View Full Version : first Land Rover????

Erik B
05-11-2006, 03:07 PM
is a 101 a good first land rover to buy????

Mike Koch
05-11-2006, 03:26 PM
Yep, you can buy the remains of the Titanic and restore that too!

All kidding aside, they weren't meant for on road use and if you get into a front end collision, you can kiss your legs goodbye. They perform best in their element, off road of in the field. Fuel economy can't be great on a twin carb 3.5.

Parts are very difficult to come by as well.


Mike Koch
05-11-2006, 03:29 PM

You're a fan of the 101"! What do you have to say?


10-25-2006, 05:19 PM
Contrary to the above post 101's are not that difficult to keep. As an owner of a GS used as a daily driver in Phoenix I should know.

GS - is the most common load carrier.
Ambulance – Big body and a bit unwieldy off road but great for conversion to a camper and expedition vehicle.
Radio Body - fairly rare and some people will get upset if you butcher it.
Vampire – Only 14 built so really only for the collectors. You will get death treats if you chop one of these.

Parts are fairly easy to come by if you accept that you will be using the dealers in the UK for the 101 specific items.
-Most electrical parts are shared with a late SIIA/SIII or are standard LR military items.
-The engine is a stock low compression 3.5L V8. If you want more power then drop in your choice of LR V8 - they all will fit.
- Axles are Salisburies and, other than the front casing and hubs which are 101 specific.
- The gearbox is an LT95 which other than the input shaft and bell housing is stock Land Rover.
- If you want really excellent parts support and some useful advice (Don't phone the club representatives at 2 in the morning as this will not get a good response.) join the 101 club and register at http://www.101club.org/index.php (http://www.101club.org/index.php). They have all the hard to find stuff at reasonable prices for members.
- Seals and bearings can be bought from NAPA if you measure them and cross reference to the SKF or Timken catalogues on line.

Maintenance is no more than on a normal series truck with a few special items. Most of these trucks are approaching 30 years old and have been abused by the MOD and probably at least one previous owner with the result that, unless you buy a really good one, you will spend the first couple of years going through the different systems bringing them back up to snuff. The truck stands 7’6’’ in stock trim so it will not fit in most urban garages without being stripped and most HOA’s (mine hate me) get rather upset with the ‘ugly army truck’ as it isn’t bright and shiny and a BMW.

You will have to be either mechanically adept or fairly rich to own one as a 101 is best described as a growing bunch of niggling mechanical problems traveling in formation. A second reliable vehicle is a very useful tool.

Fuel consumption is fairly heavy being 10-14mpg depending on who you ask. Emissions can be an issue depending on where you live. These trucks can hit 75mph but generally 65mph is where you will sit. This is usually because the front prop has a rumble that will stop you from wanting to go faster. The transfer gears can be swapped to make highway driving better. These trucks drive closer to an 18 wheeler/supertanker than a modern pickup/SUV. There is no power steering, the brakes are drums and the bar grip tyres can be 'interesting' in the wet. Cooling is a big issue if you run it on the freeway and parallel parking requires muscles.

They are great fun off road but are better at mud plugging as the suspension is too stiff for serious rock crawling.

There isn’t any. The only concessions to comfort on the truck are some very thin seat cushions and a heater. After any long run your bum will have gone to sleep, you will be deaf because it is LOUD in the cab, and you will either be roasted in the summer or barely above freezing in the winter and probably dripping wet if it rains. The noise is a good safety system as you will not be talking on a mobile as nobody will hear you.

The cab is quite confined - I am 5'11'" and 180lbs on a good day and am quite comfortable but you would not want to be much taller or wider. Getting in and out of the cab takes a little practice but provides endless hours of fun if you taxi drunk friends around.

Final word:
Your ownership experience is better thought of as being similar to owning any foreign military truck than a land Rover. You really have to be a bit of a fanatic to enjoy it but once you overcome that it is immensely rewarding. The grin factor is huge, Hummer drivers cower in fear, plastic Landy owners will regard you with suspicion and chicks will dig you (very 70’s I know). My mates never understand how I get more interest from the ladies driving my beastie than they get in their modern sports cars. If you have a significant other you will be very lucky if they truly like the truck and some will get upset as they have to take second place in your life.

If you drive the vehicle within its limits it is really just as safe as any other series Landy as, with no airbags and a solid steel steering column it is going to hurt in any of these trucks if you have a head on.

Having said all the above do a lot of research and research again before you jump. There are a couple of yahoo groups where most of the owners hang out and discuss their beasties and occasionally offer the for sale. I know lots of people who want one but very few have the commitment to keep one going.


PS I love my 101.

10-25-2006, 06:02 PM
I agree with you greenmeanie. Yes, 101s are my personal favorite (produced) Land Rover as well, with exception to the prototype powered trailer and AG tyred version as I designed on our RN T-Shirts a few years back - that is my fav. (psst they are ALL on sale at a rediculously low $10 ea) grab 'em now!) (http://www.roversnorth.com/store/p-6639-t-shirt-no-road-required-double-extra-large.aspx) (

If only Land Rover had taken the 101 to lofty heights we'd be blue in the face with Llamma parts by now.

Just wait until the latest Rovers North News hits the stands :thumb-up:. 101's will be on my trick vehicle list forever. Very, Very good thread - this is what makes forums ROCK - thanks for the post.

10-29-2006, 04:36 PM
I read somewhere to carefully check the front swivel balls because they cant be replaced as they are integral to the front axle housing, fwiw.

10-30-2006, 09:20 AM
Front axle swivels
Steering box
Steering relay
Steering ball joints (can be overhauled rather than replaced.)
Rear cross member especially behind the bumperettes
Brake load apportioning valve
Brake servo
Brake and clutch master cyls.
Transfer box thrust washers
Engine oil pump.
Wear in the prop shaft splines

These items are all unique to the 101 and expensive to get new ones

If you have a winch:
Cracking around the fairlead mount.
Broken strands/rust on the cable.
Cable secured to the winch drum
Clutch set to approx. 4000lbs max
Alignment of the bicycle chain gears and mount.

There is also the usual things you would check on any Land Rover .


04-05-2007, 11:44 AM
All good points! I don't know if the 101 would be the best "first" LR to acquire. Parts can take awhile to track down, and it's best if you have a lot of patience, especially if you're trying to get items from overseas.

04-05-2007, 12:11 PM
I do a good portion of the work on Mike's 101 and you can have the wretched things. In the model world, we call what Rover did "kit bashing", where you take parts from several kits to make one unique thing. This is exactly what LR did with the 101.

Absolutely abysmal to work on, as everything was crammed into the smallest possible space to maximize cargo capacity. He broke the throttle linkage for crying out loud! To be fair, the Salisbury axles are nice, and the turning circle is surprisingly small. On the other hand, obtaining tires for these is getting harder and harder, not to mention expensive. Oh, and the 101 "6-stud" wheels are specific, although I hear the (expensive) Unimog wheels fit...

Mike is seriously considering selling his, after investing about $30,000.00 in restoration and repair over the last few years (see www.drivetheglobe.com (http://www.drivetheglobe.com)). Anyone interested? I wouldn't take it if he gave it to me...:rolleyes:

A first rover? Well, I suppose if you owned a large repair/fabrication shop, and/or had limitless wealth, it's an excellent idea.

As always, buy the best condition one you can find/afford, and assume you will spend double the purchase price on top of that just to make it reasonably safe on the road, regardless of who you buy it from.

It is definitely a love/hate thing. I am obviously in the latter group. Also, if you are taller than 5'9" and over 150 pounds, try sitting in one before you buy one. I'm 6'2" tall, and even with Mike's modified interior and smaller steering wheel I BARELY fit; not comfortably enough for expeditions at all...

Think long and hard about it before you buy one...

04-11-2007, 10:53 AM
Love 'em or hate 'em is very true. If its not obvious yet I am in the first category.

Other than burning my knuckles on the manifolds setting up the carbs I've never had problems with component access for maintenance. Show me another rover where you can gain complete access to the to the engine and gearbox from the bottom top and sides by merely releasing quick fasteners instead of dismantling the interior of the cab. Ambi's obviously have more issues due to their more extensive bodywork.

The design constraints were not for payload but for airportability. The physical size of the vehicle was to allow it to fit inside the RAF transport of the day (I can't remember if it was the Argossy or the Belfast that drove this.) The strip down capability was to reduce weight to permit underslung load by the helicopters of the day which were underpowered compared to the current offerings. Like all Rovers there are design issues but they are well documented and easily fixed.

This vehicle is really no more complex than a series and share a lot of components. As you say - kit bashing - but then look at most British cars of the seventies and you will find the same.

Tyres are easy - Buckshot mudders are popular in the US and if bar grips are your thing they can be had from Denman or Speciality Tires although they are not very cheap.

Lot of people have used them for trans continental expeditions so the comfort can't be that bad. If you are under 6' (I'm 5'11'' and 180lbs.) and you can put up with a series truck then a 101 should not be a problem.

Having said that the previous poster is correct in stating that you could save yourself a lot of heartache and money by actually finding a willing owner and test driving one first. This is not an F150.

Due to the aforementioned parts commonality ownership costs are not too high comapred with many other military vehciles. Paying someone to restore your truck is always going to be expensive so its best that you like getting dirty yourself, but all series owners know that.

If a 101 is what gets your juices flowing there is no need to be any more afraid than buying a regular series truck. Join the club and the Yahoo group and you will find lots of support and a good safety net.


04-11-2007, 12:35 PM
Love 'em or hate 'em is very true. If its not obvious yet I am in the first category.

The design constraints were not for payload but for air portability.

My mistake. I'm not the expert on "why"; however I have worked on every system of the 101 (against my will) and have to say there were quite a few things which could have been done more intelligently and still work as needed...

The strip down capability was to reduce weight to permit underslung load by the helicopters of the day which were underpowered compared to the current offerings.

My understanding is that they broke down to stack more easily, as with the air-portable 88", to ship more in the same space... I doubt it was to save weight because those parts would have to get to where the tuck is eventually... Did they have all the cab tops and hoop sets in another helicopter for several trucks???

Like all Rovers there are design issues but they are well documented and easily fixed.

Well documented, maybe. Easily fixed? Thad depends greatly on your skill set and bank account...

This vehicle is really no more complex than a series and share a lot of components. As you say - kit bashing - but then look at most British cars of the seventies and you will find the same.

Agreed... No more complex in construction, but I'd rather work on a series truck than the 101... I have worked on both, including the frame-up on my series.

Tyres are easy - Buckshot mudders are popular in the US and if bar grips are your thing they can be had from Denman or Speciality Tires although they are not very cheap.

Mike had the buckshot mudders. He rolled his truck because of them (WAY to bouncy to be safe). They ride horribly, are noisy and not cheap, not to mention no longer made. He now has military surplus Michelin 11.00-16's and they are far superior to the crappy mudders (don't ask how much...). Bar-grips are fine to drive off a trailer onto the show field ONLY. Absolutely useless for anything else; ESPECIALLY a cross-continent expedition. Ask anyone who's tried it, like Shane for example...

Lot of people have used them for trans continental expeditions so the comfort can't be that bad. If you are under 6' (I'm 5'11'' and 180lbs.) and you can put up with a series truck then a 101 should not be a problem.

I HAVE used a series truck for a trans-continental expedition. I will never do it again! I bought my 110 because of that trip! The 101 actually has the potential to ride better than a series truck (and according to Mike his does after several years of tweaking), but I still would not suggest it to anyone thinking of doing a big expedition.

Due to the aforementioned parts commonality ownership costs are not too high compared with many other military vehicles.

I'm with you half-way here. Many of the parts interchange, but an equal number do not. Let's take a look at the cables for the parking brake, high-low range and diff lock for instance... Price any of these lately? and no, they don't interchange with anything else...

If a 101 is what gets your juices flowing there is no need to be any more afraid than buying a regular series truck. Join the club and the Yahoo group and you will find lots of support and a good safety net.

Mike is a member of these groups and still comes to me with problems every trip that cannot be solved by anyone else. At this point, Mike's truck is more custom than stock, and we improve whenever we can, as the stock 30+ year old parts are crumbling into dust as I write this. More parts every day become "NLA" and you are out of luck. PLEEAASE think it through carefully, and if you have zero experience with a series truck, don't expect this to be an "easy" truck to deal with. I still strongly suggest NOT getting a 101 as a "first Rover". You will be put off to the brand for life.

I'm done now. In fact, I'll even refrain from saying "I told you so" if you do decide to get one and learn the hard way...:)

04-12-2007, 03:14 PM
I love this as we obviously come from the opposite sides of 101s:thumb-up:

Two golden rules for the potential owner:
- Join the club as they have a good magazine and are excellent for remanufacturing NLA parts at reasonable prices.
- Patience, money and knowledge will cure all - how it happens just depends on which two you have most of.

I can't defend the designers. It was Land Rover acting in cahoots with the FVRDE so you can expect some things to be heath robinson. The helicopter thing is true. The idea was to fly in the truck and operate it in its stripped condition until another flight could bring in the luxury items. The MOD expects its squaddies to occasionally get cold and wet in the name of protecting queen and country!

For those expensive control cables try looking at local sources first. I understand that many yacht chandlers can have them made up a lot cheaper. Keep part costs down by cross referencing standard parts such as seals, bearings, hydraulics overhaul kits and even the fuel pump to parts available from NAPA or equivalent.

I have a '71 SIIA SWB and a '76 101 GS WW. I have had a spanner on every bolt on both trucks and can safely say I have no preferences - they both have their quirks. I enjoy owning the 101 as it is something different and view this challenge as part of the fun. It is a true statement, however, that there is far more knowledge and support of series trucks in the US which provides a greater safety net for the new owner.

With either truck you either become a good mechanic or a poor owner. The 101 is, after all, an older truck and comparitively simple by today's standards so you don't need much more than reasonable mechanics skills and some knowledge of how automotive systems to start out. No offense meant but 30K seems way too steep for a restoration unless he has decided he needs engine swaps, power steering and all the other bells and whistles in which case I would suggest he bought the wrong vehicle.

What problems was your friend having? There are a few people out there on the www who have been through these trucks and have a lot of knowledge on the problems and fixes.

Either way the fundemental thing for old Land Rovers be it Series or 101 is that for you to enjoy ownership you must be an enthusiast and view their quirks as part of the fun.


IIA Lightweight
05-10-2007, 07:00 AM
For a first truck I would stick to a series>>>>> and when you find a 101 give me a call, I'll take another. Cost and time might be the only true issue, it seems to be a bit more difficult to find partsfor the 101. I'm still looking for a good club any ideas out there?
Does anyone have any idea how many are in the country?
My rankings
best to worst: '69 IIA Lightweight W/ 3.5 dual SUs
'76 101 GS
D90 I do not have a 110
'65 88"
'82 Rover 3500>>>>> (car)
'02 Disco SE7 black, very clean>>>>>>> for sale
'02 Freelander by far the worst truck LR built.
But my wife loves it..... so I am lookinng for a rolled over for parts, I'm sure I'll need all of them.

05-11-2007, 10:34 AM
Researching parts sources is part of the fun. Mechanically it is not a problem but bodywork takes a bit more time.
- Engines are mostly stock Rover V8 and even a lot of Buick 215 parts fit.
- Gearbox is early RR or Stage 1 so parts are available.
- Most electrics are shared with the SIII. The military parts are common with most other military spec land rovers.
- Axles are Salisbury so parts are easy.
- Brakes share a lot of components with a 6cyl 109.
- All bearings and seals can be ordered from SKF and timken through almost any bearing shop.
- The winch is more of a problem but people have managed to rebuild them.
- Carb overhaul kits can be had from Joe Curto in NY.

There are several dealers that have a lot of the unusual parts but you just have to get on the www and hunt them down. If you are having difficulty finding stuff PM me as I have replaced/overhauled most systems on my truck and kept the receipts.

As for clubs there are probably only two that are relevant:
The 101 club and register at: http://www.101club.org
They have an excellent parts remanufacturing and spares stock. Just understand that it is a club run by volunteers and not an on-line dealer. Think ahead and give yourself plenty of time for the order to arrive. I used to use this as a means of building my spares stock so that I didn't get caught out in emergencies. They also have stainless fuel tanks that everyone eventually needs. Just order several months in advance because the welder they use is a one man operation.

The other is EMLRA at http://www.emlra.org/ but they cover all military Land Rovers and are less specific than the 101 club.

If you mean US clubs I don't really think there are any that are 101 specific.


05-14-2007, 11:52 PM
Can anyone tell me where I might look for a 12 v starter for my 77-101? This 24 volt setup is getting to be a headache! Is the Buick 215 the only option? :eek:

05-15-2007, 10:08 AM
For 12V any starter off a RR, Disco or Defender V8 should fit. I understand the later ones are better as they are smaller making them easy to mount and they turn the engine over faster giving better starts.

The othe roption is to go to a reduction gear starter such as a Mean Green. I haven't used one but they seem to have a good rep.


05-17-2007, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the info; please forgive my ignorance, I am not familiar with "Mean Green". Can you please elaborate. Thanks

05-18-2007, 10:11 AM
Meangreen starters area an after market unit that uses gear reduction instead of direct drive. They claim more torque but are also quite pricey.

I believe most find a second hand unit of a later model V8 to be a good choice. I haven't manged to kill mine yet but like to have the research in place for when I do.


05-21-2007, 08:35 AM
Gregor -
Thanks for the info. I am familiar with gear reduction starters. but not that particular manufacturer.
The query re the starter relates to overall problems of having a 24V system. Assuming I will one day actually get to drive this "thing" somewhere other than in & out of the garage, a 24V component failure 3 or 4 hundred miles from home could be disastrous.
If I could find a smaller 24V alternator and delete some of the extensive "plumbing" - I could live with it until assembling all of the necessary components for a total conv to 12V.
All of this conduit makes for awkward engine access. Have not as yet captured a shop manual. I believe there are 3 different electrical systems.
Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated

05-21-2007, 10:20 AM
I have heard a couple of people putting in a 24V to 12V converter in the system. This allows you to run a 12V starter and dizzy whilst retaining the 24V ancilliaries. It could give you an intermediary step between 24 and a full 12V conversion.


05-26-2007, 10:32 PM
Greetings from the far north - an excellent suggestion to use a 24 ->12 conversion, this way I could keep the 24V setup and as the various electrical devices go up in smoke - replace with 12V where feasible. Except, I cannot seem to find such a device. If a circuit diagram were available, one could be constructed as a solid state unit. Meanwhile, can you give me the torque figure for the diff pinion nut? The u-jt on the rear prop is done for; it would appear no grease has been injected for 100 years, the vibe has loosened the diff yoke!

The figure for the older diff is 85. In my obsolete parts book, the exploded view of the Salisbury axle shows what looks as if it could be a collapsable spacer, but it is only identified in the tabulation as a spacer. Since there are shims present, it may be a non-collapsable. Can you clarify? (# 607197 )

Thanks, David

05-29-2007, 11:18 AM
Check this thread for advice on the converter.

85 lbsft is right for the pinion nut. To help tighten this I made up an anti rotation tool. It sounds expensive but is simply a piece of 1/8' X 4" x approx 3' steel strip with a half moon cut out to clear the pinion nut and a couple of slotted holes the same as the flange spacing. Bolt it to the flange and when removing or tightening the nut the strip will stop against either the ground or the chassis making it easy to tighten the nut.

There is a collapsible spacer and it will need to be replaced (It should be any time the pinion nut is removed.) You will also need a new pinion seal. I would get two of each to allow for 'experimental error' on the install. They are cheap and it doesn't hurt to have a spare. I am not sure about the later Salisburies but IIRC the DANA 60 went to using shims instead of the spacer.

If you have to replace the rear prop I would look into the heavy duty GKN items. I would need to look up sdome info for the numbers but they can be had for about the same price as the stock ones and are considered a good upgrade.

Our hosts should be able to supply but if not I have found Bill at GBR to be very good as he is also a 101 enthusiast.


05-30-2007, 03:45 PM
I know I am biased in favor of the 101 since i own one, but I feel that Jim has given some very sound advice. I too saw the work that Jim,Mike, and Bruce have done on the "Orange Elephant" and it was extensive. How about full paint and chassis strip, POR 15, new engine, full external cage, Hot H20 shower etc. I drive mine everday and love it. My biggest regret is that I did not buy one in better condition to begin with.

05-31-2007, 12:56 PM
Thank you for the info re the diff. I should have the tool you described (if I can find it ) left over from the days when L/R was a full time thing. I am reserving judgement on the prop shaft until I can drive the vehicle. It seems ok, but a cfm is in order. I have removed the spk plugs. They are gapped at .035 . My spec sheet says .025 for the 24V. Who had it right?
It was interesting to read the many comments re the 24V-12V voltage reduction. The use of diodes and a heat sink etc. would be the way I would expect a "solid state" device to be constructed, but finding the components around here will get you a little more than a "peculiar look" and the question what do you want that for? Will try the address provided by Sheldon. If one examines the principle by which a charging system works, it is obvious that tapping one of the 12's is not going to work unless you have a shed full of batteries.

05-31-2007, 06:06 PM
.035 sounds like it used the 12V set up. .025 would make sense although I don’t have my manuals here to check it.

A simple explanation.:
The ignition system is designed to make a spark at a set time relative to piston motion in order to initiate combustion. The timing of this spark is controlled by the position of the dizzy and its amperage. (Ability to build potential on the plug electrode.) If you still run points then there are some other factors such as points gap and dwell that have an effect. The spark will jump the gap when the potential exceeds the dielectric (Air gap). This potential has to be rebuilt every two engine revolutions in a 4 stroke cycle. The amperage of the dizzy dictates how quickly the potential can be built. A 24V system has lower amperage than a 12V so takes longer. In order to have the spark jump at the right time you close the gap so that less potential is required. I am no expert on combustion but it is my understanding that it is spark intensity and not size that is the important thing so the actual gap being reduced does not less performance. Someone will no doubt chime in with more detail/better explanation.

Having said all that if it is working and emissions are good I wouldn't mess with it. The last 5 minute tune up I did turned into a 1 1/2 year rebuild. Damn the shipfitter's disease. Still it does mean that I have her stripped down to the roll hoop and spare while I bed the engine in. The 101 is the most fun convertible I've ever driven.

The beauty of converting to a 12V system is that you can ditch the points and ballast resistor and replace them with an electronic ignition and sport coil. I say this only because I have not seen a 24V equivalent. This gives an almost maintenance free system (rotor and cap occasionally) with a more consistent spark as there is no mechanical wear/adjustment in the points. In theory you will have a faster ramping system with the ability to develop more potential in a shorter time thus allowing you to increase the air gap for a fatter spark and higher performance. In reality we are driving an army truck so any gain here most likely is not noticeable. I keep mine at the stock setting.

Contrary to some opinions electronic ignition is reliable. There is some infant mortality due to manufacturing errors but, generally, if it works in the beginning it will work for a long time. For justification, look at the number of posts regarding issues with points ignition vs electronic.


06-02-2007, 09:18 PM

Thanks for the tech explanation. Very interesting. I am wondering if it is feasible to use a 24 - 12 V converter for ignition. There is a formula which I have lost long ago. I would like to "ditch" the breaker points, they were definitely a problem. Most likely the best solution is to do this simultaneously with the full conv to 12V. I removed the plugs to check their condition and look for telltale signs of head problems. The carbs were in sad shape - I had the feeling they were being removed for the first time since assembly at new. The air filter is a dinosaur - looks like something from a tractor.
I saw a 12-24V convertor on the net with a capacity of 700 watts for $99. Am wondering about the capacity of the black box described by Erin. The device described by Pieco appears to be the easiest way to go, although I would need to know the design of the heat sink.
What did you find of significance when you stripped your engine? I have cracked exhaust manifolds - same area both sides.

06-04-2007, 10:21 AM
The significant things I found on my engine strip were:

The cam was almost round. The truck ran well enough and I had not noticed the performance dropping but that's because it was a very gradual thing over time. The faces of the tappets were fatigued as well. It still sounded fine but the entire valve train was shot.
The main and big end bearings were shot with the copper colour showing.
The cylinder bores were smooth with just a slight lip. I had them bored .020 over and honed.
The valve seats were pretty worn but were easily brought back up to snuff by the machine shop. The valves themselves were good although the inlets did have a significant amount of encrustation although this was probably due to the worn cam preventing correct breathing.
The timing chain looked OK but I replaced it with a JP set anyway as I was going that deep.
I have not cracked the manifolds yet. I put in the dicsovery metal exhaust manifold gaskets which seal well, used the funny metal tabs on the bolts and made sure I use the correct torque. It has been successful so far.
My carbs were fine beacuse I have been in there before several times as I have to pass emissions in Phoenix.
The radiator was pretty much shot with signs of leakage along the bottom where the tubes meet the header tanks. I had had problem with cooling in the summer (It DOES get to 118°F) so pulled it and had it recored. It cools very well now.
The radiator bottom hoses were completely shot. They were swollen and had fine cracks all over. I don't think they would have made another summer.
The fuel filters were not bad at all for the age of the vehcile. I have since had to replace them twice in one tank full due to buying 13 gallons of fuel with a special on 2 gallons of silt.
The head gaskets (tin type) did not appear to be leaking but there might have been a little evidence of blowby into the valley. When I rebuilt her I used composite gaskets (Skimmed the heads to maintain compression) and left off the outer row of head bolts per the advice of several of the UK specialists.That's about it. Incidently I checked the manual at the weekend and the spark gap is the same for vboth 12V & 24V at .025" so some of my first prargraph of explanation was wrong. The principle of operation, however, is correct. The more modern plugs have some advances such as copper electrodes etc. which allow for better performace. The comment about the electronic ignition is still true.


06-06-2007, 12:48 PM
Gregor -

Your 5 minute tune-up was extensive! This is excellent info - gives me an insight into what to look for and/or expect. Can you tell me how many miles (or kilometers) were on your "clock" at the time? Am still sitting on the fence, but am leaning toward the conversion to 12V, which means more questions. Is this done piece meal (with ref to the ign system). Do I require a different distributer? Are those small (fuel) filter elements available as an after-market item? Am also wondering about the fuel (leaded or unleaded) intended for this engine. The cracked manifolds sometimes indicate this. I don't know exactly what year the fuel here became unleaded. My vehicle is a 77. You had mentioned emissions testing. I do not see any pollution controls or devices of any kind on the engine. What is the test based upon? The regulations here are different.
btw - due to the tech nature of some of my posts, and I am new to forums, should I have started a new thread or is posting here ok?

06-07-2007, 03:00 PM
You can start a new thread if you want to. It will make the stat numbers for the 101 forum look good. We're doing better than the Freelander girls and are catching up on the hybrid folk.

Emissions law in Arizona suck as there is no rolling rule as in other states. I have to meet 4% CO and 350ppm HC from memory as my ’76 falls into the heavy duty class based on GVW. Fortunately because of the 4wd system they can only do an idle test. When the engine is in good nick this is not too hard to meet by good tuning of the carbs and a little tinkering with the timing. A wide band o2 afr meter was a good investment.

Mileage is a little dubious as I have blown up three odometers over the span of my ownership. It could have also spent a long time idling/charging batteries during its military service. Most people reckon the cam is done by about 60K miles due to it being only surface hardened so I will put it about there.

Conversion 24V to 12V
These are the necessary parts to run a 12V ignition assuming you fit a converter.
Part 12V part# 24V part #
Coil Lucas or Pertronix 552605
Distributor 614179 90613827
Plug leads Use Magnecor for RR -
Plugs Champion L92Y 90613465
Advance Hose ERC2194 -
Ignition Install electronic ignition from Pertronix.

This is a list of the rest of the parts to be replaced for a full 12V conversion.
Horn 623065 90623187
Starter Motor 589816 589817
Starter relay 589665 589687
Alternator AC Delco 10SI 547165
Fuel tank gauge unit 579375 579324
Alternator mounting bracket 614410 90613761
Alternator support bracket 614159
Drive belt 613020
Fuel gauge 555835 560761
Brake warning light 589189 589266
Voltage stabilizer 559052 -
Relay, auxiliary 30Amp automotive relay 90545020
Relay, infrared Delete and wire round
Indicator flasher unit 579353 597226
Windscreen wiper motor RTC452 AAU1416
Washer pump 589383 623091
Heater blower motor Keep the 24V item as 12V is not available unless you convert to motor from MG sports car.

Headlamps Convert to civilian 7” sealed beam halogens
Font side lamp GLB149
Indicator GLB241
Rear side/brake 529958
Number plate lamp GLB227
Instrument bulb GLB650
Instrument bulb 575221
Hazard light switch bulb 575221

This list was compiled from a run through the parts book and does not take into account any modifications to your truck.

Some observations and upgrades.

For a starter it is easier to get a late model RR/Disco unit which is smaller and provides more torque. If you feel rich get a Mean Green unit.
Convert to an AC Delco alternator as it is more powerful, cheaper and easily obtainable.
Wire round the infra red relay as it WILL burn out on a dark and wet night. It will probably be snowing as well.
Aux relays can be replaced with 30A 4 pin units from your local automotive store. Cheap and easily available.
The windscreen wipers can be made two speed by using the switch from a late (69-71) SIIA. I’ll see if I can dig out the part #.
The windscreen washer pump is nothing special and can be replaced with something from your local automotive store.
Magnecor leads are a great investment for a 12V system, are cheaper than buying the LR items and will last the lifetime of the truck.
I don’t have the part # for the Pertronix but anything that fits a RR classic should be good. I personally use a Newtronics optical unit but that was sourced in the UK. Using the Pertronix or LUCAS high output coils in conjunction with the electronic ignition allows you to get rid of the ballast resistor and condenser.
The harnesses, other than the alternator, are essentially the same.
Converting to civilian 3 pin connectors and sealed beam halogens will improve the night vision immeasurably. It also means you can pick up replacements from the local automotive shop. Other than the instrument bulbs all the others are available locally as well – I would need to pull the covers to get the numbers.
An alternate to using a LR dizzy is to use a GM HEI from an 80’s Buick V8. There are some fitment issues regarding interference with the intake manifold but once yer done its supposed to be a good conversion with cheap parts. If you want to know more I can put you in touch with the relevant owner.
If you need help sourcing parts PM me and I will have a dig through my receipts. I would also price out a complete conversion before getting into design a converter. You may get a surprise.

Buggerit the tab formating of the list didn't work!

06-07-2007, 03:43 PM
Oh, I forgot to say that putting an in-line fuse with a 15A rating in the fuel pump circuit is a good idea as the 35amp fuse in the fuse block is greater than the amp rating of the wire gauge used in the instrument harness. The result is that the white wire going from the molded connector in the footwell to the common point acts like a fuse and melts. unfortunately this takes out a lot of circuits due to the closely packed wires. I ended up building a new instrument harness which, although theraputic, was a pain. I just snipped the wire both sides of the molded ocnnector and ran it through an in-line fuse holder.

I've looked at a few 101's and this seems to be a common failure.