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What to look for when buying an 89 Range Rover

Things to look for:

Rust (floorboards, and upper/lower tailgate, mainly, but sometimes slong the wheelarches - plastic wheelarch kits could be a sign...)

Radiators that leak at the welds (can indicate a blown head gasket that's in the works, or one that was fixed & the radiator wasn't)

Leaky heater cores (see above): some are aluminum, some are brass...aluminum ones if leaking, will have to be replaced, as they don't like to be fixed. (Note: Getting at this heater core is a huge chore as it is deep within the centre of the dash. It will take you a day to get at it and your dash will look like a bomb went off inside. Then you can put it all back together again!)

Poor shifting (could be kick-down cable adjustment, or worse)

Loud klunking in the driveline (maybe sick transfer case)

Anything else can easily be fixed, more or less. Window switches go bad, seat switches go bad, many people never replaced catalytic convertors when they were supposed to (blown head gaskets can cause a cat to go bad, btw), and aftermarket ones are pretty cheap.

Some trucks don't get tune-ups when they should - if ever, and then there's that timing gear: if the truck has high mileage & it hasn't been replaced, rpelace it! They're good for @ 190k, and the cam gear will start to think about breaking (its got nylon teeth)

Steering boxes will tend to leak with age, as well, and its better to get a replacement than to try & fix the one you've got. The dead speedo could be a dead speedo, or just the angle drive gear.

The important thing to remember, is that most Rangies were never actually used off-road in the USA, so aside form the above, other things will begin to go south as you start to really use the truck (suspension bushings, for example).

All said, with this in mind you can find some screamin' deals out there, so long as you take your time to look around, and don't buy the first truck that you see (unless it's a white '89 that has Dead Kennedy's and Vandals stickers on the rear window...this was my old truck). Charles

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