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Post 1
March 2015


pastel green land rover series 3 front corner

This is post 1, beginning a record of work undertaken on a Series 3 Land Rover.

I purchased the above specimen in October 2014. I was hunting for a 105 Alfa, and somehow ended up purchasing a ratty old Land Rover, sight unseen from Wellington, 500 kilometres away. A cheap flight, nine hours of driving and several litres of oil later and the beast was home.

The Good

It’s a road legal runner with current registration and WOF (equivalent MOT).
The engine feels strong and blows smoke like a champ. It returned 13.5 litres per 100km on the dive home.
The body is in good shape. Plenty of small dents and faded paint (the white bits have been brush painted with some kind of creamy house paint). The aluminium rivets on the tub are unpainted, inferring that at least the tub of the body is sporting its original coat of paint.
It should have mint brakes. Just over $1000 was spent on the brakes by the previous owner shortly before I purchased it (in hindsight I think he released that doing zero maintenance on a forty year old vehicle, left outside in a coastal city, had caught up with him and it was time to get rid of looming problem).

The Bad

The previous owner was a muppet, who clearly stated in the sale description and in person when we spoke over the phone that the Land Rover had been ‘regularly maintained’ which obviously means ‘I checked the engine oil once upon a time'. The gearbox and both axles were virtually empty of oil sludge, and basically every mechanical part on the car is flogged, still functioning, but leaking, worn, and tired.

There is some rust in the bulkhead, enough to see the road wiz past through a small hole. Again, previous owner swore there was no rust.

pastel green land rover series 3 front

Catch Up - Stuff That Happened Before Blog

Upper Dash Panel

I’ve recovered the upper dash panel with new vinyl. The result is excellent and cost very little. I haven’t recovered the lower dash yet, as the backing has rusted out in places, so I’ll record the covering process when I get to fixing that.

Instrument Panel

Basically just pulled out the instruments and cleaned them up. Used a heat gun to flash over the crusty black plastic surround, which worked mint. And installed a couple of inline couplings to consolidate the wiring that is otherwise hard wired directly to all the individual instruments.

Seat Belts

Installed some new retractable seatbelts, which are way better than the old fixed ones. The belts are Securon brand from the UK. I expected to have to put the crusty old belts back in for every WOF, but was happy to see that NZS... is marked on the back of the EU label.

Wing Mirrors

These need a bit more finishing off. I used various bits from the mirror assemblies to experiment with a nickel electroplating setup. They're are tidy and put back together, but some of the washers and nuts are a bit ‘etched’ from the experimenting and need replacing.

Gear Stick

Oh yeah... And I ripped the gear lever off going for first, so had to weld that back on.