Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

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Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Mon May 20, 2019 8:56 pm

I've recently realised how long I've been away from the forum, and how much I've missed being a part of it.

Now I'm a bit less hectic, I've a bit more free time to update.

However, forgive me, for I have sinned!

My Traveller is still around, awaiting a gearbox and some small jobs. But my daily hack is now a 2 1/4 diesel Landy.

It wasn't roadworthy when I got it, I'm sorting through some pictures, so posting progress pictures on here as they happened is therapeutic for my filing!

For now I'll give a brief history of it and some 'before' pics.
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A 1973 (L reg) Series 3, with quite the chequered past!
She (christened 'Miranda' by the previous owner) originally left Solihull with a 2 1/4 petrol, it has been replaced by a later 5 main bearing diesel engine, and (at the time) a Defender front end!

She had been sat up near where I work, I had seen it before, noted interest but I was never able to trace who (if anyone) owned it.

She was laid up for around 4 years (that I know of), went through the boxing day floods we had a few years back, until the land it was sat on was sold to a new owner. Eventually it transpired that Miranda was blocking part of his access, and rather than seeing her somewhere she shouldn't be (scrapyard of the sky), we went through the appropriate legal means between us, found the owner, made an offer, and as of May 2018 I could lay claim to her!

The first 24 hours saw her fire up from a jerrycan, mechanically she seemed sound, the rear prop and handbrake had been removed, the steering lock had to be taken off as the original keys were misplaced, and a list began to emerge of what I had to work with.

On the face of it, someone had looked after her.
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The chassis had been replaced with a Marsland galvanised chassis, which was a real bonus. These are a small fortune new, knowing it was reasonably sound underneath meant that it could be kept largely in one piece, nothing too major needed to be taken off, it was all in fairly good nick.

The engine ran well after some tinkering, the gearbox selected all gears, high and low box was fine, the overdrive gearbox seemed to move with ease, but nothing was certain!

But the bodywork had suffered, the front end had been cut to take the Defender type flat front, the bulkhead was rotten in various places, a lot of the doors were shot, there were no brakes, mechically it ran well enough to move around the yard, but there was no guarantee that there wouldn't be costly repairs needed to get it back on the road.

The next 7/8 months would be fairly hectic, with the Land Rover taking priority on most evenings and weekends.

I'll post chronological pictures and progress as I organise the pictures for your perusal.

PS - we did get there in the end!
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby Plin » Mon May 20, 2019 11:39 pm

:D Great to have you back with us Chesney! Look forward to seeing the progress that you made with your Land Rover.
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Wed May 22, 2019 8:23 pm

Thanks Plin.

Having established that mechanically Miranda ran well enough to run around the yard, the very first job was to get some brakes back, so freeing off the handbrake mechanism was first on the agenda. Unfortunately, while I was crawling about underneath doing so, some rust ended up in my eye which turned into two trips to hospital to get it sorted out, so a plea to all to male sure you wear goggles throughout mucky jobs and have eyewash solution close by, the alternative is more of a burden!

Moving on from that, I felt it would be good to bring the front panel back to 'series' form. The first job was to repair the bottom edge, these generally suffer from rot, being new to the game, soon after repairing this one I saw you could get a repair section that could have saved me lots of time/effort!
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 pm

I also started gathering parts, some of which were these stainless steel modular rims, to replace the simple steel rims and allow the fitment of larger tyres.
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By now, I had also decided on the project 'muse'. Long ago, my dad had a 1973 (L reg) series 3, strikingly similar to mine, with safari rear door, alpine and rear windows, diesel engine etc. The only thing that differed was the colour scheme, so it was soon set in stone that the colour would eventually be changed to Masai red with white hardtop to match.
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The end plan was to have it ready to surprise him with it when I went for my annual Xmas trip to his place in France. So I had a timescale, and an end plan. I was working exclusively on weekends and evenings, and, as it transpired, plenty of them!
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby MickEssex » Fri May 24, 2019 6:42 pm

It's good to see you back posting Jack, You are forgiven that it's not a Minor. ;) 8)
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Fri May 24, 2019 8:58 pm

Thanks Mick, nice to be back.
Even if not in a Moggy!
Though I still have 4 on the drive to tent to so not completely left the fold.

Next on the agenda was to get to the mechanical stuff, working from the ground up. So it was time to overhaul the back axle, fit new springs and bushes.

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The old springs were absolutely knackered, the rust had swollen the springs so badly that the spring clamps had been pushed completely clear from the top leaf!

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Fortunately, a friend of mine had a set of parabolic springs that were fitted to his. After he sheared a front spring, he decided on a new set of heavy duty springs, so I managed to get a rear pair of springs for a lot less than new ones!
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The axle was stripped, cleaned, painted, and bearings and seals replaced.
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With new slave cylinders and brake pipes it cleaned up pretty well!
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The axle was hung on a set of polybushes and new bolts and shackle plates.
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Sun May 26, 2019 9:07 am

Decided to tackle the rot on the passenger side of the bulkhead. Which, as a novice welder, took me by surprise, it was a bit knacked! It was so soft, the windscreen mount on one side pulled off. :shock:
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I had the pillar, these are pretty readily available and are the same as Defender ones. But nothing to go behind, to my knowledge at that time, I couldn't find and supplier who stocked any bulkhead repair panels other than the pillars and the vent repair sections. If anyone happens to be doing a Land Rover, I have since found a chap called 'the Welding Wood', he only seems to operate from Facebook, but he handmakes to order lots of obsolite panels for Series, including the bits I needed! His work is very good, well worth looking into.

Anyway, remade the inner vent section.
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There was a lot of tin to add back in, it's not seen from the outside but there is a strengthening strip of folded steel that basically caps off the inside of the bulkhead, that was rotted through.

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After that, the pillar could be clamped, set in place, then the top bulkhead repair could be lined up and welded in place.
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And that was that particular nightmare over!
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Mon May 27, 2019 6:03 pm

Next was to finish the front panel.

Having sourced a proper Series bonnet for her, as opposed to the Defender one that was fitted, it was apparent that the front panel had been sliced flat across the wings to accommodate the longer bonnet.

This was a bit of a shame, especially as I'd just repaired the bottom!

Fortunately the internet was my friend, I tripped across someone only a few miles away who was scrapping his front panel, as it had been butchered to fit a 3.9 V8 into his project. Just what I needed!
So between the two front panels I was able to make an original Series front again, which was very encouraging!
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I also sat about tidying the chassis, protecting the galv.
Very pleased with the stonechip used!
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I also took the opportunity to remove the original diesel tank and drain it. I was glad I did, as I have never seen anything like what was in it!
I'd always run it from a Jerry can to be on the safe side, it turned out to be a wise move.
The tank itself could have been reused, bit the stuff that was left in it took three hours to drain out, it was just like tar, a black goopy mess. And about 8 gallons of it as well.

Under the circumstances, a new tank is inexpensive, so a replacement tank and fuel lines were fitted.

I assume it had been run on some form of veg oil or similar before that had settled in the original tank after however many years. I stick to just Shell or BP diesel now!

The tank was given three coats of stonechip and four coats of 2k paint to protect it.

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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Thu May 30, 2019 2:11 am

Started working on the back tub.
The bodywork is pretty straight, a lot of Landy's can suffer from being used and abused off road etc, from what I understand this was only really used as a 'town' car and to pull a cattle trailer before I got it, so the panelwork is straight, the original spot welds are throughout, not filled over to get rid of warps and dents!

Having said that, the back quarter panels had suffered quite badly from corrosion on the bottom edge. So unfortunately these had to be cut (or rather 'drilled') off at the spot welds.

I found an old stock Land Rover R/H rear quarter on eBay, and used it as a template to make the left hand.
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby MickEssex » Thu May 30, 2019 7:43 am

That modification in the last couple of pics should help reduce the number of cyclists on our roads.

Looking good, great work there Jack.

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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88

Postby chesney » Thu May 30, 2019 9:38 pm

MickEssex wrote:That modification in the last couple of pics should help reduce the number of cyclists on our roads.

Also a device for making sure no one parks too close in supermarket car parks ;)
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Re: Miranda - 1973 Land Rover 88"

Postby chesney » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 pm

Next up on the agenda was the drivers pillar.
Fortunately, not nearly as knackered as the passenger side!
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