1976 Land Rover Series III 109 build "Montoya"

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Three criminal heroes
#1
Figured I'd start a thread to get this thing moving. I have all the parts to sort out the suspension and drivetrain. Just need the time. What's cool is finally getting another series and discovering that the demented world of Porsche part prices had warped my reality on the cost of parts. I sold two Porsche engines and funded the the cost of the Landy and all the parts. This has kept the CFO in check.

Anyway, here's the plan:
- parabolic springs and shocks
- steering linkage and tie rods
- roamer overdrive
- 300tdi
- heavy duty axles
- new exhaust
- wolf wheels and mudders
- roof rack and ladder
- lights
- seat belts
- a bunch of other crap to allow us to explore the greater upstate New York area.

Here's a pic to start us off: IMG_0236.jpg IMG_0238.jpg IMG_0233.jpg
 
#2
Nice truck!!! Beware of that steering wheel if you take the 109 off road. There will be pain involved (and most likely blood) if you wrap your fingers around the the steering wheel & hit an obstruction. The wheel will snap back on you before you can react.
 

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Three criminal heroes
#3
Thank you!!!

Hadn't gotten that far into thinking about using it for its intended purpose, but that makes perfect sense. Now, I have to find a decent steering wheel...
 

Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#4
Montoya got some new shoes today. I like this look much better and it will go with the other exterior mods I have planned. I've got all the suspension and disk brake parts, so they will be going on over the Christmas break. The beauty of Texas weather (other than the recent rain) is great car working temps. It was 64 today.

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#5
Anyway, here's the plan:
- parabolic springs and shocks
Parabolic springs by the nature of their design have greater side sway than semi elliptical leaf springs. This increases the dynamic centre of gravity movement both on curves and during off road travel. This increases the likelihood of the vehicle tipping over. You also want a roof rack which increases the roof weight by its existence and any weight you add to a roof rack raises the vehicle center of gravity. This means it will take less movement of the dynamic center of gravity to tip the vehicle over. If you have your heart set on these things I suggest one or the other but not a combination of both. Of course this may not be an issue for you if you stay on maintained forest service roads and drive slowly. Forest service roads are usually pretty level side to side.

You ALWAYS want to keep weight down as low as possible. The absolute worst loading mistake you can make is to place fuel and water cans on top of a roof rack. Roof racks are for light weight bulky stuff.

Personally I like factory springs with ultra high density plastic strips between the leaves. They greatly reduce leaf to leaf friction making for a softer ride without increasing side to side sway. However parabolics are the current rage.


- steering linkage and tie rods
I assume you mean tightening up any looseness such as steering box adjustment, loose bolts and replacing tie rod ends. If you are replacing tie rod ends take a look inside the steering and drag link tubes for excessive rust. These tubes tend to rust from the inside out and may be ready to break when they look fine from the outside.


- roamer overdrive
- 300tdi
- heavy duty axles
You already have a Salisbury rear axle which is way stronger than the axle assemblies of previous Land Rovers. The drive flanges have a tendency to wear increasing the spline spacing. If you hear a clunk between acceleration and deceleration, the drive flanges are very likely worn and in need of replacement.

If you want to go to a stronger diff carrier the ARB locker would be a very good choice for the rear and a Trutrac would be a very good choice for the front. GBRUtah (used to be Great basin Rovers) is the best place to go from stronger Salisbury axles, drive flanges and ring and pinion gears. I broke 7 Rover rear axles before swapping to a Salisbury with ARB, Great Basin hardened axles and drive flanges in 1996. Haven't broken a rear axle since.

You will need that with a 300tdi conversion. Stay away from the Discovery engines. The stock exhaust manifold and turbo will need to occupy the same space as a 109 frame.

- wolf wheels and mudders
Wolf wheels are 6-1/2 inches wide. Discovery I steel wheels are 7 inches wide. Tyres have a max and Min wheel width. I suggest picking your tyre size first then wheel type. I'm running LT255/85R16 BFG Mud Terrains on Disco I wheels. This tyre size will work on both wolf (minimum width spec) and disco i steel wheels. (width is at middle of tyre width spec)


- a bunch of other crap to allow us to explore the greater upstate New York area.
I'm a big fan of the early Xterra slogan "Everything you need and nothing more"

Start out with the minimum amount of "crap" and only by more if you find you need it.
 

Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#6
TeriAnn, thank you so much for the detailed insight and recommendations. It really means a lot to me. I've poured over your site and gained a significant amount of knowledge. While I had a Series Land Rover a long time ago, I didn't have the resources to do it right. That said, it was unstoppable as long as you were patient coming up to speed from a stop and you didn't mind the occasional rain shower in the cabin or splash through one of the holes in the floor. Most of my car building over the last 30 years has been to go fast and handle well. Now I'm at the age where the ability to go anywhere is more important than how fast I get there. This one will be used to make the farmers market runs on weekends in upstate New York, hit the back country for a drive up a mountain for a spectacular view, pick up the fam from the train station (4 siblings, 4 kids, 14 nieces and nephews, no grand kids - yet) and traveling to places unreachable by mere mortals for epic camping adventures.

Anyway, thanks so much!
 
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#7
TeriAnn, thank you so much for the detailed insight and recommendations. It really means a lot to me. I've poured over your site and gained a significant amount of knowledge. While I had a Series Land Rover a long time ago, I didn't have the resources to do it right. That said, it was unstoppable as long as you were patient coming up to speed from a stop and you didn't mind the occasional rain shower in the cabin or splash through one of the holes in the floor. Most of my car building over the last 30 years has been to go fast and handle well. Now I'm at the age where the ability to go anywhere is more important than how fast I get there. This one will be used to make the farmers market runs on weekends in upstate New York, hit the back country for a drive up a mountain for a spectacular view, pick up the fam from the train station (4 siblings, 4 kids, 14 nieces and nephews, no grand kids - yet) and traveling to places unreachable by mere mortals for epic camping adventures.

Anyway, thanks so much!
Everything you mentioned you wanted to do with the truck, except possibly the last, can easily be done by a totally stock SIII. Before spending LOTS of money and time adding stuff to the truck. Put it in use and see how well it does for you. They are pretty capable in stock form without all the odd & ends added on. I drove my truck for 18 years before doing more than replacing parts. Then the first major changes I did was to add a Salisbury (which you already have) and going to Discovery I wheels so I could go to the same tyres that came stock on the US spec 1994 Defender.

Save your money. Drive it stock and get to know what the truck can do in stock configuration. Get to know it in its intended role before making any mods.

People with real life long time experience with the 30tdi pretty much all say the engines wore built on the cheap and are not as reliable as they could be. Cummins has a brand new 4 cyl diesel that you might look into if you really decide you want to do an engine swap. They had been testing the engine in a Jeep Wrangler so it might just drop into a LR engine bay.

The South American Ford Ranger pickups have a 2.8 diesel that is built in Brazil. It is a slightly larger improved version of the LR 300tdi. Give your stock engine a chance first to see if you really need more engine. In many environments it does quite well.

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Three criminal heroes
#8
Unfortunately, the stock 2.25 diesel smokes and has limited power. I got a hold of a rebuilt 300tdi, so I'll be installing it soon. To prepare, I have to move the battery under the seat (the stock battery tray has to come out for the 300tdi to fit. While I'm in there, I'm adding fuses and relays for some additional lights and the radiator fan.

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Once the engine arrives I'll get into the beast full tilt. Also, every seal and gasket leaks
 

modrover

Still breathing...
#9
Unfortunately, the stock 2.25 diesel smokes and has limited power. I got a hold of a rebuilt 300tdi, so I'll be installing it soon. To prepare, I have to move the battery under the seat (the stock battery tray has to come out for the 300tdi to fit. While I'm in there, I'm adding fuses and relays for some additional lights and the radiator fan.

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Once the engine arrives I'll get into the beast full tilt. Also, every seal and gasket leaks

Looks like you've got it all organized and neat.

Yes, sorting out all the leaks... it's so daunting at first because, typically speaking, previous owners have usually let things go. I sorta picked my battles with my rig. I corrected the serious leaks (brake & clutch master/slave, wheel cylinders, & hub seals) and just keep a good watch over the steering box/relay & trans/t-case/OD. Those will eventually get sorted when they need a full rebuild... thankfully they only do the typical weeping. My engine oil/cooling is in good order... knock wood! I always approach it this way... no point moving anyplace if I cannot properly stop it moving. I know, The God's Must Be Crazy says otherwise! :D
 

Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#10
Thanks, wiring is kinda my thing.

While there is no real chassis rust (light surface rust on knicks, scrapes and a couple of crossmember dents), I do worry about its new environment. I slipped my borescope into a couple chassis openings and was surprised to find little rust. She lived the good life in the south of Spain. I am going to preserve the inside of the chassis and clean, rust proof (an lol phrase), and repaint the chassis. A godawful job, but a worthwhile investment. I got this cool knit hat with built in led light from the wifey for Christmas. I view that as garage encouragement! Merry Christmas everyone (that's what we say in my house, please convert as required for your house)!

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Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#11
Fabbed up this switch panel. All was going well until the wife caught me with car parts on the kitchen table again.

Just need to source some correct vinyl to cover it with and then switches, lights, more wiring...

Engine gets here Monday, but I go back to the grind, so progress will slow down for awhile.

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Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#12
Hmm, the vinyl on the front middle seat is a perfect match...it's not getting used anyway...

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Once I finish rust proofing (rust proofing, lol) the chassis, I'll run the rest of the wiring and button up this project.
 

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
#13
That is a sweet looking truck. Looks like it will be awesome when done. Looking forward to seeing the progress.

Now I am thinking I should get out there and work on the wiring in my series....
 

Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#14
Thanks, Ray.

The real problem with the wiring in a Series is what a previous owner did. Mine appears fairly unmolested, so I have a lot of catching up to do! I need to get this thing in the garage so I can really tear it apart.

Happy New Year all!
 

Factoid

Three criminal heroes
#15
So, my rebuilt 300tdi arrived!

I modified the engine mounting brackets and relocated the alternator. I also pulled the manifold and then broke my snap ring pliers trying to remove the giant honking snap ring on the turbo. I need to rotate it to point up so I can route the intercooler pipe away from the steering and brake m/c. I ordered a giant industrial pair and if they don't work, I'll break out the welder and make my own.

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The old 2.25 diesel is ready to come out. Everything is disconnected and out of the way for my hoist to do it's work. Just need to unbolt the tranny and the motor mounts. Unfortunately it dropped into the 30s this weekend, so that will wait until next weekend when it will be back in the low 70s. More to come!