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Tracking down the history of an ex-army Rover

#1
Bought an FFR Defender 110 from a dealer a few years ago and would be fascinated to know if anyone can tell me its history. Army registration was 30 KB 75. It's a left-hand-drive hard top and had been used by the DSA at one stage.

Any info or pointers to where I can get info gratefully received.

(MODs: feel free to move this to another forum if more appropriate)
 

Rod924

LE
Kit Reviewer
#5
30 KB 75! Well, well, well, Hey! Small world is'nt it?

30 KB 75 was indeed based in GERMANY. Then, it was painted Green/Black, had a Union Jack sticker and was used as Transport for the British Army of the Rhine! I know, as I drove 'her' on more than several occassions.

Hope this helps
 
#6
30 KB 75 was indeed based in GERMANY. Then, it was painted Green/Black, had a Union Jack sticker and was used as Transport for the British Army of the Rhine! I know, as I drove 'her' on more than several occassions.

Hope this helps
Thanks, this is just the sort of info I was hoping for. When I bought her she was painted plain green and had the remains of the letters "DSA" on the side. Chock full of non-standard cabling, fans, goodness knows what, in addition to the normal FFR stuff (table, hardware for accumulators, etc.) Including a mysterious cable running from front to rear underneath (i.e. you can only see it when lying on your back under the vehicle ... any idea what that was?)

We had windows cut in the sides and in the back door, comfy seats installed and a camouflage paint job done (yeah I know, windows and cam isn't a very "authentic" combination but what the heck).

Will dig out a photo.

Oh, and are you the sod who knackered the starter? :)
 
#7
I went around the vehicle museum in Brussels a couple of years ago and they have a Scout or Ferret there in UNFICYP white which I have a photo of taken in 1974 just outside Kyrenia as the Turks came across.
 
#8
As promised to Rod924, a couple of piccies.

On the left, the proud new owner prepares to reverse her new acquisition out of the yard. On the right, the picture that the dealer used to advertise said vehicle.

And I was mistaken about the initials on the side: they were DRE. Google gives me two meanings: Digital Rectal Examination and Defence Research Establishment. I'll go with the former.
 

Attachments

#9
30 KB 74 was a early Land Rover TUM trial vehicle others were 30 KB 67 to 78
30 KB 75 DIS 01/07/83
SALLDRAD2AA193529
Assert code 1720 3100
used by
03/04/85 RSRE (PE) (AE)
08/08/91 DRA Malvern
15/09/93 DERA Malvern
15/05/02 DSDC Ashchurch
20/01/03 Witham SV Ltd
 
#10
30 KB 74 was a early Land Rover TUM trial vehicle others were 30 KB 67 to 78
30 KB 75 DIS 01/07/83
SALLDRAD2AA193529
Assert code 1720 3100
used by
03/04/85 RSRE (PE) (AE)
08/08/91 DRA Malvern
15/09/93 DERA Malvern
15/05/02 DSDC Ashchurch
20/01/03 Witham SV Ltd
Thanks for that, SJC. ... And for creating a profile just to answer my question ... that's what I call service :)

The history you list explains how come it only had 100,000 km on the clock when I bought it in 2003 at the age of 20 (the Rover, not me).

Have managed to decode all the acronyms except "TUM." Wossat? My wild assumption was that the vehicle had been used for trialling Bowman. Should have taken some photos of the interior with its various improvized bits and pieces, before I got the dealer to remove them all so he could install the windows.
 
#11
TUM = Truck Utility Medium

The vehicle would have been one of the initial Land Rover buys to test its suitability for military use. The radio fit would be Clansman.
 
#12
TUM = Truck Utility Medium

The vehicle would have been one of the initial Land Rover buys to test its suitability for military use. The radio fit would be Clansman.
Thanks. Makes sense. There were also a whole bunch of non-standard cables, including the one under the chassis I mentioned, plus a length of coax that ran from the back and emerged from next to the windscreen, probably connected to the box whose sticky traces are still visible on the top of the dashboard. Just above the neatly-printed label saying "Warning. The top of the red is EMPTY. You have been warned." It's true :(

BTW, in response to the question in your signature, have you tried going Settings (top of screen ) > Edit Signature (on left after scrolling down) > Signature Picture?
 
#13
A right old bag of bits there!

IIRC, a general issue Rover with KD plates would have been one of the very last Series III. A unit I was in had some of the very early production 110 FFRs, and they were KE plates. They were so early they ALL had to have their engines changed.
This one is a KB but is one of the first 110s. Various things about them must have changed just after this one (in 1983) as manuals, parts lists, etc. refer to pre- and post-1983. Be interesting to know if the engine now in it is the original.

The Rover you have appears to be missing some standard FFR items, such as the Jerrycan stowage behind the front doors, and the TUAAM mounts on the wings.
There are holes on the wings where the TUAAMs used to go, but they'd already been blanked off by the time the dealer got the vehicle. No trace of jerrycan stowage though, not even holes. As you can see, it does have the brackets for antenna mounts on the sides, and I did get a pair of antenna mounts with it, though I think the dealer might have taken them from another vehicle.

True 110 FFRs had a split 12/24V electrical system, with 5 batteries and 2 alternators. Are the radio batteries (if fitted) on two parallel slide-out trays, or just bolted to the floor? The SIII had them bolted to the floor, and the radio table had to come out completely if the batteries needed to come out (or even inspected). This was much better on the 110. The SIII had a fixed 24V electrical system, with just the one alternator, but everything was well protected against the vehicle components causing interference on the radio side. This had the side effect of making replacement sparkplugs ridiculously expensive.
This one is 24V throughout. It had the table and slide-out trays in place when I bought it. The dealer removed them to fit rubber floor matting and forward-facing seats, but I still have the tray assembly in the cellar. Have vague intentions of refitting it at some point and installing a C11/R210 or even a WW2-vintage WS 19 (I'm a radio amateur!).

The other thing is that SIII FFRs were 2.25 petrol, and 110 FFRs were diesel, apart from a few 110 V8s, which were very coveted. The red fuel cap on yours indicates it is a petrol engine, is it the V8?
Wish it were the V8. This one is definitely a 110 FFR 2.5 petrol. Rather underpowered, and it shows when I go up hills, especially with the old Sankey trailer. Either the army bought a few 110/2.5 as FFR, or this one was converted.

It's definitely a 110, not an SIII, according to the VIN checker:

Region S Europe
Country A United Kingdom
Manufacturer L British Leyland / Land Rover
Model LD 90, 110 or Defender
Wheelbase R 110"
Body type A Truck Cab, Soft Top or Hard Top (Utility Body)
Engine D 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder Petrol
Steering / Transmission 2 LHD, 4-speed
Model year A 1983 - 1984 ish...
Assembly location A Solihull, UK
Serial number 193529

The two vehicle batteries are under the LH (driver's) seat.

Yes, it's got the expensive suppressed ignition system ... I had to replace the spark plug cables a couple of years ago and I've dismissed the price from my mind as one has to with psychological traumas. Like the SIII, there's just one alternator.

Sounds like this was a very early 110, with various features as per the SIII. That might have been the reason it was only used for trials and not issued to a "real unit" where it would have caused maintenance/compatibility confusion. It also has what I'm told is a tropical roof, i.e. a second skin on top to keep some of the heat off. And it did have a round hatch in the roof, which has been clumsily closed off by rivetting an aluminium disc into place. It has no lockers along the insides (there's just empty space in front of the rear wheel arches) but must have had at some point, as the key tag holds a key of the type I remember as being a standard L/R padlock key.
 
#14
What fun you'll have buying parts.
Paddock Spares - Land Rover, Range Rover Parts & Accessories - Discovery, Defender and Freelander I used to spend half my life backwards and forwards to paddock.
Thanks for the tip ref Paddock. Will bear it in mind. I live in France, but right next to the Swiss border. Amazingly, there's a Land Rover specialist half an hour away, in Switzerland, who has just about everything. He's always offended when I phone up and ask "Do you have a ... ?" And tells me indignantly "We have all Land Rover parts in stock" A rash claim, but so far it's always been true. I've dealt with P A Blanchard as well, buying various parts by post, and they were always quick and helpful. But given the weight, any price savings were gobbled up by postal charges.

You say "used to" spend half your life backwards and forwards to Paddock -- does that mean you've flogged your Rover?
 
#15
Hi Flaggie,

I live in France, but right next to the Swiss border.
There's a co-incidence, so do I (Haute Savoie). (-:

Oddly, the only place I've had a Frenchman call me a 'putain ros'bif' was the local Landrover spares dealership. I was trying to buy an indicator unit for my 1941 Willys MB. As you (probably) know, this isn't a standard fitment on 1940's jeeps, and mine is a later Landrover unit. He insisted that he couldn't find the part unless I told him the year and model of my landrover (I gave him the part number, the part even). When I told him 1941 MB, it all went downhill (as I knew it would...).

Oddly, I was able to obtain an equivalent at the GM dealership without a drama.

Cordialement,

b_flat
 
#16
Oddly, the only place I've had a Frenchman call me a 'putain ros'bif' was the local Landrover spares dealership.
b_flat
You mean, the only time a Frenchman has called you a "putain ros'bif" to your face. Would that have been Eland in Annemasse? I'm told they're dead expensive and a bit snobbish.

What I know about jeeps would fit on the back of a postage stamp, but for Rovers this guy is good (in Gland, between Nyon and Lausanne): Atelier mécanique spécialisé
 
#17
You mean, the only time a Frenchman has called you a "putain ros'bif" to your face. Would that have been Eland in Annemasse? I'm told they're dead expensive and a bit snobbish.

What I know about jeeps would fit on the back of a postage stamp, but for Rovers this guy is good (in Gland, between Nyon and Lausanne): Atelier mécanique spécialisé
Eland, yes, but the Seynod branch-must be their corporate image. (-:

You may be right about the to your face bit, but it's a big tourist area here, so there are more incomers than natives, and I think that dilutes the French natural chauvinism to an extent.

The only people I've seen the locals openly despise are Parisiens.

Thanks for the link. Luckily, old jeeps are simple enough to fix with a big hammer normally.

Saluts,

b_flat
 
#18
Does sound like your vehicle is a hotch potch, I have an ex army series 3 built in 1985 but do not know the numbers and it has been rebuilt on a different chassis, we know it went to Iraq first time round and that it was a range wardens vehicle originally on a civvy bodyshell (found phenigs in various places). It is possible that when there was all the problems with the diesel that yours had a series petrol engine bunged in as they were awash with these at army workshops either in service or just before being cast. This can also be ascertained from the vehicle listings. Having a double roof is really unusual. To find out if it was diesel see if the tanks have a return pipe and have the senders got a light when empty.
We also live in France (44) and it took 2.5 years to get french registration so it has now got to a lot older than it was as the French could not accept it as it was and give it a rebuild number (Q plate in the UK).
I have a niggle that your vehicle may be a civvy vehicle that the army used on trials, ask the guy that used to drive it in Germany about the roof, the towing hook, did it have a thick plate home made behind it. The holes in the wings were always there even for latter vehicles as they had external wing mirrors complete with underwing reinforcing fittings, and it seems that no one thought to block them.
Finally tip cut a vent hole exactly the same as a series 3 right hand drive on the right hand wing, you can then do a clutch cylinder change thru this hole.
I learnt this tip many years ago from being in the REME (TA) the reggies in germany did not know it but the guy that told us it was a guy from L/R itself and originally that was going to done with LHD but management said no!
 
#19
I have just looked at the towing pintle, this is a civvy fitment, do not use it above 2 tonne as the original is bolted direct to the chassis.
You can then pull 4 tonne. My series 3 is rated at 5.9 tonne here in france. I also notice that the body has shrouded vents on the back of the vehicle roof, strange one that, have they extractor fans as well?
 
#20
Oh Paddocks, two days to here from UK, track rod ends same as yours about €4.00 each set of six for mine and other bits postage £5.00
0044 1629 760877 I have dealt with them for 10 years, a lot cheaper and better service than one with a similar sounding name.
 

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