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Rebuild onto a new chassis

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At the moment i have a 1990 Truck cab 90 with a Defender 200Tdi engine fitted.The bodywork is not too bad

apart from a couple of scabs on the bulkhead the chassis has had some patching up (before i got it) and now needs a

couple more patches doing (tomorrow hopefully)

I am giving serious thought to rebuilding onto a new chassis but also changing it to a V8.

Would buying a Discovery V8 to strip for parts be a good way to get what i need (as long as the engine is good)

What other parts off the Disco would be needed?

Would my LT77 gearbox be ok or would i need to change the box?

I also have a pair of 300Tdi Defender axles so would probably use these with new suspension.

Which chassis should i go for (what make)is a galvanised one worth the extra cost?

I would be changing the bulkhead for a better one(poss galvanised)

The plan would be to keep the 90 running as long as poss while getting to rolling chassis stage then transfer

the bodywork.


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having a complete donors a great idea.

Richards chassis seem to get the nod from all,although i have beard the have quiet a leadtime due to popularity some nother maker?

With the cost of a 200 tdi 90 at around 2-3K its a viable option

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I'll be going with marslands for my chassis. They were a decent amount cheaper than richards even though my order is "custom" (i'm ordering a TD5 chassis but with no engine mounts fitted).

I know they may not bore out the holes etc, but for the money saved i'll happily set to with a drill and tap set.

They've quoted me approx a month on the order due to it being a special order.

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erm, without wishing to open a can of worms, if you change the chassis thats fine (I have a Richards one - very happy with it) but if you start changing engines and gearboxes as well you are skating very close to Q plates and SVA/IVA tests etc

Just something to bear in mind...


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The rules say as long as you retain 2 major components from the donor vehicle and the chassis is new then your fine.

If you started using axles, suspension etc from the disco as well then you would risk losing the plate, but just the engine and box wont be a problem.

A link for reference: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/BuyingAndSellingAVehicle/RegisteringAVehicle/DG_10014246

Heres the grey bit though:

Lets say you fitted some later axles 6 months ago, come rebuild time, are they now classed as the "original axles"? They arent original to the vehicle, but they are "original" in terms of the rebuild as they were the ones fitted to the vehicle when you started the job...

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Heres the grey bit though:

Lets say you fitted some later axles 6 months ago, come rebuild time, are they now classed as the "original axles"? They arent original to the vehicle, but they are "original" in terms of the rebuild as they were the ones fitted to the vehicle when you started the job...

Surely Mr DVLA will smell a Rattus Norvegicus, because otherwise provided you changed each major lump in a different year, you could go from a 2l S2 88" to a coiled 100 inch 4.2 V8 auto and not have to declare any of it???

What we need on this forum is an SVA guru ... :unsure:

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The regulations mentioned above only cover the registration of a rebuilt vehicle, and its only required to register a rebuilt vehicle if your changing the chassis.

As soon as you went from your 88" leaf sprung chassis to your 100" coiler, it would need an SVA anyway, because you can only register it as rebuilt if the chassis is like for like.

Given you dont actually need to declare modifications to the axles and running gear, bar showing proof of the engine number should you change it, it seems a bit silly that you can take an old 90, fit new axles, upgrade to PAS, fit a V8 and new tranny etc all perfectly legally over a period of n years, but then a few years later when it needs a new chassis they turn round and say "no, sir!" because its not as it left the factory any more?

Components wear out and get changed all the time, and the categories are extrememly vague. For example does "Suspension" include the shocks and springs? Its highly unlikely a 25yo vehicle is running the original components there if so. What about "steering" does that include the track rod ends and swivel bearings?

I guess i'll find out when i come to register mine, as my axles are from a disco or a later 90 (no idea what exactly but its got a disk braked rear and taper bearing front), and were fitted to the truck when i baught it.

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I don't know how it would work, but from what I can gather it seems that bits wearing out and being replaced still count as being changed. Perhaps the same rules apply as does with a chassis? If they were replaced with new replacement item (ie. new springs, or a new axle) then it retains the 'points' toward the vehicle's ID, but if not then it doesn't.

For example if I went and bought a 1986 90, then put the axles, engine, gearbox, steering and suspension (springs/dampers) from a 200Tdi Disco on it then I wouldn't be able to retain the original registration. The requirement is:

In order to retain the original registration mark:

  • cars and car-derived vans must use:

The original unmodified chassis or unaltered bodyshell (i.e. body and chassis as one unit - monocoque); or a new chassis or monocoque bodyshell of the same specification as the original supported by evidence from the dealer or manufacturer (e.g. receipt).

And two other major components from the original vehicle - ie suspension (front & back); steering assembly; axles (both); transmission or engine.

So if I retained the steering and suspension elements of the 90 it would be fine and would retain it's original registration.

Then consider a few years down the line, the suspension is getting a bit tired and I still have half an old Disco lying in the garden. After fitting those parts of the Disco to the 90 I would then not be able to legally retain the original registration and I would require a Q-plate.

That's how I would interpret it, reading the rules literally.

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In reality though, how many people can actually tell the difference between a defender axle, and a discovery one, they're the same as far as i know, apart from some differing shafts, and the 3900 disco having a rubber joint on the rear.........

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Quite a few interesting comments so far.

Would i be able to use my LT77 gearbox with a Disco v8 engine?

Would i need the 90 v8 chassis or are the Disco engine mounts different?

Which v8 engine would be easiest to fit? I'm thinking 3.5 with carbs might be best.

The 90 would be getting a lift kit as well so if i can use my gearbox,a relacement standard chassis & all the bodywork

it will still have a lot of the original car left.

The car is my toy for offroad & greenlaning but would be still on road a bit.

The insipation behind this is the Mark Evans 100" hybrid.I know he used a modded Rangie chassis but

i'd like to do a 90" version.I have the series on Dvd and have watched it several times.


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Perhaps the best plan would be for you to drop into your local dvla office and ask the inspector BEFORE you start doing any work. The man who inspected my 110 after its chassis swap was very helpful, knew landys inside out, was very pleasant and took approx 10mins to check it over, word of warning though, he did check every component in detail and the corresponding serial numbers etc etc


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