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  1. I'm not sure if this post should go in this section or the members vehicles? It's my first post so be gentle!! That said, I see a few names I recognise from elsewhere so I don't feel like too much of a stranger. I have many off road projects but this one's kinda relevant to this forum. I got an old Landrover in 1990, a 1983 stage one. I'd done two fairly comprehensive 88" rebuilds by then and figured It was time for a long wheelbase experience. I got it home (on a trailer pulled by a 2 1/4 petrol 88"!!), took the tub off it and was dismayed at the rust on it for a seven year old motor. It had been used as a caravan park tug and I reckon it must have had salt in the back judging by the holes in it. Oh, well, took the restrictors out it, took the doors off and saw how fast it went with no body on it. I was impressed!! I was also young and stupid. I decided I hated long wheelbase land rovers and dumped it in the woods to rust as much as it liked. I dragged it back out the woods a few years later and made a rear chassis for it using a standard 88" rear prop to give a 90.6" wheelbase between the LT95 and the Salisbury diff. It put the rear wheel in the middle of the wheelarch on an 88" tub where it should be and scratched an itch for me ever since I'd had land rovers. I ran it like this for 15 years or so. It grew an overdrive and Firestone SAT's (remember them..?) then it got a 3.9 after the lumps wore off the camshaft on the 3.5. I used the front cover and carbs off the 3.5 and was surprised again at how well it went. I discovered 900 x 16 Petlas one winter and never looked back. It could sit at 80mph on the motorway with the overdrive in as I found out going to the vets one day. The overdrive got sacked in favour of a Fairey PTO winch with the lever shifted to the front and a new fabricated front section of chassis. The new back and front met in the middle by cutting the bottom off the old chassis and stuffing lots of box section in there. I kept bending 'normal' Land Rover chassis doing jumps and pulling them with dumpers and diggers so I really wanted to make one that would last. It's incredible that a standard chassis is only 2.1mm thick / 14swg. I've since worked on the heavy duty Wolf chassis which are still the same but reinforced. It grew a set of 3" angle iron 'rock sliders' and some heavy duty outriggers at some time before we knew to call them that. I'd sussed out that a high lift jack was my best friend and in the years since never went shopping without it rattling around in the back held on by two spare wheel clamps on the rear tub bulkhead, It grew Santana PS 10 axles (which don't just bolt on contrary to popular opinion) with the disc brakes and wider track the last time it went into the shed and also got treated to a GMC 6.2 litre V8 diesel engine on an LT95 from a 101. It's still the strongest gearbox Land Rover ever made and regardless about the measly torque those V8's make on paper it pulls like a train and got me up a hill climb I'd been trying for years with the petrol V8's. I actually got the engine and 'box to put in my Volvo C304 6x6 but thought the Land Rover was a better test bed before I cut up my nice Volvo for it. Another useful modification I made at the start was to put the petrol tank across the chassis above the rear prop where with a bit of body chopping it sits perfectly and can be made to fit the standard filler point and I could still have my batteries and storage under the seats and not worry about grounding the tank out every time I went shopping. The old bulkhead was pretty shot by this time so I made one by mistake after getting carried away with my new plasma cutter on the old one and some handy sheets of chequer plate I was going to make a pickup bed for the Volvo with. The first time I put the engine in I used the original engine and gearbox mounts which was handy but I felt the engine would be better further back and lower down to get a little bit of it's weight further back and lower. Between the engine being lower than standard and the wider track it's actually very stable off road. I also got a bit inspired by 'teamidris' amongst others to make space for a hydraulic drive off the end of the crank to power winches and other ridiculous ideas. Moving it all back meant the poor chassis got the chop again to allow a by now wide angle heavy duty but standard length propshaft to fit. The wheelbase is now 8" longer at 98.6". The poor old thing was starting to look a bit used as well as the years rolled on and during the last refit also gained some pipework as is the current trend amongst all Land Rover fashion victims like myself. Used to be when it fell over you just put a new roof on it, kicked the wings back into shape and got on with it but alas now after all the EU shenanigans and maybe Y2K or ISO 9001 now we have to put metal bars all over the place to fall over in this health and safety world we live in. So metal bars it was but I'm quite wee, only 5'8" and as the suspension and tyres grew I didnt. Putting the engine lower meant I was starting to struggle to reach anything over the wings and being the younger side of geriatric knew my eyesight would soon be failing so figured getting in close would be the plan so I decided to have a flippy front. I know a lot of the challenge lads like to have the front wheels right out front but that can bury you too and I reckon a flat bumper a bit narrower than the track lets you turn into obstacles as you like but in the serious stuff stops the wheels getting caught up in trees and fences and stuff. It also lets you push things easier and gives me something to put the hinges on and saves me cutting up a perfectly good bumper. The hinges are made from old Santana spring shackles cut at a funky angle, polybush type spring bushes and bits of scaffold tube. The bumper is 6mm high tensile box section from a log bolster on a truck and it slides into 10mm plates on the chassis and is a removable thing with the winch to let the PTO power anything else that might go in there instead. The other end has shaped plugs which slot into the same thing on the front roll hoop and lock with a couple of bolts. The bonnet has to be lifted off to flip the front. The suspension is 8+2 Station wagon springs, both drivers side with 5 leaves removed and 11 leaf diesel drivers sides with 4 leafs removed. The shocks have different geometry as do the hangers to make it all work and one ton shackles. It steers and stops as good as a coiler and as you can see has way better articulation than a standard coiler with the added advantage that the steering is so much less vulnerable. I'm not saying it's better, just different and allows it to drag itself through tree stumps, logs and holes easier without the front wheels pointing different ways and run into things much harder with less damage than a coiler. This is about where it's been for the last three years when I've been in Afghanistan plotting new ways to make noise and mess with it. I think I want the engine and box back for the Volvo so do I put a Cummins 6BT in? LSx? Do I get a galvanised chassis and make a nice road legal motor out of it? It will never ever be competitive in any competition in the UK any more so do I just forget it and move onto building something completely different? The front and rear hoops are not joined as I'm not convinced I want to finish the cage yet if it morphs into something else. Just to throw a spanner in the works I've got 3 spare TRM 2000 portal axles laying around, a Praga V3s winch coming soon, a pile of 16.00 x 20 tyres and the summer off. I'm also recovering from spinal surgery I got last week so there's gonna be a bit of vapour building going on first. Suggestins please!
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