Land Rover Series 3 bodywork is
aluminium but you need to check for corrosion
wherever the aluminium is in contact with the
chassis or bulkhead. Doors and windows at the bottom tend to rust, also the lower area
and around the door hinges. If the bulkhead is badly rusted then the body will probably need
to be removed to repair/replace it.
Maybe non Land
Rover seats have been fitted. Check that
they and the seat belts are secure.
Look for areas
of the chassis where rust damage has been
repaired or replaced. Check the rear cross-member,
outriggers and above the bump stops (subject to
stress). Feel the top of the box sections for
corrosion and weakness. If rust is extensive,
don't buy unless the cost of repair is allowed
for in the selling price.
Test the 4WD is working and to see if a non-standard Land Rover
differential has been fitted in the rear axle
to improve fuel economy.
A Land Rover engine should give good service above 100,000
miles. Listen for even running and for knocking.
Occasional blue smoke may be due to leaking valve
stem oil seals but continuous blue smoke could
be worn piston rings and bores.
Test drive the gearbox, including the low
ratio gears. Listen for unusual sounds as you
drive in each gear. Check the gear selectability.
The SIII gearbox is not as strong as the SII.
1st and 2nd gear often show wear and can jump
out of gear as they get older. On test driving
the Land Rover, press the accelerator and release
it in each gear to check if the gear jumps out.
broken or damaged springs. Individual leaves
should be a uniform thickness throughout. The
Land Rover should sit level. Look around the spring
mountings for cracks or repairs - rusting in this
area is dangerous.
amount of steering wheel freeplay is OK
but if excessive then major steering component
replacement may be necessary.
Check for movement in the propshafts. It
could be a worn universal joint or the differential needs replacing. Maximum turn allowable is 1/4.
For more details on the
points to check, visit the series123.com Series
3 Land Rover buyer's guide.
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