Land Rover Series 3

Series 3 SWB

Manufactured: 1974

This shorty came to us with loads of potential but it was going to a lot of work to draw it out.  One didn't have to look too far under the new paint job to see the problems created by previous restorations and as the strip down progressed more and more problems appeared.

Despite the terrible state of the chassis it had a brand new galvanized finish, it didn't even look like the chassis had been sandblasted prior to the galvanizing.  Even more puzzling was the dodgy rust repairs had taken place after the hot dip.  The worst repair was the addition of a new aftermarket rear crossmember, the old crossmember had been cut off along with about 300mm of chassis rail but the new crossmember only comes with about 250mm of chassis rail.  The backyarder who did this  job obviously had no sheet metal nor welding skills and even less knowledge of the engineering requirements of such a repair.  

There was a plate poorly welded along the top of each chassis rail to the rear crossmember, the welds were porous, had very little penetration and there were a great number of holes burnt through the light gauge material the chassis is made from.  As this was obviously beyond their skill level they decided to simply tac one plate on each side of both chassis rails and fill everything up with bog.  The bottom of the chassis rail was simply left open!

All up it took a solid week to undo all their bad work and repair the chassis to as new condition. The chassis was then painted matt black and moved into the assembly workshop.

On wards and upwards

Having already spent a not inconsiderable sum with the previous workshop the owner was keen to save money where possible.  Keeping to his wishes it was decided not to rebuild the diff's pending a road test.  From an external inspection it was clear they both needed new drive flanges, pinion bearings and seals.  Both diff's had welded reinforcement ribs that needed to be removed and replaced and then they were sandblasted, painted and set aside awaiting new springs.

The springs were made for us Dobinsons in Melbourne and fitted upon arrival along with the rest of the suspension.

We next started on the body work, the tub was serviceable and replaced with a decent second hand tub from a donor car.  Although it was in pretty good shape one side needed to be replaced and the owner supplied a brand new panel made by Goose foot in the UK.

All the galvanized parts were blasted and set off to be re-galvanized, the body work was stripped to bare metal and repaired so Stuart could get to work.

The came with it's original diesel engine which was supposedly in good condition but  a few simple tests revealed otherwise so we removed the head for a closer look and just like the chassis it too was stuffed. There was so much carbon built up in the exhaust manifold you couldn't even insert a finger into the worst of the ports.  It was decided to do a complete engine rebuild.

The trans was little better so it went under the knife too.  Once the drive train was rebuilt and installed in the chassis the bulkhead was mounted we were able to install the steering system.  Next came the brand new harness and newly leather clad dashboard.

The car is looking tremendous in it Tangerine and Matt Black paint scheme and we are now on the home straight. We are really looking forward to getting this one finished, it is simply stunning.