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Land Rover Series 3 109 FFR rolling restoration?


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Since buying the Land Rover I have not been able to to do much except what it required for the MOT and making lists of what needs doing and what parts I need to source.

It has to be a rolling restoration, as if it is not usable I will probably not get anything done to it as it would have to live at my parents and probably anny the owner of the farm.

I know its a bit less exciting than some of the other stuff being restored but you have to start somewhere.

So what did it need for the MOT



  1. Working electrics, well ligts and wipers at least. the lights all woked but non of the warning/repeater lights on the dash did. Multiple reasons were found for this blown or no bulbs easy fix.Even then they did strange things. The indicator repeator would only work with the 6 way switch in a certain location but the indicators worked. Investigation revealed a cut cable on the hazard switch and a reconnection to the light switch. Reconnect wire to correct location all works.
  2. Drove it in the dark and could not see where I was going. Yes the original prefocus headlights are worse than I thought. Not helped by the fact that the lights are adjusted to illuminate the bumper. Hang o I think these lights were adjusted last year fr its MOT for the PO, cause it originally failled on them. Never mind isome nice halogen conversions (I know not original but more convenient than night vision goggles) and adjust some screws, easy. Push turn and off with one headlight, why does the other one not turn, oh yes the adjusters have snapped and it has a self tapping screw in the bottom. All adjusters siezed, snapped of de-slotted. So it now has new headlights and bowls.
  3. Brakes these are important mine don't quite seem right, sorry I mean left atleast that is the way it turns when you brake and I am sure there was brake fluid in the resevoir. Right fron piston jammed in and weeping, rightt rear shoes fitted incorrectly, left rear nicly lubricated by the blown axle oil seal. Fix the front brakes, before checking rear, Whats this fluid running down the bulkhead support and dripping on the floor, oh yes its brake fluid, master cylinder also leaking. Never mind it is all done and now stops
  4. Tyres 2mm tread on rear and plenty on the front, spare has loads to. Thats Ok untill I take them off and check the inner sidewalls. The spares fine but why i it mounted the wrong way up. Oh yes to hide that 360 degree crack in the side wall. Oh well 5 new tyres. What do I get Avons, some of those nice American ones with white lettering or the cheap budget ones. You got it the cheap budget ones I liked the tread pattern, it looks right. Just changing the tyres has improved the look (my opinion)


Off for the MOT, not much left on a Series 3 to fail on. It passed without even needing the new lights adjusting. Bet we can't do that again.


Of course I fixed the axle leak and the one from the transfer box, the one from the unclipped fuel line into the carb and fitted a new thermostat.

Have replaced the fuel, oil and water temp guages and they now work, old ones had a rust problem.

So now happer to drive as I know if its going to overheat or run out of fuel.


Now for the rest of it.

Will keep posting as things progress.




Pics after/ guages and before.


mot passed..jpg


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  • 1 month later...

Progressing a bit further.

Have acquired a front battery box and cover and have stripped and painted ready to fit.

Have aquired TUAAM and boxes for front wings and have stripped down painted ready for fitting.


Have taken the durbar plating off the front wings to see what is beneath and prepare for fitting the TUAAMs.

Bit of work to do there as somebody has had some fun with the paint and stuff.

Looks like it was once brown and black.

Looks like some fun with paint stripper and a bit of filler on the unwanted holes.

Also need to go hunting for some covers for the cable boxes. At least I still have cables.



cable box.jpg

wing rh.jpg

wing lh.jpg

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the brown colour is the green NATO paint after been on for years mine has (had) the same thing before it went sand and green and it is how it is now :D


looks a nice good vehicle tho and landys never die they get stripped so 30 more landys can live :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

A bit more done.

Front wings have been stripped, holes filled, painted and TUAAM's fitted.

I know its not quite correct but have given it a go with satin finish.

Wanted to see what it looks like and how well it survives the elements.

Once all body work complete it will get a complete repaint, although yet to decide what scheme to go for.


Have removed aluminium durbar ferom side of rear tub. sourced and refitted yhe missing cover plates and tool box lids.


The observent amongst you may have spotted the large burn mark on the right tool chest. This is where a PO partially drilled out the rivets holding the turn buckle on, then rather than drill abit more and pry off decided to burn the buckle off with a gas torch. Surprised something had not melted.





tuaams on.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Have been doing a few more bits although not quite on my intended work list.


The Land Rover has now started telling me what to do. Makes a change from the wife:-D.

There I was having taken an old bed and mattress to the local tip (wife's orders) had just turned off the main road when there was yhis metallic bouncing noise in the road just behind me. Luckily Richard Head who was following about 2m behind up the hill had not followed me.

One of the angles between the seat tubs and the rear side panels had fallen off.

Now nicly restored and reditted and has some load staples bolted to it again. Had been removed by PO who fitted aluminum plates.

Piccy for those who don't know what bit it is.


Maybe that is the best way to restore a vehicle. As it falls off repair and refit. Somehow I don't think it is ideal.




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The Land Rover also decided it needed the engine looking at.

Oil levels were all Ok and it was running fine, including 5 miles with the back loaded with logs ready for the upcoming winter.Need to get them in early especially when they are free.


Anyway decided to go to the airshow at Old Warden in the truck. 50-55ish on the M25/A1 running no problem. Even overtook a car:shocked: shortly before turning off.

Anyway whilst in the queue to get in it started to misfire.

Was still misfiring a bit when we left. dropped onto 3 fulltime on A1 so it went the rest of the way home on a recovery truck.

Posted the problem on EMLRA forum (larger audience) as I like to use my problems to help others as well as seek assistance. Even if the main assistors are also on here in most cases.


Anyway did compression tests and all the usual.

The main problem turned out to be a spark plug. Noticed on second day of playing. It came apart when unbolting the shielded HT leads.

New plugs and its running much better.


However the compression tests ended up at 130-135 PSI. So the question was what head is fitted 7:1 or 8:1.

Engine has a rebuild plate from 1989.

Cylinder head turns out to be S2 7:1, from number (possibly modified) so still not sure.

Block appears to be a Series 3 3 bearing diesel one going by the engine number.

As it runs I have decided to add oil and petrol and keep on running for near future.


An interesting little conundrum to look into.

Could it bear a rare duak fuek/hybrid motor.

Oh well back to doing the planned bits.



no3 plug.jpg

data plate.jpg


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  • 2 months later...

Have returned from a few weeks away, to find the truck would not start. The miss matched and dubious batteries that were in when I got it have finally decided to give up.

It was obviously time to remove the nice comfy seats and fit some of those high quality Series land Rover ones.

These have the bonus off being able to reach the door handles, access the fuel tanks with ease and refit the batteries back between the seats.

Refurbed battery tray fitted, generator panel put back where it should be, behind seat.

Just neeed a shunt box to reinstall along with the jerry can holder (sitting in garage) and that will be one more bit reinstated.

Oh yes need to connect new batteries up and cross fingers that it starts. Refitted cables as previous but without the extra meter or so of leads running into the back.


Has gone from this



To this



Looking much more like it (although maybe a bit clean)




seat start.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Bit more done in my attempt to get back to how it was meant to be.


Dexion racking for radio gear has been acquired, stripped, painted and installed.

Remaining durbar liner plate removed from the rear.

Not to bas undernearth, loads of flaking paint, some dirt and all the bolts still in place for the radio battery frame. So somebody unbolted them removed the frame and put them back.

They then removed the load runner strips and fitted the liner panel. Explains the gaps, the self tap screws that only went into the liner and the extra rattle it created on bumps.


Next step clean and paint rear tub amd sort out fuel tanks all inbetween redoing the garden, walls and all.





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Hi Mike. It's looking good. Have you done anything else with the engine? Realised I ought to have the head done on mine. Good pics.



Should really pull the head, as I am sure valve stem oil seals are shot. But it runs quite well so am loathed to do it, in case it don't work any more.




PS Thanks for the kind comments helps me keep up the work as I find more and more things to do.

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Dont want to put spanner in the works. My A/P SerIII (54HG12) started missfiring after a event few years back when under a bit of pressure i.e. doing over 45 M.P.H.:-D. Turned out No.4 exhaust valve had disapeared up it's own ...... (valve seat). Was a easy job to remove head and had machined for lead free for just under £180. (2008) Must admit it ran better with slightly improved fuel econ. The cost included all new valves, seals and skim.


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  • 2 months later...

Well has been a while since I posted so here is an update on progress.

Have been working on the inside of the tub after removing durbar plate was a mixture of green, red and nothing in various layers The interesting thing was the difference between left and right. Left was red oxide on a pretty well prepared tub, right was red oxide slapped on top of anything and everything, Still busy cleaning up and sanding back. Can only do so much at a time


Investigated the rear tailgate whilst replacing the left hinge which was bent something chronic due to a PO not having a chain attached and using it. Have removed pioneer bits in attempt to salvage some and clean the rest up. The standard issue dent in the middle, when cover late removed reveals a complete split in the metalwork, explains the twisting motion on closing. Fix or buy another, decisions.



Whilst waiting for the repair chemicals in the fuel tank to do their stuff (will give verdict on this when I can test) the best advice I can give is not to poke the passenger foot well seams with a chisel, leads to more work, bit of welding now required. Mind you needed doing as I have a fireextinquisher to mount there for display purposes.



Have also acquired the antenna posts and mounts to add to the side brackets. These were removed, stripped cleaned painted along with the immediate vicinity on the truck, looks even patchier now.


Once on I thought I would stick the antennas in.



Pressure washed it the other week and even more paint came off.

Starting to look more like it now.

List of work getting longer.

Who cares that’s part of the fun and one of the reasons for getting it.

Well the "disjointed" work will continue slower now the better weather has arrived. I need to do the garden remodelling.








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  • 4 weeks later...

Have been busy again.


Rear tub has now been mostly rubbed sown and primed, still need to do the inside of the rear wings.


Thought I would then have a go at the rear tailgate, As this has the standard hitch dent with some further damage caused by a PO using only one chain on the tailgate and as such was split through all the birmabrite bits the only bit intact was the galv liner.




Thought I would give it a repair/strengthening exercise.

First job was grill out all the rivets and remove the galv liner. Was hoping to be able to access the bottom section byt it is a solid box.


Had to change plan and decided to insert a galvanised angle by opening the end and sliding it in. Angle needed some grinding to fit nicely.




The tailgate and angle were drilled through and riveted in place.. Channel runs from the corner gusset to the one at the opposite end. The open end was then closed back up and riveted back together, had to drilled out 2 spot welds. Some instant car (fibre glass paste) was then used to seal up the cuts.




The damaged section had been cut and levered to allow the angle to slide through. This was them beaten back into some sort of shape and riveted to the angle. Heat was applied to ease the bending process using a hot air stripper gun on the high setting (have one which gets everything really hot)




Some more instant car was applied and I now have a quite successful repair as the tailgate is no longer as flexible as before and just to confuse the rivet counters I now have some extra ones.




Just need to sand down ad finish the filling, strip all the paint get some rubber seals, Oh and fill the spare rivet holes somebody else created along the bottom edge, then a coat of paint and refit pioneer kit.










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  • 2 weeks later...

Have had the truck now for 2 MOT's and both had advisories on the rear cross member, the official word was keep an eye on it.

But in real terms it was "Don't attempt to tow anything heavy"

I knew this when I bought it all down to the dodgy welding and the fact that it was bent. Well the tow hitch was on the piss anyway. That and the fact that I managed to push a chisel through in a few places meant it was time for a new one.

As I cannot weld I had to get this done.






I removed and painted the bumperettes, need to do the tow hitch now.

The only issue with the crossmember appears to be that the upper hole for the tie down brackets has not been drilled through the tub fixing.


A 3 day weekend and only one good day for working.

Got the rear chassis on drivers side cleaned and painted though.



One thing I have noticed about my truck is the distinct lack of any real amount of underseal, both on the tub and the chassis. Chassis only seems to have a thin coat of black and in places the obligatory coating of copious amounts of oil.


Then decided to strip paint of the wheel. There were a fair few layers of this, Nato green, primer and towards the bottom the "duck egg blue" colour normally reserved for engines. Why?


The others show signs of white but who knows. Before anybody asks it is a mil spec wheel FV738903 / 5.5F*16*33 / 569690 / (Dunlop symbol?)964 are stamped on it anyway. No doubt somebody will know what this all means.









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  • 2 months later...

Well you have probably been thinking that lazy git has taken the summer off and not done anything to his truck for ages.

Well you could be right except for 2 things.


1. I am still waiting for summer to arrive.

2. As summer has not arrived I have taken bits off and done them inthe garage


Various bits have been removed?acquired cleaned and painted ready for refitting, strewn across the garage.



Nato hitch removed, freed up after 4 days sitting in degreaser and releasing fluid. Cleaned and painted a nice shade of red.



Managed to get a good day and some time off work so the tailgate is now painted.



Managed to find time to finish prepping the tub and took a flyer on the bank holiday (sunday) and painted the tub green.



Amongst the radio gear I acquired was a cable stowage box in need of a bit of work.



Apparently is missing some protection to the terminals. Having found some NOS ones on the internet for sale, I decided not to buy them (as my Lotto numbers had not come up) and knocked something up from a bit of spare aluminium I had knocking about. No prizes for guessing what it was.



Just need to save my pennies up for some new terminals and refit all the loose bits kicking around the garage.









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