Progress is progess

What can I say? Time and money have been hard to come by lately. But as you can see from this picture I have been making some progress. I finally removed the last of the exterior and was able to wrestle the bulkhead free from it's rusty confines. The motor and tranny are totally free but I'm just letting them hang for now since I don't have a place to set them down.

Once I drop the gas tank out and remove some other odds and ends I'll be sending out the frame to be sand blasted. I hope I can get that done in the next week or so.


Series I Dragster

My buddy Jerms sent this over to me today. I thought it fit this blog quite well. If you're going to restore or rebuild your landy why not blow everybody out of the water (or off the line). Yes, I know it probably looks ridiculous, but it's not about what it looks like. It's the whole idea behind it. Taking something that probably never went over 50mph in it's life, has absolutely no aerodynamic properties at all, and having the vision to make something like this just fascinates me. Anything is possible! (click the slideshow for bigger images)

[Source: Chromjuwelen via CarScoop]


Pop Top

Finally back at it again after a few weeks off. Got the top off tonight. Pretty straight forward really…remove bolts, lift up. The weather stripping glue along the top of the windshield was a bit tough.


What's behind door #5?

Still making forward progress on the landy this weekend. The only thing left inside to take out is the dashboard.

I also found this little surprise when removing the rear door. Four names spray painted underneath the trim panel. Not the best graffiti I've ever seen but still kinda fun. Mary, John, Maria, and Ian, if you happen to be reading this blog shoot me an email, I'd love to hear from you.


Somebody hand me the rust bucket

Got some more work done this weekend. I was able to get the front hood, wings, and all the doors off. It wouldn't have been so bad if the fender bolts weren't all rusted on and/or caked with undercoating. The body panels are in pretty good shape. There are some electrolysis areas on the aluminum and obviously some rust issues in the usual spots. I'm definitely going to have to do some major repairs to the bulkhead, new door pillars, new footwells, along with reworking the transmission tunnel to accommodate the new NV4500 trans.


New Doors

Here are the new doors and tops I got a few weeks back. I'm going to keep them in the boxes for now since I'll be taking the entire body off in the following weeks. I got the door tops off of eBay from these guys. They were having a sale and it was a sweet deal. There was one corner on each door that was just a tad bent, but it's nothing a delicate touch with a wrench won't fix. I'm not sure what the yellow coating is on the front doors, probably some sort of protective primer. I'm sure some of you out there could fill me in.

Here's a shot of the left middle door that I took off. I'm surprised the thing didn't just drop off while driving down the road. The other doors are just as bad (with the exception of the rear door, I think it's still usable.


The Beginning

A few years ago I bought myself this 1971 Land Rover Series III 109 on eBay from the UK. I had it shipped over (which cost more than what I paid for the vehicle) and now its been sitting in my garage for the past three years. When it first showed up it actually ran pretty decent. The exhaust was totally busted which made it louder than the neighbor's Harley at 5:00am (my 2 year old daughter affectionately called it "Daddy's noisy blue truck"). My Dad and I got that fixed and also installed a new gas tank. It was literally a rust bucket that probably leaked more gas than it burned. After that, I drove it occasionally and it ran great. I'm sure it would still run great today but I think the battery is dead and it won't hold a charge.

So now that I've provided a bit of history it's time for the reason behind this blog. I've been wanting to restore it ever since I first saw it on eBay and after doing a ton of research I couldn't really find too many complete step-by-step restorations of a Series Land Rover. So I thought I'd document as much as I could about my little project. Hopefully somebody out there will find it interesting or even helpful for their own restoration.

The plan is to do a complete frame-off restoration along with converting the stock 2.25L 4 cylinder and tranny to a Chevy Small Block V8 and a Dodge NV4500 5-speed transmission. I know, I know, I know. . . "why buy a Land Rover if you're just gonna put a Chevy engine in it?". And with todays gas prices it doesn't really make sense either. But after driving it for a while and needing to have it totally pegged just to make 45mph I decided I wanted to upgrade the drive train. So why don't I just install an overdrive you ask? That's a good question and I've thought about that quite a bit. I never really came up with a good answer other than I wanted a challenge and something that I could work on with my Dad.

So, I hope over the next several months (or years) you'll keep coming back to see my progress. Below are some pics from eBay and from the previous owner that he took before he bought it.