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When your vintage Land Rover is your everyday ride

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smays Avatar
smays Steve Mays
Jefferson City, Missouri, USA   USA
Since this Series forum doesn't seem flooded with posts, I'll drop another.

My plan is to make my restored truck (1979 Series III) my everyday vehicle. No long trips (I'll rent when that becomes necessary) but I might visit a town 30 miles up the road. My question has to do with driving speeds.

I've been told my truck will top out around 50 mph. Which is fine since I don't have to be on time anymore. But how long can I drive the truck at that speed? I'll stick to the slow lane and smile and wave as passing drivers flip me the bird. I just don't want to be any damaging stress on my motor.

Steve

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offshoretitan Avatar
offshoretitan Scott Edwards
Nashville, Tennessee, USA   USA
You should consider an overdrive from Global Roamer Corp in West Vancouver, BC. Their overdrives are incredibly well engineered and will make your LR much more useful and friendly to drive. The top speed will increase to around 55mph but the biggest benefit is the added ratios for all gears and reduced rpm's required for much of what you wish to do. Be sure to get the transfer case sump cover kit, too.
www.roamerdrive.com

smays Avatar
smays Steve Mays
Jefferson City, Missouri, USA   USA
Thanks for the tip. I'll look into it.

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Correus Avatar
Correus Larry Simpson
Belle Plaine, Kansas, USA   USA
1963 Land Rover Series IIA "Grover"
Hello Steve -

I'm doing the same as you. My daily ride is a '63 SIIa 88 named "Grover". Right now I'm doing a mechanical, off the chassis, rehabilitation - not a concourse restoration. Grover is getting a new coat of paint though.

I work from home so I'll just be toodling around town and in the immediate area. However, I'd like to take Grover on a much longer trip.

Offshoretitan is correct, at some point you might want to look into a Roamerdrive. I plan on getting one, just can't afford it right now - the mechanical rehab is costing more than expected.

I know that Grover was able to maintain a speed of 50-55 mph easily before the rehab. One thing to consider though is the breather system on your Rover. If the axle breathers are plugged, like most of the originals tend to be, the added pressure will cause gear oil leaks at the hubs. I can TESTIFY to this personally! Not long after getting Grover I pushed him really hard on the open highway and went 60 mph for quite a while. The engine did well as did the transmission. Unfortunately my already leaky hub seals didn't fair well at all and I actually blew out the rear differential seal! I was leaking gear oil like a seive!! The culprits were the plugged air breathers. I highly recommend you make sure yours are clear. As for me I am adding a breather system connecting the axles, main gearbox and transfer case to a small snorkel in the engine compartment. Think of it as a miniature version of the plumbing air vents in a house.

BTW - I'm not too far away from you; I'm just south of Wichita Kansas.



Cheers!
Larry
Kansas, USA

'63 SIIa 88 Station Wagon named Grover

Mpudi: So how did the Land Rover get up the tree?
Steyn: Do you know she has flowers on her panties?
Mpudi: So that's how it got up the tree.

smays Avatar
smays Steve Mays
Jefferson City, Missouri, USA   USA
Larry:

Thanks for the info. At this point (don't have the truck yet) I'm too clueless to know what I'm going to do. I'm quite certain I'll have to entrust the maintenance to a local mechanic and think I've found a good one.

You can follow my progress at: http://www.smays.com/2017/06/1979series3landrover/

Wichita! That's only a 5 hour drive. Would love to come over and meet you, see Grover, and buy you a beer. Best to do that while I still have the MINI because i won't be making my truck haul me that far.

Steve Mays

JohnBullsBollocks Don Daufenbach
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA   USA
Hi Steve,

50 sounds a bit slow, honestly. Most petrol series vehicles will do 55-65 MPH. Looking at the picture, however, yours appears to be a 2.25 diesel, which will account for the slower speed. There are many footnotes to that tidbit, however. Over the years, most old Rovers have had different bits cobbled on to them. Later US spec 88 inch vehicles (called NADA - North American Dollar Area) came with 15 inch rims. ROW (Rest Of World) vehicles commonly had 16 inch rims. Speedos and drive gears have been mixed and matched over the years on some vehicles. Different vehicles and wheel size = different speedo. Land-Rover stopped importing Series vehicles into the US in 1974. So, your vehicle will be an import from somewhere. RHD or LHD? Also, a tired, worn engine will not propel the vehicle to maximum top speed.

Series vehicles were never made to go fast! As Scott notes, the addition of an overdrive will lower the noise level in the vehicle and give you a few more mph. If your engine is in good shape, it's not uncommon for a petrol vehicle to pull 70 MPH with the overdrive. There are several overdrives available. Fairey made official accesories for Land Rover over the years, including winches and overdrives. You might be able to find a rebuilt one. Most are pretty tired. Same with TORO overdrives. The Roamerdrive (formerly called the Roverdrive) is still in production up in Canada. Sometimes reconditioned ones are offered for sale at a reduced price.

It was good fortune to NOT purchase a vehicle from Portugal. Vehicles from Spain and Portugal are often "Land Rover" ... but manufactured by Santana in Spain. Later models have very little parts compatibility with British-made Land Rovers. You may have dodged a bullet on that one. Lots of Santana vehicles have been showing up in the US lately. Keep in mind that Santana has been out of business for more than a decade.

I've owned and worked on Series vehicles for over 40 years. I worked as a Land Rover/MG/Triumph/British Leyland mechanic when I was going to college many years ago. I currently have four Series vehicles of my own. I'm an ASE certified technician, but I only work on my own vehicles.

Don

smays Avatar
smays Steve Mays
Jefferson City, Missouri, USA   USA
Good news: "a tired, worn engine will not propel the vehicle to maximum top speed."

My 2.25 diesel engine has been rebuilt so I should be able to go as fast as the truck was designed to go. Fact is, I don't have any need or desire to go very fast. Will be on a divided highway from time to time but think I'll be okay in the slow lane for short (30 mi) trips.

Bad news: "Vehicles from Spain and Portugal are often "Land Rover" ... but manufactured by Santana in Spain. Later models have very little parts compatibility with British-made Land Rovers. You may have dodged a bullet on that one. Lots of Santana vehicles have been showing up in the US lately. Keep in mind that Santana has been out of business for more than a decade."

I believe my Series III was manufactured in Santana. But the guys doing the restoration seem to know what they're doing I'm keeping a good thought.
http://www.smays.com/land-rover-restoration/

Thank you for the information. Very helpful.

Steve

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