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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hi there, my name is Bragan Jackson and my dad and I have just begun stripping down a 1971 series IIa. We have gotten all the body panels off revealing the rusted out frame. We have begun the process of searching for new suspension and drivetrain parts whether new or salvaged from other vehicles. I was wondering if anyone could tell me the differences between a military landie and a regular one. need to know differences such as ride heighth increases, shackle length, and shock length/travel. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
 

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What are you doing about replacing the frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
another question, is there anyone who has purchased and installed a set of revolving shackles from a US vendor? If so, from where and what was the cost. Also what other modifications were nescessary other than extended brake lines. We plan on replacing the worn out leaf springs with a set of parabolics from Rocky Mountain or TI. I saw a company in the UK, Gon2Far Suspension, that sold a kit for revolving shackles but after searching the web it seemed that their shackles were the exact same as a company located here in the US, Metal Made-Rite. Are these shackles truly the same or are they just similiar in appearance?
 

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I dunno- we restore all our projects with stock parts and we stopped carrying parabolics completely since most people don't want them after they try them.
Did you already place the chassis order? When you refer to 'military suspension' for it- what are you trying to do? I assume it's not a lightweight, or is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No it isn't a light weight. We were trying to get a little bit more of a suspension lift than the parabolic springs provide. I had read that many people had used the extended military shakles on their series truck to get more articulation and ended up getting an increased right heigth as well. And no we haven't placed the order on the chassis yet. The only frames they have at the moment are series three so we were going to wait until april to place the order when our restored bulkhead arrives from East Coast Rovers in Maine.
 

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You'll gain an inch or three from the parabolics. I haven't heard of anyone not crazy about them- Muddy Oval's the first. Curious as to their experience.

A military frame differs in several ways (generally)- different style rear crossmember (straight across rather than semi-"v" shaped, look at Paddockspares.com under chassis to see what I'm referring to); extended shackle mounts (one-ton frames had this); removable transmission crossmember (desirable).

Not to throw fuel on the fire, but if you're looking for height I'd consider buying a coil-sprung frame rather than a leaf sprung one. You'll have to switch out to Rangie or similar axles but you'll definitely get more clearance with Old Man Emu (OME) springs and Rancho or OME shocks. Swapping out your propshafts down the road with custom ones and spacers will give you *virtually* unlimited height. And you'll benefit from beefier axles.

I don't know the availability of frames with extended shackle mounts but I can't imagine that they'd be easy to come by. You mention that you investigated the gon2far site- I don't know if you came across the article about the guy that extended his mounts. (http://www.gon2far.co.uk/index.php?do=vehicles/bowy.html).

Are there major differences between a SIII and SII frame?

Good luck, keep us updated. I remember Tidewater Rovers had several Series frames a month or so ago- might be worth checking to see if they have any.
 

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The longer shackles were used on some 109's that were used for heavy loads etc. We've never fitted them on anything else, but that certainly doesn't mean that you can't.
Our shop has removed more parabolics than installed them- the ride is so bouncy that many people tire of them quickly. I've also seen them collapse or throw off driveline angles to the point of causing problems. I'll never put them on mine from what I've seen. If YOU like them, that's all that counts though. Nuttin wrong with that.
Making a coiler Series raises the level of effort and expense greatly, but if done right it makes a nice offroad rig- although no long term value as a collectible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
yeah we had planned on replacing the chassis with a coil suspension but wanted to do the build-up work after the conversion ourselves. We contacted East Caost Rover about having them send us a refurbished bulkhead and the parts nescessary to complete the conversion but they said they wouldn't just send the parts down, they would only do a complete restoration at the factory. So we have decided on just going with the parabolics unless we find another company in the US that will do the work and allow us to clean up the body, paint, and customize suspension aspects ourselves. We would still love to go the coil route for the better ride quality and other performance boosts if we find a US vendor that had a reasonable price. In other words, we still have no idea exactly what kind of finished product we want to have:rolleyes:
 

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Richard's won't make a coiler chassis... there's another company we deal with in the UK that will. DAP does resto work, but it fairly well backlogged right now.
You want coil springs, not a coilover then- right? I'm really confused what you're asking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
haha:D sorry bout that. as far as we can see, we are going to stick with the parabolics. the coil, not coilover oops:rolleyes: , suspension was an early possiblity that we thought about doing if we could find someone that would sell us the frame and parts nescessary to complete the conversion in a kit. After looking around the internet we saw that East Coast Rover were the only guys that seemed to be doing the coil suspension in the US but said they wouldn't just sned the parts. we don't want to pay the shipping costs of parts from the UK any more than we need to so we decided parabolics were the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
another question, if i were to take a standard Series IIa frame put parabolics on it, and use the extended 1 ton/military shakles (not welding on the 1 ton mounting points, just the shackles) would the Explorer Pro Comp 9000 shocks be able to handle the extra ride heigth, or would longer travel shocks be nescessary? If different shocks are required what kind will fit directly into the frame mounts without modification?
 

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We don't deal with parabolics, so I don't know what ride height it would sit at- and the longer 109 shackles on an 88 add another lift. Why do you plan to lift it so high? The driveline will be a mess! It'll cost you as much as a decent used Defender to build some custom job.
ECR isn't the only place that builds coiler Series- DAP has done several, including one that was an absolute show piece and one that could plant one wheel on a standard height loading dock! I'm sure there are others who would build them too- or supply the parts. ECR uses Richards Chassis from the UK- but like I said, Richards will flat refuse to do a coiler Series chassis... There is another source for coiler chassis and you've probably got to order the stock chassis anyway, so you might as well get what you want. I listed a D90 frame on Dweeb if you want one.
I just can't imagine wanting parabolics.... boing boing boing... blech.
 

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Revolvers

I've had Revolver shackles w/ TIC parabolics and ProComp long extention shocks on my '69 109 Carawagon for the last 3+ years. I've had great experience w/ them and have had no problems (great ride feel). On the rear I removed the limiting straps and put in a central limiting strap attached to the diff because of the prop that runs through the chassis. If it were a non-Carawagon I'd have cut & braced the chassis where the prop runs to give even more play, but I never intended on taking it into seriously hairy places......if I rolled a 109 I could replace the roof, but trying to replace the Carawagon top would be insane....

For the most part, my take on modifications are those that can be reversed (especially on the Carawagon), so I weld up brackets that can be bolted. That's a personal preference, and I share it in case you ask questions about my set up.

I'm building up an 88 and will be doing the same on it..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
the reason i want to get such a lift is because i would like to fit 9.00x16 Michelin XZL tires in. I know i would have to either get wheel spacers or less backspacing to make them fit because the 1-tons came with a wider track (i believe because of the ENV axles it came stock with.) If the Parabolics and wheel spacers alone provide enough clearance i would love to save money by not replacing prop shafts and what not. Although i think we're going to get extended brake lines just for good measure whether we get the military/revolver shackles or not.

acorn, did the pro comp shocks fit directly into the original mounting points or were there other modifications that were nescessary? From where did you purchase your revolvers? Were they a direct fit or were spacers in between the the frame and shackle required? Did you have to modify the prop shafts to prevent vibration? If so what kind of modifications were nescessary? Lemme know when you get the modifications done on the 88

Also, is there anyone who knows of a vendor that can get a hold of 8.25x16 or 9.00x16 Michelin XZL tires in the US, preferably the southeast. Also does anyone know how wide the 9.00x16 is at the sidewall? or is 9.00 the width?
 

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Yes, get extended brake lines (I did too), if you need the replace them their not much more & it makes sense.

Wheel spacers or wheels with greater offset become necessary as you get taller/ wider tires to keep the tires from rubbing as you turn…..basically they give you a wider track. Wheel spacers aren't necessary if you get a set of wolf wheels or some 130 wheels (they have plenty of extra backspace for the XZLs)........I ran XCLs on wolfs but was unhappy w/ the XCLs. Now with the 9.00x16s, the 9.00 is the sidewall and the 16 is the wheel - for the diameter of the tire add the 9 twice for the sidewall on either side of the wheel and then the 16 to that........that gives you 34" tires.......I would recommend something not quite as tall, as you will be adding quite a bit more stress on the drive train......especially axles......but that's up to you. Invest in some hardened axles from GBR if you do - I have a set on both our Discos. If you don’t, at the very least carry a spare set of axle shafts with you when off roading.

As for replacing the props……that has nothing to do with spacing of the wheels. Keep in mind, the higher you go in suspension and tires, the more likely you are to NEED better prop shafts. The props attach to the transfer case and the other end to the diff (as I’m sure you know)....... however, the greater that angle, the more likely your U-joints will bind and the slide on the prop won't be long enough. On top of that, the higher you go the more you raise your center of gravity and create an unstable vehicle.....higher is not always better! I’ve seen guys in fairly stock Series trucks make trails look easier than some guys with supposedly bigger & better coilers........back to the whole finesse vs power debate.

Finally, the revolver shackles I put on were for a Jeep (I’ll have to look up which one). The only modifications to get them to fit were widening the holes on the shackles to fit the larger bolts of the Series and spacers for both the frame & parabolics. I didn’t replace the prop on the rear. I flexed the suspension to the point where the prop bound then backed off slightly and created a bracket for a centrally mounted limiting strap. This keeps the prop from binding but gives fantastic articulation. On the 88 I’m making props because the shorter distance between the transfer case and the diff means greater angles are achieved more quickly with the same suspension/ tire lift than with the109. With the 34s, parabolics and military/ revolvers shackles on an 88 you are almost certainly going to need to address your props…..not on pavement, but when flexing.

As a matter of fact, call GBRs and tell him what you're trying to achieve.....he has the products and serious know-how to help you it right the first time - he has several Series and off roads himself. Ike at www.pangolin4x4.com is also very knowledgeable and has done some great stuff with his trucks too.

What exactly are you trying to achieve?.......really, I would highly suggest taking your truck wheeling and make additions based on what your needs are.....not your perceived needs. I say that because you may be surprised with what the 88 can do already.


Forgive me for the rehash of things you may already know.....

-B
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thankyou very much for the helpful post. I'm still fairly new to everything in the Land Rover world, a little extra reinforcement never hurts. Yes, it probably would have been a good idea to get a little test drive for myself (my dad did when he was picking it up in kentucky) to see how capable it was and what kind of mods i thought would be nescessary, but seeing as how we have it stripped down to the chassis and running gear, it's a little late.

Haha, i have a bounty of questions still running through my head. Do any of you know anything about the Robert Davis engine conversions? From what i've read, it seems to be a very good engine swap. After reading some of the information he has posted on www.lrfaq.org my dad and I decided that the GM 151 2.5 liter would be the way for us to go. They said it bolts right up to the bellhousing and transmission that came on the IIa's originally and works fine but are there any problems with downshifting and what not in road conditions? Basically, are there any issues that would make us wish we had gone with a different gearbox?
 

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The Davis conversion is a good choice. One thing to keep in mind with dropping a different engine in there is having too much power for the rest of the drive train. Much more than 125 HP and you'll be likely have problems with braking things......especially axles, but the tranny as well. The factory did a good job in mating the two. I know of several people who have put different power houses in and many of them have switched out axles, diffs and tranys. Davis is a good choice and can save you mucho dinero it the long run.

BTW, if you're going faster you may want to think about stopping faster too, and look into upgrading the brakes. Just a thought while you're down to the bones.

Sounds like a great project.

-B
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah thanks. On the brakes we were talking about the possibility of doing the disk brake upgrade from DAP.

Thankyou very much for the help and compliment. We are trying to make it as nice and off-road capable as possible, as well as a comfortable daily driver to take off to college.

Do you know anything about installing air conditioning? It gets to +100 on some summer days and over 130 inside the vehicle. I have read that once you get going, the vents get it cooled down pretty quickly, is this true?
 

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Love the vents....they should be on every vehicle! We too get up to 100 in the summer (I know, strange to imagine in Colorado at 5000 feet, but we do) and the vents do a great job. A lot of guys end up installing one of those dash mounted fans to keep the air going while stopped - the small metal ones like you see in school buses up by the driver. Looks good on the Series dash. As for me, I can drive 30 minutes and see the temp drop 15-20 degrees :cool:

Air con. is a topic that rears its head every-so-often. Frankly, I love the idea in theory - 2 main problems: amp draw on the 2.25 engine and where do you put it. I've known a couple of guys who tried, but almost never used it. One of them, who's down in Everglades territory, took it out after not using it for 2+ years.

If you're considering the Davis or a different power plant it becomes more viable........give Robert a call.....I'm sure you won't be the first to ask.

Oh yea, if it's a hard top, make sure and paint it the original limestone color and not body color........not just because it looks better, but the light color on the roof does a good job reflecting the rays o' the sun......

Even better........get a soft top for the summer and go surrey then bolt a lock box in the back for your stuff!

-B
 
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