NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Tips for Land Rover newbies  (Read 11944 times)

ladyK

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Tips for Land Rover newbies
« on: November 12, 2014, 09:43:25 am »
Just acquired a Land Rover pick up truck - just the thing I was looking for, good condition for the age (88 reg) and (I think) at a reasonable price. :excited:
Catch iswe  have to pick it up 180 miles away this weekend. Second catch is neither me nor OH know anything about Landys nor have ever driven one... ::)
I'd be really grateful for any tips on operation, maintenance or anything that's good to know really from you wonderful experienced TAS people. All advice very welcome (though too late now for any advice against).
 :thumbsup:

(If you are wondering why we bought one when we are so clueless, it's simply a matter of wanting a proper farm vehicle (also doubling up as a trailer) that would fit our cramped yard and steep drive, and a compact Landy pickup just seemed to fit that, both size and shape-wise.)
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)
Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 11:26:08 am »
I test drove our first Landrover series 3 down the Dalkeith road in Edinburgh in the rush hour.  I had never driven one before.  Steering those things is a learned art, and I hadn't learnt it at that point  :o  It was a very hairy progress, dodging double decker buses, school kids, parked cars and every other potential disaster in a city, with steering which was very much a case of point and hope.  I survived it and fell in love with GUS in the process (reg number is GUS 81T but we've shortened gusset to Gus  :roflanim:) so presented it to Mr F as a done deal.  We now have three (another series 3 and an 80" series 1  :love:)    Is yours a Defender?  I'm sure they'll have better steering.  You'll have learnt the tricks in 180 miles anyway.
Watch your chassis and bulkhead - very susceptible to corrosion, but every spare you can imagine is available out there.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 12:14:04 pm »
Welcome to the Landy club (you poor sod!  ;D ).

Driving them is very different from driving a car. Expect lots of steering wheel movement for not much actual steering, and spongy brakes as standard. Also beware of your blind spot when changing lane. My Landy is a panel van, which makes this particularly critical, since glancing back over your shoulder only reveals plywood! Likewise, when turning right, you'll lose visibility to the left very quickly, so if you're on your own, you need to be aware of your road angle, or you'll find you can't see traffic coming from the left.
 
There are lots of guides online on what to look for in a used Landy, but the main things are the condition of the chassis, bulkhead, gearbox and engine. I know you said you've already agreed to buy, but there are some real shockers out there, so do take your time to check it over, and if in doubt, don't be afraid to haggle to cover the cost of repairs, or just walk away if it's not right.
 
The chassis is basically a ladder frame, with various bits sticking out off it that things like the suspension bolt onto. However, these bits tend to collect crud and go rusty, and a new chassis is an expensive affair. Check also the bit of the chassis at the back (rear crossmember). This collects mud from the back wheels, and can suffer badly with rust, although you can get a weld-on replacement for it fairly cheaply.
 
As Fleecewife says, the bulkhead is also prone to corrosion, and expensive to fix. Almost all landies leak water in, and this can go down the A-posts (front outside edges of the windscreen), and cause corrosion from the inside out. If this affects the security of the door hinges or where the pedals attach, that's an expensive MOT fail.
 
It's worth trying the transfer gearbox in all positions (both diff locked and not), and make sure everything works smoothly. Lots of landies never get used in anything other than 'road' mode, so the transfer box can seize up. Mine needed a new linkage fitted which cost me all of £10...... plus two days labour to get in at it (eek!).
 
Also drive round in circles at full lock and check for knocking in the front 'cv' joints (the ball joints that let you drive and steer at the same time). Also check for scoring / pitting on the balls.
 
Apart from that, it's just a car. Except it isn't just a car. It's more a tractor you can take to work, and some of your friends will think it's the coolest thing in the world, whilst others will refuse a lift to the pub at lunchtime, even though it's raining  ;D .
 
Hope that helps!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Big Benny Shep

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Skipton
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 12:26:17 pm »
Mainly what womble said, make sure you can get gears OK as the gearbox gets a lot of hammer. Check door bottoms for bad corrosion as they are pretty expensive. Clunks in the drive train, erm, everything really! Do you know anyone with a similar one you can drive first?
BIG Ben
We have 80(ish) texels and texel x suffolks, 10 lleyns, 21NE Mules, 2 Dexters with calves, Monty the labrador, Dottie, Bracken and Poppy the collies and 30 assorted hens.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 12:57:22 pm »
Oh yeah, I forgot about the gearbox.
 
Perhaps this schematic will help?
 
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

ladyK

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2014, 01:39:25 pm »
Thank you all, very enlightening!  :thumbsup:
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 02:48:26 pm »
Love the schematic womble - that is so true  :roflanim:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 03:37:55 pm »
Keep a close eye on your oil levels until you get used to it and know how much it's losing. I would make it a priority to change all the oils, engine, gearbox, transfer box and both axles as soon as you can so you at least know there's some in there! As above rust will be your biggest enemy in the long term so nip it in the bud if you can. An awful lot will depend on how the previous owners have looked after it and there's always an element of pot luck when you buy one. The great thing is everything's fixable and all the help you could ever need is on the interweb. Having said that if you're driving it a long way home it'll be a good idea to make sure you've got breakdown cover.

stufe35

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 08:04:42 pm »
180 miles in  a landrover .?  My tip would be go and collect it with a trailer.
And believe it or not I love em and have owned loads.


verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 08:43:31 pm »
I 100% agree with the above post or make sure the new veh has get you home breakdown cover before you leave ! Ive had over 20 LR's over the years and 2 have died before getting home the 1st time .one was on a trip from Hanover in Germany to Melton Mowbray and that was a real pain !!!

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 08:45:40 pm »
180 miles in  a landrover .?  My tip would be go and collect it with a trailer.
And believe it or not I love em and have owned loads.


bah! 180miles is nothing; when I had my 1965 S2A LWB I went to visit an old schoolfriend who was living in Durness (NW scotland - I lived in SW london at that time). The only problem was it only ran on LPG so I needed to navigate a route via LPG stations which got a bit challenging inmplaces.


Oh and I wore earplugs all the way there and back.


Back to the original question:-


make sure it's not in difflock/4WD before you set off (probably won't be).
breakdown ins is not a bad idea on any journey that long in an unknown vehicle.
earplugs might not be a bad idea (though not sure if it's legal).
if it's cold weather, wrap up warm! Don't expect a landy heater to keep you toasty.


when you drive it:
1. enjoy the view
2. you'll either be grinning or gritting your teeth - that's normal.
3. when you make a tight turn be ready to stop and do a three point turn instead - they don't do tight turns.
4. don't forget a means of paying for fuel - they're not the most economical vehicles.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 08:57:46 pm »
Find where it leaks - all defenders leak.  If you are lucky it will only be the passenger that gets wet in a storm.  The other big one is draughts and use thermal underwear for comfort.  Landys are not built for comfort.  I love my ex MOD 90.

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 09:02:03 pm »
I've had quite a few different Landies and the pick it up on a trailer idea is good advice. Having said that I drove my current '92 Defender back from York when I bought it about 200 miles with the view that by the time I get home I'll have a pretty good idea if this one's any good or not. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty every now and then they're a great workhorse but if you're used to modern stuff you could be in for a shock. Keep an open mind, take your time and the chances are by the time you get it home you'll be hooked!.

stufe35

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 09:26:07 pm »
Another thing,  check it has lots of oil leaks.....if it isn't leaking it means there's none in there !  :excited:

Ps.  I should point out this is intended to be funny but is not actually a joke....about 6 months after buying my first landrover I decided to change the oil in the rear diff....I carefully removed the drain plug and collected ....about 3 tablespoons of water !
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 10:17:02 pm by stufe35 »

stufe35

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Tips for Land Rover newbies
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 09:39:50 pm »
"bah! 180miles is nothing; when I had my 1965 S2A LWB I went to visit an old schoolfriend who was living in Durness (NW scotland - I lived in SW london at that time)."

Mab,  did you have a year off for that journey ?

 

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