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N Dentressangle

1992 Range Rover - the economy vehicle

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The bloke who helps with our garden has a thing about Range Rovers, the 'classic' kind. He'd wanted one for years, and eventually, 4 years ago, paid too much for one. It came with the usual complement of non-working electrical goodies, general scruffiness and an acquired taste colour, especially with the beautifulcolour coded alloys.


I have laughed at this heap for the past 4 years. I've got two other Series LR's, plus an '84 Mini, and the idea of BL producing anything of greater complexity than a wheelbarrow made me feel ill. I tried to explain to my wife why the Range Rover was such a heap: she needed to imagine the build quality and attention to detail of her Mini, scaled up to something trying hard to be a luxury car. She nodded sagely, and agreed that buying one would be a really shit idea, and could only lead to much frustration and expenditure.


Then, last December, the bloke announced to me that he was sick of the Range Rover ending up in the garage every month with a FTP. Which it did, pretty much. I don't know why, but I asked him how much he wanted for it. I wasn't even drunk.


So, through that weird process where a car you've only sniggered at becomes something you're thinking you might actually want, I looked at what I was thinking of buying:




Hmmm. Looks OK so far, no?

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This is what I seemed to base all my car purchases on a number of years ago until I got bitten on an E34 estate, it was sitting on a drive for a reason, it was a peice of shit.


Still it got* me to Brighton and back.



* With one spectacular FTP after I touched the front bumper against a barrier in the car park. Came back out, wouldn't start, watched a load of fucking wankers laugh as I pushed it fully laden through the various levels of carpark trying to bump start it, no dice. Ended up blocking the outlet of the carpark and paying for recovery. Recovery boy predicted a fucked starter despite shorting the solenoid and it working fine, realised he was hopeless. He towed me to the other end of the pavilion and I ended up hiring a car for the night, went back the next day using my mother's AA card with the Mrs pretending to be my mother, my mother panicked and ended up driving from Swansea to Brighton to "meet" the AA man so as not to defraud !!! AA boy turned up and he suggested checking fuses etc, I mentioned I'd done this first and only found a cruise control fuse blown, we replaced it and it started straightaway, fucks sake. He then decided it was imperative he checked all the lights (??????) to which he found the brake lights intermittent. He then traced it to a switch and insisted he replace this with a 10 mile round trip to Hove. Swapped out and I was on my way, however now at 4pm on a Friday afternoon rather than the 12o clock start I'd wanted, fuck sake again. Got caught in M25 traffic by Heathrow and it overheated, took half hour to cool. Said to the Mrs "well it's bloody boiling today, it's no surprise" to which she replied "well nobody else's car had overheated". Them took another 4 hrs of bullshit traffic signs saying there were accidents ahead to get home. It rewarded me with the tailgate strut coming adrift and the tailgate dropping onto my head.


Ended up scrapping it with 3 months MOT as I hated it so much compared to my Scooby which did everything better, even economy.

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Range Rovers......rear crossmember...boot floor...sills inner and outer..inner flitches...door hinges drop..tailgate rot..headlining droop..abysmal headlights....


thats all I can remember off the top of my head...


Do Love a Classic shape Rangey though!!!

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Range Rovers......rear crossmember...boot floor...sills inner and outer..inner flitches...door hinges drop..tailgate rot..headlining droop..abysmal headlights....


thats all I can remember off the top of my head...


Do Love a Classic shape Rangey though!!!


You're way ahead of me!


Yes, it's a Vogue SE in Aegean Blue, but not on air and never was as far as I can tell. No traces on the car and not a mention in the handbook. It's an August '92 car, I think.


More later....

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That is a lovely looking thing. I wonder if it has the boge leveller if it was factory springs?


Mine (a few threads on here) was on springs but missing the leveller as it was originally air.


Now almost certainly defunct

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Maybe those of us here over 40 will have a similar trajectory of views of the Range Rover as me:


Growing up: car for posh people, as in 'what's the difference between a hedgehog and a Range Rover?'

20s-30s: moneypit heap, driven by wide boys, the kind of car drug dealers get murdered in

40+: Quite fancy one, actually


What once seemed an over-complex load of thirsty trouble now starts to look basic enough for DIY, and practical enough as an everyday car as long the mileage isn't too great. Having a Series 3 as an everyday car, mpg in the teens wasn't that scary, and getting places without feeling like I'd been beaten up and shouted at as well as robbed seemed quite attractive. One of three ain't bad...


The other side looked OK too:




Interior and footwells didn't seem too bad. No evidence of badger baiting anywhere, and someone seemed to have repaired the previous grot reasonably well:











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My old man had one of these B197KRR in what must have been the mid 90's. He drove it for 20 miles home with the brakes on fire and threw a few buckets of water over it, then sold it cheap. He was never good with cars, still isn't. His tool kit for every job comprised of a big lump hammer and some blunt chisels. I saw it a few years later in a car park in daily use but it looks like it died back in 2003. I remember it forever getting punctures on the near side and something about a tyre place finding a 2cv inner tube in the wheel. Fondest memory was sitting on the tail gate at Brands Hatch watching the racing and a joke from my uncle to my old man pointing out 'his rusty nuts' on the wheels.

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Is it sitting at the right height?

It seems low, that’s why I thought it was on air.

When I had mine the original ride height springs were unobtainable (well I couldn’t find any) - so there are probably quite a few running around on higher springs

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Softdash were the Air ones...Late L reg onwards, fitted with the Discovery 2 dash (before the disco 2 was released) 

My last RR was a 300Tdi softdash on a M plate.. lovely motor

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Right, next bit before I actually started fixing anything.


The rear arches, incredibly, seemed to be still there and mostly made of metal, and not painted in black Hammerite:






There was a little unpleasantness beginning under the boot carpet, but nothing which couldn't be sorted quite easily:




The engine looked as if it had been at the bottom of the sea, but ran really well, no smoke, rattles or taps:




The price started out as £2500. However, the guy who replaced the heater matrix after its impression of a fountain and FTP on the M5 had clearly not been bought enough Airfix stuff as a kid. When I actually got near this thing in May, it was clear the dashboard had been ripped out and replaced with the finesse of a randy gorilla. Much cracked and broken brown plastic was seen. Some stuff no longer worked. The price came down to £1500, and I thought worst case I could probably break it for that, so I trotted round the corner to my gardening guy's house one morning and picked it up.

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I kind of wanted this car as an ongoing project. I've just finished a full rebuild of a '63 IIA, and didn't fancy another full restoration, more a sort of mild 'getting things to work again' kind of thing. It's got 14 previous owners or so, and the guy I bought it off is no mechanic - it went to his favourite railway arch garage whenever it FTP'd, but no more. So, there are loads of jobs which after 26 years need sorting out.


The PO reckoned the car uses water. Probably about a pint every 3 months. I've read about all the dire possibilities for this engine - OMGHGF, slipped liners, porous blocks etc - but thought there were probably a few obvious suspects to nail first. The heater matrix had probably been weeping merrily for a while before it was replaced by the silverback, but the hoses round the front of the engine and the radiator itself looked to be a bit crusty, and I noticed a seep from the bottom of the rad when it got hot.


So, new rad ordered from Aceparts, and the HBOL reckons cowl and fan out first so here we go!


The cowl was held on in typical BL fashion with 3 self-tappers, all rusted in and fashioned from finest Warwickshire Blue. Pliers and chisel were deployed until they all shuffled off this mortal coil and the cowl was free:




Next was the fan. Some on the net reckoned this was a standard RH thread on the 34mm ish nut, but the HBOL swore blind it was a LH, and so it was. Must be a proof reading error. With the cowl and big viscous spinny thing out of the way, the state of the rad was a bit clearer:






It looks worse in real life.

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If you need any help or tips just ask. I've more or less sorted the whole vehicle with some really neat work and some epic bodges that the MOT guys marveled at. My dash had also been removed with the care of a demolition  crew and the wiring was just a mess. Mostly good now and I use mine as a daily.

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