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Series 3 88wheelbase build and advice.


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Evening everyone. I hope everyone is well and coping. 
 

I am about to start a build on a series 3 88inch. Diesel. 
I’m building as a gift for my mum who’s wanted one for a long time for when she moves to France and bomb about on the fields and roads now and again. 
im looking at building it properly. Experience wise I have rebuilt defenders and discovery’s but never a series. 
iv read different stories on the issues you can have with series vehicles. Never put me off though. 
I have a few questions. 


Can someone explain the issues with the front drive system and the locking hubs and is there a way round it. Apparently the diff and drive shafts are prone for breaking. apparently the UJ’s are not always up to the job. If so is it advisable to have cv joints and is there a kit for this type of thing ?
 

We have a 2.25 Diesel engine which I will be fully rebuilding  but no transmission as yet.  Is there any recommendations you guys would advise to look out for or change along the way?  

any advice or things you would recommend to do along the way is welcome if you please.

please no one put a downer on the project   It’s something I’m looking forward to doing and want to do it properly and have it last. Iv never done a series before. 

many thanks in advance everyone  

Chris 

 

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Front axle will be fine as it is, especially with the wheezy little, if not charismatic, 2.25. they are more than up to the job, unless you have big tyres, permanent 4x4 and more power. Don't bother with freewheeling hubs, waste of time.

Probably spend some money on suspension, parabolics for comfort.

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2 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

Front axle will be fine as it is, especially with the wheezy little, if not charismatic, 2.25. they are more than up to the job, unless you have big tyres, permanent 4x4 and more power. Don't bother with freewheeling hubs, waste of time.

Probably spend some money on suspension, parabolics for comfort.

Hi Bowie69. Thank you for your response, I think you’ve helped me previously also.  
I was  looking at keeping the standard tyres on. Not looking to upgrade the power. However I was under the impression the freewheeling hubs are what turn it into 4 wheel drive when needed. Am I wrong there ? This would be needed. The 4 wheel drive I mean. There’s some pretty awkward obsticals at the minute to get to the fields.  

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The series didn't come fitted with free wheel hubs as standard, just normal drive flanges. The 2WD-4WD shift is done with the transfer box lever/plunger. In low range it is always 4WD, and high range is 2WD unless you push the yellow knob down.

 

 

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Ahhh. That would make sense. Thank you.  Are the series gearboxes in your opinion pretty bullet proof. ? Some say they are but some say they rubbish. I was assuming bad due to not being maintained right or abused. 

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Just now, Bowie69 said:

Yeah, especially behind a 2.25 diesel.

Brilliant. At least I know which way to go with it.  Is the series 3 gearbox and transfer box used in any other Land Rover? Just so I know what I am looking for when buying. 

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Standard 2.25 diesel Series SWB are actually quite good and with some parabolics and decent shocks a very nice drive. The FWH were an option to save fuel while in "paved road mode" but if forgotten to engage from time to time not good for the various lubricated bits (diff / UJ's). IF you're used with Defenders and Disco's the Series will not be too difficult. 

A driver can destroy anything but in normal use the Series will do nicely. Any pictures yet ?

IF France is the plan, make sure you have your paperwork more than good as otherwise getting a "Carte Grise" will be a challenge. Vehicle needs to be as it left the vehicle.

 

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2 minutes ago, Arjan said:

Standard 2.25 diesel Series SWB are actually quite good and with some parabolics and decent shocks a very nice drive.

A driver can destroy anything but in normal use the Series will do nicely.

Any pictures yet ?

IF France is the plan, make sure you have your paperwork more than good as otherwise getting a "Carte Grise" will be a challenge.

 

Thanks for the advice Arjan.  No pics as of yet, but will be taking some. I’m picking the engine up this weekend. Very excited to get started. 

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I have a heavy 109 with standard transmission behind a Tdi and it was absolutely fine for years until I did something stupid.  As long as it’s in good condition, the Series III transmission is perfectly adequate for the standard engines and quite happy behind Tdis and V8s with double the power and torque.  The transfer box is very robust.

There is a myth that the SII box is stronger than the SIII, and it’s possible that the SIII first and second synchro is weaker than the crash gears of the SII unit, but the casings and bearings of both generations are identical and the SIII has a far stronger, one-piece lay shaft.  The SII layshaft can shear where the retaining clips grooves have sharp sectional changes that concentrate stresses.  Not generally a problem unless driven hard by a Tdi or V8, though.

The axles are the same in both and are ok.  The rear axle would benefit from strengthened shafts from someone like Ashcroft, but the diff is ok unless you plan extremely tough off-roading or heavy towing. 
 

I haven’t tried the single circuit, non-assisted brakes of earlier models, but the standard dual line servo assisted systems as fitted to my 1980 Lightweight are very capable and don’t need alteration, and the steering is well up to the job on a lightly loaded 88” on standard wheels and tyres.  If you fit oversized tyres, offset rims or spacers, then the steering will get heavier and your mum might need some mechanical help.  But it doesn’t sound like you intend to muck about with the wheels and tyres anyway.  But the steering is light and reasonably precise if in good order - the reputations for bad brakes and steering are very unfair and brought about only by gross negligence of gash owners.

For pottering about, she’d probably find decent quality two-leaf parabolic springs and standard dampers ideal, as they don’t seize up with rust like the standard springs if not used hard.
 

A petrol model, even without sound proofing, is not a noisy place to be.  Diesels are a bit noisy, even with sound proofing.  Tdi retrofit examples are quite harsh, even with lots of sound proofing.

In all, it’s a very realistic proposition.  It might be worth adding electronic ignition to a petrol engine to reduce any reliability issues and improve fuel economy a bit - Fridge Freezer, Gazzar, and a few others can guide you with that.

 

 

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Yes, this is for your Mother right? Somehow I'm thinking, 'Little 'ole lady from Pasadena' she won't be. In stock form there's nothing to worry about. A few modern touches ....  radio and heated-screens for winter, but for putterin' about - not much else.

Edited by Landrover17H
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Defender seats are a really easy fit, as long as you get the types with only one bolt hole on each end of the seat rails - they bolt straight in using the existing bolt holes exposed when you remove the steel channels that support the basic seat squabs.  You can use the earlier or post 2007 later types with equal ease.  If the heater is reconditioned with a new matrix and the rest of the system is repaired so that there are no holes, then it provides adequate heat, but I’m sure she’d appreciate heated seats in winter if she’s going to be in northern France.  The Exmoor Trim heater kits are good for that.  The MudStuff.co.uk mirror heaters are very good, and I have been impressed with the Devin 4x4 heated front screens - they not only are effective in clearing the screens of condensation, but also prevent exterior condensation and active frost, and allow the cabin heater to warm the driver rather than the screens.  So, while a bit of a luxury, for an older person, they are a huge benefit to the safety and usability of the vehicle.  Of course, if she is living near sea level in the south, it isn’t an issue! 

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I think you are best starting from the other end.  If you want to import and register it for road use in France you need to find out what their requirements are.  They may not like the idea of importing a non standard vehicle.

As far as building a vehicle anything is possible but whether you can get it through the French requirements is different.

On the S2 forum (and on here) there are members with land rovers who are french or are english and live in France.  Seek their advice.

 

Peter

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I presume you are going to build it up as left hand drive.  There are a few bits that are specific to which side the driver is on, including the instrument binnacle, the steering column, hand brake lever, gear stick, lower dash, heater blower casing and maybe the matrix housing (maybe you can fit the matrix in the same housing facing the opposite side?).  It’d be easier to source a LHD base vehicle than convert one.

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I had a reason to look at the export of a Land Rover to France - and despite both UK and France being members of the EU it seems as though the regualtions (which may -or their interpretation may vary from place to place) date from the days when anything foreign was treated with suspicion.

 

There are some websites - with titles like exporting your classic to france which are helpful.  Also worth checking that a Land Rover is considered as a classic.  It has a peculiar place in some of our legistaltion - a special definition of a 'dual purpose' vehicle was created to get it out of commercial vehicle speed limits in the early 50's

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In France, an imported Vehicle needs to be as it left the factory according to the chassisnumber - not your V5.

No fuel type changes, RHD => LHD conversions are an issue to name a few..

The CoC is to be issued by LR France (https://www.landrover.fr/Images/Formulaire-Clients-Land-Rover-imports-VO_tcm286-681213.pdf) for most vehicles - even Series. For really ancient Series you may end up with the Historic Vehicles Ass. and in that case the vehicle needs to be 100 % as it left the factory according to the VIN.

I will not to mention that rather inconvenient minor event to take place it seems later this year that could make it even more fun...

 

Converting a Series to LHD is not difficult - it just costs money (and time) for some rather obscure parts to do it properly. And some are hard to get like correct wings, handbrake traverse rods, instrument panels, correct Bulkheads, steeringhouse to name a few. Also, not all chassis have a provision for a steering relay on the LH side.

So, if you already have a project vehicle, see what the VIN tells you and decide if that is what the vehicle will look like in the end when it is in France. If it is different you could get into trouble and reconsider. You may want to consider getting a French registered Series and rebuild that - within the French limits.

 

Before you ask - I live in France, have imported too many vehicles, make a living out of paperwork and it is getting more and more difficult, not to mention expensive, to immatriculate one. Even modern ones.

Bon Courage !

 

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Sounds to me like you want to go over to France, and pick up a vehicle there and avoid all this complexity.

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The next question must be 'Is it easier from another European country than UK - and for that matter to get a UK vehicle into another country and then into France.'

Strange really as apparently due to the wonderful single market all vehicles are supposed to comply with a common set of build standards - but registering in another country apparently causes problems.   No comment!

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No, same rules apply.

Most Continental vehicles will be LHD - but you still need CoC etc.

Single Market and vehicle homologation are different things.

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