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The oldest Land-Rover Series 3 around?


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Tackling it one wire at a time the wiring was soon sorted, so time to test it out!

I confess I checked before filming, and a good job as I'd made a schoolboy error with the relay wiring. As soon as I turned on the ignition the wiper started going, and would only stop when I held down the switch! Easily sorted by switching the normally open and normally closed terminals.

Now I knew everything worked I could fit the rear door card. Personally I don't mind the functional look, but if we're carrying people in it might look better covered up.


I had to trim away the bracket for the dovetail which engages with the door frame, to take the load from a door-mounted spare if fitted. That was primed and painted before fitting the card.


It's plastic, so should stand up to typical LR leaks!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/15/2021 at 12:30 AM, mat_the_cat said:


...the blue and yellow wires are previous owner additions to replace a damaged wire in the loom. I'll need to replace these with the correct colours at some point.

The blue wire snaked around the engine bay and led to the screen washer pump. It was still a mystery why, as there was no green/black wire nearby, so I figured it must have been damaged and cut back.

But when I removed the grille to thread my new cable through, I noticed a dangling connector, taped up.


What's this then?


SPARE? Sure enough, there was a matching connector dangling behind the dash - quite why they went to the trouble of running a whole new wire is beyond me! At least it was an easy fix.

The yellow wire was for the rear sidelights, and the original red/black wire appears to have been damaged in the loom. I've simply added a new wire of the correct colour for now.


Moving onto the rear end, I've fitted a handle to the inside of the back door. Easy job, as the fixings were already threaded into the frame.


I also bought a gas strut kit to act as a door stay. But unfortunately it's not able to be fitted without hacking chunks out of the door card. So I'll have to piece together the parts needed for the original door stay mechanism.

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What a muppet. I've made a start on fitting the new parabolic springs today, and it was a nice easy job. All fasteners (bar one) came out nicely, as it's only been together for a year.

But the job would have gone a lot more quickly if I could tell my nearside from my offside! Fortunately I realised before doing the rear springs, but as they are handed I had to swap the fronts over :oops:

At least one end is done now, just need to lower it onto its wheels and tighten everything up.

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All four springs are now on!


The front two bolts on the rear springs both had to be cut off, so I think they weren't removed during the restoration. I'm waiting for replacements to arrive before I can lower it onto its wheels again and try them out.

An unexpected benefit is how much lighter they are - seems obvious now but the old springs weigh a lot more. Can only help matters.

I'm pleased with how solid the chassis is too - no evidence of any rot coming through. Obviously there are some chips from 1500 miles driving, which have started to rust but on the whole it's very good. I've sprayed it with ACF-50 which I've now discovered, so will sit and see how well that protects things.

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Yeah, that's what I mean - I'd guess maybe half to two thirds the weight. Not sure if it counts as unsprung or sprung weight though!

I hope it doesn't lift it too much. I removed the rear wheels with them just on the ground, and now I'm going to have to lift the axle by a couple of inches just to get the wheels on, I'm expecting them to sag more readily though once weight is applied; that's one of the benefits i.e. having greater extension when unloaded. Properly looking forwards to a drive!

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All done now, and it's not noticeably raised.


At first glance they appear standard, just the way I like things.



I didn't get chance to take it for a spin today, but hopefully will rectify that tomorrow. It certainly felt softer in the bounce test!

I've now got all the bits I need for the rear door check strap.


I couldn't find a single supplier who had all the bits, so had to shop around and pay three lots of postage sadly.

It was fairly obvious how things went together after a spot of head scratching.


The large plate sits on the inside of the wheel arch to spread the load. I smeared it with Bilt Hamber UB before tightening it down, but I'm not convinced it's spreading the load over enough of an area.


Maybe Defenders are beefier in that location?


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Verdict on the parabolic springs? A little bit underwhelmed TBH. They are better, but not massively on the road unless you hit a big bump or pothole. Over smaller bumps they are fairly similar.

Don't know if the rave reviews I've seen are because people are justifying their purchase, or whether they had knackered springs to start with? Certainly my original spring leaves were moving, and not bound up by rust. Oh well, I'll leave them on but had I tried them on another vehicle I wouldn't have bothered.

Onto the next thing then, which is the rear step. These are mega expensive to buy new, over £150 which I'm not paying! @Talbothad the bright idea of modifying a much cheaper side step to fit the rear, so that's what I've bought. 


First thing to do was hack it up and drill a new 10.5mm hole.


I could then screw it onto a captive nut on the rear crossmember.



All I need to do now is use some of the many extra brackets bent to the correct shape, weld them on to the step, and screw into the existing holes.

We've also used this for Christmas tree shopping ;-)



Looks the part out in the wild!

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In the photo below you can see there is a tab on the back of the step which bottoms out against the bracket, by the triple holes.


Once mounted this puts the step at a slight downward sloping angle, making it awkward to use. So I needed to make up some kind of spacer to get the step to sit horizontal. The spacer needed to be around the same thickness as the bracket, and by chance one of the offcuts was already drilled with the same spacing as two of the holes. Even more flukily, the hole diameter was perfect for tapping out to M8, and bolted nicely into position.


I've welded a tab on the rear to stop it twisting, and another angled mount on the left.


All bolts up using existing holes like so:


There's a rubber stop in the kit which is fastened using a rivnut, again into a standard hole.


And when not in use it hinges away neatly.


Quite a satisfying job, more so than just bolting something on :-) It's not quite the same as an original bracket, but close enough. 


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When I bought this, the hazard warning switch was just hanging out of the dashboard.


I had a quick play with it back then, and the switch itself seemed functional, plus I knew the flasher unit was fine as the indicators worked. I drew a blank looking at the Haynes wiring diagram as no details were in there, so I guessed it must be a later add-on. Yet the wiring looked factory, no scotchlocks or dodgy joints here! Puzzling. 

Unplugging it knocked out the indicators, so I just tucked it away when I added a voltmeter. 


It's always been in the back of my mind, as this is the oldest car in the fleet, so seemed to be tempting fate not having hazard lights! With a bit of wire tracing I discovered that there was an additional flasher relay, just for the hazards. Everything checked out ok wiring wise, so I opened up the relay and it was a mess of rust. Swapped it with a spare I had, and...


Success! So I mounted the switch on the dash, out of the way of the gear lever, and another job ticked off the list.


I also found a clue as to the age of the vehicle, assuming the steering wheel is original.


1977 fits with the earlier 3 main bearing engine it has, too.

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A questions for the handful of other owners on the forum - how are the brakes? I keep reading that the 88" brakes are terrible, but I'm not sure whether that's at least partly down to 40-50 years of neglect, and a myth being perpetuated.

Certainly in the wet the tyres are the limiting factor. It's not hugely easy to lock up, and does require a firm push on the pedal - but I can't see any need to improve. I've only once locked up in the dry, in a full on emergency stomp!

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LWB series landrovers have bigger brakes on the front (11inch drums ?) and twin wheel cylinders my dad had a set of complete LWB hubs built up he would fit to his SWBs as an upgrade and I’m sure he had a remote servo as well (I sort of remember him modifying the wing to get it to fit although this was a few years ago  

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15 hours ago, mat_the_cat said:

A questions for the handful of other owners on the forum - how are the brakes? I keep reading that the 88" brakes are terrible, but I'm not sure whether that's at least partly down to 40-50 years of neglect, and a myth being perpetuated.

Certainly in the wet the tyres are the limiting factor. It's not hugely easy to lock up, and does require a firm push on the pedal - but I can't see any need to improve. I've only once locked up in the dry, in a full on emergency stomp!

On a standard engined Land Rover the normal brakes are fine, you just need to use quite a lot of force to apply them. But they do get neglected, and can go decades between new components being fitted, especially now most are no longer subject to yearly checks. I think, as long as the vehicle pulls up in a straight line and there is a decent 'pedal' then they are probably working as intended. 

LWB Landrovers got bigger brake drums from 1970 iirc and SWB got the bigger  brakes on the front axle only from 1981. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, loserone said:




@DVee8 do you have a FB page for the Daimler?

Errm nope, I'm not the biggest FB user. Do you have one for the tractor?

I still haven't forgot about the other tractor I mentioned in the summer, we just haven't seen that  particular bride and groom for a while. If it is still there and still going for scrap I'll ask abot it.

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9 minutes ago, loserone said:

I hadn't thought of using the tractor as a wedding car.  Probably because it only has one seat and doesn't yet run!

I don't use it for wedding anymore, I did from 2006 till 2010 doing around a  150 weddings, It's a bloody stressful business running wedding cars.

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1 minute ago, cobblers said:

I personally can't think of anything worse than being involved with someone elses wedding, but it works for him.

We've done one, and it was OK. Spent most of my waiting time chatting to old farmers about the Landy, explaining the age, and turning down offers to buy it!

I may think the same as you after experiencing a few divas though!

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I was pretty lucky with this I reckon, as I thought I'd long since missed the boat.

Anyway, started a Facebook page instead of a group now for the weddings. Keep getting encouraged to promote it, but I'll just see what happens for now. Up to 2 likes now!


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Can't remember whether I mentioned that the water pump had a small leak. They are available for as little as £15, but having worked in their manufacture previously I was wary of that price. The Britpart Proflow pump turned out to be made by Mark Water Pumps (formally Quinton Hazell, who I used to work for) so I had a word with my old boss! He's also a Series 3 owner, so I asked him whether he'd be happy fitting one to his. I half hoped I'd get a freebie out of him, but no joy although he was confident in their quality, and I got a good deal.

The old pump looked as though it could be the 40 year old original:


New pump appeared well made, so was quickly bolted into place using my new Christmas toy of a cordless ratchet.


I ran out of antifreeze so had to pop down to the motor factors; it was due a service too so thought I'd ask on the off chance they listed an oil filter for it. To my surprise they had two in stock so I grabbed one and some 20w50 oil!


Turns out it's shared with quite a few applications, including the Aston Martin V8 Vantage!

Job done, and ready for another year's motoring :-)


It's only done about 2000 miles in the last year since I bought it, so everything still looks clean and tidy from above. Little bit of an oil leak lower down though, but difficult to make out where it's coming from until I clean up the underneath.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first enquiry from the wedding page, and I've had to turn it down! It was a bit of an unusual one, as it wasn't for a wedding at all, but for a team of archaeologists! They are trying to hire a 4x4 for two weeks to access a remote dig, but everywhere they've tried needs at least 30 days notice.

I'd like to have done it but can't spare the time, and a bit dubious about it getting trashed if I just hired it out. Shame, as it'd have been nice to give it some proper work.

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