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  #1  
Old March 14th, 2011, 03:56 PM
paydan
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Norberto
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New guy with a big project

Hello everybody. My name is Norberto and I am new to the forum. I have been looking through posts on here for a couple of weeks now and thought it was time that I posted one of my own. A little about me... I am a new Idaho resident and currently own a hybrid 1979 RHD Series III 88" with 89' RRC coil suspension. I previously owned a stock 71' Series III but the good Lord thought to take her away from me in one of the many, many hurricanes that I had to endure while living in Florida. I now reside in Idaho and thought it to be a good time to get my old girl back. When I bought my 79' rover it looked really good from the pictures but the more and more I tore into it I found more and more problems. Because of so I decided to tear her all down to the chassis and just rebuild it so I know that everything is done right.

This is what I started with while she was in Florida. From first looks it is in really good condition.

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After a little digging and many, many issues found later, this is what she looks like now.

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You will have to pardon my improvised catch all plastic bag. I was tired of the oil spots on my brand new garage floor. From what I know about it it was converted to a coiler by Thatched Roof Garage several years back using parts from a 1989 Range Rover Classic. This was to include both front and rear axels, suspension and the lower half of the steering assembly. Pretty much from the steering relay down is the RRC. At the point of purchase an already converted Rover sounded good. The more and more that I tear through this thing the more I wish that I had just started with a stocker and just gone from there. Oh well...what can you do right? On the bright side this will allow me to "redo" the conversion my way which brings me to this point. I am not a mechanic by any sort of the imagination but I would like to think that I good intensions. I look forward to a long and lasting relationship with my newly re-found Rover family and hope that there is a wealth of knowledge that I can tap into.
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  #2  
Old March 14th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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kevin
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Good luck! Looks like you are going about things the right way. Out of curiousity, how is it titled?
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  #3  
Old March 14th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Welcome to the forums Norberto.

Yes she looked quite nice IMHO. What are you plans for the rebuild specifically? Galvanize the frame? What else?

Oh and what engine does that have?

All these hybrid projects are making me want one!
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  #4  
Old March 14th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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those rear trailing arms are different from any I have seen
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  #5  
Old March 14th, 2011, 10:16 PM
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they appear to be made to come off the front hanger for the rear leaf spring. That is a leafer chassis modded to use coils. Some questionable looking fab on the chassis mounts for the rear upper link. With some sorting looks like it will be a really cool truck.


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Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
those rear trailing arms are different from any I have seen
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  #6  
Old March 14th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Noticed that too did ya? That A arm mount looks a bit spooky.
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  #7  
Old March 14th, 2011, 10:49 PM
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there's a host of things there that look dodgy. Almost looks like the conversion was done with the body still on. Surprised to hear that work was done by Thatched roof. That chassis could be made to work but should be looked at by somebody with a bit more knowledge of basic fab.

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Originally Posted by EWR View Post
Noticed that too did ya? That A arm mount looks a bit spooky.
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  #8  
Old March 15th, 2011, 12:02 AM
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I would have to see it up close, but it looks solid. Was this the UK thatched roof garage or David Gage us thatched roof garage?

I have seen a couple other trucks David Gage did and while they were similarly converted and the mounts while less than ascetically ideal, were overbuilt and safe.

Good luck with the project, it looks like fun.
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  #9  
Old March 15th, 2011, 12:50 AM
paydan
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Norberto
1979 RHD Series III
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Hi and thanks everybody for the welcome and the comments. To answer some of the questions that were posted, I'd like to say that everything is going to be addressed.

Charles:
As it sits it has a stock Series III 2.25 petrol engine in it with a stock Series III tranny and transfer case. I have a buddy who is trying to sell me a Rover 3.5 V8 and 5spd tranny and transfer case that is out of his 88' RRC.
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The thoughts of a V8, 5spd and decent highway speed all sound great but I really don't know the logistics to the whole thing. Is there anyone on here who has done that conversion? Just out of curiosity, can an R380 tranny mate to a stock Series transfer case? As for the rest, I was planning on purchasing a new chassis to avoid some of the rust issues but am a bit hesitant due to I don't want to hack a new frame for the existing coil conversion that is already on it now. For now I am going to patch the rust with new steel and cover the whole thing with POR-15. My buddy used some of that and it really seemed to do the trick. The rest I am sure will come to me as I go along but rest assured that it is going to be much more reliable.

Doug:
The rear trailing arms look to be a "custom" piece. Later down the road they are going to be address due to the fact that they hinder some of the rear axel articulation. Right now they are fine driving back and forth from work. I am pretty much choosing my battles because there are plenty.

As for the rear A-arm mount, it is more than shady and will be addressed.
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It really looks like they welded in a 1/2 inch steel plate between the chassis and just bolted the A-arm to it. Albiet very strong, I think that it could be much better. There were also these wierd bases welded to the rear crossmember. I am guessing that they were support for the rear tub side. Those have since been removed.
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Also, another fine modification was the card sized whole that was cut into the tranny bellhousing. What the hell was this done for? For the life of me I cannot come up with a reason to why you would do this other than to be able to access the clutch bearing. But WHY!!!!
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She is a work in progress so please be prepared for a ton of questions. Thanks again everyone for the welcome.
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  #10  
Old March 15th, 2011, 10:49 AM
paydan
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Norberto
1979 RHD Series III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
I would have to see it up close, but it looks solid. Was this the UK thatched roof garage or David Gage us thatched roof garage?

I have seen a couple other trucks David Gage did and while they were similarly converted and the mounts while less than ascetically ideal, were overbuilt and safe.

Good luck with the project, it looks like fun.
From what I know it was done in the US. Just like you said, ascetically it could use some help but it is very solid. That half inch steel plate is going nowhere. I am afraid that I will do more damage removing it than just altering it for better use. Also, why reinvent the wheel right? I am going to see what I can do to clean it up.
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  #11  
Old March 15th, 2011, 11:32 AM
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Do the rear upper links contact that plate? Looks like the right upper link hit the plate and tore the steel or was that a mod to keep it from happening?

I love how the lower links use the stock rear spring perch. Does the front have a panhard rod? I see the frame bracket but doesn't look like it's there. How about a pic of the front end and the steering? Looks like a great project and a fun vehicle.

Oh yeah, and welcome!

Daniel
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  #12  
Old March 15th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Ummm, Daniel, I don't think a hit from the upper link is going to tear a sheet of 1/2" steel plate. It was obviously cut to clear the A arm. That 1/2" plate may look and feel like it is "not going anywhere" but I sure as hell hope I am not on (or off) the road with you when the chassis base metal fatigues and breaks off at the welds. never mind how that setup will perform in an accident. You really ought to just replace the whole crossmember with one from a vehicle that has the A arm.

The rear lower links if held rigidly at the front spring hanger (as in not ability to twist) will significantly hinder articulation. And I bet the ride is harsh too if it uses a Series leaf spring bushing. They are pretty rigid, and not designed for that much rotation.

It also looks like the upper spring perches are just butt welded to the chassis side wall, they really should overlap the top of the chassis rail a bit, or scab on a plate overtop to reinforce the joint.

Ditto on the front axle. Look forward to seeing the steering setup. Sorry if this sounds harsh but that does not look to be very well done.

Oh, and do yourself a favor- ditch the modified series drum brake axles and get a set of proper coiler axles.

V8, r380, etc, you need to do some more research on that. Think about your fuel bill and frequency of fill ups.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1962siia88 View Post
Do the rear upper links contact that plate? Looks like the right upper link hit the plate and tore the steel or was that a mod to keep it from happening?

I love how the lower links use the stock rear spring perch. Does the front have a panhard rod? I see the frame bracket but doesn't look like it's there. How about a pic of the front end and the steering? Looks like a great project and a fun vehicle.

Oh yeah, and welcome!

Daniel
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  #13  
Old March 15th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Duh! 1/2 plate = hard to bend! Sorry posting before coffee should be illegal!

Daniel
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  #14  
Old March 15th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Yeah, but 1/2 plate belongs on a John Deere, Kubota, Massey ... something along those lines.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 01:20 PM
paydan
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Norberto
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Daniel:
The A-arm mounting plate was notched like DB had mentioned. It looks like it was notched with a torch and then bent for clearance. It does have the panhard bar from the RRC. I will try to get some pics of it when I get a chance. Oh and thanks for the welcome.

DB:
That plate is going nowhere. Not only is bolted to the chassis but it is also welded all the way around the bottom. I am not worried about it budging under stress because I think that it is more than capable to take it. And like I had posted ealier anout the lower links, they will be addressed later on. For now they suit my purposes as an asphalt pounder. I plan on replacing them with the stock links from a RRC to allow for more articulation for when I hit the trails. The upper spring retainers (front and rear) are welded both on each side as well as overlapping the bottom. I need to reposition one side on the rear due to it being a 1/4 inch off but other than that they are pretty stable. As for the axels, they are the stock 89' RRC axels with four wheel discs all the way around and are not a modified series axel with drums. I also agree that there are some things that weren't done well (or to my liking) but that is why I am doing all this in the first place. I didn't build it but I am going to fix it.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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sorry but 1/2" plate edge-welded to 14 gauge is a fatigue crack waiting to happen. the rigidity of the plate does not extend into the metal of the chassis wall. The weld area creates a stress riser and a place for corrosion to set in. where is the plate bolted to the chassis, it does not appear to have any facility for being bolted except where it bolted to the a-arm itself

[QUOTE=paydan;271672]
That plate is going nowhere.[ /QUOTE]
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  #17  
Old March 15th, 2011, 03:18 PM
paydan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ching View Post
sorry but 1/2" plate edge-welded to 14 gauge is a fatigue crack waiting to happen. the rigidity of the plate does not extend into the metal of the chassis wall. The weld area creates a stress riser and a place for corrosion to set in. where is the plate bolted to the chassis, it does not appear to have any facility for being bolted except where it bolted to the a-arm itself
Noted. Like I said before I didn't buid the thing. ...and it is bolted under the bottom. Sorry for not having a picture. Thanks again for the information.
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  #18  
Old March 15th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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Hey Paydan:

Just fyi and you may already know this, but the pics of the donor engine/vehicle dont look like an 1988 rrc to me. Looks earlier because of the non efi setup, so the transmission probably isnt an r380 either. Someone will surely correct me if I'm wrong but its probably an lt77 which I believe was the stock manual transmission in 1984 or so. Hope this helps.

Daniel
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  #19  
Old March 15th, 2011, 03:52 PM
paydan
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Originally Posted by 1962siia88 View Post
Hey Paydan:

Just fyi and you may already know this, but the pics of the donor engine/vehicle dont look like an 1988 rrc to me. Looks earlier because of the non efi setup, so the transmission probably isnt an r380 either. Someone will surely correct me if I'm wrong but its probably an lt77 which I believe was the stock manual transmission in 1984 or so. Hope this helps.

Daniel
Hey thanks for the information Daniel. I questioned that myself because it was carbed also. I have a question about the tranny. I thought the LT77 had the reverse positioned up and to the left of first and the R380 was down and just under 5th gear? I tried to crawl under it to see if I could get the serial number but it is parked on top of some things in the guy's yard and I couldn't get up under it. Is it even possible for for either the LT77 or R380 to bolt onto the series transfer case?
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  #20  
Old March 15th, 2011, 04:57 PM
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[QUOTE=Ren Ching;271689]sorry but 1/2" plate edge-welded to 14 gauge is a fatigue crack waiting to happen. the rigidity of the plate does not extend into the metal of the chassis wall. The weld area creates a stress riser and a place for corrosion to set in. where is the plate bolted to the chassis, it does not appear to have any facility for being bolted except where it bolted to the a-arm itself


Definately. You have an unbalanced structural element there. There is a proper way to attach to light gauge box frames and that's not what you have. The 1/2" plate is meaningless if the connection to the frame is improper. Same goes for the shock mounts. I know it's a lot of work but it's a lot work doing it now than down the road when it fails.
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