|On the 26th of October, 2000, RUR 487 was parked in the garage for the start of a total rebuild. Before driving into the garage, I already ran into problems,. The garage port opening was only 1.95m high and RUR 487 stands over 2m. So, I had to flattened the tires, then it was possible to drive it in with only millimeters to spare.|
Once parked, the process of removing the body began quickly. I began to call this the process of uncovering the truths that lied under the glued in carpets and body panels. One thing that was in abundance every where's, a fine layer of red sand. This fine red sand was in every nook and cranny. It leads me to believe that RUR 487 was submerged, possibly stuck in a river bed for a short period of time.
Within a week I was able to remove all of the body panels from the vehicle with some unexpected difficulties. The rear tub was bolted to the frame with 3 inch long steel bolts. For one, these bolts were completely rusted together and did do a fair amount of corrosion with the aluminium. And 3 inch bolts to hold the rear tub to the frame? I finally gave up with the wrenches and began to use the angle grinder on the bolts. This speeded up my progress and created a large pile of unwanted nuts & bolts.
The door hinges were firmly rusted to the bulkhead and wouldn't budge. I had to think out this problem, as I wanted to reuse the door hinges. So, I decided to drill out the head of the bolts, in order to remove the hinges.
After stripping the bulkhead, I was able to get a much clearer view of the condition of it. There was much more rust in it that I was prepared for and I was able to inspect the welded patches. To my complete disbelief, the patches were welded over the rusted areas. Lying on my back under the vehicle I could see a large rust hole ( the size of a fist ) but inspecting the bulkhead from above, there was a steel patch. A quick removal of the patch confirmed my thoughts, that the patch was indeed welded over the rust. Plus the quality of the welding job, certainly not top rate! I tell my friends that who ever welded in the patches must have gotten the welder for a birthday present and used the landy as a training aid.
My oldest son, Karl, helped me to remove the last bits from the frame leaving just the running gear.
I just left the body parts alone for the time being and began an inspection of the mechanical parts, which ran into repairs as I went along.
As I said earlier, the first thing that I wanted to change was the diff's. I was able to buy a used pair of Range Rover diff's for a good price. I began with the rear diff as it is the easiest to change. As you can see in the picture, the R/R diff's are ready to be installed and the rear diff is removed with the axle shafts pulled out of the axle about 15 cm. Taking my time, I was able to remove and replace the rear diff in only a few hours.
What I removed from the rear axle is approximately 1½ year old reconditioned diff's. The previous owner did tell me that he removed the original diff's and installed reconditioned diff's because the original's were howling. He claimed that the diff's were empty of oil when he bought CHM 733V. How true is that? I was told that the landy was used for trailing, so, I think that the axles originally had 3.54's and they were removed for the better gearing of the 4.7's.