Anyone interested in a Land Rover build thread?

Anyone interested in a Land Rover build thread?

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300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
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Don't know if PH folk have any interest in this sort of thing. Anyhow this has been the main project taking most of my time since May last year.


Starting with this:


And being used for this:


And looking like this at one stage:



To back together, rebuilt and fully running again with lots of upgrades. biggrin



Can post more details and info if people are interested.

tonyb1968

1,142 posts

112 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
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I do love a good Series III build thread, is this a 2.25 petrol 4 cyl or a nice V8 build? wink

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
quotequote all
tonyb1968 said:
I do love a good Series III build thread, is this a 2.25 petrol 4 cyl or a nice V8 build? wink
I'll sort out some more pics then. Oh and neither... it started as a 2.25p however. smile

Shakermaker

11,317 posts

66 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
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Like it... details please!

tonyb1968

1,142 posts

112 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
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Noooooo not a 2.5 Diesel redfacewink

BuzzBravado

2,902 posts

137 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
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Looks like an SU carb on a straight engine of some kind. Would be interested in following this one.

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Thursday 14th April 2016
quotequote all
At heart I'm an off roader. Don't get me wrong, I love my sports cars, muscle cars, performance cars and RWD. And currently own what some may consider as obscene 3 V8 powered cars, an AWD Impreza and a turbo charged sports car.

But truth be told, if I could only have one car, it'd be a 4x4.

I'm a big Jeep fan, I love American trucks, but Land Rover's are where the heart is.

Some of you may remember I had a fairly standard 2.25 Series III 88. I've owned it for a good number of years now. And I've known the vehicle a lot longer, knowing 2 of it's previous owners.

Only real changes where some unknown branded parabolic springs (sourced from Paddocks 12-14 years ago), with Procomp shocks.



Now, being an "off roader" and using the vehicle off road. My criteria for the vehicle is probably rather different to many PH'ers. Or even run of the mill SUV owners.

The vehicle gets used off road extensively, for recreation and also for competition. The latter mostly done with the ALRC through MSA sanctioned events, typically in the RTV format.


The 88 didn't go too badly. The rear flexed "ok", but the front didn't. And while it handled well it seemed to ride quite harshly and hard at the rear unless you had 2 or 3 people in the back.


Some "before" pics:







Rear end flex ok for a mostly stock leafer:


But front way too stiff:



Off road you really want good wheel travel, it stops you getting stuck as easily and makes for a much more stable vehicle on uneven terrain.







Sadly I did experience some running issues, traced to several bug bears. I replaced the ignition system twice over, sadly with 2 new defective coils!!!! Eventually opting for an electronic ignition kit (which I should have done from the off).

It also burnt a valve out, so I swapped on a 2nd hand head. But sadly this didn't stem it's oil drinking problem. A shame, as the 2.25 is quite a nice refined engine.

I also had issues with the carb and simply got sick of it being unreliable and not running right. I'm not sure what was up with it. It was fine one day and then not the next. We must have stripped it down a 100 times. But it just wouldn't run like it did and was far too variable.

As standard this era of Land Rover should have had a down draught on it. The originals are hard to come by, so the previous owner opted for a new carb. But most of the offerings are cheap Chinese knock-offs. I'm not sure what went wrong with it, but something wasn't right and it was far too variable in terms of reliability.


I opted to fit an SU setup intially, by way of a custom adapter pipe to mate to the inlet manifold and purchased a new old stock SU off ebay, listed for a Sherpa van.

The SU wouldn't seem to run with the mechanic fuel pump very well, even after getting a new pump and lots of people saying it should. An electric pump solved this.

With the SU on it was dependable, although I think the jetting wasn't quite right and it did run a bit rich. It also drank fuel. Has to one of the worst vehicles on fuel I've ever owned, and I've owned a V12 Jaguar in the past!!



All joking aside, I think it was average 14mpg, but sometimes less. Mostly off road and short journeys however. But with the pitifully small fuel tank on the Series, it meant you had to continuously poor fuel through it. 120 miles to a tank was about it.


The final decider that it needed some work, was while setting up an RTV trial, I bent the rear cross member recovering my brother after he got is Tdi Ninety stuck in a huge mud hole.

You can see it bent here:





I'd already replaced the front chassis legs. So it looked like the rear was next...



.... or at least that was the original plan rolleyes

BuzzBravado

2,902 posts

137 months

Friday 15th April 2016
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My dads spent months meticulously restoring a SWB series 3 and when the maiden journey came it was just too agricultural for him so sold it on. smile

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Friday 15th April 2016
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The first plan was to simply lop off the old rear cross-member and fit a new one:



Sounds easy. Until we found out the rear legs where rotten also. So we fabbed up some new legs, only to find out there wasn't really anything to attach them too.


So off came the body:



Which left a more manageable bit to work on:



With the engine out too, there was not a whole amount left too look at:


Edited by 300bhp/ton on Friday 15th April 11:37

TooMany2cvs

29,008 posts

92 months

Friday 15th April 2016
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300bhp/ton said:
I also had issues with the carb and simply got sick of it being unreliable and not running right. I'm not sure what was up with it. It was fine one day and then not the next. We must have stripped it down a 100 times. But it just wouldn't run like it did and was far too variable.

As standard this era of Land Rover should have had a down draught on it. The originals are hard to come by, so the previous owner opted for a new carb. But most of the offerings are cheap Chinese knock-offs. I'm not sure what went wrong with it, but something wasn't right and it was far too variable in terms of reliability.

With the SU on it was dependable, although I think the jetting wasn't quite right and it did run a bit rich. It also drank fuel. Has to one of the worst vehicles on fuel I've ever owned, and I've owned a V12 Jaguar in the past!!

All joking aside, I think it was average 14mpg, but sometimes less. Mostly off road and short journeys however. But with the pitifully small fuel tank on the Series, it meant you had to continuously poor fuel through it. 120 miles to a tank was about it.
Wow. Definitely thirsty. My s3 88", on the original Zenith, is MUCH better - I get, ooh, 140 miles to a tank...

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Monday 18th April 2016
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Chassis was refurbished and given a second lease of life.




To eventually end up looking like this:



Some more pics of the chassis prep and paint. Lots of grunt work here. Sand blasting like this is horrible, but it was cheap. Used POR15 paint for the chassis.

I did consider getting it galvanised, but the extra work and costs involved made it prohibitive.










300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Monday 18th April 2016
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To address some of the suspension issues with the standard Series setup. I opted for a nice long 2 leaf parabolic at the rear. This is a Rocky Mountain Spares spring, which I believe follows the Heystee design very well. I specifically wanted a 2 leaf rear, as it previously had a 3 leaf, which was way too firm in my opinion.

And 2 leaf springs seem somewhat hard to come by.






For the front I conceived an idea based on one or two other builds I've seen. Although none that have done exactly this.

What I did was fit a long rear spring to the front, and modded the mounting points to suit. So it is still an 88" wheelbase.


For cost reasons I opted to use the old 3 leaf spring from the rear. Although time will tell if this is too stiff, if so I'll get some more Rocky Mountain Spares 2 leaf ones. Although my rational was, the rear used to flex "ok" and the front has the weight of the engine to cater for.








And eventually back to a rolling chassis....





Next was to fit the new shocks I'd selected.


Initially I was going to opt for some Bilstein 5125 shocks, as I'd heard good things from two members on here. But they seemed just a little pricey and needed importing from America, which has time implications and more potential cost with VAT, delivery and import duty. And as I needed to account for every penny being spent, I gave David at Llama4x4 a shout to see what he could offer.

He sent me 4 of these:



For what I considered to be a very good price. As you can see, the new shocks, Rough Country N2.0's, are substantially longer than either the front or rear standard shocks. And also significantly longer than the Procomps that were on the vehicle (sorry no pic of those, but the Procomps where 1-2" longer than stock shocks). He also sent me a set of super long extended stainless brake lines.

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Tuesday 19th April 2016
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Fitting the shocks.

First major hurdle was the bushes supplied fitted in the shocks were too small.



Being US shocks they came with 5/8th or something bushes. A quick call to David at Llama and he said there should have been some 3/4 bushes in with them. He sent a set out to me. Top service and no complaints.



Next came to fitting the shock. My aim here was to retain the full up travel, i.e. have enough upstroke for the axle to still hit the standard bump stop, but while increasing the amount of down travel. Most aftermarket kits for a Series gain droop using a longer shock, but reduce the up travel. I considered several options such as moving the shocks in board, a bit like some guys do in the USA or Gon2Far did. However if you are doing this on a 109 there is loads of room, but less so on an 88 and I wanted to avoid having to custom cut an exhaust around them.

In the end we decided to go for shock towers. A side advantage of this, is it keeps the shock upright, which makes the shock the most affective.

Rear shocks test fitted:



NOTE: the shocks are upside down. I spoke directly with Rough Country using their live chat. So easy and took about 2 mins in total to get hold of them, ask a question and get the answer. These shocks should have the main body at the bottom.



A similar shock tower design was devised for the front.








All four shocks now fitted (and the correct way up). You can also see the super long brake line too.

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Tuesday 19th April 2016
quotequote all
This is what we were left with once the old foot wells had been removed.




Now we had a rolling chassis and the shocks and springs fitted, we re-fitted the body, and hoping it all lined up. Which is mostly did, well nothing a drill and a hammer couldn't solve at any rate.













Next was setting to work on the footwells, a fair bit of work, but well worth it, and so much easier to do without the engine in the way.













eltax91

8,986 posts

172 months

Tuesday 19th April 2016
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I'm in!

smithyithy

5,344 posts

84 months

Tuesday 19th April 2016
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Interesting stuff thumbup

Rushjob

833 posts

224 months

Tuesday 19th April 2016
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Next instalment please!

I Am Milk

1,053 posts

170 months

Tuesday 19th April 2016
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Fantastic!

More please!

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

156 months

Wednesday 20th April 2016
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To the body we fitted complete new footwells and posts to the bulkhead.







You can also see one of the front shock towers, although we adapter this design later on.



I must apologise here, as I have lots more pics of the inter-meaning steps and progress, but they need uploading. So I'll have to upload them at a later date.


Here are some pics of citing the Defender steering column however:










The next job was to fab up the power steering.

Part of me didn't want to with PAS, it sort of goes against Series tradition. But my hands aren't what they used to be, and anyone who has done any serious off roading in a Series will know how viscous the steering wheel can be. In addition the standard steering had gone from good, to worse, to terrible to dangerous. I hadn't managed to trace where the slop was, but it had gone from being really nice, to wondering all over the road and gone very heavy. Pricing up to sort the Series setup out was no cheaper (maybe more expensive) than going the PAS route.

I opted for a Defender column, I believe this one came from a Td5. And p38a box. All curtsey of ebay. I forget how much, but think all the bits set me back £100 or less.


First mock up:






You may have noticed that the shock tower has changed slightly. Of course being upright they were in the way for the steering. A simple solution was to cut and cant them over slightly.

And bolted in place.














The Series steering wheel no longer fit, which I think was 48 spline. I had a nice aftermarket wheel. Luckily I had an old 200Tdi steering wheel from my 3 door Disco, that fitted right on. It's arguably the wrong colour and a little big, but it fits and works for now.



Shadow R1

3,654 posts

142 months

Wednesday 20th April 2016
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Great build, looking forward to the next installment. smile