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1995 RRC restoration


Snagger
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Hi everyone. I am finally in a position to start my late RRC restoration. It's a 300Tdi soft dash Vogue, manual transmission, coil sprung with a solid roof.

The rear floor is in the typical condition, and I can see the front flange of the body rear cross member is blown with rust behind the wheel arches, though I cant't see what it's like above the fuel tank. The front foot well outer corners have already been patched, but the front right inner wing needs a little work. The sills are not bad, so blasting or dipping them should clean the bottom face that has some surface rust from the road spray.

The bonnet and lower tailgate aren't in bad shape, with just a little rust on the bonnet corners and around the rear number plate lights. I'll be getting them dipped and e-coated. One door skin is a bit corroded around the rear wheel arch, and new replacements aren't available; I might have to get a second hand door. The upper tailgate is aluminium, but has a little corrosion under the powder coat on the exterior face.

The engine will be rebuilt. The transmission is very good, but I would like to stop the crunch on changing up to second if changed quickly, so typical of R380s. The axles need new stub axles and bearings. Apart from completing the installation of air conditioning and retaining the mods of heated seats and front screen (using Vogue SE parts), I intend to keep it as standard and original as possible.

Does anyone have any advice, especially regarding refurbishing the body shell?

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Last year I had the sills (inner and outer) and rear arches replace on my 92 Classic. Parts were a mix of genuine (inner sills) Paddocks (outer sills), pattern (rear arches) andYRM (sill closing panels, a panel & b panel repair sections & rear crossmember). I thought that the YRM parts were pretty good for the money but the guy doing the welding (a VW Bus man) said that they didn't line up too well on one side (Land Rover build tolerances) and that the lines in the sills didn't line up.

I didn't buy the genuine parts new (sourced from another Forum member - thanks) but if cost is not an option I would either got for genuine parts or source them all from one supplier. I can weld but hate welding thin stuff - I paid someone to weld it up which cost me about half of what I paid for it! Are you going to weld it yourself?

I have to say I think that YRM are pretty good for the money, especially as they don't have the extensive manufacturing capability of people like Britpart - for other parts that I've sourced from them I've not had any issues and I'm glad that they showed the true entrepreneurial l spirit that you find amongst a lot of the smaller Land Rover related suppliers.

If your going for the full monthly restoration I'd be tempted to have the body off and get it galvanised / dipped? You mention eCoating - I was was under the impression that this was very expensive? Personally if I was going down this route I'd buy a very cheap second hand chassis, build a rotisserie and get the body welded up once so you never have to go near it again. Lots of people seem to go for galvanised chassis but I reckon the body is probably more important.

I met the guy who own Brownchurch a few years ago - the people that make the roofracks for Land Rovers in London - he had the entire body of his 2-door hot dip galvanised and that came out ok....

Good luck with the rebuild, which ever way you decide to go.....

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I was considering galvanising, but am a little concerned about warping. I knew Phil Hinsley (Muddy Trax in Aldershot) and saw him rebuildinga 2-door which he'd galvanised the chassis and shell and didn't have too many problems.

E-coating is very costly, but gets into every nook and cranny and has 100% coverage with no concerns over distortions, puddling or poor finish (other than damage to the original steel. The trouble is that the companies who do it no longer have the big tanks, so while the dip cleaning and rust removal is still available, body shells as tall as ours won't fit the new tanks. I'll be getting the lower tail gate and bonnet e-coated, though. I might go with galv for the shell. The chassis is, as far as I'm aware, really good. I go underneath every time it's in a garage or on test, and it has been waxoiled from a young age. I don't know about the A-frame cross member and its adjoining rail areas, but I have no reason to doubt them. I'm considering just doing it in Schutz to save any possibility of distortion.

I need to sort out the front seat base cushion fabric - the driver's is stretched. I need new outer rear corners for the body, too, as the originals have rusted badly in the spot welded seam either side of the tail gate. I prefer genuine for originality, by MM-4x4's GRP versions are tempting, given how common rot is on these panels.

I was planning to use YRM for all the inner shell parts as they have a good reputation, seem fairly priced and do parts many others no longer produce, but your comments give me some concern. Was it their parts or poor alignment in the original shell that caused the problems?

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Hi Snagger,

As mentioned in the post, someone else did the welding for me (except the rear cross member), so I'd take them with a bit of a pinch of salt. For me the rear cross member was fine (also sourced for YRM) . The sills were genuine inners welded to Paddocks outers so I'm not surprised there were alignment issues. Re the YRM sill closing panels - no issues there - nice that they do sets... As for the A Panel and B Panel repair sections, I'm not sure where the issue lied.... Anyway - these parts you can't gent anywhere else unless you can find genuine (very rare....).

cheers

Darren

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Great. Thanks for that, Darren. The Paddocks sills were likely Britpart sourced, so that may speak for itself.

The outer rear wheel arches have previously been replaced and are still mint, so that's one job off the list. I also had the forward sill body mounts done recently, so that's another one down. It should all be pretty manageable, and a good friend is an excellent welder, a real artisan in fact, so I'm sure he'd be willing to do that for a little beer money. I only have an arc welder, so would blow holes in the new parts anyway!

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All the panels I used on the CSK were from YRM where available. The boot floor was a Discovery item and I had to fabricate several items due to no availability at the time. Since the rebuild there appear to be far more panels on the market and YRM have increased their range. I found the YRM panels to be good quality and also they fitted well.

I agree with Darren, taking the body off the chassis will make this a far easier task, I didn't get my body galv'd as I had heard horror stories. The YRM metal is zinc coated metal and the whole thing has a *lot* of waxoyl and seam sealer on it, so it should be OK for a few years :)

I'd be interested in seeing a rebuild thread to follow your work :)

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Thanks, Task. Red oxide, Schutz and wax were what I was leaning towards for the inner shell. The local blaster I used for steel parts on my 109 rebuild used red oxide and it has stayed perfectly intact on the bull bar, side steps and fuel tanks, wing braces and other exposed steel parts despite racking up nearly 40,000 miles in the seven years since completing it and all the stone chipping that has got past the paint over the oxide. It's not as reliable as galv for rust prevention and interior covering, but at least there won't be any warping or slumps and scum on visible areas to worry about. It's not an easy decision and I am vacillating a bit...

The rebuild will be well documented on my blog. I will have to set the site up to avoid confusion, because it is currently set up to reflect the work on my 109 - it has subsections for the various different parts of the vehicle, and another section for each of the RRC and the Lightweight (now gone). I'd want to break the RR rebuild into sections too, which suggests I need to tidy up the 109 subsections under a 109 banner.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As stated previously, its worth stripping and removing the bodyshell as you can lay it on its side which makes welding the body mount areas easier. I used new panels and replaced inner wings, floor etc and fabbed new body mounts then just used red oxide paint and black chassis paint on the shell, worked well and lasted ok. My budget didn't stretch to any fancy galvanizing or special coating but I would recommend galvanizing it if your keeping the vehicle and don't fancy any future welding.

Good luck with the project, will be following your posts with interest.

100_0556.JPG

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Thanks! That looks like a good way of getting access to everything, Dengie. Were you able to lift the shell with just two people, or is it heavier than that?

I don't think I'll get it galvanised - I have too many concerns about warping, like happened with my 109's bulkhead. I'll have the repaired shell and chassis blasted professionally and rex-oxide primed; I have used the same chap for years, and all the bits he did for the 109 like side steps, bull bar and a host of brackets have all stayed mint, even despite the road spray, stones and road salt. He must be using some good stuff and I won't have to worry about drilling vent holes. I'll inject the cavities with Dinitrol after painting.

I'm just doing some small jobs on the other vehicles first - I want to fit heated mirrors, snorkel, light guards and a dash glove box to my wife's new 90, and re-route the wiring to my 109's mirrors first as a prototyping run before I do hers. I have also just fitted the Masai rear windows to the 109 this afternoon (horrible job!). Unfortunately we have just suffered a set back - some thwack has dented the 90's front wing (I think it was done with a shopping trolley handle), damaging the front and side panels, and it's going to cost £200 to put right. That is another month's delay on the RR! :(

I have seen tailgate hinge position issues on one vehicle where the rear cross member was replaced, so I'll watch out for that one.

I am considering using the GRP rear corners for the body (MM4x4) and maybe the ABS plastic front wings to prevent corrosion problems. The ABS wings won't suffer dents, either. It's a move away from originality, but given recent events, I think it might be worth it.

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Sorry to hear about your wing Snagger, hope it doesn't cause you too much in time and money.

Were you able to lift the shell with just two people, or is it heavier than that?

I had 4 people lift the shell back onto the chassis, one on each corner and that was heavy enough as it didn't have any front on it!!

I think a straight lift off would be too much for 2 people.

Don't forget to keep us posted.

100_0625.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Hello To you all on this thread.

I am a new member and also have a RRC soft dash tdi 300 1994/5. I'm not new to welding but I am to Renge rovers. I got it three yrs ago & thought that it wasn't bad untill MoT time what a shock!

I saw an article in LRM a few months ago and it was about 'E-coating' It said that prices start at £149 and go upwards from there.

They put the parts in a acid dip that removes all the old paint rust etc and then they wash it and 'E-dip' it the results look realy good.

I have spoken to the chap at YRM and used his parts and found him very helpfull & the parts fitted with uot any probs. It's a pitty he doesn't do front floors for RRC's.

As a part time teacher I'm planing to do the inner wings one at a time over the summer hol's. So I am very intrested in how you get on.

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  • 1 month later...

This project has been getting pushed back, as is so oft the case, because life keeps getting in the way. The latest thing was the 109's gear box breaking, and then it being problematic after its first rebuild. It's 3.54 diffs are probably responsible, so they need changing to 4.71s (I've done the rear Salisbury and just need to do the front Rover diff) and I need to sort out the engine mount to clear the low 200Tdi Defender mounting from the higher Defender diff position with the axle swap as they are contacting each other under heavy braking...

But, the RRC project has just been given a huge boost for kick-off by my wife's anniversary present to me - she has paid up front for a Turner Engineering rebuild of the 300Tdi and for its head to be gas flowed! I'll be getting the original engine done, despite the double transportation, as I want to keep the car as original as possible.

So, I need to get that damned engine crane back from HSS again to put the lump out. I think I'll ask Turners if the work can be done in a single booked day, and if so, if I could watch and take photos for my blog; it can't hurt to ask and is all good publicity anyway. In which case, I' take the engine to them and bring it back too.

It was a great surprise - my wife gave me a voucher she'd printed up with the Turner logo and an exploded diagram of a Tdi with the details on it, looking like a genuine voucher, and put it inside the anniversary card. She said she'd taken pity on me looking like a kicked puppy, being so cheesed off with the 109's gear box issues and having to remove and rebuild it three times last month! This from the woman who sold her beloved Saab so we could keep the 109, then bought me the galv chassis and the bulkhead removal bar as Christmas presents (Still, she did get a Lightweight and later a 2009 Defender herself)!

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Fit an Ali floor from an earlier RRC. No more rot issues. Some folks say it won't pass an MOT as original was steel but seat belts mount to through floor to the chassis. It's what I did.

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On the RR 40th Anniversary heritage run to Gaydon (we took part as the 1995 RRC representative), I saw a beautifully restored Westminster grey Classic. He had problems trying to locate a replacement floor, so in the end he used a sheet of aluminium alloy, similar to the 3mm hardened marine grade alloy I used for my 109's floor. It'll be bolted around its edge to the Z-sections, using rivnuts in the flanges. I was planning to do that using YRM's Z-sections and their rear cross member, if needed (the sections I can see at the moment look good, except for the spot welded flange along the front, which has blown with rust). The rear faces of the rear arches, where they meed the boot sides, need patching. Overall, it's not a bad starting point.

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I was going to use PU adhesive to bond in the new Z-sections as it'll act as a sealant, rust preventer and bonding all in one, much better than spot welds or mechanical fixings. The floor is pressed downwards by loads, not up, so it'll be more than strong enough, and the rear belts are connected to the chassis through the floor, so the floor takes minimal loads in a crash. The floor sheet will be bolted in with a strip of neoprene as a gasket so that the whole floor can be removed whenever needed - it makes access to fuel tanks and the chassis much easier.

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Good plan and as you say, easy to remove. I used butyl sealant for the floor so that it seals but can be removed at a later date. Butyl doesn't bond like PU does.

I used AL Services floor cross members to add a bit of strength.

Keep an eye on how close the floor gets to the fuel tank sender pipes. Just enough clearance on mine....

Wrote most of this up in one of the links above. Hope it may be of use to you.......

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Ah, sorry for the confusion - the Z sections will be bonded to the the sides, but the floor will be bolted dry to the Z sections with neoprenes tape for sealing but not bonding!

Thanks for the tips - it's all useful.

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Hello. I have got the "z" parts and have got two Disco boot floors and I'm goint to cut and shut them together to make one. I am going to weld the "Zs" into place and bolt the floor pan down. Rivit nuts sounds got what are they?

I have asked at work (college boddy shop) and they have said the best thing to paint it with is etch primer weld through undercoat and then use stone chip as it is flexable. What do you all think? I've still got the sills, iner wings and all the other parts that go rusty to do yet.

I am going to follow your rebuild with intrest as it looks like you are going to do all that i need to do.

As for the sealer i was going to use plubmers mate which never sets, or glazing tape which is double sided foam. Both are water proof.

Regards timothy

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Rivnuts are captive nuts that are inserted into a drilled hole and then set in place in much the same way as a pop-rivet, using a tool similar to a pop-rivet gun. They're a great piece of kit and very simple. Once you have them, you'll wonder how you ever got by without...

I'll be using Galvafroid or similar to paint over the repairs, followed by a zinc rich primer, top coated with stone chip paint underneath, Lizard Skin (noise deadening) inside or Epsom green on visible parts.

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Hello, I didn't think about that, i just when out and got the disco floors. I think as my soft dash is so rusty they will last the car out.

I know my bulk head is on its way out. so as long as it lasts till that has gone I can live with it.

I get lots of people saying what a nice car it is but they don't know how much rust there is underneth!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have started in earnest today, having over the last two months rebuilt the 109's gear box and rebuilding its head, and just yesterday refitting the front prop and the 3.54 Salisbury diif..

S, this evening, the Range Rover has shed all the trim from the boot space, the stereo base unit on the right hand side, the lower tail gate and both rear wings. The rear wheel arches are in poor condition around their joints with the inner wings, and the left side has rot around the base of the C-pillat, though the pillar itself seems ok. The boot edges and wings seem pretty good, mostly rust free - there is a small hole next to the brace for the spare wheel where it meets the floor, and the wing on the other side needs a small patch where the flange welded to the arch has rotted back a few mm, but it all looks pretty reasonable.

The floor needs to come out, though it's not as bad as some you see, and the flanges need trimming off to be replaced with Z-sections. The rear cross member seems absloutely solid, it's only flaw being rust blowing the flange on the front face supporting the floor sides, limited to the areas behind the wheels. It might be possible just to clean that up and repair rather than replace the whole cross member, which would make life easier - I'll have to see once the main floor is out.

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Hello, I'm also starting the replacement rear floor and "Z" side bits. I have painted them in etch primer and the zine primer. I did think of weld through zink primer but the lads in the boddy shop at college were i work said use Etch primer, so i did.

It will all start to happen this friday !

Thoughs rear wheel arch's are also avainable from Padocks ataround £32 plus vat & postage. I'v just had a lookon their web site and they seam to do a lot of boddy parts

for RRC's

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