I couldn't wait any longer after my first encounter with Land Rovers last year.
I was addicted to this kind of cars and during my vacation in Scotland I had enough time to think it thru.
I want a V8 Auto, as the 200TDi Defender was cool but to slow for the kind of driving I have in mind.
What I want to do is go on holidays in far far away countries. And I want to go there in a decent time.
I wasn't sure if I should go with a defender or a Range Rover Classic.
Bottom line is, I'm a lazy arse and I want my little bit of comfort. So a Range Rover is the vehicle of choice.
Back from my vacation and a bit drunk on a Saturday evening I logged onto Ebay and placed a low bid on a 1990 RRC 3.9EFI with 118000 miles and I won the auction.
The seller was so keen to get it of his driveway that he delivered it the next day to my door. Quite handy as I hadn't arranged anything to collect it. The car was sorn and had no MOT, but a friend of the seller had trade plates.
Here it is:



Range Rover Classic - MJ 1990 - Vogue SE - 3.9EFI
V8 - Auto Gearbox - Westminster Grey
It looks quite nice and it drives very well, except the
suspension is a bit saggy

To do this project properly and not like with the
Defender on the workshop floor , the next gizmo
I needed was a ramp. And again a stupid low bid at
ebay and a day later a 4 post ramp was delivered.
Unfortunately the guy delivered it in one piece :-( and it
didn't fit thru the doors of the workshop. But it was
bank holiday weekend and I had three days to get it in
the workshop.
Must have been something in the air, the ramp was in
the workshop on Saturday afternoon and all 4 posts
were bolted to the floor by Sunday noon.

I can't lift it all the way up but high enough to sit under the car

The rest of the bank holiday was spend on re-arranging the workshop and remove old crap I really don't need anymore.
Unbelievable what one can collect if one has enough space ;-)

June 2nd 2007

I was ready to dive into it and start to look for all the
little jobs I will have to do.
The main work in the next weeks will be to refurbish the
body. It is rusting in most of the common places.
Sills, Rear Floor, Foot wells, Wheel arches etc.

So for now I have to source repair panels and body parts and also practice welding again ;-)

10 - june - 2007

I actually had planned to go to the LR Show in Eastnor
but a slight Hangover prevented me from going up early.
So I went to the Workshop and made the Beast naked
Don't get aroused, she's mine ;-)
24 - June - 2007    
It took quite some time to remove the complete interior.
After I could see the extend of the rot and after checking
prices for repair panels I sort of changed plans.
I will not renovate the Range Rover, I will go a step
further and convert it into a Rally Raid Car.
A bit like a Tomcat or a Bowler.

So step number one, remove the body.
But I still need to get the thing in and out the
workshop so for the next few weeks the engine
has to stay operational.
Easier to say than to do. While I was removing
the wiring harnesses and the immobilizer, the
engine decided to not start again.
So I spend quite some time to get it running
But in the end I could start chopping up the
Except for the bulkhead and the front seat
That will follow in a few weeks.

Yes it is still running ;-)
Driving a chassis like this is wired though....

The dismantling continues

The naked monster

ABS System

Free access to the gearbox wiring after the bulkhead was removed

Right injector bank wiring and leaky head gasket

Alternator wiring
Plenum Chamber

engine serial

Gearbox serial

still dripping wet ;-)

and from the right side....

more right side.......

fuel tank can be salvaged

front axle serial

Swivel, all a bit tatty but manageable

Left side

why is the engine gold ?

and why is the PAS Hammerite Green?



Engine, Gearbox and Brake Calipers remove

Engine removed

torque converter to be removed next

this bold was lose, top QC at Land Rover :-(

might be the source for strange vibrations....

the naked chassis

removed the gearbox in one piece, not the best way....
that thing is bloody heavy

nearly ready for shot blasting

I also removed all break calipers and shock absorbers


The Engine

The black death. The whole engine is full with this old gooey stuff

looks very scary, the cam shaft looks ok as far as I can see from here

the push rods and the cam followers are all covered with rust and pitting. They all have to come new...

the engine wasn't used for over two years and I sort
of expected some of the black stuff, but the amount
is quite scary. I had flushed the engine with Forte
Engine Flush prior to draining the oil and I left the
flush stuff in longer than usual.... a week instead of 20 minutes.
Looks like I will have to give it a complete overhaul





Point of no Return
Started to modify the chassis for the upcoming
Tomcat conversion. All outriggers and mounts not
used in the conversion have to go. Also the old rear
cross member and most of the overhang behind the
rear axle.
This will be replaced by pieces of straight box
section with the same dimensions as the main chassis

Cut the overhang

rear body mount before ...

... and after

Front body mounts cut off. there is still a lot of cleaning still left to do .

the cutting is not over yet. all cuts have to be cleaned up. Especially the front mounts will make some more work. They were welded straight to the mounts for the front radius arms. So careful grinding and sanding has to be done.
Also the rear chassis cuts have to be finished and fitted to the box sections.

Engine Part II
Today I took the engine apart completely to get an overview of how good or bad it actually is and to get an idea what I will have to do in the next weeks.
The black gooey stuff was a first indicator in what to expect....

Heads on.. cam out. The cam bearings carry signs of wear and will be replaced. The cam will be swapped with a brand new one with a bit more torque.

Heads off... the spot where the head gasket was blowing thru doesn't look too bad. At least the liners were not slipped.

The block looks ok, all liners have an excessive ring of carbon on the top that has to go before I can remove the pistons

More gooey stuff in the sump. This engine was not well maintained. Oil changes were not done on time.

Who put this tea strainer in there ;-)

8 Pistons, all nicely marked and lined up

The crank shows signs of wear and has to be ground to an oversize

Core plugs removed, the block looks good. Dirty but good. I tried to carefully hone the bores in order to remove the glassing in there. But it turned out that the wear is to excessive and it needs to be re bored and oversize pistons are needed :-(

The valves are looking good as do the valve seats in the heads. At least something we can reuse on this engine.

12. & 18. August 2007

I cleaned the rocker cover with a wire brush and Gunk. After that I test painted one of the covers to see how the paint turned out. This is RAL5022 and it was a left over from my KTM Rally.

It was really just a left over, as I ran out half way thru the sump :-(
The colour scheme I will go for is Blue/Orange as my KTM's. RAL2009 Orange and RAL5022 Blue.

Also cleaned the chassis of the rests of the old body mounts. Front Left

Front Right

Rear Left

Rear Right

I had to cut thru the ball joint on the A Frame to get it off.
I tried to clean the engine now for 4 times, using Gunk and other engine degreaser. Still looks shite

Last resort: ASDA Spray 'n Clean

25th & 27th August 2007

Bankholiday Weekend.
Have to be quiet this weekend. So no grinding and
drilling, hammering and swearing.
Instead I will start with the rear axle and cleaning a few
more engine parts

The hub nuts look like shite. Someone replaced the break disks without the proper tools

the small splines going in the hub are well worn out.
Will need new halfshafts and will go for the HD hubs

more gooey stuff to be cleaned. Used good old Fairy Liquid this time.

removed the stepper motor and cleaned everything with the wire brush

cleaned the plenum chamber with the wire brush too and painted it with etch primer

and gave it a lick of paint. Couldn't get hold of RAL5022 Aerosol so bought Ford Bright Blue. It is very close to RAL5022
I took the paint off with a palm sander
actually looks the job ;-)

August 30th 2007

Cut the chassis to the right size and cleaned the area
There will be a piece of straight box section welded in to extend the chassis
cleaned the areas I don't want to be shot blasted. For example the chassis number

rolled the chassis out of the workshop to give it a clean
I used ASDA's Spray 'n Clean to get the grime of the axles. Just to find out that the front axle was already a replacement axle

Next step replacing the diff pan, as the old one was rusted paper thin and was leaking axle oil
first remove the diff
cut out the old diff pan
clean the surface
attach the earth clamp
clean the weld area on the new diff pan
weld the pan in place, make sure the weld is oil tight
give it a lick of paint to prevent it from rusting
I tried orange as I was thinking about painting the
chassis in blue and the axles in orange.
But I think I will go the other way round. Chassis
orange and axles blue.
The orange chassis will make it easier to see all the
dirt after a good days out in the mud. And the Blue
axles are not so 'in your face' if you know what I
mean ;-)


September 2nd 2007

Front pulley, cleaned, primed and painted
Injector Rail, cleaned, and painted in silver
Front engine cover with oil pump

connector ring for oil cooler

Oil pressure valve, loads of scars. Need replacing
oil pump cover also heavily grooved. Have to find a replacement. The other side in the fron engine cover looks ok. Thanks to gravity.....

September 8th 2007

The guy next door of my workshop is a professional
shot blaster. Today he finally had a few minutes to blast my chassis. Not excessively, just with the coarse stuff to remove all lose rust.....
not much difference between the scrap heap and the chassis

dusty business
cough cough
oops, chassis tired ....? ;-)
primed with Jenoseal rust primer using a brush

Axles and springs removed to reach the last corners of the chassis
after the rust primer was dry, I gave it another coat etch primer with the spray gun to make sure everything is covered properly
tomorrow the 9th is the Land Rover Fest in Peterborogh. Hunting for parts ;-)

September 15th 2007

Painted the fron Axle casing with blue Rust-Oleum. The diff is ok on this Axle. The hubs and the swivel housings need TLC. But I want to put the Axle back in the chassis first.

Not 100% the right tone, a bit lighter than the RAL5022. But I think it will be ok

Put the transmission cross member back in the chassis. As it is a tight fit I used a jack to widen the chassis to not scrape of the rust primer.
the spring plates were ok. Just gave them a lick of paint too.
the first new part! New HD engine mounts. I had to widen the slits were they bolt into.
These Engine mounts are the HD versions of the Defender V8 mounts. The bolts are M12 and not M10 as on the original Range Rover ones. They are also a bit thicker.
I know I have to take them out again when I put in the engine, but hey...... the first new part got in the car..... :-)

September 16th 2007

Sunday again. No loud tools today.
Weather is good and the neighbours are in the backyard.
Painted the rear Axle, the TRailing Arms, Radius Arms today
rear axle
radius arms

trailing arms
removed the old rubber bearings out of the A Frame arms

September 22nd 2007

had to cut the old A fame link out. What a little fucker.....
also did a bit of extreme wire-brushing ;-)
guess what is before and what after....

cleaned also some other gizmos

September 23rd 2007

removed all old bushes
also removed all old track links
cleaned and painted everything.......

September 29th & 30th

more excessive wirebrushing and painting.
Put axles back in place using Deflex bushes.
The panard rod bushes are to small. ....bugger...

October 08th 2007

rolling chassis
and from the front
first parts have arrived

A Frame Ball Joint
While at it I changed the threads to metric M8

13th/14th & 20th October 2007

started to refurb the calipers, The usual rust rmoval and then gave it a coat of pain. I used Hamerite what is absolute crap. Two coats and still not equally yellow. After the paint was dry I tried to remove the brake pistons. Was easy on the rear calipers but on the front three per caliper are seized.in.
Also checked the rear diff and sealed it in place using new nuts and a paper gasket plus silicone based heat resistant sealer..
On the 20th I put in the gearbox and the rest of the engine. Next major task will be the roll cage and body mounts. I need the engine and gearbox in place for measurements.........

to be continued.............

The project is on hold for the time being.
I really have to concentrate on the House first.
New job in Switzerland forced me to move and give away this project :-(