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#1 08-01-08 20:21:11

russguilfoyle
Verified Member
From: surrey
Registered: 18-06-06
Posts: 305

know anything about land rovers L/M/N reg?

probably in the wrong section but just looking for advice really, my son is thinking of buying a L/M/N reg land rover (defender style) and i know nothing about them, what to look for in the way of faults that are land rover specific, things that would need a really good look at when inspecting it and what to listen or look for on a test drive. any advice would be greatfully recieved. thanks in advance.

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08-01-08 20:21:11

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Re: know anything about land rovers L/M/N reg?




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#2 09-01-08 00:04:33

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: know anything about land rovers L/M/N reg?

Hello Russ,

If you want something you can work on yourself then you're looking at the right age. I think LMN all are 300tdi. It may be worth considering a 200tdi in very good condition. The engine is similar in both, though the 200 is apparently slightly simpler to work on.

I'm not a mechanic, but I've looked into buying one of a similar age myself, and one of the important things for me was to not have an engine management unit. I have heard that some of the later 300tdi's had brains, but the earlier ones didn't - personally I'd avoid it, but.....

With regards to condition - most Landies of that age will have had some serious use (unless you know someone with a minter). You could pay anything from £3k for something to play off road with until it falls to bits, up to about £10k for something which has been looked after well and could be kept in good working order for many years with some cash and sympathy.

When inspecting - look for rust everywhere (exept the aluminium panels of course), esp in the bulkhead (separates cabin from engine bay) and the rear crossmember of the chasis (these have often been replaced - check for welding and if unsure walk away).

Look under all mats - do'nt worry about a bit of rust - but big holes can be a pain.

When underneath - check (from the front) if the differentials have been clunked heavily. The odd light scratch may be ok, but big dings could signify lots of abusive offroading by an amateur with no skill or vehicle sympathy.

When starting up - don't be too shocked if you get black smoke on ignition, this is just inefficiently dealt with diesel from when the engine was last switched off. Only be worried if it continues after  literally a second or two. Blue or white smoke out the back is to be avoided at all costs.

Steering should be pretty smooth, wobbles could be a sign of worn bushes etc. Suspension is never great but have a good look at the thing - if it's on the slant in any direction - avoid it. Hand brakes on Land Rovers are on the propshaft, so you get a bit of play before it holds - this is normal. If it doesn't hold well on a hill - don't be overly worried - this is a common and easily fixed fault, but bear in mind that if that's not great, what else isn't?

Check that you can engage the diff lock (some sieze up through under use or simply get clogged with crap), but never drive on tarmac with it on. Don't worry if the light doesn't go off as soon as you disengage it - drive for a few yards, or reverse a bit and it should turn itself off. Try the low range gears somewhere quiet and traffic free, changing range isn't always dead smooth - it's a bit like putting it in reverse in an old car - it may need a double de-clutch to do this - also nothing to worry about.

If you can - check fluids - oil should be clear and not too dark. Any milkiness walk away - gunkiness isn't ideal either.

Bear in mind that you can often get vans converted to station wagons by a halfway reasonable landy garage, and that can keep the costs down - station wagons are always quite a lot more expensive - you can sometimes even increase the value over the costs this way.

Always always go for condition over age and mileage. A 15 year old 200 tdi owned by an enthusiast who keeps it mint and has put a zinc chasis on it, or waxoiled it religeously every year would be preferable to a 5 year old td5 that has been abused every day of its life.

Good luck with it, hope this helps.
Tim.

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#3 09-01-08 06:51:00

russguilfoyle
Verified Member
From: surrey
Registered: 18-06-06
Posts: 305

Re: know anything about land rovers L/M/N reg?

thanks for the detailed reply. the reason for asking is that my son wants to buy one but i dont know anything about 4 wheel drives, diff locks and other land rover odd things.

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#4 09-01-08 07:57:43

adi
Verified Member
From: shropshire
Registered: 28-02-04
Posts: 1,231
Website

Re: know anything about land rovers L/M/N reg?

I have a M 300tdi, my 5th landy over the last 13 years. Even though i know what to look for i still ended up having to replace the gearbox as it kept popping out of 2nd when offroading (problem only occured on steep uphill slopes!) which wasn't spotted when test driving! 300tdi has R380 gearbox which is problematic. 300 tdi's also suffer from timing belt snapping due to bad alignment. By now most would have been adapted with kits to stop the problem occuring.
As tim said if you do get a 300 get an early one without ECU.
I needed a county with seats so i bought a pick up and coverted it with roof windows etc and saved about 3k.
Your best bet is a 200tdi as they are considered more reliable and solid. Beware though that the 200tdi period had really poor rear crossmembers so many now have had rear quarter chassis replaced. Not a problem if the job has been done well. I have plenty of freinds who are driving round with new sectionsof chassis here and there.
If your really unsure go to a highly reputable dealer that will provide you with something checked fully. I'm not talking about main dealers but rebuild specialists featured in land rover magazines like 'foley' or 'The defender Centre', belbroughton, west mids..
Let us know how you get on.

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#5 10-01-08 19:59:28

russguilfoyle
Verified Member
From: surrey
Registered: 18-06-06
Posts: 305

Re: know anything about land rovers L/M/N reg?

thanks, will let you know what and when we buy.

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