Defender 90 TD5 rusty chassis

Sometimes even a supposedly experienced dealer like us can get caught with a lemon. A couple of months ago we were offered a 1999 90 TD5 from a previously well-trusted source. It was described to us as smart, with a new interior, running well, and having recently had a new rear crossmember with extensions, and with a ‘good chassis’ otherwise. As we’ve previously had good experiences with this trader, we agreed to buy it sight unseen.

On arrival, yes it was fairly smart and had a complete new interior – it was obvious that quite a lot of money had been spent on it fairly recently. However looking at the OSF outrigger, I could see that it had been badly patched. An easy job to cut it off and replace it properly with a brand new one. Or so you’d think.

My workshop called me a couple of days later with the dreaded ‘you’d better come and have a look at this’…

They found, when they removed the old outrigger, that there wasn’t any useable metal behind it on the main rails to weld onto – it had been (well) disguised with filler and tin cans. Further examination revealed both front dumb irons to be totally shot, front crossmember gone, and rust everywhere on the chassis forward of the rear crossmember extensions.

The only sensible solution for this one is a new galvanised chassis, which is currently underway.

You can see the state of it here