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Rogered Rover - Part 4 - August 2004

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In order to make as much room as possible for the fitting of the front body, I removed the fan & viscous coupling.

John & his son (David), Mac, Steve, & Dave H came round one evening & helped me to transfer the front body from one chassis to the other.

This was achieved quite easily & the body was crudely chocked in position.

body chocked

With the front panel about an inch in front of the steering box, there was ample room behind the engine & the bulkhead cleared the bell housing.

Mac also brought over a ‘90’ bulkhead that I had agreed to buy from him. (more on this later).

The next stage was to level up the chassis as accurately as possible., & then level up the body.

In order to get the body to sit level, I had to modify the inner wings, I removed as little as possible & will finalise this later.

Brackets were ground off the RR chassis to allow the series steering support brackets to be fitted, as we decided that this would be the best way to support the bulkhead & inner wings.

I then decided that the best way to mount the body would be to use a piece of box section laid on top of the chassis for the rear bulkhead, (there is room due to the approx 2 inch body lift) & pieces of box welded on top of the chassis above the original RR outriggers for the front bulkhead, these in turn being supported by short lengths of tube off the original RR body mounting points at the RR outrigger.

Nobody wanted to sell me less than 7.5 metres of box section (80 odd quid!!), but eventually I fond a firm near Bury St. Eds. That would supply me with 3 metres of second hand 80 x 80 x 3mm box for a tenner.

I then made up hard board templates for the front out riggers, as these would have to be shaped to fit on top of the existing RR out riggers & chassis.

End caps were also made to blank off the ends of the box, & I drilled & tapped these caps so that I have an access hole to squirt waxoyl in.

It was about this time that I read in LRE about one of their correspondents building a ‘90’ using second hand bits on a new galvanised chassis.

One of the bits he bought was a ‘take off bulkhead’

What’s all this, I thought, & reading on it was what it said it was, a bulkhead complete with dash, brake & clutch cylinders, instruments, heater, steering column, wiring etc.

That’s what I should have bought instead of a bare bulkhead!

I then arranged for Steve to come over & wave his metal wand around again to glue some more bits on.

steve doing magic

First thing was to weld on the 57 inch length of box on top of the chassis under the rear bulkhead, & then 4 plates were welded to this & bolted to the bulkhead.

rear bulkhead front

rear bulkhead rear

With the rear bulkhead in place, hopefully in the right position at the right height, the front out riggers were cut to shape having been marked out around the hard board templates. These were then bolted to the front bulkhead & welded to the chassis.

front bulkhead outrigger

bulkhead outrigger fitted

bulkhead outrigger fitted

Next the series steering supports were bolted to the bulkhead & welded to the chassis - they were welded rather than bolted as the body lift meant that the holes were too close to the top of the chassis to use bolts, & also 1 of the bolts would foul the exhaust. Finally, as far as the front body goes, a hefty lump of angle was welded across the chassis to support the radiator front panel.

steering supports

The next day, I removed the front panel & then removed all but about an inch of the radiator mounting box from behind it.

front panel

The piece of angle was then drilled with fixing holes in the appropriate positions & the front panel refitted.

front panel fitted

There is enough space to fit the series radiator, & although it holds about 1.5 pints less water than a V8 rad, I am told that it is adequate. Fan? I’ll worry about that later.

The next Friday saw us off to Billing, & it was not long before I had purchased a ‘take off’ bulkhead from a mid 90s defender.

The tie bars that support the rear bulkhead from the chassis were modified & fitted to the RR chassis.

I then put masking tape down the rear edge of the bulkhead, & measured at 100mm vertical increments from the back of the door post to where I had cut off the rear bulkhead.

The rear bulkhead was then removed, & with the aid of my engine hoist the rear tub was once again removed from the series chassis & positioned on the RR chassis

tub hoist

The rear tub was bolted into position & then marked out with the measurements I had taken previously from the door post to the rear of the bulkhead.

A few minutes with the angle grinder & several inches had been removed from the front of the tub.

The rear bulkhead was re-fitted, & the fit down the sides is pretty good (about 3mm gap), but some how I managed to remove too much on the floor & the gap is about 15mm. I am not too bothered about this as my plans for this part may well hide this.

Next step is to rivet the tub back together sufficiently to hold it in shape until I can finish the job properly, but that will wait until I have a rebuilt rolling chassis.


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