Rosie, a 1995 Landrover Discovery, with a difference...

Rosie, a 1995 Landrover Discovery, with a difference...

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sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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Hello all,

I'm more of a reader than a writer when it comes to forums. I have had what I'd like to think are a few interesting low budget cars, including a GT6 with a TR5 engine and triple webers, A couple of quick MX-5's - a sensible one and a not so sensible one. One of which has 300bhp. I'll let you decide if you think that's the sensible one or not. and an E39 M5. I'm also a biker. I like fast vehicles and I like speed... and yet I have a quarter ofa century old heap of Solihull's finest rust..

A contradiction? Possibly...Read on and whilst I realise an old Land Rover isn't to many people's tastes, I hope some of you might find something of interest.

I needed a vehicle to transport engines etc for my garage. I hate vans and thanks to Top Gear, A hilux was out of my price range. My Dad had one of the first 200Tdi 3dr Discoverys when I was a boy, Because of the fond childhood memories I'd always had a soft spot for them, so I set about looking for one. Diesels aren't really my style, so a V8 it had to be.

Rosie came to me in 2009 as a completely standard 3.9V8 Auto with a single point LPG conversion.



For a year or so she remained standard - She was a work tool, not a plaything. I even resisted the urge to go off-roading....for a bit. Then the modifying began. It started with a simple 2" lift when I discovered how cheap parts were...



You'll notice the LPG tanks hanging down. I didn't. One sharp rock and some brown trousers later and I decided a better solution was in order....



LPG tanks behind a guard where the original petrol tank used to be ans a seperate smaller, 4mm thick plate petrol tank kept bits that go bang out of harm's way..

This led me to accept that I was going to be modifying the workshop load lugger. I decided that if I were going to play with it then it had to be better in all areas, not just one. Anyone could make a Landrover into a superb off-roader, making one that would be better off road, a better motorway cruiser, faster and better able to tow a heavy trailer? That's more my kind of challenge.

Except it's a Land Rover and it had other ideas...





After doing all that work, I decided she deserved some new shoes and a bumper to stop me stoving the front end intoa tree or rock.




sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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Did I mention I like power?

Well the 3.9 Auto just didn't cut it.. That's a head from a 4.6 that'd received a bit of fettling. You'll notice she gained a winch and snorkel as well.



Out with the old...



In with the new...



She also gained a manual gearbox as I got fedup of destroying the autos and the terrible 8mpg fuel economy. Combined with the GEMS management system of the 4.6 economy improved to 15mpg..

So that's better economy, much better wading ability asn there was no dizzy to get wet and more power! A result!

I could do stuff like this and be able to drive out the other side...



Except I couldn't, not all the time - see winch in use.

An incident that nearly led to a friend and I freezing to death in Derbyshire when we got stuck in a blizzard prompted me to fit these..



Yes, switches. Switches that control an onboard air compressor, reservoir and front and rear air lockers though....

Not much happened for a few years, I was too busy using her for stuff like this



and transporting this



Yes that's a dog box in a Land Rover..

I also did a lot of this...


But then found this....



That lead to a lot of floor pan work, which meant I could look at something that had always bugged me - flimsy 200tdi seat mounts.

I cut up this to steal various parts and bits of metalwork...



Which included these nifty strong seat mounts.. which allowed me to fit Range Rover Classic heated leather electric seats and the rest of the RRC interior including the dash which is of much higher quality and rattles far less than that of a Discovery....



Comfy!


sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
quotequote all
I mentioned I like power, right?

Apparently a tuned 4.6 Rover V8 isn't actually all that quick in over 2 tonnes of Birmingham Pig Iron....

Well, I found these...



5 minutes of work later* and I had this, Probably the only Twin Turbocharged, intercooled 4.6 V8 Discovery 1 in the world!



So I had the power, but not enough complexity in my life.

Well, you only need to ask the boys from JLR who are writing that wonderfully interesting thread about the Range Racer about complex Landrovers and I'm sure they'll point to the L322..

As it happened, I'd had an L322 in the worshop with an air suspension fault that the local Land Rover Dealer and umpteen specialists couldn't sort.. After fixing it, I had my next goal.

My excuse, uh, reasoning was that it would offer greater comfort, better stability at speed and improved angles offroad...

Well of course seeing how complex and potentially disasterous air suspension could be, I just had to have it!

Remember that RRC I butchered?

Well it just so happened it had Electronic Air Suspension as standard. I'm told that the RRC was the world's first production car to feature it.



Splicing in every individual wire required into the correct points in the loom and using the original fuse points etc took some time...



Yep that lovely interior had to come out again... All for these...



But it did mean it's the only Discovery 1 that can do this...








So there you have it.

A twin turbo, air suspension equipped, triple locking Discovery 1 With half shafts for anti roll bars..

Finished at last..

Here she is coming to the aid of another Landrover that had suffered an overheating issue. I just happened to notice the owners staring at the engine in the services I'd had a comfort stop at. Ended up giving them my last bottle of Rad-weld...


Jimmy Recard

16,732 posts

134 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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I love it! You clearly know your stuff

M4CK 1

433 posts

82 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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drinkears

nichio3478

76 posts

60 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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Bravo. Very impressive skills.

brough74

103 posts

116 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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Great thread / build

I like things like this

M4CK 1

433 posts

82 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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"Cough" video with soundsbiggrin

V40TC

1,242 posts

139 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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what are you going to do about half shafts and CVs ?

sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
quotequote all
Except it wasn't finished. As any petrolhead will tell you, there's no such thing as truly finished...

Sod's law struck and struck hard. As I said my goodbyes to the chaps with the series, it occurred to me that I'd given away my good luck talisman in that radweld... It'd be just my luck if she overheated now...

Which she did, literally upon exiting the services! You couldn't make it up and I couldn't help but see the funny side, well until I realised that overheating 4.6 Rover V8's usually means slipped liner...

I was now faced with a problem. A top hat linered Rv8 block is about £4k.. Rosie would be scrap without a working engine and I do actually need a big 4x4 capable of towing 3500kg or dragging a car out of a ditch.

The Rover V8 is a wonderful piece of automotive history, it sounds great, it's light and it's British.. Kind of.. It's also horribly uneconomical and massively inefficient by today's standards. The heads are rubbish and they leak oil. They make the Exxon Valdez look ecologically sound. It's also *really* expensive to get decent power out of them. Getting decent power reliably? Not happening...

That provided me with just the excuse, sorry, reason, I needed to do the thing I'd really wanted to do ever since buying Rosie a decade ago..

Fit a more modern engine and as it happens, there is a successor to the Rv8 that is cheap, almost exactly the same size, very reliable and has very well designed cylinder heads. It's also up to 50% more economical...



6 litres of Chevrolet LS* Engine...

sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
quotequote all
5 minutes later* and it's in..



A click of the fingers and it's all plumbed in and hooked up..



And, uh. it's quick. really quick...
No, not Ultima GTR fast, but for 2.4 tonnes of Land Rover?

Well it's like driving a hot rodded block of flats...

Tinkshusband

280 posts

58 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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be even more of a hot rodded block of flats if that LS met those turbos

or a nice supercharger.

sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
quotequote all
A few videos.

The first one is with the 4.6 TT offroad at Billing. It's the full course and was filmed by my friend Violet for her YouTube channel NoEgo.

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu...

This is a short clip of the first fire up of the LS. Apologies for the darkness, the lighting in the barn is rubbish. It made fitting the engine a bit tricky.

https://youtu.be/7WjVPbYVZqg

This is a clip of the first road test with the LS.

https://youtu.be/nHFslokNiiw


Of course she's now finished.....

Isn't she?


crofty1984

14,083 posts

159 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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Bravo, Sir!

CAPP0

16,354 posts

158 months

Friday 1st February 2019
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Fair play to you OP!

I'm in the middle of installing a 3.9i auto into my Defender 90 (which I realise is where you started, in fact the lump came out of one of Rosie's siblings) and whilst I do know what I'm doing and why, the individual challenges which every individual system is throwing at me one by one are, to say the least, tedious at times.

And the weather is doing me in currently - it would fit in the garage if I let the tyres down but then I can't move around it, so it's all getting done on the drive.

But I'm looking forward to getting it running. (And then starting again with an LSx block - possibly!).

sidewaysste

Original Poster:

104 posts

140 months

Friday 1st February 2019
quotequote all
In answer to the Half shafts/ CV question - I'm not sure.

I'm currently battling an issue with the ABS not working. I'm fairly sure it's due to the aftermarket CVs having poorly cut teeth for the ABS ring thus giving a weak signal. Genuine Land Rover cvs are £700. Each. I'm hoping that some lovely manufacturer of uprated CVs will come along and say " Well Golly gosh, that's a nice vehicle. We see you've had to use our Ashcroft(tm) locking diffs to cope with the power, here have a pair of CVs on us"

One can hope.

Half shafts? Well I think I'll keep standard ones as a kind of circuit breaker as they're easy enough to change when you're eyeballs deep in mud.

I've got lots of photos and am happy to answer any questions. I've learned a little bit about Land Rover's wiring and manufacturing practices over the years....

Baileydom

1 posts

18 months

Friday 22nd February 2019
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Fully impressed bud. I’ve only seen Rosie a couple of times when I’ve been back up and it’s been a few years but bloody hell you’ve been busy!!

Bob_drinks_beer

1 posts

17 months

Friday 22nd February 2019
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Rosie is an amazing machine! I've not been in her off road, but on road she's awesome. Highly amusing going that fast while "upstairs" lol
Brilliant work Ste, you should be proud!

The Tea Boy

4,104 posts

190 months

Friday 22nd February 2019
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Top work as ever stiggers 👍

Matt

The Tea Boy

4,104 posts

190 months

Saturday 23rd February 2019
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Also think you need to do a readers cars on 'Christine'!!!!