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Thread: 1965 Series 2a in Idaho, A build thread. Many questions

  1. #1

    Default 1965 Series 2a in Idaho, A build thread. Many questions

    I figure it would be good to document the adventure of getting my Rover up and running.

    A group of my friends who all have 4x4s posted a link to the craigslist ad for this rig in our group text. I was busy and only glanced at the ad, seeing a nice vintage Rover at a low price I presumed it to be a scam and moved on with my day. Hours later there were dozens of texts on the Rover topic so i took a closer look. This 1965 Series 2a was listed as having a Ford 289 engine conversion, and that motor was seized. That explains the reasonable price. Beyond the motor issue, the rest of the rig was very straight and complete. The seller has both the tropical top and a truck cab top, extra windows for the front doors and a spare rear door. Also a small box of misc parts. The original radiator support panel was not present, but a passable replacement had been fabricated in plywood by the seller.

    I see this as a fun project oportnity for one of my daughters and I, so reached out to the seller, who had received several calls on the truck. I was near his location so he agreed to meet right away, and I got to see the rig in person. In person what i was seeing seemed to line up with what the seller reported. Some of the front end had been repainted with rustoleum household oil based enamel by brush.

    I have zero familiarity with Land Rovers, but I'm quite experienced in general with older 4x4s as I have a 76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 that is well sorted. At the time I didnt know to look for rust on the bulk head, or frame. I did generally look for rust, which isn't much of an issue here in the arid high desert of idaho. Seeing no red flags I bought the rig.

  2. #2


    pic from the FOR SALE ad
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  3. #3


    Loading her up
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    Bringing her home.
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    Garage full of landy (note the home made radiator panel and grille)
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4


    list of parts acquired so far:
    302 to replace seized motor. -cheap from a friend.
    Rebuild kit -Rock Auto
    Motor mounts -Speedway Motors
    Radiator support panel (front bib) -eBay Netherlands
    Grille. eBay
    Hood (bonnet) latch -eBay Netherlands
    Hood (bonnet) catch and bracket -eBay Netherlands
    Brake master kit to convert to series 3 brakes w booster -Rovers North
    Brake pedal tower reproduction for series 3 -Pangolin4x4
    Clutch master w reservoir -Rovers North.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    chilliwack BC Canada


    This has the original transmission? If it does it will be intertesting to see how long it lasts with all that extra hp.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    I can see the problem right now. You have a toyota contaminating the space with the landrover !!!
    It Can't help putting a 302 in there, (a few of us could be jealous) but since it's what you had and have obviously spent a ton on gear to make this work I wish you the best.
    Do keep us informed of how this is going, you'll get help and ideas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    SF Bay Area


    Awwww...those two look great together! I can see them parked around the camp fire.

    The early-to-mid Series had weak Motors (~65HP), so I can see why people rush to get a new V8 for it. But, it's more about the gearbox and transfer case. It's like an 8 speed bike. You can put that gearing down to where you get amazing mechanical advantage. So, theoretically, the car says it will go up a 45 degree slope.

    Then, the rest of the time, it's just putting along with a small 2L 4 cylinder and a tiny carb.

    You should grab an official parts catalog($60). You might want to check out the V8 transmissions, or later Defender trannies.

    Either way, it looks fun. Don't expect to go fast. Even if you get up to speed on the Fwy, it's a box on leaf springs with nubby tires! Just enjoy it for what it is.

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