Newbie chassis swap Questions - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 27th, 2013, 08:11 PM
cdansan
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Dan Clark
1996 Discovery
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Newbie chassis swap Questions

From what I have read so far putting a D-90 chassis under my 1965 IIa is not a bolt on affair?
I have a Disco 1 donor and a rotten Series chassis.
Cutting the Disco frame is possible but then I have to add all the body mounts.

What specifically is different between the D-90 and Series body mounts?
I think the front crossmember is different to accomodate the location of the grill/radiator support.

I would like direction on the most expediant swap to a D-90 or Series coiler chassis.
As I currently own a titled Series truck, the chassis swap should be mostly legal where I live.

Or should I buy an imported D-90 and beg for forgiveness from the wife after I buy it?

Thanks, Dan
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  #2  
Old August 27th, 2013, 08:34 PM
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Bill Adams
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Unless the 2A is a complete basket case, you will probably regret making it a coiler. As someone who has agonized over this both in plusses and minuses I can honestly say that I wish I had never ever hacked up my rare original 109 5 door diesel wagon. But that was when I thought it was no big deal. It turns out that it was not the right way to go. I'm left with no choice but to do a resto-mod. Now that I am in the home strech of the build, I can say that I will have an awesome truck, but it will never be what it once was.
2As are getting harder and harder to find. If you want to restore it, go as original as you possibly can. You will not lose money on that bet.

Just FYI, there is so much different that you will not really be saving any time or money by using a donor D1 chassis. Lots of stuff needs to be cut, moved, rewelded, to the point that you will more or less be rebuilding the entire thing. You will save a lot by simply buying a coil conversion chassis. There aren't any vendors in the USA that sell them, so you will have to order one from Iain at Designa-chassis.

Conservatively, you will spend somewhere betwenn 7 and 10 thousand dollars to do the conversion to coil chassis. I would double that for a quality job with new parts.

Oh and if you are married, tell the wife you will be busy for the next two years worth of weekends so don't plan anything.
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  #3  
Old August 27th, 2013, 09:01 PM
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LROI did a series of articles converting an SIIa to a cooler using a RRC chassis. It is not that easy and you have to buy a series crossmember and outriggers. On an 88 a designa chassis is a bolt on no cutting proposition and you get disc brakes, better axles etc. you do need to modify the fuel tank or get a custom one and you need an SIII brake pedal assembly. Cost wise, it is probably a wash as compared to a leaf chassis and new springs.

Either way, you are spending big bucks before you touch anything else beyond the rolling chassis.
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  #4  
Old August 27th, 2013, 09:49 PM
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john
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Dan all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. There are a group guys up here in Maine that after getting the D1 chassis stretched and cutting rear crossmember, outriggers off a donor series frame had a running coiler 109 pickup in a weekend. She aint pretty but that thing will run with the best of them. This is not an urban legend but a truck thats been at the last several winter romps.
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  #5  
Old August 27th, 2013, 10:08 PM
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Chris
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Regardless of the route you take, its a ton of work and not to be started lightly.

I'm only talking about your wife.

As for the truck, sell the Series, order a Defender with Uncle Doug and Co.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #6  
Old August 27th, 2013, 10:31 PM
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Raub A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Regardless of the route you take, its a ton of work and not to be started lightly.

I'm only talking about your wife.

As for the truck, sell the Series, order a Defender with Uncle Doug and Co.
X2 Talk to Abe and Uncle Doug. I did and couldn't be happier.
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  #7  
Old August 27th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Jason Lavender
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I agonized over this with my '71 IIA, and decided to go with an original leaf setup with galvy chassis. Of course, the parts are still sitting in my garage .
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  #8  
Old August 27th, 2013, 11:00 PM
cdansan
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Dan Clark
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The Series that I have is really just a complete body.
The chassis is beyond repair and it is missing alot of parts. Even the axle housings are rusted thru.

I was really hoping to buy a D-90 chassis, swap my running gear and then affix the Series body to it.

My Disco is a trail truck, not a straight body panel on it.
It is getting rusty and there are some electrical gremlins after a fire under the passenger side dashboard.
Rust is why I am thinking of doing something else.

Dan
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  #9  
Old August 28th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Adam
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For starters the rear body tub is a different size. The 90 tub being longer by about 5". It is a doable swap if you use a 90 tub, and modify the front of the chassis (crossmembers). However using the series windshield frame with the 90-length tub will mean you need a custom soft top (90 canvas with series front deck to match windshield frame), or a modifed cut-down 109 hard top (using 90 side panels), or a series truck cab (set up for a 109), or no top.

I have investigated this route and it is doable and would be a neat truck but there is a lot of small custom work that has to go into it.

I have plans laid out to rebuild my Series III 88" on a 200tdi 90 chassis when the time is right. Series III radiator panel, hood, firewall, windshield frame, bulkhead. 90 frame, fenders, trans tunnel, seatbox, tub.

If you modify the IIA bulkhead to take SIII style windshield brackets then you can bolt a one-piece 90 windshield frame right on which solves your top problems but eliminates the series look quite a bit by losing the galvanized two piece windshield frame.
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  #10  
Old August 28th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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john
97 D90 ST / 1957 S1 109/ 1983 LS110
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here is an 88 on an RRC frame build

http://www.floridalandroverclub.com/...lbum=44&page=5
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  #11  
Old August 28th, 2013, 11:31 PM
cdansan
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Dan Clark
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Why could I not shorten the chassis the 5" difference in tub length? Then I could use my series tops.

Still looks to me to be feasible, although I am seriously looking for a complete D-90 as a first option.
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  #12  
Old August 29th, 2013, 12:31 AM
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It also have a different overhang in the back so you would be shortening the wheelbase and lengthening the back.

A D90 tub (tomaco had one really cheap) and d90 front outer fenders and four flares would be the easiest approach of course then you need to mount the series steering, drivetrain etc.

Take it from me, if you want a defender, buy a defender. If you want a series, restore it to stock or close. Mashing some different land rovers together to make one hybrid is possible but much harder.
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  #13  
Old September 2nd, 2013, 12:44 PM
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Russ Wilson
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You will have 1% of the hassle in your life if you just find an older 90. Wached a buddy to the hybrid thing with an 88 and an old RR Classic. It was painful to watch $$
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