As usual my posts have been rather lacking on the project, but give me a break my second daughter was born this spring. Luckily she is a very relaxed baby and I've been able to go full steam on the Defender any spare time I get.
Brake lines copper nickle have been plumbed, and I couldn't help myself and installed the brake booster tower with one I had galvanized. This lead to a new Brake master, servo, and switch... just couldn't stop.
I've also plumbed in copper nickle fuel lines. The fuel lines have small sections of flex lines between the engine and the fuel tank to handle any vibrations. The hard lines were flared at the ends to ensure the flexible fuel lines wouldn't come off. There was one area on the frame (which you will see in the pictures) that I was concerned could come in contact with the chassis over time and cause wear, so I covered them with plastic tubing for abrasion resistance.
Lots more updates to post on this build. Perhaps one more tonight and I'll try to get caught up over the next week or so.
Here's another one that certainly wasn't planned, but once the bug was put in my ear(I think by Mr. Briggs) I couldn't stop myself.
While installing heater box (after installing my lower dash) it was brought to my attention that I would be a fool not to cut a bigger opening in my bulkhead and lower dash to match the size of the opening in the heater box, increasing airflow etc etc... why didn't I find this out before galvanizing, sound deadening, and installing my lower dash
Anyway I pulled everything off and made the mod, and I'm happy I did.
While I'm on the subject of the heater, I also replaced the fan switch and controller with one of these nifty units from Dutch Company Landreiziger which apparently gives more adjustability and more fan output etc. Everything needed to install came in their kit and was pretty straight forward, although the translated instructions leave a little figuring for you.
Next up was the re-assembly of the seat box (actually it was a NTO seat box from Safari HP)that I took apart and had the steel bits galvanized, painted the aluminum box and added b-quiet ultimate sound deadening as well.
I sealed some of the the seams with 3M 5200, but left the bottom corner openings there to allow any water out. This box has plastic under trays which should help prevents splash up into the boxes... except in water crossings.
This box had obviously been off a RHD truck as the holes for the handbrake were on the wrong side. I had to punch a couple new holes which was easy enough with some radio chassis punches.
Installing the box on the new galvy chassis I isolated all contact points with rubber spacers that I cut to fit.
The one pain has been tracking down the proper rubber grommets for the battery wires, the old ground one is perished, and the opening for the hot wire on this newer box is huge. I haven't been able to find one either online or from Land Rover (ok I may have found a $60 one, but that's not happening).
Still working on getting caught up to the current progress, but this was the lead up to a huge day this spring. The engine came back to life!
I did the full timing belt replacement kit, if anyone is following this thread you may remember when I pulled the timing cover off the belt was beginning to shred itself after less than 5k. After lots of agonizing and measurements I determined everything seemed ok and that the problem was likely (fingers crossed) with the pulleys, tensioner and or stud which didn't appear to have been replaced at the time of the last belt. This notion was re-enforced by noticeable play in the tensioner and idler bearings.
One super annoying thing to note for anyone buying a kit to do a timing belt on a 300tdi is the fact it doesn't come with the O ring that sits behind the Crank pulley. Very annoying to find that out on a Saturday morning.
I also failed to anticipate the tool required to hold the crank serpentine pulley stationary while tightening the crank bolt to a bajillion Nm. A bunch of people were telling me to just crank it on with an impact gun, but that's not my style, so I made one and installed it as per the manual.
On other little niggle I didn't anticipate was the AC system using a homemade/shop made tensioner and compressor mount. Both were not 100% square and had been throwing the belt as a result. Lots of fettling and a little fabrication ensued to get everything working correctly.
Lots and lots of small fiddly things done since the engine start up, but the main focus now has been finishing all the work on the rear tub. All the body alignment relies on the rear tub so it's got to get done.
Since the new floor is temporarily in place, and the cross members modified (see earlier posts) the plan was to get at the wings (do we call them that on the rear?)
The rear quarter panels are being replaced as the old ones had dissolved around the rear cross member mounting holes. Picked up a really nice spot weld drill to remove them, which just eats through the aluminum, way better than the cheapo's I used before. Actually so good you have to be a bit careful not to overdo it.
I've also decided to experiment with plug welds to re-assemble the panels, this will be especially helpful in areas like the door seam where the seal sits as it can be flush on both sides. So far my initial experiments on clean (new material) has worked well, we'll see how it goes on the old panels.
It seems that a 1/4" hole on 0.05 material (similar to the tub) works quite nicely. This using 0.035 wire and a miller 30A spoolgun on a Millermatic 252. I also was using a large lump of copper behind the material to act as a heat sink. Again it seemed to work very well.
Before I actually go and attempt to weld on those new quarter panels, I wanted to tackle the cut-outs I had made to accommodate the D2 seats.
I decided that I might was well sheet in the entire inner wing, both for a fresh look and to deal with some of the corrosion around the holes for the seats that had developed over the years.
I had been thinking about using some sort of panel bond between the old aluminum and the new but then I struck on the idea of putting a layer of b-quiet ultimate between the two. It would take up some of the distortion of the old panels, provide some noise dampening and act as a seal between the underside of the tub and the new panel.
I realize there will be some distortion if I bolt seats through the tub as the b-quiet squishes out of the way, but I've put aluminum plates in the spots that would be the worst offenders to help mitigate the problem.
I had two sheets of 0.080 5052 bent up at my buddies shop as my brake will only do 36", and then I went to work templating, cutting, bending, filing, drilling. It was very labor intensive.
The bending had to be done with small little bending jigs (like mini brakes) as the way I wanted this bent up wouldn't work in my standard box brake. It's time consuming but very doable.
The second side was certainly faster as I had a template, but of course this luxury hand build vehicle is not symmetrical and I had to do a bunch of modifying after making the second pieces.
I need to do a bit more finish work and then I'll strip the inserts off and prime/paint them before riveting them in place.
I've been working super hard on the rear tub, I feel like this summer is just flying by and I need to get the truck out of my garage by winter...
I decided to weld together the inserts for tub cut outs, originally I was planning to rivet but my father talked me into welding. I'm a bit of a noob with Aluminum and although not perfect it worked out decently.
After welding I primed, painted, and seam sealed the panels, then riveted them on top of the old ones.
Next up was Mig plug welding in the rear quarter panels. I sanded off the old paint, cleaned with acetone and then gave it a brush with a stainless brush. This got things clean enough to allow welding. I also used a copper lump behind the plug welds in the event I was to blow through, also kept things a bit cooler. Again it wasn't all perfect but it got the job done.
Had to share this video of the fuel access port I've been working on. The custom floor is 3/16" thick so it allowed me to have stepped opening cut in it. Here's the cutting in action at the CNC shop today.
Well the tub went off to the paint shop this morning on the roof rack of my Mazda 3, hurrah!
I thought i would give a little update on the finishing off of the tub.
After getting the fuel port cut in the floor I reassembled the floor and sides and did a test fit with the Disco 2 second row seats. At this point I also located and tacked in place the floor seat latches. You'll see the plate that I had made for the latch loops to sit on and gave an allowance for the seat hooks to project below without having to cut openings in the floor.
I also installed a set of Puma chassis to seat anchor brackets at this point, and drilled proper anchor bolt location holes (different than the puma ones). One bracket required and addition welded on as one hole missed the bracket entirely.
After all the seat bits were worked out the sides were removed from the floor again (thank god for clecos) then welded the floor ribs on, and the two rear floor body mounting rails.
For all these items I drilled holes and Mig plug welded them in place, following a somewhat more regular pattern than the factory spot welds on the original floor. The two outer ribs were cut shorter as chassis to seat anchor brackets would interfere with full length ribs. Plug welding on the thicker aluminum was soooo much easier than the quarter panels.
Next up was to re-install the sides and weld the rear quarters to the rear body mounting rails. Welded in the stiffener brackets then riveted the floor on permanently with solid rivets.
Then a good cleaning, sanding primer sealant and paint on the underside.
Flipped the tub over then and prepped it for installing the cappings. Primer and body coloured paint were spared before the cappings went on. Also the inside of the side panels got an application of b-quiet, both for sound deadening and isolating the capping from the aluminum panel. Rear corner guards had a very thin layer of rubber installed between the capping and panels, again to isolate the two.
In continuation from yesterdays post here were the last few steps of the tub build.
I cut strips of thin rubber and after using 3m spray adhesive I stuck them on the tub in all the spots the cross members would contact the aluminum. Yes they're galvanized but why not go the extra mile.
The crossmembers were then riveted in place with solid aluminum rivets.
I had designed a set of panel stiffeners made out of 1/8" smooth aluminum, trying to avoid the chequer plating look, and had a buddy laser cut and bend them for me. Then I riveted them on with countersunk solid rivets. They really helped straighten up the slight bowing on the panel bottoms and should provide a much more robust spot to attach the tub strut and fender strut.
The final details were drilling out and countersinking the fuel hatch lid for the fasteners that will go in.
Also realized at the last minute that the floor being so thick 3/16" was going to pose an annoyance using the captive nuts that hold the second row floor on, so I thinned out the material with a 1 1/8" belt sander where the nuts sit.
Managed to fit the completed tub on the roof rack of the mazada for it's trip to paint, and as my friend says it's the new RTT (roof top tub)
Oh here was a little project I worked on between things. Machined a spacer from nylon to adapt a 7blade socket into the rear crossmember opening.