Land Rover Series 1 Buyer's Guide

sitemap

Buy the Land Rover Series I, II & IIA Essential Buyer's Guide
Having this book in your pocket is just like having a real marque expert by your side. Benefit from the author’s years of Land Rover ownership, learn how to spot a bad vehicle quickly and how to assess a promising one like a professional. Get the right vehicle at the right price!

Illustrated with 100+ photos and written to also serve as an owner's reference of vunerable points to monitor.


Introduction
Land Rover Series I are highly collectable but also very effective offroad performers (particularly if fitted with a V8 engine). The smaller Land Rover engines can bring favourable insurance rates and fuel consumption can be better than the average Series Land Rover. Most parts are available though remanufactured parts can be expensive. Many parts from Land Rover SII and Land Rover SIII vehicles can be utilised.

Test Drive
Check the clutch and handbrake by slowly releasing the clutch pedal whilst the handbrake is on. The engine should show signs of stalling as the clutch engages. Inspect colour of the exhaust fumes: blue suggests engine wear (though could be leaking valve seals), black suggests carburettor problem. During the test, listen for unusual noises and check for leaks on completion.

Inspection

MAIN MENU

Home
Australia  UK USA

Series I
Australia  UK USA

Series II
Australia  UK USA

Series III
Australia  UK USA

Car Hire
Australia  UK USA

Clubs
Australia  UK USA

Gifts
Australia  UK USA

Insurance
Australia  UK USA

Loans
Australia  UK USA

Publications
Australia  UK USA

Service & Repair Centres
UK

Tech Articles

Tools
Australia  UK USA

Visiting Europe?

4x4 activities

Bodywork   Although the bodywork is aluminium-based you need to check for corrosion wherever the aluminium is in contact with another metal e.g. where the body bolts onto the chassis, where wings attached to bulkhead. Check bulkhead (£500+ replacement) and footwells (commonly well rusted).
Check doors for cracks and hinges for wear. Any damage around door striker plate?
Inspect the hood and its supports for rot,
check the hoodsecuring clips are all there.
Rain channels on the A post pillars rust easily.
Check also for filler-based repairs.
     
Chassis   Front chassis legs corrode but can be replaced.
Outriggers may be corroded but can be fabricated or remanufactured ones bought.The cross member behind the gearbox is often corroded.
Rear cross member should be inspected for rust.
     
Electrics   Lights, trafficators(if fitted) and horn should function. Check physical condition and functioning of lights carefully.
Voltage regulator should not show signs of being overheated.
Wiper motors can be weak (can substitute SII units).
Dynamo can be upgraded to SII or SIII alternator.
     
Interior   Check instruments are correct and working (ammeter should show battery is charging).
Maybe cracks in steering wheel. Seatbox may also be cracked.
Check condition and originality of upholstery.
     
Engine & Gearbox  

Listen for tappet noise (maybe wear in rocker gear or camshaft)
Check for oil in the coolant and vice versa.Carburettor is a known weak area and not as reliable as the engine.
The 2 litre petrol engine fitted prior to 1956 (non staggered bores) tends to blow its head gasket regularly.
The 2 litre diesel engine has a history of cracked cylinder heads.
SII and SIII engine and gearbox are a straight swop into 1954-58 vehicles (earlier models need chassis modifications).
Gearbox has oil level dipstick - check it.
The gearbox should generally be OK when coupled to the original 1.6 or 2litre engine.
Upto 1950 the transfer case used a freewheel unit for drive to the front axle. It was operated by pulling a floor-mounted chain or yellow lever.

     
Misc  

Steering box will be worn (can substitute SII or SIII unit but extra mods needed for 80" models).Brake shoes are the same as for SII and SIII upto the early 1980's.
Except for the 80", all models can use the petrol tank from a SII or SIII military vehicle.

Buy the Land Rover Series I, II & IIA Essential Buyer's Guide
Having this book in your pocket is just like having a real marque expert by your side. Benefit from the author’s years of Land Rover ownership, learn how to spot a bad vehicle quickly and how to assess a promising one like a professional. Get the right vehicle at the right price!

Illustrated with 100+ photos and written to also serve as an owner's reference of vunerable points to monitor.

 

top of pageSeries 1