Progress on my Land-Rover extension

I’ve just realized it’s about a month since I posted anything… I have been working away on it in odd moments, and here I am without my camera USB lead, so I can’t post a new picture. Since the last picture, the most noticeable change is that both parts of the roof are now on; and I’ve been doing various metalwork that isn’t yet attached to the vehicle.

This weekend, I hope to get both the second-row doors on (I’ve been waiting a while for the appropriate bolts to get through the holiday period post, but they’ve arrived now). I had the offside one almost in place yesterday evening, but I had to take it off again for yet more `adjustment’ (with an angle grinder) of the metal just in front of it. That one has been rebuilt and adapted at the base of the pillar, and the other one should get the same treatment tomorrow.

Once those doors are on and lines up correctly, we can attach the bodywork that goes directly behind them, which I’ve already cut to just over the correct size. The lower front part of that bodywork (just behind the bottom of the door) will also need adapting, which, like with the B pillars, means adding a footing plate to bolt to the perforated flanges I had built into the chassis.

Then, the bodywork will be, on the large scale, complete, with fiddly detailed bits still to do (including rivetting pieces over backing plates, sanding down the edges and filling the gaps).

Various other bits are just about ready to go ahead with. I’ve started drilling the 40mm holes to take IP68 cable glands bringing cable trunking up into the vehicle from underneath, then I can start pulling cables through them and putting connector shells on the cable ends (they already have the terminals, but the 8-way shells are too large to go through the trunking). The “hub” of the cabling looks a bit scary; I’m relying on having designed it carefully in an Emacs Org Mode file, and having carefully followed that file. I’m looking forward to seeing the wiring working; at least I can test that systematically (with laptop beside me). I’ve used 8-way multiconnectors for almost all of it, with 8-way trailer cable, and made a test device with a short male-female 8-way lead that tees off to a box of 8 LEDs and some switches so I can force lines on. I can connect the device to either kind of endpoint, or splice it into a wire at a connector, to see what’s going on, and to run tests. I’ve been using this technique already, and recommend it highly.

The fuel tank could do with another layer of paint, then it can go in. After that, the tag axle (unpowered extra rear axle) can come over from the spare parts vehicle; I gather that the best way to present such a project for approval is not as “conversion from 4-wheeler to 6-wheeler” but as “addition of tag axle to 4-wheeler”, which is, after all, exactly what this is; it happens to be at the same time as a chassis replacement, because that’s the most convenient time to do such an addition.

After that, there’ll just be little things like brakes and seats to do…

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