News & Politics
6 CYLINDER LAN·D ROVER FEBR UA RY 1967 RM FIFTY CENTS THE MAGAZINE OF BACK COUNTRY CARS Quietest of all "new car announce ments" in recent history was that made when Land Rover adopted the basic six cylinder which has been standard in the three litre Rover Mark III for many years. You might think the reason was true British understatement - but the facts are the North American division siml)ly couldn't import the Six fast enough to supply their dealer demand. A full promotional campaign was planned a year ago when the first few models were im ported, but it was shelved when it became apparent the company could not supply the demand. It has taken FOUR WHEELER almost nine months to secure a six-cylinder Land Rover for testing ... and the wait was more than forgiven once we FEBRUARY, 1967 began driving the Six. Now the Rover has a bite that will satisfy all its fans. The mode I chosen for this test was the Series II A 109-inch station wagon. To anyone who is familiar with the Land Rover, it is obvious that most of the changes in the new model are under the hood. The very proper place to begin this report is with the powerplant and unless you are quite familiar with expen sive imported cars it will require some explaining. The inline Six displaces 160 cubic inches with a bore and stroke of 3.063 and 3.625 inches ,(the three litre pas senger car version is stroked to 4.134 inches, one of the major differences.) The compression ratio is 8. 8-to-l, which will give the Rover fairly decent Funny place to put a muffler? Thats the air cleaner. Engine is highly efficient - has a good reliability record. tolerance to south-of-the-border "hi test" and decent performance on quality standard fuels. Cranking out 123 brake horsepower at 5000 rpm, the Six peaks its 142 Ibs. -ft. of torque at 2500 rpm. Incidentally, the 5000 rpm figure is realistic and the Six performs well in the high rpm range - a big plus for low gear maneuvers. Assuming that our readers are more familiar with transfer cases than they are with sports cars, there are a few engineering features about this engine that might be more than interesting. The PAGE 15 cylinder block is cast integrally with the crankcase and is cast iron. The cylinder head is aluminum alloy inclined on the block to accom modate a high efficiency combustion chamber with separate alu minum alloy inlet manifold. The intake valves are overhead and the exhaust valves are mounted on the inclined side. Cam followers are roller type and the camshaft is driven by a double roller chain which has a hydrau lically operated automatic tehsioner. Pistons are of the inverted "V" shape on the crown to conform to the special combustion cham ber shape. The crankshaft runs in seven copper-lead-lined, steel shell, lead tin plated bearings and is fitted with a torsional vibration damper. Of special note is the lubrication sys tern. A large capacity oil pump delivers oil under pressure to main, big-end and camshaft bearings, and the timing chain tensioner, distributor driver shaft, cam followers and rocker gear. Each cam is The Land Rover seeks no interior foshion award but drivers praised the comfortable, functional com partment. separately fed and the cylinder bores are lubricated by a jet of oil from each con necting rod. A full-flow oil filter is fitted as standard equipment. To the mechanically inclined this brief description will make it plain that the Rover's new Six is built not only for performance but for durability. After reading the engineering spec sheets it only remained for the test staff to see if it lived up to its advance billing and potential. Performance proved itself from the minute the first member of the test crew pushed his foot in the throttle on the street. Not that the Rover Six is a "hot" vehicle, it isn't. It does accel erate well and has plenty of zip to get in and out of traffic lanes - even on the freeway. On back country hazards and hill climbing we would roughly estimate the improvement over the old Four as being about 150 percent. Top speeds are around 80 mph with a comfortable cruising speed being best between 60 and 70 mph. This marks a considerable change in the performance and all for the better. The next question is easy to guess: How much do you have to give up in fuel economy for these advantages? The answer is: Not very much and maybe your economy will even be better de pending upon how you drive. The results our test crew got compared well with those claimed by the Rover Company in their brochure. Our overall average fell in the 15 to 16 mpg range, which included some back country driv ing, but mostly typical around town driving. As the test progressed some thing that doesn't occur in road testing very often became plain. Different drivers were turning widely separated mileage figures - as much as four miles difference. The differences were easily explained by comparing the driver's daily habits and the constant fuel consumption figures listed by the Rover engineers. One of the drivers drove several miles on the free way each day and was also assigned to drive the Rover about 150 miles over the highway to a photo taking session. The other drove about 90 percent of his time on city streets seldom getting over 45 mph. PAGE 16 FOUR WHEELER Rover engineers ciaim that at a steady 30 mph, the consumption of fuel is 24 mpg; at 60 mph, 15 nipg; and at 80 mph it falls to 9 mpg. Armed with these figures, which our testing supported al most to the tenth-of-a-mile, we were able to solve the mystery of the com pletely varied fuel economy factors and can offer an educated guess that the miles per gallon figures turned in by various Land Rover Six owners will be widely separated. One man is going to get ex ceptional mileage - and the lead foot is never going to believe him, or anyone else, when they tell him. A couple of other factors enter into the mileage figures and they are well worth mentioning for the gearing of the Land Rover is unlike any other back country rig, although the end results are much the same. The Rover is one of the last hold outs for a standard front/rear axle ratio of more than 4.5-to-1. But this isn't the entire story. Unlike most other transfer cases, the Rover's drop gear has a reduc tion in high as well as low. Straight high gear therefore is actually 5.4-to-l over all final drive. This is pretty high gear ing for any type of a rig and the respect able mileage figures reported in this FEBRUARY, 1967 Suspension mounts are typical of the rugged con struction throughout. Ride is firm but pleasant due in part to the wielJ designed seats. The strength of the undercarriage is nothing short of amazing. Boxed frame members protect components test indicate the efficiency of the engine. One observation readers are probably now making is that if the Land Rover had a straight through high on its transfer case, or a lower numerical front/rear axle ratio, the mileage figures might be quite remarkable. This might actually work in reverse, since the Rover has 4000 pounds to push around there is un doubtedly a valid engineering reason for the lower gears. It is interesting to imagine, though, what a 20 percent overdrive might do to the mileage figures. Such gearing would be effective in the 50 mph plus range without lugging and could add from four to six miles per gallon - which would put the Land Rover up with the top economy cars in the passenger car line. Besides the gearing both the trans mission and transfer case come in for special comment. A four-speed, the transmission is syncromeshed only on high and third - second and low are clink and clank. Much of the incon venience of double clutching in city traffic has been eliminated with the new Six since it is seldom necessary to use second and low gear almost never. With the minor disadvantage of double often left to the mercy of the trail. clutching occassionally the Land Rover's four -whee I drive shaft lever is a joy to use and a marked advantage on any type of terrain from icy city streets to back country trails where 4wd is needed, not needed and then needed again. The con trol lever resembles a short shift lever but operates up and down instead of back and forward. At any speed - from zero to 80 mph - it can be engaged and is effective immediately. Getting the rig out of 4wd is another thing. It is neces sary to shift into the low range and then out, disengage ment is automatic. Before getting inside the Rover, there are a few more points that should be commented on. With its extra weight, brakes become important and the station wagon has ample braking which operated efficiently with virtually no tendency to fade. The drum diameter is 11 inches with three-inch shoes in front and 2-1/4 inch shoes in the rear, the effective lining area is 202 square inches. Part of the extra weight can be accounted for by skid plates underneath and a frame of box sections for both side and cross members. One of the most important considera tions of Land Rover owners who live near PAGE 17 Transmission: high, 1; third 1.512; second, 2.22; first, 3.6; reverse, 3.02 Overall ratios: high 5.4; third, 8.14; second, 12.0; first, 19.4; reverse, 16.3; compound high, 11.28; third, 17.0; second, 25.0; first 40.6; reverse, 34.0 PAGE 18 FOUR WHEELER Ease of entry and loading through Rover's rear door is one of its many impressive features. Note rear grab bar. ENGINE Six cylinder, overhead valve Bore and stroke: 3.063 x 3.625 Displacement: 160 cu. in. Compression ratio: 8.8 to 1 Horsepower: 123 @ 5000 rpm Torque: 142 @ 2500 rpm' GEARING Transfer Case: High 1.148, Low 2.4 the sea or in snow areas where salt on the pavement quickly corrodes most vehicles, is the Land Rover's body panels of non-corrodable aluminum alloy. In addition, all external fittings have been heavily galvanized. Inside, the Land Rover is in a class all by itself. Not yet into the super-luxury upholstery race, the seats and fittings are attractive but designed along prag matic lines. But this is now what strikes home with the first view. The Land Rover station wagon probably has the best pas senger layout of any similar body style in the 4wd field and maybe even including compact passenger cars. Two bench seats, front and rear, will seat six, while two lengthwise seats in the cargo compartment, which fold up for additional loading space, will seat four medium size children. The Rover is a true ten-passenger station wagon. This statement could be modified to nine un less the driver and middle front seat passenger are not on more than speaking terms. In the middle the passenger must contend with three shift levers and the emergency brake. MISC ELLANEOUS Wheelbase: 109 in. Length: 175 in. Width: 64 in. Height: 81 in. Thread front/rear: 51.5/51.5 in. Ground clearance 9 3/4 in. Curb Weight: 3912 lbs. Distribution front/rear: 1806/2106 lbs. ( / Driver comfort is exceptionally high. The pedals are located extremely'close to the side panel arid are ·~na natural posi tion for constant use. One complaint from every driver was the location ofthe hand brake Just along the right side of the driver's seat. Long-legged drivers had to cock their leg where it rested against the lever, cutting off the circulation. One of the most important elements thaI impressed each driver was the quiet ness of the rig. It couldn't be compared to the Rover passenger car, for example, but compared to other 4wd vehicles, the noise level was exceptionally low. Interior heating was excellent for the front bench seat and only moderate for the rear compartments. This is not a complaint of the Land Rover exclusively but more a general statement of all sta tion wagons. When' compared to other FEBRl:JARY. 1967 similar rigs, the heating arrangement is above average. In the area of fresh air, the Land Rover station wagon is tops in its class. Not only are there direct fresh air vents under the Windshield, the tropical roof has several scoops to put fresh air directly to the rear seat passengers. Unfortunately our test crew always seems to get the tropical roof model in winter when snappy tem peratures make a competent hot weather test impossible. However, we have talked this over with several owners and from their comments, it appears thatthe extra reflection and air trapping effect of the roof is a useful solution to hot weather situations. The defroster system is something else. The test rig was equipped with a . extra-large conventional system which kept the windows quite clean. In addition the front windshield had small electric wires running through which heated the window. Defrosting was rapid and it is doubtful if any type of foul weather could frost the windshield. Some of the drivers mentioned that at night the wires caused some confusion at first, but after a few minutes they qUickly adjusted to the difference. Every vehicle tested has one point that turns up in each driver's notes. For the Rover station wagon it was the rear door and everyone not only liked it they thought it was superior. Loading and unloading was easy but the ease af entry and exit impressed all who rode in back. It is something that makes a multi-passenger vehicle like the Land Rover far more practical - especially if its in-town job is hauling a pack of children to and from such places as school. PAGE 19 [The 1967 Mountain Goat] H ERE YOU SEE THE SIX-CYLINDER 109 LAND-ROYER. It is tough, sure-footed, and nimble. Its chassis is built like a section of railroad track. Its body is of aluminum alloy for two reasons: I) It doesn't rust, and 2) It is light, so that the Land-Rover's center of gravity is sonle where down around the railroad tracks. This means it can climb any cliff / within reason without falling over backward. _ Furthermore: It has four wheel drive. Also low-range drive and high-range drive, giving it altogether 8 speeds forward and 2 in reverse. (In low-range you are in four-wheel drive automatically; in high-range you can take it or leave it alone.) _ And on the highway, fully laden and headed for home, it will do 0 to 50 m.p.h. in 17.2 seconds and 80 to 85 m.p.h. top. It's not always a mountain goat; sometimes it's a combination antelope and pack mule. _ The price: $4343 East Coast, $4529 West Coast, and between at places between. Options so many only your Rover dealer knows for sure. The Ron:r Motor Co. of N. Amcrit:J. Ltd.: Chrysler Blug., New York, N Y 10017; 2Jl Johnson Ave., N~\\J.rk, N.J.07108: 1040 BaYView Dnv~, Ft. Lauderu<lle, Fla.13J04; J7J Shaw RLI .. South S;Jn Franl:isl.:o. Calir. 940HO; lOP-HI.) Wilshire Blvu., Los Angeles, Calif. 90024, Mobik DrIve. Toronto 16. ant.. 156 W Second Ave .. Vancouver 10, S.C , ' ):>( S TR\o - 47 ? - 'f S-S-!