Need Help With Buying A 1970 Series IIA - 88" - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 25th, 2007, 08:00 PM
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Need Help With Buying A 1970 Series IIA - 88"

Hey guys,

I am a newbie with the Defenders and need your expertise.

I have been talking to someone that is selling his 1970 Series IIA - 88" but don't have a clue if it is worth buying.

So far, I have some picsture he e-mailed me, which I will post tomorrow, and that it is $5,000 USD.

He purchased the vehicle as a project for him and his son but his son wasn't interested so he has been restoring it for the past few years. He seems like someone that is doing a nice job with the project. He told me that he bought every part from Land Rover in the UK. He even has the rubber seal for the roof to replace after he repaints it.

Can you guys help me figure this out? I am looking to buy a daily truck that I can use to commute back and forth to work (12 mile commute on highway) Is this even possible with such an old truck?

What are some key questions to ask? I can also go to him and take specific pictures for you guys.

I have been wanting a Defender forever and unfortunately, where I live the only other one for sale is $47,000 for a 1997 soft top. I would love it but my wallet isn't that fat.

Please help!

Thank you for your time and energy.

Sean
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  #2  
Old January 25th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Scott
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Post some pictures and details of the truck... Where is the truck located? In PR or in the mainland? If it is here, someone close may be able to inspect it for you...

Welcome to the site,

Scott
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  #3  
Old January 25th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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Thanks so much Scott! Unfortunately, it is here in PR. It also costs an arm and a leg to import one into the island.

I will post pics tomorrow but really don't have any technical knowledge of the vehicle as I don't know what to look for.

If you or any other member can write out some specific questions or specs to look for I will be in a better position to tell you guys more.

Thanks again for your time and help.

Take care

Sean
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  #4  
Old January 25th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Chris Snyder
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The old leaf spring rovers are fairly brutal on the highway. Pedal to the floor and both hands gripped on the steering wheel as tight as possible. Even then you're only doing 55-60. If you commute it only 12 miles though, it probably wouldn't be that bad. Just long trips can be extremely tiring. The defender is amazing on the highway compared to a series rover. If you can, make sure you try it out on the highway if you want it to be your daily driver just so you know what you're getting into. I know there are people who do it! It's just takes a certain kind of person for sure.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 09:39 PM
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Thanks Chris!

This is very helpful. I had no way that it was like that on the highway. I test drove a 97' Defender SW a few years back (in the states) and it was awesome on the highway, but I guess it's not like that with the Series IIA.

I see that you are a man of many Rovers...very luck man you are. Can you tell me some key things to look for prior to purchase?

Also, how is your 71' Series IIA? Is it a bad "First Rover" choice? Shall I start off on a different model?...although the inventory here in PR is very small.

Thanks again

Sean
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  #6  
Old January 25th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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Chris Snyder
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Those are all family rovers in the sig. The '71 is my father's and he has owned it since '72 or '73. He used to drive it every day until the frame rotted through (Nauset Beach can be rough) and he had to have it repaired.

If you ask me, Series IIa's are the best series trucks out there. Still have the old metal dash and double clutching. So yes, I think that they would be great first rovers!

You really have to drive one for yourself. I don't mean to scare you, just want to make sure you know that it's a different beast than the defender.
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  #7  
Old January 26th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Photos of Truck

Here are the photos I have of the truck. Let me know what you think.

Thanks

Sean
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  #8  
Old January 26th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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How much more work is needed?

Frankly, the old Series Rovers are fine trucks. The Land Rover legend originated with them, and justifiably so. They don't have power steering, so you need to use a bit more muscle than in the Defenders to turn it. The brakes are drums, so you need to be a bit more deliberate about how you use them (watch them when they get wet). And yes, the leaf springs will be a bit stiffer than the coils. HOWEVER, my mother drove them just fine, as did my wife. We put a bit over 480,000 miles on our 1961 109 and enjoyed the experiences that old truck gave us (I still have it). My friends got a bit over 20 MPG on regular fuel with their 88s, which is nicer then the gas-powered Defenders. The engine was GREAT offroad, but a bit of a dog onroad (the same engine was in the 109, which gave a new meaning the word s-l-o-w). You get used to it. You'll probably fall in love with the thing.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Stephen,

Thanks for the help. I'm not sure how much more work needs to be done. The owner tells me that it is in perfect driving condition, but he also told me that he hasn't really driven it for more than a ride around his town...10 minute drive. He is currently replacing the brake lines for new parts and he tells me that all I need to do is paint the truck and replace the roof seals when the painting job is done. He also just put in new windows...again, this is everything he tells me.

Oh, he also told me that I should rebuild the engine whenever I have the extra cash. How much does this cost anyways?

Can you tell anything by looking at the pictures above?

Thanks again
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  #10  
Old January 26th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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I dont know how perfect it can be if he tells you the engine needs to be rebuilt when cash allows. Also it sounds like you might be mixing the Defender up with the Series Rover. They look similar but are two very different trucks. Please dont think that you are getting Defender when you buy the Series truck. As mentioned previously, the ride is stiffer, slower, noisier. Off road a series truck does just fine and can just about hold it's own to a Defender. I have had several Series trucks and have enjoyed them all. I have a Defender now and it would be hard for be to go back to a series, especially for long trips with my family. Good luck.

Kevin
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  #11  
Old January 26th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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Thanks Kevin,

My wife has another car for us to use whenever we are together. This would be my daily car to use to go back and forth to work.

If I had the $$, the Defender would be my first choice but as that is not the case, I am looking at the Series IIA.

By looking at the pictures, is anyone able to tell anything about the condition of the truck?

Thanks again for all your feedback. It is very helpful.

Sean
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  #12  
Old January 26th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Just from the pictures it looks to be in pretty good shape.

I never regretted buying a series truck but I have regretted selling them. You should have a fun time with it if you get it. Be aware that if it has the 11a transmission you will have to double clutch. It is no big deal and will soon become second nature.

Kevin
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  #13  
Old January 26th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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Julien Dalbin
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There are a few things you have to know:
You are going to buy a legend, it's going to change your life.
You'll never finish restoring the truck, there is always something
to do with a Serie.
In 6 months you'll know more than anyone in your town about
aluminum, LR part suppliers worldwide and...grease .
People will watch you in the streets more than if you were
riding a 2007 Navigator.

I sold my 1978 88" Diesel SIII Santana a couple of years ago,
and i'm still sorry for that...

Ah, and forgot to tell, if you keep it nice, your truck will increase
value everyday.

I think the KEY thing for your decision is chassis condition.

We are neighbors, so any questions, just shoot.

Julien Dalbin
Santo Domingo Land Rover Club
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  #14  
Old January 26th, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Sean O'Neill
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Thanks again guys. This has been so helpful.

Do you guys think that $5,000 is a resonable price for this?
Is it hard learning to drive a double clutch?
I forgot to add that the owner also has 4 Defender wheels for this Series IIA. Is this a proper fit for the Series IIA?
Is there a way to add an AC to the truck?

I am planning on going to the truck soon so let me know what pics you would like for me to take.

Thanks again and looking forward to hearing more from you guys.

If anyone is planning on taking a vacation to PR, let me know!

Thanks again guys. I'm looking forward to showing you guys the evolution of this Series.

Sean

Follow-up Post:

Also if anyone has some old and new pics of their Series, can they post it to this thread?

A list of mods / improvements would also be nice.

Thanks again

Sean
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  #15  
Old January 26th, 2007, 11:32 PM
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Where on the island is the truck located? If I were you, I'd schedule a half day vehicle inspection with the owner & get some seat time. It's hard to hide the bad things on a Series, you just gotta look...
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  #16  
Old January 27th, 2007, 12:50 AM
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Double clutching is not hard to learn. After a bit of driving I could double clutch about as fast as shifting with synchromesh. Downshifting takes a bit more practice, since you have to rev the engine a bit to match RPM to the lower gear, but you'll get the hang of that as well. Of course, you only have to worry about that in 1st and 2nd gears. It used to be standard practice years ago, so anyone can learn it.

Rebuilding the engine is not all that tough, depending on what needs replacing. You can check prices at some of the parts suppliers (Rovers North, Atlantic British, Rovers Down South, British Pacific, etc.) The engine was a diesel converted to gas, so it is quite a sturdy and straight-forward design, if not modern. Series trucks were built to be easily repairable. Besides that, they're fun.



Assuming the frame is good and all the other running gear is okay (tranny, transfer case, differentials) the $5,000 price seems good. Eventually you will want to upgrade the axles, if they haven't already been. The truck is easily modifiable after you get the feel of it and learn what would be important to you.
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  #17  
Old January 27th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Stephen,

This is very helpful. I will also take JB's advice and spend a half a day over there with the truck.

If I shift worng while learning the double clutch, can I ruin the transmission?

The more I learn about the Series, the more I want it.

Thanks guys.

Sean
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  #18  
Old January 27th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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The more I learn about the Series, the more I want it.


Congratulations... You might as well start looking for your second and third Rover now...
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  #19  
Old January 27th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fender Seeker
If I shift worng while learning the double clutch, can I ruin the transmission?
It's made like that so it'll be stronger. As long as you don't try and jam it into gear (you know right away if you've got it or not) you're not going to ruin anything. Like steve said, 1st to 2nd is really quite easy. 3rd to 2nd is the hard one.
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  #20  
Old January 27th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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Alright guys, I have some more info about the truck for you.

1) I asked him about the double clutch and he told me that it does not have that. He said it is a regular single clutch vehicle. What does this mean? Did the previous owner switch it? Does this make the vehicle bad? He also told me that he just replaced the clutch with a new one.

2) the Chassis is in good condition but he said that he would have someone weld a metal piece to the rear of the frame when it is being painted to make it perfect.

3) He also just replaced the emergency brake system with a new one as well.

4) he told me that when the truck is being painted that he would replace the shocks and springs. Can this be done by going to Western Auto or a Pep-Boys?

What do you think?

Thanks and I will post more info as I get it.

Sean
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