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Hi Will


I thought you might want to include this information based on our experiences of both a Trekka and Land Rover Defender!


We have run the Trekka for 130K + miles now and thought it was time for a replacement, as they are no longer produced we looked again at the Defender as it now has a Ford engine which is somewhat better on MPG that those prior to 07. Also, there are issues with being able to restrain equipment so that passengers/employees etc. are not at risk in the event of an accident - this is not so simple to overcome in the Trekka. OK so now we have run the LR for 6 months we are starting to get a feel for the pros and cons. I still have the Trekka, it will see its days out as a family car only now.


LR had about 40k on the clock and after 3 months of ownership we had the whole common rail replaced because the breather pipe is not fuel friendly, rots away and then consequently sucks water in from under the wheel arch! About £4k of damage to which LR initially didn't want to pay under warranty; however, when we found a LR technical bulletin highlighting this problem we had some leverage, still lots of money gone in lost business and hassle factors. Thanks to our LR dealer, we got most of the repairs paid for in the end.


LR had about 50K on the clock and after 5 months ownership we had a wheel bearing failure causing total seizure of one of the rear wheels sending us out of control across the road. We had just come off the M4 so we were only doing 35mph, lucky to be here probably! Hooray, LR accepts it's a warranty issue but we still have to pay for a new tyre and opposing replacement discs.


Why did we ever buy a Defender! If I could get rid of it today without loosing a bucketful of money I would sleep more easily! We were duped into thinking this vehicle was more 'fit for purpose' than the Trekka so is it? I doubt it, six years of off road driving with the Trekka meant I could get it pretty well anywhere the Defender could go. Oh and just as an aside, we haven't had any major problems with the Trekka and I have a soft spot for LR having run a 1950s Series II SWB for many years.


On the Forum, there are a number of comments about tyres. Personally, I would stick with the Synchrones regardless of cost as I can vouch for their toughness off road and absolutely excellent grip on very wet roads and in the snow. We only ever replaced them in pairs and we have got through quite a few now with no problems to the drive - it always has jangled slightly but I've never worried about it. I have run the spare for long periods also which has resulted in rear tyres with very different tread depths and this has never seemed to cause any of the apparent problems to the drive.


Why aren't vehicle manufacturers selling something similar to the Trekka now? The market is overloaded with gas guzzlers, surely a lean burn practical 4x4 is a no brainer!