This is a continuation of a two part series.
- Taking the doors off is a process. Each hinge has 4 bolts. A total of 16 must be removed to take the two doors off and you will need a 2nd person to help you. These doors are much more heavy than a Jeep wrangler’s. If you take them off, you’ll figure out real quick that putting them on and taking them off isn’t something you’ll do a lot of because frankly, it is just too much work. If you think you’ll engineer a quick release system like the Jeep Wrangler has, good luck with that. I haven’t been able to figure out how to do this without refabricating hinges. I take the doors off my 250 GD in July and they don’t go back on until September. On my Wrangler, I put them on and take them off almost weekly because it is a much simpler and easier process
- The soft top on the 250 GD that was made for me is very high quality. It is fairly quiet at speeds above 45 MPH. Putting the soft top down on your 250GD is a slow process and all of the little straps will make you think twice about putting it down knowing that you will want to put it back up. It is just too much of a process and so, you’ll find yourself leaving it up most of the time. If you have a bikini top, this is the way to go especially if the doors are off but, even taking this off is a bugger because of all the little straps along the top of the windshield. Here’s what I do: I unfasten the bikini top in the rear, roll it up to the top of the front windshield and then fold the windshield down on top of the bikini top. This traps the bikini between the hood. Below is what one of the ~50 straps looks like.
- Once the doors are off and the windshield is down, you have no rear view mirrors which makes the vehicle illegal to drive. The Jeep Wrangler suffers from the same problem. With the Wolf however, don’t think you can just get on Amazon and order some aftermarket brackets that attach to the windshield like you can the Wrangler. You are on your own and will have to work with a machinist to fabricate something. Here’s what I came up with which works awesome:
- The manual transmission shifter is too short. Some drivers find themselves leaning over to reach and shift. Due to the underpower of the engine, you will shift A LOT which is fun but, not as a daily driver.
- The heat put out by the Wolf is really good but, it doesn’t produce enough in cold Maine winter. Keep this in mind as for those buyers from the North East, it is a three season vehicle unless you get heated seats like I did and bundle up. This really isn’t all that bad and can be fun on occasion.
- The aftermarket headlights interfere with radio reception. The only thing that helped reduce this problem is moving the antenna to the rear of the vehicle. You may have to turn the headlights off if you want good reception, yah right.
- The seats in the wolf are comfortable and were beautifully reupholstered. They are not however nearly as comfortable as the ones in the Jeep. They aren’t worth replacing but, you should be aware of this. It isn’t a problem for me but, my wife has pointed it out a few times and she’s right.
- Cup holders are a problem. I mounted an after-market console that goes on top of the tool box between the font seats. This worked out nicely. Sorry about the mess but, the vehicle is in storage right now and it’s the only picture I have at this time.
- No arm rests or console between the seats. Not a big deal but, worth mentioning as it takes time to get used to.
- Restored vehicles are not factory tested. Your Wolf that cost $100k will have problems after your receive it. Buy from a reputable company like I did.
I purchased a Defender 90 – sort of
This year I purchased a home in Florida and started looking at Defenders again but, this time I want more engine power! I read about the V8 in the Defender and learned that it is also a dog. I thought about shipping the Mercedes Wolf to Florida but, I’d have to upgrade the motor first. To do this, I would have to replace the transmission as well due to the high winding at speeds above 45 MPH. A new engine in the 250 GD could lead to ongoing repair issues.
I decided that what I needed was a Jeep Wrangler with a Land Rover Defender front end! Retirement at 53 had left me pretty bored at times. I needed a project that I could be passionate about completing. Below is what I came up with:
I love it. I have the best of both worlds. It’s a Jeep Wrangler but, the front is an authentic Defender 90. I wave to both parties when I see them on the road. Contact us to find out how to convert your Jeep.