Land Rover Adventures
We are now on tour with an old Series 3 Land Rover, which we had bought in Cape Town and registered there. (Visit our Blog how everything started)
Watch this video clip:
Kindle Book: Into Africa: 3 kids, 13 crates and a husband
- Land Rover 109
- Series 3s, 2.6 liter
- Model 1982
- 6 cylinder Petrol (R6 – South African Model with straight 6 cylinder engine, which they took from the Rover SDI car)
- Station Wagon
- 5 doors
Special Infos on this Land Rover model:
Series IIIS – R6 2.6 litre Petrol, 3.8 litre Diesel and 2.24 litre Petrol.
In 1980 the South African Land Rover Series III S was introduced, distinguished from ordinary locally built Series III vehicles by having the flush front grille of the Stage 1 V8, a model which was never sold in South Africa. Only two body types were available from the factory, one being a 109 inch pick-up, on which all three engine options were available, and the other was a 12 seater station wagon which only came with the new 2.6 litre six-cylinder petrol engine (known as the R6) and the new diesel.
The new diesel was a locally-built 3.8 litre 4 cylinder known as the Atlantis or ADE4 and provided a useful 73bhp (55kW) @ 2800rpm and 179 lb./ft (243Nm) torque at just 1400rpm. The R6 engine had been developed from the E6 six-cylinder, itself derived from the overhead-camshaft four cylinder BMC/Leyland E-series engine.
In Britain that was as far as the E6 went, but the design was re-used by Leyland Australia who developed a long-stroke 2623cc version for conventional installation in the Australian Marina and the P76 saloon. It was this engine which was picked up by Leyland South Africa at the end of the 1970’s and redeveloped as the R6 for the local Marina, Rover SD1 and Land Rover. For South Africa it had an up-rated cooling system, lower noise levels and a new camshaft.
Both saloon and Land Rover versions for the 2.6 litre six cylinder had twin SU HIF6 carburettors and the same 110bhp (82kW) @ 2800rpm and 148 lb./ft (202Nm) of torque at 2200rpm. In the Land Rover, the engine came with an oil cooler as standard. Like the diesel, it drove through a four speed Santana all-synchromesh gearbox, which had slightly different first, third and reverse ratios from the British-designed models fitted to four cylinder petrol models.
Both the R6 and 2.24 litre petrol engines came with Salisbury axles incorporating the familiar 4.7:1 gearing, but the diesel had Salisbury axles with a final drive of 3.54:1, exactly like the Solihull-built Stage 1 V8.
On the road the Series III S in four cylinder petrol form performed very much like any 2.25 litre petrol Series III. The six cylinder model was a very different case, however. The station wagon had a maximum cruising speed of about 130 km/h (81mph).
Somewhere about 5000 examples were built before production stopped in 1985. By then the first locally assembled 110 V8 vehicles had become available and the last of the Series III S models lingered in dealers’ showrooms until 1986.
Why an old Series:
1. I had Land Rovers before and know how to maintain it
2. You get spares all over the world (except for the Engine)
3. There is a strong worldwide community you can ask
4. It is a robust, reliable vehicle
As we had still the Camper van, which was fully furnished and equipped, we had to think about how we convert it into a camping vehicle. There was the idea to strip it completely and build a box from 2×2.5 meters with a heights of 2 meters. We did not do that, because we simply could not afford it. So we took out the furniture from our camper van and adjusted it to fit into the Land Rover. So we have got storage for food and cloth, a bench to sit with table and an emergency bed, which is rather small but it is just for emergency. We bought two tents, a small one for one night stays, which is quickly pitched and a larger one, if we stay longer at a place which provides more comfort. So we had a space problem which we solved as follows: The sand ladders were fitted outside at the rear side windows, which are also a kind of protection against theft, and we had bought the Land Rover with a roof rack, where we build a simple box on it (thanks Rick from Kamanjab, Namibia, who helped us a lot and gave us an awning for the side). Aside the box we fitted the spare jerry cans. All the conversion was done in Oppi Koppi rest camp, Namibia, where Vital and Marianne provided the tools and space where we could work on the Land Rover. Thanks to them as well. Now the basic vehicle was finished, but it was lacking some decoration, so Andrea from Gelbingen Guest Farm painted animal footprints and black people on the Land Rover, which later turned out was a great help, because all police men were laughing about the vehicle and checks were done quite easy. Thanks Andrea! The basic conversion was finished and we could start.
Read our first Blog how everything started!