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Series 3 Chassis swap - bitten off too much

Discussion in 'Series Land Rovers' started by Herald, Oct 17, 2020.

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  1. Herald

    Herald Member

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    After months of putting this off, I've decided that I need a new chassis. The old one isn't worth plating again. Most of the strip down has gone OK. But as each bit comes off there seems to be more things to do. I think I'll be on this forum a lot over the next months/years.
    I got the bulkhead off today and the footwells probably need replacing.
    Is it best to re-fit the bulkhead to the new chassis before doing this? I think if I tried to do this with the bulkhead out I'd never get the doors to shut properly again. Thanks for any advice.
    Here's a pic of the bulkhead coming off.
    lr_strip.jpg
     
  2. Blackburn

    Blackburn Well-Known Member

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    I used angle iron to bolt across the feet to keep in same position before repairing my bulkhead.
     
  3. LincolnSteve

    LincolnSteve Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I am in the middle of fitting new foot wells and pillars to my bulkhead and I would definitely recommend fitting the bulkhead to the new chassis before doing anything. If you are only fitting footwells that should be easier but I have learned the hard way that once you change one bit nothing fits anything anymore. I think the best way is to put all the parts of what will be the finished vehicle together then make everything fit each other. Hopefully your new chassis will be all straight and correct and have been built on a nice accurate jig so will make the best starting point. The old chassis might not have been all that accurate in the first place and may also have changed shape a bit over the years. Same goes for the bulkhead. Also repair panels won't fit without a bit of fettling. All my panels needed some bits chopping off and some bits sticking on. Some were from the big parts suppliers and some were ebay specials. Some of the best seem to come from YRM it seems. Here's a link to my thread. https://www.landyzone.co.uk/land-rover/steves-unexpected-series-3-rebuild.292955/page-26
    I am absolutely not claiming that i'm doing it right but if you have a look at my cock ups it may help you avoid them. Good luck. Steve.
     
  4. rob1miles

    rob1miles Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, I think there are two ways and neither is best. Either weld / bolt the doors shut and keep the body exaclty as it was then refit and pack to fit the new chassis or take it all apart and re-assemble finding the "best fit" with any gaps/overlaps distrubuted around a number of joints. I wouldn't put my money on either as best, its a judgement call about what is achievable.
     
  5. wireman

    wireman Well-Known Member

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    I would fit the bulkhead, then fix the footwells. Footwells are not hard to replace in an assembled vehicle, especially if you already have the wings off. Plus, as others have said, it allows you to see how it all lines up with the rest of the vehicle.
     
  6. Stretch

    Stretch Well-Known Member

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    Ah sorry - I think I might be throwing a spanner in the works but...


    ...if starting with a new chassis and swaping things from old to new the first thing I would do is sort out all of the wiring and the brake lines first. I'd then fit the suspension and drive train - this is the best way to fit things in your own time with the best access.

    Do not forget, however, that when you fit the body parts access will not be as easy so try to think ahead!

    Next fuel tank(s), exhaust etc {and possibly other bits I've forgotten about}

    Essentially I'd have the chassis as close to possible a "driveable chassis" before fitting any body parts. (I wouldn't bother with the steering column until the bulkhead goes in however)

    ######

    The best tip would then be to remove wheels if fitted and on a nice level surface adjust the chassis on axle stands or seriously sturdy safe blocks so you can measure heights from the nice level surface to parts on the chassis or parts on the body.

    If you haven't got a really nice level floor I'd try to fit some chunky lengths of wood along the sides of the vehicle to make your own datum point

    %%%%%%

    My message is simple:- You need to measure - measure - measure and measure again before adjusting and finally fitting stuff - you need to measure from something reliable

    %%%%%%

    I would then start with the rear tub

    Make sure the rear tub is level (sprit level level - not necessarily "Project Binky - make the noise level")

    The rear tub comes with shims which I think deserve a fair amount of consideration.

    You need to make sure the rear tub is fitted straight in all three degrees of orientation. So not askew - not slighyly raised on one corner - not popping a wheelie in one direction or another.

    From the rear tub you can then measure and correct other parts. So measure from parts on the chassis to parts of the rear tub to make sure each dimension is correct.

    If necessary write dimensions on bits of masking tape and stick 'em on parts to help you remember.

    *******

    Once you think you've got the rear tub in the correct position you then need to fit the bulkhead paying attention to equal distances for doors and cross dimensions across the doors and between the doors.

    If you can manage to get the doors to hang nicely you've managed something that most "rebuilt" Land Rovers have trouble with (!)
     
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  7. LincolnSteve

    LincolnSteve Well-Known Member

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    And you will probably find that your rear tub is nothing like square any more so that will involve some compromise. As someone who can easily get a bit obsessed with this sort of thing I have found it a bit of a nightmare. Like @Stretch says you can never measure and check enough but also when you have reached a point where you really feel you have got it as good as you can get it and looks ok then call it done. Tiny imperfections are unlikely to be spotted by anyone but you and I bet every series owner could point out bits on their own one that they would like a bit better.
     
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  8. Stretch

    Stretch Well-Known Member

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    Oh I completely agree - nothing is going to be 100% correct.

    It is most certainly going to be an excercise in futility if you want it to be perfect. Chasing after the "Project Binky make the noise" level / straightness is only going to lead to a nervous breakdown!

    #####

    I forgot to say that the workshop manual has a handy section with the dimensions of the chassis and where bits are meant to go.

    #####

    I think the main thing to put most of your focus is getting those bloody doors as good as possible. From my understanding of the structure the best way to save yourself hassle is to get the rear tub right. The bulkhead is something that can be twisted / fettled / bashed (!) into different positions whereas the rear tub, because of its size, is one of the more "fixed" parts of the jigsaw puzzle.
     
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  9. LincolnSteve

    LincolnSteve Well-Known Member

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    I get so jealous of the project Binky boys when they say 'make the noise' and it does.:D
     
  10. Stretch

    Stretch Well-Known Member

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    It ****es me off too!

    But then look at the effort they had to make in the preparation of their jig to enable them to "make the noise". Their jig is more advanced and better engineered than a series Land Rover chassis...

    ...link to Project Binky in case readers here haven't discovered it =>



    Serious construction.
     
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  11. Rodeo Joe

    Rodeo Joe Well-Known Member

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    I'd do it on a bench, as long as its roughly the same shape as you took off it'll fit one way or another........landrover tolerances are the friend of the rebuild.
    Oh, one proviso make sure the bulkhead long fixing bolts are in the right position.
     
  12. Herald

    Herald Member

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    Thanks for your advice. I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  13. boguing

    boguing Well-Known Member

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    I'd read these tales of warping bulkheads and was readying myself for some serious bracing when I did mine. It's heavy and awkward, but it's actually very flexible, so I left it hanging from the engine hoist, did the repairs and use very little force from a ratchet strap to pull it into alignment. Don't overthink it!
     
  14. rob1miles

    rob1miles Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, work on it flat, tack first and keep an eye on distortion as you go.
     
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