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Retroanaconda

Defender Rear 1/4 or 1/2 Chassis Replacement

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My 90 is suffering with pretty bad chassis rot and I’m contemplating options.

It’s my only vehicle and I need it on the road, so I’m looking at repairing the rear part of the chassis with a rear 1/4 or rear 1/2 repair section rather than full chassis replacement (which would no doubt be a more sensible option were I to have the time/means at the moment).

This company seems to be quite active on Facebook with good feedback, can anybody add any experience on here?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Landrover-Defender-90-tdi-rear-1-4-chassis-/282780833714

Rear 1/4 is preferable at the moment, as I’m hopeful I can repair the rot foreward of the shock mounts. A lot cheaper than a rear 1/2 if I am able to, depends on how things look underneath on detailed inspection.

Current situation on the rear crossmember - not pretty!

B84D06E2-3A4C-431E-8715-72927A54A08B.jpeg.f240687fc89790c5b09723741409b9d4.jpeg 115120D3-3C38-43FD-858E-5EFBB9604E8E.jpeg.52b3f2aa834effd25755b36596216231.jpeg

And the main chassis rail below the A-frame - equally horrible.

1133A772-6B42-4587-9BE6-B9265D12C5D8.thumb.jpeg.c7b90c2368ede83979ce83fda71bf6b9.jpeg

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I know you wont want to hear this and pretty much guess you have come to the same conclusion if you're honest?

What ever you have done the vehicle will be off the road for a couple of days at least..... 1/2 chassi i wouldn't think is an option as at some stage in the near future work will be needed on the front section?..... Possibly if needs must do the 1/4 but if it's at all possible the realistic option is to save the money and find a good solid chassi or get new. Like i said i think you know this? The only real question is do you think it is safe enough to last till you have the funds and time for a full chassi swap?

Cheers Andy 

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Better get the 110 finished pronto then, to free up workshop space so the 90 can have a well earned bit of TLC. 

 

the ebay link is only just in front of the upper spring mounts,  it doesn't include the A frame box crossmember but the 1/2 chassis does https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Landrover-Defender-90-Replacement-rear-1-2-chassis-1984-1998-RCP5/282776944040?hash=item41d6d1bda8:g:FRoAAOSwFdtXzXoF

 

for the amount of dismantling needed to do the 1/2 chassis swap the extra time spenrt IMHO a full new galv chassis would be better.

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A couple of days to do this work is fine, but I can’t afford to have it out of action for weeks while a chassis swap takes place. Yes it can be done quicker but not easily on your own. I am keeping my eyes open for any bargain chassis though, just in case.

A new chassis is the proper solution no doubt, and it will get one in time, but at the moment I don’t have the means. Safety needs to be considered because I do tow a heavy trailer now and again so whatever I do it needs to be strong enough. The front of the chassis is generally okay, few problem areas on outriggers and dumb irons which have been dealt with in the past but nothing super structural.

I could of course just buy a cheap runabout for £500 and use that until the 110 is done but that won’t help when it comes to moving things (body panels to galvanisers/painters etc, moving house potentially) - I’d have to hire a van each time rather then just using my trailer so those costs would add up.

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If the rot in the A-frame pic is representative you need to be cutting-back and replacing a good bit further-forward than the A-frame crossmember.

It's hard to weld a new 1/4- or 1/2-chassis on to rust! TBH given the time-cost - someone with a proper jig to make sure repairs are properly 'square' before and during welding will charge a pretty penny - I'd be re-chassising it.

[Nothing good's ever been written about the handling of a repaired Land-Rover whose wheelbase ends up 3/4 of an inch longer on one side than the other]

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Mmmm, just spent a while perusing Ralph’s excellent chassis swap thread, I’d forgotten about his use of barrels etc. to support the body.

I reckon I might be able to swindle some barn space and with some clever jiggery-pokery might be able to swap the chassis more or less on my own over a week or so. Would need to hire a car for that week for the inevitable trips into town for bits & bobs but that wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Thanks guys. Will see what I can find chassis wise.

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Remember second hand chassis can cause you headaches from a legality POV, even if they have never been fitted under a LR body!

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7 hours ago, Retroanaconda said:

I could of course just buy a cheap runabout for £500 and use that ...

That was my though - but to take the pressure off getting the 90 turned around in too short a time. You might perhaps even get some of your money back selling it on again after.

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The actual chassis swap part doesn't consume time, it's finding the bits you really know you should repair while its in pieces. You'll always find areas that are otherwise hidden when assembled. Then there's running new brake lines and the inevitable myriad of broken clips that follows! A good solid weekend would accomplish a chassis swap, especially as you know what you're doing. 

A trip to screwfix or toolstation for a varied selection of nuts/bolts/washers/nylocs with some other service items in stock prior to starting would be my plan.

Full chassis' aren't cheap now though, Marslands have a long lead time now. Did we ever get any update on who was going to get a Sheilder chassis??

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16 hours ago, Retroanaconda said:

I do tow a heavy trailer now and again so whatever I do it needs to be strong enough.

I have seen quite a few 1/4 chassis replacements but all of them lacked the internal reinforcements the original chassis has. In the original chassis there are angled profiles (about 25x25mm) running along the length of the lower corners to take up the forces of the lower towing attachment. The profiles curve conformal to the shape of the chassis. In replacement sections I've never seen those.

Looks like the hole in the picture is large enough to stick the camera part of your phone through so you can snap a picture from the inside and see what you've got.

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Thanks guys, I’m fairly set of swapping the chassis now if I can get one in the next few months. 

I’d like a Marslands for the reasons above but I may not have much of a choice with timescales etc. - Shielder are cheaper it seems (though unclear whether prices include VAT) but the ferry to go get it means it may be just as expensive as getting a new one from Richards.

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I’ve used a rear 1/4 chassis from the people in your 1st thread for my rebuild there’s some pics in the thread , it fitted quite well and was well made I chose the 3mm option .

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Thanks, it looks good in the photos but I fear on reflection I do need to go for a full swap if I can.

Some approximate pricing by way of comparison for chassis options, including my collection cost (diesel) or delivery as appropriate:

  • Shielder - £1,800
  • Richards - £2,150
  • Marsland - £2,500

All based on a 90” chassis to suit 200Tdi (and earlier 4-cyl) fitment. The Marsland is through a reseller (via Britpart) as they’re no longer selling to the public. Unfortunately this likely puts it out of reach financially.

The Shielder one is looking a good candidate if I can get some feedback on it, I don’t mind doing a bit of hole cleaning and tapping of threads if it saves me £300+ and a day out with the trailer. They also have a much shorter lead time.

Will make a decision in the new year once I’ve been able to speak to them all and see if there are any deals to be had.

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before you decide, have a look on eBay as there has been a few i used galv chassis listed recently, you might just bag a bargin

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Just remember that those holes are unroadworthy now, not only on MoT day.  If you get pulled by the police, they can prosecute, and if you have an accident, the structure will not protect you.  The MoT is a fairly irrelevant piece of paper in both respects.  I'd weld some patches, even if they're ugly, just to make it safe until a proper replacement can be done.

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1/4 or half chassis adds little or no value to the vehicle, further negating the advantages of them imho.

 

you have done more chassis than I have but don't forget to tighten suspect bolts, they shear off far easier than struggling to undo! Don't forget new engine and gearbox mounts!

 

will.

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