I could never understand (and still don't) why no one ever warned me BEFORE I went shopping there but I was pretty new to the 4wd scene and was kind of finding it all out as I went. I know of others who have been through this same experience as me but we didn't discover our similar experiences until it was too late.

The point of this post is not to randomly slag them but to let you know that they seem to end up with heaps of landies (incl. 130s - it is as if they buy them all!) and I was really keen on getting a 300tdi 130 for the same reasons you have outlined. They advertised themselves as the biggest and so I figured that even though they were extremely difficult to deal with as used car salesmen that they would have to be legit or they would be out of business. Twice while I was there attempting to chase up waranty issues there were police there searching through their lot for who knows what. Several times I was told that the work was completed and to come out and pick it up only to take time off and arrange lifts and find that they had not yet even started and that I would have to come back the next day. Too bizarre to be true. At times it felt like I was living in an episode of Seinfeld only I wasn't laughing.

I am not going to go into more detail than I need to because I understand that most people let it go as a painful lesson because they are just too scared of them to really take them on. I suspect that if you scratch the surface you will find a lot or people out there who have made the same mistake as me and paid for it. They fix cars up and sell them - nothing wrong with that but just realise what that can mean at the extreme end of that situation. They are entitled to sell landies but landie buyers should also be allowed to have a hint as to what they might expect.

They deliver around Australia so the temptation may be there for you. Because they get the vehicles super cheap as write offs they can afford to fix them and transport them around and still get really good markups for themselves. They offered to accessorise my vehicle to the hilt for me at close to trade prices plus cheap labour so it was increasingly attractive to buy from them all in one hit including accessories yet to be fitted but the problems then for me be were the vehicle that the accessories were bolted to and the lack of care that they bolted the accessories on with. More troubles and expense to get fixed.

I had them fit a snorkle but when I went to pick it up it wasn't sealed against the body properly. You could put three fingers in the gap and their solution was to fill the gap with black silicon and believe me I did well to get that as they were starting to get very aggressive! Unless you have dealt with them you probably won't understand quite what I mean by that!

When they fitted the tjm canopy they bodged the job so bad they had to do it again. In the end it was still bodgy (and they supplied the wrong configuration of windows and told me to be grateful for what I got) and when the rear window eventually fell out I had to get one customised so that it wouldn't rub itself to death. Although the waranty period on that had passed the reseller arranged it all for me as a warranty job because he knew them and felt sorry for me and felt that I needed to get a break at some stage. He won't even sell stuff to them anymore.

I would not choose to buy a 300tdi 130 defender or any other vehicle from them nor to do any kind of business with them at all. There is only so good a job that can be done with a written off vehicle especially when they are cranking them through their workshops and problems will slip through the pre purchase checks.

You might get what seems like a good deal at the time but you can't turn a sows ear into a silk purse. Take your time and find a reputable dealer and buy a defender that you want to tinker with for fun not one that you have to work on endlessly to keep it on the road and doing what it is supposed to do. Or get one from someone who was obviously an enthusiast or through a club or a forum like this.

Best of luck - 130s are great beasts but crikeys they are long when it comes time to turn around in a narrow lane or down some steep mountain switchbacks!

Cameron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ta cameron, I have seen adds for 4wd city australia (4 double pages in the latest issue of "just 4x4's") thanks for the warning. We have a landie wrecker about 10min drive away who often sells lightly dammaged vehicles very cheap. I guess I might be in for similar trouble if i buy from him! who knows.
Turns out the brother of a guy at work is a mechanic for one of the landrover dealerships here in Adelaide......He's going to keep his eyes peeled but I still don't hold much hope that he will find the right car at the right price.
I very nearly saw a 130 the other day at a car yard but it was literaly sold and driven away an hour b4 I got there! typical of my luck so far.
Seems there are a lot of defenders in queensland.........
 

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No worries backyard,
I would have loved to give even more of the story but I think the point has been made well enough and I will leave it at that.

Maybe the guy near you fixing up and selling only mildly damaged vehicles is fine - I would hate to see any fair dinkum business lumped into the same box as 3WJ.

There is actually a 130 for sale around the corner and up the street from me here in Sydney at the moment. Not a bad looking beast at all and he has built a custom alloy(?) canopy on the back of the tub.

Not sure if it is a 300tdi or a td5 - just saw him drive past while out for a walk and noticed the for sale signs on his window.

I will check it out and let you know.

Cheers,
Cameron
 

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Backyard, so it seems that all the 130s for sale in QLD, that sounds like a legitimate excuse/reason for a holiday to me.:clap: :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cameron, yeah thanks, If youv'e got a camera, some pics would be great....

Strazzman, I wouldn't mind an excuse to go to queensland again, I lived for 12 months in the back of the courier (with a wife and 2 year old daughter) of which aprox 4 months was in queensland... Mt Isa, Canarven Gorge, Cape york (Telegraph track up and back except the jardine xing), then down the coast, fraser Island, etc.
by the time we got back to Adelaide, Every joint in the independant front end was shot and the rear leaves were sagged out hence the want for something built a bit stronger.
 

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Hey backyard,
I walked up there last night for a stroll but wouldn't you know it his car wasn't there. I will keep an eye out for you and let you know when I can. If I have my camera handy I will grab pics.

Cheers,
cameron
 

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Hi Backyard,
Sorry it has taken so long to find this out .....
I have been driving past where the 130 is usually parked and it was never there until yesterday.

Jumped out with camera and pen/paper and read the sign - it did not say anything about beinf for sale and in fact just a whinge that he doesn't like road tolls and reckons they are 'unconstitutional'. Fair enough, I don't like them either...
so no go here I am afraid - good luck shopping for your 130.

Cheers,
Cameron
 
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