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Buyer's Guides

June 2006 Homepage (UK/Europe)

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Buying a Series II/IIa Land Rover - Buyer's Guide

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Series 3 Land Rover

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The price of a Series Land Rover generally reflects it's condition rather than it's age. An older model can be more expensive simply because a higher degree of restoration has been undertaken.
Land Rovers often lead a hard life: condition of paintwork and body are not necessarily indicators of poor reliability. Appearance is easily restored.
Whilst most of the body is aluminium, the engine bulkhead, chassis, door pillars and door tops are steel and corrode.These areas need to be inspected to determine if welding and/or replacement is needed.
Chassis condition is critical to health. The outriggers and the rear cross member are most often corroded. 88" models have most corrosion in the rear of the chassis.
The Land Rover Series diesel and petrol 2.25litre engines will run for well over 100,000 miles (160,000km). Engine tuning for the petrol engine is not difficult and only when oil consumption is significant is an engine rebuild necessary. Listen to the engine for low knocking sounds (worn crankshaft bearings). If present, then an engine rebuild is recommended.
A worn diesel engine will produce increasing pressure of emissions when the crankcase breather is removed and the engine revs gradually increased. In severe cases oil drops may be thrown out (rebuild needed).
If a diesel engine smokes from a standing start then fuel injectors are faulty of badly adjusted.
A 'grabbing' or 'slipping' clutch suggests replacement and 'vibration' or 'juddering' suggests worn propshaft, universal joints, engine mountings or differential.
Check the gearbox doesn't jump out of 2nd or 3rd when the accelerator pressed and released repeatedly whilst driving. A replacement Land Rover gearbox is generally the better option if available due to the time and effort of repair. Series 2 gearboxes are stronger than Series 3.
Check the 4wd mechanism works correctly.
Check for a worn differential by trying to turn the prop shaft by hand when the vehicle has the wheels securely chocked and the handbrake off. One quarter turn is the most allowed, otherwise replace the diff.
Expect a little free play in the steering but the need for constant correction whilst driving indicates worn components.
The chromium-plated swivel housings should not be badly pitted. They are expensive and time consuming to replace.
The brakes should work but are easily repaired and adjusted. Check the flexible hoses for cracks and the pipes for corrosion.
Springs should be of even thickness throughout and the Land Rover should sit level on flat ground. Rear shackles should be at 45 degrees and the front ones nearly vertical.
For more details on the points to check, visit the Series 2 Land Rover buyer's guide.

Land Rover Series 2

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