Sav­ing a Se­ries I: Part Seven

It’s the turn of the front chas­sis for more in­tri­cate fab­ri­ca­tion as the resto con­tin­ues

Land Rover Monthly - - Writer's Rovers - ALISDAIR CUSICK

144 It’s time for more in­tri­cate fab­ri­ca­tion as the front end of the chas­sis gets some at­ten­tion

The fi­nal work to com­plete on our chas­sis is on the re­main­ing, un­touched front end. So far, our time has been spent on the rear two-thirds of the car, as that typ­i­cally is the sec­tion that cor­rodes faster. At the front end of the chas­sis, ex­haust heat, en­gine oil leaks or resid­ual en­gine heat af­ter use all mean there’s less op­por­tu­nity for wa­ter to sit around, has­ten­ing cor­ro­sion. In con­trast, the cen­tre and rear parts of a chas­sis are a lit­tle more ex­posed to the el­e­ments.

To work on the front we un­bolted the front axle much as we did with the rear, then raised the chas­sis on heavy-duty axle stands, and set to work. Our hy­poth­e­sis on the chas­sis con­di­tion proved loosely cor­rect. The front end was in good shape by and large. In fact, the nearside was in such good shape that all it would need was a scrape, rub down and go over with the D/A sander, and it would be ready for paint.

The offside, in con­trast, was a lit­tle worse. Just a lit­tle, mind. The top sec­tion was fine, but the area around the bump stop was thin, so was slated for re­pair. The dumb iron was holed, so that would be re­placed. No job is straight for­ward, of course, and that dumb iron’s spring hanger also has the chas­sis num­ber on. Replacing the hanger would mean the car loses it’s identifying mark. Thank­fully, weld­ing mas­ter James Holmes has a so­lu­tion; he would trim off the orig­i­nal chas­sis num­ber sec­tion, then seam­lessly fit that onto the re­place­ment spring hanger. Hav­ing seen his abil­i­ties so far, I didn’t even ques­tion it. By now, I knew it would be just right.

Af­ter the rel­a­tively fast pace of the last job, wield­ing span­ners on the rear axle, it was a bit of a kick in the teeth to get the grind­ing kit out again and slow right down, but, needs must. For to­tal chas­sis ac­cess, the bulk­head would have to come off too, which meant also ad­dress­ing the wiring loom. Hav­ing seen the state of much of it, James sim­ply cut through it.

Tools needed – Gen­eral work­shop tools, grind­ing and sand­ing equip­ment, MIG and TIG welder, ball joint sep­a­ra­tor, paint brushes and rollers

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