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Thread: first Land Rover????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default first Land Rover????

    is a 101 a good first land rover to buy????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Westford, Vermontistan
    Posts
    82

    Default sure...

    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
    Mike Koch

    1993 Range Rover SWB
    "Backup car? Why would I need a backup car? My car backs up just fine."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Westford, Vermontistan
    Posts
    82

    Default Les?

    Les,

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

    Mike
    Mike Koch

    1993 Range Rover SWB
    "Backup car? Why would I need a backup car? My car backs up just fine."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    1,358

    Default It depends....

    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.

    Types:
    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:
    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. 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:
    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.

    Performance:
    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.

    Comfort:
    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.

    Cheers
    Gregor

    PS I love my 101.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    twisties~South Lake Tahoe tarmac rallye style
    Posts
    733

    Default

    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!)



    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 . 101's will be on my trick vehicle list forever. Very, Very good thread - this is what makes forums ROCK - thanks for the post.
    Last edited by TSR53; 10-26-2006 at 01:45 PM.
    Cheers, Thompson
    Art & Creative Director, Rovers Magazine
    Rovers North, Inc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Staunton,VA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    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.
    91 RR Hunter
    93 LWB Tdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    1,358

    Default If we're getting into the careful checks....

    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 .

    Cheers
    Gregor

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    The Pocono Mtns., Pennsylvania
    Posts
    18

    Default

    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.
    1969 Series IIa 88, 1972 Series III 109,
    1976 Forward Control 101, 1976 MG Midget,
    2003 Discovery

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    290

    Default

    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). Anyone interested? I wouldn't take it if he gave it to me...

    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...
    Photographer / writer for LRM (until they screwed me).
    1995 110 Regular
    300Tdi, Series and Defender repairs in CT

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    1,358

    Default

    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.

    Cheers
    Gregor

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