Land Rover Series 2 Buyer's Guide

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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

40+ years old, but some
still in daily use and working for a living. Not expensive to maintain but a serious restoration could prove expensive. Most parts are still readily available. Best models are from the last few years of production 1968-1971 (better gearboxes and wipers, warmer heaters).

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

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4x4 activities

 

4WD
On soft ground, check that 4wd is selected when the yellow knob is pressed whilst driving in high range. Then STOP and pull the red leaver forward to engage low range. The yellow knob should pop up to its original position.
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. The door tops and window runners are liable to rust
. The bulkhead tends to rust in the footwells and at the bottom of the door pillars. Rotten areas can be cut out and sections welded in.
Paintwork is easily restored, dents knocked out and holes filled in.
Brakes
Normally function OK but are dated in their performance.They are easily repaired and adjusted. Check the flexible hoses for cracks and the pipes for corrosion. Poor performance often caused by fluid on the brake shoes.
Chassis
Prone to rust, especially around the outriggers where mud etc is thrown up from the wheels. SWB models have the rear cross member closer to the wheels and hence get more thrown at them. Check around the spring mounting points as these are load bearing areas.
If it has been welded, feel the TOP of the box sections because most of this area cannot be welded effectively without removing the body.
Clutch
If it grabs or slips' then the clutch lining will need replacing whereas 'vibration' or 'juddering' suggests worn propshaft, universal joints, engine mountings or differential. The clutch lining can be replaced without removing the gearbox from the vehicle.

Engine
The Series diesel and petrol 2.25litre engines will run for well over 100,000 miles (160,000km).
After fitting new pistons, rings and bearings for the engine block and valves, springs and oil seals for the cylinder head. The engine will then be reborn.

Parts for the 2.0 litre diesel are hard to find but for the 2.25 petrol and diesel they are plentiful. All Land Rover engines use oil and leak like a sieve. You just have to minimise it as much as possible. But the engine should not smoke.
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 emmisions when the crankcase breather is removed and the engine revs gradually increased. In severe cases oil drops may be thrown out (pistons, rings and rebore needed).
If a diesel engine smokes from a standing start then fuel injectors are faulty of badly adjusted.
Repairing fuel injectors are not a home mechanic's job.

Gearbox
2nd or 3rd gear can jump out when the selectors are worn. Check by pressing and releasing the accelerator repeatedly whilst driving in each gear. A replacement gearbox is generally the better option if available due to the time and effort of repair. Series 2 gearboxes are stronger than Series 3 though the Series 3 has the advantage of synchromesh on all forward gears. There should be no loud rumbling sounds. Listen for unusual sounds when reversing also.
The transfer box does not normally give trouble but check that the low ratio gears work (on soft ground) and there are no unpleasant sounds.
Steering
Excessive free play in the steeering may be reduced by adjustments to the steering box. Check that the steering box and steering relay are mounted securely. The steering ball joints should not show sideways movement when the steering wheel is turned left and right a little with the vehicle stationary.
The chromium-plated swivel housings should not be badly pitted as this will allow oil to leak and bearings and swivel pins to wear. Rocking the jacked up wheel vertically shows up worn swivel pins and rocking horizontally shows up worn wheel bearings. To confirm worn wheel bearings; the movement should not occur when the brakes are applied.
Suspension
Individual leaves should be consistently curved and of equal thickness throughout their length with little rust. The ends of a leaf wear the most quickly. Spring shackles should be about 45 degrees at the rear and near vertical at the front. The vehicle should not lean to one side or sag at any corner.
Transmission
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. It is possible to adjust a differential and fit new thrust washers which may remove the problem. Worn universal joints on the propshaft give the same judder and vibration as a worn diff but are easy and cheap to replace.

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.



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