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Independent Land Rover Specialists

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Famous Four Celebrate 30 Years

1988 -2018 – Famous Four Celebrate 30 Years

Famous Four Products - Serving the Land Rover and Range Rover community for 30 years

2018 heralds Famous Four’s 30th anniversary as one of the leading independent parts manufacturers and suppliers to Land Rover owners the world over.

We’ve come a long way – from very humble beginnings, we now employ 18 excellent and highly skilled staff, and our continued growth sees us expanding across all departments throughout 2018; mail order processing, warehousing, vehicle restoration and bespoke modern workshop facilities are all growing. Larger premises on our existing site will begin in the Spring and we hope will be completed by the end of Summer 2018.

We owe a great deal to you, our loyal customers, and thank you for flying the Famous Four flag for the last 30 years. We look forward to the next exciting and innovative 30 years!

Here are some articles from our Archives:



We are seeking to appoint a General Manager:


More Information Here

Archives – Land Rover 90 V8 Off-Roader

Here’s one from our archives…

More power!

Way back in 2004 we thought it would be an interesting exercise to build an off-road biased Defender to showcase and test our wares. We came across a rather sad and neglected example with 2.5 Petrol engine and LT77 5 speed box. Out went all of that, in went a much more purposeful V8 3.9 EFi engine mated to a 4 speed ZF automatic gearbox.

A new rear cross member was fitted at the same time to make the underside structurally sound.

Well Equipped

We added our own excellent Famous Four Heavy Duty plus 1 inch springs (FF001000 & FF001001) mated with Bilstein heavy-duty gas assisted shock absorbers (FF000992 & FF000993) and heavy-duty Bilstein steering damper (FF000989). For off-road protection we fitted rock sliders, diff guards (FF003735) and aluminium steering guard (FF001232). BFGoodrich 265/75X16 Mud Terrain tyres were fitted to silver modular steel wheels. To finish it off we mounted a Warn 9.5 XP (FF003438) winch to a winch bumper (FF003472 pictured fitted to this vehicle on our web listing), with a Plasma Lightweight winch rope (FF003441).

Silver Dream Machine

The freshly silver-painted beauty made it’s off-road debut at Kirton Lindsey Quarry later that year, and starred in a number of photo shoots and product testing for some of our ‘FourSport’ Off-Road goodies which are still available on the website.

The performance and torque were awesome, the off-road cross-axle abilities superb, and the grip exceptional. All round it was a wonderful vehicle. Sadly, due to lack of use we sold the 90 on for a new owner to enjoy. Recently we were pleased to be contacted by it’s current owner who clearly loves and cherishes it to this day, appreciating the unique qualities of our bespoke modifications all those years ago which are still performing well and standing the test of time.

Customer Review – 2-Door Range Rover Instrument Binnacle Cover

From another of our satisfied customers:

I had been looking on eBay and the internet for these parts for some time, but was not prepared to pay the excessive prices people are asking for them as used parts.

So when I saw these new products on the Famous Four web site, I pressed the button and purchased them, for what I thought was a reasonable price.

They were packed very well and arrived in good time. The binnacle front was a perfect  fit, and looks great.

The front  closing panel also fitted brilliantly. I had to drill two small holes, one at each corner, and all other holes lined up perfectly. It seems to be made out of slightly thicker material than the original, which can only be good and should last longer than the original.

If this is the standard of all Famous Four’s  re-manufactured parts, I won’t hesitate to purchase from them again.

A very satisfied customer.

Tim K,  Bedfordshire, UK.


If you are interested in purchasing our Instrument Binnacle Cover they are available to order online here:

FF009458 – Cover – Instrument Binnacle

Famous Four specialise in parts and restorations of Classic Range Rover vehicles, including supplying rare and re-manufactured parts, see our website for more details:

Parts for Classic Range Rover 1970-85 Models

Parts for Classic Range Rover 1985-95 Models

Restoration of Land Rover Series 2A Soft Top 4-cylinder Petrol

My PROJECT – Restoration of a Land Rover Series 2A 1968 Soft Top 4-cylinder Petrol

My old lady arrived in Austria in October 2016. She was transported on a trailer from Yorkshire close to my home in Gmunden / Austria. I just had to drive her to my house. Somebody had connected the distributor leads the wrong way round, which created some misfire, but I made it home.

I bought her via the Internet; she was supposed to be in good shape. However I realised that there was no way for her to pass the Austrian MOT. The rear end of the chassis was totally rusted, the bulkhead consisted mainly of body filler…. But she was freshly painted in limestone!

It turned out that the engine, exhaust, gearbox, axle and brakes were in good condition, but the bodywork and the steering needed extensive attention.

I decided to perform a frame off restoration, so I bought a new galvanized chassis from Richard’s, found a restorable bulkhead from a Land Rover dealer over here and contacted Famous Four for the supply of the spare parts needed.

After disassembling the whole vehicle I had all body parts stripped of paint. The cappings, window frames etc have been painted in silver; I had them zinc plated.

When reassembling the Landy I changed every bolt and nut, all the seals, all joints, the complete wiring harness. I had to rebuild the seat box, change all the oil rings and seals on the engine and gearboxes. Special attention had to be given to the steering system, all joints and worn parts have been changed.

Once back from the paint removing shop I discovered quite a number of body parts were badly corroded, such as floor panels, inner wing panels, front grill panel, doors, rear end panels etc. I replaced them all with the help of Famous Four.

I decided to paint the Landy once again in limestone as this is a color which is not very often seen here in Austria, and attracts her.

I paid special attention to use the right types and sizes of the rivets and tried to make the vehicle as close to the original as possible. I did not use any filler on the body parts, so one can see the spots on the panels caused from the spot welding.

After 6 months of work my old Lady was back to the road, and successfully passed the Austrian MOT. She is good now for another 50 years of service and is behaving as a real Land Rover Series 2A should.

The first job she has done in her new life was to transport 7 children from the local rowing club to attend a rowing race.

I have to thank Famous Four (especially Dave Funnell) for their great support and patience, my local workshop “Auto Thalhammer” who performed all the mechanical work including painting, and Richard’s Chassis.

Gerald – Austria


New Classic Range Rover Products

The devil is in the detail!

Famous Four, market leading parts suppliers and restorers of Classic Range Rover vehicles, began a programme to re-manufacture long obsolete parts for these vehicles some years ago, enabling the owners and restorers worldwide to source those previously unobtainable items which finish their car to the very highest standards. Here are some of our latest exclusive products available to order online now at www.famousfour.co.uk.

Famous Four mail order parts and accessories for the entire range of Land Rover vehicles throughout the UK and worldwide daily, and offer a service unrivalled within the industry.

FF010307 Wiper Spindle Nut

FF010307 – CHROMED BRASS WIPER SPINDLE NUT  – fits all front windscreen wiper spindles up to 1985.

FF007763 Wiper Spindle Sealing Bush

FF007763 – WIPER SPINDLE BUSH – fits all front windscreen wiper spindles up to 1993. This is the outer (visible) bush.

FF010211 Front Apron - Upper Bumper

FF010211 – FRONT UNDER BUMPER APRON SPOILER – made from ABS plastic, fits vehicles up to 1987, and can be easily modified to fit later vehicles.

FF010212 Front Closing Panel

FF010212 – FRONT CLOSING PANEL – made from ABS plastic. Fits below the  front of the radiator, all vehicles pre-1985.


All items are available from stock. Famous Four’s range of parts is growing all the time, so keep a keen eye on their website for new releases, as well as a vast range of existing items.

Buyer’s Guide – 2012 Range Rover L322 vs. 2014 Discovery 4

We received an enquiry recently about choosing between a Range Rover L322 TDV8 and a Discovery 4 TDV6. Here’s a bit of brief advice for potential buyers of one of these fine vehicles:

Hi, a friend of mine gets his Discovery serviced with you and recommended you. I’m considering an L322 Range Rover westminster or HSE and wondering just how reliable I could expect one to be with full service history, 50k miles or so on a 2012 plate, or would a Discovery 4 HSE on a 2013/14 plate be a better buy? Any advice appreciated.

The choice of owning either a 2012 Range Rover L322 TDV8 or a 2013/14 Discovery 4 TDV6 is a happy dilemma to consider, as both are highly capable, comfortable, powerful and well-built vehicles. Service history is key when choosing which car to buy, especially with these two, as repair bills are potentially very expensive if problems are ignored.

There are a few commonly occurring issues with both models, and expect to budget around £1000 – £2000 per annum in repair bills for either model if you are unlucky:

  • Look out for air suspension faults (EAS), with air compressors, relief valves, ride height sensors all subject to wear and tear.
  • Suspension bushes wear, necessitating suspension arm replacement when they are badly worn. One symptom of this is unevenly wearing tyres (inner edges scrubbing out prematurely).
  • The electronic hand brakes commonly failed on the earlier Discovery 3 vehicles, but we haven’t replaced many on the Discovery 4.
  • Timing belts must be replaced on the 3.0 TDV6 Discovery 4 engines at 112,000 miles or 7 years, whichever is the sooner.
  • Beware of turbocharger failure, especially on the TDV8 engined vehicles. They are expensive to replace as body removal is necessary to access them.

Modern High-end Land Rovers and Range Rovers operate CANbus wiring systems, and a weak battery can cause a range of electrical faults to show. Ensure that your battery is in tip-top condition, and when replacing it, fit the best quality battery you can find. There are a large number of ECUs on-board both models, and electrical issues, although rare, can be expensive to rectify.

Whichever you choose, we are experts in servicing and repairing them, and have the most up to date diagnostic equipment in our workshops. We have a great many customers with such cars, and are very familiar with these great cars.

Looking back 20 Years…

Looking back at an article in International Off-Roader in August 1997 – 20 years on we now have 19 staff
and 3 dogs!

We DID move to larger premises in Louth, which we have since expanded and also added a brand new bespoke workshop. We are busier than ever and constantly expanding.

What a young bunch of lads we looked back then! We might be lacking the hair we had back then, but we are still as passionate about off-roader 4x4s!

Transcript of the article

Famous Four and Getting Even More So…

From August 1997 International Off-Roader Magazine

FAMOUS FOUR is one of the biggest mail order companies for 4×4 products in the UK. They have been established for nearly 10 years and have grown and expanded since their humble beginnings. Back in 1988, Richard Varrall started the business at Market Rasen, a small market town in rural Lincolnshire more famous for horse racing than anything else, in a shop front barely big enough to take two bull bars and a set of tyres.

famous four team

Richard founded the business after gaining a degree in English at university. Initially he thought it would be a temporary measure to widen his horizons, earn some money and keep him out of the pub before he started a teaching career.

He obviously had the right recipe for success and was forced to move to larger premises in 1990. The site he found was twelve miles East of Louth, another market town. He then doubled his workforce to two and worked long days to keep up with customer demands.

Another expansion followed and workshops and storage were obtained adjacent to his Louth premises and the workforce is now up to six staff. Moves are afoot at this present time regarding moving to purpose-built new premises on an industrial estate in Louth, as the expansion of the business continues.

All the staff at Famous Four have driven off-road competitively, Richard and his brother Andrew have driven in trials and comp safari, Martin Stebbings (Stebbs) still competes in all disciplines with his Series One 80″ trialler and a class nine safari motor. He is also one of the most experienced passengers in the country having had a three year rest from driving yet never missing a chance for a ride!

Geoff has RTV’d, and Andy has recently returned from South Africa where he was working on and driving 4x4s.

Jim is the sixth member of this close team and has a soft spot for the Series One Land Rover as well as his Defender. There is a seventh member of the team, the office bitch Lucy, a chocolate Labrador and the only female on the staff.

The entire workforce at Famous Four has the necessary knowledge to be able to deal with the hundreds of customer enquiries that are received daily. Likewise if a vehicle comes in for breaking for spares they all have the ability to put their overalls on and get stuck in. It is this attitude that has helped the company grow. All the staff have their own roles but they can each overlap, a true strength-in-depth company.

To date the export side of Famous Four includes orders to remote areas of the world including Nepal, Cambodia, Russia, Iceland, and even St Helena, one of the remotest Islands. They were one of the first companies to have their own home page on the Internet, their web site can be found on www.Famous Four.co.uk

In the early days, the company relied on tyre, wheels and bullbar sales but, as times moved on, they are now selling their suspension kits as well as side bars, bullbars and thousands of lines of Rover replacement parts.

Famous Four’s latest break¬through in a competitive market is their new minus-one-inch cc springs for Discoverys. Like the majority of the products they sell, these lowered coils are fitted to one of the company’s vehicles. The Discovery that these are fitted to also has low profile tyres and the road holding is phenomenal, it also gives the vehicle a low sleeker look.

After 100 years without a roundabout, Louth now has two and it is round these that the low coil springs on this Discovery shows the increaser cornering ability. Potential customers can be shown how the handling can be improved significantly at a relatively low cost before they purchase. With all the staff running 4x4s, Richard and his team have the confidence to fit the products they sell to these vehicles as well as having the ability to speak from experience when answering customer enquires.

Part of the reason for wanting to move to larger premises is the increase in the secondhand parts market. Famous Four break all Land Rover models from the series vehicles to 100s and even Discoverys.

Another product that Famous Four sell in vast numbers is their handling kit, and that was my main reason for being there this particular day. Andrew Varrall was to fit one of these handling kits to the IOR 90, H2 LRO. The 1991 Tdi still had all the original suspension fitted to it Andrew found this out by cleaning the old springs and reading the colour codes painted on them.

andrew varrall

He was doubly sure when he struggled to remove the old shockers. The header tank and the air cleaner were removed before the serious work commenced. Andrew completed the front end change over without removing the wheels, a job that would be quite simple for the Land Rover enthusiast who is used to diy on Solihull products.

Caution is needed when lowering the axle not to over stretch the brake pipes. Apart from this, the whole job is straight forward and should not take more than four hours to complete. One good tip is to wire brush the paint off the Monroe Gas Magnum 4×4 shocker threads before starting, this will save 15 minutes of spannering against the paint.

andrew varrall

The only other parts required that are not supplied are new Nyloc nuts for the top of the rear shock absorbers. Although the old ones could be used it is not advisable – for the cost of about 30p, new nuts should be used.

The total cost for the person who can fit the handling kit themselves is only £350 (1997 prices) inclusive of VAT. The test to see whether it was worth spending that sort of money was soon answered. Simply, yes.

The improvement to the 90 is incredible. I have done a couple of hundred miles in it already and the difference in cornering and general road holding is very noticeable. The ride comfort, if you can use the words comfort and Land Rover together, has not been affected.

I live down a long farm track which tests and ruins the best of cars, and the Defender is as smooth as it was with the floppies on. My son, who drives several new Defenders daily, tried out the handling kit and was surprised how good it was. It drove like a new vehicle on a usual pre-delivery inspection run he commented. Not bad for a six year old, hard worked vehicle with 7.50 tyres fitted and a roof rack on.

As time goes on we will bring you an update on how the handling kit wears and performs off-road. I have taken it off-road for a short run and did not cross axle on an area where I thought it might with the stiffer springs fitted. It seems to be a worthwhile kit to buy with no obvious disadvantages

to date.


Buying Advice – Land Rover Discovery Td5

A potential Land Rover owner recently contacted us with a great question about buying a Discovery Td5. There are a lot of these vehicles around at low prices these days but are they worth it?

I know you guys have been around for a while and everyone I have ever known with a Land Rover swears by you guys.  Now I keep hearing that a Discovery 2 Td5 manual among all land rovers are just money pits! I really want to take the plunge and buy one but what advice would you guys give to a new buyer.

As you are thinking of taking the plunge and buying a Land Rover, here are some of our thoughts of what to look for when buying a Land Rover Discovery Td5, based on a great deal of experience with these vehicles since they launched back in 1998.

Discovery Td5 vehicles are getting a bit long in the tooth now and, whilst they are intrinsically a pretty good vehicle, age related issues are starting to rear their heads.

Look out for corrosion, especially at the back-end of the chassis, but also sills, bulkhead and other areas of the inner frame. This can be expensive to repair. We can now supply the rear quarter section of the chassis.

Cylinder head failure is now quite common, and it is very expensive to buy a new head. Repair of a head does not work in our experience. Symptoms are fuel in the oil, noticeable by checking the oil level on the oil dipstick isn’t too HIGH. This will often indicate either cylinder head internal failure, but can also be due to fuel injector sealing washers failing causing fuel to leak into engine, which is a much less expensive repair.

If buying a manual gearbox model, clutch and flywheel wear can lead to expensive bills. Automatic gearboxes can fail, especially if the engine has been re-mapped for more power, as this tends to prematurely wear the auto ‘box.

More general issues with the Discovery Td5 range are;

  • Hub(s) leaking – requires new (expensive) hub(s)
  • Sunroof leaking – often difficult to diagnose
  • Central door locking not working (new latch/es)
  • Air suspension air bags/compressor/ride height sensor failures
  • Fuel pump and/or fuel pressure regulator failure (left unchecked can lead to starter motor failure due to fuel dripping on to it from above)
  • Front swivel ball joint(s) worn
  • Engine misfires due to oil ingress in the engine wiring loom/ECU
  • ACE (Active Cornering Enhancement) system wear – corroded pipes – very expensive to rectify/remove.

Unlike the earlier 200 Tdi and 300 Tdi models, the Discovery II Td5 model is not quite a ‘DIY’ Land Rover, and some jobs are best done in a specialist workshop with the required diagnostic equipment and expertise.

Buying a vehicle with a comprehensive service history is always advisable, but be prepared for repair bills which are bigger than those for the older, less technically sophisticated Land Rover Discovery vehicles of earlier years. However, just because we’ve listed some fairly major potential failings, it doesn’t mean that all (or any) of these will befall your potential new steed!

Workshop Diary – Range Rover Sport TDV8 Turbocharger


It’s fair to say that we here at Famous Four, along with many modern era Range Rover owners, rate the TDV8 series of engines very highly with their plentiful power, huge torque and relatively(!!) frugal fuel economy for such a big power unit. Like any engine, though, sometimes things go wrong and the TDV8 is no more immune than any other powerplant fitted to Land Rover’s range.

Tight Fit!

Land Rover only fitted the TDV8 engine in the Range Rover Sport (first generation) from 2007 to 2010, leaving the range without V8 diesel option for the last three years of its life. When you undertake major engine work on a 3.6 Litre TDV8 model it’s easy to see why, the big V8 diesel engine occupies close to every square inch of space in the engine bay!

No better is this illustrated than when you change a turbocharger on one of these beasts, a task our workshop were given recently. Our intrepid technician, Luke, began the mammoth task of lifting the body off the chassis to access the engine and turbocharger. As involved as this sounds, the Discovery 3/4 and Range Rover Sport of this era were designed to facilitate this, with the electrics, ancillaries and pipework all conveniently disconnecting between the body and chassis. Upon removal of the easily located mounting bolts, the entire bodyshell lifts off with the help a workshop lift located under the jacking points. It’s a job we have done quite a few times on both models to change engines and parts that are not accessible from the engine bay or underside.

Changing the Turbocharger

As you can see from the pictures of the bodyshell engine bay area, and the engine sitting on the chassis, the engine is a mighty tight squeeze! The turbochargers, there’s one per bank of cylinders, are tucked down and away under the body on this model meaning a body-off lift is the only way to access them. The pictures of the old turbo vs. the replacement unit clearly show a major failure. Although not visible, there was a huge amount of slop in the impeller shaft, showing a total failure of the bearings, resulting in oil escaping into the inlet tract of the engine. This usually leads to contamination of the intercooler and intake hoses meaning not only a turbocharger change but also a lot of cleaning to do. Thankfully the hoses are removed anyway, and the radiator/intercooler assembly is easy to get to without the body in the way. The turbocharger itself is nestled at the back of the engine, packed very tightly into place as can be seen.

While jobs like this might appear daunting at first glance, patience and a methodical approach are the order of the day. At Famous Four our technicians are trained and qualified to carry out every job from a routine service to complex jobs such as these, as well as detailed and exacting restoration work. We pride ourselves on quality work at affordable prices and hope we can help you care for your Land Rover or Range Rover.

More information at: https://www.famousfour.co.uk/wshop