1989 Range Rover

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    1989 Range Rover

    This won't be a build thread as such, but to get the ball rolling in the Land Rover section I thought I might give the quick version of my Rangies journey since I bought it in July 2017.

    Quick background:
    I'm a qualified Diesel Mechanic, though working a desk now, so I need some projects to keep my hands busy. I decided I wanted to get into wheeling a while back so a project 4x4 was on the cards. In Australia Nissan Patrols, Toyota Land Cruisers and basically any twin cab 4x4 ute is all you ever see out in the bush. I wanted something a bit different, and my dad had been a bit of a Landy fan in the past. Dad overhead someone talking about an old Rangie by chance and got the guys number for me. A couple of weeks later I came home $500 poorer with this:
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    For $500 I was willing to cop the ugliest bullbar ever conceived and the fact that it was running on 6 and a half cylinders.
    It was basically stock, aside from a dual fuel (LPG) conversion and a shitty clamp on sway bar on the rear and had just over 400,000 km on the clock.

    First up was replacing the bullbar and wheels. The bar is an old ARB bar that someone had butchered a winch frame into.
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    The LPG system was also removed as the tank took up too much interior space. The Rangie is only used for camping and playing in the bush so cargo space and weight saving took priority over running cost. The only thing that would have been nice had I kept the LPG would have been the extra range it provided.
    I also sourced an ARB rear bar shortly after. (This is all a bit out of order BTW)
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    The original 3.9 V8 had flattened the cam. I was going to rebuild it but then heard of a 1998 Discovery being wrecked nearby. I got the opportunity to drive the Disco and it ran quite well so i decided to buy the 3.9 from that rather than rebuild the existing 3.9. Ultimately this was the wrong call. I was just going to replace the rear main seal and swap it in, but on removing the sump I decided to check the bottom end bearings, revealing a lot of wear, so the decision was made to tear it down and go through it.
    Overall it just got a cheap freshen up, with new bottom end bearings, piston rings and a new cam and lifters.
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    My biggest regret to date is not ponying up for a set of high compression pistons...

    I got the Rangie roadworthy and registered and started with some local trips with a mate in his Rodeo.
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    I quickly found that ruts created by GQ Patrols on 35" tyres are too deep for a Rangie on 30s!

    That was pretty much the first year I owned it (remember it's just a weekend hobby!) taking us up to mid 2018. More to come!
    Last edited by A4L7E3X; 06-09-2020, 07:12 PM.

    #2
    Nawh my Rangie can’t even get a single like or reply? 😢
    Whatever, continuing on…
    The little all terrains were the immediately obvious limiting factor, so when a very lightly used set of 32x11.5 Kenda Klevers came up locally I jumped on them. I also sourced a little baby set of flares to keep it legal. The tyres rubbed these flares on full articulation, but that was corrected later.
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    The plan with the Rangie all along was to keep my hands busy, so whenever I find a cheap upgrade I try to jump on it. Most of the parts on this car came from Facebook. I found used Detroit locker already installed in a third member a few hours away so that went in (no pics sorry).
    It got wheeled a bit with the muddies and the Detroit and it worked pretty well, but the Borg Warner viscous transfer case started jumping out of low range when getting on and off the throttle, such as when trying to push its way through a swamp…
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    That got old fast. Somewhere around here Dad bought an early 80s 2 door Rangie and a crashed Discovery for parts. I took the LT230 transfer case from the Disco and swapped out the Borg Warner. Now I had a locked rear diff and a locking centre diff. It also got a snorkel around here.

    A Warn XD9000 popped up locally on Facebook so I decided to fill the hole in my bull bar. The winch came off a government Forestry ute and I honestly don’t think it had ever been used. It took a little bit of work to get it to fit but we got there. It’s actually installed ‘upside down’ from its normal orientation, but it was just a matter of moving the water drain and wiring the solenoids backwards.
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    I also found an ARB diff lock a few hours away so I jumped on that for the front axle. The crown wheel it was installed on was junk but the advantage of having Identical third members is that I could install the ARB diff in the third member that came out of the rear axle. At the same time I upgraded the CVs from the little baby 32 spline versions to the earlier, beefier 23 spline CVs.
    Unfortunately I’m still getting hung up in deep ruts…
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    But I don’t want to go any bigger than 32” tyres with the factory gearing… Maybe 33”s…
    I got sick of the tyres rubbing so some bigger flares were on the cards, I probably have room for 33"s now.
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    Last edited by A4L7E3X; 06-09-2020, 08:11 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Still no love? Whatever, I don’t need your approval anyway…😭😭😭
      Last post to bring things up to present day, I might keep this updated as more changes are made or if I get some good wheeling pics.
      I went on a desert camping trip with a couple of buddies in September 2019 and with three guys worth of gear in the car plus some fuel things were getting a little cramped. But we did find some Tanks!
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      That's the Rangies plastic sill tied to the bullbar... It fell off. The sills were replaced with some shortened GU Patrol aluminium steps.

      I’m not a fan of roof racks so the easiest way to gain some storage space was to move the spare tyre to the rear bumper. I hunted around for a bit looking for a decent method to mount the spare on a swing away and eventually found an ARB step bumper (the same as the one I already had) with a modified Kaymar tyre swing mounted to it. Unfortunately the bumper had been bounced around with a 35” tyre hanging off the back causing it to crack, and then left out in the elements in a coastal town causing it to rust, but the tyre swing was in good condition.
      I got the tyre swing mounted in my bumper using the cracked old one as a guide to where it needed to be reinforced, mainly an extra bar running from the corner of the bumper back to the frame to stop it from twisting.
      Aussies will know this, but the Kaymar tyre swings have a vertical tube for mounting accessories, so I made up a rack to mount two 10 litre plastic Jerry cans. 20 L cans will also fit, but I’m not super keen on having that much weight mounted that high. It would be fine for running down the highway, but not off road. I also mounted my shovel and axe to the back of the tyre.
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      Another thing worth mentioning is that my Dad gave up on the 2 door Rangie and sold it on, using the proceeds to buy a 300 Tdi Discovery. We have had them out together a couple of times now, his is fairly stock for the moment.
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      So that’s the quick version of the Rangies story so far. I’m still keen to keep modifying and playing with it, but unfortunately it’s at the point where most of cheap, fun stuff has been done, and it actually works really well! It’s biggest let down is the fuel range (a little over 300 Km to a tank), I have a few ideas on improving that.

      There is a bunch of other smaller things that I have done which are not shown here. If anyone wants to know more just ask! Since I only have three pics in this post so far I will show a crappy photo of my el-cheapo progressive bump stops:
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      Thank you junkyard Jackeroo!

      I also recently had this start to happen:
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      So the rear suspension got a bit of an overhaul with Kingpin spring retainers and some GU patrol shock absorbers, which are much longer than the Landy shocks. In the picture above you can see that I did have some lowered upper shock mounts on the rear, I have gone back to the standard upper mounts with the Patrol shocks. I have about 10 mm more droop than the old set up and the Jackeroo bump stop will have to fully collapse both voids before the shocker bottoms out.

      Bear in mind that the purpose of this thing was to keep my hands busy, which it has achieved fantastically, but it is a diminishing returns sort of deal. This has had me on the lookout for an early Series 2a… But I don’t know that I will get that plan approved…

      Comment


        #4
        Nice build so far. There’s not much traffic in here yet due to this place being so new, hopefully it will pick up some. Did you have to modify the driveshafts when you swapped to the LT230? You may be aware, but if you go to larger tires the Defender T-cases came with a 1.4:1 high range instead of the 1.2:1 in the D1’s. Doesn’t help any in low range, but should for pavement power.

        I also agree that the fuel range can be problematic. I’ve been working on a solution for my LR3, but it may end up just being a pair of Jerry cans in a custom rack. There is an auxiliary gas tank available for them but it’s hard to find in the states and requires relocating the spare tire. I hat swing out tire carriers on a DD, my dad had one on a Jeep and it’s a chore to unlatch the carrier, swing it out, open the top tailgate, open the bottom tailgate, close both tailgate, pull the locking pin, close the carrier, and re-latch it.

        Comment


          #5
          This is quite the build. I love the old range rivers, bit just can't get past the horrible lack of reliability.. keep it up!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Gatorgrizz27 View Post
            Nice build so far. There’s not much traffic in here yet due to this place being so new, hopefully it will pick up some. Did you have to modify the driveshafts when you swapped to the LT230? You may be aware, but if you go to larger tires the Defender T-cases came with a 1.4:1 high range instead of the 1.2:1 in the D1’s. Doesn’t help any in low range, but should for pavement power.

            I also agree that the fuel range can be problematic. I’ve been working on a solution for my LR3, but it may end up just being a pair of Jerry cans in a custom rack. There is an auxiliary gas tank available for them but it’s hard to find in the states and requires relocating the spare tire. I hat swing out tire carriers on a DD, my dad had one on a Jeep and it’s a chore to unlatch the carrier, swing it out, open the top tailgate, open the bottom tailgate, close both tailgate, pull the locking pin, close the carrier, and re-latch it.
            Cheers for the reply!
            The LT230 was a straight swap from the Borg Warner, same driveshafts went straight in, although I do run a 15mm spacer on the front shaft as it was pulling dust boot off at full droop, but thats more to do with longer shocks. I would love to get a 1.4 (Defender) transfer case, but they are harder to come by and most guys know that they are more valuable than the 1.2 ratio cases.

            For the fuel range I have an auxiliary tank that fits in the back corner below the 1/4 panel, these were fairly popular here when doing an LPG dual fuel conversion, you would put the LPG tanks in place of the factory tank and use the little auxiliary tank for petrol. But i haven't installed it yet as they are designed to fit up to the factory filler, so if I put that in I cant fill my main tank! I have an idea to use that location for the auxiliary tank and put the main tank filler on the other side of the car, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.
            All in all 300 km range is enough that I don't usually have to worry that I wont make it to the next fuel station, but it annoys other people when I have to fill up every day or two, sometimes twice a day, and they can go a whole week on one tank...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Poriggity View Post
              This is quite the build. I love the old range rivers, bit just can't get past the horrible lack of reliability.. keep it up!
              It actually hasn't let me down (yet), but I have done a lot of preventative maintenance.
              A highlight day for me was when I went out with a Toyota 4 Runner and a Holden (Isuzu) Colorado, first hill of the day the Rangie crawled right up, the Colorado broke a hub half way up and got dragged to the top by the Rangie, and the Toyota didn't even get a shot as it wouldn't go into low range!
              Not that I enjoyed that the other guys had to turn around and go home, but it goes to show that other rigs have trouble too!
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              Last edited by A4L7E3X; 06-16-2020, 09:54 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by A4L7E3X View Post

                It actually hasn't let me down (yet), but I have done a lot of preventative maintenance.
                A highlight day for me was when I went out with a Toyota 4 Runner and a Holden (Isuzu) Colorado, first hill of the day the Rangie crawled right up, the Colorado broke a hub half way up and got dragged to the top by the Rangie, and the Toyota didn't even get a shot as it wouldn't go into low range!
                Not that I enjoyed that the other guys had to turn around and go home, but it goes to show that other rigs have trouble too!
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                Sometimes the most unreliable vehicle in the world turns out to be the most reliable vehicle in the world. I pulled a lot more broken vehicles out of the trail with my Rover than the other way around.
                Safety Third!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by KungFooMASTA View Post

                  Sometimes the most unreliable vehicle in the world turns out to be the most reliable vehicle in the world. I pulled a lot more broken vehicles out of the trail with my Rover than the other way around.
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                  You know it never occurred to me until now that mine is the same colour as Mr Clarksons "most reliable vehicle in the world".

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The driveshafts are indeed different length. A Disco front driveshaft won't require the spacer

                    the clamp-on sway bars were likely stock as Land Rover provides them as an add-on

                    what I'm impressed by is seeing a clean non-rusted to red dust '89!

                    im also impressed by what seems a blistering fast rate of build! I can only dream of such a fast build, but alas, others' trucks get priority around here, something about the mortgage

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by A4L7E3X View Post

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                      You know it never occurred to me until now that mine is the same colour as Mr Clarksons "most reliable vehicle in the world".
                      Rioja red?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Numbskull???
                        Fixedit! 🤪
                        Last edited by PTSchram; 07-05-2020, 09:13 AM. Reason: I'm an idiot

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by PTSchram View Post
                          The driveshafts are indeed different length. A Disco front driveshaft won't require the spacer

                          the clamp-on sway bars were likely stock as Land Rover provides them as an add-on

                          what I'm impressed by is seeing a clean non-rusted to red dust '89!

                          im also impressed by what seems a blistering fast rate of build! I can only dream of such a fast build, but alas, others' trucks get priority around here, something about the mortgage
                          Cheers for the comments, I keep trying to keep some traffic going in here!

                          I did compare the front driveshafts when I did the swap and they looked near enough to the same, but maybe I didn't check the extended length properly.
                          I still have the clamp on sway bar, I assumed it was aftermarket but it may have been a dealer option... Junk in any case, it clamps between the rear lower trailing arms and sits lower than the rear diff. I wouldn't mind getting a higher chassis mounted sway bar in the rear just for road-going manners, but it's just a weekend toy so it's not high on the priority list.
                          It's not too bad for rust, I did have to patch up the drivers floor, and the passengers floor should really get the same treatment but the previous owner tec-screwed some sheet metal over it and, well, it's still there for now.
                          It hasn't been that quick of a build, 3 years to date!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by PTSchram View Post
                            The driveshafts are indeed different length. A Disco front driveshaft won't require the spacer

                            the clamp-on sway bars were likely stock as Land Rover provides them as an add-on

                            what I'm impressed by is seeing a clean non-rusted to red dust '89!

                            im also impressed by what seems a blistering fast rate of build! I can only dream of such a fast build, but alas, others' trucks get priority around here, something about the mortgage
                            Glad to see you showed up to the party. Its just getting started but I think its gonna be a good one.
                            Safety Third!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by KungFooMASTA View Post

                              Glad to see you showed up to the party. Its just getting started but I think its gonna be a good one.
                              Im crazy busy right now, what with a new day job, trying to keep the shop moving forward, sling into parts and dealing with family health issues

                              bit I will try to contribute to the tech here, if nothing else to referee the bullshit🤪

                              Comment

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