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Thread: 2004 Land Rover defender ex utilities vehicle...worth buying?

  1. #1

    2004 Land Rover defender ex utilities vehicle...worth buying?

    So I must confess to knowing nothing about defenders. The chance has come up to buy a 2004 110 td5 from an old eccentric chap who used it as a runaround but parked it up due to high insurance costs and itís sat on his drive for a year sorn. He seems to think all it needs is a new battery and fresh mot. Itís high mileage at around 160k but he doesnít want much for it. (£2500). Had a look online and canít see any under £6k. I quite like the defenders history and like a little project. Should I run a mile or is this a good buy if I can get it running for little outlay? I presume this was a utility companyís truck, are they much different from a standard model? Any views/opinions would be fab. Hereís some pics...










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  2. #2
    One word I'll mention 3 times.....CHASSIS, CHASSIS, CHASSIS.

    If the chassis is solid everything else is just nuts and bolts and leads me to say.....it's a deal it's a steal, it's the sale of the f**ing century!

    Edit....yes I'd say its ex utility company, probably electric company.
    its got a winch bumper which has been removed.
    Also difficult to tell from your pics but it doesn't seem to have the rot in he usual places which is also a bonus.
    Last edited by Franky Four Fingers; 5th February 2019 at 20:45.

  3. #3
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Looking at the state of the joint, the Lanny might also be a sh!tbox too ??

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    One word I'll mention 3 times.....CHASSIS, CHASSIS, CHASSIS.

    If the chassis is solid everything else is just nuts and bolts and leads me to say.....it's a deal it's a steal, it's the sale of the f**ing century!
    Ha ha, thanks for the quick response! May sound silly, but what exactly am I looking for with the chassis? Although itís been sat for a year, Iíve had a visual look around it and it doesnít look too bad (although I havenít looked underneath). Am I right in thinking I have to get underneath and look for rust?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    Looking at the state of the joint, the Lanny might also be a sh!tbox too ??
    Ha ha. The old boy is actually a multi millionaire who owns vast amounts of commercial land but is somewhat of an eccentric. (And a hoarder). I agree he needs to clean up the house and front garden! He must be knocking on for 80 but is still buying land etc. Interesting character!

  6. #6
    Master
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    Get a light under there and prod the Chassis with a screwdriver

  7. #7
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Buy it! Cheap as.

    Iíll take it if you dont want it!

    MOT history shows nothing failed on the chassis, these tend to be very well maintained under contract. Bit of a van esp. with the weirdo sliding-door storage boxes but you can play around and fit windows etc in due course.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Ha ha, thanks for the quick response! May sound silly, but what exactly am I looking for with the chassis? Although itís been sat for a year, Iíve had a visual look around it and it doesnít look too bad (although I havenít looked underneath). Am I right in thinking I have to get underneath and look for rust?
    Yes basically that. Look for the lowest sections where they drop that's a normal plcae. Sorry to stay you need to don your overall and get dirty..... might as well get yourself ready for that.
    Get right underneath and have a poke around the entire chassis.

  9. #9
    Grand Master
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    A mate of mine's into them, so I`ve picked up a thing or two. As already stated, the condition of the chassis has a major influence on the value, they rot out at the back so it's fairly easy to check how bad it is.

    They're big heavy things to work on, don`t overlook that. It's not like working on a small car! Having said that' they're fairly simple beasts.

    If the chassis's good enough to pass an MOT it might be worth buying, do the minimum to get it MOT'd and roadworthy, then punt it downfield for a profit. If you start trying to restore it you could end up with a moneypit.

  10. #10
    Thanks fellas, Iím going to pop up there tomorrow and have a good look underneath. Quite excited to get my hands on this to be honest. My knowledge and skills extend to cleaning and tidying her up. Unfortunately Iím not the best mechanic. If I can get her through an MOT and maybe use her for 6/12 months and sell her on I may just do that. Another iconic car I can tick off the list of owning!

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Already said but chassis
    Main beams should be ok but outriggers where springs meet usually go look at them, engines probably been well maintained if itís utility to be honest the off road vehicles are crtical in the winter and they get priority servicing ( I work in gas/electric/water industries)
    Leaf springs probably worth looking at and the engine mounts too.. intact check every rubber bush you can lay hands on... rusty brake lines can be a pain to route on these too

    Hope this helps, itís cheap and worth the money though to be honest


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  12. #12
    Master
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    As well as chassis chassis chassis, think bulkhead bulkhead bulkhead as well.

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Plenty of advice to check chassis, make sure you prod and push inside and tops of the chassis, especially at rear. Another area to watch is the bottom of the A-Posts. The bottom of the post is where the bulkhead mounts to the chassis outriggers.

    Looking at the middle picture the lower door hinge seems to be at an odd angle (could be angle picture was taken or my eyes) which could indicate trouble in this area

    .Mark

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Have a good look at the bit beneath that drivers side windscreen hinge. I canít zoom in close enough but it looks iffy.
    The main chassis should withstand you smacking it with a hammer or big screwdriver, so do that. The small outriggers tend to collect crap inside then rot from the inside out. So give them a good prod too - though they can be replaced. The rear crossmember catches crud thrown up by the back wheels so get your hands where the landless have been removed from and see what itís like. The crossmember can be replaced fairly easily by a competent welder but itís a few hundred quid.
    What engine has it got?
    Donít worry about the roller shutter door thing st the back, the Defender is just a big mecano so you can swap that out providing they havenít main tub. There is a capping on top of the tub then the side panel bolts to it. If the capping is ok youíre fine. Oh, and check the capping isnít rotten either. Again, they can be replaced but itís aggro you donít need
    Check the front swivels Too. Badly pitted need replacing or the oil leakes out of them. Any sign of oil down the inside of the front wheel will alert you to this.

  15. #15
    Top advice everyone, much appreciated. Hopefully popping back tomorrow so will have a good long look around it. Hoping to get this old girl back on the road asap and clean her up a bit!

  16. #16
    Grand Master
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    Be sure the ratio of enthusiasm: capability/resource is balanced in your favour before committing!

  17. #17
    Master Guz's Avatar
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    A good aul N.Ireland reg...Iím guessing mountain rescue or N.I.Electricity. I donít recall any other sevice being that colour.

    Good luck.

  18. #18
    So I managed to get her home today...not without any issues! Franky four fingers has been an absolute star with help/advice. Want to say a big thanks to the TZ community. So many generous people on here...managed to get a pic of her whilst taking her through the local car wash to give her a quick bath. Drove surprisingly well at first, until the loss of power and lots of smoke. Hey ho, I reckon I might have to get used to this malarkey!


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  19. #19
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Looks great! Depending on where in the country you are, Iíd be taking it straight to FFFís garage for a once over. Alternatively, if you are near Manchester, the mechanic I use is also very familiar with old LRs.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    So I managed to get her home today...not without any issues! Franky four fingers has been an absolute star with help/advice. Want to say a big thanks to the TZ community. So many generous people on here...managed to get a pic of her whilst taking her through the local car wash to give her a quick bath. Drove surprisingly well at first, until the loss of power and lots of smoke. Hey ho, I reckon I might have to get used to this malarkey!


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    Wonderful, wonderful! I'm really glad you've saved it from fading away. Perhaps it's not practical for your purpose, but I like the sliding doors... Somehow it suits the utility character of the vehicle. I wish you many happy and safe miles with this wonderful machine.

    (And honestly, I'm really jealous)

    Menno

  21. #21
    Journeyman
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    You could use it to sell burgers or coffees at this summers festivals if nothing else ;-)

  22. #22
    Nice configuration for a mobile pizza van for events....
    Donít laugh- theyíre becoming popular
    Could see this being worth a fair bit if the chassisís sound

  23. #23
    I'm really interested to see the interior, especially the adapted rear half of the car!

    Menno

    (Forgot to say this: a proper wash really helps. Is the colour more or less a matte colour? Personally I think that a matte colour adds to the professional look-and-feel of the car)
    Last edited by thieuster; 10th February 2019 at 00:00.

  24. #24
    Craftsman
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    Keep it safe.
    They're disappearing like hot cakes in our parts.
    One a week stolen and never recovered.
    Half expect to come out some morning and find mine gone.

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  25. #25
    Master
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    The old girl has scrubbed up nicely. Looks a good find considering how the prices have gone through the roof lately. Have you got any security devices to fit when you leave it parked up?

  26. #26
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    This. Get a pedal lock as the very basic protection. It's the best £100 you'll ever spend on your Landie (but, unfortunately, not the last!)

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F173344982708
    Last edited by sish101; 10th February 2019 at 14:00.

  27. #27
    Many thanks for all the comments guys. I will look at some security once I manage to sort the engine etc. Iím on route to pick a battery up and see if I can get her going so will take some more photos for Menno and anyone else who is interested in this old girl..

  28. #28
    Master MST's Avatar
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    She's scrubbed up quite well!

    I echo the other comments about taking the necessary security precautions. I'm aware of a number instances where just the bonnets have been stolen from Defenders in recent months.

  29. #29
    Hereís some more photos...



















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  30. #30
    Seems to be some rusting in places underneath but nothing too bad. I couldnít see any holes or serious deterioration. If it lasted a couple of years and was sold for spares and repairs Iíd be happy! The coffee and pizza conversions have got me thinking!

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Seems to be some rusting in places underneath but nothing too bad. I couldnít see any holes or serious deterioration. If it lasted a couple of years and was sold for spares and repairs Iíd be happy! The coffee and pizza conversions have got me thinking!
    The corrosion I can see looks like omega 3 to me and nothing to worry about.

  32. #32
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Great looking Landy, would be ideal for a mobile mechanic or large estate handyman. Also popular in these parts with tree surgeons towing a woodchopping trailer. Would sell in an instant if tidied a bit I reckon.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.

  33. #33
    Cookingn and serving them pizza on your knees inside the van-part... You'll need to raise the roof.

    This whole purchase and thread has got my eyeing on specialists websites for my own LaRo... (That's what we used to call them back in the military - nowadays, the Dutch army uses the Mercedes G...)
    Last edited by thieuster; 10th February 2019 at 16:52.

  34. #34
    Master
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    Chassis looks in half decent nick to me, hopefully you'll get away with a few repairs here and there. The roller sides are interesting but what you need is a Roccbox near the cab end and you'll be firing pizzas out at your local festival and paying for the truck.
    Is the passenger roller door just into a closed "cupboard"? Not entirely sure how you would use that but it's part of the fun!

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    Chassis looks in half decent nick to me, hopefully you'll get away with a few repairs here and there. The roller sides are interesting but what you need is a Roccbox near the cab end and you'll be firing pizzas out at your local festival and paying for the truck.
    Is the passenger roller door just into a closed "cupboard"? Not entirely sure how you would use that but it's part of the fun!
    I believe that originally both roller shutters opened into shelving units. One side has had the shelving removed and il probably remove the other side as well. This will then make the shutters open straight into the load area at the back of the truck. Once the engine is running ok and I know the truck is sound, Iím planning on losing the roof rack and orange beacons and swapping the front winch bumper for a straight bumper and streamlining her. Iíd like to lose the roller shutters if possible and replace with either a body or glass. The shutters rattle when driving and make an awful din!


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  36. #36
    This is one of the original shelving units with the previous owners contents still inside!




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  37. #37
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Mine’s the same age! As mentioned, if chassis and bulkheads are ok, the rest is just cosmetic.





    Enjoy!


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  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Chinnock View Post
    Mine’s the same age! As mentioned, if chassis and bulkheads are ok, the rest of just cosmetic.





    Enjoy!


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    This is an example of what we were talking about the other night- Chinnocks looks fantastic with the grill, LED lamps and front bumper mod.
    All not mega bucks and brings the car conservatively in to the 21 century.
    sawtooths also a great little addition
    Last edited by Franky Four Fingers; 10th February 2019 at 20:45.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    This is an example of what we were talking about the other night- Chinnocks looks fantastic with the grill, LED lamps and front bumper mod.
    All not mega bucks and brings the car conservatively in to the 21 century.
    Wow, chinnocks looks superb.
    Is that the cars original paint or have you had it resprayed? What a lovely looking vehicle! I am super excited now!

  40. #40
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Cookingn and serving them pizza on your knees inside the van-part... You'll need to raise the roof.
    The way they usually work is the pizza oven sits in the back as a standalone thing.

    Food is sold and saved via a table/counter to the front/side.

    One example (no affiliation).

    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Wow, chinnocks looks superb.
    Is that the cars original paint or have you had it resprayed? What a lovely looking vehicle! I am super excited now!
    Fairly certain it's standard however I stand to be corrected.

    Edit.....not sure of the actual colour (Corris) but wasn't that the original Tomb Raider Grey?
    Last edited by Franky Four Fingers; 10th February 2019 at 21:03.

  42. #42
    Journeyman
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    2004 Land Rover defender ex utilities vehicle...worth buying?

    I went out to buy a Mini Metro for my wife over 20 years ago and came back with an ex coastguard SWB series 3 ..... 20 plus years later and several Landrovers later & you thought watch addiction was bad ... these land rovers get into your blood , not to mention your wallet !
    But you are here for a good time, not a long time , so enjoy it .
    The plus side is , my kids ( now grown up and married ) also my wife have been infected and love them.
    I have managed to acquire ( another story ) one of the last Defender 90 XS produced , which isnít going anywhere ..... hopefully whilst Iím still on top of the green stuff .
    Have fun and I shall follow your progress with interest and chip in where I can , however up until now the advice you have been given has been spot on is why I joined this forum .
    Love her and she will make you smile !!


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    Last edited by Norbert; 10th February 2019 at 21:39.

  43. #43
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    Wow, chinnocks looks superb.
    Is that the cars original paint or have you had it resprayed? What a lovely looking vehicle! I am super excited now!
    Original paint work. Happy to give you a list of add-ons as mentioned by FFF. Tbh it’s hard not to stop but some are essential to bring them up to date. Being a TD5 also did an ECU remap.

  44. #44
    Craftsman
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    Get some protection on underneath.
    Best investment you can make.
    Cost effective to get the back converted to standard station wagon. Make it more useable and saleable.

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  45. #45
    Master Reeny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Integrale View Post
    Get some protection on underneath.
    Best investment you can make.
    Seconded - I bought a 24 litre / 2.5hp compressor and soaked our motorhome and 1997 mini in 3-gallon of waxoyl between the two of them.
    Get a compressor and a waxoyl gun, and re-apply once a year.
    A gallon of black Shultz or Finnigans can be found for £23 on Ebay.

  46. #46
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    @Chinnock - Crikey, that's smart

  47. #47
    This is one we did recently upgrading the front end and complete chassis wax oil. As been mentioned one of the most important things to get done on these.


  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    This is one of the original shelving units with the previous owners contents still inside!




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    What size are those boots? Are you putting them on SC?

  49. #49
    Craftsman
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    Really nice find.
    Buy a new fuel filter before firing up the engine again and if possible do an engine oil and filter change as well. That way you are not swirling the crud around from standing so long.
    Check underneath the seat (in the compartment) if the ECU got contaminated with oil (common fault on the td5)

    As mentioned before, standing in the LR (or kneeling to be more precise) is not very pactical, but a mobile bar with beer lines behind the shutter on one side and whiskey bottles on the other side on the shelfs is an option. I am currently converting a V8 110, ex Swiss fire brigade (fold up side instead of the shutters) into a mobile beer station and bar)

  50. #50
    Master vagabond's Avatar
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    Nice LR and a good find - those rear shutters may work as part of an overland vehicle.

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