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Sting Ray's '89 90 - Complete Restoration

Discussion in 'Members Vehicles/Projects' started by Sting Ray, Jul 11, 2017.

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  1. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    I fully intend to do the whole overlanding thing in this Defender; one of my life's dreams is to drive around Africa for 8-9 months and take in the scenery and wildlife. I will therefore be stripping the whole vehicle and completely restoring it from top to bottom - probably including a new galvanised chassis, so any tips as to where is considered best for buying one would be very much appreciated, and what sort of lead time should be generally anticipated..

    The suspension will probably be a couple of inches higher than standard (it's massive at the moment, like a monster truck), and I'm not sure where to retain and extend the single cab (I'm 6'6" and need the legroom), and install an enormous integrated storage system on the rear, or whether to go for the Hardtop or County rear end - one of many many decisions that I will take during the restoration, which will realistically take a couple of years. It took me a full year to restore my motorbike; I certainly learnt some lessons about labelling of parts and bolts in particular, as well as ordering parts in good time prior to reassembly.

    I'm not sure whether sleeping on top is something I'll opt for, or whether making some other sort of arrangement integral to the vehicle is preferable - I need to ponder this, but any examples or suggestions are very welcome. a regular tent is also an option.

    Depending on the price of a new loom, I may or may not replace that, but either way, I'll be integrating the electrics and other plumbing as necessary throughout the build, once I know what sort of spec/configuration I'm going for. Fortunately a friend has a Disco 2 and knows a thing or two to help me out, and there's a local LR specialist down the road from me as well; another friend is a bloody good welder too, which is exceptionally helpful, and I know someone with his own CNC lathe and milling machine etc.

    Mechanically, I've decided that an L230 will go in, but not sure whether to retain the 200, or go for the 300 or td5. I'd like as much power as I can get (due to weight of mods going on) without being dreadful on fuel (I know I've not purchased a 1.5 Clio). I'll obviously have to decide on this before getting a new chassis. Diff guards and fuel tank guards will be going on, although fortunately I have a couple of these already on the 90.

    Any suggestions for mods that are generally regarded as a good idea will be very much appreciated :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    Joemac434 likes this.
  2. callisr

    callisr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the stuff of my dreams! I would love to overland in my 90 but time and family prevent such activity! Should have done it 20 years ago......
    Anyway, I would keep it simple. Standard parts such as suspension components etc are always going to be easier to source than 'upgraded' parts.
    Also sort the suspension once you have an idea of weight once the vehicle is fitted out and loaded.
    Engine wise, 200 or 300tdi. Rebuilt and shaken down before the big trip. Simple, reliable and no electronics to worry about.
    This is only my thoughts as I (sadly) have no experience of such adventures myself.
    Looking forward to seeing the progress

    Rich
     
  3. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Thanks Rich - I have no children and intend to keep it that way so that I can pursue such activities!

    I agree that simplicity is a sensible approach, but good shout on sussing the likely weight before determining the spring rates.
     
  4. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Having looked at engines, transfer boxes and geraboxes etc, I think I'll be going with a 300tdi and R380 gearbox, but not sure if the Disco ratios are for me or not yet...

    If my bulkhead is any good (there are signs of rust by the A pillars) then I don't think I'll need to mod it for the 300 to go in - any views to the contrary will be appreciated!

    A lot about what needs to be replaced or not will become clear during the strip down.
     
  5. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Going to stick with Defender ratios as it''ll primarily be used off road.

    Also going to get a td5 crossmember added to the galvanised 300tdi chassis so that I can add a second fuel tank, thereby removing the need for fuel to be stored internally. This will necessitate the fitting of a td5 exhaust middle and rear sections.

    I can then potentially get one of those inner wing/sill tanks to store water in, leaving all of the rear bay for storing 'stuff', which I've begun to make a list of so that I know roughly how to configure the storage system; all of this will mature over time as I get a better idea of what need to be taken, and the time to nail down a design is realistically going to be a year or two away from now. However, as the storage will need to be accessible from multiple angles at multiple heights, I'm going to retain the single cab but extend it and delete the bulkhead, fitting a bar in its place to retain the required rigidity.
     
  6. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Right, so having thought a bit harder, I've got myself a 110 as well :D

    I realised that I would need more space than a 90 could ever provide for such a long trip, so bought a crummy 110 for the V5C.

    The main priority will be stripping the 110 for the parts I want to retain, so that I'm not paying for storage of the vehicle. Much of it will get ditched, including the 2.5 TD engine (not running at the moment due to broken fuel pipe), chassis, rear door. I only really intend on keeping the axles, power steering stuff, some wiring, doors, rear tub, possibly the bulkhead although it's probably a bit sh1t, and the roof. If the wings and bonnet are any good, I'll keep those as well.

    I'll likely end up carrying out a partial Safari conversion so that 'stuff' can be accessed from the middle of the vehicle, without needing to remove everything from the back first.
     
  7. neilly

    neilly Well-Known Member

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    So are you buying a new chassis to fit to what you have left from the 110? what engine you going to fit?

    Cheers
     
  8. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Spot on. I'll be fitting a 300tdi into a shiny new Marsland chassis once I've secured some space at a friend's premises.
     
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  9. neilly

    neilly Well-Known Member

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    Does the 110 donor have discs all round or drums on the back? if drums would you not consider changing them as well.?

    Cheers
     
  10. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Not sure yet - haven't seen it! Will be taking a look after work this evening. Ideally I'd find a Salisbury rear axle with discs and the right number of splines on the shafts, but it depends what's available. My local Landy expert mentioned that the diff in the Salisbury isn't replaceable without a mahoosive press, whereas the standard one is very easy to swap out - this will definitely be a factor given where I want to go.

    One thing is for sure though, I do want to have the axles all sorted by the time the chassis rocks up, allowing me to fit them to the chassis and allow it to be moved around.
     
  11. neilly

    neilly Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like fun, I hope to see lots of piccies. Especially of the "safari" back end. Is it going to be something you sleep in ? on top of? by the side of?

    Cheers
     
  12. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    I'm itching to get going! I'll be sure to take as many photos as possible - especially of where everything goes!

    At the moment I intend to stick a pop up rigid tent thingymajig on the roof, which ought to stop Simba et al from having a midnight snack!
     
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  13. Paul D

    Paul D Glass rep for South Yorkshire LZIR Despatch Agent

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    Something worth thinking about, as it's likely to be a pretty open and long build, is security .. right from the start. Build in non-standard locks, secure hinges, etc etc, while still allowing good access. Do it from the start and there's no, well maybe less, 'fettling' later ..
     
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  14. rob_bell

    rob_bell Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of this a lot - building an overlanding 110 from the ground up. Security is certainly a good thing to consider early - and this approach gives you an opportunity to build in plenty of hidden storage/security lockers for valuables/ passports etc. Having stuff stashed away has to be a good idea for a very long road/off road/overland trip like this.

    Oh, and your plan to drive the length of Africa is one that I absolutely share since driving 10,000 km in a hired ex-UN Land Cruiser around the whole of southern Africa as a student many moons ago. Fantastic adventure :D I've wanted to drive the length of the continent in a Land Rover ever since :cool:

    May be when the kids are a little older...?
     
  15. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Thanks guys - I completely agree about the security side of things.

    I know the doors are easy to remove with standard fixings, so will use security bolts to prevent them simply being taken off with an allen key. I'm not however au fait with the other security weaknesses of these vehicles yet. Whilst I wouldn't want sensitive information to be posted in the public domain, it would be really helpful if the weak spots, in addtion to those below, could be pointed out, thereby augmenting my own research:

    Rear 1/4 lights
    Bonnet cable - are the cable guards actually any good? The wingtop vents will need to be protected against this method of entry too.
    Deadlocks???
    Security mesh for the windows
    Quick-release steering wheel
    Pedal box
    Tracker
    Pressure activated alarm
    Locking wheel nuts
    Steering column lock???
    Gearstick lock???

    I also intend to have a couple of security stashes that even the most astute African customs officer wouldn't be able to find without tearing the vehicle to pieces. These wouldn't be for storing anything illicit of course, but I certainly intend to possess the necessary tools to maintain my personal security.
     
  16. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    Just taken a look at the 110 - it's fecked all over the place, but I don't care :D

    So far, I'll be keeping the roof, side panels, rear quarter panels, transfer box, dash, pedals, handbrake, gearstick, axles, prop, wheels, hubs, steering column, panhard rods, A frame, and a few other odds and sods including the various small brackets throughout the vehicle. The V5C is the most important thing to me though :)

    List of things that are proper fecked:

    Bulkhead
    Bonnet
    Wings
    Seat box
    Footwells
    Doors
    Sills

    Not sure about the tub yet as it has a massive bit of wood over the floor, but it's fairly likely that it'll need a new floor at the very least.

    The best thing about the vehicle, other than being a Landy, is that it has a Salisbury rear axle - hurrah! Sure, it's got drums rather than discs, but it's better than a standard rear axle.

    Photos will follow!
     
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  17. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    20170831_164133.jpg 20170831_164318.jpg 20170831_164140.jpg 20170831_164259.jpg 20170831_164455.jpg 20170831_164339.jpg
     

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  18. rob_bell

    rob_bell Well-Known Member

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    It didn't look too bad in the first couple of pictures, and then that bulk head close up! :eek: OMG!

    Still, it is a great base for a complete ground up lover lander build. Massive job, but I am going to enjoying following this - and at the end there won't be a part of the vehicle you won't know intimately! :)
     
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  19. Paul D

    Paul D Glass rep for South Yorkshire LZIR Despatch Agent

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    The bulkhead doesn't look too stupid, just the door pillars .. which are <cough> easy to fix .. YRM ... in fact almost all the things you mention can be fettled with bits from YRM ... Best things you can buy to help are a welder, and angle grinder, but if you already have a compressor, also get a cheap de-scaler (needle hammer) and air chisel .. Noisy and dirty, but awesome bits of kit and will pay for themselves for ease of use and time saved when you need to de-rust big stuff or just chop something off. ..;)

    But yeah, it's definitely a project .. :)
     
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  20. Sting Ray

    Sting Ray Active Member

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    I have a welder already...his name is Dan:D

    A needle gun is a very good shout - all the waxoyl and paint will be removed off the underside stuff including axles etc. before being refursbished.

    This is definitely a good way to learn about the vehicle. I recently did the same to my motorbike (VFR800 VTEC, although I fitted the earlier pre-VTEC Fi engine) and know it rather intimateely now, although there's much less to them than a LR of course.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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