The Land-Rover Series II 109" Forward Control FAQ


This FAQ attempts to cover the Series II Forward Control Land-Rovers produced between 1962 and 1972. A lot of this information was taken from other Land-Rover web pages and FAQs, with an attempt to give credit where it is due.

This FAQ will have a strong South African bias, since South Africa is where I live.

The general order of the FAQ was stolen from the Land-Rover FAQ, (I did toy with the idea of basing it on the Interactive Fiction FAQ but sanity prevailed :-).

Editor & Contributions

Editor: Wouter de Waal ( wrm -at- this domain, which is


If you want to know where a particular bit of information came from, I tried to put that information in the comments in the HTML source of this FAQ.

The following people contributed to this FAQ:

History of this FAQ

I started this FAQ in 2003 after buying a Series IIA Forward Control, and noticing that the Land-Rover FAQ did not have any information on the 109 Forward Control, only on the more popular 101FC.

Major Versions

2003-03-13 : V1.0 Wouter de Waal
2003-12-02 : V2.0 Moved large sections (SIIB Advertising Brochure) to separate pages.

General Information

What is a Forward Control?

In general, the term "Forward Control" refers to a Land-Rover where the driving position is above and in front of the engine, giving a much larger load area for the same wheelbase. The Forward Control Land-Rovers are the 109", the 101" and the Llama (which exists in prototype form only).

After the introduction of the Forward Control Land-Rover, the standard Land-Rovers were referred to as the "Normal Control" (Rover) and "Bonneted Control" (British Leyland) to distinguish the two.

What is a 109" Forward Control?

The first Land-Rover Forward Control was based on the Land-Rover of the day: the Series IIA long wheel base, which has a wheel base of 109 inches. Ergo, the Series IIA 109" Forward Control.

The reason why we need the distinction is that Land-Rover later built the 101" Forward Control, which is the "Land-Rover Forward Control" that most people know (except in South Africa, where we have quite a number of ex-Army Series IIB Forward Controls, while 101's are way scarce).

109" Forward Controls come in two flavours, namely the Series IIA and the Series IIB (which actually has a 109.75" wheelbase, and as such is sometimes called the 110" Forward Control -- confused yet?) The slightly longer wheelbase of the Series IIB is a result of moving the front axle forward to clear the six cylinder sump when the ENV axles were used.

In general, I will refer to the "IIA", "IIB" and "101" to clarify which Forward Control I'm talking about.


The easy way to see whether it's a IIA or a IIB is to check the headlights -- If it's in the middle of the panel it's a IIA, if it's lower down (closer to the front bumper) it's a IIB.

101 and SIIB The easy way to tell the difference between a 109 and a 101 (except for the obvious, which is that they don't look the same at all...) is to count the number of nuts holding the wheels on -- all Land-Rovers except the 101 has five studs, the 101 has six (because it matches the Howitzer gun that it was designed to tow, which in turn matches the Unimog 404 -- thanks Neil).


  SIIA SIIB 101 (GS)
Overall Length 4.9m (193") 4.33m
Overall Width 1.92m (75 1/2") 1.84m
Overall Height (of cab, not rear body, unladen) 2.24m (88 1/4") 2.25m (88.6") 2.283m
Wheelbase109" (2.77m) 109.75" (2.79m)101"
Track 1.36m (53 1/2")  1.46m (57 1/2")1.524 (F), 1.549 (R)
Kerb Weight (with water, oil, and 5 gal fuel) 1948 kg (2.25p) 1970 kg (2.6) 2043 kg (2.25d)
Turning Circle 14.9m (49ft) 14.6m 11.3m
Ground Clearance 10" (254mm) 10"
Height of load bay (unladen) 1.04m (41")  
Width of Body (internal) 1.60m (63 1/2") 1.72m
Length of Body (internal) 3.14m (123 1/2")  
Payload Two people and 1525 kg (30 cwt) on road, 1270 kg (25 cwt) off road (The standard 109 is rated for 15 cwt).


The following production figures come from the Land-Rover FAQ:

TypeEraEngineWeight Number produced
Series IIA 109" FC 1962-66 2 1/4 petrol 1 910 kg 2 091
    2 1/4 diesel   5
    2.6 6cyl petrol   1 097
Total: 3 193
Series IIB 110" FC 1966-72 2 1/4 petrol 2 050 kg 527
    2 1/4 diesel   524
    2.6 6cyl petrol   1 254
Total: 2 305

In comparison, a total of 2669 101" Forward Control Land-Rovers were built.

Chassis Numbers

Compiled from the Land-Rover FAQ and miscellaneous articles :

    Petrol, 4 cyl Diesel, 4 cyl Petrol, 6 cyl
109" SIIA Home RHD 28600001A (353) 30500001A (5) 30000001A (1)
  Export RHD 28700001A (940)   30100001A (361)
  CKD RHD 28800001A (303)   30200001A (96)
  Export LHD 28900001A (459)   30300001A (633)
  CKD LHD 29000001A (36)   30400001A (6)
110" SIIB Home RHD 32500001A (1) 33500001A (168) 33000001A (360)
  Export RHD 32600001A (452) 33600001A (176) 33100001A (524)
  CKD RHD 32700001A (none) 33700001A (none) 33200001A (none)
  Export LHD 32800001A (74) 33800001A (180) 33300001A (370)
  CKD LHD 32900001A (none) 33900001A (none) 33400001A (none)
The numbers in (brackets) are the production totals (From LRW June 1996)

South African Military Production and Chassis Numbers

The above figures are the "official" figures, but...

SIIB SA VIN plate In South Africa, SIIBs were made until 1976 under special military contract. (These were fitted with full syncromesh "one tonne" gearboxes, BTW). Chassis numbers were 33200xxx (i.e. CKD RHD 6 cyl, official production figure = none). Paul Oxley has #466.
30200100 A 2013-04-28 : I saw this Forward Control, chassis number 32700100 A (CKD RHD 4 cyl, official production figure = none), for sale in Sedgefield. It now has a Nissan RD28 6 cylinder diesel engine. Click on the pic for more / bigger pics.


September 1961 :Series IIA Bonneted Control introduced
September 1962 :Series IIA Forward Control introduced
March 1963 :Chassis suffix B: Revised gearbox & steering rations, changes to prop shafts and shackle pins, headlamp bezels removed, Lucas side and rear lights replaced with Sparto and Wipac.
July 1963 :Heater becomes an option
1964 :

Chassis suffix C: Chassis frame modified.

February 1965 :ENV axles fitted
August 1965 :Chassis suffix D: Modified steering wheel and column.
September 1966 :Series IIB Forward Control introduced
October 1967 :De luxe front seats optional.
January 1968 :Semi-sealed cooling system with overflow bottle.
March 1968 :Chassis suffix B: Engine modifications and toughened windscreen class.
January 1969 :Chassis suffix C: Electrical system revised, new heater fitted.
April 1969 : Chassis suffix D: New headlamps, new flasher unit.
September 1971 (?) : Chassis suffix E: Metric (M16) wheel nuts.
1972 :Production ceases, 107 Forward Control Land-Rovers made in 1972.

Engines and Gearboxes


When it comes to the engine specs, all sources differ. These figures are from the SIIB advertising brochure, and are probably as close to "Factory Spec" as you will get. (example: SIIA FC workshop manual gives 77bhp@4250rpm, brochure gives 77bhp@4000rpm for the 4 cyl petrol)

2 1/4 Petrol.
Engine number starting from 28600001
Gearbox number starting from 28600001
Front Axle number starting from 28600001 (RHD), 28900001 (LHD)
Rear Axle number starting from 28600001
4 Cylinder, 90.49 x 88.9mm, 2286cc 7:1 CR
Zenith 36 I.V. Carburettor
57 kW @ 4000 rpm, 167 Nm @ 2500 rpm (77 bhp "gross", 124 lb.ft)

2 1/4 Diesel

4 Cylinder, 90.49 x 88.9mm, 2286cc 23:1 CR
CAV fuel injection
50 kW @ 4000 rpm, 142 Nm @ 1750 rpm (67 bhp "gross", 105 lb.ft)

2.6 6 cylinder Petrol.
Engine number starting from 30000001
Gearbox number starting from 30000001
Front Axle number starting from 28600001 (RHD), 28900001 (LHD)
Rear Axle number starting from 28600001
6 Cylinder, 77.8 x 92.075mm, 2625cc 7:1 CR
S.U. H.D.6 carburettor
The SIIB Advertising Brochure gives :
66 kW @ 4500 rpm, 176 Nm @ 1750 rpm (88 bhp "gross", 130 lb.ft)
but an article in LRO Magazine states that the 6 cylinder engine was detuned to
64 kW @ 4500 rpm, 173 Nm @ 1500 rpm (86 bhp net, 128 lb.ft)

All three of the engine options for the SII Forward Control Land Rovers were extremely underwhelming. You probably want to fit something with more power. See my page on choosing an engine for a Series Land-Rover.


The SII Forward Control Land-Rovers used a different transfer box than standard Land-Rovers, to compensate for the 9.00 x 16 tyres used. The main gearbox ratios were the same as that of other Land-Rovers of the time, but the gearbox itself is not 100% compatible -- a longer mainshaft was used to interface to the Forward Control transfer box, which is an "Easy Drive" box -- you can change from high to low range while moving.

The very first Forward Controls used the late model SI/SII main gearbox ratios, but this was changed to the SIIA ratios fairly early in production (This is strange, since the SIIA predates the Forward Control by a year).

The following table gives the gear ratios of the different Land-Rovers of the era:

 Type Forward Control Bonneted Control
Gearbox Serial No. SIIA
286xxxxx B, D
300xxxxx B, D
325xxxxx A, B
330xxxxx A, B
SII Suffix A,B SII Suffix C + SII 1 tonne (helical xfer box)
1 2.996 3.60 3.60 2.996 3.60 3.60
2 2.043  2.22 2.22 2.043 2.22 2.22
3 1.377 1.50 1.50 1.377 1.50 1.50
Rev 2.547 3.02 3.02 2.547 3.02 3.02
Xfer H 1.3 1.530 1.530 1.148 1.148 1.530
Xfer L 3.277 2.920 3.277 2.888 2.350 3.277
Total 1st L 46.14 49.41 55.45 40.67 39.76 55.45
Total 4th H 6.11 7.19 7.19 5.40 5.40 7.19
Distance/rev 2.77m
(9.00 x 16)
(9.00 x 16)
(9.00 x 16)
(7.50 x 16)
(7.50 x 16)
(9.00 x 16)
Approx Speed 1st L 3.6 km/h/1000rpm 3.4 km/h/1000rpm 3.0 km/h/1000rpm 3.7 km/h/1000rpm 3.7 km/h/1000rpm 3.0 km/h/1000rpm
Approx Speed 4th H 27.2 km/h/1000rpm 23.1 km/h/1000rpm 23.1 km/h/1000rpm 27.4 km/h/1000rpm 27.4 km/h/1000rpm 23.1 km/h/1000rpm
(Data taken from the Land-Rover workshop manual, Lindsay Porter's guide, and 9.00 x 16 rolling diameter for Michelin XL, 577 revs per mile).

Gear Lever and linkages

Series IIA cab interior The Series IIA gear lever was located on the floor, between the tunnel and the handbrake lever. The Series IIB lever was located between the seats. Series IIB cab interior

Chassis and Drivetrain

The 109" Forward Control chassis consists of a normal 109" Land-Rover chassis with a subframe welded on top of it.

The first Forward Controls used the standard Land-Rover axles. Later models (From February 1965) used the ENV differentials, which are stronger than the Land-Rover axles.

The ENV front differential hit the sump of the 6 cylinder engine, so all Series IIA 6 cylinder models had Rover front diffs. To fix the problem, the front axle was moved 3/4" forwards, resulting in the "110" Series IIB.

The Series IIB also had a wider track (100mm / 4"), because of:

All the SIIBs that I have seen, here in South Africa, had Salisbury front and rear axles. As far as I know these are all ex-army. Of course the halfshafts for the wider ENV and Salisbury axles would be quite difficult to find.


The very first (Chassis suffix A) Forward Controls used the standard 109" steering box. Later models used a unique steering box which is apparently impossible to get hold of.


Series IIB Forward Controls have an anti-roll bar in front, and the rear springs are on top of the axles. The front springs are under the axles, just like other Land-Rovers.


The 109" 6 cylinder brakes were used. Drums are 11", front brake shoes are 3" wide, rear brake shoes are 2 1/4" wide.

Even though a brake booster was standard, the brakes on a Forward Control is apparently, erm, interesting...

I've heard that the hand brake drum is larger than the standard equivalent.

Rims and Tyres

The Forward Control Land-Rovers use 6.5" wide rims (Standard Land-Rovers use 5.5" rims) with 9.00 x 16 tyres. The closest metric equivalent is (TTBOMK) 305/85R16.


As an aside, for 900x16 tyres your speedo should have a number "1344". 750x16 uses 1408, 600x16 is 1502. This is the number of turns per mile, I assume of the speedo cable not of the wheels.

The rims used for the Series IIA FC gives a 2" increase in track width over the standard 109 (1" per side, of course). Series IIB rims (LR part number 569203) give an additional 1", i.e. 1.5" per side.

Body and trim

The rear wheel arches were rounded on the SIIA, and squared off on the SIIB Forward Control. Hilton Ralphs reports that there were 11 different cab and body configurations available from the factory for the SIIB, namely:

I would guess that all of these options were also available for the SIIA, since the examples on page 2 (187k jpg) of the SIIB brochure use illustrations of SIIAs.

The radio body Forward Controls were custom-built on one of these, probably the chassis with subframe and no cab.

The Series IIA was available in the stock Land-Rover colours of the time, namely bronze green, light green, mid-grey, marine blue and sand (export only). The Series IIB was only available in mid-grey.

The Series IIA had the two wiper motor arrangement with the wiper shaft through the windscreen frame. The Series IIB had the later arrangement where the wiper motor is located on the left hand side of the dashboard, and the wiper shafts go through the firewall.


Winch Some Forward Controls were fitted with a hydraulic winch driven from the power takeoff on the rear of the gearbox. The hydraulic fluid reservoir holds 30 litres.

Advertising Brochures

SIIA Advertising Brochure This is the Series IIA Forward Control brochure from 1961.

Note: Everything I have is posted here. If you have more, and want to scan it in and email it to me, it will magically appear here for everyone to marvel at :-)

SIIB Advertising Brochure Ketil Oftedahl scanned the 1966 Series IIB brochure (Publication 707) for the FAQ. I put it on its own page.


Santana 1300 Metalurgica de Santa Ana, S.A. has been building "Santana" Land-Rovers under licence since 1956. This is, according to the June 2002 Land Rover Owner magazine, a Santana 1300 Forward Control.
Carmichael made an SIII based Forward Control. This vehicle was first used on the Forth Road Bridge as a personnel carrier. A similar vehicle was the base for one model of the Carmichael Redwing Fire Tender

Rover built one 88" Forward Control prototype, but pitching was a major problem.

The FC82 was based on the Stage 1 V8 converted to 6x6 by Sandringham.

Factory Manuals


Clubs and Registers

Forward Control Register IIA and IIB

C. B. Heron
28 Front Street
Daisy Hill
Co. Durham DH7 6BL
Tel: 0191 371 2527


[Image] Hit Count hits since 2003-03-13.

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