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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I figured it was time to get the build thread started for what I am calling... Project Mail truck. Actually my wife called it that and the name has kind of stuck since it is White with no side windows, currently, and it is a right hand drive out of the UK. I have had it for over a year now and finally decided to start a thread since the large projects are starting to get rolling. I will start with all the projects completely and slowly move to where I am now and what the future plans entail.
Here it is the day I brought it home.

Nothing special about it, just a little 1985 Ninety with a 2.5L NA engine with a LT77 transmission and Rover axles. I will be upgrading the drivetrain, fixing leaks, and making it as reliable as I can since I want to take it on trips to West Virginia from Maryland which is about a 4.5 hour drive. I do the vast majority of my own wrenching and have for many years but never on a Land Rover so it has been a little bit of a learning curve. More to come later.
 

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Where in Maryland? There are lots of us here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have gone through many ideas of where I am going to take the mail truck but it will definitely not be a show truck so therefore it probably won't get any fresh paint, dent removal/body panel massage maybe. The first thing I did was do something to break up all the plain white real estate. I was pretty sure at the time I would be installing side windows due to it being such a large blind spot and being RHD, so I added a sticker. Mission completed.
 

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Yeh you're on the opposite side of town from me, but you aren't too far away from Springfield VA for when the NoVa Happy hour starts back up again after the Pandemic. It's still the largest regular gathering of Rover enthusiasts in North America which is sometimes not sayin much if there's only two people that show up.
Every third Thursday at Kilroy's
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I wasn't very happy with the black steel wheels and the dry rotted tires so I started looking for something that would perk the looks up and not break the bank. Here is what I ended up with, still not happy with the wheels so I am sure that will change.


I think these are the wheels I will end up with in the end since the plain black American Racing steel wheels don't seem to exist for a Land Rover.
454589
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So the next project was too upgrade all the blinkers, fog light, license plate light to LED's which went relatively well other all the connectors were crap. I bought some waterproof ones and crimped some pins on and got them installed. I did experience the problem with voltage making the opposite side light up ever so slightly but I got that worked out. Hoping to upgrade the headlights to LED at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just about the time you have given up on finding some "D" hole black wheels a set show up on FB marketplace.....nice, $100.00 for four 16" x 8" Wheels!


I will probably blast the fronts and give a fresh coat of paint, I am pretty happy.....most likely going to put a set of Yokohama M/T tires on them in 285/75-16.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The next project started out one way and then took a hard left and turned into a larger project. The switches in the steering column seemed to work only when you turned them on and then held the lever in a certain position. That was getting pretty old so I decided to order a couple new switches which turned into ordering all new switches and a bunch of screws to replace all the missing ones. What I found was that the main turn signal assemble collar, which has a pinch bolt was broken and made of plastic. That is where most of all the slop in the switch assemble was coming from. I bought all my switches from RN and they plugged up perfectly and work just as they should. Very nice to have all the switches feeling tight and working again! It was kind of painful $$ to buy all those little screws that were missing but everything went back together really well. The most painful part of the project so far was the removal of the steering wheel since sometime in the past someone stripped the threads which are used for the puller!


Since I was waiting for parts I decided to change out the Binnacle and mount as well which was a pretty easy swap and made a nice difference. At the same time I changed out most of the bulbs for LEDs.

If you notice in the cluster on the left I had reinstalled the light cluster upside down.....oops! It became obvious when I reinstalled it when the wiring wasn't lining back up. The next project was to make all my heat controls and fan controls work again, luckily for me it just took some cable lube and PB Blaster to get things freed up and moving again. While I was there I added some aluminum lever knobs since one of mine was already missing. They function as they should now and they don't look too bad either, still need to replace some more of the rusty screws!

And the final project for this episode is to replace the steering with something better looking and slightly smaller in diameter, which I am pretty happy with.

Old


New
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Since I was on kind of a roll I decided to finally fill in the hole in the wing with a radio antenna, radio will come later. Nothing special just a collapsible one from RN and installation was easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As the project continues I did a little bit of clean up and paint on some under hood parts, not a show truck by any stretch but tired of looking at the rusty crusty parts. First was some of the radiator support part.


I cleaned up and lubed the hood latch and blasted and painted the radiator support braces which were pretty ugly. As I was finishing up that project I decided to troubleshoot the windshield washer pump now that I had all new switches in the steering column. Turns out to be a bad pump which is now on order. While I had it apart I took the windshield washer bottle bracket off and cleaned it up and painted it as well. Not a hue difference but none the less better, at the same time I replaced the bolts and nuts with new ones since the original were looking pretty bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So what really started the underhood painting was the hood lock, it seems that the lock is frozen up. And besides that I had three different keys to open all the doors and start the vehicle so I ordered up a 4 lock set from RN and have started changing out the locks. The lock was pretty corroded so I did a little cleanup on the latch and the attaching components and all is working well again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More parts to support the frame and drive train swap, just doing some fit checking.
 

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Looking good
 
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Nice looking wheels, never seen the "D" type before. Those will give it a nice stance. Yeah, it's going to be miserable changing lanes without windows in rear. Daily drive my RHD, 110 SW and it isn't a simple glance in the minimal mirror. The biggest bitch...is when you have a bunch of vehicles behind you and you want to pass the vehicle in front of you, you can "kind of" keep track of the first vehicle behind...but when some jackhole four or five cars back nails it and pulls out to pass everyone...it can really catch you off guard. The paint...l'm in the same boat. Some days...well-used suits me...and then other days...some fresh paint would make the old girl fancier.

Anyhow, keep up the good work and looking forward to following along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Appreciate the replies!

Being a new LR guy has been interesting, and learning how they do things in the UK and been a bit of an eye opener. Had a setback on my used engine I picked up so I need to regroup, but in the meantime I am going to keep prepping parts for the frame swap and doing some of the other fixes I have parts to complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Small upgrade to the heater system vents. Someone on here posted these 3d printed dash vents out of the UK, they are pretty nice and was an easy install. I had to take a Dremel to my dash as the plastic was hard and had curled up around the hole and the vents didn't fit very tight. Easy fix and install. Quality of the 3d print was very nice and heavy duty with easy and smooth rotation of the vents.....work well!



ebay ad in case you want a set for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One of the first projects I did was rebuild the front end since it had some interesting driving characteristcs, which were partially due to the crappy tires that were on it. What I thought would be a short project turned into a MUCH longer project as I decided to clean all the parts up and paint them as well as replace all bearings, bushings, and seals. Getting the right seals was a long drawn out process since there are several different ones for the front end and apparently I have an early version which seemed to be a bit less common. Once I had it apart I found pitting on the ball swivels so those had to be ordered and additional disassembly was obviously needed to install those. I know this is always a topic of discussion but I actually thought the guy at RN was jerking my chain when he was trying to sell me the ball swivel grease. I actually ask him if this was similar to blinker fluid, he chuckled. I finally got it back together, but I had installed the lower swivel pin backwards, 180 degrees out, which did not allow the disc/hub to seat properly. This took quite a bit of time for me to finally out and many people on the forum gave many suggestions of why it was doing what it was doing. In the end it was my fault, which I figured would be the case, but I learned something and all is good with the front end now....mostly. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Well, I decided it was time to start the frame swap. The differential came out pretty smooth, so now I just need to get it cleaned up, painted, refurbished with new brake lines, and all the bearings and seals replaced. Easier said than done! The differential is pretty crusty with a lot of metal pitting so I will be doing the best I can to clean it up and make it presentable.


The brake lines look like spaghetti so I am having some bent up in stainless, one less thing to deal with in the future.


I took a bunch of the parts and blasted them and shot them in primer and then gave them a good coat of paint, hopefully they will look good and have some corrosion resistance for a little while. Shock mounts cleaned up and blasted.


I took the time to clean up the rear arm assembly with new bushings, a new joint, and a good coat of paint.


Starting to get a few of the parts reinstalled on the new frame.....progress.....yeah!


I am putting everything back together with Stainless bolts from RN, it is so nice to be using bolts which are not rusty and crusty!

Hoping to have a rolling chassis in the next month or so, if the weather cooperates.
 
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