Chassis replacement extravaganza!!!

comingsoonin May 2001: Defender 90 stripdown and rebuild...

... in 3 days!


Diary of a rebuild - The Story so far...

pre APRIL 2001



The landrover about to be ripped and rebuilt is a 1993 Defender 90, 200Tdi. Whats that I hear you say? Why re-chassis a 1993 Defender? Well, it was owned from new by Merseyside Police and was used mainly on and around, and here`s where you`ll begin to understand why, the beaches of Crosby and Southport!!! Now, when purchased the chassis showed surface rust - not a worry since it`s new owner (our web-editor) was planning to galvanise the chassis within the next few years. So as not to have the vehicle off the road for maybe two weeks it was decided that when it could be afforded, a seperate chassis would be purchased and galvanised. All that would be left to do would be to swap the running gear and body over. Easy!
One day, not so long ago, a small hole appeared on the nearside of the chassis. The body outriggers had virtually gone, but this new hole was worrying. As the days went by a noticable kink was starting to appear. Ooops - the side needed a panel welded on! Time to start saving so that chassis could be changed next year, I think.
Then, one day after offroading, our web-editor was jetwashing the back end. Now, the jetwash (in work) he used is very powerful, but I`m sure you`ll agree it`s not meant to blow a 3 inch hole out of the rear crossmember! Yep, you heard me.
So ... the chassis had a plate welded nearside, and desperately needed a rear crossmember. The rear crossmember, supplied and fitted, was priced at 150, and no way could it wait until 2002!


Deciding to join a club? Need a reason? Read on my friend...

Not wanting to waste 150 to be thrown away a year later, our webeditor started pricing chassis`. The best price, supplied and fitted was just over 1000. Then, using a chassis was purchased from the webeditor of Midland Rover Owners Club for a very good price - it had been dry stored for 3 years, had no rot, had body outriggers (which was a novelty for our webeditor!) and only needed the engine mountings!
The shotblasting and galvanising was priced at 250, so all that needed arranging was the fitting. This is where the joys of being a Lancashire and Cheshire Rover Owners Club member comes in...
The re-building of a Defender90 appeared to be quite pricy. Discussing this with other club members brought out the three words of magic from our magazine editor, Si, "I`ll do it". When asked "at what price" came the reply, "I dont deal in the Queens Head - it`s a favour for a friend". Is this guy a Saint, or what? Good thing is, he knows his landrovers. Looks like we struck gold there then! Time? The first weekend in May has been set. Yep, Saturday to Monday ... 3 days to complete!
The engine mounts were supplied by Williams Landrover` Parts Controller, Peter Davies, who has been the co-ordinator for the whole project. This guy is a mine of infomation and has brought together the welding jobs, shotblasting and galvanising. The engine mounts are going on at the end of March, the rest to follow...


APRIL 2001:

April 1st:The new engine mounts have been welded on, and the hunt is on for shotblasting and galvanising companies in the Liverpool area. It looks like it could be a trip to Manchester for this work. A suitable trailer for moving the new chassis is proving difficult to arrange, too.
The 90 has been stripped of it`s kit; winch, bumper, a frame, spotlights, roofrack, ladder, rooflights, cb system/ariel, lightguards, tow bar/ball, steps, dog guard, headlining, cubby box, rear seats, toolboxes, sandladders, ropes, shackles, etc etc etc. Looks bloody baldy, now!


April 2nd: The completer interior was taken away today - all that is left are two seats. A phone call at 5pm came from Peter at Williams Landrover, Manchester, concerning a sunroof. By 9pm the sunroof was fitted. Not part of the chassis process, I know - but doesn`t everyone fit sunroofs at 9pm at night? We do. Took about an hour and twenty minutes.
April 3rd:Gave up hunting for Liverpool companies to shotblast and galvanise. Chassis booked in on Monday in Irlam for the jobs.
April 9th:The chassis was loaded onto a car trailer this morning, taken to Manchester for shotblasting and delivered to the galvanising company. Things are rolling! The workshop that is being used from a saviour called Rob Walker (A1 AutoGas, 01512074277 or checked out today, and it`s neat. It`ll be a joy fitting the chassis (fingers crossed!).
April 11th:Checklist; money contributed (Mandi); nut`n`bolts and bushes ordered (Peter); chassis shotblasted and at galvanisers (Peter and Phil); brains behind build-up confirmed (Si); saviour with space willing to help (Rob). Looks like all the club members pulled together!!! Joy of being a club member, eh? Wanna join up yourself? Click here.
April 19th/20th:Peter brought the nice, shiny, freshly galvanised chassis back with another of the new acquasitions: our new car transporter trailer (solid, but we`re having to extend it a bit at the front to gain an extra foot and a half). Chassis looks great - until we first take it offroad, that is. The chassis was admired for an hour before we decided to help things along by threading a wire down the length in preperation for the wiring loom.
We were told that thhreading the loom was a major pain in the a*** and we`ll admit, it wasn`t simple. A little bit of thought, however, goes a long way. First came three wire coat hangers, well taped together, kinked in certain places. After a bit of playing they went through (caught on some stuff inside a bit beforehand), then a wire was attached to one end and pulled back through. Hey presto! We now have a wire right through ready to tie the loom to and pull back. Saved a bit of time, we imagine.

The chassis (and centre crossmember) was then taken to Robs workshop where we`re doing the job. Stacked against the wall, it`s the last we`ll see of it until the day. Rob took us for a spin in his 4.6l auto Defender 110, converted to gas. Ohh boy!
April 30th:Everything set for the weekend. Nuts`n`bolts boxed and ready, bushes arrived etc. Mate (Ray) volunteered to come the Saturday and as we strip stuff off, he`ll clean and oil it ready to go back on. At 8am on Saturday, May 5th, we`ll start the job...


News, photos and swearing will follow as and when it happens...

...........................................tune in soon...........................................tune in soon...................................tune in soon..........................tune in soon..........


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