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Replacing a 110 rear crossmember.

Les Henson

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This is how to replace the rear crossmember on a 110, which also covers removal of the fuel tank and towing bracket.

As far as the welding side of it goes - the deep curve of the chassis rails makes welding the new one on very easy in comparison to a 90/series/etc. However, having to remove the fuel tank compensates for the ease of welding by the awkwardness of the 4 x nuts that hold the tank in place. They are usually very rusty and frequently round off as soon as you try to undo them. Try to plan ahead and spray all the relevant nuts/bolts with WD40 or similar a couple of times a day to give you the best chance of getting them undone. Try to make sure there is as little as possible fuel in the tank - genuine items have a drain plug anyway, but some after market ones do not.

Towing bracket angle supports first. 17mm nut/bolt that is shared by the tie down eyes.


Then one 24mm nut/bolt at the opposite end and the supports will come away.


I left the remainder of the tow bracket in place and removed it after the tank was off, this was in case I had problems undoing the remaining 24mm bolt, which can't be got at with the tank still fitted.

Exhaust tail pipe next. Two 13mm nuts where it joins the middle section. You might have to stike the join with a hammer to break the seal once the nuts are removed.


Disconnect the mounting rubber, I bend the tab up to make it easier.


The rear mounting is held in place by a single 13mm nut/bolt. Once removed - the rear section of exhaust can be removed rearwards, over the axle.


Mudflaps next, they are held to the chassis rail by a 6mm bolt into a threaded insert. On the outside they are held to the bottom lip of the rear body panel by a 6mm nut/bolt.



Now for the tank. The sender unit is on the passenger side above the chassis rail. The pipe connection is a compression fitting, and you need 2 x 14mm spanners to undo it. Keep the outer spanner still and undo the inner one. Again - use plenty of WD40 and be careful you don't break the pipe stub on the sender.


The sender wire is unplugged to the rear of the floor support. The plug will no doubt be clogged with dirt, so be careful you don't break the wires by mistake.



Tie the pipe out of the way (on the spring top mounting), and tuck the wire on the top of the tank to prevent it from catching on anything.

Filler pipe next. It should be a 6mm jubilee clip. Then the breather pipe, which was a normal hose clip on it. Bend the filler pipe upwards and it'll stay in place out of the way - wedged inside the wheel arch. Do the same with the breather pipe. Plug the filler hole in the tank with a rag to prevent dirt from getting in.



The return pipe is right on the top of the tank, so remove it after lowering the tank to the ground.

The front tank bolts are 17mm and are supposed to be captive, but the weak clips that are supposed to keep them in place are useless. You can bend the tabs out of the way quite easily and then use a 17mm 'C' spanner on the top, and a 17mm socket on the bottom. Support the bottom of the tank and remove the nuts.



Rear most nuts are 13mm and are very recessed. I always use a 1/2" socket, as it'll be a tigher fit on a nut that will be rusty and already below size.


With any luck the nuts will all have come undone and the tank is now ready to be removed. The filler neck sits over the top of the chassis rail, so the tank has to be lowered on the opposite side first. Be very careful when doing this as the fuel sender pipe stub is very close to the inside of the chassis rail (it normally scrapes down the side as you lower it). Once the sender side is clear of the chassis rail - lower the tank onto the ground - do not pull it backwards as the return pipe is still connected.


This is a dirt trap and the pipe connection is likely to be very corroded and weak. Undo it in the same way as for the sender pipe. Remove the tank from under the vehicle.

Wiring next. The trailer socket wire passes through the rear crossmember - protected by a plastic grommet. Disconnect the socket, pull the wire out and retrieve the grommet.


The main wiring loom is inside the chassis rail, there are a few methods of disconnecting the wires - I pull as much of the loom as possible out of the chassis, then strip the shielding and cut the wires (16 of them), then solder and insulate each wire afterwards and re-shield the whole lot.


The rest of the tow bar now. There are 3 x 17mm bolts on the undserside which have to removed, and then the two 24mm nuts/bolts that pass through the crossmember (top two only). The tow bracket will then come off.




Unfortunately I can't post a picture of the new crossmember as it came - I had to alter it quite a lot in order for it to fit. This is how it looks before fitting. It slides over the cut chassis rails in much the same way as they all do (as long as you have bought one with extensions).


Measure the distance from the rear face of the new crossmember to this point on it.


This is where you will be cutting the old one off. Take your time and double check the measurements and then copy them over onto the chassis. The overlap is about 100mm, but the closer the better. It's always preferable to have to cut a bit more off - rather than to have cut too much off in the first place. Use a scriber or sharp screwdriver to mark the cut line round both chassis rails. be confident that the measurements are right one more time and then cut through the chassis rails - bottom first, then the sides, and finally the top. On the drivers side - take care not to cut in too deeply or you may cut through the wiring loom.



The rear floor support brackets are going to be reused, so cut through the welds and to make sure they are no longer attached - knock them with a hammer and they will move. All that's now holding the crossmember on is the 10 x nuts/bolts that support the rear body. Remove the bolts and the crossmember will come away.




Too late to change your mind now! :lol:


The areas to be welded must be as clean as possible - wire brush in an angle grinder to remove loose rust etc, then an angle grinder to clean it fairly well, then a medium grit flap wheel to get it suitable for welding.



Clean the tabs of the new crossmember in the same way.

Slide the new crossmember over the cut ends of the chassis rails and feed the wiring loom through the new hole. (you may have to thump the rear face of it with a mallet to get it on far enough. Once in place, replace the 10 x 13mm bolts at the rear.


Find a good earth point (I cleaned a part of the anti roll bar bracket for this), check the join and then a couple of G-clamps to keep it tight.



Once you are happy that all is ok - do a seam weld on all 4 sides and along the corners where the crossmember overlaps the rails.




If you are planning on heavy recovery work/off road abuse, then a diamond-shaped plate can be added that overlaps the welds for additional strength. The rear fuel tank supports have to be taken off the old crossmember (a square plate unscrews and the rest is removed from inside the lip)and fitted on the new one - here.


That's it really - coat the chassis and crossmember with whatever you prefer and reconnect the wiring. Take the same care fitting the tank as you did removing it and don't forget to reconnect the return pipe before lifting it back in place.

While the tank is off it's worth doing a little preventative maintenance. The return pipe recess is the place most likely to rust through and leak, so take 1/2 hour to clean it and coat it with (spray underseal in this case).





A few things to remember -

The pipe connections are usually very corroded and break very easily. Be prepared to have to buy a new sender and/or return pipe assembly.

When welding the drivers side - to prevent the wiring loom from being damaged by heat - use a wire coat hanger or similar to keep the loom away from the side you are about to weld. Allow that side to cool before moving the loom away to do the next side.


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Are you going to do a feature on how to get the fuel tank back on? I've done it twice now and still haven't figured how to get the guard back without:

  • Trolley Jack
  • Crow Bar
  • Breaking Bar
  • Swearing
  • Plasters

Seems to me that once they get a taste of freedom they don't want to go back into captivity. There must be a way.....................


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