Series Land Rover (Australia & NZ)
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October 2011 Homepage
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Series Land Rover Chassis Problems

The chassis on a Series Land Rover is made from heavy gauge steel but original chassis have now been around for decades, even for the latest Series III models. Being made from steel means they will corrode and the earlier models had the thickest gauge steel for the chassis.

 
 
Water thrown into the chassis dumb irons rots them from inside. Stress from the leaf spring accelerates the corrosion. This example is unroadworthy.  
The chassis outriggers behind the wheels are most prone to corrosion. They support the body so good strength is vital.
 
The chassis will often rust from the inside and it becomes visble along the bottom edges as illustrated here.

The chassis will usually corrode from the inside and if no corrosion inhibitor was injected into it early in its life then corrosion will be well underway by now. All Series Land Rover chassis have drain holes in them and these need to be kept clear else water will be trapped inside and internal corrosion accelerated. Tapping the chassis with a small screwdriver and listening for the metallic ring of health, or the dead thud of corrosion reveals the state of the chassis, as much internally as externally.

Off-roading can cause chassis dents and cross members can become bent. This could mean that the engine/gearbox can be out of its normal alignment and lead to clutch judder problems.

 
Alloy bodywork corrosion can occur around all points where the steel chassis connects to the aluminium body panels.
 
If the rear chassis crossmember is covered in mud then scrape through it to inspect this area. It is very prone to corrosion.

If you are inspecting a Series Land Rover prior to possibe purchase then you are likely to find weld repairs somewhere on the chassis. They should be good quality continuous seam welds and not just overlaid patches tag welded into place.

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Fascinating facts
(No.109 )

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