Land Rover Ninety and One Ten
|Body style||3-door station wagon (Ninety) 5-door station wagon (One Ten) 2-door pickup (Ninety/One Ten) 3-door van (Ninety/One Ten) 2-door High Capacity Pickup (One Ten)|
|Engine||2.25 L 75 hp (56 kW) I4 petrol (1983–1985) 2.25 L 62 hp (46 kW) I4 diesel (1983) 2.5 L 68 hp (51 kW) I4 diesel (1984–1993) 2.5 L 83 hp (62 kW) I4 petrol (1985–1993) 2.5 L 85 hp (63 kW) I4 Turbodiesel (1986–1990) 3.5 L 113 hp (84 kW) V8 (1983–1986) 3.5 L 134 hp (100 kW) V8 (1986–1993)|
|Transmission||LT95 4-speed manual (One Ten early V8 engines only) LT77 5-speed manual LT85 5-speed manual (Ninety and One Ten V8)|
|Wheelbase||92.9 in (2,360 mm) (Ninety) 110 in (2,794 mm) (One Ten) 127 in (3,226 mm) (127)|
|Length||160.5 in (4,077 mm) (Ninety) 181.1 in (4,600 mm) (One Ten)|
|Width||70.5 in (1,791 mm)|
|Height||80.2 in (2,037 mm) (Ninety) 84 in (2,134 mm) (One Ten)|
|Related||Land Rover Wolf Santana PS-10|
Production of the model now known as the Defender began in 1983 as the Land Rover One Ten, a name which reflected the 110-inch (2,800 mm) length of the wheelbase. The Land Rover Ninety, with 93-inch (2,362 mm) wheelbase, and Land Rover 127, with 127-inch (3,226 mm) wheelbase, soon followed.
Outwardly, there is little to distinguish the post-1983 vehicles from the Series III Land Rover. A full-length bonnet, revised grille, plus the fitting of wheel arch extensions to cover wider-track axles are the most noticeable changes. Initially the Land Rover was also available with a part-time 4WD system familiar to all derivatives produced since 1949, demonstrating Land Rover's nervousness for technological development. The part-time system failed to sell and was quickly dropped from the options list by 1984. While the engine and other body panels carried over from the Series III, mechanically the Ninety and One Ten were modernized, including:
- Coil springs, offering a more comfortable ride and improved axle articulation
- A permanent four-wheel-drive system derived from the Range Rover, featuring a two-speed transfer gearbox with a lockable centre differential
- A modernised interior
- A taller one-piece windscreen
- A new series of progressively more powerful and more modern engines
The One Ten was launched in 1983, and the Ninety followed in 1984. From 1984, wind-up windows were fitted (Series models and very early One Tens had sliding panels), and a 2.5-litre (153 cu in), 68 horsepower (51 kW) diesel engine was introduced. This was based on the earlier 2.3-litre (140 cu in) engine, but had a more modern fuel-injection system as well as increased capacity. A low compression version of the 3.5-litre (214 cu in) V8 Range Rover engine transformed performance. It was initially available in the One Ten with a four-speed transmission with integral transfer case, then later in conjunction with a high strength 'Santana' five-speed transmission.
This period saw Land Rover market the utility Land Rover as a private recreational vehicle. Whilst the basic pick-up, Station Wagon and van versions were still working vehicles, the County Station Wagons were sold as multi-purpose family vehicles, featuring improved interior trim and more comfortable seats. This change was reflected in Land Rover starting what had long been common practice in the car industry — detail changes and improvements to the County model from year to year in order to attract new buyers and to encourage existing owners to trade in for a new vehicle. These changes included different exterior styling graphics and colour options, and the introduction of new options, such as radio/cassette players, styled wheel options, headlamp wash/wipe systems, as well as accessories such as surfboard carriers and bike racks. The switch from leaf spring to coil spring suspension added to the new models' success. It offered improved off-road ability and load capacity for traditional commercial users, whilst the improved handling and ride comfort.
The 127 (and 130)
From 1983 Land Rover introduced a third wheelbase to its utility line-up, a 127-inch (3,226 mm) twin-axle vehicle designed to accommodate larger, heavier loads than the One Ten. Called the Land Rover 127, it was designed specifically with use by utility and electrical companies in mind, as well as military usage.In its standard form it is a four-door six-seater consisting of the front half of a One Ten Station Wagon, and the rear of a One Ten High-Capacity Pick Up (HCPU). The logic was that this allowed a workcrew and their equipment to be carried in one vehicle at the same time. The 127 could carry up to a 1.4 tonnes (1.4 long tons; 1.5 short tons) payload, compared to the 1.03 tonnes (1.01 long tons; 1.14 short tons) payload of the One Ten and the 0.6 tonnes (0.59 long ton; 0.66 short ton) of the Ninety.
127s were built on a special production line, and all started life as One Ten Station Wagon chassis (the model was initially marketed as the One Ten Crew Cab, before the more logical 127 name was adopted). These were then cut in two and the 17 inches (432 mm) of extra chassis length welded on before the two original halves were reunited. 127s did not receive their own dedicated badging like the other two models, instead they used the same metal grille badges as used on the Series III 109 V8 models, that simply said Land-Rover.
Although the standard body-style was popular, the 127 was a popular basis for conversion to specialist uses, such as mobile workshops, ambulances, fire engines or even flatbed transports. In South Africa, the Land Rover assembly plant there offered a 127 Station Wagon with seating for 15. Land Rover also offered the 127 as a bare chassis, with just front bodywork and bulkhead, for easy conversion.
Initially held back by the low power of the Land Rover engines (other than the thirsty petrol V8 engine), the 127 benefited from the improvements to the line-up, and by 1990 was only available with the two highest power engines, the 134 hp (100 kW) 3.5-litre V8 petrol, and the 85 hp (63 kW) 2.5-litre Diesel Turbo.
The original One Ten of 1983 was available with the same engine line-up as the Series III vehicles it replaced, namely 2.25-litre (137 cu in) petrol and diesel engines, and a 3.5-litre (210 cu in) V8 petrol unit, although a small number of 3.2-litre (200 cu in) V8s were produced. In 1981 the 2.25 l engines were upgraded from 3- to 5-crankshaft bearings in preparation for the planned increases in capacity and power.
The 2.5-litre version of the diesel engine, displacing 2,495 cubic centimetres (152.3 cu in) and producing 68 hp (51 kW), was introduced in both the One Ten and the newly arrived Ninety. This was a long-stroke version of the venerable 2.25-litre unit, fitted with updated fuel injection equipment and a revised cylinder head for quieter, smoother and more efficient running. A timing belt also replaced the older engine's chain.
In 1985 the petrol units were upgraded. An enlarged 4-cylinder engine was introduced. This 83 hp (62 kW) engine shared the same block and cooling system (as well as other ancillary components) as the diesel unit. Unlike the diesel engine, this new 2.5-litre petrol engine retained the chain-driven camshaft of its 2.25-litre predecessor. At the same time, the 114 hp (85 kW) V8 was also made available in the Ninety- the first time a production short-wheelbase Land Rover had been given V8 power. The V8 on both models was now mated to an all-new five-speed manual gearbox.
1986 saw an improvements in engines to match the more advanced offerings by Japanese competitors. The "Diesel Turbo" engine was introduced, a lightly turbocharged version of the existing 2.5-litre diesel, with several changes to suit the higher power output, including a re-designed crankshaft, teflon-coated pistons and nimonic steel exhaust valves to cope with the higher internal temperatures.Similarly, an 8-blade cooling fan was fitted, together with an oil cooler. The 2.5 diesel, 2.5 petrol and Diesel Turbo engines all shared the same block castings and other components such as valvegear and cooling system parts, allowing them to be built on the same production line. The Diesel Turbo produced 85 hp (63 kW), a 13% increase over the naturally aspirated unit, and a 31.5% increase in torque to 150 lb·ft (203 N·m) at 1800 rpm. Externally, turbodiesel vehicles differed from other models only by having an air intake grille in the left-hand wing to supply cool air to the turbo. The engine was adopted as the standard engine for UK and European markets. Early turbodiesel engines gained a reputation for poor reliability, with major failures to the bottom-end and cracked pistons. A revised block and improved big end bearings were introduced in 1988, and a re-designed breather system in 1989. These largely solved the engine's problems, but it remains (like many early turbodiesels) prone to failure if maintenance is neglected.
At the same time that the Diesel Turbo was introduced, the V8 engine was upgraded. Power was increased to 134 hp (100 kW), and SU carburettors replaced the Zenith models used on earlier V8s.
The new vehicles with their more modern engines, transmissions, and interiors reversed the huge decline in sales that took place in the 1980s (a 21% fall in a single year, 1980–1981). This growth was mainly in the domestic UK market and Europe. African, Australian and Middle-Eastern sales failed to recover significantly. The company itself adopted more modern practices, such as using marketing campaigns to attract new buyers who would not previously have been expected to buy a Land Rover. The operation was streamlined, with most of the satellite factories in the West Midlands that built parts for the Land Rover being closed and production brought into the Solihull factory, which was expanded.
To maximise sales in Europe, Land Rover set up the Special Vehicles division, which handled special low-number conversions and adaptations to the vehicles. The bulk of the division's work was the construction of stretched-wheelbase mobile workshops and crew carriers for British and European utility companies, often including 6-wheel-drive conversions, but more unusual projects were undertaken, such as the construction of an amphibious Land Rover Ninety used by the company as part of its sponsorship of Cowes Week from 1987 to 1990. The Special Projects division also handled specialised military contracts, such as the building of a fleet of 127-inch (3,226 mm) V8-powered Rapier missile launchers for the British Army. The Rapier system actually consisted of three Land Rovers: a 127 which carried the launching and aiming equipment, and two 110s which carried the crew and additional equipment.
The Wheeler Dealers Series 7 Land Rover 90