Sunday morning, we arose exited but tired. It was 1:45am before Si and myself got to bed (not together) and we were
knackered. Good job we were more than halfway. A breakfast of egg on toast (eggs broken, toast squashed and burnt - well, I`ve never
claimed to be Ainsley Harriot did I ?!) helped a bit and by 9:30am we were arriving at Robs garage again. My dad was there waiting - keen, eh?
He had not been expected on day one, and his helping on day two was appreciated as well (apart from his ability to wind me up
with ease - which Si and Peter both thought extremely funny).
Today would be a case of my day and myself putting the body back together, whilst Peter and Si tackled the more
technical jobs of the engine, wiring and steering etc.
The rear crossmember was painted before the tub went into place, and whilst it was drying my dad went out
for bacon butties (okay, okay - not burst or squashed this time). The wiring loom was re-wired up into a scotch-block, and
the tub and seatbox bolted back in.
The job had gone amazingly well so far, and spirits were high (if not slightly tired). Less
than half a dozen bolts had snapped on the whole job, and about 90% of bolts back on were new. The only "problem" we came across
was a difference in the two chassis`. My original 1993 chassis had a bracket welded onto it for the 200Tdi back box on the
exhaust system in which the new chassis did not. This was simply overcome by bolting a nice new rubber engine mount up to
the rear tub and bolting the bracket onto this. The original idea was a bloody long bolt, but this way looked very original and
was probably a better idea to stop any exhaust vibrations. At this point we lost a tiny "o" ring and had
to pop to a motor factors to get a selection and some brake fluid.
Job almost done. Once the underside had been thoroughly checked it was a case of putting the roof and doors back on,
and then setting about bleeding the brake and clutch systems - the power steering had been taken off as one complete
unit, so didn`t require any bleeding.
The 90 rolled off the ramp at 2:40pm for a test drive. I whizzed it around for 10 mins with the biggest, most genuine grin
you could imagine. It drove better than ever! It sat great, not sagging anywhere, and stopped amazingly well. No rattles at all, and
only a little squeaking from one of my rear shockies. Si had a drive, and disappeared for quarter of an hour. Arriving back
he told of his lovely drive down the dock road at about 70mph over the bumps and humps!!! Well impressed, we
checked fluid levels, put the bonnet back on and stood back.
It was 3:30pm - under 18 hours from start to finish.
The 90 now only needs its accesories putting back on (alloys, winch, roofrack and interior). My appreciation was handed out
and the tools packed up into the back of the 90. A testdrive from Liverpool docks to somewhere about 60 miles away saw Si home
safely into the loving arms of his wife (yes you two - we saw the little welcome kiss through the window!) and after a coffee Peter
and I set off back to Liverpool.
I returned to Robs garage on the monday to fit the soundproofing and sills, and to clear away all the mess
we left the day before. A thorough brush up saw his lovely garage returned to the condition it was when we arrived, and I
returned home in my lovely 1993 Defender 90 with a galvanised chassis that took less than 18 hours and around £700.
Job well done.
A very special thanks goes out to:
Peter for the planning, arranging, moving and helping of the whole thing. If you need a good genuine parts guy contact him at Williams Landrover on 0161 232 5004.
Si for agreeing to do the whole thing - especially as he lived so far away, and had to leave his lovely wife for the weekend. I owe you one!
Rob Walker for the loan of his workshop for the weekend. It would not have been possible to do it in such a short period of time without the place, the compressor, the ramps and the electric roof crane. Rob does Fiat parts and specialises in LPG conversions for all vehicles. Contact A1 Autogas on 0151 207 4277, or see A1 Autogas website or Go-Gas website
My dad, Vinny, for turning up both days to give us a hand. I`ve got to listen to his tales of how we couldnt have done it without him for years to come now...