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Defender 110 Rebuild


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I bought this 110 from a fellow LR club member watching Ireland V Wales in March 2018. I've been driving various Land Rovers since 2002and regret in particular selling a lovely 1970's 88" with a galvanised chassis. My current drive is a very nice P38 4.6 HSE, but I'd been in the look-out for something to replace the 88" for a while.

Then this 110 came up from a trusted member of the club (remind you of this forum?) and over a few pints, it seemed like a good idea :laugh:. So I committed to buy and broke the news to Mrs Deco when I got home. Luckily Mrs Deco likes Landys too so I got off relatively lightly and she said I could call it my 50th present.

It been sitting in my driveway ever since. Unroadworthy, weeds growing under it and out of various dents and cracks in it. A conversation piece with neighbours and vistiors alike.

I tried contacting an ex-club member whom I knew to be a perfectionist and had refurbished a number of his own Land Rovers to a very high, if slightly over the top standard. I'd heard he was considering starting a Land Rover refurbishment business as a sideline. No reply to my email. My Land Rover mechanic didn't need the headache of the basket case he reckoned this is. A well recommended panel beater said he was doing me a favour by refusing to work on it. 

Then a casual conversation gave me the correct contact details for the perfectionist! A phone call, cup of tea and a catch later (after 11 year!) we were crawling around the 110 poking it with a screwdriver and hammer and discussing the good and the bad.



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Now I was considering replacing the P38 as it had been giving some electronic/electrical problems, so thoughts turned to a replacement everyday drive. It was also becoming obvious that I wouldn't be refurbishing the 110 myself. The business was going well and taking up a lot of my time, anyway whilst I'll build anything from a shed to period house restoration, I struggle to change a light bulb in a car.

Hence the call to the trusted enthusiast. Speaking about it, I had a choice of buying a normal car which would depreciate quickly, or spending the money rebuilding the Defender into an everyday drive which probably wouldn't depreciate as fast. The negatives are that I'd be driving a slow, noisy, bone shaker that one friend describes as a "portable hen house" and another as a "barn on wheels". On the plus side, I'd be driving the car I wanted, re-built to my specification. The fact I drive about 6,000 miles per year means I can drive something that might not be practical for higher mileage. More importantly and perhaps uniquely in mankinds history, Mrs Deco agreed that we should spend the money on the Defender, rather than a sensible family saloon.

The perfectionist and I determined that the chassis, bulkhead, engine, gearbox and running gear generally are in pretty good nick. The 110 is a lot better than it appears, the bent panels are to due it's life as team building off-road vehicle. We also both personally know the mechanic who carried regular servicing and repairs who gave us further reassurance.

Despite, it's shoddy appearance the 110 is actually in pretty good nick underneath the battered panels. A price pending thorough inspection was agreed a couple of weeks and a few pots of tea later.

This is the initial eye-watering list of parts:


Edited by Deco
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That looks like a big list:swoon:.

i helped my cousins husband strip and rebuild a 90 years ago. That had new doors, rear tub, rear quarter chassis, 300tdi engine conversion with correct gearbox, boost alloys with br Goodrich ATs, new side steps, window & door seals, stainless exhaust and a respray in Monte Carlo blue. It looked the mutts nuts. Plus all the little bits like stainless bolts etc.

It was fairly easy to do really. Like a giant mecanno set. I think we put 6 coats of red oxide and about 4 coats of chassis black paint on the chassis once it was stripped of all but the engine and gearbox. It was then wax oiled inside and out. I would imagine it'll last a while. They sold it less than a year afterwards. Wish I'd have bought it really.

Good luck with the rebuild. I imagine it won't be cheap, but well worth it.:thumbs_up:

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