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Defender 110, a Bedford cf and a utility truck walk into a bar...

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The material for the bellows is off to be measured and worked out the best course of action as a suitable replacement.


Personally i would like a breathable modern tent material, however the original was a pvc type with a lining on the inside ( similar to the actual lining on the GRP interior ) but it was on it's last legs.

IF, and it's a big IF, i went along the route of the original pvc for the strength of the joints to the landy roof then i would look at a lining ( originally came with ) to reduce any condensation as well as fitting a shroom vent.


The original material is crudely held in place with aluminium strips sandwiching the material between these and the roof and then screwed into the roof of the vehicle.

I will look at better ways to seal this joint as it's pretty basic, but it did work!

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Chap in my village is a Fibre Glass Engineer by trade. He's self employed. I'm only up in Somerset

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A little progress today, roof struts and repair patches to the GRP roof inside.


i did fit some gas struts but they didn’t work as planned.

Gas struts don’t lock themselves into a pre defined position either, if I did use them then i’d need to come up with a locking rod of some sort, I dropped the idea and went back to the original spring loaded arms, which after 47 years are still in good working order.


ive created a timber bracket to hold the struts and to take the bunks, I will drop it down to my steel fabricator and get him to fashion replicas out of box section.




and my my assistant for today was Millie looking her best....





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Love Millie !

Good to see progress

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How's the project going ?


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It isn't at the moment due to work but there will be some time soon to start on it again as the work project is coming to an end.


I've cleared the workshop out ( again! ) to put the Landy in at the weekend and replace the cracked windscreen.  Once that ( and fixed the non working wipers ) has been done, i shall be moving the frame and roof back inside and spending some quality evenings tinkering and moving forward with it :)


I do find dark evenings and working in the worshop with the radio on quite a satisfying way of life...


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I assume you know Dormobile are still in business making bits for these?

Why not cut it down the middle to narrow it so its the same width as the Land Rover?

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Work has a strange ahbit of getting in the way of everything else, including this build.


A rare week off ( ie turning my phone off after finishing the last contract over christmas ) has allowed me to revisit where i left off.


Firstly, the frame work that the roof sits on has been lowered so i can now open the roof whilst inside the garage.  The other bonus to this is when i'm stood on the floor in the garage inside the framework, it's the same height as when it'll be on the Landy, so i get a good perspective of what everythign will look like.


Turning my first attention to the roof itself, i needed to replace the old batons which form the rail that the bellows fix too.  For this i've used phenolic 18mm plywood ripped down to 30 mm strips.  This stuff is pretty good as it's BB rated plywood to begin with, but it now has a finished, tough as nails, waterproof face.  you can buy it as ' buffalo board ' and it's used in lorry trailers as they're base and a multitude of other things.  As long as you seal the cut edges, it's nigh on waterproof.


Top piece is the original, bottom 2 are replacements.





 After replacing the rotten batens ( mainly the one nearest the hinge which gets the least amount of air/sun etc ) it was time to fix them into place. 

Originally they were held in place with fibregalss matting and resin, and over time they have moved somewhat and come unstuck.

This time i've fixed them into position with CT1 which is an adhesive used by the Royal navy to replace rivets in battleships and to stick just about anything to anything else...( i lied about the Royal Navy! )

This stuff is good.  It can be used to stick concrete blocks to steel as part of tying it in when building a wall, it is that strong, so in my case i'm quite happy with it keeping the timbers in place, however i will be adding some more fibre glass and resin after the next part.


I will be ( tomorrow hopefully ) insualting the roof with some wadding and cutting 2 sheets of 9mm plywood ( not phenolic, just structural ) to cover the unsightly roof area.  This will give some rigidness to the entire roof and allow me to fix lightweight objects ( lights, tinsel, snowglobes etc ) to the roof without going into the actual grp roof. 


Once the plywood is fitted, i will seal around the edge again with fibreglass matting and resin and then fit the bellows, but i'll cover that a little later on.



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Reading back, i haven't mentioned that i have had a replacement material made for the bellows.


This stuff is used for boat covers, is UV reisistant, waterproof and is a maroon colour....or purple...abit like an aubergine, but it changes colour when you look at it from a different angle.


Anyway, i like it so pics tomorrow.

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No pics today as I’ve been getting the Landy ready and doing a few bits done as we’ll be collecting a Dandy trailer tent from oop north tomorrow...12 hour round trip here we come😐

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Copious amounts of insulation fixed to the roof in the wee gaps caused by the shape of the roof itself.

This is being flattened with a multitool and covered with a plastic sheet to eliminate condensation coming through onto the plywood which will be the base for the ceiling finish.

Around the window areas i will need to come up with a finish of some sort...



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A busy day today after our little jaunt of 750 miles to pick up a trailer tent for the wife on thursday ande landy behaved beautifully.


The roof has been DPM sheeted and plywood covered now so it's ready for the resin ( when it arrives ) to seal the edges and finish that little job off.


Today i concentrated on the material, mainly fitting the press studs which allow the inner framework to attach to the material.

It's a simple process and i've been assured it's waterproof as the hole created is sealed up when you combine both parts with the die and whack with a hammer.  I've fitted a small thin leather disc on the back to help








After these were fitted to the front elevation, i clipped them in and this is where the fun begins!



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The roof is obviously not built for a Landy, it was built for a Bedford van, so it's too long, too wide and an odd shape for the roof of the landy.

To get it to open and close correctly means adjusting everything more than once.

Firstly i took the measurements of the original spring arm which allows the roof to raise and lower from the bedford and transferred that to the landy.  This was a starting point from which i could begin to move things around to get everything to open and close correctly.

Fitting the material allows me to work out how high the spring arms need to be and also how far along the brace they are to be positioned.  The roof slopes backwards to the rear of the landy which means the 2 arms are different heights when open and this means they are at different angles too.

Fitting the material shows the height at which the arms can be at their maximum, hence fitting it at this stage so i could work this out.

I fitted it temporarily inside with wooden fillets screwed through the material and into the timber brace around the wood.

In place it looks like this;



On the sides, you can see the chalk lines which represent where the original pvc covers were attached to the bedford roof.



Now to get the exact height of the arms, i need to fit the base of the material to the roof and here is where it gets a little more complicated, but this time it's because my brain is working at new ideas and isn't content with the norm

Before i get to the that part, let's keep on track.

The material was held down with aluminium strips, a little rudimentary to say the least, but it worked with the pvc covers originally fitted.

Digging out the old strips ( i kept them ) they were a little on the, shall we say, bent side?



So they needed a little persuasion to get straight again.

a straight piece of wood to screw to, a hammer and another piece as a buffer so as not to damage the alumium too much and away i went.  I screwed it onto the stright edge and persuaded it with the hammer to straightened them out


and thus ended up with a straight piece;




All good there.  


These are supposed to be fitted like this to the material ( ignore the lower one, that's being stored in the guttering for a minute )




Back in the 70's, this was considered a good idea and with pvc i can see the attraction to the manufacturer of said roof, but in this day and age, it's not going to cut it.


So i need to come up with a better idea and to start with, i'm going to create a drip edge by attaching a piece of phenolic ply to the roof and then fix the aluminuim strips to the inside of the bellows thus removing all traces of a join or an area where the material is sandwiched and can gather water on the outside


i didn't take a picture of this, but will do in the future when i begin to do it.


The bunk also had to be temporarily fitted so i have an idea if the bellows, spring arm or anything else will foul it or it will foul them



It doesn't at this stage, however i may fit it on the other side...depends where i put the cooker/sink eventually.


If you're still here, then you may remember me mentioning my brain going off on one, and here is the idea. 


I like the dormobile design, it's alot bigger inside than any other pop up design as it gives full head height from behind the front seats to the rear door with no obstruction. This is great fro manouvering inside and sleeping arrangments are easier too.


I like the idea of this;



Ignoring the clamp!  That's just to highlight the idea. 


I want to be able to lift up the bellows so we can provide a view out of the side on nice sunny days. 


When i was looking at the way to fit the material to the roof it came to me that after it was secured to the roof with my drip edge technique, then if i were to fit a strong waterproof zip at this point (finger pointing in direction )



all the way around, i could technically, on a nice sunny day, unzip it and lift the material out of the way, thus creating a convertable, pop up roof!


How rock n roll is that!


Now to google tent zips.............


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After a few hours plunging into the depths of google and its wealth of information regarding waterproof zips, I’ve put that idea to one side.

Waterproof zips are expensive.  Also they come in off the shelf sizes up to 1100mm which is standard for dry suits (larger sizes ) which isn’t viable for what I want.


the alternative is to use a cheaper water resistant zip and have a storm flap sewed onto the material with a Velcro strip keeping it closed.  This is viable but I’m not into making more stitching to the material at this juncture.


I’ve come up with an alternative though, which puts the drip edge and the ability to fold the material up out of the way all into one idea.


I’ll do a mock up later and show the result 👍

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The idea has worked to a degree, it will need some bits ironing out, but all good 👍


I have created a timber frame around the opening of the roof and another sub frame which attaches to the material. 


When closed it will incorporate twist and lock latches and rubber seals to keep the elements at bay


here is a cross section i made up of some timber to show how the 2 seperate parts are;







 For the drip edge i found some electrical conduit cut with a quarter section out and fitted to the outer edge allows the material to be ' cushioned ' at this point and gives the material the drip edge it requries.



 I haven't got any more pictures other than this one which shows how the entire material sits off the roof now when it's shut.




The material isn't tight at all, in fact it's just tucked under at this point.


I'll get some more pictures up as i go along to give a better idea


Please note, the timbers used so far are mock ups and not the actual finished article ;)


With regards to latch's, i came up with these;



 I was going to use recessed draw latch's, but as it's going to be in a Landy, vibration could be a problem.  With these ones, there is no chance of it ' popping '  open.


I found a neoprene seal which is about the right width and thickness...compressed it'll be about 3-4mm.




 Tomorrow i'll shift the whole hinge section for the bellows up and forward slightly as well as trim the timber near the hinge side to stop fouling.


It'll be time soon to break out a welder...once i've figured out how to use it ;)

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Why is it when you're on a roll, something turns up and you end up doign soemthign completely differetn?


Finally managed to clear the workshop and get rid of 2 trips to the tip's worth of stuff, but in the meantime i did manage to resin the edges of the internal timbers and get the internal grp all sprayed up.


Next on the list is to re spray the entire roof in Buckingham Blue, the same as the truck itself.

I'm ordering some paint from Ebay ( https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RANGE-ROVER-BUCKINGHAM-BLUE-796-2K-SOLVENT-BASECOAT-CAR-PAINT-MIX-READY-FOR-USE/303252110700?hash=item469b3bfd6c:m:m1Yp1JwaQ_SJkfStkyyzcwg )  which look sok for what i want.

I've nto done this sort of thing before so it'll be a learning curve.  I'll keep you posted with some pics as i go along ;)

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Progres !!

Good Progress.

Well Done.

I haven't touched that roofpanel yet as work and the Red Hybrid get in the way.

However, it WIL be finished before September.

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