Chassis and body start to come together

It’s been a busy weekend on my Land Rover 170 project. I completed making the frames for the rear floor, and did a few final touches of welding on the bulkhead, then painted it and added soundproofing. Then we lifted the bulkhead and wings, and the rear tub, onto the body… and found I had mis-measured for the floor frames.

Front view of the bulkhead, with primer

Front view of the bulkhead, with primer

One thing that I find really annoying when working on the vehicle is having to hold a nut still on one side of something while I turn the bolt or screw on the other side of it. So, I welded some small bits of steel to the front of the bulkhead, at points where I know I’ll be putting bolts through it, and have already drilled and tapped holes in them. (I’ll be doing this, and using weldnuts, in quite a few places.)

Rear of bulkhead, with primer

Rear of bulkhead, with primer

Here’s the rear view of the same. The upper patches of primer cover where the heat of welding (from the other side) had damaged the paint. They are where I’ll put a positive distribution point and an earthing point. I’m definitely not keeping this colour scheme!

While the first the grey zinc paint, then the red primer, then the white topcoat, were drying, I turned my attention back to welding frames for the floor, and fitting them to the rear tub.

All the rear frames in place

All the rear frames in place

Here are the rear six frames for supporting the rear floor and bodywork. (There’s one more, further forward, which will support the added section of rear tub once it is made.) Unfortunately, they turn out to hold it slightly too high, so I’ll have to trim down a section at each place where it touches the chassis, and weld a new bit of plate in.

The bulkhead, with some soundproofing added

The bulkhead, with some soundproofing added

Once the paint was dry, I cut some sound-reducing material, and stuck it to the bulkhead in many small sections. (I wasn’t confident about shaping it for larger areas, as they get more complex). This done, we were ready to lift the bulkhead and wings assembly into place on the chassis, using precision miniature equipment (a tracked mini-excavator)… actually it really is very precisely manoeuvrable, and it didn’t take too much pushing by hand and with levers to get all the attachment points into the right places ready for bolting tightly.

The bulkhead, about to be lifted into place

The bulkhead, about to be lifted into place

When that was in place, we also flipped the rear tub right-way-up, and lifted it into place with the digger. The bulkhead and wings are now bolted down properly, but the rear tub fitting is a temporary test fitting (and would have been even if it had fitted perfectly — those frames will have to come off to be sent for hot-dip galvanizing).

Front and rear bodywork mounted on the chassis

Front and rear bodywork mounted on the chassis

Now, the size of the vehicle seems much more apparent than it did from just the rolling chassis.

Next, we fitted the front doors, and the rear bulkhead (that goes behind the front seats of a hard-top (van-bodied) Land Rover. The completed vehicle will have a double B-pillar, the front of it being the original one holding the door lock striker for the front doors, and the back of it (about twelve inches further back) will be the original one holding the door hinges for the second row of doors from the spare parts donor vehicle.

Another view of front and rear bodywork mounted on the chassis

Another view of front and rear bodywork mounted on the chassis

This part isn’t finished yet; the rear bulkhead is held in place by the door locks, a wedge of metal, a jack, and a piece of wire! It needs some custom-built brackets to hold it to the chassis; I’ll buy the metal for them tomorrow, and probably weld it (and perhaps fit it) on Tuesday.

The big gap is, of course, the amount by which the vehicle gets longer during this project.

Incomplete cab, and complete gearboxes

Incomplete cab, and complete gearboxes

Unfortunately, my camera didn’t focus correctly for this one, and I didn’t check it properly at the time; but here’s a view showing the cab area before the floor and seats go in.

Advertisements

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

*
*

%d bloggers like this: