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Looking at a Series 3 109 today, 4 cylinder


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I have been looking for a fun offroad toy for a few months. Going to look at a 1979 109 today. What should I look for as far as potential problems? Is this particular model something to avoid? We have not owned a Land Rover yet but thought it might be fun to have one for scooting about. Would you buy one as your first LR?

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Definitely have a drive of the 109 first. In comparison to an 88, the turning circle is quite large!

The places to look for corrosion (the killer of Landies) is more or less the same for all Series vehicles and later coil sprung Util models (e.g. 90 and 110).

Start with the chassis. Do not be afraid to take a pointy hammer along with you and be sure to get underneath. Tap away at the chassis from front to back to find any regions of rot. The most common locations for rot on an elderly chassis is the rear crossmember, outriggers and front legs.

If the chassis checks out good enough for you, check over the bulkhead for rot as well. They corrode in the footwells, door pillars (where the hinges are), around the vent flaps and below the windscreen. The front radiator panel can be rotten too along the bottom as it's a fine water trap.

The mechanicals are relatively simple in contrast to the later models.

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Did not make it to the Landy today. Hope to on Wed now. Will look at the frame and thank you for the suggestion. Could you please let me know if there is a particular engine that is considered problematic for the series 3? I believe the one that I am going to look at is the 4 cylinder gasoline engine. Thank you and wish me luck!

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