Yup, I still have it, and yes, I would still very much like to sell it. Changes from the last time it got posted include better differential gear ratios (3.54:1 versus 4.7:1, which means the V8 can maintain highway speeds all day long without any heat problems), the heater core works now, and all of the exterior lights are 100% good to go. The Craigslist ad is live, and it is reproduced here:
How is this a 1985 / 1995 Defender? Easy – the original, from-1985 2.25L I4 engine that was in the truck when it was shipped over from Great Britain decided to spontaneously connect two of its cylinders, and the fix was to replace it with a refreshed 3.9L V8 from a 1995 Discovery.
All of the work was professionally done by Braddy’s British Motorworks in Youngsville, NC, as seen in the attached invoice.
– The 2.25L was taken out and replaced by the aforementioned 3.9L EFI aluminum-block V8 (on which the lifters, rod bearings, head gasket, etc. were replaced).
– The ZF4HP22 automatic transmission and 1.22 LT230T transfer case (both from the same donor vehicle as the engine) replaced the manual transmission that was there before.
– A custom center console was fabricated to hold the new shifter.
– The original, tiny radiator was replaced with one designed for a Defender V8 and an electric fan was added to supplement the belt-driven one on the engine.
– An all-new exhaust system was fabricated and installed.
– The front and rear driveshafts were replaced with ones from a Range Rover Classic.
– The front and rear differentials were replaced with more V8-friendly 3.54:1 gears (rather than the 4.7:1 that were in before).
– A secondary, 15-gallon fuel tank was installed underneath the rear bed along with a remote-controlled pollak valve to allow you to switch between the two tanks on the fly.
– A battery cut-off switch was installed for added security and peace-of-mind.
– LED indicator lights were installed all the way around to replace the woefully inadequate original incandescents.
The truck does not have air conditioning (it never did), but the compressor is still attached to the 3.9 and blanked off if you want to add it in the future. The right hand drive was retained, as was power steering and power brakes (disc fronts, drum rears). Thanks to the new-to-the-truck engine, transmission, and differentials, the truck can cruise at highway speeds all day long without any trouble. Heck, it even has cupholders now! The engine has all of about 204 miles since the refresh (about 90k before), though the body has 154,208 miles on it. The refreshed engine and all new parts included in the install are covered by a 12-month, 12,000 mile warranty from Braddy’s British Motorworks, and the transmission, transfer case, and all other used parts are covered by a 6-month, 6,000 mile warranty. No other warranty, implied or stated, comes with the vehicle, though.
This is a bad-ass, go-anywhere, all-wheel-drive-all-the-time, British truck that thinks it’s a tank, and everything else on it is pretty much ready to go. It comes with a hard-top – which can be removed – and a fold-down windshield for the full summer driving experience. All four wheels have desirable Wolf (6.5Jx16x20.6) rims, the lower door frames have been replaced recently, and the frame and body are in great shape. The rear spare tire is being held up by a Mantec spare tire carrier, the front grille is protected by a newly-powder-coated and -installed brush bar, the original Land Rover jack is included, and it’s currently wired for stereo (though the person who sold it to me lost the faceplate for the existing one). It’s currently set up for "station wagon" configuration with two seats in the front and four sideways seats in the back. The front upholstery has been replaced with Exmoor Trim "Denim Vinyl" and heated elements have been added to those seats.
So why am I selling it? Honestly, the project took a lot longer than we were planning on, and my family’s vehicular requirements changed drastically over that time. We would love to keep the Rover around, simply because it is an awesome truck (I mean, it’s a *Rover*) but we just don’t have the garage space to do so right now.
For those keeping up with the news on Defenders, this one was 100% legally exported and imported, and both its VIN and original British license plate check out as being old enough to import. In fact, you can check for yourself: the original plate is C689 TRT and the VIN is available on request. The truck is currently registered and plated in Wake County, NC, and I have the title in-hand with no lien or loan.
Known issues include a dash blinker indicator that doesn’t blink (could be due to the LED indicator light installation… could be a blown indicator bulb, haven’t checked), a bent door stop on the driver’s side and a missing door stop on the back, and the wear and tear of being a 30-year-old truck along with the usual sporadic Land Rover surface rust. The rear crossmember was replaced long before it was imported to the States, the passenger (left) side seat box bottom has some rot on it ($100 in parts and some quality time with a rivet gun or spot welder), and the door frames have a little rust at the bottom leading corners on both sides. None of the rust is outside the realm of "normal" for a Rover of this advanced age.
Right now, it would make a great daily driver, grocery-getter, shop truck, farm truck, or a mostly-daily-driver-that-you-don’t-feel-bad-about-taking-off-road… and with the RHD, it would be a truly attention-grabbing promotional vehicle. Really, this is a pretty enjoyable truck as it sits right now, buty it would not take a lot more to make it a truly impressive vehicle… We’ve just run out of steam and a place to keep it. Our loss – literally, we are asking less than we have invested already - your gain :).
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
Current asking price is $26,000, but I am open to any and all offers. Willing to work with shippers on your dime. I have additional pictures; please to email or call.