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Tackling the frontend

Return of a Legend

Tackling the frontend

February 1, 2021
4
min read
by
Alec and Jan Forman
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This work was completed on Tuesday May 8, 2018

When approaching such a project, as a complete dismantle and eventual rebuild of any vehicle, there are many thoughts you might have on how and where to start. Should we start with the interior and strip away the carpeting and cabinetry? Or perhaps the front end and just start unbolting the engine components. Of course, as you take bits off you’ll need to be sure you remember where they go back. Labeling helps with this, but what if the majority of the bits are actually just rust — crumbling in your fingertips? Maybe overthinking is not necessary.

Our process, whether right or wrong and very much reliant on our energy levels, basically was to pick a spot and start loosening bolts and fasteners. Alec likes to refer to Land Rovers, strictly the original Series models, as big Meccano sets — easily adaptable to bolt on modifications and accessories.

So, we grabbed a basic set of tools (hammer, wrench, metal file, etc) and went to work. These following accomplishments were spread out over a few weeks.

The bonnet came off first, along with its mounting and hinge component.

Then we pulled out the driver and passenger seats, which will be so nice to have recovered.

Removing the moldy and tatty carpets revealed the extent of the corrosion in the footwell.

Next, Alec disassembled the pedals and seat bench box. Beneath the driver’s seat was the auxiliary fuel tank that we had fitted to our Series for our 1977 trip, to extend our range. With not many petrol stations across the desert, It proved very handy as we crossed the Sahara twice.

“It was vital to take the maximum amount of fuel on board, so Alec took down the extra six metal jerry cans from behind Dad’s box on the roof rack. Once filled, they were stored in the back of the Land-Rover to be used to top up the main fuel tanks as soon as possible. In total we had seventy-five gallons of fuel and twenty gallons of water for the desert crossing. We felt well prepared for the challenge and excited to see how our Land-Rover would perform off road, using all its cross-country capabilities.”

Excerpt From: Alec and Jan Forman. “Strangers Like Angels — With a Devil or Two to Boot.”

The auxiliary tank removal proved to be a major challenge, as many of the attachment nuts and bolts were corroded.

These annoying bolts required long hours of coercing and finally Alec resulted in drilling around them to finally have them break free.

Another easy win was the removal of the two front doors. and start of the dashboard components.


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