How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s view, CHRIS BASHALL, SURREY OFF-ROAD SPECIALISTS - “Assuming both vehicles are in standard trim, a Land Rover 90 will beat a Wrangler TJ off road. The Jeep’s ground clearance just isn’t great enough and you can easily wallop the fuel tank. However, raise it a couple of inches with a good lifting kit such as ARB’s Old Man Emu and fit 31in tyres, and they’re more evenly matched. Being smaller and more agile, a well-prepared TJ will beat the later Wrangler JK as well. If you’re looking at a modified one, check it’s quality kit and that it has been fitted properly.”
ENGINE - The 4.0-litre is prone to water pump issues so check for leaks. While you’re there, look for oil leaks from the engine’s rear main seal and crankcase vents on top of the valve cover. Pre-2000 4.0-litre engines can suffer a cracked exhaust manifold.The2.5 has quite a small oil capacity. Under sudden heavy braking, it can suck air into the sump, leading to big-end and con-rod failure. Distributor bearings can wear on both engines. Inspect the radiator seams for leaks and the condition of the plastic tank caps.
TRANSMISSION - The Belleville spring washer that tensions the clutch plates in the rear diff can crack, making the diff noisy. Check by turning the car on full lock and feeling for a judder. The diff fluid needs to be original equipment with a special additive that prevents the plates drying and grinding. Early five- speed ’boxes can suffer synchro issues.
SUSPENSION - Coil springs can sag. It’s cheaper to fit new radius arms than replace their worn bushes. Check for play in the ball joints at the end of the Panhard rods.
BODY - With the exception of the separate, bolt-on front wings, the galvanised body is generally rust-free. The chassis should show only surface corrosion and nothing worse, although the rear portion of the frame can suffer, as can the rear axle. Some parallel imports aren’t as well rust-proofed as official UK cars and their chassis can rot.