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I've recently taken my 1990 defender 90 off the road with plans to rebuild it into an overlander for touring europe and further afield.

the 90 as it currently sits in my shedIMG_20181212_164712.thumb.jpg.31847924cc085b128f943669e19b35e3.jpg

current issues are;

- knackered lt77 main shaft splines and lt230 input gear

- front prop uj broken

- all half shafts worn at drive flanges

- rusty bits....

- i want a pop up roof

These issues are being resolved by;

- got a very good R380 and Lt230 (with diff lock) out of a discovery 2 which i will replace the lt77 with

- new half shafts and drive flanges and uj

- plenty of welding

- and my biggest modification i plan to do is to build a pop up roof!! like this;454749039_2018-10-1513_47_51.jpg.fe24c7cf9650fa523666bd95a6c41992.jpg

^ this was an initial sketch i made1092289071_Screenshot2018-12-11at14_13_39.thumb.png.717b5964e31fecaefc34436d90e7d278.png1851312979_Screenshot2018-12-11at14_14_08.thumb.png.76febfd386d58b6767d544c796c24a2f.png2075952470_Screenshot2018-12-11at14_14_18.thumb.png.1355e756fdf1ecbc91366259965fad2f.png
^ Playing about on cad with and seeing how feasible it would be!
 
I discovered this thread 

 and have based my ideas on the design he used on his 110 as it looked very well thought out and not too complex!!

I welcome any thoughts people might have!!

 

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That overhang is going to be lifted by airflow up the windscreen. It'll be very bad aerodynamically.  It's also going to be a severe nuisance any time you need to do major engine work as you won't be able to fully open or remove the bonnet unless you use the aftermarket security hinges (worthwhile anyway).

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17 hours ago, WillFind said:

got a very good R380 and Lt230 (with diff lock) out of a discovery 2 which i will replace the lt77 with

You don't say what engine you currently have, but 1990 I would assume is a 200TDi, in which case that gearbox isn't going to fit. Only if you have done a TD5 conversion will it be any use to you, and even then you'll have to change the top housing for a defender one and get an adapter kit from synchro / ashcroft.

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Firstly I'd say not to get caught up in building the ultimate overlanding vehicle. My friends spent a few months driving to Ireland from Afghanistan in a 1969 VW beetle and their biggest modification was new strings on the guitar.

I'd say get your vehicle mechanically fit, just go and see where you end up. You can book the occasional airbnb or check into a hostel for laundry and a shower. Anything you actually need you can pick up en route and probably cheaper than in the UK.

I also think you wouldn't waste any time or money by putting on a roofrack with a floor and go try it out in the uk or somewhere with a tent on top. The few extra minutes every day faffing with a tent as proof of concept will be nothing compared to the time and effort of the project you propose. Lessons learned could be incorporated in the proposed build. The proper roof tents have a very good resale value and might be worth reconsidering? You'd be up und running in days instead of months of preparation.

Maybe just focus on what kit you're actually going to take with you and how you're going to live, even temporarily. For example, will you use a petrol stove and cook next to the vehicle? gas? Diesel?  Dried food and hot water or fridge and perishables? If you do the fridge thing you might want to sort out a solar panel, they're cheap enough now anyway, you don't even need to fit it, just have a stand and set it up when you need it. You might want an awning on the side and a few somethings to sit on, a table really is handy, do you store it on the drivers side outside or carry it inside? You might want some tools and a few spare filters, maybe a belt at the most in Europe. Add a few clothes, boots, any hobby equipment you might have and you're getting full.

Don't try to make your overlanding fit round the vehicle you happen to have right now, if you do get the overlanding bug you'll probably change it to something else.

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6 hours ago, daveturnbull said:

You don't say what engine you currently have, but 1990 I would assume is a 200TDi, in which case that gearbox isn't going to fit. Only if you have done a TD5 conversion will it be any use to you, and even then you'll have to change the top housing for a defender one and get an adapter kit from synchro / ashcroft.

Sorry yes its a 200tdi. I know ashcroft make a R380 to tdi conversion kit so am planning on buying that and then getting the top housing from a local breakers

 

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15 minutes ago, Jamie_grieve said:

Firstly I'd say not to get caught up in building the ultimate overlanding vehicle. My friends spent a few months driving to Ireland from Afghanistan in a 1969 VW beetle and their biggest modification was new strings on the guitar.

I'd say get your vehicle mechanically fit, just go and see where you end up. You can book the occasional airbnb or check into a hostel for laundry and a shower. Anything you actually need you can pick up en route and probably cheaper than in the UK.

Mechanically fit is my first port of call and is not too far away!!

17 minutes ago, Jamie_grieve said:

I also think you wouldn't waste any time or money by putting on a roofrack with a floor and go try it out in the uk or somewhere with a tent on top. The few extra minutes every day faffing with a tent as proof of concept will be nothing compared to the time and effort of the project you propose. Lessons learned could be incorporated in the proposed build. The proper roof tents have a very good resale value and might be worth reconsidering? You'd be up und running in days instead of months of preparation.

I probably should have mentioned that I had already built myself a fold out roof tent and have used it on trips to the west of ireland on numerous occasions and it was brilliant especally seeing as it cost less than £200 to build!! I sold it as i was offered almost twice what it cost me and the landy was going to mechanically give up at some point so i decided it was time to rebuild this winter

fullsizeoutput_26bb.thumb.jpeg.998b21ea3bf3c137cfb8a864414b7a92.jpeg

 

I also enjoy a designing and fabricating things so building the pop top will be half the fun!! I also hope to build it onto an old roof a friend has sitting in his yard so that i can still take the landy on adventures while pop top is being built!!

28 minutes ago, Jamie_grieve said:

Maybe just focus on what kit you're actually going to take with you and how you're going to live, even temporarily. For example, will you use a petrol stove and cook next to the vehicle? gas? Diesel?  Dried food and hot water or fridge and perishables? If you do the fridge thing you might want to sort out a solar panel, they're cheap enough now anyway, you don't even need to fit it, just have a stand and set it up when you need it. You might want an awning on the side and a few somethings to sit on, a table really is handy, do you store it on the drivers side outside or carry it inside? You might want some tools and a few spare filters, maybe a belt at the most in Europe. Add a few clothes, boots, any hobby equipment you might have and you're getting full.

All things ill need to think about at some point!! the 90 does fill up rather fast but i suppose we shall see how it goes :) 

Im going to try and get up a bit of the wild atlantic way in august when im off work so might have it done by then or i might be using a normal ground tent who knows!!

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3 hours ago, WillFind said:

Sorry yes its a 200tdi. I know ashcroft make a R380 to tdi conversion kit so am planning on buying that and then getting the top housing from a local breakers

 

You'll need to swap the gearbox input shaft and bellhousing too. 

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The picture with the roof tent is worth a thousand words and I fear anything I might say from here on would just be teaching you to suck eggs. Maybe having a packing checklist to go over might be of interest to some and having a contents list for your vehicle  might go some ways towards how you fit it out. For example, do you store the high lift jack on the front, back or the inside? I'm sure we could generate some entertainment from that sort of discussion and maybe something useful could come of it?

The only totally random comment I may have purely to further the discussion rather than serious intent might be that given you're going for a fairly radical plan for the roof, would you consider also losing the side panels and basing your build on a pickup instead? The side panels aren't really structural and would probably need modification anyway. You could build a demountable camper body that includes your design thus far but could be extended downwards, rearwards, sideways, etc that it unfolds into something larger than what a 90 is. Your landy is still a 'proper' one in that the windscreen folds down which could make for easier location when  hooking the camper body on. Not to mention the opportunities to cruise about in Europe in your sporty convertible. You could keep your current roof and side panels safe in storage should you wish to return the vehicle to standard and possibly the only part you might need for aesthetics might be a tailgate.

The picture I enclose is to show some really light jack legs which can also come in handy to level you up or lift you up if you're stuck on the beach. Alternatively some arrangement with a high lift could be employed. My jack legs are made from 50mm box section and were sufficient to lift my demount which weighs about a ton. for a light demount based on a 90, some really light aluminium legs would be sufficient. 

P6241719.JPG

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Hi Will - quickie because I have no access to images at the moment - but here's a solution to what Snagger was saying about windscreen. bonnet etc. Why not extend the other way - over the rear of the vehicle and keep the current line of the front windscreen. Then you'd have an overhang at back like the pen drawing you made at top. There are some other advantages to that - it can provide an overhang to shelter the back door, it can have a storage box below to keep a gas bottle in, other kit on the other side. I'm working my way through that on the 110 currently. Whats your length from top of windscreen to back end of roof? (bear in mind for sleeping because of the narrow end of the roof triangle where your feet go you lose about a a foot of length).

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Another possible option is hard sides hinged on the lower edge that fold inside and a rear that pushes up to hold them out, and in place against the top rubber seal. I mention this because the fabric sides are great but really only for summer - winter use of fabric sides in Scotland is a bit more of a penance than I'm prepared to wrestle with. I started making hard sides to put over the fabric (sliding into ally channel) but they were unwieldy on the 110 hence my current revamp idea.

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I decided on having the overhang to the front as i think it looks best, i also sail and when towing the trailer gets too close to the back to have an overhang there. I also don't plan on going overly fast anywhere so hoping the aerodynamics will affect me much. not that the 90 ever went very fast...

Security hinges are on the shopping list to allow me to solve the bonnet issue.

Id love a pickup with a removable camper body but i need to be able to seat 4 people occasionally. your yellow truck looks class!!

pic of some sound proofing from Santa getting fitted at the weekend and discovered a few wee holes in the floor that need welded up!!

20181230_144607.jpg

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Having had about everything on various roof to transport, I suggest you get a board up there and make a few test drives.

Apart from not seeing overhang trafficlights - and that could lead esp. abraod to interesting talks with people in uniforms - you could find having that serious sun visor creates unpleasant forces.

If you want to sleep upstairs, you could consider a hard shell type solution

2019-01-01 = Hardshell close up.jpg

You could make a very nice one in the size of the 90 roof. The one in the picture is our old Hard Shell that has been everywhere and uses 3 FF roof bars on a 90 for a good fit. On the 110 it sits in the Bronwchurch. Making you own is not to difficult.

Bon Courage !

 

 

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bit of an update!

managed to get a good condition lt77 for cheap (traded in my one with bad splines) so that back in with the good lt230 from the disco.

next issue was the rear diff.... it was all a bit wobbily when i got it out which would explain the noise!! I had been thinking i'd like rear disk brakes which would cost about £150 for a conversion kit and brakes. So instead of going that route i've found a early td5 rear axle off a crashed defender that my friend happy to part with for £150 so that kills two birds with one stone!! The front CV's and half shafts where also replaced (23 spline CV's AEU2522,  10-23 spline half shafts AEU2520 & AEU2521) as well as new drive flanges as all these parts where worn.

1716729494_defender90naeaxle.thumb.jpg.28b817843d34a802864e30fbe3d9e18a.jpg

The interior is now nicely sound proofed and all back together.

I had always thought the steering box had been leaking but it turns out it was just the hoses to the steering fluid reservoir where not sealing correctly so new jubilee clips fixed that.

Im also going to take the tint that is on the rear windows off as it was excessively dark, might replace it with a lighter tint at some point.

As for the pop up roof i have found somewhere local that can supply aluminium at a reasonable price but i need the defender on the road so i can collect it!!

 

The overhang out the front should be less than the overhang that comes on the roofracks that stick out over the bonnet. And as i'm rather lanky my upwards visibility is minimal anyway and i cant actually see overhanging roof racks when they're fitted so my build should be fine!! The biggest thing would likely be the aerodynamics but as i never really went any faster than 60 i doubt it'll change much!

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The front overhang will have more of an aerodynamic effect than the protruding racks because it's solid.  No problem at lower speed as any reduced aerodynamic lift would be overpowered by the weight of the unit, but at high speed it may have more effect and could reduce grip on wet roads.  I have no idea how much effect it could have, but it's just worth keeping in the back of your mind that front tyre grip could be a little compromised under those circumstances and to drive a little warily until you have gently explored the characteristics.

Some of the security hinge instructions say to hammer a ball bearing into the hex indentation in the pivot screws or fill the Torx socket with epoxy, but given the point of fitting the hinges in this case is to have those screws removable to allow bonnet removal with the new roof in place,  obviously leave the screws as they are!

Good to see the project coming along.

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Have fun with the project - is going to be interesting !

However, please consider the forces when you're doing 60 Mph. and meet a nice mocing apartmentblock called HGV that comes the other way doing 70... You could find yourself at the receiving end of 120-130MPH blows and that is a lot of forces..

 

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