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Series 2a freewheel hubs


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Having just bought an early Landrover series 2a without freewheel hubs is there any benefit to them?

I can see the sense in them but I have heard and read that they are good and evil. 

Are they worth the money or just another bling thing

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I think Fairey hubs are the most common and the ones I had on my Series 3 back in the 1990s. The theory was that as you didn't require 4 wheel drive all of the time then switching to 2 wheel drive saved fuel and wear on the front axles and components. Like any part they're great when they work and probably expensive when they don't, although technology of that era is easily sorted with a few spanners.

The question is: if you have them how much will you use them, and if you don't have them, how much will you really miss them? It comes down to driving style and intended use - do you drive much off-road, or long distances? If you use the vehicle a lot then you'll have increased wear on tyres etc so they might be useful; but it's like overdrive on Triumphs, many have it, others don't and never seem to miss it.

(Fairey overdrive.. had that on the Series 3 too....)

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After reading a positive review in some motoring magazine I fitted a pair to my brother's S2a and I don't remember them being difficult to fit or expensive, but that must have been 30 years ago. I do remember he said that they made an appreciable difference to noise and mpg.


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I'm neither pro nor anti... but my own experience of having them on my 2 1/4 Petrol 88" SIII

1) Every now and again they need locking up and some running in that state to keep things in the front axle turning and lubricated. No big deal, but it needs to be part of the maintenance routine.

2) They play merry hell if they are unlocked when you snap a rear halfshaft... no drive, no handbrake and no way out... I speak from personal experience!

3) I found they made a small but measurable difference to MPG, but an OD made more difference.

There are cheaper "lash-up" ways to achieve the same thing if you aren't bothered about having 4wd at all.

I'd love a SWB SII or SIIa truck cab as a "fun motor" but I don't have the money/space/time. 🙂



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  • 1 month later...

Having had a series 3 with them and not one without , I loved the drive of mine and often had them free wheeling. Sold as I got fed up running out of petrol. If you got them use them, but if you run a petrol version 2.25 economy can't be your driving force.

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