Land Rovers

barefoot dave

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A Primer/ Discussion for Land Rovers and we who are afflicted ;)
This is not intended to be the font of all knowledge for Rovers but an intro to the types available and some of there quirks.
Let us start by stating that I am open and honest about LR and its failings in design, execution and 'customer service' from its distributors.
I am happy to discuss facts and myths in the interests of information.
If you want to jump in and Bash away and "those crap Rovers" or spruik about how awesome anything with a Toyota badge is, then expect to be asked to answer this question: "How many and for how long did you own or operate them?"

Disclaimer etc ad nauseum

I have no affiliation with LR or Independant Lr specialists
I have spent a number of years in the ADF operating and living with several different models of the 'Perentie' Land Rover (more here: http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?4497-Australian-army-s-parentie ).
I have written a Buyers Guide to these ex-military rovers but am not writing this thread as a sly promotion. If I was, I would answer all queries vaguely and refer you to my website, wouldn't I?
I am the first to admit that I do not know everything and I am still learning. Only late last year I had the privelidge of meeting the original engineer of LR, Arthur Goddard, and having some myths dispelled!
I am not a mechanic, just an enthusiast with a fair amount of real-world experience with bush mechanicin'

I won't be covering the Range Rover models here. They are all competant and capable vehicles but need a fair amount of adaptation to become what most see as a 'Bush'vehicle. similarly, I won't cover anything newer than 2003 Model Years.

In LR speak, 80, 86, 88, 90, 107, 109, 110, 120, 127 and 130 all refer to the wheelbase in inches.

So: LR models.

Series 1: Maurice Wilks, head designer for the Rover car company, had a surplus Jeep at his estate. loved its simplicity and effective 4WD system but loathed how it rusted away so rapidly in the sunny climes of England.
At this time Rover was languishing in, the still rationed, post war Britain. Management was looking for a model or models to drag them up from the pre-war designs they were still selling.
These factors influenced the concept of a utilitarian vehicle with off road ability that could still be driven to town on errands.
Inspired by the Jeep drivetrain, indeed the early prototypes were built on Jeep chassis, they set about fixing the Jeep failings and adding even more utility.
This fact never fails to elicit a lively response from a classic Jeep owner :pugno:
Due to steel shortages and the need for faster and lighter aeroplanes, the knowledge of aluminium had leapt forward at the end of the war.
A new alloy marketted as 'Birmabright' had been created and was chosen as the non-rusting skin for the Land Rover.

Myth 1: Aluminium was used as there was excess, cheap, stocks of Aircraft Ally available.
Wrong, Birmabright was specifically chosen for is resitance to corrosion, ease of shaping and reapairability.

A centres steer prototype was considered and tested.

Myth 2: They were marketting to farmers and this layout mimiced tractors.
Bleh! Rover were eying the export (LHD) markets and explored making one model for the whole world.
It was shelved as it limited the vehicle to a 1+2 seating arrangement.

Originally produced as an 80 then later as an 88 between 1948-1958 until the Series 2 was released.
They were also fitted with a Power Take Off (PTO) system to drive farm impliments so farmers could buy one vehicle for farm and town. Not intended to replace large machinery, it was for the smaller landholder.
Engine was a 1.6l, Petrol 4 cyl rated at 37kW
1952, a 2.0l engine was introduced.
1954, 80 stetched to 86 and a 107 ute introduced.
1956, the addition of a 107 wagon with 10 seats,
The introduction of a physically larger Diesel engine required a further chassis extensiont to 88 and 109, respectively.
1957, 2.0l diesel introduced. 39 killer wasps!!

There was a very Rare, Tickford bodied 7 seat, station wagon model released for the Landed Gent who wanted something a little less agricultural to drive. They are quite elegant for a tractor! Leather seats and even a Heater!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1948_Land_Rover_80_Tickford_Estate_Heritage_Motor_Centre,_Gaydon.jpg

It is worth pointing out that a number of Series 1 Rovers were used in the early days of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme.
They were there before the roads went in.
Toyotas were brought in later to finish the work LR started.
Toyota has made good mileage in the past with ad campaigns based on its assosiation the the SMHES, but WE know the truth ;)
Infamous for being underpowered and having toothpicks for axles. These issues dogged LR until the Series III.

Series II, 88 and 109:

1958- 1961:
2.0lt and the new 2.25lt (LR speak: 2 1/4)
12 seat option for 109.

Series IIa 1961- 1971
2.25 diesel 4 cyl added. Highly regarded.
With the advent of Jap 4wd being released with 6 cyl engines, market pressure forced the release of a 2.6lt petrol 6cyl. widely regarded as a bad move. unloved and now rare to find. Mostly converted to Holden grey and Red sixes.

These vehicles accounted for approx 90% of 4WD sales here.
The IIa marks the limited production of Forward Control (FC) LRs.
These were 109s with the Cab moved forward over teh enginebay to increase the tray length.
FCs were popular with the military. Australia used them until the '80s.

Series III. 1971- 1985
All synchro gearbox. Retained the 2.25 petrol and Diesel angines and limited numbers of the 2.6/ 6cyl. The 4cyls were updated with a 5 bearing crankshaft as outputs increased.
Heavier duty differentials and axles used. Later SIIIs had a Salisbury rear diff.
SIII also saw the introduction of the HCPU or High Capacity Pick Up. A one tonner with a larger tray to make the most of the increased GVM
'Stage 1' vehicles had optional 3.5lt, Biuc designed, All alloy v8 engine. Australia only had the option of a 3.9lt. 4cyl Isuzu Diesel engine.
All Stage 1 also had the LT95 gearbox. This box was a stronger design, originally used on v8 FCs. It had an integral transfer case rather than a one attached to the side. LT is NOT Light Truck but Leyland Transmission. The '95'suffix indicates the distance in mm between the input and intermediate shafts in the box. Bigger number= more metal= more strength.
Lesser vehicles used the LT85
The 'Stage' name was used as part of an modernisation plan for LR. Stage 1 was the introduction of greater GVM and more powerful engines.
Stage 2 was the updating of suspension from Leaves to Coils. Jap manufactures took another 12 years to catch up to this!
The Isuzu Stage 1 formed the basis for the LRA (Australia) tender for the recently announced 'Perentie' trials for a family of vehicles to replace the ADFs aging fleet of Crusiers and Series LRs.
I'll post more detail on the Perenties in the Perentie thread linked at the top of this page.

In 1982, the 'County' name was introduced. Commenly misunderstood as the vehicle name, it actually refers to the specification level.
Cloth trim, padded dash, soundproofing. Aimed at the 'lifestyle' market. And so it begins :(

90, 110, 127, 130.1983-1989
Effectively the Stage 2.
Very similar to the SIII but with Copil springs, more powerful engines and greater comfort.
The Duel cab Ute (DCU) 110 stretched to 127"wheelbase was a Work vehicle with a 1.5t payload and 6 seats. Popular in the exploration and mining industries.
1986. FINALLY some real torque! Turbo added to the 2.5 diesel engine.Now over 200nM.
Early engines sufferd from a series of woes with cracked blocks and pistons. Design fixed by 1989.
Used LT77 and Lt85, 5 speed gearboxes
With the release of the Ground Breaking Discovery in 1989, the 'Defender' moniker was attached to the wheelbase numerals to differentiate them.
Body wise, hardly anything changes from here until the ultimate demise of the Defender Model in Late 2014.

1989 maked a watershed year for Land Rover. With the release of the Discovery they provided another option between the Utilitarian 110 and the Toffs Range Rover.
This vehicle brought a surge of sales amd market share, particularly in the North American market that continues today. It is also considered the eventual death-knell for the 'Shed- class' Landrover as economies of scale and 'Branding' dictate what lives and what dies.
From here in, until the Discovery3, the Rovers share engines and manual gearboxesm. Discovery gets new engine first and Defender a little later.

Discovery (1)
Using many parts and features of the Range Rover.
100 inch mid-wheelbase, a nice balance of on-road stability and off road ramp over angle.
Engines: 3.5l v8 or the new TDi200. An evolution of hte existing 2.5lt Turbo diesel. Now with an alloy head, Oil vapour separation system and a number of other features, put out 260+nM.
The TDi later evolved into the 300, a further fine tuning of the design.
Manual or Auto with the normal LR transfer case with locking centre differential.
The Disco was initially released as a 3 door, 5 seater. Then later as a 5 door only with optional 7 seats.
An early Disco makes a great bush vehicle if you don't need the size or load carrying of a Defender/ 110 and if you (or the navigator) wants or needs a little extra comfort.
The extra interior trim (particulary in the load area) can be removed to add a few extra cubic feet of space!

Defender 90, 110 and 130, 1989-2014.
Shared the manual drivelines of the Disco. No auto option
130 is still 127"just a neater name.
Saw the introduction of the 110 DCU.

1998: the introduction of the new TD5 Storm' engine.
Myth 1: it is a BMW engine.
Wrong. LR engineers designed a modular family of engines. a TD4 as a base model, TD5 for Defender and Disco, TD6 for Rangies.
BMW bought LR and decided to keep only the TD5
Myth 2: it is a hand grenade engine like the Nissan ZD30.
Meh! They have their little quirks, but with a little preventitive maintanance they are strong and reliable. Some are getting serious torque numbers with light mods.

The Defender Spec TD5 uses an Engine Control Unit (ECU) to control the unitary injectors and Emissions equipment only. The injection system is a midway design between the external mechanical injection and the new common-rail systems.
It uses a high pressure, 2 stage, external electric lift pump near the tank and cam actuated fuel pressurisation system on the injector tops to raise injection pressures to 15-20 000psi.
This results in a much cleaner fuel burn, better power and better economy.

2007; new owner Ford, substitutes its Transit van engine, the 2.4lt diesel inplace of the TD5. More powerful and economical, the 'Puma' did suffer from a few transitional niggles
Later down sized to the current 2.2lt capacity.
This will be the last engine that the Defender, as we know it, will have.
Tighter emission and crash (particularly pedestrian safety) rules mean that the last one will roll off the production line at the end of 2014/ early 2015.

Discovery 2 1998- 2005
The LR enters the electronic age.
Electronic throttle (Drive by wire)
Electronic Engine control
Electronically controlled Automatic gearbox with electronic torque convertor lockup
ABS, Hill descent control (HDC), Electronic Traction control (ETC), Self Levelling Suspension (SLS,rear air bag suspension) and the optional game changer: ACE. Active Cornering Enhancement.
A system of hydraulic pump and rams attached to the suspension to increase/ decrease roll resistance and de-couple completely in off-road situation.
In short, Active suspension! Rare in any vehicles until now, let alone a 4WD.
Drives like a car or 4wd depending on your need.
Early vehicles (1999-2001 in Oz) still retained the Centre DIff Lock (CDL) but it was not actuated by anything. Leftover stock from late D1s. 2001-2003 it was deleted all together.
LR believed that the ETC was good enough without needing CDL. Mostly. In sand it was crap due to the ETC applying the brakes in a reverse ABs fashion and the autobox limiting torque.
Due to customer demand, CDL was reintroduced in the D2a update in late 2003.

This level of complexity has been expensive for some and not a bother for others.
For me, it makes the Disco too easy to drive so I have gone 'back' to a Perentie, amongst other reasons.
The purchase of a diagnostics computer that can read and alter the systems is a MUST. $500-1000 depending on what you get. If keeping the vehicle, this will save you~$80 a go to have your 'check engine' light switched off and one of 200 faults ID'd for you.
LR is not alone in this manner. Most new vehicles suffer from the same or much worse issues.

In conclusion (for now)
LRs are not rust proof, they ARE particularly prone in the firewall and doors
They are not bomb proof. They reward opertors as opposed to ham-fisted knuckle heads.
LR knows gear ratios. Choose the right gear and driving line and you will see why LR has never but anything larger tna a 3.9l engine in their early vehicles.

I hope this helps.
Dave.
 

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Great thread Dave.
Some famous Australian landrover users were Len Beadell, They Leyland brothers and Les Hiddens.
 

Wildfire

Ray Mears
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You're a wealth of information Dave! Cheers for this thread very interesting read! I love my Perentie don't know how I lived without it! :)
 

Mickldo

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I am a 4wd Mechanic and I absolutely hated Land Rovers. I then got a job maintaining a fleet of 4wds that were mostly LR's. I now have a very healthy respect for LR's. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Land Cruiser and will never swap it for a Land Rover but I now appreciate LR's for what they are rather just hating them because of stories I'd heard or the limited experience I'd had with them before.

Sure they are uncomfortable to drive unless you don't have a left knee and are missing your right elbow too but there is a lot of features on the Rovers that I do really like.

The door being so close to the drivers seat will bruise your elbow every time but in low range with your arm and head hanging out the window it allows you to get a good view of where you are placing your wheels.

The handbrake lever is a pain in the left knee but the transmission mounted handbrake is one of the best on the market.

I love the constant 4wd, coil springs and 4 wheel discs (I own a HZJ105 GXL cruiser with constant 4wd, coil springs and 4 wheel discs too).

Sure, they have the aerodynamics of a brick but the vertical windows don't let sun in at noon like other cars with sloping windows so they stay cooler in the sun.

The vents let in air flow which can better than air con in some situations.

On the series LR's with their set back radiators it looks like there is a lot wasted engine bay space gone wanting but it actually allows the front wheels to be further forward to give a better approach angle, it protects the radiator during a animal strike, provides a good spot for a winch and the pre series III grilles double up as BBQ grilles!

There are a heap more things but that is all I can think of right now.
 

Mickldo

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I knew as soon as I'd posted I'd remember another couple of things.

Safari roof models have another layer of roof above the standard one and have an air gap in between to insulate you from the sun better.

The bases of the front seats come out easily so you have comfy camp stools at all times.

Defenders (and Discos and Rangies) with constant 4wd have and "8" pattern transfer lever with hi and low range as well as centre diff locked or unlocked in either range. Most other 4wds with constant can't unlock the centre diff in low range. This is handy for low speed manoeuvrings on hard surfaces such as reversing a boat trailer down a boat ramp.

There is no raised sill on the floor so when you finish a deep water crossing the water drains out fully without pooling.

The front floor and transmission tunnel are screwed in so make it easy to remove to access for repairs (I could make a LR reliability joke here......).

Bonnets are on quick release hinges so they can come completely off easily.
 

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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I find even without the safari roof on my defender the mostly vertical windows stop the cabin becoming a hothouse in the
heat of the day and you don't have to worry about hail storms breaking glass, any hail dents to the metalwork just add character.
 

Mickldo

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The flat panels on the Land Rover are distinctive but not having any curve allows the panels to "oil can" and dent easily.

The Land Rovers I used to maintain belonged to one of the 4wd hire mobs for Fraser Island. We had 40 hire cars and most of them were Landys. There were a couple of Series III ex-armies, a couple of Defender 110s, a 130 HCPU and a heap of custom made 130 soft tops. We used to get 130's and strip them back to the bare chassis. We'd rip all panels off the frames, galvanize the frames and then reskin the panels in 2mm aluminium. To make the soft top we made special extra long rear quarter panels, new floors, etc. Even though we made up heavy duty panels the backpackers still used to wreck them on a regular basis.

Speaking of backpackers...... We used to have to replace so many burnt out clutches the other mechanic and I used to be able to replace a clutch on a Defender in under an hour. Our best time was 57min from pushing the 130 on the hoist to driving it back off under its own power. Helps when you have all the right gear and lots of spares in stock.

I used to have to go over to Fraser Island to do a recovery about once a week. Even more often in the busy season. Burnt out clutches, blown gearboxes, blown diffs, blown motors. I'd say 99% of the time it was driver (backpacker) error rather than anything wrong with the car. I've never seen so many people who can't drive.
 

Glass-half-full

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G'day Dave,
I to own a perentie and after selling my 08' 130 I left my partner scratching her head as to why.
But I wouldn't have it any other way it really is great to drive and work on. I was bitten by the Landy bug while in the adf also, this is my 3rd defender and by far the best. I follow a lot of your post on other forums in regards to landys and can say from experience if there is something Dave doesn't know about these cars it probably isn't worth knowing.
Benimage.jpg
 

Blake

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G'day Dave,
I to own a perentie and after selling my 08' 130 I left my partner scratching her head as to why.
But I wouldn't have it any other way it really is great to drive and work on. I was bitten by the Landy bug while in the adf also, this is my 3rd defender and by far the best. I follow a lot of your post on other forums in regards to landys and can say from experience if there is something Dave doesn't know about these cars it probably isn't worth knowing.
BenView attachment 20458
Great first post Ben. Love the perenite!
 

barefoot dave

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G'Day Ben/ GHF. Thanks for the kind words.
I recognise your vehicle. Going well?

Natue, which 6x6? More information please?
BFD
 

barefoot dave

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still no real clarification...
6x6 landrovers have been built for a few years in the UK, Sandringham Motors the most prolific. There were also the 'TAC R' (mainly fire trucks) Range rovers.
The Perentie 6x6s were scratch built after the above designs were tested and proved lacking. The Perentie 6x6 is a fully bespoke design with custom wide body on a widened chassis.
Again, please be more specific about what you need to know or google it.
Cheers, Dave.
 

beasto

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I am a Toyota man, not ashamed to say it. But I do like the land rovers and look forward to owning one. Strangly enough it has been Landrover owners that have talked me out of owning one. But thanks for the info. You fellas have covered many of my questions and a great deal more.
 
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