Defender Source Forum banner
21 - 40 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Have front chassis sanded down and painted. Cleaned up the tie downs and replaced with grade 8 bolts. Every part on this truck needs to be replaced or worked over. I really should have bought a chassis and bulkhead and started from there.

463986


I like my bumper nut mod. Installation was very fast. I think I'm going to keep the gold grade 8 bolt + black paint theme on the exterior. My swing out carrier has brass fittings. It should look alright. My sandal's reflection is in the bumper. Decided to leave it. The holes in the bumper covered very well. It's been hard to stick to my build theme and avoid ARB bolt on offroad parts. I'm keeping the OEM bumper. (My suspension will be ARB/OME and is in the music room awaiting install.)

463987


My top was held in with a total of FOUR bolts. Only 1 in front over the passenger visor. I have ~40 grade 8 nut/bolt pairs ready to go. I'm also going to go buy some thin, 1" wide weather stripping for this seam. One thing I will regret is switching to black on the inside/headliner. I didn't know white headliners and tops were so prominent on older Rovers. I ordered a black headliner which is being made in GB. So I needed to paint the perimeter of the interior roof in black and switch to black visors (or paint them). Looking back on it -- white would have been fine. I'll be unusual but can make it work. Oh well.

Today's agenda is to keep doing body work. The rear tub gets finished on Monday. I'm painting matte black, topping with padded sound deadener and covering with a cut commercial rug in "pepper" color. I also have a 1/2" rubber mat cut to 3'x4' to fit on the bottom. Will be trimmed with polished stainless steel at the door. Still need to figure out what to do about the rubber at the bottom of the door. I can't find an OEM style replacement for the piece that came off the tub floor at the door. Oh well. I have another 20 years to work on this build.

463988
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Needed a strategy to start tackling all the holes drilled in the body. Read about lead solder, bondo, etc. Decided on JB-Weld + tape. Did a test run overnight. Am pleased with the results.

To start, I take the holes down to bare metal with a grinder. Wanted a divot more than anything.

View attachment 463941


I chose q-tips as the applicator. They helped to "drag" jb-weld into the underside of the hole. I want as much coverage as possible.
View attachment 463942

Then I used tape to mash it flat and hold it in place.

View attachment 463943

Ran a palm sander over it and sprayed some primer. This will probably get another once over, but it's much better for now. I'm confident in this process to do other holes in the body.

View attachment 463944


This is much easier than I expected, So that's some good news. Maybe the first of this project.
Not to poo on your parade but that is NOT permanent at all. Looks good now but no good.
Once the aluminum oxidizes from the rear of that hole it will pop the jb weld out. Also when
the windshield frame gets hot in the sun they will expand at different rates. the JB weld usually
will just flake on the edges.

Maybe it will
take 3 years maybe 3 months. I would either filed it using a tig torch OR used SPI epoxy primer then aluminum body filler
on top of the SPI.

OR use a tig torch or map gas with a aluminum filler rod from your local welding supply house.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Not to poo on your parade but that is NOT permanent at all. Looks good now but no good.
Once the aluminum oxidizes from the rear of that hole it will pop the jb weld out. Also when
the windshield frame gets hot in the sun they will expand at different rates. the JB weld usually
will just flake on the edges.

Maybe it will
take 3 years maybe 3 months. I would either filed it using a tig torch OR used SPI epoxy primer then aluminum body filler
on top of the SPI.
I appreciate the feedback and am not openly disagreeing with you on how long this will last. However, I can't really see how this particular epoxy will handle that differently than the epoxy in the primer you suggested. In both circumstances we're talking about coating aluminum in epoxy. Aluminum filler would be preferable obviously if I wanted to get a TIG torch (currently only have MIG). You and everyone else convinced me on the engine swap. Now you have me doubting this method. I'm going to proceed and I will definitely tag you in 3 years when this stuff peels. LOL.

If you have seen my jeep, bmw, porsche or esclade builds you'll see I keep posting 5+ years later. So I will keep everyone updated!


Edit: I was curious about differences in thermal expansion for various materials I might see on my truck's body. Epoxy really isn't the best when compared to aluminum :/

Linear expansion for materials one might find in the side of their Defender (10^6m/C):


Glass6
Steel11
Silver19
Fiberglass23
Tin23
Aluminum24
Lead29
Epoxy36-65
PVC70
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
It’s all good buddy I’m not pooh-poohing it. I just don’t like JB Weld.

That SPI epoxy primer is ridiculous by the way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: soonermatt

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Headliner arrives in 5 weeks. I'll be ready for it. Inside roof painted matte black and sound deadener applied. I bought ~$400 of various sound deadener packages before the truck arrived. This stuff is great! So if someone peels away the black headliner, they'll see black paint instead of white. I guess stuff like that matters?

464026
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Not too much of an update. I've about decided what I'll be doing with the tub and rear:
  • No chairs
  • A tractor jack, fire extinguisher and covered subwoofer
  • Both butyl and foam sound deadener
  • Matte black paint top sides and bottom
  • "pepper" 4x8 rug cut to match previous rubber mat
  • 3'x4' rubber mat on main loading surface
  • stainless steel trim came with a kit
  • wiring for backup camera and subwoofer will need to be routed near the reverse light positive to the battery
Using old LandRover mat as template for $55 commercial rug. This should really be the quietest, easiest to clean and most durable solution I could come up with.

464095
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Not too much of an update. I've about decided what I'll be doing with the tub and rear:
  • No chairs
  • A tractor jack, fire extinguisher and covered subwoofer
  • Both butyl and foam sound deadener
  • Matte black paint top sides and bottom
  • "pepper" 4x8 rug cut to match previous rubber mat
  • 3'x4' rubber mat on main loading surface
  • stainless steel trim came with a kit
  • wiring for backup camera and subwoofer will need to be routed near the reverse light positive to the battery
Using old LandRover mat as template for $55 commercial rug. This should really be the quietest, easiest to clean and most durable solution I could come up with.

View attachment 464095
I found 'generic bed liner' rubber mat at Tractor Supply company - dogs love it as it doesnt bunch and they get 'traction' for the rear
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I found 'generic bed liner' rubber mat at Tractor Supply company - dogs love it as it doesnt bunch and they get 'traction' for the rear
Exactly! I bought that one too. You can see it to the left of the dog's paw in my picture. Tractor Supply and Atwoods are musts for 4x4 builds. Grade 8 bolts by the pound. Tractor paint.

For everyone else -- My PUMA hood order was canceled. I guess there's a global shortage. Might have to repair the holes in my OEM hood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Among many other things (e.g. just found an engine, found a PUMA hood in VA, mocking up the screen, camera, etc), this weekend's primary goal is to install new OME springs, OME nitro shocks, sand down and paint a lot of the rusty components and replace bushings where possible. This realistically needs new brake lines, maybe caliper rebuilt, and new rotors.

I'm going to wait on brakes all around and bushings in the rear as I believe I'll eventually get a 24 spline Disco I rear end which gives me sway bar and disc brakes. Depending on finances it might be the best time go ahead and install lockers in the rear and possibly front.

I know, I know. I said I'm trying to build a mall crawler. No one else will need to know I'll be running on a bunch ARB/OME locked stuff down there. We might tag along with my old jeep club if they'll have me. They probably will. We had some buggies and a yota build last time I was involved. I can be the first Defender.

ANYWAYS -- this suspension has likely not been touched since 1988. Bolts are breaking. I'm back at the computer to read about shock / spring removal so I don't bust out the grinder and welder and make a big mistake. (Probably going to happen regardless.)

One thing I often forget to do is measure before and after. Here is my front bumper. We can say it's sitting 21 1/8" off the ground on the old rusty springs.

464198


For my own purposes, here is the rusty mess at the start of this weekend. Bolts snapping everywhere!
464199
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
No real progress to report on the Defender. However, I did run down to Texas to pick up an engine. I found a 1981 GM 250" out of truck. The truck had new paint, a fancy oak bed and appeared to be babied. The guy showed me the truck with a built engine in it now. He reported the engine had been rebuilt a few years before it was pulled and replaced. That's perfect for me. A freshly rebuilt engine might be hosed. I'm fine with one that might still have a lot of miles left on it.

This particular engine has the integrated head, duel headers,2 barrel carb and appears to be in great shape. For $250 it came with an SM465 that I'll leave on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for $150. All this fit in the back of an Escalade. The oil that leaked out of the engine into the carpet of the Escalade was fairly clean. I think that's a good sign lol. It's time to go find an engine hoist and stand. My plan is to give this a once over with all new gaskets and paint. I'll still have to figure out the fuel, air and exhaust parts. But I'm getting much closer.

464429


Robert checked in on me right as I was pulling in with the new engine. That was very nice. Like so many who have helped me with my build, they are extremely nice. Out of all the car makes I've built, people with Defenders seem to be the most thoughtful and generous. Seriously. Art called me the other day worried about the timing/delivery of my Puma hood. Bilal offered his trailer and storage if I had trouble getting this engine secured today. I could list even more. This is honestly a great group of people.

While I was typing this, I scored a $100 engine hoist in OKC. So I guess it's back on the road in a few minutes.

Speaking of Robert -- his engine kit arrived. I need to pull the 19J and get this 250 out of my truck before I can see where everything goes -- but I trust Robert is making this swap very easy. The only real surprise (so far...) are the dual headers on this engine. I'd honestly prefer a single header that lined up just perfectly with the 19J's exhaust. That's not how life works lol.

464430
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
leak-down and compression test before installing is a good idea. Easy to fix now before installing it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: soonermatt

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Have a lot going on. Half the new (used) engine is in a lye bath right now. Waiting on caliper kits so I can't put the front wheels on yet. Have the new headliner, speakers, dome light, etc ready to go in the roof. The only finished part I can show today would be the new springs, shocks and shock towers. That's OME springs/shocks and TerraFirma shock towers. The previous towers had rust all the way through at one spot. I felt guilty putting it back on the truck.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Took the old Chevy covers off and soaked them in a lye bath to remove any grease.



Going with a basic gloss gray. I want something that will show an oil leak if I get one. (I want none)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Even if the work is bad, I'm trying to do as much of the work as possible (I realize this is an expensive project to DIY -- oh well). Paint is the only thing I'm intentionally avoiding.

Tinting the windows seems like it is going to go pretty easy. All the pieces of glass are flat. One of the YouTube builders commented that they were the only ones who could behind the strip in the side windows. I was curious if that was difficult. It wasn't really noticeable. My bathroom shower squigee was able to get under the seam just fine.



I went 20% which is what I have in my other cars. I'm not running an AC in this and it gets warm in Oklahoma. I'm going to need all the help I can get in keeping the sun out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Do you prefer integrated v non integrated head?
I really don't know enough about these engines to say one way or another. The whole decision was based on trusting Robert Davis and Hanzo111. I guess it's fewer gaskets to replace and I can't really get in there and polish anything. Not sure I would have anyways.

The most annoying thing about this engine are the dual headers. I now have to weld my own collector to combine the 2 x 2" outputs of each header into something similar to the 19J's downpipe.

It will probably be 14 gauge steel, heavy and ugly. Another thing I'm not sure about is the Rochester Varajet. I've had a dozen quadrajets over the years and felt they were really under-rated with all the Holleys and Carters out there. However, finding an air breather for its weird rectangle pattern has been hard. I've had to order a rectangular breather from Europe that was intended for an Opel (I think?) originally. Of course someone suggested I try the carb instead of going straight to fuel injection. I'm looking forward to tuning the carb (famous last words).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
I really don't know enough about these engines to say one way or another. The whole decision was based on trusting Robert Davis and Hanzo111. I guess it's fewer gaskets to replace and I can't really get in there and polish anything. Not sure I would have anyways.

The most annoying thing about this engine are the dual headers. I now have to weld my own collector to combine the 2 x 2" outputs of each header into something similar to the 19J's downpipe.

It will probably be 14 gauge steel, heavy and ugly. Another thing I'm not sure about is the Rochester Varajet. I've had a dozen quadrajets over the years and felt they were really under-rated with all the Holleys and Carters out there. However, finding an air breather for its weird rectangle pattern has been hard. I've had to order a rectangular breather from Europe that was intended for an Opel (I think?) originally. Of course someone suggested I try the carb instead of going straight to fuel injection. I'm looking forward to tuning the carb (famous last words).
It’s a mixed bag. Non integrated blows gaskets and less performance stock. Integrated updated performance with vacuum lines, etc but often cracks. I decided on non integrated because it seemed a little simpler to maintain overall and didn’t have to mess with a nest of vacuum lines.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Although I really could have waited, this project feels dead so I need to get something on here. The windows are less likely to get broken on the truck than in my music room.
I just eye balled the holes. It ended up being perfect. Right in the middle of the bar on the backside.



This goes very fast.


I'm happy with the result. My new headliner requires that I cover up those vents on the rear top. I think I can rivet some scrap aluminum from the sides in those spots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Had to come up with a solution I had not seen in others' build threads. My new headliner did not have any way to deal with the vents in the rear of the top. I'd rather have sound deadener up there.

So I took some of the old aluminum from the window holes.Cut them to an approximate size.



Slapped some gasket sealer around the perimeter and riveted them in place. It's not a perfect solution but matches all the other rivets around the rig. We'll see how it looks later. Internally it is perfectly sealed and will be covered by sound deadener. It will be hidden by the headliner too.

 
21 - 40 of 47 Posts
Top