Landrovers, good,bad or indifferent

Submitted: Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:00
ThreadID: 14392 Views:7476 Replies:9 FollowUps:3
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Hello All, Driving along Great Eastern Hwy behind a Army Landrover this morning and got to thinking. The general view is that Landrovers are not all that reliable with quality issues which may or may not be true, I don't own one so can't comment on this. But anyway if the Landrovers are unreliable then why do the army use them in many senarios that you require reliability.. ie some bugger is shooting at you. Or is it just a case that they are old fashioned and a orthopaedic Surgeons dream.
Don't want to start a debate so if there are first hand informants out there ie Landrover owners/users, their views would be appreciated.


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Reply By: Member - Kerry (VIC) - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:21

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:21
i heard they use isuszu motors in some of there rigs there was someone else on this forum talking about it a while ago to
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Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:34

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 16:34
Kerry is quite correct about the engines.

3.9 Isuzu, normally aspirated in the 110 and same engine upgraded to cope with turbo in 6x6.

The army aspect is quite interesting in that there are many armies throughout the world using Landies.

As for the hackneyed old reliability bit, you only need read this forum to see that all makes and models have their strengths and weaknesses. I have no doubt the Army's decision to run with them took all these matters into consideration.

I am often involved in work for Defence and recently asked the blokes involved in servicing them about reliability issues. There response was something along the lines of no real problems, other than due to driver abuse. Seems to me that would apply to any vehicle.

They've had the current model for about 17 years and don't look like offloading them in the near future. In the past I have considered raising the army aspect with the usual bunch of Landy bashers, but decided I would be wasting my breath.

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Reply By: Quartzy - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 17:13

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 17:13
Driving to work this morning in Port Hedland, I noticed a whole heap of SAS Landrovers on trucks parked in town. They looked fully set up to go bush for a while. Motorbikes on the back and 6x6 perenties etc. I am sure tha SAS would not use them unless they delivered exactly what they require out in the desert etc. I have owned a Defender 130 dual cab with 2.5 TDI. Found it to be very good off road. Now own a Patrol GQ and an old hzj75 troopy. Sometimes i miss the defender.
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Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:03

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:03
One of the blokes I was speaking of in my earlier post mentioned a stint in W.A. I doubt he was SAS .. but then again you never know with those fellas. Anyway he was saying he has a set of clobber he wore on one trip. Has washed them about a 1000 times and reckons he still can't get the red out. My other half asked him about dust proofing and he fell about laughing.
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Reply By: AndrewX - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:27

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:27
You must remember though that the Army started using Landrovers when they were one of very few 4wds available and since they came from the "Mother Country" they were chosen ahead of say Jeeps from USA. Infrastructure was set up for maintenance and since aspects like comfort, highway performance, dust entry and fluid loss were not concerns to soldiers they "did the job". They are suitable for soldiers but it's easy to see why very few tourists use them. They like a bit of comfort and don't have the back up that the army has to keep them going. Those that have them just have to rely on friends with Toyotas to help them!!
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Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:57

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:57
I seem to recall they tried Tojos a few years back. Don't see many around these days.
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Reply By: gonebush - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:32

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:32
The decision to use the Landrover for the Army was very much influenced by politics, not by the vehicle. JRA (Jaguar Rover Australia) would have gone under without the contract with the loss of many jobs. The Rover Group was subsequently sold to BMW in 1994.

It took a lot of work by organisations other than JRA to make the vehicles suitable for military applications.
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Reply By: rolande- Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:41

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:41
I remember reading a story in a mag when the Perentie project was on, they were comparing the 6X6 Landy with a 6X6 Cruiser. Coil springs V's leaf springs. Guess when the guys went for a run into town which vehicle they took. They have been using them for years, Land Rover built or partially built them in Sydney for the Army, fitted the engine they wanted and had coil spring suspension. Against what they were against it was an easy choice. Frank Parson's started building his 6X6 'cuisers about then but wasn't in a serious position to put in a bid, even though the 6X6 system he develped was superior to the Landy which drives the second axle via the PTO shaft out the back of the gearbox, at least that is how I remember it.
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Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:53

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 20:53
Almost correct. The 6x6 landie has leaf springs to the rear. They managed to achieve good axle articulation by overlapping the rear set inboard of the front set by about 200mm, meaning good spring length. Interesting fact also is that the 6x6 has a 200mm wider track than the standard landie. Only found that out recently and was quite surprised, I always thought they looked wider but put it down to visual trickery due to the unusually large cabin on the back.

The rear tail shaft setup certainly looks strange, but I suppose if it came out the back of the front diff as normal, that may have put a big load on the universal joints due to the very short length.
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Reply By: Member - Karl - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004 at 15:08

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004 at 15:08
I have been in the Army now for 21 years (you get less for murder). When they chose the Landrover it was because they were the only ones that were able to supply a base varient that could be used to build other models. It really had nothing to with reiability etc - just mainly the dollar value (ie more for less). Having had to drive them when they came in new they were a big improvement over the Series 3; however, now they are long in the tooth. I wouldn't rush out to buy one on the 2nd hand market. You would be better of looking for 2nd hand Troopies or Cruisers.
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Reply By: stevesub - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004 at 16:33

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004 at 16:33
With Landrovers, you get good ones and bad ones like any vehicle - there are just more bad Landrovers than good ones, especially our Landrover which is a mechanical and electronic nightmare. It is the most un-reliable vehicle that we have ever owned.

Our Troopy has been 100% relaible until it stripped a gear in the transfer case at 185,000km, why who knows.

I also have heard about the Australian army Landrovers being bitzas with Isuzu ehgines, etc.

The New Zealand army are not buying any more Landrovers, they have changed their allegance to some other pommie 4x4 which is not very well known (I cannot remember the name).

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Reply By: Bluegeorge - Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004 at 20:10

Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004 at 20:10
G'day Mark
I was in the army Transport Corp some 12 years ago... The only reliability problem we had was constantly breaking axles. No one at the time could work it out. In hind sight I think it may have been that we had about 30 17 and 18 year olds(me included) trying to light up all 4 wheels on bitumen whenever nobody was looking... Now that I pay for repairs my attitude has changed slightly.

AnswerID: 66724

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