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Customising a Landrover 110 Defender for Big Wide People Like Me


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I have been looking at 110's to strip down and rebuild and have found that the standard 110/90 is too narrow for me to sit in comfortably. Being 5'11'' tall and 21 stones (of pure muscle I hasten to add), it is a bit of a squeeze for me to get in. I now realize why some people drive with the drivers window down and an arm out so they can steer properly.

I have had an idea on how to rectify this by slicing a chassis up the middle and welding in wider cross members, then using standard defender side panels and wings then constructing wider central panels for the middle sections. This would make the whole vehicle wider for me and make it look a bit hummer-like. I could fabricate the central panels from fibre glass so the vehicle weight would be reduced.

Has anyone done anything like this and is it even possible?

Am I making more work for myself, given that this is a project I have planned for the winter/spring period so time isnt really an issue?

HELP?

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That sounds like one heck of a project to take on!

This would involve serious chassis surgery. I'm sure the IVA squad will be along soon, to advise you that it ain't a good idea.

I have seen similar body mods done to a LR Lightweight body many years ago. The body was fitted to a Range Rover chassis (somewhat wider that the LW). It was badged up as the 'Wideweight" IIRC.

Still a fair bit of work IMO.

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Hi,

Yes it's possible.

There were a couple of guys in Land Rover Owner a while back that did it, I think they started with a Disco though, which would be a sensible choice as you are binning sills, the bit that rusts!

The easiest route IMHO would be to open up the outriggers rather than mess too much with the central chassis and drive train. If you made it with a tilt (cabriolet) you'd only have to make the bonnet "good". You could easily* tack on some extensions to the bulkhead et al. You should be on firmer ground with the IVA police too as, if you were canny about it you might not need to touch the chassis.

As for the wheels, you might be able to get away with spacers.

I'm assuming you are only going to add 6" to the width at most (more would be huge) then this should all work. Custom windscreen though!

Just my tuppence worth.

Cheers,

Mike

*It's all relative

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Normal sized people can cope fine thanks. But I would go with removing the cubby box / centre seat and moving the drivers seat back and sideways. You could move the column to the left a bit if you don't mind a little fabrication on the dashboard, but the pedals would probably be more tricky due to the space in the footwells.

I have seen wider than standard defenders which the Australians built, basically they cut the bulkhead down the centre and added a strip, do the same to the bonnet, grill and rear door, make new floors, extend the outriggers and job done. You could even use series wings and lose the Defender plastic arches as the body could be the same width as the axles.

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Sounds like you just need a Range Rover.

Not even a normal-sized person can steer and declutch in a Defender.

I'm 6'10 and in proportion (the exact opposite of a homunculus) the defender is one of the most comfy cars I've driven, I didn't find that with a range rover.

I know from bitter experience, we are all different shapes and sizes, what works for one might not work for another...

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I wondered if this might produce some wry comments.

Its not so much my height as my width, I am pretty broad across the shoulders and sitting in a defender the other day I could drive it fine with the window down or the drivers side door open!

I have been used to driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee so I am accustomed to plenty of rattle room to slop around in. My previous Jeep had leather arm chairs at the front! Its just that it is a boring car to drive and any servicing or repairs are so flippin' costly in the UK. I have recently had to have a new starter motor and power flex wheel replaced and it would have cost over £1300 at a Jeep dealership. I did it myself for the cost of parts but that was still £600. And the fact that everything is electric means that there are loads of sensors and potentially expensive electrical things to go wrong. A defender would be more user maintainable and would be more useful for my hobbies of metal detecting on farm land and archaeology digs, not to mention getting me to clients in snow etc. Dismantling it on my drive would go a long way to annoy my neighbours too so it would be an all round bonus!

I intend getting a soft top and messing about with a hard top or tythonus roof for it, putting in a decent engine like a merc 3l deisel and kitting it out for overland trailer pulling.

After I posted this thread I started to check out other customisers and the comment about extending the outriggers and moving wings and side panels sounds more manageable. Would cutting the chassis mean the steering would have to be adapted too though, I imagine the geometry would be messed up.

Any more cpmments/advice gents?

Eric

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Hi,

Yes it's possible.

There were a couple of guys in Land Rover Owner a while back that did it, I think they started with a Disco though, which would be a sensible choice as you are binning sills, the bit that rusts!

The easiest route IMHO would be to open up the outriggers rather than mess too much with the central chassis and drive train. If you made it with a tilt (cabriolet) you'd only have to make the bonnet "good". You could easily* tack on some extensions to the bulkhead et al. You should be on firmer ground with the IVA police too as, if you were canny about it you might not need to touch the chassis.

As for the wheels, you might be able to get away with spacers.

I'm assuming you are only going to add 6" to the width at most (more would be huge) then this should all work. Custom windscreen though!

Just my tuppence worth.

Cheers,

Mike

*It's all relative

Beat me to it, is that the one where they widened the lightweight?

They widened it so you could get 3 full size recaro style bucket seats across the width.

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Beat me to it, is that the one where they widened the lightweight?

They widened it so you could get 3 full size recaro style bucket seats across the width.

That's the jobber, though I think they just made it look like a lightweight cos' you can bend light weight panels a lot more simply than pressing new defender panels.

It was a monster...

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I've seen a Defender which just had the seats moved 40mm or so closer to the centre. The steering wheel being offset slightly didn't seem to be much of a problem. It had seats fitted with arm rests on both sides - which I suspect was why it was moved. It still had a Cubby box in the middle, but is was only 6" or so wide and you had to fold up the arm rests to get inside.

Si

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It has been done to a 110 too, i remember seeing it on (i believe) the old forum or very early on on this one :unsure: , Having said that it could have been lro. They had done exactly as has been said to the panels, cut down the middle and add a bit, bigger windscreen with 3 wiper arms on and if think it had custom axles and running gear too.

I hope i saw it somewhere and haven't lost the plot.

Iceland seems to ring a bell too (no not the shop) :blink:

Mark

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A commercial version produced in Kenya apparenly 6 inches wider http://www.kvm.co.ke...&cat=133&id=146

It doesn't look any wider than normal... (going by the bulk head and land rover decal) unless it's just the chassis? Or perhaps just the roof?

Or is it just me?

I wouldn't mind one of those seats on the front for the mother in law!

The 140 with 7 doors is an interesting look on that site too! Great find!

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It doesn't look any wider than normal... (going by the bulk head and land rover decal) unless it's just the chassis? Or perhaps just the roof?

Or is it just me?

I wouldn't mind one of those seats on the front for the mother in law!

The 140 with 7 doors is an interesting look on that site too! Great find!

I'll be honest Mike I was just going by the description....

'If you are a Land Rover officiado,the widening done on this variant gives a crew cab that is 6" wider than normal.This may not seem a lot,but is the difference many people feel completely alters the driving experience when you have a study driver and passengers.it also means that you can retain the lines of the vehicle at the rear,which otherwise are often discarded to give additional room.This is built from the safari wagon kit,as it requires a special roof and front wind shield.It also requires changes to all the body mounting positions,so there are numerous changes,including widening all the crosswise components.It therefore is somewhat expensive. '

Having stared at the pictures again this morning I can't see where it's been widened ..... maybe they put the wrong pictures up! :)

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i think im right in saying that steveb on here has cut a body down the middle and made it wider on his 109, he said he managed to get a full RRC dash in it, i could be mistaken or have got the wrong end of the stick though, but i recall a story he told me about someone looking at it from the outside and decided something diddnt look right but they couldnt figure out what it was. im sure he'll be on soon to set me straight.

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How ya doing Dangerous?

Yep the 109 is 6.5" wider giving enough width and length for RRC LSE seating layout , chassis rails undisturbed , just new outriggers , then I threw the LR bulkhead away and made one from 50mm sq box and 3mm ally plate . A wider roof and bonnet and and a rear door from 40x20x3 box and 3mm ally, some glass and you're there .......more or less ;) Loads of work tbh but I like it

not sure if I'd ever do it again , probably just buy a TLC Amazon :o

Re the OP , a bulkhead removal bar changes the seating in LR's loads as do seat base runner spacers , offsetting the seat to the centre a bit and also a smaller steering wheel

cheers

Steveb

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I'll be honest Mike I was just going by the description....

'If you are a Land Rover officiado,the widening done on this variant gives a crew cab that is 6" wider than normal.This may not seem a lot,but is the difference many people feel completely alters the driving experience when you have a study driver and passengers.it also means that you can retain the lines of the vehicle at the rear,which otherwise are often discarded to give additional room.This is built from the safari wagon kit,as it requires a special roof and front wind shield.It also requires changes to all the body mounting positions,so there are numerous changes,including widening all the crosswise components.It therefore is somewhat expensive. '

Having stared at the pictures again this morning I can't see where it's been widened ..... maybe they put the wrong pictures up! :)

Or they included the blooming great side steps!

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How ya doing Dangerous?

Yep the 109 is 6.5" wider giving enough width and length for RRC LSE seating layout , chassis rails undisturbed , just new outriggers , then I threw the LR bulkhead away and made one from 50mm sq box and 3mm ally plate . A wider roof and bonnet and and a rear door from 40x20x3 box and 3mm ally, some glass and you're there .......more or less ;) Loads of work tbh but I like it

not sure if I'd ever do it again , probably just buy a TLC Amazon :o

Re the OP , a bulkhead removal bar changes the seating in LR's loads as do seat base runner spacers , offsetting the seat to the centre a bit and also a smaller steering wheel

cheers

Steveb

Now that is brilliant...

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