Even more exciting than the last – and with a snappier title! Enrich your life with these fascinating photos of welding in progress…
Not much to say, but loads of pictures. Feast your eyes on my Bulkhead Outrigger Slide Show…
Bulkhead outrigger… DONE! Took about 4 hours in total.
I got up early today – on a Saturday – to get a full day working on The Duke. I’ve finished now, with seven hours of hard work done, a slight sunburn and a big smile on my face! After a long soak in the bath I’m going to hit the beers and celebrate.
“Celebrate what?” I hear you cry. Well, today I ticked off a fair few things from last week’s To-Do list and I drove The Duke backwards and forwards a bit, which always makes me happy!
First off, I got the pressure washer out – kindly lent to us by Lorna’s boss – and cleaned off the drive, the chassis and the underside of the tub. With a nice clean surface to paint (decided to leave any old covering which withstood the Karcher) I could whack a thick coat of underseal on and get it looking smart. Well, smart for the underside of a twenty year old car anyway!
I also got another coat on the rear of the chassis, which is now quite thickly smeared up with the stuff. Special thanks go to the seagull which did a poo on the chassis just after I’d applied the final brushload!
Next on the list was the throttle linkage – huge thanks to Satancom from the Land Rover Forums for sending me his old linkage. I couldn’t find the part number anywhere and was starting to worry, so his help was invaluable. Even more kudos to him for asking only for a £5 donation to the forum – something I was happy to do.
Task number three was done while the paint dried – making up the rear wiring loom. I used a couple of screws in the fence to fix the cables, in a poor attempt to copy the pin boards they use in cable factories (my week’s work experience at 16 wasn’t wasted after all!) then taped them all together with a whole roll of rubber binding tape.
Fixed it to the chassis with cable ties, adding a couple of clips of my own but mainly using holes already there. I tried to follow the path that the brake pipes take, as I assume somebody at Land Rover thought they’d be in a safe place!
And finally, the biggest worry left on the project is now a thing of the past! I got The Duke to charge his own batteries! Decided that before I faffed about testing all the cables and components in the rather complicated charging circuitry, I’d try out the spare generator I got at Sodbury earlier in the year. Guess what… it worked! I now get a constant 27.8v across the battery terminals when the engine is running.
This is a massive relief, as the unknown scares me a bit. OK, I have half a degree in electronics, but I was far from happy with having to test the generator circuits out myself! Having such a quick fix work first time is something to really be happy about!
All this good news obviously needs to be tempered with a bit of bad – and there was some bad news today. Annoyingly, I found another outrigger that is totally and utterly knackered. That makes two which need replacing and I only have spare parts for one. Also, this one is under the cab, so will be a right pain to get to.
You may ask how I failed to notice such a thing and the fact is that I didn’t. It was actually the first bit of rust I noticed when we picked The Duke up from Witham, but time had erased my memory of this tragic moment and I’d totally forgotten about it.
So, tomorrow will be a day of grinding and welding. Joy!
Here’s an attempt at a list of things to do before the tub goes back on. Plenty to do this weekend!
- Patch/replace rusty outriggers – DONE
- Strip/clean rest of chassis (including front under wings/engine) – DONE
- Strip/clean bottom of tub – DONE
- Underseal entire chassis three times! – DONE
- Underseal bottom of tub at least twice – DONE
- Waxoyl inside of chassis and drill access/drain holes – DONE
- Make and attach rear wiring loom (clip/cable tie to chassis) – DONE
- Clip brake pipes back on – DONE
- Fix charging problem (try spare generator) – DONE
- Replace missing prop shaft nut – DONE
And just as an exercise in optimism, here’s a list of things to do before the MOT. Luckily I already have most of the parts I need to do these jobs, but I’m sure something expensive will crop up!
- Get the tub on – DONE
- Get the roof back on! – DONE
- Carb throttle linkage (Haynes pp. 3.9) – DONE
- Renew fuel tank fixings and reattach
- Left door repair – DONE
- Right door repair – DONE
- Rear door repair – DONE
- Rewire fuel gauges
- Bolt bulkhead to new outrigger – DONE
- Wire up the rear lights (with new fuse box in engine bay)
- New headlights – DONE
- Fix charging problem (as above) – DONE
- Wing mirrors – DONE
- Wiper switch
- Realign driver’s door
- Bolt on new bracing bracket – DONE
- Screen washer tubing
- Get new tyres transfered onto wheels
- Put new seats in and ensure they are clamped into place correctly
- Reflectors – DONE
- Brake light switch
- Headlight wiring
- Passenger door check rod bracket
The people who share my office were again confused as I opened a parcel as if it contained the Lost Treasure of Atlantis today, only to find me staring in awe at four 70mm M8 bolts with Allen heads. Bought from an eBay shop called “Bolt Me Up”, they were the vital missing component for the reattachment of the suspension.
Lorna was nice enough to cook dinner tonight, so I could spend the entire evening covered in grease and wielding a spanner and socket wrench. As a result of my hard graft The Duke is back on four wheels!
LR Series supplied all the other stuff, but managed to send me a centre dowel bolt for the rear springs which is too short. I tried to argue about it, but they wouldn’t have any of it. As a result, I took the advice of a bloke on the Land Rover forums and used a metric equivalent. Thus my deep deep joy at the arrival of my parcel.
Other forum members kindly helped out with the nut and bolt pictured above too. Military spring hangers have an extra central brace which I couldn’t find anywhere on the parts list. It turns out it’s a 4 1.2″ x 1/2″ bolt and matching nyloc nut. I’ve shown it here in case anyone needs this info in the future – not least me!
Here’s the rear left hand spring hanger all bolted up and working. Haven’t got a pic of the front of the spring, but I can say that fitting it was very hard work indeed. In the end, I settled on a simple but frustrating plan, which I repeated until I got the springs in place…
- Attach the back of the spring to the spring hangers to keep it from wobbling about.
- Present the front of the spring to the slot in which it sits, line up as best you can and get a bottle jack under it.
- Slowly and carefully jack up the spring. The whole back end may lift up, it’s a very tight fit!
- If you manage to get close to lining up the holes, grease up the bolt and smack it through with a lump hammer and go to step 6.
- Otherwise, if you fail to line up the holes and end up with the spring too far forward or back, don’t bother trying to move it, just remove the jack, unbolt the back of the spring, wiggle it free and go to step 1.
- Jump up and down in celebration and perhaps reward yourself with a beer.
Here’s a shot showing the brake pipe guard. I need to get some P clips for this. I am very pleased I remembered to attach it as it’s sandwiched between the axle and the spring. If you were to forget, you’d need to undo the U bolts to fit it.
So, the back end is looking much smarter now. I got a coat of underseal on there the other day, which makes it look much nicer and hides the welded patchwork around the rear crossmember. A couple more coats are required before the tub can go back on.
I had a great time jumping up and down on there too – the greased springs really make a difference, even to a man jumping. I think they’ll make for a much smoother ride, but I’m not doing the front ones ’til I have an MOT!
So, the rear suspension is back on! Still a little welding to do on an outrigger and some missing bracing on the crossmember. Plus I need to tie down the brake pipes, finish undersealing the chassis, make a new rear wiring loom (with fuse box), drill drain holes and squirt some waxoyl inside the chassis, test the generator wiring harness and clean and treat the bottom of the tub. Then I can slap the tub back on! Woo!
Welding upside down is hard work. For this reason I decided to tilt The Duke over a bit. This was quite hard work, but it did make this weekend’s trip to Welding Purgatory a little easier. Almost done now… almost.
Ran out of welding wire today. After a weekend of hardcore grinding and welding I got the last chassis plate fabricated and tacked on. Almost finished the last of the welding – thank God – but there’s a bit to do underneath so I’ll need to splash out on more wire ASAP.
Since I was unable to do any more welding, I decided to swap the bent driveshaft out. As I’ve already said, it fell foul of some careless forklifting at some point in The Duke’s history and has a nasty bend. Since the back axle is up on blocks and the wheels are off, I started the engine and bunged it in gear… there was much wobbling!
Still some welding to do, plus the suspension needs putting back together, the wiring loom needs to be constructed and attached, the chassis needs undersealing on the outside and waxoyling on the inside and then… only then… I can bung the tub back on!
And finally: charging the batteries sorted the starting problem right out! They took 12 hours each to charge – I guess I should do it more often!