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Defender 6x6 Camper Build Thread

Discussion in 'Members Vehicles/Projects' started by -Defender110-, Feb 20, 2020.

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  1. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    So this has been a project ive put on the long finger for about 3 years now, due to other projects getting in the way... But finally i have started building my dream Land Rover and my dream camper.

    So about 3 years ago I came across a RRC 6x6 Carmichael chassis for sale, and, due to the fact it had no Logbook, it was quite cheap, so picked it up and went about getting a replacement logbook for it. This took a bit of time but i eventually got it. Once i was registered owner of the chassis, i shelved the project for a number of years, and this is where it sat.


    Fast forward a few years and a lot of CAD designs, changes in mind, plans etc and I finally started working on the build.

    Initially i was thinking of building something more like this:


    But finally settled on this design:


    So first job on the list was to tackle the rust and damage and bad repairs of the previous owner:




    And to remove all the RRC body mounts in prep for a conversion to the Defender chassis hardware:



    While repairing certain sections, i decided to take the time to improve certain areas, and reinforce structures where i felt it would be no bad thing:







    Next up was i starting to fit the Defender chassis hardware, I made a small jig for locating the outriggers correctly, based off an old chassis i had, transferred it over to the RRC chassis and fitted the new outriggers:









    Around the same time, i also cut the front off that old 90 chassis and grafted it onto the front of the RRC chassis, as this was much easier than modifying the RRC front end. Sidenote, Carmichael stamped the chassis much further back than normal, so the original chassis stamp is still intact.

    Finally, the latest effort was to offer up the wings, seatbox and dash and make sure they all lined up still!









    So this is how it sits now... Next up is to sort the rear X-Member, and extend the middle section, from there i can sort out the rear mounts for the seatbox, mount axles, and start building the base frame for the camper floor.

     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
    kermit_rr, Kev12, frog hopper and 5 others like this.
  2. marjon

    marjon Well-Known Member

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    So that was then. What is it like now?

    come on you can’t leave us hanging with 1 pic:)

    good luck with it btw

    J
     
  3. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    Updated now dude, was making sure the image links worked before going further hahahah
     
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  4. Gmacz

    Gmacz Well-Known Member

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    Hardest part is to keep it going to the finish line. Looks like a fun project.
    Good luck with it and loads more pics.
     
  5. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    Agreed!! Not my first rodeo though at least, done a ground up restoration and cummins swap a few years back and had a terribly unreliable 110 td5 previous to that, so, well used to the hardship!
     
    DevonGuy likes this.
  6. Interceptorxj

    Interceptorxj Well-Known Member

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    Kinell, got your work cut out there. Hope you complete it, great work so far.
     
  7. DevonGuy

    DevonGuy Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating read, thanks for sharing. Wish I had the space and knowledge to approach anything like it!
     
  8. marjon

    marjon Well-Known Member

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    This is looking great:)

    So DAF box? Do we get a hint on engine.

    maybe this should really go in “projects” thread?
    Cos it looks like a good un:) and your welding looks better than the original owners attempts.

    J
     
    mick the builder and Shimsteriom like this.
  9. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    It will be going cummins 6BT like my last build, with a few handy upgrades, and hopefully an allison auto box because im lazy.

    Yeah i agree! Projects thread would make more sense, maybe a mod can move it? i didnt realise there was a projects thread when i made the post!
     
  10. marjon

    marjon Well-Known Member

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    If you ask @blue beasty he will work his magic when he next pops on to check we are all playing nice:eek::).

    sounds like you have done stuff like this before so you are well aware of the stuff in your future:)
    Nowt wrong with going “lazy” auto either.

    J
     
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  11. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    So, got a few more bits done in the last few days:

    Started with the seatbox mounts, cut them off the donor chassis... and even after measuring 3 times, still managed to put them in totally the wrong place... so i did that job twice... haha!









    After that fiasco, i moved onto bulkhead repairs, starting with the driver side top corner:









    Then tackled the drivers footwell....arguably, this was really not that bad and didnt need half the steel i put into it, but i wanted to do a recent repair so decided to cut back to he original spot welds, seeing as the panel i got allowed me to do that tidily:





















    Thats as far as i got last night, same to do on the far side also and i need to order more parts from YRM for the bottom corners of the bulkhead, so it'll be a while before the bulkhead is finished.
     
  12. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    Got a bit more done last night on the chassis....needed a break from the bulkhead, ive one half of it done and just needed a change of scenery!
    So last night I got the rear extension fabricated and tacked in place....first up was deciding on the chassis profile for the extension:





    ...And transferred this to the 3mm sheet:



    It took 14 cutting discs to make these...and minutes later i was told there was a new plasma cutter next door.....:



    I then offered them up to the chassis...the way i ensured the position was by levelling the chassis to the ground, placing the extension in place, leveling its straight section accordingly and ensuring it was a specific length back from the middle crossmember:



    I did that for all 4 then cleaned up the new HD rear x-member for welding also...i cut the extensions off of this so it was cut square to the chassis extension:



    ...Then offered it up to the extension legs, leveled and squared it up and tacked it in place:



    Next i made up some top pieces to cap the chassis leg extensions... these would determine the last variable in the position of the rear x-member, how far left or right it was... i squared this up by cross measuring from the outer corners of the x-member to the diagonal rear spring mounts, once this was the same on both, i tacked in the chassis leg caps... this solidified the position of the xmember:





    And thats as far as i got.... yes, i am aware its a sizeable overhang, it was always going to be, its approx 1.5m from the centre of the rear axle to the back face of the x-member, but this was always a compromise in getting the space i wanted in the camper...



    Its also a bit of a mind**** to look at currently as it looks crazy disproportionate with the rear extension done but not the centre extension, the axles look very oddly positioned, but this will look a whole lot better when the front of the chassis is extended:



    Thats it for now! I have to go on the hunt for some I-Beams to make up a jig before i cut the centre section and extend, so next installment will probably be more bulkhead repair...
     
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  13. Gmacz

    Gmacz Well-Known Member

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    Have you got a drawing or pic of what your are aiming for. Are you copying one you have seen.
    Looks good so far.:)
     
  14. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    3rd photo from the top is the end goal, ill upload more photos of the 3d design as time goes on but basically it is based on the overall dimensions of a ford F-chassis camper I came across a few years back. but i alway wanted to build a 6x6 in one configuration or another!
     
    Hicap phill likes this.
  15. haza88

    haza88 Well-Known Member

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    Nice keep the pics coming great project
     
  16. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    As promised, this installment is starting with bulkhead repair....

    Passenger foot-well replacement:











    Then moved on to passenger side top corner:













    Then it was on to the bottom corners...











    ...Need to get a die grinder to tidy all the corners on the 2 vent welds. but other than that, the bulkhead is done, for now.

    Next up, i tackled one of the axles.. so i picked up three D2 axles... given the overall size, width,weight etc of the camper, and the fact it'll be running a cummins engine... the extra width of the D2 axles, the 24 spline shafts and 4 pin diffs should help..

    So i needed this...



    To look like this...



    First up was cutting all the old brackets off...



    Then after a hell of a lot of jigging and measuring and whatnot... i welded on YRM defender axle brackets...







    2 more axles to do.. but happy with how the first one turned out...

    Next up was some small repair to the seat box ends... arguably, these were repairable, but im no good with TIG and for the price of the panels, this was handier...











    Finally, this week was a big job... the chassis extension.... so.. this was an intricate job... and i didnt want to **** it up... so first up was building a jig...



    20mm cutting edge spaced 850mm apart provided the level and straight edge to jig the chassis on... so the plan was to tack the front half of the chassis to the jig, and build a skid to slide the back half back the required amount, once cut in half.



    So then i marked the legs...



    And cut them...



    And pulled the chassis apart....



    super stressful moment....



    I then folded some chassis sections... internal 3mm folds, that sleeve 1ft into the original chassis, then 2mm that sit over, and are flush with the original chassis legs...





    The internal sections were seam welded together, and puddle welded to the original chassis, and face welded to it also... seam welding was done in stages, slowly, to avoid the chassis warping...







    Once the internal sections were done, i sleeved them with the outside 2mm..









    And just like that... i had the worlds most ridiculously long defender chassis!



    Still a bit to do to get it finished, but this was a big step...



    And yes... i know it looks crazy long, and it its, just, not as crazy long as it looks, heres the chassis next to a LWB Sprinter:





    Next up, rolling chassis!
     
    kermit_rr, kevstar and mick 1986 like this.
  17. Bobsticle

    Bobsticle De Villes Advocaat

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    Looking great. :)

    I always wanted a defender bowling alley :D

    I toyed with the idea of driven side extensions o_O It was a bit too RV though for my liking. Lovin the build :D
     
  18. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    Bit more progress over the last few days of 'social distancing'..

    First up was converting the D2 front axle to Defender mountings:



    Plasma cut off the old brackets, handily, the D2 bumpstop pads were in the same spot as the Defender axles, making positioning the defender radius arm and panhard brackets much easier.





    Finally, I welded on the spring perches.





    Even with the bumpstop mounts being the same and using this as a datum.... this was still a slow process trying to ensure things were at the correct angle, rotation, distance, height etc...

    At that point i had 2 axles ready to test fit, so i mounted them up to get a look at the rolling chassis.



    Random rear wheel placed to show rear axle position...







    Overall i am very happy with the proportions of the chassis and axle placement at this point, its turning out exactly how i was hoping. there are a few hurdles still to cross, chief of which is the clearance for suspension air bags on the middle axle, im worried they will chafe on the existing trailing arm bracketry for the rear axle, also need to decide on positioning for a number of bolt in cross members along the length of the chassis, but this needs to wait until i decide on whether or not im going remote transfer box or not, as one of the chrossmembers will double up as a transfer box cradle if so...

    Next up will probably be the rear axle, another D2 axle, but ive to see is it possible to flip the diff in it like you can with earlier rover diffs.. plus, im on 10bar gas for the welder... so that may influence things, if i cant get gas for a few weeks.... other than that i will be dry fitting the engine and front body, before starting the build on the back body!
     
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  19. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    So! Welder gas was replaced. rear axle was disassembled and i decided it wasnt going to be an easy job to flip it and flip the diff in the housing, so i shelved that idea and moved on with other jobs...



    A big part arrived a while back! I decided to go auto with this build for a number of reasons... Main one is, this build will be mostly a car hauler or travelling long distance, so that coupled with the heavy clutch pedal, i decided on a bit more comfort.. So i picked up an Allison 2000 Box.



    After much deliberation and confusion and uncertainty as to whether or not it had the correct bellhousing for the cummins i have yet to pick up (Covid is messing up all my plans) i decided to pull another cummins out of another project, to check.... it then ended up being the template so i could continue with the build...

    Next up i had to line up and position the engine and gearbox in the right spot.... this took a long time to get right.. engine position is critical with this setup as everything is a compromise in order to clear the sump off the diff, the front prop off the gearbox pan, the rocker covers and turbo off the bonnet etc... the list goes on!









    Once that drama was over, i moved on to fitting the bulkhead and seatbox and floors... both had to be modified to fit round the gearbox.... last time i did this i didnt give much care and attention to this job.... and suffered engine and exhaust fumes getting in forever more... so this time round, im taking my time to do it half right...













    There'll be some welding and finishing to both, but they fit now at least..





    Next up i fitted the wings and the dash, again, to check clearance on things...









    Everything looked good. its early days yet, but so far everything seems to be clearing nicely...

    It was around then that the airbags turned up for the back two axles...



    These are just standard D2 rear bags. there'll be a bit of messing required to get them to fit the 6x6 but it should work out. The front bags need to be a bit more beefy, and theyre more expensive so theyll have to wait...

    lastly.... i reached a big hurdle with the build... or at least a big hurdle for me anyway... it doesnt look like much but these two pieces of box iron show the level of the subfloor for the rear of the camper. This is where the landrover parts meet my bespoke design. thats a big deal for me...





    So there you go! thats the latest work... next up is collecting a P38 rear axle for the 3rd axle, theyre offset to the opposite side already.. so makes life easier!

    Theres another YRM delivery on the way too so once that lands, i can properly start the subfloor.
     
  20. -Defender110-

    -Defender110- Well-Known Member

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    So! Welder gas was replaced. rear axle was disassembled and i decided it wasnt going to be an easy job to flip it and flip the diff in the housing, so i shelved that idea and moved on with other jobs...



    A big part arrived a while back! I decided to go auto with this build for a number of reasons... Main one is, this build will be mostly a car hauler or travelling long distance, so that coupled with the heavy clutch pedal, i decided on a bit more comfort.. So i picked up an Allison 2000 Box.



    After much deliberation and confusion and uncertainty as to whether or not it had the correct bellhousing for the cummins i have yet to pick up (Covid is messing up all my plans) i decided to pull another cummins out of another project, to check.... it then ended up being the template so i could continue with the build...

    Next up i had to line up and position the engine and gearbox in the right spot.... this took a long time to get right.. engine position is critical with this setup as everything is a compromise in order to clear the sump off the diff, the front prop off the gearbox pan, the rocker covers and turbo off the bonnet etc... the list goes on!









    Once that drama was over, i moved on to fitting the bulkhead and seatbox and floors... both had to be modified to fit round the gearbox.... last time i did this i didnt give much care and attention to this job.... and suffered engine and exhaust fumes getting in forever more... so this time round, im taking my time to do it half right...













    There'll be some welding and finishing to both, but they fit now at least..





    Next up i fitted the wings and the dash, again, to check clearance on things...









    Everything looked good. its early days yet, but so far everything seems to be clearing nicely...

    It was around then that the airbags turned up for the back two axles...



    These are just standard D2 rear bags. there'll be a bit of messing required to get them to fit the 6x6 but it should work out. The front bags need to be a bit more beefy, and theyre more expensive so theyll have to wait...

    lastly.... i reached a big hurdle with the build... or at least a big hurdle for me anyway... it doesnt look like much but these two pieces of box iron show the level of the subfloor for the rear of the camper. This is where the landrover parts meet my bespoke design. thats a big deal for me...





    So there you go! thats the latest work... next up is collecting a P38 rear axle for the 3rd axle, theyre offset to the opposite side already.. so makes life easier!

    Theres another YRM delivery on the way too so once that lands, i can properly start the subfloor.
     
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