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  #1  
Old April 10th, 2013, 03:56 PM
DonFromWhitby
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Don Andrews
'94 NAS D90 #CDN-80, 2011 LR4
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Chassis /bulkhead swap

I'm looking to do another big project soon and replace the rotting chassis and bulkhead on my 1994 NAS 90 ST.

I'm thinking to do it in phases, and am looking for some insight on which direction to go.

Some abstracts about my truck:
footwells are rough; some rot on both sides, but not too bad. No hole, but there is some bondo from a P.O.
Some rust on upper bulkhead as well
Rust through hole in rear crossmember on passenger side (right under tire carrier)
general rust over undercarriage
Door bottoms are soft.
Hinges are in spectacular condition (upgraded to TD5 spec last year)
Most bolts are going to have to be broken / cut off (from experience with the last few jobs)
The undercarriage has been waxoyled, but I think the P.O who did it, did it too late as it seems it was waxoyled to cover up rust or in an attempt to halt any progression of rust.
Rear tire carrier is showing some surface rust
Rear third brake light bar is showing some surface rust.
Both front fenders show galvanic reaction bubbles under where the rollcage goes through the sheet metal.
Small trail damage to drivers side rear tub. (rolled backwards into a boulder once)

So I want in a nutshell to do the following (sounds simple)
Must do: Replace the chassis

Like to do:
Replace the bulkhead (alternative is to repair it with replacement channels, and footwells but I'm not skilled enough to weld all that myself so would have to pay someone else to do it.)
Fix galvanic issues in body panels.
Replace every nut and bolt with SS.
Clean up the undercarriage, steam clean the engine, general tidying of the truck.

Sounds simple, but the devil is in the details.

I'm pretty certain I can lift the body, and transfer the drivetrain, fuel components and harness without too much grief.

I see a few different approaches to doing this.

1. Buy the chassis and do the simplest swap I can manage and change nothing else or attempt to improve it in any way.
Pro's: It gets me the truck back in the shortest amount of time (few weeks?). Least cost. Fulfills primary goal of having a solid chassis. Lifting the body seems the simplest /quickest way to do it.
Cons: I'll have to do some more projects later (bulkhead, doors, etc) Truck basically stays the same as it is now (slightly tatty)

2. As above and after dropping the body immediately replace the bulkhead.
Pro's: Gets me a new bulkhead. Would clean up the dash, floorpans, etc as part of bulkhead replacement.
Cons: Have to replace everything on the bulkhead. Possible paint color matching issues. (had a hell of a time getting my hinges to match). Slower to get the truck back. Possible add-on work with problems I don't know about yet. Possible issues with putting the VIN sticker back on it (may need dealer involvement). Longer work time. May have very long lead time to have bulkhead galvanized. Additional cost of new bulkhead,repaint, etc. Still some work to do with doors, seatbox, tire carrier, body panels, etc.

3. The whole damn thing. Complete disassembly. Nut and bolt restoration.
Pro's: I touch everything. Fix everything. Complete disassembly of drivetrain, engine, axles, tranny, tcase, replacement of body panels, complete paint of vehicle, etc. Basically rebuild the truck from scratch.
Cons: Most cost. Longest time to do. Risk of never finishing the project and just selling it off as a pile of parts. Most complex approach. Have to keep all parts sorted to evaluate for refurbishment or replacement judgement.

I'm currently waffling between #1 and #2.

So I'll tackle #1 first:
What should I plan on replacing when I transfer the drivetrain? I want to steam off all the waxoyl off the axle casings and evaluate them. Most likely repaint axle casings, replace ends, brake components, springs, shocks, calipers, etc.
Reuse gas tank or new one? My fuel tank cradle was replaced with a galv one three years ago (doubles as a skid plate)
New fuel and brake lines?
Should I reuse the harness, or go to a Painless waterproof one with a proper breaker system?
I've heard of folks enlarging the hole in the firewall to allow more airflow from the heater core. Something to entertain?
Anything to tackle on the engine when it's out? Steam clean is assumed, but should I be doing the water pump, replacing the belts, etc? Possibly going to an electric fan?

A question on #2:
RoversNorth sells a new replacement bulkhead made from the latest Land Rover "Galvaneal" metal. Does anyone have any insight on that? Should I galvanize it anyway? Some people recommend an epoxy dip rather than galvanization due to warping concerns.

Last question: (for now)

What do I do with the old frame? Repair it, galv it and sell to try to recoup some cost? Or build another truck from scratch as a rock crawler (bobtailed 90 anyone?) or try to register it as a self-made vehicle.
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  #2  
Old April 10th, 2013, 04:06 PM
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If you're going to all that trouble, I'm guessing that you are committed to the truck. If you are, I would do it right and not half-ass any of it. I've been thinking a lot about how I would do this and I think I would build up rolling galvy chassis with galvy bulkhead alongside the current truck. Running gear isn't that expensive and things like axle housings are easy to buy (or acquire for free) and refurbish to look like new. Once you have it bolted together, you could start dismantling the old truck and send body panels off for paint (why not?). While they're being painted, move the motor and gearbox and t-case over. I haven't done a swap but I think that the hardest part would be the wiring and the dash. I would absolutely buy brand new wiring harnesses. You don't want to have to replace them later.
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  #3  
Old April 10th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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Bill Adams
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Speaking as someone ass deep in option 3, you will never be fully happy that you picked option 1 or 2, and if you do will always regret not taking option 3 when you had the chance.
Yes it is an ordeal and very expensive, but worth it.
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  #4  
Old April 10th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Speaking as someone ass deep in option 3, you will never be fully happy that you picked option 1 or 2, and if you do will always regret not taking option 3 when you had the chance.
Yes it is an ordeal and very expensive, but worth it.
x2

If you are going to do a swap, do it right.
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  #5  
Old April 10th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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I am a number 2 type guy. I like patina paint. I don't mind a ding or dent or scratch, and I don't feel the need to do every possible maintaince and repair item at the same time if the vehicle is functional, but I hate rust and corrosion so I would do galvy frame and galvy bulkhead (repair if possible then galvy) while taking everything steel off that rusts short of axle casing and suspension and having it blasted and dipped -- lower cage and cappings especially. Replace the shock towers, motor mounts and brake and fuel lines, but leave everything else assembled and in one piece. It seems like the only way to do it in a reasonable time frame and it should give you long life in your rust prone location with only routine maintenance going forward.

Otherwise you get ship fitters disease and you end up with a pile of parts for a decade.
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  #6  
Old April 10th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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Mike Hammond
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I've gone with number 2 in the past - my 110, galvanised all the steel bits. took me a long time though.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...oject+start-up
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  #7  
Old April 11th, 2013, 10:23 AM
DonFromWhitby
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Don Andrews
'94 NAS D90 #CDN-80, 2011 LR4
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Thanks for the replies all.

Yup. Committed to the truck. I tried selling it a few years ago, and my wife won't let me. She wants me to put it in my will to leave to my oldest son. I guess that means I'm going to have to look after it until he's old enough. (Currently 5 yo) I hope we still have gas to buy that far in the future!

I'm avoiding #3 as I already have a 1968 Diesel 109 that I've been restoring for the last 4 years.. with no end in sight. I'm really gun-shy when it comes to doing a complete rebuild. (not sure if I'm going to leave that one to my kids - it's a Dormobile, and is basically a rolling bed and I can still remember my teen years!)

Making a side-by-side rolling chassis swap is interesting. Anyone know where I can get an extra set of D90 axles? <hint, hint> It's easier for me to find used Disco or RRC axles as there is a junkyard closeby I can get them from. Any issues with using other axles? Issues with steering linkage, gearing, etc? RRCs had air suspension as an option, and I'm not really familiar with it - I would assume the shock mounts may be an issue?

The mileage on the engine is around 130k Km's (~81k miles?). I'm also considering doing a rebuild on the engine while the truck is apart. (I have a good family connection for engine rebuilds, but they need it out of the truck first).


For body panels, I would like to repaint, but what's the best method? Disassembly then repaint in parts? Not many paint shops in my area are willing to do that - they're all geared towards painting a complete vehicle.
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  #8  
Old April 11th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonFromWhitby View Post
Making a side-by-side rolling chassis swap is interesting. Anyone know where I can get an extra set of D90 axles? <hint, hint> It's easier for me to find used Disco or RRC axles as there is a junkyard closeby I can get them from. Any issues with using other axles? Issues with steering linkage, gearing, etc? RRCs had air suspension as an option, and I'm not really familiar with it - I would assume the shock mounts may be an issue?
The axles tubes, stub axles, and hubs are really easy to come by. Most anybody who breaks down parts trucks will have a pile of them. Yes, you can use Disco 1 and RRC axles. When I broke an axle tube on my old D90 (it had a faulty factory weld), I replaced it with a RRC axle. The replacement axle was a little ugly so I had it blasted and then primed and painted it with Eastwood Chassis Black. It came out very nice.

Steering shouldn't be difficult to source. I believe that there are some small differences with the Disco 1 and RRC but I've never owned one of those so I can't say for sure. Somebody will probably chime in with the answer. Even if you need to source D90-specific tie rods and drag links, there are enough spares floating around from people who've upgraded to HD gear.

Will Tillery would be an excellent source for this running gear. He could probably put together a pallet for you with everything you'll need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonFromWhitby View Post
For body panels, I would like to repaint, but what's the best method? Disassembly then repaint in parts? Not many paint shops in my area are willing to do that - they're all geared towards painting a complete vehicle.
I know a number of guys who have repainted individual parts. It shouldn't be a problem for a good paint shop. Stay away from the Earl Scheib's and insurance repair places. You can do a lot of the prep work yourself to cut down on cost.
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  #9  
Old April 11th, 2013, 10:52 AM
DonFromWhitby
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Did you just use the tubes and then transfer all the internals and ends? nice work on the reinforcement there. (from you pics link).




Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
The axles tubes, stub axles, and hubs are really easy to come by. Most anybody who breaks down parts trucks will have a pile of them. Yes, you can use Disco 1 and RRC axles. When I broke an axle tube on my old D90 (it had a faulty factory weld), I replaced it with a RRC axle. The replacement axle was a little ugly so I had it blasted and then primed and painted it with Eastwood Chassis Black. It came out very nice.

Steering shouldn't be difficult to source. I believe that there are some small differences with the Disco 1 and RRC but I've never owned one of those so I can't say for sure. Somebody will probably chime in with the answer. Even if you need to source D90-specific tie rods and drag links, there are enough spares floating around from people who've upgraded to HD gear.

Will Tillery would be an excellent source for this running gear. He could probably put together a pallet for you with everything you'll need.



I know a number of guys who have repainted individual parts. It shouldn't be a problem for a good paint shop. Stay away from the Earl Scheib's and insurance repair places. You can do a lot of the prep work yourself to cut down on cost.
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  #10  
Old April 11th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonFromWhitby View Post
Did you just use the tubes and then transfer all the internals and ends? nice work on the reinforcement there. (from you pics link).
Yes, I just swapped everything over. Used internals should be very easy to find.

What I really like about a rolling chassis build-up is that you can move parts over one-at-a-time. There's less chance of losing parts or leaving something off.

I think I would also send my tub and door cappings, the seat box, the door frames, and the body supports and brackets off for galvanizing while the painting and motor swap was going down.
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  #11  
Old April 11th, 2013, 01:13 PM
DonFromWhitby
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Don Andrews
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
Yes, I just swapped everything over. Used internals should be very easy to find.

What I really like about a rolling chassis build-up is that you can move parts over one-at-a-time. There's less chance of losing parts or leaving something off.

I think I would also send my tub and door cappings, the seat box, the door frames, and the body supports and brackets off for galvanizing while the painting and motor swap was going down.
I think my biggest fear involved is the sheer number of bolts I'm going to have to break to disassemble the thing.

I'd love to refresh the tub, but disassembling the roll cage scares the crap out of me if I get a broken bolt stuck inside a rail somewhere. I've never had much luck drilling them out and retapping.

The cappings are an interesting idea. They are rusting in places (why, oh why did Rover start painting them instead of galv? The cappings from my 1959 are still fine!)

If I did do the cappings, I think I'd etch prime them, then paint / powder coat them hi gloss black (truck is yellow).

I also have a great local resource for powder coating, so I'm thinking calipers, seat rails, door handles, etc.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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I am in the middle of #3 and there are days that I wish I had selected option 1 or 2 but in the end I think it will be worth it.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Roll cage is really easy to get off with one small issue which are the four bolts that go into the front fenders. The rest you just get a big torx bit and holt the top of the bolt and put a wrench on the bottom and spin the nut.

AA Yellow and rover chrome is a very hot look:

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ghlight=chrome
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  #14  
Old April 11th, 2013, 02:37 PM
DonFromWhitby
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Originally Posted by dave_lucas View Post
I am in the middle of #3 and there are days that I wish I had selected option 1 or 2 but in the end I think it will be worth it.
I'm in the final stages of a #3 that's taken 4 years.. so you may see why I want to avoid that.

#1 is hard enough on it's own...
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Old April 11th, 2013, 02:52 PM
DonFromWhitby
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Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Roll cage is really easy to get off with one small issue which are the four bolts that go into the front fenders. The rest you just get a big torx bit and holt the top of the bolt and put a wrench on the bottom and spin the nut.

AA Yellow and rover chrome is a very hot look:

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ghlight=chrome
I'm doing the yellow / black thing.

My hardtop is black, softtop black, rims black, calipers yellow, interior custom yellow and black neoprene, etc.

I think I may disassemble the rear door bits and redo them this week. The third brake light is really peeing me off. I replaced it just after I bought the truck four years ago (it was a rusted mess) and it's rusting again!
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  #16  
Old April 11th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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Get the powdercoat crap off it and galvanize it.
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  #17  
Old April 11th, 2013, 03:00 PM
DonFromWhitby
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Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Get the powdercoat crap off it and galvanize it.
You may be right. I'm tired of replacing parts not because I broke them (which I can handle - you gotta pay to play) but because they're rusting.

Anyone ever tried galvanizing axle casings?
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Old April 11th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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Anyone ever tried galvanizing axle casings?
No need. Eastwood Chassis Black is bombproof, especially if you coat it with the Eastwood metal wash and their etching primer first.
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  #19  
Old April 11th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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People have done the axle casings, the suspension arms etc.

I have not had such an issue with axle cases rusting out except the lower supports on series axles.

If you keep them painted they should be fine. Same with the rest of the suspension. The only rust issues I have ever seen with suspension parts are the ends of the radius arms where they go through the bushings into the frame. Some non-rubber eating grease there would prevent it. My project is basically slathered in anti-seize and grease and waxoyl and galvanized parts -- sometimes all three. No more rust issues is what I am trying to assure.

I know you like yellow and black, but rover chrome will outlast black by decades. Even series plow trucks pulled out of ontario fields the galvanized stuff is still fine. Having grown up in western NY, I hate rust and will do all in my power to stop it even if my trucks now live in a garage and only go out on nice days.
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  #20  
Old April 11th, 2013, 03:18 PM
DonFromWhitby
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I'm actually doing up a parts list for just the frame swap... anything else you can think of?

Qty Partno Description
2 6066 WASHER - BOTTOM OF SHOCK & SWAY BAR LINK BOLT
4 NRC4514 BUSHING RADIUS ARM FRONT RUBBER
2 NTC1772 BUSHING BOTTOM LINK REAR
4 NY120041L NUT TRANSFER CASE/REAR SUSPENSION
2 NTC1773 BUSH TOP LINK REAR SUSPENSION
2 NY114041L NUT PANHARD ROD BOLT
8 552819 SHOCK BUSHINGS UPPER REAR ALSO SWAY
2 NTC9027 MOUNT REAR SUSPENSION(TRIANGLE)
2 ANR1799 BALL JOINT TOP LINK REAR A FRAME
4 ANR2805 MOUNT TRANSMISSION & ENGINE
4 NTC1888 SWAY BAR BALL JOINT
1 ANR3951G CHASSIS DEFENDER 90 GALVANIZED
2 ANR3410 BUSHING PANHARD ROD FROM 87
2 NTC8202 BOLT SWAY BAR LINK
2 NV116041L SWAY BAR LINK NUT - SHOULDERED PIN
4 BH116207 BOLT - RADIUS ARM TO AXLE
4 NV116047 NUT - RADIUS ARM TO AXLE
2 NY610041L NUT - TRAILING ARM TO AXLE CASING
2 BH610321L BOLT - TRAILING ARM TO AXLE
4 BX112201 BOLT 12 X 100 MM STEERING BOX
2 KYH500270 NUT - UPPER A FRAME
2 BH114167 BOLT PANHARD ROD
1 LRF1001-SS FUEL LINE KIT ( FEED ) 3 PIECE-STAINLESS STEEL
1 LRR1003-SS FUEL LINE KIT STAINLESS STEEL ( RETURN )
2 WA120006 WASHER REAR RADIUS ARM FLEX MOUNT
6 NY608042 NUT - NYLOCK 1/2 UNF
6 253952 BOLT 1/2 UNF X 6 1/2
2 NRC4516 WASHER (PLAIN) FRONT RADIUS ARM REAR
4 NTC6781 RADIUS ARM BUSHING - FRONT
1 FTC4839 BACKING PLATE LEFT FRONT BRAKE DUST
1 LR017961 BACKING PLATE LEFT REAR BRAKE DUST
1 FTC4838 BACKING PLATE RIGHT FRONT BRAKE DUST
1 LR017960 BACKING PLATE RIGHT REAR BRAKE DUST
2 NRC4515 WASHER FRONT RADIUS ARM REAR BUSHIN
2 BH612321 BOLT UPPER A FRAME BUSHING REAR SUS
4 1038 WASHER 5/8 FLAT

The list uses partnos from the roverparts.com website (pretty good prices, excellent shipping!)
So far, a rough estimate runs me about 4900.00 plus taxes and shipping.

Still need to add brake line items, suspension and exhaust hanger components - not to mention anything else not directly related to the frame itself (like new exhaust headers?)

Speaking of suspension... if I'm going this route, I want to add 2" of lift.. What's the best way to do it during a frame swap? Terra Firma 2" lower shock towers and rear shock lowering kit? Or taller springs, and shocks? Radius arms? Drag links? Poly bushes? Removal of sway bar(s)?
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