You are here:

Land Rover Repair/D90 restoration


I recently inherited a 1995 D90 that was parked for years coated in road salt (very sad).  Anyway, it's drivable, but I was told the frame is rusted almost through in spots and the suspension parts are in bad shape.  Advice was to not go off-road and drive slow on the highway.
I know there is probably a huge range in cost, but is there a ballpark for a frame replacement/restoration that I should start saving for?   Also, can the job be done in phases or must it be all stuff at one time?
Trying to figure out where to begin.
Thanks -

We do frame replacement and frame-off restoration here at Robison Service.  You can buy a frame and the basic parts for the swap for about $6,000.  The labor to do the swap could start at 100 hours and go up from there.  If the truck has a lot of rust, you may well need to a lot of repair before you swap the parts.  That's how jobs go from repair to restoration.  A full restoration of a D90 is going to cost somewhat more that $100k.  So that is your range, from parts and do it yourself labor, to the cost of a fully restored truck.

If the frame is not that bad you might replace just the rear, which could be a $10k job, maybe less.  But I have no idea if that is possible without seeing the vehicle.  People truck Series trucks and Defenders to us for work like this; there are very few specialists with experience in the USA

You remarked that 6 to 100k is a broad range, and you are right.  But that is the reality of the situation.  At one end you have the bare minimum of parts for a home hobbyist repair.  At the other end you have the kind of restoration that ends up on a car magazine cover.

You ask why people would do a restoration for more than the car is worth . . . they feel it's worthwhile, just as the guy who sought out professional restorations of 57 Chevies and 65 Barracudas did 10 years ago.  Now those 100k restorations are 200k at auction.  We see a steady trickle of people wanting to do work of this quality, and the truth is, that's what it costs whether it's a Defender, or a Bronco, or whatever.  Any restoration where you have 1500+ hours of labor and a pils of parts is going to be costly.

If you are curious I have quite a few stories on the Robison Service blog that illustrate the difference between repair and restoration and why you choose one or the other

Land Rover Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Elder Robison


I own J E Robison Service in Springfield, MA. We are Bosch Car Service for Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, and other European lines. I can answer most questions about Land Rover service or repair. I'm known as a car enthusiast, machine aficianado, photographer, writer, and speaker. I've been around Land Rovers and British cars most of my life. Visit me at my car business, or my author website, Check out my autism and writing blog at or my photos on John Elder Robison


I have been a Land Rover service manager since Land Rover returned to North America in 1987. My company is a four-star Bosch Car Service facility, known nationwide for Land Rover service, overhaul, customization, and restoration. In addition to Land Rover our company services BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls_Royce, and Bentley motorcars. We have factory-plus-level service capability for all makes. Visit my company online at > service > land rover Also visit my blog at


In the Land Rover world, my writing can be found in various print magazines and online at robisonservice.blogspot,com. In the wider publishing world, my work is published by 20 publishers in over 50 countries. Mt books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different and Raising Cubby have made US and international bestseller lists.

I am ASE certified, Bosch Trained, and trained by Omnitec/T4 and Autologic on their Land Rover test systems.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]