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Starting a project

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Budget, time schedule, actual aim in building your project car.

Space is something very much under estimated in any type of garage/workshop build, tidy mind and work ethics are a must!!!

There are three limiting factors, all of these apply to building project vehicles.




I started my D1 200Tdi rebuild with a 3500 budget to get him back on the road within 8 months, reality it turned into 18 months and almost 6500 buy the time we were on the road, currently its a 10,500+ hobby vehicle and all within 3yrs!!! Although it looks and drives much like a bog standard 200Tdi Disco, it is an expensive hobby when you add it all up!

Full on restoration, ground up rebuilds cost mega, consume endless days and it takes a lot of effort to keep motivated. Running restorations are easier going as essentially you only bite off as much as you can chew before you want to use it again, much more paletable in terms of maintaining motivation to keep it going as you should be enjoying it as well, not just getting frustrated at a pile of rusty bits of this, bits of that strewn across the garage.

Skills, do you have any? Engine rebuilds cost big bucks not for parts so much but the time involved in doing them, same with gearboxes and transfer boxes, older Defs are mostly worn out long before you bought it, budgeting a rebuilt power and drive train is a very sensible thing to do, easier when its in bits to remove and refit ;)

Axles etc are also worthy points as lots of folk want to upgrade, lockers etc are always on the want list, but a good 4 pin diff upgrade and new bearings an seals is always a worthy starting point.

Before you even buy your project, first pop into staples, get the biggest white board they have and a box of markers, write out your goals, budgets and time line, be sure to have a clear view of what vehicle you want to build, expedition, camper, off roader, general hack or concours show stopper, then write it out and go from there.

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As Nigelw said, Post #14. More money, more time, more frustration, more SWMBO aggro, and eventually more satisfaction than you could ever have imagined. Also, more admiration from your mates, or so I am told, 'cos my project is far from complete!


PS. Welcome the the B E S T forum for sound technical advice and helpful members who are very tolerant of the principle that "no question is a stupid question". We are all learning!


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I will say it is possible to do it on a budget both myself and a friend have build tomcats for around £12k (believe me that's cheap for a tomcat they normally run to £25k+). My current build is an ibex which should come in around £15k (again normally £30k+ for my wheel base). But to build "cheaply" you either sacrifice quality or it will take a vast amount of time. In my case I don't refurb parts I'll fix anything that needs it and paint them but I simply cannot afford to strip and rebuild every component. That's not to say I'm sacrificing quality but I won't have a brand new car at the end I will have something that looks new but will need regular maintenance to keep it reliable. If I had the money I would build with new or nearly new parts. As a friend once said of me "you wanted an ibex but couldn't afford one so your building one instead".


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My advise, you don't need a fancy workshop, you don't need need loads of money, you don't need lots of time but you will need plenty of enthusiasm. My last two defender chassis up builds (fairly standard spec) were done outside on the driveway during winter, cost about 3.5k each in total and took about 6 months each.

Once you completed a project you want to do another one, i completed project number 13 a few years back and am currently planning another :wacko:

Final tip, we'd like lots of pictures please :rtfm:

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