Now we were making progress, the
axles are done and so is the steering. So, I just kept moving backwards on
the chassis, the transmission was next. Already knowing that it jumps out of 2nd
gear, I began looking for components that were showing excessive wear or
damage. Starting at the top, the steel ball at the end of the gear selector
shaft was a perfectly squared circle. - first thing to replace - Next was
the indent springs, this was a simple decision, they are so cheap, just buy
them. Removing the top cover of the trans I saw that there was a small layer
of water sitting on top of the trans oil. -This further confirms my belief
that RUR 487 was submerged. But anyways-, I pulled out all of the gear
selector forks and they all, except the reverse fork had to be replaced. The
wear on them varied from 1mm to 3.5mm in the fork contact area. Checking the
mainshaft nut, it was backed off over 1mm. Actually I could see a full
thread between the nut and the tab washer.
With the combination of all of these problems, its no wonder that it was jumping out of gear. Within a few weeks I had the trans working again and have since driven RUR 487 in the garden, without it jumping out of gear.
The speedo cable was in a sorry state, it was just hanging on to the input gear housing. There was only 2 bolts remaining, that held it in place and the housing screws/bolts were all loose. - Now I understand why the speedo needle was jumping around all the time - A straightforward job here.
Mechanically, RUR 487 was now ship shape. The motor, needed only a little attention as it was recently rebuilt with an Automotive Engineering stage one head. I re-torqued the cylinder head bolts and did a general inspection of the other components. The drive shafts were also replaced with new units. The suspension bushings were in good condition as well were the springs. The rear shocks were replaced by me, before I drove CHM 733V home from England.
So, carrying on, I stripped the paint from the Discovery rims and re-painted them. I decided to use Plast-Padding Zink spray as the base color, as it was a near match to the original silver paint on the rims. BUT, when I sprayed the clear coat over the zink coating, it changed color, to a blueish/silver. They no longer matched the reserve rim, but as time has passed, I like the color and they will stay that color.
Now I moved my attention to the body parts. I started with the van side panels and installed side windows. Driving a right hand drive vehicle on left hand roads is not a easy task, especially in intersections. The addition of these windows gives me more visability. The windows are well built but the simple lock is just that, simple! There is nothing to them, they will need to be replaced at a later time and there was no installation instructions. I was within mm's of making the holes too big!. No silicone was used ,but rather a window sealant, that bonds the window frame to the side panel and pop rivits.
Then I started with the seat box. The toolbox was totally rusted and the alunimium in contact with the steel was corroded. I removed the toolbox steel portion and had a friend - that works as a computer designer, working at a metal workers firm - rebuild a new unit, costing me only 300:- skr. In the mean time, I used the off-cuts from the installation of the side windows and fabricated a new side panel for the seat box. Once the seat box was together again, I used the reinforcement rib from the side panels as extra support under the seat box where the bolts are to go for the seats.
As for the seats, RUR 487 had a Metro seat for the driver and a Land Rover original for the passenger. That Metro seat is the most uncomfortable seat to ever have in a Land Rover! They sit too high, long at the front and the side supports are too high. I'm only 166 cm long, but it was a pain in the ass to get into the drivers position and then it was difficult to use your feet with the pedals.The cost of replacement seats is too much in my eyes, so, I searched around at the local wreckers and finally found a set that would fit with a little modifications. They came out of a Ford Fiesta L. The legs were a little too long, but they were easy to modify so that the seat sat lower and level with the top of the seat box. Actually, once the were finally installed - temporarily - they sat at the same height as the original seats, a little wider, but no longer than the seat box with side support, the rear portion rakes back giving some extra comfort, plus they are cloth.
Then I moved on to the bulkhead, which needed much work. I decided that it was going to be hot galvanized, so all of the rusted metal had to removed and new metal welded in. Actually it was easy to remove the bad metal, but, it was a challenge to fabricate new metal pieces, especially the upper door pillar areas. One particular piece, I had to do it 6 times, till I got it right. The bulkhead looked like swiss cheeze, with all of the holes, but it was looking much better and rust-free afterwards. Then I had it sand blasted locally, which then revealed a few more weak areas and they were repaired accordingly.
Once everything was ready on the bulkhead, it was sent away - Northern Sweden - to be galvanized. I shipped the bulkhead during the wet season, but it was delivered "dry" to the metal works in Gävle. What they did is, let it store out in the rain for a week, afterwards it had a nice fine layer of rust every where's. To top that off, they told me that they could not dip the bulkhead because they were afraid that it would explode. They said that I needed to weld every seam on the bulkhead and to drill a few holes in the top rail. When I finally got the bulkhead home, I was totally pissed! The surface rust! A whole days welding went into the bulkhead, doing every seam, but I refused to drillholes as there are many areas for air to escape from the top of the bulkhead. Once again, off it went to Gävle and sat there for a week before they would look at it. This time they did dip the bulkhead, after they drilled 6 holes in the top rail - without my premission-. Two week later the bulkhead was finally home and the quality of the dipping was top rate, except for the 6 holes. They even claim that there is a 30 year warranty on the zinc coating. I did express my displeasure of the 6 holes in the top rail and they gave me a discount on the price of the dipping.
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