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Range Rover Classic 3.9 V8 - conclusions


N Dentressangle

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Having a snorkel on a diesel makes sense if you're going wading. Loads of vids on YT of folks driving with water up to the windscreen etc.

On a petrol it's a bit more complex. Unless you've waterproofed the whole ignition system, the lightning's going to leak out as soon as it gets damp, the motor will stop and you'll have to swim.

Rover thought about this with the V8, and gave the driver early warning that things were getting a bit wet and they should probably go home or buy a Toyota or something. They fitted a massive engine driven fan right in front of the lightning whirler, cunningly dousing it with water and stopping the engine if you try and drive through a deep puddle. Genius.

Soil stack / snorkel delete complete:

q5HyMbr.jpg

Hard to spot where the hole in the deck panel was, I know.

But look carefully. You'll see it eventually.

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Has anyone stuck a modern fuel injection system on one of these? Like an emerald ECU/megasquirt/etc. Presumably should be reasonably straightforward. Even the base maps could be derived from the EPROMs from the original Lucas ECU. 

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1 hour ago, SiC said:

Has anyone stuck a modern fuel injection system on one of these? Like an emerald ECU/megasquirt/etc. Presumably should be reasonably straightforward. Even the base maps could be derived from the EPROMs from the original Lucas ECU. 

All been done, yeah: https://www.megasquirt-v8.co.uk/ms_what_is_ms.php plus plenty of other options.

Although you'd probably be better off just starting out with an engine that wasn't designed in the late 1950's and has been punted out by Rover using ever more knackered tooling since then. The LS1 swap is one avenue:

https://www.alternativeconversion.com/

but to be eligible for ALRC events it needs an engine fitted to a Rover or Land Rover. 

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4 hours ago, sutty2006 said:

Was it down on 4 cylinders? 
🤣

LOL, had been serviced regularly by PO and the SU's were spot on.. after 8mpg from my  1st RR it was a pleasant surprise 

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6 minutes ago, andy18s said:

Wasn't a black 3dr by any chance ?....

3door but shitty wedgewood blue....faded as soon as u looked at it!!!

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As a proper (cable knit sweater/beard/CAMRA member) Land Rover owner since the age of 18 I'd always regarded Range Rovers as a bit effete, now, after about 27 years of interminable, grimly uncomfortable journeys I'm willing to concede that  Classic Rangies probably were the better vehicle in most respects. The one you've bought looks like an absolute bargain.   

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This thread is making me quite tempted with one. I've always fancied a series land rover but shy away as they are expensive and are a bit shit on the road. I also didn't realise how cheap you can pick up a Range Rover for now. I always assumed they were in the 10k+ price bracket. 

I don't have much in the way of land to have proper fun in one though. Is there any website that details local green lanes? 

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15 minutes ago, SiC said:

This thread is making me quite tempted with one. I've always fancied a series land rover but shy away as they are expensive and are a bit shit on the road. I also didn't realise how cheap you can pick up a Range Rover for now. I always assumed they were in the 10k+ price bracket. 

I don't have much in the way of land to have proper fun in one though. Is there any website that details local green lanes? 

If you join these guys: https://glass-uk.org/keeping-information-up-to-date-home-grid-articles.html you get access to TW2 which shows all the green lanes. You could also join https://www.somersetandwiltshirelrc.co.uk/ and go trialling :evil:

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1 hour ago, warch said:

As a proper (cable knit sweater/beard/CAMRA member) Land Rover owner since the age of 18 I'd always regarded Range Rovers as a bit effete, now, after about 27 years of interminable, grimly uncomfortable journeys I'm willing to concede that  Classic Rangies probably were the better vehicle in most respects. The one you've bought looks like an absolute bargain.   

Which leads me onto a bit of a ramble.

WTF do you do with an old Range Rover? OK, there's the preservation argument, which I kind of followed with my last one:

EnK46ew.jpg

 I kept it standard, looked after the bodywork etc and thought I could make use of it as a limited mileage runaround type thing. Also, if you want the sodding car to hold its value, that's the only way. Look at the ones where any decent coin is being asked, and you'll see originality is the way to go: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/145086011207?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=SN5ZaUVWQgi&sssrc=2047675&ssuid=3fVYaSNwS9a&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

But once you've paid all that for an RRC my question stands - what do you actually do with it? The tipping point for my last one came when I realised that the last £80 tank of fuel (yeah, it really was that cheap once) had lasted about 130 miles. FFS - I'd be cheaper using taxis. And don't suggest a diesel. The 300tdi in my Disco is a wonderful engine in many ways, but refinement and power are not on the menu. It has no place in a Range Rover.

And there are so many of them about. For a car that rotted like Aldi veg, they really survived well. FB Marketplace lists 13 of them within 60km of where I live, which is amazing for cars now all 30 years old or more. Almost all those 13 cars are £5k+ toys, more than most sane people want to spend on an off-roader, given we've already shown why running a 30+ year old 15mpg car as a daily driver makes no sense. I suspect they will take a long time to sell.

So no apologies at all for turning this one into a 100% off road mud slag. They're actually superb off road, especially these late ones with the Borg Warner limited slip transfer box and more grunty 3.9 lump. There'll always be people who want a cherished original one to polish and tootle to shows in, but that's not really me. And there's something really liberating about just bashing a car into what you want it to be. I've never done it before.

Costs on this one so far:

Purchase - £1500

Trailer hire and diesel - £100

Wait for the next post: I actually have to spend some money on it

terror.jpg

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I get what you're saying about enjoying the car for what you want it to be. Some lads down the road bought a nice original looking  90s classic and I went round raving about how original it looked, what a survivor it was etc. It did look lovely. The next week it had lost its bumpers, gained some massive wellers and a lift and got a sump guard.  The fact is they're out enjoying the car every weekend, doing trials and using their offroader for what it's good at.

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I know you're not going for originality,  but thought I'd share these photos from a local ad for this GENUINE CLASSIC RANGE ROVER radio cassette:

Screenshot_20230517-212017_Facebook.thumb.jpg.2e2da6fa3979e7ae9bbd3f1ffaca4394.jpg

Screenshot_20230517-212034_Facebook.thumb.jpg.daf12363d8acecce415a52c78da8e1d0.jpg

Dunno if it works like.

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17 minutes ago, mk2_craig said:

I know you're not going for originality,  but thought I'd share these photos from a local ad for this GENUINE CLASSIC RANGE ROVER radio cassette:

Screenshot_20230517-212017_Facebook.thumb.jpg.2e2da6fa3979e7ae9bbd3f1ffaca4394.jpg

Screenshot_20230517-212034_Facebook.thumb.jpg.daf12363d8acecce415a52c78da8e1d0.jpg

Dunno if it works like.

You seen how much people ask for that kind of stuff?

The wireless hole on an RRC is really shallow, and any messy bollockry with the wiring means it don't fit proper like. I'll probably pick up a nasty cheapo like this just to listen to the radio: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/283924193821?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=V68PLFIERvu&sssrc=2047675&ssuid=3fVYaSNwS9a&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

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3 hours ago, jon.k said:

I get what you're saying about enjoying the car for what you want it to be. Some lads down the road bought a nice original looking  90s classic and I went round raving about how original it looked, what a survivor it was etc. It did look lovely. The next week it had lost its bumpers, gained some massive wellers and a lift and got a sump guard.  The fact is they're out enjoying the car every weekend, doing trials and using their offroader for what it's good at.

This one's already been off-roaded, with shitty paintwork plus dents and scuff in most of the panels. Makes the decision an easy one - I'd have found it hard to treat a straight and original one this way.

Top tip: if you want something to use off road, pick one where someone's already bought all the expensive kit (HD bumpers, skid plates etc). All that kit is actually really useful off road and saves you leaving a trail of torn off plastic bits as you go along. Plus you can't really off-road seriously in something you care about the paintwork or panels of. You'll spoil your fun by being worried about damaging it and won't go the 10/10 you need to sometimes.

Apart from snorkels on petrols. They're just shit.

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38 minutes ago, N Dentressangle said:

You seen how much people ask for that kind of stuff?

In this case the asking price is twenty quid. I’ll gladly pick it up if there’s a drink in it. 

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  • 1 month later...

OK, time for an instalment to bring things up to date.

With all the welding and painting done it was time for a sousing with my patent* mixture of waxoyl and EP90. Bear with me here. Gearbox / axle oil never gets that dirty, and it's beautifully thick and clingy. Plus the local chicks tell me it smells great. So I mix it with waxoyl, add a dash of white spirit as thinners and smear it all over my naked body before a night out use it as underbody protection.

In prep for a good spray I went to get the front of the RR up on the ramps, right across the drive blocking everything. Be fine, I thought - I'll be done in an hour or two and can move things back. With the car in position, ready to mount the ramps I turned the starter and cranked the engine and.... nothing.

Bollocks.

Remember I bought this as a non-starter but hadn't ever experienced the fault myself? Yeah, up until then. it would spin over superbly, but not a cough.

So, fuel or ignition? It smelt of fuel, and I tried a generous flood of carb cleaner down to the intake and nothing happened. So ignition. Prime suspect here is the ignition module, here in the process of being pulled apart:

0hcAK2S.jpg

On this car someone sensible has moved it from its hot, oily slum on the side of the dizzy to a beautiful ally heatsink on the wing next to its mate the coil. I cleaned everything and re-fitted it, but still the same failure to cough.

Further investigations revealed a very weak spark getting to the dizzy, plus a dizzy cap mysteriously lacking its little carbon centre contact. Fuck knows where that went, so new ignition unit (ca £30) and new dizzy cap (ca£15) ordered, fitted and it roared into life like a good 'un! Phew.

Next job was to get one of these:

c5ll8VW.jpg

with the very pleasing cherry of angelfart-standard emissions on the cake of no advisories:

Lcx6vjx.jpg

Only one thing for it now!

1779.jpg?width=300&quality=85&auto=forma

 

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I have read that chainsaw oil is pretty good for cheap underbody rust protection. It's designed to cling to a spinning metal chain and also as it gets used out in sensitive environments, you can get stuff that isn't as nasty to creatures as other types of oil. 

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No idea but the biodegradable chain oil is a 'mare for occasional users, it has a rep for gumming up bars, chains and pumps; fine for commercial operators where the oil isn't in the machine for more than a week or two. I stick to the old stuff, not least because I use it on my lathe as it's basically the same as way oil.

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On the way to and from the MoT I couldn't help notice the loud banging noise from the N/S rear. Nothing spotted on the MoT, but it sounded like the shocker was actually broken.

Couldn't be - they're new looking Terra Firmas. But on removal:

T1sivPx.jpg

xpR0F8z.jpg

Kwality stuff, that is. Never seen that happen before, and it's on standard springs so no excuses there.

Replaced both with a new pair of Pro Comps - probably also Chinesium, but Bilsteins etc are ££££ and I'm cheap.

 

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Next job was the drive belts. As Land Rover added more and more kit like aircon to the RRC they just added another pulley and another V belt, before eventually admitting defeat and going for the serpentine multi-grooved jobbie they should have used years before. but hey ho. Here's the belt spaghetti:

sbkJaHR.jpg

Wnpfmuq.jpg

I've already removed the main fan drive belt from the crank pulley. On the left is the AC belt, on the right the PS belt and driven by that, the alternator belt. All of them fairly crispy.

Obvs you need to remove the viscous fan (did you remember to buy the special spanner?) and fan shroud to access all this goodness. Land Rover also made it so you have to remove the PS pump pulley in order to access to adjustment nuts so you can replace the PS belt:

8L7F8Yd.jpg

The little tinkers.

Still, all worth doing. I think this was the PS belt, which had been a belt for far too long:

pdbjvQi.jpg

Topped things off with a blingy cone filter to replace the filthy and fitted-wrong-way-round carbon can which was there before:

HSn7bsc.jpg

Smug looking new ignition module on the right, you'll notice.

NOW can we off-road please?

CRjOMct.jpg

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8 minutes ago, N Dentressangle said:

Next job was the drive belts. As Land Rover added more and more kit like aircon to the RRC they just added another pulley and another V belt, before eventually admitting defeat and going for the serpentine multi-grooved jobbie they should have used years before. but hey ho. Here's the belt spaghetti:

sbkJaHR.jpg

Wnpfmuq.jpg

I've already removed the main fan drive belt from the crank pulley. On the left is the AC belt, on the right the PS belt and driven by that, the alternator belt. All of them fairly crispy.

Obvs you need to remove the viscous fan (did you remember to buy the special spanner?) and fan shroud to access all this goodness. Land Rover also made it so you have to remove the PS pump pulley in order to access to adjustment nuts so you can replace the PS belt:

8L7F8Yd.jpg

The little tinkers.

Still, all worth doing. I think this was the PS belt, which had been a belt for far too long:

pdbjvQi.jpg

Topped things off with a blingy cone filter to replace the filthy and fitted-wrong-way-round carbon can which was there before:

HSn7bsc.jpg

Smug looking new ignition module on the right, you'll notice.

NOW can we off-road please?

CRjOMct.jpg

Bad luck on the belts - I thought all the 3.9s came serpentined, plainly not :-( - I did my G reg 3.5 multiple belts but once however that did make things a little quieter under the bonnet once I got all the tensions properly done - dead ringer for yours in colour/interior. Long dead now tho'

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Sharp eyed viewers might notice I've swapped the wheels for LR Wolf rims with Cooper STT Pro tyres. They're the ones I had on my Series 3, so no cost there, and I had a load of old 205's on standard rims to pop on the Series 3 which is currently enjoying a new life on loan to a Dutch friend as a travelling home:

RGayc51.jpg

and occasional reminder for people with more money than sense  Ineos Grenade buyers of what they could've won:

C4zrDrT.jpg

But you didn't come to this thread to see pictures of a knackered old Series.

The RRC is brilliant off road. Better than the Series in almost every situation, and far more comfortable. Plus much more reassuring in tight spots.

Like this one:

S7aM6Rt.jpg

So, to end this thread, if you've ever fancied an old RRC I would say go for it. Yes, they drink fuel. But you knew that, and they're otherwise pretty robust and can be mended with spanners and a welder. They're much nicer than an overpriced Defender and far more useful. All the costs of mine are in this thread - I've spent under £1800 to get to this stage.

Go and buy one, kit it out and come and have a play in the mud 😎

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  • N Dentressangle changed the title to Range Rover Classic 3.9 V8 - conclusions

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