1971 Land Rover 109 Dormobile Conversion, Tucson, AZ, USA


Expedition Leader
as of 2015-Oct-20
Posted for a friend:

Dormobile conversion:

1971 Land Rover 109 3 door
OCR head/Rochester Carb
Wise Owl Roverdrive
Warn 8274 winch
High back buckets for the series trucks (Ex Moor)
2 under seat military tanks - 1 rear fuel tank
Swing away tire carrier with high lift jack mount and 2 water tank brackets

Dormobile kit added by current owner here in states includes:
Pop top
2 swing out bunks, 2 wardrobes, 1 kitchen unit (no stove)
neither electric or water run to rear of vehicle.

Vehicle originally believed to be a British Ambulance converted to civilian use.


Photos here: https://1971dormie.shutterfly.com/
Last edited:

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New member
Couple of questions

Rust: Anything mentionable/structural (frame, bulkhead, etc)

Drivetrain: Is this a running, driving, reliable vehicle? What is the service history as of this current owner. Any major work worth highlighting?


Expedition Leader
From the owner:

The 109 has an ACR head on the stock military block with a (correct) Rochester carb on the stock intake manifold and stock exhaust. I prefer the 109's setup because the accelerator pump design of the Rochester gives more torque at the expense of the higher horsepower at the top end the ACR setup provided [with their SU carb]. ACR developed their package for Trials competition events in the UK and the power comes on at the top end of their revised power curve - really not too practical for a Land Rover for off-roading use. I didn't try their long block setup because it was too pricey to ship here. Also keep in mind that the rebuilt Brit Pac block had the 2.5 cam in it which comes close to the regrind on the ACR cam in their long block package and it may have had a slight over bore - can't remember. The 109 is a late IIa, former military ambulance now converted to a three door Dormie, so I have no idea what iteration its engine internals may have; I know that at the indicated 21000 miles on the clock it did have a rebuilt gearbox already. The rebuilt gearbox may have resulted from teaching new recruits how to drive a crash-box though.

Critics will quickly point out that the stock intake manifold on the 109 / Rochester setup partially defeats the porting / polishing / matching work of the ACR head / intake combo, but the flow work on the ACR head alone really improves the performance over the stock Rover head. The performance gain for the 109 was noticeable, especially at low end compared to the stock head and stock (good working order - non warped) Zenith carb. I am still happy with the Rochester carb on the ACR head for the 109. The only thing I might try on the 109 would be to have a slightly larger exhaust fitted to the 109 to try and supplement top end, but I know that would probably compromise low end in favor of a little more top end power gain. I think ACR mentioned that the Rover engine really gained a lot from modifications to the exhaust side of the equation. It's a moving target for a shade tree mechanic whose only dyno is the seat of the pants.