Series III, IIA 109 Differences - Defender Source
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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zach smith
1995 d 90
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Atl, GA
Posts: 9
Question Series III, IIA 109 Differences

I have been considering a down grade from a D-90 to series 109. One, for more cargo area, two they're a lot less exspensive and three I wont' have to worry about resale value when it gets a little torn up. So I guess my Question is what are the differences between a Series IIIand the IIa, Which would make better for a daily driver? and what are somethings to look for besides obvious rust issues and the need for Fairley Overdrive.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Kevin Buckley
1973 coiler
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Location: Guilderland,NY
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Series III has a full syncro gearbox.
'73 SeriesIII coiler,"The Goat", Daihatsu 2.8TD,Santana,Ashcroft,ARB's,etc., now SOLD
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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1966 S2a 88" | 2006 LR3
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Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,056
Series III has a plastic front grill... headlights were all mounted on the wings (Series IIa's had them in either location) .. fascia and instruments are different. there is a plastic dash..

Series III would probably make a better daily driver, if nothing else for the fact that the gearbox is full syncro, so no need to double clutch.
1966 Series IIa "Olive"
2001 Discovery II
2006 LR3 HSE7

Past: 1994 Defender 90 #416, 2001 Discovery II
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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D90, SIII, LR3 & DII
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Location: Napa, CA
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If you haven't already driven a few series trucks, make sure you do. There is a big difference in daily driving a 90 and a series.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Edward Hartman
1997 D-90
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Courtland, Virginia, USA
Posts: 139
Power steering! The series rovers are a lot more spartan than a d-90.

I owned a S3 Lightweight for 2 years and enjoyed the hell out of it, but it was for weekends only not a daily driver. Loud, yes, cold?, depending on the outside temp, and drafty.

All Land Rovers have positives and negatives. IMHO, you should keep the D-90, and get a series truck to toy around with.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Tom Rowe
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Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 1,280
I drove Series Rovers as daily drivers (it's all I owned) from the mid 70's until 2001 when I got my '95 Discovery (because my then wife wouldn't let the kids ride in my Air Portable). All over the east coast and midwest. They aren't that bad as daily drivers.
But I do agree you should take a long drive in one before deciding. They are an entirely different mindset.
Tom Rowe
Atlanta, GA

Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
in places even more inaccessible.

62 88 Regular
67 109 6cyl NADA x2
74 Lightweight - The Antichrist
95 DI 5-speed
95 D90 5-speed
97 D1 Automatic
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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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Stephen Whitaker
1994 D-90
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bruceville, Indiana
Posts: 145
I go along with Tom. My primary vehicle from 1970 until 1998 was a 1961 Series IIA 109 my family had owned since new (I am restoring it now, I think). It has drum brakes, no power steering nor servo assist for the brakes. The stock gearbox is fine, but lacks synchros in 1st and 2nd, which means you double-clutch (not a problem once you get the hang of it). If totally stock, it is slow (I mean really, really slow) on road, but awesome offroad. I stuck 15 guys in it (not all on seats) while in college, so it can haul quite a bit despite being only a little longer than a Volkswagen. The turning radius is about 5 city blocks, but you learn to adapt to that. I still love the thing.

Stay away from the stock 6-cylinder version they had in 1967 - it was not a good engine. Most folks have swapped engines by now, so that shouldn't be a problem.

The Series IIIs I have driven had servo assist brakes and synchros in all gears. By then British Leyland was running Land Rover, and little quality issues crept up in some of the driveline components. By now the owners should have taken care of all those minor issues. Other than that, and some smogging of the engine, the Series IIIs are pretty similar to the IIAs. They both drive a bit more like trucks than the Defenders, but I doubt that would be a consideration to any true Land Rover owner.

If there have been engine, tranny, or any driveline swaps from the original components, you will have to check them out yourself. Some swaps were done very well, some not so well. Series trucks were notorious for breaking rear axle shafts once Leyland took over, so you might check to see if the axles have been upgraded. The basic frame and design are rock-solid, and not too disimilar from the Defenders except for the degree of creature comforts.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:00 AM

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I got to drive my buddy's III 88 earlier this week ... I forgot it had vacuum assisted brakes and the syncronized 1-2.

It's slow... noisy... the windshield is too short to see out of... there's less leg room than the 90 ... I can hardly wait to have my 109 back on the road
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Old September 20th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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Chris Snyder
1994 D90 #614 | '07 L322 SC
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Newburyport, MA
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Originally Posted by Monkeyboy
... there's less leg room than the 90 ...
Get an ex MOD . Military setup has more room. It really makes a difference.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 10:43 AM

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It's either my imagination or different seats ... or the MoD thing, but there's more room in my 109 than there is in my buddy's NAS 88.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Dave Morgan
74 SIII 109sw / 00 SII
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Catawba River basin
Posts: 25
I would not recommend a stock series rover as daily driver these days...... Not in that it's not do-able, for no-doubt there's folks out there still plugging away in them....But in reality they require regular attention in maintaining and in major metropolitan areas your at a well disadvantage in keeping up with the darting about of traffic....
Not that lack speediness or mechanical attention is a bad thing....... It just takes a certain temperament and mind-set for everyday sporting about..

Dave<----- newbe and SIII 109sw driver
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