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The mechanical bits are the easiest to address; complex electrical is the most frustrating (for me). I avoid rust whenever possible, as it seems to be a constant battle. Lots of good information and experience on this forum - read up. : )



Your budget isn’t out of line…. I paid $5K for my truck four years ago and spent $5K baselining it to a DD level. There will always be something that needs attention – this is why I love my RRC!



Your ‘Martha’ is out there – keep searching.



Best of luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The mechanical bits are the easiest to address; complex electrical is the most frustrating (for me). I avoid rust whenever possible, as it seems to be a constant battle. Lots of good information and experience on this forum - read up. : )



Your budget isn’t out of line…. I paid $5K for my truck four years ago and spent $5K baselining it to a DD level. There will always be something that needs attention – this is why I love my RRC!



Your ‘Martha’ is out there – keep searching.



Best of luck!!
I am definitely hopeful! Just not the right time yet.
 

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Hi everyone!

The Setup
I know you've probably seen this kind of post about a billion times. I apologize if this isn't posted in the right place. I have always wanted to have a classic Range Rover. Ever since I saw Jeremy Clarkson tear through the amazon in one, I fell in love. I have the opportunity to buy a 95 for $3900. First off I know I can get it for less, maybe much less. I have a car but want to ease up on the miles since it's a lease so I'll be driving the Range Rover (Martha (yeah ive already named her)) often. I have a hard budget of $5500

Martha has 178,000 miles, a 4.2L V8, the interior looks clean, there is no frame rust and the body looks pretty straight. Also the air suspension has been replaced with coils.

Martha's Baggage
The owner has told me that the heater works about 60% of the way (the air con works though). The tach is in and out (which I read somewhere could either be an alternator failure or that the wire at the back of it needs tightening). The cruise control doesn't work (not the biggest issue to me). There is a hum coming from the power steering. The check engine light is on which he thinks might be an o2 sensor (he says the engine runs smoothly and stops well). And the aftermarket radio doesn't work.

The Question
Should I dive into this? How much is it going to cost me to get Martha in a drivable state? Im not looking for a show car, I just want her to run and for me to be able to drive her. Should I skip out and wait for A) a larger budget and B) a better vehicle?

Note: The owner has driven about an hour and will be meeting me tomorrow so I can check out the vehicle.

Give me advice, encourage me, tell me I'm stupid, say hi, I'm all ears!
View attachment 281672 View attachment 281673 View attachment 281674 View attachment 281675 View attachment 281676 View attachment 281677
 

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The mechanical bits are the easiest to address; complex electrical is the most frustrating (for me). I avoid rust whenever possible, as it seems to be a constant battle. Lots of good information and experience on this forum - read up. : )



Your budget isn’t out of line…. I paid $5K for my truck four years ago and spent $5K baselining it to a DD level. There will always be something that needs attention – this is why I love my RRC!



Your ‘Martha’ is out there – keep searching.



Best of luck!!
I have a lot of history with RRC's and I am quite knowledgeable about them. This car has MAJOR body rust to the extent that the floors, sills, rear lower gate, rear load space, rear door kick ups and probably lower firewall and load space sides will ALL need to be replaced. Like almost all the East Coast Rovers, the body is going to require a LOT of VERY expensive body work/panel replacement. I am in the process of doing much of the same work on my original 1989. It is not justified on a cost basis, but the car has sentimental value. I also sold a couple truly rust free (interior CA sourced cars) with no rust for ~$30K recently. Those cars were a better deal than my '89 will be after costs and a better deal than the car you are looking at. Your candidate car can EASILY cost $15-20K to repair that body rust CORRECTLY which means new panels fabricated or purchased from YRM and fitted, then a proper seam sealing, prime and paint and Waxoyl. $5000 is not nearly enough to buy a sorted out RRC. It IS enough to buy a rust bucket such as this one. The tach wavering is probably a bad alternator diode pack as you suggest. The check engine light is easy to diagnose on a RRC: it could be an O2 sensor, MAF, or throttle potentiometer. You can have all the fluids flushed and attend to the tach problem for ~ $1000 at normal shop rates. The check engine light resolution cost is impossible to estimate. If you need new catalytic converters it will cost a lot. Also, do NOT believe ANYONE who tells you these cars are reliable and easy to maintain. I restore cars and have had MANY RRCs from "OK" like my '89 to mint 37K mile examples. They are EXPENSIVE as things will ALWAYS break and at some point they ALL need new head gaskets or worse yet, a replacement engine block from a slipped liner. Anyone who tells you anything differently either lacks knowledge or experience or is just plain lying. I LOVE RRCs and have owned many and they ALWAYS required MASSIVE maintenance including my '89 from the time it was new. And YES I have LOTS of automotive repair and experience including frame off restoration of high end cars that have taken awards at top Concours in the country. If you just want to drive this car and ignore the rust, it may appreciate enough to cover some of the maintenance, but don't delude yourself: if $5K is a lot of money to your budget, RRC ownership is likely to bury you. Before everyone flames me, READ my comments: I am a huge fan of these cars, I have owned several and I have 30 years experience owning them. I am simply honest: they are what they are: great when working, always need something and cost a fortune to keep running correctly unless you do ALL your repairs yourself in which case they are merely "an ongoing obligation to keep right".
 

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The original poster decided to pass on this car (orobably for the better), but I agree with a lot of what you're laying out here @zuno. They're not reliable, but they're fantastic when they work.
I've easily sunk $8000 into mine over the last year, and that's just DIY mechanical repairs. There's an endless list of things that need to be replaced, and I can't imagine how much it would've cost for a shop to do the work. Not to mention a AAA platinum membership is a necessity for when you need a tow.
However, compared to my last few Volkswagens, RRC's are pretty straightforward to work on.
 

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I have an 02 with 143,000 miles. No rust. Great shape. Only issue right now is figuring out low voltage to the tailgate area getting the tailgate release button to work. I'll let ot go today for $3500 and you don't have to worry about that rust :)
 

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... Not to mention a AAA platinum membership is a necessity...
Don’t know how we forgot to mention this, though I’ve been fine with just the Plus, though that may be Platinum. Basic is not enough...



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I have a lot of history with RRC's and I am quite knowledgeable about them. This car has MAJOR body rust to the extent that the floors, sills, rear lower gate, rear load space, rear door kick ups and probably lower firewall and load space sides will ALL need to be replaced. Like almost all the East Coast Rovers, the body is going to require a LOT of VERY expensive body work/panel replacement. I am in the process of doing much of the same work on my original 1989. It is not justified on a cost basis, but the car has sentimental value. I also sold a couple truly rust free (interior CA sourced cars) with no rust for ~$30K recently. Those cars were a better deal than my '89 will be after costs and a better deal than the car you are looking at. Your candidate car can EASILY cost $15-20K to repair that body rust CORRECTLY which means new panels fabricated or purchased from YRM and fitted, then a proper seam sealing, prime and paint and Waxoyl. $5000 is not nearly enough to buy a sorted out RRC. It IS enough to buy a rust bucket such as this one. The tach wavering is probably a bad alternator diode pack as you suggest. The check engine light is easy to diagnose on a RRC: it could be an O2 sensor, MAF, or throttle potentiometer. You can have all the fluids flushed and attend to the tach problem for ~ $1000 at normal shop rates. The check engine light resolution cost is impossible to estimate. If you need new catalytic converters it will cost a lot. Also, do NOT believe ANYONE who tells you these cars are reliable and easy to maintain. I restore cars and have had MANY RRCs from "OK" like my '89 to mint 37K mile examples. They are EXPENSIVE as things will ALWAYS break and at some point they ALL need new head gaskets or worse yet, a replacement engine block from a slipped liner. Anyone who tells you anything differently either lacks knowledge or experience or is just plain lying. I LOVE RRCs and have owned many and they ALWAYS required MASSIVE maintenance including my '89 from the time it was new. And YES I have LOTS of automotive repair and experience including frame off restoration of high end cars that have taken awards at top Concours in the country. If you just want to drive this car and ignore the rust, it may appreciate enough to cover some of the maintenance, but don't delude yourself: if $5K is a lot of money to your budget, RRC ownership is likely to bury you. Before everyone flames me, READ my comments: I am a huge fan of these cars, I have owned several and I have 30 years experience owning them. I am simply honest: they are what they are: great when working, always need something and cost a fortune to keep running correctly unless you do ALL your repairs yourself in which case they are merely "an ongoing obligation to keep right".
No flaming here. Completely agree, they are an expensive hobby if you do the work yourself, they are a money pit if you have people do the work for you.

Yet trom all the cars I have, I love my 83 RRC the most!
 

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Buy from the US southwest, Spain, South Africa or anywhere where there’s not a lot of salt. If you want a good one please get a plane ticket.

zuno’s right about rust but they can absolutely be run right and cheap if you know what you’re doing. Step one is to never ever visit a specialist shop and step two is to never ever order parts from Atlantic British or Rovers North.
 

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... step two is to never ever order parts from Atlantic British or Rovers North...
Sometimes it’s unavoidable. ISTR, RN bought ought all the NOS years ago.


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Buy from the US southwest, Spain, South Africa or anywhere where there’s not a lot of salt. If you want a good one please get a plane ticket.

zuno’s right about rust but they can absolutely be run right and cheap if you know what you’re doing. Step one is to never ever visit a specialist shop and step two is to never ever order parts from Atlantic British or Rovers North.
Buy from the US southwest, Spain, South Africa or anywhere where there’s not a lot of salt. If you want a good one please get a plane ticket.

I disagree re: Atlantic British. They are knowledgeable and prices are reasonable. Have been using them for years.
 

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I think he’s also a bit off regarding specialists, unless you’re an LR expert, do you really think an avg garage will be able to work on an old RRC or other LR? Many shops won’t even touch an old Rover, the ones that do, I’d be worried...


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I think he’s also a bit off regarding specialists, unless you’re an LR expert, do you really think an avg garage will be able to work on an old RRC or other LR? Many shops won’t even touch an old Rover, the ones that do, I’d be worried...


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These are not specialist vehicles in the slightest, if you look around you will find a tech that is willing to work for cheap(er). The same goes for many other brands with more complicated vehicles, otherwise we’d have next to zero old imports on the road lol.
 

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Not specialist vehicles in the slightest, anybody with half a brain can fix them. If you look around you will find a tech that is willing to work for cheap(er) and the same goes for all the other import brands.
From the perspective of the older ones you’re right about them not being specialist vehicles, but the later RRCs with EAS and the simple 14cux, are more intimidating to the uninitiated. Many of the non Rover shops turn down Rover work because they don’t want the headaches of dealing with old Rovers or their owners.

From my optic, if I can’t do the job myself, I’m only taking my RRC to a reputable LR indie shop, though I did let the dealer do the gas tank recall work since it was gratis. That was a bit scary, as many of the dealers crew had never worked on a RRC...


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