Little progress this weekend

Yesterday, we started to try to fix the mistakes I’d made in making the support frames for the rear floor, and after a while decided that the best thing was to replace most of them with new ones — a bit of a setback, but it’s silly to build a part that is (and looks!) heavily patched, into a position where it’s really hard to replace it later. (If everything is as planned, those parts should be undisturbed for several times the lifetime of an ordinary car or “disposable” as non-Land-Rovers are sometimes called.)

As the metal shop was closed for the weekend by then, I got on with work on the front seatbox instead, and continued that today, bolting it together, reinforcing it, and adding the seat frames (one more still to go in). I also sanded and repainted the front floor frames, and I left them drying as I finished for the day. Nothing particularly photogenic, so no photos for this entry.

Most of the rest of the steelwork is now done, and I got measurements for most of the remaining aluminium panels (mostly treadplate), so I can get those cut this week.

The stage I’m really looking forward to, as the point from which progress should speed up, is removing all the added pieces of steelwork and sending them off for hot-dip galvanizing. There’ll be a slow bit just after they come back, as I’ll paint them with etch primer and then with enamel, so there’ll be no steel-to-aluminium direct contact apart from the bolts; this should reduce the slow electrolytic corrosion that can cause. Then after all the layers of paint are on, I’ll re-tap all the nut threads.

After that, the real main bodywork assembly can begin, which will be the fastest visible process — it could well all be done in a day. That’ll be followed by making up the area around the second row doors; this is one of the areas I’m not yet sure about (along with the corresponding section of the roof).

Then we’ll add all the wiring, brake pipes, fuel pipes, etc, which will be another period of little externally visible progress.

Then there’s sanding down the bodywork and repainting it. At that point, I’ll apply for whatever inspections are required for relicencing, to get back on the road as soon as possible.

Roofrack, roof tent, and winch, and interior lining, can all be done after that.


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