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geezer466

Land Rover Defender Bites The Dust

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-24446070

Land Rover are killing off the anachronistic "farmers' friend" at last, citing EU emissions laws as the reason.

Call me an old cynic but manufacturing vehicles that fail to dissolve into dust quickly enough might well be closer to the mark.

These things have been known to go on for years I know of a couple of farmers who have in excess of 500,000 miles on the clocks of these on one re bored engine.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-24446070' rel="external nofollow">

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-24446070

Land Rover are killing off the anachronistic "farmers' friend" at last, citing EU emissions laws as the reason.

Call me an old cynic but manufacturing vehicles that fail to dissolve into dust quickly enough might well be closer to the mark.

These things have been known to go on for years I know of a couple of farmers who have in excess of 500,000 miles on the clocks of these on one re bored engine.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-24446070' rel="external nofollow">

Am I right in believing that the Defender is still a coachbuilt frame on a steel chassis, as opposed to a monocoque/subframe design?

I would think that such 'archaic' construction, although perhaps expensive to produce, is part of the Defender's success. Keeping it roadworthy is relatively easy, as it is essentially the simple chassis that has to be maintained. Bodywork is mainly non-structural and modular, with simple replaceable panels. On the other hand, damage and corrosion on a monocoque body is a much more complex thing to correct.

Apart from composite/ plastic-bodied vehicles, are any cars made using a traditional chassis any more?

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Am I right in believing that the Defender is still a coachbuilt frame on a steel chassis, as opposed to a monocoque/subframe design?

I would think that such 'archaic' construction, although perhaps expensive to produce, is part of the Defender's success. Keeping it roadworthy is relatively easy, as it is essentially the simple chassis that has to be maintained. Bodywork is mainly non-structural and modular, with simple replaceable panels. On the other hand, damage and corrosion on a monocoque body is a much more complex thing to correct.

Apart from composite/ plastic-bodied vehicles, are any cars made using a traditional chassis any more?

You are correct in thinking this the range rover and discovery are built on chassis too

Quoting emissions for its demise is BS

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You are correct in thinking this the range rover and discovery are built on chassis too

Quoting emissions for its demise is BS

Emissions levels don't seem to bother the Americans. Look at the number of fuel hungry SUV's they have out there.

This is simply a measure to get rind of a product which serves its purpose well and lasts pretty much forever.

Much better to get them farmers spending in the whole EU free economy every 4 or 5 years when their vehicles need replacing.

Landrover have been knobbled by the very politicians which are supposed to protect British jobs.

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There is someone in Gibraltar that seems to only deal in white Toyota Land Cruiser 70 series. Dozens and dozens....and DOZENS of them in all sorts of spec (but still white). They sell them to all sorts of NGOs apparently.

You can tell they are tough as nails.

I don't think the Land Rover Defender is a patch on these.

Edit: turns out it seems it's actually a subsiduary of Toyota themselves that does it.

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Don't know how true it is but someone once told me that 80% of all defenders ever made are still on the road. Pretty impressive if true.

74% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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not trendy enough as a 'chelsea tractor' but all the farmers I have ever known swear by them as a true '4 by 4 WORKING VEHICLE' much like the old SWB/LWB landrover back in the day. Most 4 by 4s now made and owned never see a muddy gateway.

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I thought they were supposed to be utter junk and not even that reliable.

Or is that the later/newer style LR's?

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Growing up in The Colonies, most people who needed a 4x4 praised the old landies for their off-road capability as second to none but heavily criticised them as unreliable.

The reliability of the Land Cruiser was the main reason why it overtook the landy in popularity in Australia. No good having a less than reliable vehicle when the nearest garage is 736 miles that way or 867 miles the other......

edit - I think its the seating arrangements that killed it. Most landies used to have 2 seats facing forward and 2 benches that faced each other, meaning an Defender 90 could seat 6 people. Changes to road safety regs meant that you now could only seat 2+2, which meant almost no baggage space, which meant you had a hell of a big vehicle that in terms of everyday practicality was outperformed by a Hyundai i10.

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It is being killed for two main reasons:

1) It is pretty much impossible to pass new pedestrian safety regs with a ladder chassis and a vehicle shaped like a house brick. Modern cars are all curvy for this reason. It is very hard to make a big car with a 5mm steel girder for a bumper and damn great winch sticking out of that "pedestrian friendly".

2) It costs a fortune to assemble - it is very labour intensive, as it is rather difficult to get robots to screw stuff together and fettle the various parts into place. Welding robots are simple, screw threading robots are a lot harder. This also drives the "unreliability", as humans make mistakes.

It is all very regrettable - and I'm certainly not getting rid of mine. G reg (that's mid 80s), transplanted 4.6V8, done about 120K miles before I got it as a diesel and put the new engine in. The back of the chassis is getting a bit rotten, so the next job is to weld in a new 1/4 chassis - literally a day with the plasma cutting the old bits off and welding a new one in. Try doing that with a modern Range Rover.

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Emissions levels don't seem to bother the Americans. Look at the number of fuel hungry SUV's they have out there.

Actually, US emissions laws are ridiculously strict. Far stricter than anything Europe have dreamed up. They care a LOT amount hydrocarbon and NOx emissions. What they don't give a monkey's about is fuel efficiency. The other thing is that trucks and commercial vehicles are, in comparison, almost exempt from emissions regulations (bad for the economy, and all that).

Not only are petrol engines slightly different (usually mechanically) but increasingly now software wise from the same engine sold in Europe, but diesel emissions systems are significantly more complex. If you buy a VW golf diesel in the US runs on adblue as well as diesel (and if you run out of adblue it will stop - going into limp home mode is not permitted by the emissions laws, the car must be completely disabled).

If, however, you've got a heavy truck, belching black diesel smoke - that's fine.

Similarly, they've had emissions testing in their MOT for much longer than the UK (in many states, emissions is the ONLY thing that gets checked in the MOT). MOT picked up a duff catalyst? In a number of states, you can pretty much forget about just buying a generic cat for £200 and welding it in, as is commonly done here. You have to buy a cat/pipe assembly that is certified for your car, which can cost thousands.

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It is being killed for two main reasons:

1) It is pretty much impossible to pass new pedestrian safety regs with a ladder chassis and a vehicle shaped like a house brick. Modern cars are all curvy for this reason. It is very hard to make a big car with a 5mm steel girder for a bumper and damn great winch sticking out of that "pedestrian friendly".

2) It costs a fortune to assemble - it is very labour intensive, as it is rather difficult to get robots to screw stuff together and fettle the various parts into place. Welding robots are simple, screw threading robots are a lot harder. This also drives the "unreliability", as humans make mistakes.

It is all very regrettable - and I'm certainly not getting rid of mine. G reg (that's mid 80s), transplanted 4.6V8, done about 120K miles before I got it as a diesel and put the new engine in. The back of the chassis is getting a bit rotten, so the next job is to weld in a new 1/4 chassis - literally a day with the plasma cutting the old bits off and welding a new one in. Try doing that with a modern Range Rover.

The chassis doesn't rot on the newer ones in the same way though. I had 4 replacement 4.6 engines over 3 vehicles under warranty in the late nineties model Range Rover. The one I keep as a classic now has had an engine block modification by a specialist.

I don't really see a place in the market for the Defender barring enthusiasts really.

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A factor in the Defender's popularity with farmers is apparently down to it being much easier to get in an out of - lots of stopping to open and close gates, see to animals, pick up subsidy cheques, get moody with rights of way users etc. The seating is much more upright than many modern 4x4s, which you sit 'in' like a car. I think the current average age of farmers is around sixty, so perhaps it does count for something. The emissions thing sounds made up. Last time I looked the standard diesel Defender engine was the duratorq 2.5, as found in most 3.5 ton Transits and some other 4x4s. Slow, noisy, expensive, unpleasant to drive, with a stupidly large off-centre steering wheel, best left to enthusiasts.

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