Selecting a Core Vehicle
To get started, we will first need a restoration candidate. You can choose a Land Rover from our unrestored inventory. These Land Rovers have already been deemed satisfactory for a full restoration, simply choose a color and options and we will begin your restoration as soon as the next time slot is available. Or, you may already own a Land Rover that you would like restored. If this is the case then we will need to do an evaluation on it to determine its condition and suitability for restoration. If the key components on the vehicle are not in good shape we may recommend sourcing a different vehicle for the restoration.
Next we will create a spec sheet, a detailed list of what will go into building your Land Rover and determine the cost of the project. We will then request a $20,000 deposit and sign the project agreement. A restoration takes about one year to complete, we will divide up the project cost into 12 monthly payments and invoice you at the end of every month. Invoices can be paid by credit card, direct deposit or a check.
The project starts with a complete tear down. The vehicle will be fully disassembled every rivet, nut, bolt and screw will be removed. All mechanical sub assemblies are are then prepped for rebuild.
Each panel will be sanded to bare aluminum and any dents worked out with a hammer and dolly. Any cracks or unnecessary holes will be repaired by TIG welded. Steel parts like the firewall will be sandblasted, the rust cut out and new steel welded in. The body panels will now be repainted. As a rule we paint both sides of every panel to help with corrosion resistance.
After the body panels are prepped for paint, the drivetrain work will be begin. The engine is fully rebuilt to NAO specifications with a 2.5 liter cam and hardened valve seats to allow the use of unleaded gas. Components like the clutch, clutch hydraulics, alternator and water pump are replaced with new parts. After the restored motor is dropped into the frame rails, we will mate a rebuilt Series III transmissions to it. Unlike the original Series IIA transmission, the Series III transmission is fully synchronized so you will not need to double clutch when shifting from first to second gear. The differentials are rebuilt and the axle housings are sandblasted and repainted in chassis black. The swivel assemblies are rebuilt and shimmed to the proper preload.
The boxed design of the Land Rover's frame is very strong but also susceptible to rust when road salt and mud gets trapped inside. Most original frames have some degree of hidden rust or stress cracks so we begin every project with a new galvanized frame. The axles are installed on new parabolic springs and damped with nitrogen gas shocks. These springs ride much smoother than the stiff original springs that were designed for carrying heavy loads. Five new 16" wheels wheels are painted in Limestone and new 7.50 16 tires are mounted to complete the rolling chassis. The drivetrain is installed in the chassis, the stainless exhaust system and new driveshafts are connected. The steering box and steering relay are rebuilt and all new tie road ends installed. The brake system is converted to dual master cylinder power brakes and the front drum brakes are replaced with Defender front disc brakes.
After the body panels have been painted they will be reassembled. Many steel parts that make contact with the aluminum panels are galvanized to prevent galvanic corrosion (the steel is now isolated from the aluminum with a coating of zinc). And of course, the exterior parts that came from the factory with a galvanized finish are re-galvanized for an original appearance. The body cappings are fastened to the freshly painted body panels using the correct hammer rivets. Every nut, bolt, washer and rivet is replaced during the restoration. Door tops are especially prone to rust and corrosion so new extruded aluminum units are used that will last a lifetime. New glass is installed in the re-galvanized windshield frame. The bulkhead, windshield frame, soft top hoop set and tub are installed, the doors are then hung and the bulkhead and tub shimmed and adjusted for optimum door fit. All new door weatherstripping is installed followed by the gas tank, sills, seatbox and floors.
The interior is returned to like-new condition. All body panels are painted to the same standards as the exterior because this is what you see inside the Land Rover as there is almost no interior trim. New Defender shoulder harness seat belts are installed using a seat belt bar to locate their anchor point in the proper location. New Defender lap belts are also installed for the rear seats as well.
It is now time to turn the key and fire up the engine. Hearing the rebuilt engine come to life is always exciting! Before taking it out for its first test drive, we will thoroughly inspect the Land Rover following our pre-test drive check list. We will put 100 test drive miles on the vehicle to ensure that everything is working properly. The newly restored Land Rover is now ready for delivery to its new home, where it will provide decades of faithful service and help make wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.