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First off thanks for the amazing site with great info! I have learned quite a bit before pulling the trigger on this impulse Craigslist purchase yesterday. It was a beautiful weekend in Austin, TX last weekend and we not doing anything so I rounded up the kids, hopped into the car and drove 2 hours to see this gem. My kids freaked out upon arrival about the "Piece of junk car" that I was admiring. I was 100% sure that this was a waster of time. The car looked a bit rough online and while the owner promised it was great, we all know how that goes! Upon arrival I confirmed that it had no visible rust. Bottoms of doors, underneath, etc that this site had warned could be hiding rust seemed to be absent. Overall the body is really clean. The car has 176,000 miles, which is a ton (aside from the 1971 Beetle I restored with my dad as a kid and I am not sure that that one broke 100K). I could not get it out of my head and when I got home I showed my wife the photos....to which she replied "Are you out of your ever-loving mind?!?"....Wait actually she didn't say that, but that is what I expected. She said, "I have always liked that car"...I had no one else to save me from myself. I knew I was sunk.

Why this car? Recently, I spent 2 weeks 4WD + Camping in the Australian Outback. It was a fantastic experience. My buddy had a brand new Landcruiser (the old school one) with an Aluminum Canopy, Portal Axles, new suspension, bars, bumpers, lights, etc. It was awesome. I didn't think that it was fair that he had something that cool and I did not.

I was doing some late-night craigslist shopping under Craigslist -> For Sale -> Cars and it just sort of spoke to me.

Today I finally sent the money. Tomorrow at 8 am a uShip unknown will pick up my non-running, flat tired beast via a wench and drag into on a trailer. The car has not been registered (run - According to the carfax report) since 2006! Sitting for 13 years. Wonder what the chances are first-turn start? 0.00001%? It is like I am buying a car + puzzle + project + who knows what else is buried in this thing.

He will drop it off tomorrow at 7 pm. We have a neighborhood parade scheduled in honor of the new car.

When I work on a project like this (which I last did when I was 8-16 years old with my dad) I like to have a master plan so I am not doing things twice. After doing some late night reading here is an early plan concept with the following use case: 80% taxi service for my children, 5% by myself on the road and maybe, just maybe 10% off-road somewhere in Texas. I don't need a beauty queen, but I would like it to be somewhat reliable. This will not be my DD.

In order:

  • Determine if I am going to keep the engine or swap with LS (LQ4, LQ9, LS2, LS3) & transmission - I apologize ahead if I offend the purist. I demand reliability (We drive Toyotas and Hondas). Seeming good adapters at Marks 4WD (https://www.whichcar.com.au/reviews/custom-4x4s/custom-lsa-1993-range-rover ) - If I did do this swap I would love to ditch all of the existing electronics so that I do not need to tie in, but not sure what is the bigger effort, connecting old and new or just going all new
  • If yes, pull the engine and post for sale, if not
  • Start the completely blind process of trying to start the beast (a great article that I bookmarked - https://www.rangerovers.net/threads/starting-a-range-rover-classic-thats-been-standing-a-long-time.37646/ )
  • Replace all brake lines
  • Rebuild all axles (not interested in the death wobble)
  • Brake job (Rotors, pads and freshen calipers)
  • Tires (maybe sooner than step 7) - Need to determine if I am going to lift
  • Springs (engine dependent) + Shocks front and rear
  • Frame to Chassis bushing replacement
  • uality of existing paint + Paintless Dent Removal in a few small areas
  • Order new seals for doors and windows + Struts for Rear Window
  • Considering welding in a sunroof blank - Don't need to the headache, especially if I am going to replace the headliner
  • Reupholster seats and bench (maybe)
  • Sound proof interior
  • New carpet
I welcome any advice, thoughts, ridicule, etc that you have. Hopefully, it doesn't burn up on the trailer tomorrow!


Thanks again for pages and pages of great info!


Ryan


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Looks like an excellent truck to me! I would start conditioning the seats and clean it up... These trucks are incredibly simple, and 300hp engine swap youll never finish isn't going to get you where you want to go...

Headliners are half a days job to remove, recover, and reinstall... Don't discount the simplicity of these vehicles, less is more...

  • If you've only drove Toyotas and Hondas, what drew you to a Range Rover? Probably because you knew, in 1991, this was the best all around vehicle you could buy, anuwhere... Keep ot that way... Good Luck and congrats!
 

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Gre
First off thanks for the amazing site with great info! I have learned quite a bit before pulling the trigger on this impulse Craigslist purchase yesterday. It was a beautiful weekend in Austin, TX last weekend and we not doing anything so I rounded up the kids, hopped into the car and drove 2 hours to see this gem. My kids freaked out upon arrival about the "Piece of junk car" that I was admiring. I was 100% sure that this was a waster of time. The car looked a bit rough online and while the owner promised it was great, we all know how that goes! Upon arrival I confirmed that it had no visible rust. Bottoms of doors, underneath, etc that this site had warned could be hiding rust seemed to be absent. Overall the body is really clean. The car has 176,000 miles, which is a ton (aside from the 1971 Beetle I restored with my dad as a kid and I am not sure that that one broke 100K). I could not get it out of my head and when I got home I showed my wife the photos....to which she replied "Are you out of your ever-loving mind?!?"....Wait actually she didn't say that, but that is what I expected. She said, "I have always liked that car"...I had no one else to save me from myself. I knew I was sunk.

Why this car? Recently, I spent 2 weeks 4WD + Camping in the Australian Outback. It was a fantastic experience. My buddy had a brand new Landcruiser (the old school one) with an Aluminum Canopy, Portal Axles, new suspension, bars, bumpers, lights, etc. It was awesome. I didn't think that it was fair that he had something that cool and I did not.

I was doing some late-night craigslist shopping under Craigslist -> For Sale -> Cars and it just sort of spoke to me.

Today I finally sent the money. Tomorrow at 8 am a uShip unknown will pick up my non-running, flat tired beast via a wench and drag into on a trailer. The car has not been registered (run - According to the carfax report) since 2006! Sitting for 13 years. Wonder what the chances are first-turn start? 0.00001%? It is like I am buying a car + puzzle + project + who knows what else is buried in this thing.

He will drop it off tomorrow at 7 pm. We have a neighborhood parade scheduled in honor of the new car.

When I work on a project like this (which I last did when I was 8-16 years old with my dad) I like to have a master plan so I am not doing things twice. After doing some late night reading here is an early plan concept with the following use case: 80% taxi service for my children, 5% by myself on the road and maybe, just maybe 10% off-road somewhere in Texas. I don't need a beauty queen, but I would like it to be somewhat reliable. This will not be my DD.

In order:

  • Determine if I am going to keep the engine or swap with LS (LQ4, LQ9, LS2, LS3) & transmission - I apologize ahead if I offend the purist. I demand reliability (We drive Toyotas and Hondas). Seeming good adapters at Marks 4WD (https://www.whichcar.com.au/reviews/custom-4x4s/custom-lsa-1993-range-rover ) - If I did do this swap I would love to ditch all of the existing electronics so that I do not need to tie in, but not sure what is the bigger effort, connecting old and new or just going all new
  • If yes, pull the engine and post for sale, if not
  • Start the completely blind process of trying to start the beast (a great article that I bookmarked - https://www.rangerovers.net/threads/starting-a-range-rover-classic-thats-been-standing-a-long-time.37646/ )
  • Replace all brake lines
  • Rebuild all axles (not interested in the death wobble)
  • Brake job (Rotors, pads and freshen calipers)
  • Tires (maybe sooner than step 7) - Need to determine if I am going to lift
  • Springs (engine dependent) + Shocks front and rear
  • Frame to Chassis bushing replacement
  • uality of existing paint + Paintless Dent Removal in a few small areas
  • Order new seals for doors and windows + Struts for Rear Window
  • Considering welding in a sunroof blank - Don't need to the headache, especially if I am going to replace the headliner
  • Reupholster seats and bench (maybe)
  • Sound proof interior
  • New carpet
I welcome any advice, thoughts, ridicule, etc that you have. Hopefully, it doesn't burn up on the trailer tomorrow!


Thanks again for pages and pages of great info!


Ryan


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Excellent choice on a classic rover over a toyota or nissan. Yes they're reliable, but they're like a nice washing machine or a toaster, a good machine, but lack soul.

My two cents on your to do list (having done a number of them myself):

New bushings are a must, and will make a huge difference, though I would recommend against poly bushings. They're all the hype, but having installed them, I switched back to genuine land rover rubber and am glad I did. Poly bushings stiffen (not in a good way) and degrade the on-road ride (noticeably), and despite buying expensive ones, started to disintegrate after only a couple years. While the rubber also only lasts a few years, they're less expensive and make the truck feel better.

If you have 10 spline axles, and are thinking you need to upgrade to the later 24 spline, it's not necessary unless you plan on lifting it 10 inches and putting 37's on it for extreme rock hopping. The 10 splines are plenty string, and other stuff will likely break before they do. True-tracs front and rear are a great option, perfectly street-able and yet give you almost all the capability of lockers.

The stock springs are very soft, which gives classics their fantastic ride, but in that softness is sag (rovers aren't light), and even a new set of factory springs will only last a few years before they start to settle. OME's or Bilsteins are a good alternative, especially for a lift, but some of that cloud-like smoothness definitely goes away, same goes for shocks.

I highly recommend stainless brake lines, they don't expand like rubber, and definitely help stiffen the pedal feel. Also, although I'm sure this goes without saying, DON'T CHEAP OUT ON BRAKES. Big heavy cars stop slowly (especially if no ABS, or if it's acting finicky as they tend to do), so cheap chinese rotors and pads are a bad idea.

For tires, I recommend finding a load range "C" all-terrain tire (wrangler duratracs are nice) rather than the standard load range "E" BFG's and such. Load range C tires are plenty strong enough to handle 98% of offroading endeavors, and the less ridging sidewall makes for a massively improved ride over the 5-ply, which are really stiff. 245/75's fit decently stock, and fit great with a 1-2" lift.

Now the biggie, the lump under the hood. I'm not saying this as a purist, but I recommend against an LS swap (as much as I love LS motors), it's a tremendous undertaking as it's not a nice smooth fit, and you will have great difficulty mating the new drivetrain to any of the internal electronics, meaning none of the dash gauges or warning lights will work, etc, without a huge amount of effort (if at all). I toyed around with what to do with mine for the longest time, and finally bit the bullet and found a rover engine specialist to build me a freshly machined and top-hatted 4.6 from the ground up. It's not a cheap avenue, but I can't imagine it being more than a well executed LS swap, and everything just bolts right up nicely. If well maintained, a rover V8 can be solid and reliable (and the transmissions are pretty bulletproof too).
 

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Discussion Starter #43
@reccerover I was drawn to the Rover as it is such a cool looking vehicle. Also it was a good starting price to tinker.

@LanceL Wow such great info. Thanks Definitely going to do all new bushing and thanks for the advice on not using Poly. Been down that decision path before a E39 BMW and could not agree more for my use case. Also not worried about losing the cushy ride. I have my DD for that. This is just a for fun car. I hear you on the brakes. Use to have that steel braided conversation when riding road-bikes on the track. Agree as well. I ended up already buying the BFG All Terrain as the car was sitting on 3 flats in the my driveway and needed to remedy quickly before I got kicked out of the neighborhood.

Okay - The lump under the hood...

It was idling at 2K so I researched, tested and replaced the IAC valve. Boom, back in business with Idle at <750 RPM. Purrs now. Next problem is the ABS. Relay for the ABS Valve test bad so in the mail. Right now the brakes are very very ineffective but stop the car. Just tested around the neighborhood. When you look into ABS replacement parts they are absurd compared to a GM equivalent. Same for nearly every part I have looked at. I get it if this is a labor or love but dumping 5K into a Rover (Buick) Engine vs 10K for a LS installed (assuming free labor) seems like an easy decision for me based on future access to parts and pricing. Having said that for now my goal is to see if I can get road worthy with the ABS relays. Also it may be consuming so coolant which maybe require me to disassemble the engine anyways.

More to come when the relays arrive.

Thanks everyone for all the great advice!!

Ryan
 

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@reccerover
I get it if this is a labor or love but dumping 5K into a Rover (Buick) Engine vs 10K for a LS installed (assuming free labor) seems like an easy decision for me based on future access to parts and pricing. Having said that for now my goal is to see if I can get road worthy with the ABS relays. Also it may be consuming so coolant which maybe require me to disassemble the engine anyways.
It's <2.5K all in to rebuild a trashed RV8 from the ground up if you do the labor. Don't look for problems where they don't exist, parts for every single engine and driveline component, save for the BW tcase, are dirt cheap.


These are the 3 parts you need to brake properly. Fixing the anti-lock part of the system is a waste of money, clean the speed sensors and see if you get lucky, otherwise no point in fixing it.



 

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xalt is correct, parts for a rover V8 are pretty plentiful and pretty cheap, check places like https://www.thewedgeshop.com/ for engine parts, they have all the internals and all are reasonably priced. The big expense with rebuilding a rover V8 is machining the block and having the top hat liners pressed in, if you plan on going that far. The early 3.9's were much less prone to liner slip than the later 4.0's and 4.6's, so if you existing block is in god shape (never overheated) then all of that machine work can likely be skipped. In that case the rebuilding part is just mainly labour, a handful of parts, and having the crank turned if it needs it (but all the oversized main bearings are super cheap and readily available).
 

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Discussion Starter #46
@xalt Thanks for the advice on the brakes. I received the Relays from RoverNorth today, installed and now I have power at the ABS Motor wire but the motor doesn't feel like its turning on (not sure how obvious a running ABS motor is to the touch or ear). So do I spend the +$200 to fix the motor or when you say fixing the ABS system is not worth it what is the alternative?

Thanks!

Ryan
 

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@xalt Thanks for the advice on the brakes. I received the Relays from RoverNorth today, installed and now I have power at the ABS Motor wire but the motor doesn't feel like its turning on (not sure how obvious a running ABS motor is to the touch or ear). So do I spend the +$200 to fix the motor or when you say fixing the ABS system is not worth it what is the alternative?

Thanks!

Ryan
ABS motor makes a loud buzz with the ignition like this.

Replacing the speed sensors to get working "anti-lock" brakes (and rear wheel traction control on later models) isn't worth it. Fix the pump of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
OK. Got it. Based on some reading in another post I pulled off the pressure switch connector and with the two connector row at the top and three row at the bottom I connected top right and top bottom and apparently if the pressure switch is bad this will trick the pump into running. The pump did not run. Assume that means the pump is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I also need the rear window seal for the right rear fixed window. The window was broken when I got it but a new piece of glass was provided with the sale. After some searching it looks like this is an obsolete I found this on Rimmer which seems to be the best deal https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-MUC64145PPR @ $304 but just wanted to confirm that there isn't a less expensive option. I have seen a few discussions on this topic but no definitive answer. Thanks!
 

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Here is another supplier https://www.famousfour.co.uk/new_parts/ff_part?part=11605 - Any thought on FamousFour?
They’re good guys. If you need a new upper tailgate they have the best prices on those.

Since your truck has been sitting for 12 years it probably still has a brittle black expansion tank. I’d try out a metal replacement.


 

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Discussion Starter #58
Excellent. Thanks! I have a plastic (see in the photo above). It has a float in it for sensing coolant level. How does the suggested replacement handle that? Also how can you see coolant level without opening? Sorry if these are dumb question and appreciate all of your help!
 

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Excellent. Thanks! I have a plastic (see in the photo above). It has a float in it for sensing coolant level. How does the suggested replacement handle that? Also how can you see coolant level without opening? Sorry if these are dumb question and appreciate all of your help!
You have to open it to see the level. Short the two wires going to the sensor plug out and the level light will shut off. Clear plastic replacements that work with normal caps are also available, that's what I have currently.

 

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Discussion Starter #60
@xalt Thanks for the advice on the break parts. I ordered all 3 parts (pump, accumulator and sensor) All parts should be here by 12/10. One question is that I have not flushed the brake fluid yet (assuming it has been unchanged in 13+ year). Do I need to flush the system before I replace the parts so that the fluids are new before the new parts are added or should I do so after? Thanks!
 
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