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Series II and III landrovers

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by idontlikemondays, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. well the commo has gone to that great scrap heap out in blacktown, so its time for a new set of wheels, and the old man said he would go halves if i got an old land rover.

    i am basically asking if anyone has any experiance with these vehicles, generic problems etc to look out for on a prospective purchase. i dont know shit about deisel engines either, which doesnt help.
    i do have a bit of experiance with the current defender that the army uses, but i think they would be considerably different to the old 70's and 80's buses.

    looking to spend around 2k, give or take, and its got to be a deisel. i also considered a discovery, early 90's model deisel could be found for the 7 k mark, which i might consider.

    any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. If your using it for bush bashing, id be looking at a g60 patrol. Same vintage. Same price, you would probably need an lpg conversion(alot of thats already done). The g60 motor makes the reliability of a land rover(which is fantastic) look like a daelim.

    Only issue with one now would of course be...rust.

    Maintenance wise, there easy, basically just grease a few bits and away you go.

    We used to have one a long time ago, did 2 trips to capeyork in it, when i was of course a baby, before there were roads. I could show you photos of the car submarining across rivers with a crocodile waiting for it to stop(legit, ill try and scan the photos later). On the second journey it was with friends of ours. One with a "cruiser" and one with a "rover" and the patrol performed....extensively well.

    On a comical note: the patrol had a plate just behind one of the 3 gear shifts(yes...3) that directly stated, "do not go over 40km/h in shippery conditions. It actually said shippery.
  3. In brief, I love them BUT!

    They rust in the chassis, crossmembers and outriggers.

    They rust in the firewall requiring replacement with donor firewall, which requires near full disassembly of the car.

    Driving position is cramped and nearly completely unadjustable.

    They leak - all of them.

    The are noisy - especially the diesels.

    They are slow - especially the diesels, and the only exception was the.

    Series III Stage 1 which had the Rover 3.5L V8.

    Series II and IIa had no synchromesh on first or second, but gearbox was strong.

    Series III had full forward synchro, but gearbox was not as strong.

    MANY of the petrol motors were removed when stuffed and replaced with a Holden 186 or 202, but the gearing means that these are revving themselves to pieces on the highway. The were never designed to run with the Rover diff ratios - the diffs can be swapped out but then you increase the minimum low ratio road speed which makes them less capable off road.

    Steering is heavy - especially the diesels.

    Steering has OODLES of free play because of the number of tie rod ends and the way the control arms are set up.

    Brakes are marginal.

    They are HEAPS of fun.

    They have HEAPS of character.

    The 4 cylinder petrol motor was WAY better than the 6 cylinder even through it harks back to 1930's technology.

    If you are looking for cheap reliable transport it would be cheaper to take $2000 and set fire to it and THEN buy a Corolla.

    I'd love one as a play thing, but there's no point since I have that little time and that many more important things to do.

    I have a Discovery which I love, and is far more practical.
  4. yeah peronsally i see much point to spending more and getting an older disco, deisels can be had for 5-7k mark. b ut unfortunately my co stakeholder has his heart set on a series II or III. im familiar with the late 90s model discos, but did the early 90s ones have all the electronic wizardry?

    thanks for your help fellas,

    PS loved the comment about burning 2k then buying a corolla :LOL: pretty bloody indestructable the old corolla
  5. In the first series Discoveries there were two different turbo diesels (both 4 cylinder about 2.5L) and two different V8s (3.5L and 3.9L). All the V8s are fuel injected, but it's a simple system with only a couple of sensors. They are thirsty in terms of capacity, but no more expensive to run than a Cruiser or Patrol, and they run superbly on LPG. The 200TDI and 300TDI diesels were both VERY fuel efficient, but are both extremely expensive to fix when neglected or overheated. Most these days are getting to the stage where they will need serious money for injectors, injector pumps, heads and/or gaskets, just by virtue of age and mileage. Timing belts need doing - not a small job - every 80,000km or so, and if you look at one that has not had a belt change recently that can be substantiated, I'd pass or knock the price down.

    ABS and airbags came in about 1995 or 1996, and the airbags were intended to be replaced in 10 years - not sure how you'd go trying to get them done these days. Our V8 is a 3.9L and has been on LPG from the start. There were some driveline updates that came in about 1994 that were definitely worthwhile.

    Can't think of too much more to tell you. They are less of a mechano set than the Series vehicles, but still VERY easy for a clued up home mechanic to look after. They are VERY cheap for what you get these days!
  6. yeah, get one Dom !!

    We'll get some black shoe polish, make ourselves look like skiny's, take off the roof, fold down the front windscreen and make it into a Technical !!
  7. Nobody mentioned the Lucas electrics!

    Get a Series I - pig of a thing to drive on the road, but an interesting vehicle nonetheless.

    Old diesel engines are easy to work on but a lot of the early Land Rovers were petrol, not diesel.
  8. Lucas, the only electrics that weren't!
  9. Everything Mike said.

    Two grand will buy you an ongoing project that could last the rest of your life. All the ones I've seen that cheap are fairly well rooted. On the bright side though, almost anything can be reclaimed.

    Land-Rover's own diesel during the leaf-spring era was reputed to be not terribly good, so you'd really need to look for something that's had an engine swap. Trouble is, although good quality swaps are reputed to exist, I've never seen one in the metal. They're all horrible.

    For myself, I'd ditch the diesel requirement and go for the 2.25 litre petrol lump. Grunty, tough as old boots and surprisingly civilised. I used to be able to squeeze 20 mpg out of mine with sympathetic driving and a cobbled on SU carby. Don't bother with the petrol six. Huge weight, complication and thirst for little real benefit.

    Spares are cheap and available (although you'll probably have to mail order from the UK).

    I'd have another tomorrow, but without performing a full, end to end, nut and bolt rebuild, I doubt if I'd rely on one as an everyday proposition.

    Heaps and heaps of fun though.

    Mine was one of these http://www.ebroadcast.com.au/ecars/LandRover/Series/FC.html and an evil old pig it was too.

    I still miss it.
  10. Spend $3 or 4k and buy a Range Rover. Much more competent vehicle on and off road (far more competent stock than anything else of it''s era), aftermarket parts abound, easy to fix etc.
    Landys are cool utility vehicles, but don't have much of a place in any suburban environment due to their design.

    Regards, Andrew.
  11. If you actually plan to use and abuse a Rangy off road, take spare axles, and diff centres. :wink: I learnt the hard way.. :oops: The 3.5L V8 is thirsty, the 4.4L is better if you can get one. 4sp manual box was used in the 101FC truck, so you'll be unlucky to break it. 5sp is a little more fragile.

    Personally, if you're really set on a Series Landy, try and get a Stage 1 with the 4BD1 engine. Otherwise, look for an early Defender or County - they'll be just as uncomfortable and unreliable, but they've got coil springs. :p
  12. It sounds like you've really got your heart set on a land rover, but have you considered a shorty landcruiser (fj40 or bj40)? I'm no mechanic, but my dad has owned a couple of fj40's in the past (one with a 307 chev) and he still owns a range rover and i know which ones are more reliable. But this sounds very much like a decision from the heart, right? Either way, sounds like fun :grin:
  13. To embellish Macca's comments on axles in Rangies, this problem stems from the 10 spline half shafts and applies to Disco's up until late 1993 when they went to 24 spline. These 24 spline shafts are much better, but still far from indestructible. Shouldn't be a problem if you don't run huge tyres (you shouldn't need to either) and/or drive like a hoon.

    I have 24 splines and an ARB rear locker. Even on standard size tyres, it's staggering where the Disco can go comfortably.
  14. #14 idontlikemondays, Mar 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    shit! heaps of helpful advice.

    just for the record, im not getting a 4WD to get over median strips! my mum lives out in the hills near hannam vale, so i need something fairly capable off road to be able to get round her property up there, but a discos off road ability has never really been questioned right? i also have many friends and some family in armidale, and its fairly likely ill move up there in a couple of years once ive reached some personal goals in the army.

    doing a bit of research, and from whats posted here, post 94 disco seems the way, its got the 300 series TDi aswell. apparently though transmission, turbo and fuel pump faliure are common?
    im reasonably handy with a spanner, so things like CC replacement dont phase me.

    nice truck patb, they have a similar one at the lancers (light horse) museum, i never realised but that they were simply a modified series II.

    micky, Bloody oath mate! i can get the .50cal from work aswell :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    PS found this:
  15. Depends what you would call common. Most manual gearboxes start "gaining character" past 250,000km, and you can bank on there being a fair bit of slack in the driveline. That age Disco should not have the gearbox output shaft spline issues of pre '94 units. The ZF autos are supposed to be very good behind the diesels. Turbos are not known for packing it in. Injector pumps can get expensive IF you have trouble. Injectors too - but that is part and parcel with diesel ownership into the high km end of things.

    Discos are VERY good off road and tend to flatter drivers!
  16. From anecdotal evidence i've heard round the traps, ZF autos are fantastic till they break. Then they're an expensive, fiddly pain in the arse. The zf does work really well with the diesel, for most people better then the (pretty bloody average) manual.
  17. Well my ol' man had a 1964 ex army landrover and it was the noisiest, slowest, ugliest, most reliable car he ever had. It was evil and cold and hot and was in need of constant upgrades. I learnt to change brake shoes, oils, crank start and well even rebuild a complete engine.

    I loved the old truck and would love to have one, well no I wouldn't! :LOL: :LOL:
  18. Well, Mike covered a fair bit, but missed quite a few as well. I have had a Series 3 for....um....years....about 20 now...

    Rust in the outriggers and rear cross member generally resulted from being used to launch boats. These sections are available and can be easily replaced, or a chassis can be bought relatively easily - look for FFR (Fitted For Radio) chassis - they had extra bits welded on. If you do end up doing chassis work (it sounds serious, but isn't!) wire brush it all back to bare metal, fish oil, red oxide and bitumen paint and never worry about the chassis again!

    Firewalls do rust. Near the base of the doors, around the door hinges and around the screen hinges, and occassionally where the floor panels screw into the firewall. None of it is too hard or expensive to fix. As far as panel work goes, they never look perfectly straight. Roofs, doors, screens, rear tailgates, front guards rear body section are all removable. Canvas hoods aren't too hard to find, and hoops etc are usually ex army. I had a cop ask me where my rego sticker was - I said it was on the windscreen - just at the time it was sitting in the back of the car.

    Driving position - I'm 5'11" (ish) and its pretty comfy (for what is really an enclosed tractor). Adjustable seats can be fitted mildly modifying later model seats. The S2 and S3 seats were essentially pads that sat on the fuel tank covers.

    Noisy is 110% correct. Use earplugs. I did hear of one mod that liquid nailed fibro cement sheets to all the floor panels, then covered them with acoustic sheets. It worked. Sort of. Use earplugs, its cheaper. I fitted a Fairey Overdrive to mine, which meant you could talk rather than shout to your passengers, but only just. When the overdrive finally wears out, it makes a really loud whine, which drowns the engine noise, but does mean shouting again...there are now people in America who can supply these overdrives (which gives you 8 forward and 2 reverse speeds in both high and low range)

    Steering free play is a myth. Most free play came from worn components from poorly maintained linkages and ball joints. Look for worn steering relays (through the front cross-member) - this nearly always was overlooked when it came to servicing. Another one was bent arms that tends to throw the front alignment out. When the steering damper wears out, you'll get tank slappers from the steering wheel that'd put Loz to shame!

    Engine stuff. The Landy 2.6 6 cyl is an F-head. Very rare, original cars still have the air pump that blew cold air over the exhaust valves. Shall we say that this engine is power hungry, noisy, difficult to work on and thirsty. In good/new condition, you'll get about 20-25l / 100km. The 2 1/4 litre engines were sweet, and could produce similar power to the 6's with a few mods - exhaust, heads, carbs type of thing. The bottom ends of these little engines were based on the 2 1/4 litre diesels, and were bullet proof. Same with the diesel. All were torquey, low revving engines. Most landies have had their original engine replaced (moreso the original 6's) with Holden 186/202's (common), ford 4.2l (pretty common) and occassionaly Nissan (pretty rare). Most of these were back-yard jobs so the change-over was dodgey as hell, including things like star picket engine mount points, and light rail cross-members. One major problem with many of these change-overs is that the front of the engine sits higher than the original, leading to minimal clearance between the driveshaft and 3rd(?) post gearbox cross-member. Good conversions are obvious because of the workmanship, and often had the hole in the cross member heated and bent into and egg/oval shape to get clearance. Original engines could be crank started (easy to do and a bonus for when the battery dies) or could be used for forward PTO's. There is one rear PTO from the rear of the gearbox. No such thing as an auto till after the S3. Up to 5 gear sticks if you're lucky (1xGearbox, 1xtransfer case, 1xhigh/low range, 1xoverdrive, 1xPTO). The Gearbox, overdrive and High/low all had independant neutrals so you can screw with your non-Landy mates when you ask them to move the beast!

    Electrics. Yes, they were Lucas, but there isn't enough of them to give problems. Most issues arise from electrical work done afterwards. Put the headlights on relays - the switch on the steering column will melt eventually after a while! Easy to reloom since there's nothing to them!

    Fuel - usually 70 litre tank under the seat (2 door) or rear 65l tank under the rear (4 door), but this could be changed depending on what the original buyer wanted. It was all interchangeable and extra tanks could be fitted. Long range tanks generally mean that an owner has fitted 2 or three tanks. My S3 has two under seat tanks to give it a range of between 600-700km. There was also an option (sometimes fitted to SWB cars) of 40l underseat tanks.

    Gearboxes and diffs - S3 had salisbury rear diffs and rover front. The rover diff is a bit weak and can be prone to twisting axles, but I've never experienced it myself, except for cars that had welded up solid diffs. The free wheeling hubs usually broke before the axles twisted or the diff broke. Put standard hubs back on - it really wont save you any fuel (you're already supporting the Middle East by driving old landy!). If anything, the front driveshaft splines will wear (poorly lubruicated) if the shaft isn't rotating, and they can be costly to replace. Easy to tell - grab the drive shaft. It'll wobble in one direction, but not right angles to that direction. Never had issues with the gearbox or transfer case (both are pretty damn strong units) but Fairey overdrives overheat - they only carry about 500ml of oil for lubrication and cooling. In general, Landies were meant to crawl over obstacles rather than taking a running jump. 1st gear low range is a very slow walking pace, so you can tie the steering, get out, walk up to the gate, open it, have a cuppa, see the car crawl past, close the gate behind and get back in the car.

    Brakes weren't all that bad - huge drums front and rear. 2 slave cylinders per drum. They never overheated. Early models were prone to dust/mud entry though, and its always worthwhile checking them after wading through slime anyway. Handbrakes were a drum brake on the rear drive shaft that always seemed to get contaminated by gearbox oil (brake dust would attack the seal, seal would leak).

    Choice models were:
    Purist: S1 or S2 with metal BBQ grill
    Hardcore off road: S2a (looks like a S3 outside, but with the hose-out dash of the S2
    Practical: S3 Stage 1 (Although the V8 rover is the weak point...)
    Sensible: County or Defender (one was stronger thasn the other, but I can't remember which)

    There's not much to pick from between the 2 1/4 litre petrol and 2 1/4 litre diesel. Isuzu made a diesel for the S3 as well, which was a sweet little engine too.

    Overall, I love the things, but there are very, very few tracks left (open to the public :wink: ) where you can use the Landies off road capabilities. You can load them up, to huge loads and still get up tracks modern 4WDs wil baulk at. Fuel consumption and the cabin noise makes them expensive and unconmfortable. Finding an really agressive tread to suit the landies capabilities can be a bit difficult too - don't worry about speed ratings or mud flinging capabilities! Landies are easy to work on (think overgrown mechano set, then make it simpler) and adaptable. Oh, yeah, replace the standard metal fan with either a clutched fan or auto fan - the metal fan blades will bend if you push through really deep water and chew your radiator out...but then you can fix that with a pair of pliers or a soldering iron...

    If you want to spend more, look at a Merc 280 or 300GD (more comfortable and full locking diffs straight from the factory). Or a later County/Defender. Or a cruiser or patrol. But they won't be as cool as your very own, overgrown mechano kit!

    Hope all this helps. If you want more details, PM me!


  19. Jeez Neil you bought back some memories now of the green wombat as we used to call the landy.

    The seats, well dad got a set out of my 74 Torana and we welded up a bracket and off you go. Well only the passenger's side because the seat was wider than the original and meant that the driver was offset from the steering wheel. In the end he got a recaro that fitted.

    We installed a tank [we had a LWB] that took up the back, it ran between the "seats' and from front to back. Can't remember how much fuel it took but it was a lot! Did not leave us much leg room in the back!

    Spot on with the Lucas, we rigged up a CB, driving lights and a radio cassette player fairly straight forward although iif memory serves me right we installed a larger alternator? The only prob we had was were to mount all the radios etc. Ended up building a console that sat over the top of the front window, oh remember to pad it! it hurts when you hit it with your head when off road. :shock:

    Because the panels never look straight we used to repaint them with a rattle can or once we used a roller :LOL: :LOL:

    Jeez could this thing go anywhere, just point it at the hill, apply hand throttle and off ya go. The hand throttle was great when we went shooting up at cobar, dad woudl stick it on and jump out of the beast open a gate, wait and close the gate and then jump back in the seat. I steered it from the passenger side. Just don't tell mum!

    I think I loved the truck because it was with my dad, he sadly has gone but will always be known as the Wombat in the Green Wombat!
  20. Neil, I learned plenty with your post! My excuse is that I am younger than most Series 3's. You got the illness badly didn't you!