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Considering a chassis swap


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My rear cross member is looking a bit sorry, and I managed to do some good damage to one of the chassis legs where it joins the x member (bent and a hole punched through - no idea what I hit!)

So I am considering

1) new rear x member - any recommendations in my area (Portsmouth area) as the welding needs to be v good.

2) chassis swap for a galvd unit.

In the normal way though, if I go for option 2 I can't help but feel I should get a new bulkhead and replace that at the same time, since the corners are looking manky.

I'm concerned if I go for 2 I will end up with a lot of requirements creep :)

Can you get away with doing a body lift on a truck cab? or will it be a case of stripping it all down anyway, in which case I might as well give some though to a new bulkhead.

Assuming I go for a new bulkhead, should I buy a manky bulkhead with all the parts so I can do the transfer of as much as possible before stripping the motor or should I just accept a days effort to build up the new one from all the old parts.

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but what about the wiring loom? How do i get this out of the chassis?

my basic plan is

1) remove as much extra carp as possible

- winch

- roll cage

- radios etc

2) remove axles & transplant to new chassis

3) remove engine and gbox, fit to new chassis

4) sort out some wiring

5) strip old bulkhead to new one

6) fit new bulkhead

7) transpant all the body to new chassis

I am working on/off road for this, so at what point is my new chasis a car and vice versa? Ideally I guess I could do with finding a garage or barn to work in since that will really speed things up.

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My rear cross member is looking a bit sorry, and I managed to do some good damage to one of the chassis legs where it joins the x member (bent and a hole punched through - no idea what I hit!)

So I am considering

1) new rear x member - any recommendations in my area (Portsmouth area) as the welding needs to be v good.

2) chassis swap for a galvd unit.

In the normal way though, if I go for option 2 I can't help but feel I should get a new bulkhead and replace that at the same time, since the corners are looking manky.

I'm concerned if I go for 2 I will end up with a lot of requirements creep :)

Can you get away with doing a body lift on a truck cab? or will it be a case of stripping it all down anyway, in which case I might as well give some though to a new bulkhead.

Assuming I go for a new bulkhead, should I buy a manky bulkhead with all the parts so I can do the transfer of as much as possible before stripping the motor or should I just accept a days effort to build up the new one from all the old parts.

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but what about the wiring loom? How do i get this out of the chassis?

my basic plan is

1) remove as much extra carp as possible

- winch

- roll cage

- radios etc

2) remove axles & transplant to new chassis

3) remove engine and gbox, fit to new chassis

4) sort out some wiring

5) strip old bulkhead to new one

6) fit new bulkhead

7) transpant all the body to new chassis

I am working on/off road for this, so at what point is my new chasis a car and vice versa? Ideally I guess I could do with finding a garage or barn to work in since that will really speed things up.

My mate Tim in Portchester will do the rear cross member 4u.

If you remove the cab, the rear tub can be unbolted and proped up enough to get at the cross member - basically the reverse of where i'm at with the series 3 rebuild. Dunno how your rollcage will afect this though...

Wiring loom unplugs at bulkhead and can be pulled through, but I suspect since you dunk it so often, the cores of the cables probably are already internally corroded, my one is on the 90, strip the insulation on any of the rear light cables and its black not copper coloured...

If you get a new bulkhead, get it 1st, prep and preserve it and then transfer the bits over. Thats the route I'm doing for the series. The main "hard" bit to transfer over will be the steering assy, rest is easy. Concentrate on getting a structrually sound one, if it comes with extra bits on that's a bonus. Didn't u look for one at Sodbury then?

Points 1-7 are what i've done so far, but you have to get the rear tub on 1st, then bulkhead. Then adjust bulkhead fore/aft to set door gap. Then fit front end bodywork.

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Steve,

A rear cross member replacement is not an easdy job, but not too horrendous.

The main problem is that most of the pattern units are frankly terrible - either too thin IMHO or poorly made, or in the case of the last one I fitted (a 90 cross member to a series for JW- BOTH ! - the "extensions" were 3/4 inch out of alignment we ended up "Moddifiying" it hevily - seam welded the assembly together and making our own extensions)

If you can buy a good condition rear crossmember S/H of say a write off - but NOT the poor TD5 one - make sure its genuine and use that. As you say make sure that whoever does it takes care as I have seem many welded on that are not really aligned properly (had to redo one for a mush who paid not much and for a poor job - he thought I was charging too much - Mr MOT man didn't like it one jot - and I had to charge more to cut off the dreadfull mess made of it to start again) AND as you say make sure the welding capabilities are 100%, again I have seen some really dreadfull jobs over the years. Strengthening over the joints is essential, and a simple weld runing top to bottom and side to side is NOT enough - either stagger the shape of the joint or as I often do weld dimond plates around the joined area.

The wiring is in the Drivers side rear of the chassis leg, you have to disconnect, then tape up the harness to say a coat hanger wire strenthed out and shove it up inside the chassis far enough not to get burnt when welding ! - then at the end pull the wire back out to bring the harness back through...

A chassis swop is a HUGE amount more work, and really I would say Rear C if that the only real prob with the Chassis, and ONLY do a chassi swap if the Chassi is on it last legs generally ?

HTH

Nige

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Hi Steve,

I agree with Nige about making sure that you really NEED to do the chassis swap.

It is possible to do a quick chassis swap in less than a week if you have access to several skilled helpers, many tools and an overhead lifting system to take the majority of the body off in one go.

BUT, if you have a job, a personal life and are working outside through the winter, it is likely to be a very long job! Many people with access to decent facilities still end up taking more than a year to complete a chassis swap. There are so many things that can conspire against you:

1.Weather

2.'while I've got it apart, I'll just fix this too'

3. 'OH, this bit is more worn than I thought...'

4.'I might as well paint this bit before it goes back together'

5.'Now I've painted that bit, I should really do this bit too'

6. Other things in life happen which divert time and money

7. Sometimes you see another Landrover for sale which represents better value than spending the time and money on your own restoration - often the bargain will come up after you have stripped yours!

By all means do a chassis swap, but don't forget, you can't go offroading if your offroader is 'off the road'!

I would only do a chassis swap if the main rails were really knackered over a good proportion of their length.

Regards,

Diff

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Guest diesel_jim

If you want to drool a bit, take a look and see what East Coast Rovers in the states do.....

you can spend a happy hour or two perusing their sites looking at the jobs they do, gives you some good ideas (well, it gae me some good un's anyway!) B)

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Just had my crossmember done by Chichester 4x4. A great job and great guys.

I would agree with HfH about the replacement parts, the one that Chi 4x4 got was not fantastic, but knowing them, it would have been the best available.

Not cheap, but you gets what you pay for!

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I'm sensinig I want to put a new rear x member on :)

Diff - that is *exactly* why i am concerned about doing the chassis swap, there is always a just while you are here element to it.

I am stuck for space for doing a chassis swap, my house is fine for maintence, but a big job like this would be a pain. I was gonna see if I could rent a barn or something local to do it in if I was gonna go ahead.

Simon B's swap hasa been ongoing for a year or more, but that has been with little actual time spent on it. More worryingly I have had a series 3 off the road for getting for 2 years IIRC with the engine just about to go back in...

I was thinking that a 'small' job like the x member is the way I woudl go for now - so this probably settles it.

Nige - weree suggesting trying to increase the llength of the weld, by zig zagging the new x member extension leg ends? if so I can see that being a bloody good idea, if a straight match between length of weld and swl is true

I'll see Tim on the hill and get an idea of what he would charge

thanks for replys

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