Land-Rover 86" Series-I
1953 late: The 1954 model year Land-Rover 80" had its wheel-base lengthened to 86"; a 107" long wheel-base model was also introduced.
The decision to upgrade the original Land Rover took place rather quickly after its introduction. In early 1950 the company had decided to start its upgrade and built 50 pre-production two litre prototypes, (80") vehicles that ran in a chassis number sequence 07100001 to 07100050, the second number in the chassis number, 7 standing for `Test Land Rover' and never officially released, where the standard Land Rover where identified by the number 6. The 2-litre engine was found to be satisfactory for production and introduced for the 1952 season.
During the 1952 season the plans for what was to become the new model Land Rover were given a good step forward with the production of 9 prototype 86" Land Rovers. Basically the new model was going to be a full improvement over the quickly slapped into production 80" Land Rover. The main difference was going to be an improved load space of 9" for the rear body and a complete redesign of the interior and doors to make the Land Rover much more user friendly as the Land Rover became the standard workhorse in many markets for more people than just the farmers.
The idea of the Land Rover being just a upgraded tractor had now moved on to the Land Rover being `The Jack of All Trades'. This called for a full redesign from the bulkhead backwards to improve interior comfort and load space. These 9 prototypes were numbered P86/1 to P86/9, the `P86' standing for Prototype 86". At a quick look these vehicles look very like a standard early 86", but many little differences exist. At the same time the plans for the first long wheelbase Land Rover had taken place and 3 prototype 107" wheel base models were made, P107/1 to P107/3. The success of these 12 prototypes obviously went very well as the pre-production model 86" was started soon after in 1953 with the sequence 47100001 onwards, the 7 in the sequence standing again, as with the 1950 pre-production Two litre vehicles for `Test Land Rover'. Very early versions of parts books for the up and coming 86" and 107" models list the sequence for the 1954 models as 46100001, and so on onwards, in line with the last 1953 80" models which were 36100001 and so on, onwards. However this wasn't to be the case and in reality the 86" pre production sequence, 47100001 series continued into production, only the earliest 471 `Home' vehicles being pre-production 86" Land Rovers.
The standard 86" and 107" Land Rover was only in production for 2 years until it made way for the 88" and 109" models that introduced Rovers new 2-litre diesel engine. The 107" Station wagon stayed in production not being available with the diesel engine.
Land Rover engine numbers follow along the lines of the chassis number sequence of the basic right or left hand model of that year, (listed above). The engine number is found on the left hand side of the engine bay. It is stamped on the flat face just above the exhaust valve rocker cover and beside the exhaust manifold at the front of the engine. On very late 2-litre engines it is stamped a second time on the engine block at the back left side above the camshaft cover. The engine carried on in production for the first 88" Series Two.
Once again Land Rover gearbox numbers follow on the same lines of the chassis number sequence, (listed above) The gearbox number can be found on the top right side of the gearbox casing, beside where the transfer case bolts on. This top piece is removable and is occasionally lost. Gearbox part changes are quite extensive and include changes in the transfer box including the change from constant four wheel drive to selectable two/four wheel drive.
The Land Rover axle numbers follow along the lines of the chassis number sequence, (listed above) The axle number is found on the left hand side of the differential casing. It is on the top which can make the rear axle hard to read.
Other ID Numbers.
There are two other id numbers that are often forgotten.
The first one is the chassis build number. This is the mysterious
number that appears on the chassis an seemingly does not look
like much but it is the chassis build number. This is just
a running number of chassis's that were produce in a given production time.
We know that the chassis number was only issued to the chassis
when the vehicle was being assembled. To keep a running on how
many chassis had been made they put in the chassis build number
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