Brum Brum! Plus some Welding

Brum brum!  Quite a big update today.  Spent a few hours this afternoon doing a couple of the nastier welding jobs on my list, plus there are some photos of some other bits and bobs related to the engine conversion.

Firstly though, a brum brum video…

Here’s a couple of photos of the high pressure fuel fittings I got to replace the leaky DIY hoses I’d connected to the fuel filter.   Found some information on a forum which explained how some bloke had done a great job of sorting his fuel lines. He even included info on the parts he used and recommended a great supplier – SSL Diesel Parts, who I used and they were great.

High pressure brass fuel line coupling and, above that, the DIY throttle linkage I made from an old choke.
Proper compression fitting for the fuel pump.  Only cost a few pence.
Not the best photo ever, but this is DIY exhaust MkII.  The flexi bit really helps lower the noise.

The big job today was sorting out the seat box hole on the passenger side and sorting out the rusty dumbirons.  Only managed one of the dumbirons, but after a lot of head scratching today, at least I have a plan for sorting the second one.

Simple patch for the footwell.
Starting with the right hand dumbiron

Since my dumbirons are different to most – being the military version – it’s not so easy to replace them with new ones that simply weld on.  The Duke’s dumbirons seem to have thick steel plates on each side which are still relatively strong, so just the bumper mounting bit in the middle needs to be swapped.  I did this by making a 75x75x75mm cube with one side missing, then drilling holes and welding in place.

Full of sand and rust.  Maybe somebody left The Duke nose down on a beach for a couple of years?

New bit made up from 2mm steel plate

Welded in place.  Bumper fits on perfectly… but one of the holes needs widening as it’s slightly too far to the right.

Hume amount of sand and rust!

Hopefully the weather will be nice enough to do the other one at the weekend…

Welding finished

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll probably say it again: All the welding is now finished! Not much to say about it really. Wasn’t the simplest bit of welding, but I managed it in the end.

Here’s the hole, all cleaned up with the grinder.

Here’s the patch. Luckily I had a bit that was almost exactly the right size, so I didn’t need to do much cutting. It’s very handy that Series Land Rovers come with a metalwork bench bolted to the front – the bumper!

Here’s the patch clamped in place ready to be welded.

And here it is welded on.

The heat from the welding burned away much of the underseal around the area, exposing the chassis number, as stamped by a Solihull factory worker in 1981. Proof that The Duke is not a ringer!

Outriggers Done

Well, it was a lot warmer today, but it was raining. So today’s welding had to be done under the cover of a tarp.

Johnson had informed me that the tacked-on driver’s side outrigger was in the wrong place. After a test fitting of the tank it turned out that this was untrue! All I had to do was finish the welding and bolt the tank in place.

I now have the tanks back on, a thick layer of underseal splodged all over and some re-done bolts.

New springs arrived Friday, so I now have everything I need to bolt the front suspension back together. Before that though, there’s one last patch to weld onto the front spring hanger.

Hopefully I’ll manage to get that done tomorrow. Now I have to go shopping for wedding rings with an inch think layer of underseal and oil on my hands!

Welding Whiteout

Snow? What snow? Oh… that massive foot-deep layer of snow covering the whole of Reading. Thanks to the bottomless positivity supplies of Doctor Johnson, the snow and negative temperatures did not stop further progress on The Duke.

Johnson with a chopped off outrigger.

The job in hand was the replacement of the two fuel tank outriggers. We managed to chop both of the old ones off and welded the passenger side back on. At 4pm the lengthening of the shadows and the call of the beer finally lured us back into the warmth.

Here’s the hole that failed the MOT. Doesn’t seem much does it? Not that I’m bitter…

With only one grinder available, I ended up doing more digging than ‘drovering!

Johnson welds on the replacement outrigger.

Pretty lights!

Jason popped round and helped out by undersealing the fuel tanks. They now look smart and will hopefully be protected from the elements for a good few years.

Here’s the new left hand outrigger welded on and undersealed. Looks smart huh?

Still a fair bit to do – the front dumbiron still has a big hole in it and the right hand outrigger needs welding back on. After that I need to fix the driver’s door lock which came back from the garage with a loose (and useless) handle.

Fuel tank seals are sorted and a completely new set of brakes are fitted but need a bit more bleeding to firm them up.

I’ve also ordered a set of new front springs after the good Doctor Johnson managed to snap the bracket when attempting to split them. In a way I’m quite pleased to have an excuse to get new ones. The work involved in a refurb would be far from minor and I’d much rather go for a quick fix and get the MOT done ASAP!

Even Colder!

Got up early again today to do a bit more on The Duke before Lorna crawled out of bed. Along with some work yesterday, I’ve managed to make some good progress.

Firstly, thanks to the Lovely Lorna for some more excellent pedal pumping. Bled the brakes through reasonably successfully, though there was a touch of foaminess to the fluid, so they may need doing again before The Duke goes back on the road. Instead of buying a replacement pipe for the back I actually made one. Got all the tools and fittings I need to replace just about every pipe on the Land Rover for £90. Christmas money well spent and brakes more or less done!

I also spent some time yesterday taking off the front suspension. I worked out that it would be easier to patch the front dumbiron without the spring on, so decided to take the lot off and refurbish both springs as I did at the back.

Front springs gone!

Today, after sweeping away a layer of ice crystals from the drive, I dropped the fuel tanks off so I can get access to the outriggers that need replacing. While they were off I replaced the cracked cork seals with the new rubber ones I ordered a few weeks back.

Fuel tank back on the floor!

While I was lying on the frozen tarmac I happened to find the other end of the speedo cable (haven’t looked that hard in the past!) so I decided to swap that out while I was at it. What an annoying job!

In the end I lost one of the screws while trying to attach the new cable. Not sure how terrible this is really. Might just forget about it!

Speedo cable where it meets the gearbox next to the handbrake drum.

In a terrible breech of health and safety regulations, I tested the speedo by jacking up a rear wheel, starting the engine and bunging it in gear. It works!

Speed demon

So, that’s a couple of niggles sorted and some prep done for the big welding jobs. Other than the welding, all I need to do now is get some new spark plugs to get it firing on all four cylinders again, split and grease the springs and refit the front suspension. Just hope the weather warms up a bit!

Post MOT Welding Woe

Found the places where I need to get busy with the MIG for the MOT. Here are some pictures…

This is the fuel tank outrigger on the passenger side. There is a tiny hole rusted through on the end. Likewise on the driver’s side.

Here’s the hole – the big one is drilled, so OK. The small one that’s more of a crack than a hole is the problem. To be fair to the MOT man, the one on the other side is bigger and this outrigger is very close to the seatbelt mounting.

This is the big one – the underside of the front spring hanger on the driver’s side. Lord only knows how I didn’t spot it. It’ll need quite a big patch and will involve some upside down welding.

Patching the spring hanger will do the job, but the outriggers will be a real pain to get to with the welder. I am actually considering replacing them, as grinding them off and welding on new ones would mean less of the body being removed for access. Only problem is that I can’t find replacement parts!


Had a sneaky couple of hours tonight to do a few odd jobs round The Duke. The good news is that I think I’m ready to put the tub back on! Woo!

Not all good news though. I’ve found some more welding to do and some more money to spend – fixing the rusty doors.


First job was to squirt some Waxoyl into the chassis. What a mucky job that turned out to be! Put the tin in a bucket with two kettles full of hot water, pumped the handle and poked my probe into every hole I could find. It’s very drippy and sprays everywhere including clothes, hair and face. Finished off covered in a fine layer of soft waxy gunk, but at least I can hope that the inside of the chassis is now similarly coated!

Gunk all over the shop!

Next plan was to put the driver’s door back on – having removed it to do the welding this weekend. Since the mirrors bolt on behind the hinges now seemed like the perfect time to fit them. A little miffed that they’re quite small and I have to say that they’re pretty poor quality, but they’ll do! Also bunged on the windscreen wipers, which took 30 seconds.

Mirror mirror on The Duke

Didn’t put the door back in the end because I noticed that it needs some major TLC. The bottom channel on the door frame has completely rusted away, so I need to replace it.

Cheesy door

Luckily, or perhaps because I knew at least one door was knackered, I bought a strip of door repair section from LRSeries a few weeks ago. 20 minutes with a hack saw and I had it cut to size and on the door. Some minor welding and it should be nicely fitted and looking much smarter.

Think I’m going to do the passenger and rear doors too, just to be on the safe side. Don’t think door rust is popular with MOT men.

None cheesy door

So, a little progress today, but a few more jobs discovered too. The chassis is more or less done and dusted, which is great. Next job is to concentrate on the body. Might see if Ron’s feeling strong enough to do some tub lifting tomorrow night…