I originally owned a newer Puma Defender 90 prior to the 110 and after a few camping trips we decided we needed to upgrade to a larger vehicle. I barely even thought about an alternative vehicle make, it had to be a Defender. We did look at the 130 dual cab model but they are quite long and we decided a wagon would be better suited to our needs. Initially I liked the idea of the older 300tdi (1994-1998) as its a mechanical diesel engine with very few electronic systems and components to go wrong making it ideal for repairs in isolated places but after driving my brothers Discovery with the same engine I didn’t like the lack of power and the sluggish engine would make long stretches of roads painful. The Puma engine (2.4 and 2.2 Tdci) fitted to later model Defenders (2007-2015) are a very nicely refined engine originally from a Ford Transit. They are renowned for their reliability and large power output despite being a relatively small engine. I didn’t like the idea of the amount of electronics, piping and emmision control devices which are bound to cause problems in the outback.
After much research and discussion we decided a late model Td5 Defender 110 Wagon would be perfect for us. We looked at many for sale online and none suitable seemed to be coming up in our price range. It was only by chance that I accidentally changed the filter of the search and came across one a little out of original budget. It was the first one we actually looked at in person and knew straight away it was the one for us.
The 2006 Land Rover Defender was built in Solihull, United Kingdom. It is a 110 model which refers to the wheelbase length (110 inches). It has a late model Td5 Land Rover 5 cylinder turbo diesel engine with a manual transmission. We are now the 3rd owners after buying the vehicle in September 2014 from a couple who had driven it across the world from Australia to the UK. Some of the mods current on the vehicle are listed below.
One of the main factors in buying the vehicle we bought was the amount of work already completed. Just looking at the vehicle I knew it had a lot of money and time spent getting it to the point it was at. As with all vehicles, the modifications aren’t always quite the way you’d like and need to be tweaked a little.
Rooftop Tent (Hannibal Safari 1.4m)
Absolutely amazing tent! Quality built and quick and easy to setup. We have moved to front of vehicle to open out over bonnet. We only need a half length ladder that is supported by the top rail of the bullbar rather than all the way to the ground. With the tent over the front of the car it allows for us to fit a 270º awning that can fold out to provide cover at the rear of the car, it also means that in tight campsites we only need the length of the car to setup camp.
Roof Storage box
Built by MW Toolbox the aluminium roof box is very handy for 2nd spare wheel, maxtrax, dirty recovery gear etc. This is now at the rear of roofrack (swapped places with tent). It was a good idea to have the box at the front to protect the tent from low hanging branches and give a more streamline shape to the front 0f the vehicle but it worked out better for us to have the tent towards the front. Solar panels will be fitted to the top of this box.
We run a 270° Foxwing awning by Oztent / Rhino Rack. On each edge we can zip an extension roof/wall to help with bad weather particularly rain coming in on a angle. It is very fast to setup and we sometime even put it up for lunch stops on very hot days on the road. With the wrap around style awning we can walk from the rear drawer to the fridge on the passenger side while staying undercover.
Safari Snorkel (raised air intake)
Great for dusty roads and deep water crossings to provide clean dry air to the engine. See Safari Snorkels website
Wingtop Guard Checkerplate Protection
On top of the front guards we have checkerplate (by previous owner) to add some extra strength and protection and means we can stand/walk on them without causing damage.
Bonnet Protection Checkerplate
We fitted checkerplate by Mammouth on the bonnet to match the wingtops. The checkerplate on the bonnet and wings make it easy to walk on for various tasks including setting up and folding away the rooftop tent.
Longe Range 120L Fuel Tank
Long Range Automotive Fuel Tank (standard fuel tank 80L) – we found after our trip to Tasmania the tank to be too low and the risk of damaging the tank too high, this has now been replaced with a standard Defender fuel tank and we will carry additional fuel in jerry cans.
Sill Water Tanks
2 x 55L aluminium water tanks (one under each sill) custom built by Long Range Automotive. They are brilliant tanks keeping weight low in vehicle without hanging below the chassis rails.
Gullwing Doors (CSW)
CSW Gullwing doors are made in Australia and come in glass or total blacked out. Awesome mod, one of our favourite parts of the car making storage much more handy. If you’re interested in buying Gullwing doors check The Expedition Centre website.
2 x aluminium drawers built by Tanami replace the rear seats with a pull out drawer on each side. These are a great use of space and very well built.
An aluminium drawer made by Tanami fits between wheel arches in rear – nice item with great build quality. This is where our kitchen items live.
9500lb Warn Winch with steel cable – strong, quality winch, easy to service
6 x BF Goodrich KO All Terrain tyres – great tyres, haven’t had a puncture yet
Spare Wheel Mount
Spare wheel swingaway mount – quality item to take the weight off the rear door and allows the door to open further. Second spare wheel lives in roofbox
Front Runner Windcheater Slimline aluminium roofrack – very well built roofrack with many optional accessories compatible of fitting
Okay for step buy will most likely upgrade at some point to heavier duty rock slider style step
Great ladder to gain access to the roofrack although position is useless when awning is setup in the way
Steering Arm Bash Plate
Aluminium steering arm protection bash plate by Troutbeck
Thomas Big Red Air Compressor – very handy for inflating tyres
National Luna 90L Twin Stainless Steel fridge/freezer
Front Runner stainless steel fridge slide
Rear Diff Lock
Maxidrive rear vacuum diff lock to gain extra traction when needed
Heavy Duty Axles
Maxidrive heavy duty rear axles to go with diff lock for extra strength