Landrover Defender - BOV

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Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Watch Ryder » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:51 pm

This is my recent 4x4 I bought.

A Landrover Defender 300 TDI.

For those that aren't up to speed here is a bit about the Landrover Series and Defenders:

Land Rover Facts Page

(Mods, I'm not spamming that's a genuine page I created all about them. :))

Here's my machine:

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I lucked out on the engine in fact as it's a 300 TDI, these were the last engine in Defenders to be independent of an ECU. Meaning that should the ECU (which on mine only controls the exhaust) be fried or disabled it still runs perfectly.

She's got a good engine but a bit rough on the bodywork:

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Back end is practical but needs filler and a paint job.

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Ok, just been blitzing the steel paintwork with hammerite and stripping down the tow-pack for painting, along with the door hinges and de-gunging the mud from the arches.

I've learned that the worse place to buy a landrover (according to a waxoil firm) is , allegedy, North Wales! Guess where I bought mine from...
North Wales ! :D

This is apparently because the soil content is both acidic and alkaline. But I had a good crawl about underneath the BOV today and the underside is surface rust only, nothing nightmarish or horrific at all. So buying a lannie really is a case by case thing and not a broad brush approach at all.

There are unsightly rust patches on the surface, but I don't think the rust has had time to eat through the body work completely (due to it being only 8 years old maybe?).

Anyway here's the story by pics

This is the worst area for rust that I can see clearly, I prepped it for painting:

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There is another area of rust around the innside of the passenger door but that's tiny and even there it's not quite eaten through..

Back bumpers almost ready, just got to do some small awkward areas near the bodywork with a tiny brush:

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Hinges need one more coat and they'll be alright:

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Tow assembly stripped down, note the split pins:

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Tons of gunk fell down here once I'd finished digging it out, a messy job but it'll help keep the moisture and rust creep down:

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Further Work

Lashed on the paint for its final coat on the front bumper:

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I've really made it thick for standing on and shrugging off stone chips, scrapes and bangs:

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Padlock now on the spare wheel:

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Now the saga of the bodywork restoration takes place!

I've tested out some of my hammerite rust remover; it eats into the rust like acid and turns it black. Here's a test section. It was late in the day for beginning on this so I sacked it by early evening.

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More Restoration

I'll be using my trusty dremel of discovery to take down the affected bodywork areas tomorrow.
A grinder would save a lot of work-hours but I need to a fine tool of laser-like precision working with / close-to aluminium...

When you have a tyre mounted on the bonnet (or hood as you would call it) the remote release mechanism struggles. While at work though I found a tough looking carriage spring and welded it onto a plate. I bolted that in....

The spring splate wasn't ideal though; too many rings were on it and the main spring catch wasn’t engaging.

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Out came garth’s grinder and it was not one, not two but three rings of the spring plate sheared off before the bonnet would close. The grinders disc went through the rings with ease despite being stainless.

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Then the moment of truth. I pulled the release lever...

One resounding ‘klung’ later and it popped open!

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I trimmed the release catch with some tin-snips and wrapped some tapeit. This prevented it from catching on the spring:
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The grills went on today. They came with no instructions and were just over £60. I need to get this right with the drill otherwise my lannie will look like swiss cheese on the front end.

But it wasn’t that straightforward. Drilling and getting the holes right was more of an art than a science, especially when there’s zero in the way of instructions for drill bit sizes. Rule of thumb cometh...

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The rubber grommet fittings were not simple and needed a bit of modification.
Some tape on this one to make it flush with the hole.

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The self taping screws were to be put through thin metal. For wood this might suffice but a vibrating surface such as a veh has the potential for unscrewing. On a lannie even more so.Hence the bolts and locking nuts.

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Mission accomplished! :)

The landrovers painting groove was nearly completed today. It’s green green green inside the rear cargo area now. No longer is dust ever present and getting on clothes and kit etc. With the gloss finish on now any muck or debris just wipes off.
Final coat went on today.

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Also found out my grommet things on the headlight grills are the wrong way around. So a quick blitz with the drill and I’d made them right.

Next it was time to grind out the flakey and bubbling paint on the aluminium bodywork.

I used my dremel for this. I didn’t want to damage the bodywork with a heavy grinder...

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Bottom of the door looking a bit grim.

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Got some filler down on the floor.

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Changed the Air Filter:

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The itty bitty jobs out of the way I next focused on the spotlights/driving lights.

For some reason they weren’t coming on.
I tried calling the original seller and he was in the dark. He reckoned it might be the bulbs though.
I started the saga of fault-finding there. I got my solar battery out and tested each of the bulbs. Both were fine.
This meant it surely must either be the switch or wiring.

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I started to trace the wire first:

So far so good...
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The problem, after following it all the way back underneath to the battery inlet hole was the wire had come loose from the negative terminal. Reattaching it I flicked the switch! Let there be light 

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Later on the bulb did go on one of the spot-lights but that was my own fault in not using fresh electrical tape to re-seal it with...

Jerrycans in place with some hooks to hold it steady. I had to cut these first down with a grinder...

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Plenty of Water for an exped of week-end away somewhere. Note the solar reflector for keeping the sun off it (and prolonging it’s life).

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Some of the other gear:

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My BOV looking a bit mean on the parking ramp.

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This isn't finished yet. When I get back to the UK I'll look into getting some bodywork done. :)

These are hard machines to source in the US. The red-tape and 'regulations' prevented them from being imported pre-2007 in numbers.
They are possible to obtain via the 'grey' import route and there are import specialists in the US for this, but they do charge a pretty penny.

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Rush2112 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:04 pm

Very cool! :twisted:

I've been considering what my next off-roader should be. This may just be it!
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by dragonguard » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:28 pm

Great post .I love the Defender,Used to lust after them all the time.
I once had a 1968 Land Rover 88 that was lots of fun, but the positive ground electrickery gave me problems .
I attempted to wire a U.S. aux.heater in it and somehow managed to cook every wire and electric componet in the vehicle.I was so demoralized it sat for a year untill someone offered me more money than it was worth "as is"and I sold it .
I'm a jeep owner now and I recently bought a military m1009 "diesel Chevy Blazer"so i'm still bugoutable.
Really enjoyed your pics keep em comeing "CHEERS"

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by rongo » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:05 am

a well-sorted Defender!

For some reason, LRs are usually criticised on this board (with a few exceptions) as unreliable pieces of junk.

It's a shame that American's don't understand these vehicles.
This is a great example of what can be done for a relatively low cost.

300TDi is the perfect choice for this as well.

One thing i would add - The Safety Devices external roll cage.

:-)

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Rush2112 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:12 am

rongo wrote:It's a shame that American's don't understand these vehicles.

>.>











<.<
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:09 am

rongo wrote:a well-sorted Defender!

For some reason, LRs are usually criticised on this board (with a few exceptions) as unreliable pieces of junk.

It's a shame that American's don't understand these vehicles.
This is a great example of what can be done for a relatively low cost.

300TDi is the perfect choice for this as well.

One thing i would add - The Safety Devices external roll cage.

:-)
A bonus notion with LRs, especially the old series and defender engines, is they can run off engine and vegetable oil :)

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by JohnE » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:53 pm

I don't think it's a matter of not understanding Land Rovers, it's a matter of access and cost. The Defender was never imported in any serious numbers to the U.S., especially the TDI models. It's hard find a LH drive model in the states, you can search for months or years to find a TDI in LH drive that can be legally titled and registered here. And then you've got to find someplace to get parts for it.

Those that are here are notoriously expensive to buy, even more expensive to restore and maintain. I've never heard of anyone who owns one talk about how inexpensive it is to restore or maintain and I know several people who own and use them as offroad/expedition vehicles.

Compare that to a Toyota Land Cruiser, sold here for decades, factory parts available thru any Toyota dealer, aftermarket stuff available thru many independent manufacturers. They don't have the cache' or the history of the Rover behind them but they're extremely capable vehicles.

The Jeep is an even better example, from the CJ's thru the newest models parts are readily available, there are dozens if not hundreds of forums, websites, and independent manufacturers devoted to them.

There's also the resale value, I looked at buying a Range Rover, made by Land Rover it sold new for about $40,000, by the time the original owners had used it up driving it around Los Angeles, it ended up selling for under a thousand, problem was it needed thousands upon thousands of dollars to get it back up and running properly. And even after that, it wouldn't be worth what I would have spent to fix it. People can only afford so much intrinsic value, at some point you have to look at the cost per mile to drive.

A properly kitted Defender will cost thousands more than a comparably equipped Cruiser, Jeep, 4wd truck and the ongoing costs are astronomical in comparison.

They're great vehicles if you've got a dealer/mechanic/owner network to work with, sadly that network is pretty slim here in the U.S. with some exceptions. They're also great if you don't have to drive them every day.

If you want to see some nicely done ones, check out the Land Rovers forum on http://www.expoportal.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by HHaase » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:45 pm

I'm probably the only other guy on here with a Defender as their BOV, but the other guys already hit the basic crux of the problem with them here in the US. Expensive, hard to get parts, and not many people here understand them well enough to keep them running. I've had some mechanics who flat-out refused to work on it for me. In the UK or other parts of the world where parts are readily available, they are a top-notch choice. I am finding parts easier/cheaper to get lately though, with all the Discoveries ending up in wrecking yards finally.

I don't find it less reliable than anything else, and in many ways I find it easier to work on than most domestic American 4x4's. You just need to get used to it, and be willing to wait 2 or 3 days for parts to arrive.

Watch Ryder: Pop on over to d-90.com for a great info source on Defenders in general. We're focused mainly on the NAS models there, but have lots of overseas members too. I go by "Hans" on that board.

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-Hans
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Ad'lan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:31 pm

As has been said, limited supply and poor part availability of parts makes the Land Rover a worse choice stateside. In the UK, or other commonwealth countries, they are more viable.

And personally, for me, the Land Rover is the Ultimate work horse, for Military use to Farm Work, it's my dream vehicle, the only car I've ever longed for.
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by concept2w » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:48 pm

Is that a defender 110? MY knowledge in LR is limited. I really like your bov. We can't get that here, parts are rare as much as the pope's shit.

If memories serves me well, there are the 90, 110 and 130.

I had my eyes on one, but it finished it's life as a decor in a pet shop as a safari theme.
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Valarius » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:36 pm

It's very pretty. But I'll tell you something. My friend bought a 97 Land Rover Discovery from a Reno dealership a few years ago. When his windshield wipers needed to be replaced, he couldn't find ANY store that carried his model. Not NAPA. Not Wal-Mart. Not the dealership themselves, who had apparently run out. He had to find an approximate model and tape it on. Around here, everyone drives Jeeps, Toyotas and pickups, not Land Rovers.

Don't get a BOV that you can't find spare parts for.
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by rongo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:59 pm

hmm...that's a Disco I, it can use standard Bosch (or whatever) blades/arms.

If it was a Disco II, he could swap the wiper arms for those from a Disco I and use any blade out there.

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by gary in ohio » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:44 am

rongo wrote:hmm...that's a Disco I, it can use standard Bosch (or whatever) blades/arms.

If it was a Disco II, he could swap the wiper arms for those from a Disco I and use any blade out there.
Its a defender... The discovery (disco) are the rounded yuppie grocery getters soccer moms drive.

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Czechnology » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:42 am

gary in ohio wrote:
rongo wrote:hmm...that's a Disco I, it can use standard Bosch (or whatever) blades/arms.

If it was a Disco II, he could swap the wiper arms for those from a Disco I and use any blade out there.
Its a defender... The discovery (disco) are the rounded yuppie grocery getters soccer moms drive.
He was responding to the post directly above his, in which another forum member was talking about his girlfriend's "rounded yuppie grocery getters soccer moms drive."
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by HHaase » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:32 am

Valarius wrote:It's very pretty. But I'll tell you something. My friend bought a 97 Land Rover Discovery from a Reno dealership a few years ago. When his windshield wipers needed to be replaced, he couldn't find ANY store that carried his model. Not NAPA. Not Wal-Mart. Not the dealership themselves, who had apparently run out. He had to find an approximate model and tape it on. Around here, everyone drives Jeeps, Toyotas and pickups, not Land Rovers.

Don't get a BOV that you can't find spare parts for.
Huh.... I've never had problems finding wipers. The DAYCO book has the wrong length listed, but as long as I bring one into the store with me to match the length, they always have them. Then again, parts guys aren't what they used to be anymore. I'm finding it more and more common, for any car not just Rovers, that I need to have the part number already when I go in to buy stuff. Otherwise they just check the computer and say "no, we don't have it". Parts interchange is rapidly becoming a lost art.

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Watch Ryder » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:08 am

To those who fret over spare parts:

There's a whole bunch of places overseas that you can get parts for BOV Landrovers:

britpart.co.uk being a very cheap option (the quality is only average)

ebay.co.uk is your friend also. :)

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by HHaase » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:54 am

Watch Ryder wrote:To those who fret over spare parts:

There's a whole bunch of places overseas that you can get parts for BOV Landrovers:

britpart.co.uk being a very cheap option (the quality is only average)

ebay.co.uk is your friend also. :)
To a degree, yes, but a lot of our parts are different. The NAS spec defenders were pretty unique in their configurations in a lot of ways.

-Hans
"This does not mean, however, that we are unaware of the true meaning of the term 'security.'
To us, the term has broad meaning. It rests in the physical force embodied as it is in the ships and their base,
but also in intellectual factors among which Intelligence plays an outstanding role."
- Captain Ellis M. Zacaraias, USN

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Valarius » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:03 pm

Watch Ryder wrote:To those who fret over spare parts:

There's a whole bunch of places overseas that you can get parts for BOV Landrovers:

britpart.co.uk being a very cheap option (the quality is only average)

ebay.co.uk is your friend also. :)
Awesome find. But that's my point; you have to order overseas. Even the local junkyards didn't carry anything for his Discovery. If he went on Ebay UK, I doubt the shipment would get past the East Coast snowstorms right now.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get a Land Rover, nor am I saying that the 1960-ish Jeep Commander isn't an awesome piece of history, or that sweet-looking AMC Gremlin you can strap a machine gun to, or that surplus generation one Hummer, or whatever. I AM stressing "don't buy a BOV you can't get spare parts for."
See you around, HK. And remember folks: victory is surviving to watch another sunrise.

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by ZombieSoldier01 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:46 am

pretty bad arse man!

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Watch Ryder » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:51 am



Added solar panels to the Defender now.

They now give the machine Off-The-Grid powers :)

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by grennels » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:07 am

Reminds me a bit of a 1969 IH Scout I used to own.
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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by Tater Raider » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:16 am

Sweet!

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Update!

Post by Watch Ryder » Mon May 25, 2015 5:44 pm

Just an update to what's going on with the Red Ryder!

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Re: Landrover Defender - BOV

Post by rongo » Tue May 26, 2015 8:13 pm

HHaase wrote:I'm probably the only other guy on here with a Defender as their BOV, <Snip>
Negative Hans!
This is the Enigma, and ex-MOD (Gibraltar detachment, which explains LHD) 1983 D90, with the awesome 2.25 Normally-aspirated diesel. (87 whopping BHP form the factory, when new).
she starts every time, runs underwater (tested) and is EMP-proof.

I've toyed with the idea of stuffing a 300TDi in it, but 16 gazillion pound-feet of torque is kinda nice...and you certainly don't own on e of these if you want to go fast.

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