Used Land Rover Defender 90 For Sale
The Land Rover Defender 90 for sale is a rugged, no-frills British four-wheel-drive off-road utility vehicle. Designed by Land Rover in 1984, the Defender 90 was developed from the original Land Rover Series launched in 1948 and bears a striking resemblance to the Series I, II and III models that came before it. This model enjoyed a continuous 67-year-long production run that ended Jan. 29, 2016. Plans to bring a modern version of the Defender 90 back into production were announced in 2018.
The D90 is a durable utility vehicle characterized by its 92.9” wheelbase, exposed door hinges, and riveted bodywork. It was introduced one year after its longer predecessor, the 110. Together, the 90 and the 110 replaced the original Land Rover series, and, along with the Range Rover, completed Land Rover’s lineup until the introduction of a longer model, the 130 in 1985, followed by the Discovery in 1989.
Defenders were produced for the American market from 1994-97 due to stringent regulations. In 1997, the US DoT required that all vehicles be fitted with airbags. Since the Defender would require significant design modifications to include airbags and the US market was limited, Land Rover halted North American production in 1997.
Stylistically, the 90 looks quite similar to the previous Land Rover Series III model. Mechanically, it upgraded the Series III with the addition of coil springs to provide a more comfortable ride and improve axle articulation. Land Rover also fitted the 90 with the Range Rover’s permanent four-wheel-drive system that features a two-speed transfer gearbox with a lockable center differential. Since 1985, the D90 has also had wind-up windows rather than the sliding windows of the Series III.
Also in 1985, the short-wheelbase 90 was first given V8 power along with 114hp, mated to a five-speed LT85 manual gearbox. A year later, the 90 began sporting a popular “Diesel Turbo” option. The 2.5-liter diesel engine was modified slightly to include a redesigned crankshaft, Teflon-coated pistons, and nimonic steel exhaust valves.
In 1989, with the addition of the Discovery to Land Rover’s lineup, the 90 was called the Defender. The Discovery’s launch ushered in a new, more efficient, and more economical direct-injected diesel 200Tdi engine. This post-1989 engine was more efficient than the naturally aspirated Diesel Turbo and was the most commonly sold Defender while it was offered.
Beginning in 1994, Land Rover offered a new Tdi300 engine. Four years later, that engine was replaced by the more-powerful Td5 engine, which was rolled out to meet Euro III emissions regulations standards. The Td5 remains a popular selection in used and restored D90s due to its power, efficiency, and reliability. Most military versions of the Defender made after the introduction of the Td5 were still offered with the Tdi300 engine, however, due to the Td5’s complexity. The Defender 90 is a rugged little piece of work that remains true to its humble workhorse roots. It may not be exceedingly pretty or overly comfortable, but it will be at home in any environment—the desert, the rainforest, the most treacherous British bog—and carry on reliably.
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