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    Thread: Let's talk older Land Rovers - which are the ones to look for?

    1. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 03:05 PM #1
      I like old Landies (especially safari-style Defenders) but I know almost nothing about them beyond that the V8s were based off an old Buick and that reliability is often joked about. Can someone fill me in on what to look for, and the POI/ways to deal with issues?
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    2. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 03:11 PM #2
      in for the results, love me an old landie.
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    3. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 03:51 PM #3
      http://www.series123.com/series1pageusa.html

      http://www.mylandy.com.my/wp-content...uyingguide.pdf

      Couple good sources for old Land Rover Series vehicles. And teh forums here: http://www.discoweb.org/ Are great, too.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    4. Member SuperGroove's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:03 PM #4
      edit: I see you don't want a Range Rover Classic.

    5. Member l88m22vette's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:07 PM #5
      I don't know what I want specifically, I'd just like a nice run-down
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    6. Moderator Harv's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:26 PM #6
      None.
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    7. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:32 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      I don't know what I want specifically, I'd just like a nice run-down
      Well, Land Rover Series/Defenders are quite a bit different than Discos or RR Classics, both in character and pricing. Series trucks are simpler, but much older. Discos share a bit with the Range Rovers but are still considered Land Rovers. Very common and much cheaper to buy, however. Range Rover Classics are second most common, and fairly cheap to get into, but have the worst reputation for reliability (yet can still be fun and reliable if you know what you're doing mechancially).

      Picking one or the other to start with is more a case of interest than making a logical choice.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      09-19-2011 04:32 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      I don't know what I want specifically, I'd just like a nice run-down
      I'm biased but here goes.

      Ergonomics suck
      Durability sucks
      They leak
      Dust gets in everywhere
      They aren't comfortable at all
      You need to be under 5'6" to see out the windshield
      I won't go on.

      I'm curious, why do you want one? There are much better choices that will be cheaper and better in almost every way (except at the Bistro).

    9. Member schwein's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:37 PM #9
      if you are looking at the defenders, be prepared to shell out a pretty penny for even the most trashed example, and upwards of 50k for a nice 96-97 in the right color.

      if you on the other hand are looking at the Discovery or Range Rovers, they are over all nice vehicles from what i understand, besides having a slurry of mechanical and electrical problems and very questionable reliability. my girlfriend had a 96 and a 97 discovery, when she had a wreck in the 96 her dad kept it so that they could use the parts off of it for when the 97 broke down, and quite honestly that was literally every couple of months. other than that i have always loved the look of these trucks, but the upkeep has steered me away.
      Last edited by schwein; 09-19-2011 at 04:40 PM. Reason: misspelling
      Car lounge Rule #1 : "If you don't agree with me then you are clearly wrong."

    10. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:41 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      Can someone fill me in on what to look for, and the POI/ways to deal with issues?
      Look for....well...****, basically everything. If you dearly love fixing cars and want to spend more time with that hobby, they're great. If you're looking for an inexpensive but durable offroader to actually spend significant amounts of time driving, run screaming. They're riddled with odd design choices, outright design flaws, poor sealing, legendarily bad electronics, thirsty engines, odd ergonomics, strange weak points, and their NVH levels are downright Soviet in their magnitude. But they sure are awesome.
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    11. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 04:43 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by CBJ View Post
      I'm biased but here goes.

      Ergonomics suck
      Durability sucks
      They leak
      Dust gets in everywhere
      They aren't comfortable at all
      You need to be under 5'6" to see out the windshield
      I won't go on.

      I'm curious, why do you want one? There are much better choices that will be cheaper and better in almost every way (except at the Bistro).
      was this specifically directed at defenders (in which case i would agree with some) or toward discos (in which case i wouldnt...)


      landroverforums and landroversonly are great disco forums.

      the defenders are mechanically the same as the 5spd discoveries.. for whatever thats worth. theyre wrapped in a much more clunky and utilitarian package though.

      if you get a base SD D1 (find one with a 5spd) for a couple grand, youre looking at a cheap, mechanically straightforward, easy to work on defender for 1/10th the price

      dont buy the first one you see, and try to find something thats not TOTALLY falling apart. i think sometimes these things get a bad rap because someone goes, oh look i can buy an LR for $600! then a month later realizes that its a total basket case (shocker!) and decides that all LRs are crap.


      anyway, get one, then do it up all camel trophy style




      but i guess this is one of those cars thats legendary on this forum for its horridness, so maybe you should just run away now!
      Last edited by ValveCoverGasket; 09-19-2011 at 04:46 PM.

    12. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 05:00 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      was this specifically directed at defenders (in which case i would agree with some) or toward discos (in which case i wouldnt...)


      landroverforums and landroversonly are great disco forums.

      the defenders are mechanically the same as the 5spd discoveries.. for whatever thats worth. theyre wrapped in a much more clunky and utilitarian package though.

      if you get a base SD D1 (find one with a 5spd) for a couple grand, youre looking at a cheap, mechanically straightforward, easy to work on defender for 1/10th the price

      dont buy the first one you see, and try to find something thats not TOTALLY falling apart. i think sometimes these things get a bad rap because someone goes, oh look i can buy an LR for $600! then a month later realizes that its a total basket case (shocker!) and decides that all LRs are crap.


      That happens with a lot of cars, but definitely with Land Rovers/Range Rovers.

      One thing, if it's going to get used offroad at all, dont' bother trying to make it showroom fresh and new. leave some things worn/non functional so long as they are non-critical. Especially on Discos and Classic Range Rovers.

      I keep bringing this one up, but I bought this Classic for $800, had it for a couple years, and sold it for $800 when I moved to a '95 LWB. The SWB was massive fun offroad, even if it was slow on-road, and it was quite reliable, even though I left a few non-critical things wrong with it electrically, and it had a couple rust spots in non-critical areas.



      I took care of teh cooling system and alternator right off, and made sure it had a new battery. Other than that, just drove the piss out of it.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    13. Member Darkness's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 05:27 PM #13
      Can get fun customs built here: http://eastcoastrover.com/
      Probably expensive though.

    14. 09-19-2011 05:29 PM #14
      There are much cheaper ways to practice sadomasochism, if you're into that.

    15. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      09-19-2011 06:49 PM #15
      also... just bumped into this via a link on the LRF
      http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...to-Land-Rovers


      theyre really neat trucks, with the added advantage of the internet rumor mill having apparently killed the resale prices

      cheers

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      09-19-2011 07:14 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      also... just bumped into this via a link on the LRF
      http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...to-Land-Rovers


      theyre really neat trucks, with the added advantage of the internet rumor mill having apparently killed the resale prices

      cheers
      As with any vehicle discussed [and either bashed or praised] it would be interesting if the poster put what kind of experience/ownership of said vehicle they have had.

      I blast mine down the highway, drive it around town without issue and its been in the family since new and beat on for atleast the first 13 years of its life. Now It only sees some mud and fairly easy trails as I dont have a ton of time to drive it.

      On the highway it cruises ok but does have plenty of wind noise.

      It leaks everything. Not enough to need topping off every day, but tiny drops here and there that make a mess off the garage floor over time. The odometer works sometimes. But other then that its been solid.

      I am 5'6 previous owner was 6 foot neither off us have had visibilty issues.

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      09-20-2011 04:39 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      was this specifically directed at defenders (in which case i would agree with some) or toward discos (in which case i wouldnt...)
      Correct Defenders mostly, though I'd be skeptical of the durability on other models to be on the safe side.

    18. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-20-2011 06:13 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      http://www.series123.com/series1pageusa.html

      http://www.mylandy.com.my/wp-content...uyingguide.pdf

      Couple good sources for old Land Rover Series vehicles. And teh forums here: http://www.discoweb.org/ Are great, too.
      Avoid DWeb. Its great for tech (use search) and not much else. The D doesnt stand for Disco really.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Well, Land Rover Series/Defenders are quite a bit different than Discos or RR Classics, both in character and pricing. Series trucks are simpler, but much older. Discos share a bit with the Range Rovers but are still considered Land Rovers. Very common and much cheaper to buy, however. Range Rover Classics are second most common, and fairly cheap to get into, but have the worst reputation for reliability (yet can still be fun and reliable if you know what you're doing mechancially).

      Picking one or the other to start with is more a case of interest than making a logical choice.
      The Disco was based off of the RRC so they share just about everything. I believe even doors can be swapped along with roof panels. The RRC is the better off road driver because of its lower roof line. The safari/ raised rear seating in the Disco makes for a little more weight up high and it shows when on the trail. Both are cheap and both are readily available. Whats not so readily available are good ones. Ive been a Rover owner for years (until relatively recently) and if you decide which one you are looking for, SII, SIIa, SIII, Stage One, Defender, RRC or D1, or D2, I can tell you what to look for (as an actual owner and someone who has worked on many).

      Quote Originally Posted by CBJ View Post
      I'm biased but here goes.

      Ergonomics suck
      Durability sucks
      They leak
      Dust gets in everywhere
      They aren't comfortable at all
      You need to be under 5'6" to see out the windshield
      I won't go on.

      I'm curious, why do you want one? There are much better choices that will be cheaper and better in almost every way (except at the Bistro).
      The above list is good for Series/ Defender trucks. Not so much for the RRC/ D1 and D2. The ergos are actually better than a Cruiser. In fact, an RRC/ D1 and D2 are more comfortable with better lines of sight than an 80 series. The height issue only matters if youre looking for a Series truck. The Defender windscreen is a couple inches taller in height.

      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      also... just bumped into this via a link on the LRF
      http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...to-Land-Rovers


      theyre really neat trucks, with the added advantage of the internet rumor mill having apparently killed the resale prices

      cheers
      Dont bother with ExPo. Theyre a bunch of sheep over there for the most part. Everything is good to them and they bandwagon just about everything. The resale values arent high for a reason. They are a bitch to maintain but they are pretty decent trucks. The suspension is fantastic from the factory and the frames are strong but the axles are so-so and the later motors have issues. Early motors, 3.5 and 3.9, dont have the issues that 4.0 and 4.6s have.

      Although I have a BJ60 currently, another Rover is on my list of things to build. I thought about a Willys build but want 4 doors so I am going to look for a pre 88 RRC to play with. Why that? Pre 88 is basically a Series truck with more comfort. They werent brought into the States officially until 88 but there are grey market ones out there for the taking. Rust is the main thing tough.

      So, what exactly are you looking for?

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