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Range Rover resto - 1972 project closed p23

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Been a busy 6 months on my old Range Rover that I own 50/50 with Fathathastag


Bit of background first..


We bought it March 2015 just as genuine early Range Rovers were starting to get noticed. Alas not early enough that we could have got it for a couple of hundred quid. 


The car had been owned for decades by a Land Rover enthusiast and this particular car retained a lot of features unique to pre 1973 Range Rovers. Sadly he died a few years back and the car was left outside the front of his house. 


I spotted it on eBay and arranged with the owners widow to view. There were no bids and my offer was good enough to take the auction off.


The engine had been part way through a top end strip down when work stopped, I had no idea even if the car would move. But rented a trailer and relocated it from Watford to North Devon where fathathastag has a barn suitable for storage.






The project is on the right, we towed it into the field and pushed it into the barn



In May 2015 I got to do an assessment of the car. body wise most outer panels were ok, the inner wings looked ok, it clearly needed some work but was unsure how much at this point. main objective was to see if the engine was a runner.










Found that the gearbox and axles were original to the car, but the engine was from an earlyish SD1


while the seat covers are not original some of the plastic kitkat seat coverings are underneath, the rear seat especially










The head has some nasty corrosion very near the fire ring seal, 




When I refitted the head one of the bolts tore the thread out. bastard but not entirely uncommon with the alloy blocked RV8








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rolling forwards to September 2015 and I got it running


After fixing the broken thread, and refitting the n/s head




Then removing sediment and varnish from the float chambers




giving up on finding the homemade immobiliser that stopped the retrofit fuel pump from working




Then finding that the ignition was miles out




It started and sounded real sweet




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I do like these early Range Rovers - there is one 'on the road' near my in-laws, over by Erith/Belvedere. I think it is actually in running order as it is parked on the street, it's quite tatty but it has the charm of a 'working' vehicle. Never stopped to take a closer look...

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Then I left the project for 9 months until June 2016 when I started on strip down and body refurb.


At this point I was planning to tickle the welder a little. omg how wrong was it.


Stripped the interior out, note the unmolested dash and original vinyl floor coverings





As the doors would need lots of work, I stripped them down in situe. wanted to use them as a reference point anywaypost-3439-0-30294500-1482242501_thumb.jpg


Alloy boot floor was already loosely fitted so removed



Fuel tank is homemade and very robust. I will probably stay in the car



Strip down is starting to make me nervous at the sheer number of patches




I then started on the front end.. Most bolts undid without drama which was nice. the rust was not quite so nice






I opted to remove the loom, a to protect it but also to allow me to remove the add ons and chocbloks







The loom for dash and front of the car is out, 



This left the interior stripped out. I left the screen in as a) it is already chipped B) I am collecting spares and c) there was only me on my own







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Weren't the really really early ones badged something else?


You may have seen prototypes with "VELAR" badging, it was simply to disguise the car and never intended for production.

Supposedly the name came from the description "Vee Eight LAnd Rover".

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I nervously started on the front inner wing. On these early Rangies they bolt on. This one had a very thin weld holding it to the bulkhead.


Alas the wing wasnt looking quite as salvageable as I first hoped :(







Bolts removed and thin weld cut and the inner wing is off





And it is fucked







That footwell is very patched




It really didnt take much effort to just peel it away. the repairs were solid but they were welded over rust which had continued to rust. Bugger





Count the layers of patches - there should be two layers here



This is the footwell out. It weighed over 20kg


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Next up is to remove the cab floor and gearbox cover. Most of the fixings were roof bolts with square nuts but most of them shifted






Chassis has a pleasing ring to it was tapped with Land Rover special tool #1



I will get away with localised repairs to the gearbox cover which is nice



but this isnt, and yes that is bathroom silicon sealant, fecking tons of it





Drivers side sill I knew would need attention



The front inner wing on the drievrs side is unpleasant



Patches over patches. nursed from one mot to the next



The bulkhead side is as I expected unfortunately



The inner wing is worse than the drivers side



Oh dear






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I promised myself that at this point it had to start getting better soon! I committed to avoid any further bodgery and get the body frame back to factory spec. While Alan the previous owner was a very good welder his lack of rust proofing and copious use of bathroom silicon sealer had condemned the fate of the lower 8 inches of the body frame all around. Ouch


This is what remained of the bulkhead side



The a post had many layers of patches







Removed the remnants as you can now buy a complete bulkhead side repair panel



thats better :D



After removing the patches there wasnt a huge amount of a post left. again repair panels are available. Also I wasnt happy with the sill, a home made heavy duty box section. mainly because it wasnt going to fit with the other repairs. also it had been welded on wonky so it was going to get cut out



braced the roof between the chassis and a bross beam



and cut it out.






this is the remnants of the panel that sits behind the b post. again patches over patches



It does start to get better from here :D

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The sills come from from Froggatts Easy On panels, perfect fit


Inner sill bolts via mounts to the chassis



Outer sill goes over the top and then is checked against the gearbox cover and rear passenger floors for alignment. all the bolt holes were mm perfect.




Then pop rivet the two together and weld the bastards



refit and check alignment







Happy days I am making progress :D


Made the final cut on the a-post, it was nasty but the top half is very solid. repair panels are available form Froggatts again.




refitted door to check alignment






Refitted the remains of the bulkhead side for alignment and used a jack on the bottom hinge to get it where I wanted.



checking and checking again before welding






salvaged and welded the bonnet release catch onto the new bulkhead side panel












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You may have seen prototypes with "VELAR" badging, it was simply to disguise the car and never intended for production.

Supposedly the name came from the description "Vee Eight LAnd Rover".


Is this true? I only ask as every time I've read anything on early Rangies and the prototype 'VELAR' moniker, the response to the 'What does it mean/stand for?' has always been that it doesn't mean'/stand for anything, it was just a plausible name someone made up using the letters from LAND ROVER that sounded a bit snappy (& maybe a bit exclusive/trendy???) and didn't have any associations with LR (or BL at the time). 

I actually hope you are right and it does stand for something rather than being a bland meaningless name.


Always liked the original RR's ever since the dad of a friend had one when I was a nipper. Never really like the four door ones. Should have bought one some years ago when they were cheap but had no need for a: 4WD, b: V8 or c: V8 4WD! - regretting it now. Good luck with the resto.  

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Hooray for repair panels that fit! It is coming together nicely now - after a rather frightening start.


What an interesting thread - I do like the Range Rover. Bizarrely, when I was a child I genuinely believed NASA's Lunar Rover was made by Land Rover - and could never understand why they didn't make more of it! :shock:

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Jeez, that's kwality bodgework you're undoing there. I wish there was a law banning people from car ownership if they are caught using silicon sealant, bridgeagap, pop rivets where there's should be welds and general ruinage of vehicles. Having said that, I'd have been arrested several times during my late teens.

Is it finished yet?!

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There are lots of theories about VELAR origins. IIRC the company was registered in Croydon to further throw off then scent. The VELAR were indeed made using Alvis and Rover lettering the A was an inverted P6 V with a bar added


V eight LAnd Rover is one theory

Another is that VELAR is Spanish for a Veil.


An extraordinarily high number of the original Velars have survived and go for very strong money indeed, aim for 6 figures and you shant be disappointed.


LR didnt take long to get the concept right. The first two had more or less captured with profile and the 3rd prototype had a lot of the detail in lace. Alas none of these three survive








#2 and #1 together












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Jeez, that's kwality bodgework you're undoing there. I wish there was a law banning people from car ownership if they are caught using silicon sealant, bridgeagap, pop rivets where there's should be welds and general ruinage of vehicles. Having said that, I'd have been arrested several times during my late teens.

Is it finished yet?!


nope it is a way off still, reckon it should be getting there by June 2017

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I was really struggling with shitty wire feed and over all control of my old SIP Migmate 130, get a weld going and the voltage would randomly fluctuate to the wire feed causing burn back and all sorts of other shite. I got more and more fed up with the damn thing.


This was strong and the hammer of doom could not flex it but it looked shit



So I cut it out



Made up a repair



Butt welded it in



Made up the leading edge



Welded and smoothed it in 





And am much happier, sliver of filler and it will be hidden. As a bonus the door shuts great with no shims and the gaps are even all around.




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On to the floor pan. The big problem here is with the qualitay of the pattern part. 


In Range Rover circles anything painted black is a pain to fit, Froggatts are going through and reproducing a lot of stuff but there is a wedge of stuff that is difficult to work with.


An example in case is the foorwell. the repair has the strengthening ribs which is good.




But it also includes a chunk of the bulkhead side but not in the way that it was originally manufactured. So that has to be removed.


Then the lip has to be folded 180degrees




Then you are pratting around with profiles. The profile against the bulkhead side is good. But the profile where it meets the trans tunnel is not. and when you get that right there is no longer the flat area to fit the bulkhead mount.




Days of farting around with this but I can now do them in a couple of hours


the key was making up a wooden former for the inner section and bending it, here you can see the difference in profiles




With the profiles sorted I was able to clamp the bulkhead mount to the footwell 



Checking inside and out







Before fitting my brand new Easy on Inner wings, expensive but because you know they are correct, they can be used as a reference point



Then welded the body mount and tightened that to the chassis





The inner wing bolts to the bulkhead front and side and also the body mount



The sill is attached to the footwell using screws and spire nuts







Yeah one quarter solid again





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Hooray for repair panels that fit! It is coming together nicely now - after a rather frightening start.


What an interesting thread - I do like the Range Rover. Bizarrely, when I was a child I genuinely believed NASA's Lunar Rover was made by Land Rover - and could never understand why they didn't make more of it! :shock:


Bloody hell - so did I !!!

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