The frameover, part 4


(this is a continuation of part 1, part 2 and part 3)

February 27: Okay. Here's a recap - a little foggy - of the rest of the weekend. Saturday morning began with me running the last couple of hydraulic lines, then removing the bulkhead from the new frame. Don Piburn showed up and ended up working all day with me. He's got 30 years of Land Rover experience, so he was a very useful guy to have around! After removing the various parking brake bits and the wiring harness, we pulled out the engine and tranny as a unit and dropped in the new frame. The battery box needed to be removed as well, but it transferred pretty easily. We then put the bulkhead back on and started buckling everything up. The new wiring harness was installed on the engine. We also pulled the rear tub off the old frame and stood it on end so I could replace the destroyed supports and do the rear light wiring. I began work on hooking up the steering. Thanks to Ken Hill and Bill Cardell for helping lift that off. That night, Jesse Nolan dropped in and helped me rework the tub. We then muscled it into place and called it a night.

Sunday morning saw me finish the steering. Don dropped by again and started to bolt in the rear tub. A few hours later, Bill Cardell graciously dropped by and spent the afternoon with me. He put the interior in place after we realigned the bulkhead. I worked on the wiring and instruments, getting enough of it assembled that we could expect to start the truck. We had to drop the gas tank in order to fit the bracket for the parking brake - oops. Bill's 18 years of experience running a repair shop made bleeding the hydraulics a simple matter - until one of the reused fittings failed. Naturally, it was fairly inaccessible. After the second attempt at re-flaring the end I had to give up in exhaustion. Bill and his wife Teri took pity on me and fed me dinner. I was disappointed at missing my goal.

Monday, I removed one of the braces for the bulkhead, reflared the fitting and we bled the brakes in about 15 minutes. The first attempt at starting - and once the engine was properly grounded to the frame, he started right up. A note - POR is too good an insulator. Having the ground strap attached to a bolt that goes right through the frame isn't good enough. The clutch worked...then Basil backed out of the garage under his own power! The rebuilt steering is lighter than the old, but otherwise it felt very familiar.

Since then, I have cleaned up the shop - a long job!- and cut up the old frame. Whew.

So, would I recommend this weekend rebuild? Well, it did involve essentially building a new Land Rover out of spare parts. I would not have been able to do this without careful planning and preparation - and most importantly, the help of some experienced enthusiasts and a very well equipped shop. It was exhausting and rather shattering emotionally, but now Basil is stronger than ever.

Getting ready to lift the drivetrain out.
Look! A go-kart!
Ready for the tub.
Hmm. A bit of work to do before the tub goes on.
Getting closer. Now it's detail work, not as gratifying as the big stuff.
The steering is hooked up.
The wiring is a work in progress...
Bill installs the seatbox.
This is almost looking like a vehicle again. Shortly after, Basil left the shop under his own power!
Cutting up the old frame. The only reusable part is the rear crossmember, a year old!
Basil and his parts sit outside.
Note the careful wiring job. That's mostly for lights.
Frame for sale. Cheap.

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