Can we get an update DonkeyApple???
Hi. Yes. Not a lot.
In terms of exterior parts it is all ready. I just haven't any time at all to fit them myself and it is something I'd like to do.
Wheels have been a little bit of an issue. It would be sensible to upgrade the brakes. If I just go with a late Classic set up and maybe the larger Defender calipers this would probably be enough and they will fit in the 16" rims.
However, I think it would be prudent to go for larger discs and brakes which would require a larger wheel. Now, I've found a company that will take the ROStyle centres and weld them into larger rims but I'm not comfortable with the increase in weight of the steels or the overall use of steels anyway.
I had a result the other month when someone in the local pub pointed out that nearly all Leyland wheels were copies of classic US muscle car wheels and sure enough the ROStyle design was actually licensed from the US and was called the Magnum. I've now found a company that will make a set off 17 inch AR500 Magnums with the correct fittings and offset as a bespoke job. Not cheap but will give me modern tech with the original look so ideal.
Now, back to engines. I have recently made two descisions. Firstly, I am going to do this as a manual. I had been planning to use the ZF24 auto uprated by Ashcroft but I'm having to spend a lot more time than I used to in an auto car (blame the wife) and so I decided that as this will be a fun car it will be an auto. I'll use the 6 speed ZF which will give a very lazy top end cruise.
The engine itself, since inception of the project I've been focussing on the use of the AJ-V8 unit to replace the Rover. I spent some time investigating the SC RV8 option and just found that while several builders raved about their product, several clients certainly did not. So, the RV8 is well and truly shelved. A fellow PHer contacted me re a garage who would do an AJ-V8 conversion and they seemed genuinely very good but the installation of the unit would mean bulging the bonnet, cutting the bulkhead, modifying the sump and still result in the engine being further forward than is ideal. JE are still a very obvious choice, but as their Zulu product is perfected for the Defender there is going to be additional work with a Rangie and at this point I just can't justify that amount of money on what is always going to be a toy.
So, where does this leave me? Well, you have probably already guessed
. I'm looking at using the one unit that I frothed and ranted against in the first place, the Chevy!!!!!!
I found a great Chevy specialist in West London when I owned the Overfinch who fixed that in a day or so when many other garages had just made it worse and tried to rip me off for stupid amounts of money. I think when you find a garage who proves themselves to be honest and competant you tend to want to keep using them, like I found with Graham Goodyer in Amersham.
The LS3 has the power target I'm looking for without being clever, fits without butchering a 1972 car and has the added advantage of being done before so I won't be paying someone to do anything too clever.
The final area now that I am looking into is what to do in the boot. I am pretty sure that the removeable floor panel could actually be re-designed to give quite a drop down with only the fuel pump to be maybe relocated. This would mean a false floor would be possible. This in turn means that one half could be used as the gun cabinet and the other half could conceivably host a flat folding 'dickie' seat meaning the car becomes a more versatile 5 passenger car (two baby seats in all the other cars mean this is an ocassional problem and having one car which will take 5 is going to be handy).
So, at the moment I am trying to research which modern car manufacturer has a folding boot seat that folds into the shallowest space. The Discovery ones need too deep a recess but I am wondering if the ones in Ford Focuses are better etc?
Anyone who has a car with a folding boot seat and can give me a rough idea as to what depth the storage needs to be etc would be a huge help. So far I've found asking people at supermarkets when they are loading their boot doesn't get good feedback