Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

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Chris S
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Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:02 pm

Currently thinking about swapping the Defender for something a little more comfortable, but idelly with room to sleep in occasionally, perhaps shove a Motorbike in from time to time (though not crucial as it can go on the rack/trailer), be simple enough to fix and ideally four wheel drive.

I've come up with all sorts of solutions, but keep coming back to the Delica. Couple of guys down my street run them too and really rate them, and I got chance to have a good nose round one for sale last week.

Is there anyone on here with some experience (good or bad) of the delicas to help sway my desicion? I'd probably be looking at a 2.8 L400 auto, ideally the one with the solid roof.

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby crinklystarfish » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:46 pm

Hi Chris, I had the chance to buy an immaculate fresh L400 import about 6 years ago but passed it over. It was perhaps my biggest motor-based regret of recent times. A mate has had one for about a decade and its very competent and reliable.

I ended up with a hardtop Bongo which is fitted out as a weekender, though it has supported a couple of 10-12 day trips to Spain and Austria too. I personally prefer hardtops, not least because a good roof rack/box helps massively with gear storage.

I like the Bongo, it's very civilised and has been ultra-reliable for the 4 years I've had it, I do wish I'd bought the Delica though. Given the choice of a Defender and a Delica for a daily driver / occasional camper I'd personally choose the Delica every time. I'd want a good one though, a lot have racked up huge mileages and are a bit tatty now.

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:08 pm

Thanks Steve,

A Bongo was another one that cropped up but I'd been leaning more towards the Delica so it's interesting to see I'd not have been too far out with thinking that way.

I never got as far as getting a poke and prod inside the other one but it did look a much comfier place to be than the defender is.

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:16 pm

Well, I've done it! more by luck than anything I think, I spotted one on ebay yesterday that was fairly local but wanted a little bit of work doing to the front end where it had been driven into a bollard in a parking space (sounded like they hit drive instead of reverse :oops: ) but otherwise really quite tidy on the bodywork with none of the usual rust spots, plus all the electrics inside seemed to work too. 86,000 miles too and the last few MOT's seem to back that up too.

Best bit is it's tidier than the last one I looked at and less than half the price too :D

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:03 pm

Got insurance sorted out today and it's worked out cheaper than the defender too - bonus!

Been for a bit of a ride out and all I could keep thinking way why hadn't I bought one sooner! Really comfy and despite it's size, doesn't feel huge.

Meant to be scooting up to Scotland this coming weekend for a few days camping in wife's car but might end up taking the Delibus yet.

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Zoltan » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 pm

I bet you're missing the water leaks and rattles already! :lol:

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:58 pm

:D Really thought it would be hard to leave the defender behind - How wrong I was!

Knocked nearly 10 minutes off my drive to work too.

Jumped in it this morning, put the bower on and it actually demisted the windscreen, and made the vehicle warm inside too - I could see things like that catching on eventually :lol:

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:14 pm

Got a bloke coming round tomorrow to do the front seal on the injector pump ( a common mits 2.8 problem that I knew about before I bought it but hoped wouldn't need to do for a while) - fortunately this guy is considered "the man" for doing the pump seals and even doing it on the drive is over a hundred quid cheaper than the local diesel "specialists".

Couldn't have timed it any better - he's actually from Essex, but turned out he was on holiday less than 10 miles away from me this weekend and is going to do it on his way home :)

Other than the obvious symptoms, there's a good chance it might solve another couple of niggles at the same time I'm told - fingers crossed.

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:09 pm

What a difference!

Seems to hold onto gears a lot better now without dramatic kickdowns, to the point where I can acelerate up some quite steep hills now instead of just making a lot of noise :lol:

The hunting for gears appears to have gone too so fingers crossed it's cured!

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Re: Replacing an old Defender with a Delica - daft idea?

Postby Chris S » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:43 pm

Had been hunting for an original bull bar since I got the deli (apparently they are structural on the L400's ?) and was starting to think the ones on ebay for nearly £200 and dinted/rusty were the only ones out there. Stumbled across one at a lot more sensible price (although black rather than silver but hey ho) and still had all the original plastic bit in the middle too and not cracked.

Put that on one night last week and finally got round to making the insulated screens for the wndows this afternoon. They're not half as fancy as they sound, but look a lot better than I was hoping and nearly all of them hold themselves in without any fixings either - result. Best bit was I've managed to do all the windows apart from the windscreen out of one roll of B&Q's finest foil backed bubble wrap, so less than a tenner from memory :D

Ordered a set of new tyres last week too; was originally looking at BFG A/T's but really don't need anything as agressive as that any more (I dare say I might live to regret that yet) so went for some Hankook Dymapro AT's, which look more like an agressive road tyre really, but with some side lugs.

Doing a 2 day enduro next weekend and going to sleep in the back of it for the first time so be ineresting to see how comfy it is. Might try folding the seats flat and sleeping across them but if that's too uncomfy I'll shove a roll mat on the floor.


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