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Land Rover SOLD
- 1969 Series 2A SWB 2.25 litre petrol hard top Land Rover.
- 5200 miles and 4 ½ years since a very thorough ground-up rebuild.
- MOT until May 2006 and no trouble anticipated in passing the next one.
- Historic vehicle status (free road tax!)
- Improvements include:
- Galvanised chassis.
- Stainless steel exhaust.
- Fairey overdrive.
- Free-wheeling hubs.
- K&N free-flowing air filter.
- Weber carb.
- Uprated front brakes.
- Extra lighting.
- Radial Mud Terrain tyres.
- Towing facilities.
- I will also throw in a high lift jack, roof rack, workshop manuals, and more.
I've very reluctantly decided that I'm going to have to let my beloved 1969 Series 2A SWB petrol Land Rover go. The main reason for the sale is lack of use. I commute to and from work in a boring old Volvo 440 because of the better fuel economy and comfort, and I never did get around to joining an off road club (partly because I was worried about damaging it after the amount of work that went into rebuilding it). In this description I'll assume you already know all about Series 2As in general, and will only describe the unusual features of this vehicle.
My father and I spent about five years on the rebuild, off and on. We were extremely thorough. Almost all of the mechanical parts were completely rebuilt (including the engine and gearbox), the chassis was thoroughly repaired and hot-dip galvanised, any part that we judged to be imperfect was replaced (including lots of parts that, in retrospect, probably didn't really need replacing), and many improvements were made. The one short-cut we took was at the very end, when we were in a hurry to get it on the road, we put the roof back on without bothering to fix the slight leak or re-spray it first. I later regretted this because water from the leaky roof dripped into my stereo and killed it.
These are the main improvements we made to the vehicle:
- Hot-dip galvanised chassis. Should last forever. We even painted it and Waxoyled the inside.
- Stainless steel exhaust. Should also last forever. It came with a manufacturer's lifetime guarantee, but you had to pay a garage to inspect the mountings every year to qualify for it, and I never bothered (the mountings are fine though).
- Overdrive. This is essential if you do any driving on motorways or fast 'A' roads.
- Free-wheeling hubs. I've tried driving with them on and off, and can say that they really do make a noticeable difference to the available power and fuel economy.
- Electric fan. Should also help significantly with the fuel economy, but I didn't drive the vehicle before fitting it so I can't say for sure how much of a difference it makes.
- Triple air-horns. Very loud. Useful for venting your anger at drivers of more modern cars who think it's acceptable to pull out right in front of a Land Rover doing 50MPH and expect you to brake in time to avoid flattening them.
- Totally redesigned electrical system, including a heavy duty alternator and separate fuses for nearly every system. We spent a lot of time on this part of the rebuild. Full wiring diagrams will be provided.
- Improved dashboard with large voltmeter, ammeter, oil pressure gauge, water temperature gauge, steering column mounted headlight controls, etc.
- K&N free-flowing washable air filter, Weber carburettor, and ported passages in the cylinder head. Should in theory increase both the available power and the fuel economy, but again I didn't drive it before the rebuild so am unable to compare.
- Front brakes upgraded to 11" twin leading shoe (same specification as on the LWB).
- Extra large wing mirrors.
- Silicone brake fluid. Non hygroscopic so you never need to replace it (like you're supposed to do regularly with standard brake fluid, but hardly anyone ever does).
- Polyurethane suspension bushes. Don't perish like the rubber ones do, and I think they're supposed to improve the ride.
- Heavy duty steel chequer-plated rear load bay and front floor with a sturdy built-in lockable tool chest in the back.
- Five 205 R16 Mud Terrain radial tyres with very little wear. I was advised by those "in the know" that these are an excellent compromise between low noise and economy on the road, and decent off-road performance. Admittedly the only off-road driving I've done has been the odd farm track or muddy field, but they've never let me down even when I couldn't be bothered getting out to engage the FWH.
- Halogen headlights, front spotlights, front and rear foglights, reversing lights, side indicator lights, front and rear cabin lights, engine bay light, and exterior rear spotlight. The accessory lights are controlled by a cool looking row of chromed metal toggle switches with an indicator LED over each switch, and the new electrical system includes a hazard light facility.
- Heavy duty rear spare wheel carrier. Avoids the problem of broken rear door hinges due to overloading it with the spare wheel.
- Towball and towing electrics on a sturdy drop-plate so it's at the right height for a conventional trailer or caravan.
- Rubber radio aerial, roof mounted car stereo bracket, four fairly decent cabin speakers, and all the relevant wiring. The only thing missing is the stereo itself.
- Heated rear windscreen. Essential in the winter, as it tends to steam up very quickly.
- Four large rubber mud flaps with Land Rover logos on them. Helps to reduce the amount of road muck that gets sucked up onto the back window or sprayed onto the sides of the vehicle and whatever you're towing behind the Landy.
- Rear windscreen wiper motor. I have a wiper arm for it, but it needs modifying slightly to make it fit. There's also wiring in place for a rear washer pump if you want to fit one.
- Removable gearbox cross member. This was an idea we got from later Land Rovers, which apparently have this as a standard feature. Unlike on the standard chassis, the gearbox cross member is held on by several large bolts, which makes it possible to drop the gearbox out of the bottom of the vehicle instead of having to lift it up into the cabin and out of the door (you still need to remove the floor, but you can leave the seat box in place).
- Heavy duty front towing eyelets.
- Fly-grilles on the air vents. The air vents are great in hot weather - I wish more new vehicles had them - but they do tend to let flies in if you don't have grilles over them.
- Key-operated power isolation switch.
I will also throw in the following extras:
- Old style and new style Haynes workshop manuals, the official Land Rover workshop and operation manuals (quite rare now), and the Haynes restoration guide manual.
- High lift jack. Works OK, but the handle was shortened somewhat before I got it, so it takes quite a lot of downward force to lift the front end of the vehicle. You may want to weld an extension on it if you're not as overweight as I am.
- Heavy duty towing strap.
- Heavy duty wheel brace and smaller light duty wheel brace.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Spare gearbox, minus the bell-housing (if you want it).
- Spare front axle and diff (just the middle part without the swivels and hubs).
- Various other random bits and bobs that were left over after the rebuild, including a pair of "Alpine" curved rear roof windows that we never got around to fitting.
- A big stack of old Land Rover and classic car magazines.
- A fair bit of spare red paint of the same shade we used to spray the lower body.
The MOT is valid until the end of next May. It went straight through the last test and I don't expect it to have any significant trouble with the next one either. The road tax is free, and insurance is relatively cheap. Structurally, the vehicle is about as good as you're going to get- the chassis, bulkhead, and bodywork are all totally free of rot, and I don't think you will ever have a problem with the chassis. Cosmetically, I will concede that it isn't going to win any awards (T-cut and elbow grease should return the shine to the lower body, but the roof and cab sides could probably use a respray). Mechanically, it has a couple of slight niggles that don't really affect the drivability: the clutch release bearing sometimes makes a groaning noise when you press the clutch pedal, and the engine tends to pink (pre-ignite) slightly when you accelerate hard up a hill. I think the problem is that it doesn't really like unleaded petrol (even with an additive), but my Dad points out that it never pinks when he drives it, so it may just be my driving style.
Here is a view of the rear of the vehicle. You can see the roof rack,
rear spotlight (very handy when working behind the vehicle at night),
heated rear window, spare wheel carrier, reversing lights, rear foglights,
rear mud flaps, and towing facilities. There's also a fabric spare wheel
cover that wasn't in place when this photo was taken.
Inside the back of the vehicle, you can see the tough steel chequer-plated
load bay and the built-in lockable tool chest.
In the cab, you can see the air vent fly-grilles, the locking compartment
with the fuse array and part of the wiring loom in it on the left, the
new dashboard with lots of auxiliary controls and gauges on the right,
the headlight controls on the steering column, the steel chequer-plated
floor, the overdrive control knob, and the power cutout switch on the
bulkhead near the driver's left knee.
In the engine bay, you can see the engine bay light, parts of the new
wiring loom (that's a special self-amalgamating rubber coating you can
see, not black insulation tape), the K&R air filter, and the Weber
carb. The battery is less than a year old.
In this photo, you can see the halogen headlights (a huge improvement over
the original sealed beam units), the spotlights, and the hazard lights in
operation. You can also just about make out two of the air horns behind
the grille. In case you're wondering what my Dad's doing on the ladder,
he's freeing up one of the roof rack mounting brackets.
The new fuse board is behind a locking door where the passenger side
glove box is on most cars. I have a laminated list of which fuse is which
that I keep in the vehicle along with a bag of spare fuses.
In this picture you can see one of the front mud flaps, a free-wheeling
hub, and one of the 205-R16 Mud Terrain radial tyres.
A totally honest view of the underside of the vehicle, looking from the
back. Note the complete lack of any chassis rust, the stainless steel
exhaust (it is only discoloured on the surface), and the correct
suspension stops and straps (which usually seem to be missing from Landies
of this age). The leaf springs may look a little rusty, but it's only on
the surface- all four springs were replaced with brand new ones as part
of the rebuild. If you look very closely you might just be able to make
out the special removable gearbox crossmember in the background. As you
can see the axle does leak very slightly (as do the gearbox and engine),
but that's perfectly normal for an old Landy, and at least it proves
there's still oil inside.
The gearbox, transfer box, overdrive, and handbrake as seen through the
access hole under the middle seat. Believe it or not, this is actually
fairly clean as gearboxes go.
The stereo mounting bracket and front cabin light.
In this photo you can see the rear cabin, including three of the speakers
(the ones in the black boxes in particular are pretty decent ones,
which you need if you're going to stand any chance of hearing the music
over the gearbox). You can also see the rear cabin light (above the door)
and the rear windscreen wiper motor.
To prove that the Landy runs, here is a brief 3MB movie of it in action.
You will need a fairly recent version of
Apple Quicktime Player
to see it (if you can't get it to work, don't worry, you're not missing
much). It doesn't actually sound that rough in real life; the microphone
in my camera is rubbish. The smoke in the exhaust is because it's just
been started from cold and the choke is on- it goes away once the engine