More bodywork

Over the last few weeks, more bodywork has been going on. Some ot the latest bits are just a test fit, wedged precariously into approximate place, but the ones before that are solidly attached. I’ll go through the stages, to document the growth of the vehicle thoroughly. My apologies for the feebleness of my camera flash in the semi-open barn in the dark winter evenings!

Front roof added

Front roof added, overlapping the rear roof

First, I cut the front roof (the vehicle’s original roof) to length at the back, and fitted it, supported at the rear by it overlapping the additional roof which came from the spare parts vehicle. The overlap is that way round to minimize the tendency of airflow to force rain in.

B2 pillar added

B2 pillar added

Then I added the rear part of the extended B pillar — the one the second row door hinges will go on. This doesn’t look like much of a step forward, but in fact it was one of the slowest and most laborious stages, getting the position just right so the door would be straight.

Second row door

Second row door

The second row door is bolted on (now I have the right bolts).

Panel behind doors

Panel behind doors

Then I got onto the bits that are just being tried for size for now. The lower bodywork panel behind the second row doors is balanced in place, held as much by the door lock as anything else. We could fix it here, by welding a footing plate to it to bolt to the chassis, but this area might get revised (as mentioned later in this post).

Upper panel between doors

Upper panel between doors

I blanked out the hole in this upper panel which had been half of a porthole. I’d like to have a (smaller) porthole there still, but that would delay the project further. The lower hole is the front of an old locker I’d made. The lockers never were that good, and I rather regret having made them. The hole will be filled with an overlapping backing plate and a fronting plate, with some rivets and a little bodyfiller.

Also held temporarily in place is the rest of the bodywork behind the second row doors. I’ll probably move the old portholes to go into the upper bodywork here — it’s not long enough for another sliding window.

Red primer going on the midsection

Red primer going on the midsection

I gave it a quick spray coat of the wrong shade of red, just to get the green covered up; shown incomplete here, to show that it’s the same panels despite the colour change (yes, I’m into traceability for this project; as I should be, to maximize the chance that it’ll count as the same vehicle when complete).

Midsection mockup

Midsection mockup

The camera perspective is probably stretching this a bit too much, but it’s now giving more of an impression of what the whole vehicle will be like.

Midsection mockup, from inside

Midsection mockup, from inside

For the record, here’s what it looks like from the inside. (Only the offside is done so far, so, apart from being pressed up against the wall of the barn, it’s easy to get a reasonable camera angle looking in.) The wheelbox forward of the bench seats, and the vertical wall section above it, will probably be overlaid with a section of folded treadplate, to give further strength to the join. There’ll be some steel angle bolted inside the capping and running a foot into either side of the join, and the front of the added bodywork will be bolted onto a flange on the chassis.

Considering an alternative door

Considering an alternative door

I mentioned above that some of this will be subject to revision. The alternative idea is not to use the second row doors from the spare parts vehicle (which will need a lot of repairs to their rather rusty frames) but to use its front doors as second row doors. They’re in much better condition, the window design is better, and they’re slightly larger (34 inches instead of 30). In fact, along the bottom edge, they’re slightly too long, so would need to be cut down a bit, and the triangle in front of the door will need filling in, but overall I like the idea, and will look into how much work it would be to modify them; probably less than repairing the second row doors’ frames. Rather than cutting the bottom rear cornr of the door at the same angle as a normal second row door, I’m thinking of cutting it at the same angle as the top front corner, which should be the right amount in terms of how much space is needed for the wheelarch, and I think would look better too.

Next stages: fix all this properly into place, then do the other side.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 2013/01/07 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    That looks amazing! great progress 🙂

    I’d love to know what the turning circle will be like though 😉

  2. Posted 2013/01/07 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    It should tie in with the old joke that, as a lot of Land Rovers are in agricultural use, that half of Land Rover owners have enough land to accomodate the turning circle!

    I’ll get used to it, I’ve driven longer vehicles than the (HGVs) although admittedly their front wheels can steer more sharply.

    With a view to possible future modifications, one of the non-standard things I got Designachassis to build into the chassis is Panhard rod mounting points and steering box mounting holes for all three axles, so I could potentially fit “front” axles for all three, and have six-wheel steering.

    • Posted 2013/01/08 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

      LOL, the truning circle on our 109″ isn’t bad because we fitted modular wheels which offset the tyres out some 45mm beyond a std LR rim and I adjusted the lock stops slightly so her tunring circle is now as tight as a SWB 🙂

      6WS would be impressive both in terms of use but also in complexity? Porbably not worth it. Can you imagine having to check and replace three times the number of TRE’s!


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