1983 UK 110 Upgrades - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 04:43 PM
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1983 UK 110 Upgrades

I purchased a 1983 110 from the UK 2 years ago and have had lots of things done to her since then. We were looking at photos of the different stages of work and I realized I haven't posted a write up on the truck. I thought I'd post something here for people to see how the truck has progressed. It always amazes me how much one of these trucks can be changed.

With kids and dogs I wanted a 110 instead of a 90 so I started looking. Most of the trucks I had found already stateside were a bit more rusty than I had anticipated. So, I found my brown beast stateside. It was posted by a business, but it wasn't officially their truck. It was more of a consignment sale. We started with a nice, 1983 110 truck with a 2.25 gas engine. As a parent I was hung up on safety so I wanted a roll cage. I knew I wanted to drive it pretty regularly around town so I wanted LHD. The mechanics of the truck were pretty solid- less than 100k miles, recently rebuilt transmission (re-built in the UK), new exhaust. Overall decent shape. In January of 2010 I purchased the truck for $13,000 US and since it was stateside I didn't need to deal with importing it and that hassle.

Set about deciding what should be done to the truck- went back and forth between Camel Trophy cage and NAS 110 cage. Ultimately decided on the NAS cage since that seems to be more versatile and gave the Great Dane more space in the back. With that I would need a new roof since I had the ribbed roof. For the LHD conversion it made the most sense to swap the bulkhead. Not only would it save some money since there wouldn't be the cost of patching the old bulkhead but it gives you some peace of mind to know that it is new and not hiding rust. I also decided to upgrade the dash to the newer Tdi dash "while I was at it." With that came the Tdi wiring and setting the truck up for a future 300 Tdi conversion. We did a basic Alpine unit that works with an iPod at this time too.

We added AC to the list so too since the Tdi dash was a used dash and the previous truck had AC. I needed at least the interior portion to make the install look clean. Originally we were going to re-configure the system to work with the 2.25 but after looking at it the decision was made to box the rest of the kit and wait Not only was a lot of custom work going to be involved to make it fit but the load on the 2.25 may in fact be too much.

After a lot of back and forth, adding and subtracting, the work list was done and the parts were ordered. The original budget for this was just under $20,000 for parts and labor. Took a few months for the parts to arrive, there was a volcano eruption, US customs and just getting parts into and out of a container. Some work was done in preparation- new bulkhead was primed, sealed and painted. I went ahead and kept the original color at this point. Other ideas had crossed my mind but then I wasn't sure when if ever I would get to finishing the paint. The new roof and rear window sides were primed, sealed and painted at this time too.

Finally everything was together and it was time to start the project. The actual work only took a few weeks- which was amazing to me. The bulkhead was replaced, the new dash installed, the cage installed with new headliners and trim for the newer rear windows. The motor was gone over and the water pump, starter and idler wheel were replaced as well as the radiator serviced.

In the end it was 356.25 hours of labor and $17,852.87 in parts. Originally I was planning on it being about $20,000 for parts and labor based on the costs of the cage, bulkhead, and dash parts.

The truck arrived in Colorado a year after purchase decked out as requested. After driving her around in the foothills for a few weeks the second stage of renovations was moved up. The older 2.25 just didn't have the power I wanted. So, the next stage was to convert her to a 300 tdi. After some research a local mechanic was found to do the work. So, March 2011 all the parts for a conversion were sourced- used 300tdi motor, r380 transmission and new transfer case. Also added to the list was a Webasto heater, and oversized intercooler, the remainder of the AC kit installation, a rear step bumper, galvanized sliders and Puma rear seats.

Stage 2 was 84 hours of labor and 12,357 for the parts (from rear bumper to motor). The original plan here had it at about $10,000 for motor/transmission/transfer case and installation, not including the accessories (NAS bumper, Puma seats, and sliders).

The project is wrapping up this week. Super excited to get the old girl home.
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  #2  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 04:51 PM
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I love that you kept the original color. Very tasteful.
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  #3  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Puma 110 xs. Td5 110 xs for sale
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looks great. i love the early split doors
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  #4  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Did you mistype the hours on the first project? What were the rates to make this turd to quote another member?
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  #5  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megamatt View Post
Did you mistype the hours on the first project? What were the rates to make this turd to quote another member?
No. Those were the billed hours. It was billed out as labor + materials. First shop was $85/hour and second shop was $100/hour.
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  #6  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:42 PM
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So you have $81k invested ?
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  #7  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
So you have $81k invested ?
And 2 years.
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  #8  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
So you have $81k invested ?
But not on a galvanised frame?
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  #9  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Holy shit, for the ~$100k you just spent on that 83 turd, you could have gone to ECR and bought a brand new tdi. I see they have a td5 on their site for sale now. In the time it took to build your truck I guess td5s became legal.
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  #10  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadstone View Post
But not on a galvanised frame?
Correct. Unfortunately the money tree dried up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megamatt View Post
Holy shit, for the ~$100k you just spent on that 83 turd, you could have gone to ECR and bought a brand new tdi. I see they have a td5 on their site for sale now. In the time it took to build your truck I guess td5s became legal.
I think you are making assumptions about the price of that ECR truck, especially considering the first portion of this project was completed at ECR. I would venture to say that Td5 is going to be more than 100k. I believe Copley has an ECR truck on their site for more than 100k and it is less refined than the Td5 truck you mention. I am assuming that the more refined a truck the more it will cost but I could be mistaken.
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  #11  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 11:54 PM
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Sorry to insult your turd. I didn't realize it was ECR. You should see if they will let you exchange it for a better truck.

On a serious note, the hours do seem odd considering their experience with SD. According to Chapman though, since it is from them and not some other person on the board, it was totally worth it.

I miss Dan!
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  #12  
Old January 4th, 2012, 02:01 AM
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Hey Alex
I am glad to see the 110 is coming home. Looks great
Greg
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  #13  
Old January 4th, 2012, 04:25 AM
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That is expensive! But it is a nice car. Enjoy it and drive it! And your puma seats are very cool, and expensive
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  #14  
Old January 4th, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Alex you must have a very understanding partner. Not many women would undertake to buy a 27 yr old truck and make it their own so to speak. While exhorbitantly expensive it sounds as though you have a fully refurbished truck with fully rebuilt drivetrain. Hope you can get by/enjoy a 110 with the marginal heat and total lack of creature comforts, most women wouldn't.
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  #15  
Old January 4th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Alex, it looks great. While brown isn't my favorite color, it's also not my truck, so who cares? The interior looks to be tip top, and very clean. Will you be removing the door tops in the Summer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
Hope you can get by/enjoy a 110 with the ... total lack of creature comforts, most women wouldn't.
Well, she also spends countless hours on a bike seat training for her events, so I'm sure the Puma seats are more than a step up in comfort!
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  #16  
Old January 4th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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By understanding I think you mean tolerant. Like most on the forum the Defenders were in the picture first. I've had a 90 as my daily driver for years so I'm not a stranger to the "comforts."

I did agree to take some time away from Ironman distance races so who knows, I may actually get to drive the truck. Not that racing the half Ironman distance is all that much of a break. At least now my bike doesn't cost more than my truck.

Hindsight is 20/20 and knowing what I know now I may have done it differently 2 years ago.
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  #17  
Old January 4th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho
Alex, it looks great. While brown isn't my favorite color, it's also not my truck, so who cares? The interior looks to be tip top, and very clean. Will you be removing the door tops in the Summer?

Well, she also spends countless hours on a bike seat training for her events, so I'm sure the Puma seats are more than a step up in comfort!
Only if she is sitting in the back.
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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  #18  
Old January 4th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Probably buy NAS 110 with tdi drivetrain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aosias View Post
By understanding I think you mean tolerant. Like most on the forum the Defenders were in the picture first. I've had a 90 as my daily driver for years so I'm not a stranger to the "comforts."

I did agree to take some time away from Ironman distance races so who knows, I may actually get to drive the truck. Not that racing the half Ironman distance is all that much of a break. At least now my bike doesn't cost more than my truck.

Hindsight is 20/20 and knowing what I know now I may have done it differently 2 years ago.
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  #19  
Old January 4th, 2012, 12:55 PM
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So whats left to do on the truck? No mention of wheels, tires, suspension. Is that all original?
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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  #20  
Old January 4th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megamatt View Post
Sorry to insult your turd. I didn't realize it was ECR. You should see if they will let you exchange it for a better truck.

On a serious note, the hours do seem odd considering their experience with SD. According to Chapman though, since it is from them and not some other person on the board, it was totally worth it.

I miss Dan!
The hours are cumulative for the entire project so not sure what was for the cage specifically vs the conversion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by budzny View Post
Probably buy NAS 110 with tdi drivetrain.
Thought has crossed my mind a few times. Especially when I was done with the first stage and was in the truck for so much money and still had things that needed to be done to make it more "practical." But, when you start the project and the truck is in pieces there doesn't seem to be much you can do but finish it- otherwise you have a unfinished truck and you are still out the money.
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