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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wanted a Defender and have been "looking" for a few years now. After finishing and selling my last project (55 Willy's Wagon on a 2nd Gen Toyota 4Runner frame and drivetrain) I had a little bit of $$ to play with.

After searching for a good deal on a proper candidate I found this 86 110 rust bucket across the pond...

She was a "blocker" looked good from a block away but up close not so bueno...

But, the frame was solid and she ran great. After getting her home and driving her around for several months I decided I needed to get her ready for the big move as we are moving from Phoenix to Alaska in a year and I needed to get her rustproofed and ready for colder weather.

The 2 inch gap where the windows are supposed to meet the body works great in Phoenix but I don't think it will be as nice in cold, snow and rain....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Plans...

After driving around town and attempting to drive on the Phoenix freeways with my 56 horsepower 2.5 diesel I decided she is in a desperate need for more power. I researched several options and really like the diesel. I was very close to deciding on the Mercedes OM617 but for me the LS swap was the best bang for the buck.

I plan on mating it to the 6L80 6 speed auto with Nick's adapter and will probably Line-X the entire truck black. Underbody, interior and exterior.

Phase one:

I started out the project with the time consuming and unrewarding phase of tear down/sweep up rust, take apart/sweep up rust, throw away/sweep up rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Surface Rust

While dismantling her, I did find some minor "surface rust" and figured out why the front door windows were 2-3 inches away from the body...

They were added to the scrap metal/garbage pile out back.
 

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Are you going to take apart and galvanize anything/everything or are you just going to do repairs and motor swap? Can you swap an LS into a RHD? I don't think I have seen a RHD LS yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you going to take apart and galvanize anything/everything or are you just going to do repairs and motor swap? Can you swap an LS into a RHD? I don't think I have seen a RHD LS yet.
I plan on repairing the items I can salvage. I have purchased new 2 piece front doors, floor pans, bulkhead repair panels, and rocker panel supports. I looked at buying a new bulkhead but it would cost me almost as much as I paid for the entire truck so looks like I will be putting a ton of labor hours in instead.

The LS RHD swap will work. Only issue you have is if you want AC the compressor on the 5.3 will hit the steering box. You can relocate the compressor but since I am building this truck for Alaska I think I will skip the A/C....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tear down mode continues....

Still taking this beast apart, found more areas that need rust repair (big shocker I know). Got the drivetrain out, if anyone is interested she was running great when removed. 2.5na diesel with LT77 and 1.4 LT230 all have 92,000 miles.
 

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Hi Jesse, Thanks for sharing the photos of your build. I just subscribed to this thread and look forward to updates. Curious to understand why one would not convert the 110 from RHD to LHD? Would that be too costly? Or is the LHD conversion too involved in terms of labour? Cheers.
 

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Hi Jesse, Thanks for sharing the photos of your build. I just subscribed to this thread and look forward to updates. Curious to understand why one would not convert the 110 from RHD to LHD? Would that be too costly? Or is the LHD conversion too involved in terms of labour? Cheers.
Scarcity of parts really; LHD dash pieces are big $$
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Scarcity of parts really; LHD dash pieces are big $$
Yes, exactly! It would be an easy conversion and now would be the time to do it as I have the truck down to a rolling frame, but the dash pieces are just too much $$ to justify it for me. Plus I kinda like the RHD...something different and some of the looks from other drivers are priceless.
 

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Yes, exactly! It would be an easy conversion and now would be the time to do it as I have the truck down to a rolling frame, but the dash pieces are just too much $$ to justify it for me. Plus I kinda like the RHD...something different and some of the looks from other drivers are priceless.
A fake steering wheel and a realistic looking stuff dog in the left seat and you have endless 911 calls to laugh about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Body off

Still taking this thing apart....More bolts break than come loose it seems. Got her pretty stripped down and the rear body off now. Gas tank removed, getting ready to blast the frame and see what it looks like underneath that 30 years of crust (hopefully the frame wont need too many repairs)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For all the work you are doing you should consider getting a new galvanized frame if you can afford it.
I would love to have a galvy frame and bulkhead. They are sooo pricey though with the shipping costs. This frame is getting blasted this week and we will see what remains, I may not have a choice....
 

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The last picture is a removalble part. Post blasting and repair, do have it galvanized.
 

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You may want to research getting it acid dipped instead of blasted....it is a much cleaner and better process. PLUS, after it you can really see the parts requiring repair better. And it is something that needs to be done anyway prior to galvey dip.
 
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