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1969 Land Rover 109 Series 2a restoration Page 1

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A bit of history.

This is my 1969 petrol Series 2A 109. I got her in 1997 from a friend, who towed it to me using his own 2a V8 and a trailer. The wife was very impressed. I'd mentioned some months before that I fancied a 109 to work on - I hadn't seen it - it just got delivered. After narrowly avoiding a major incident after the trailer un-hitched while being turned round on a hilly cul-de-sac junction. I managed to divert the runaway vehicle + trailer sufficiently (by hand) thus preventing it from making it's way down the hill.

Anyway, it was 450, it appeared to be 'all there' and had pretty straight body work. 

Amazingly, with a bit of petrol and a battery, it started up. Not bad for a vehicle that had been in an open field for the previous 9 years.

The hoops came with it, and I managed to get a 3/4 canvas from the Old Sodbury sortout (when it was at Old Sodbury).

Needless to say - the chassis was a bit......well...rotten.

I got some steel plates, a new back cross member, some outriggers, bought a welder and an angle grinder and got started. It was only a patch up job really, and a few essentials later (new plugs, points, coil filter etc) - somehow we managed to scrape through an MoT.

It goes without saying, that there were a few running repairs during the next 5 or 6 years - and mostly nothing major went wrong; A few exhausts, a starter solenoid (luckily I had the cranking handle with me when that went), the odd set of brake shoes and calliper. The handbrake oil seal always leaked, so the handbrake never really worked. I used to pull it on going down steep, long hills on the way to the MoT every year to try and burn the excess oil off the shoes in an attempt to at least get some form of braking. Luckily - it always seemed good enough to pass. Tip - find a Land Rover friendly garage - not a main dealer with shelves of spares they're trying to get rid of - but one of the old tin shed garages with people who appreciate the more mature vehicle.

The old patch up work began to let me down, and I felt that it wasn't fair to keep taking it to the garage and expecting it to pass each year. You can't take the piss can you? It was time to perform a chassis swap. 

She was still running on 4 star (or LRP as it was then) - so I planned to get the head converted while she was stripped down + any other bits that cropped up.

I went for a Marsland chassis (not for any particular reason) at 1220 + extra for delivery. It sat in the garden for a while while I worked up the enthusiasm to start. In reality, I was just waiting for the weather to turn a bit colder and wetter to make it all more enjoyable.

I planned to fit some polybushes to the new chassis - but failed to mention that to Marsland. Big mistake. The regular bushes that come already inserted into the chassis are a real pain in the arse to remove. It took literally man weeks to get them out without damaging the surrounding chassis. My Dad made me some tools for doing the job (huge stud rod, tubes and spacers - don't get me started - I'm still trying to forget the experience)

Here she is a couple of hours after my brother (available for hire) Darron and I started peeling the bodywork off. It didn't look as bad from above as it did from below. The rust was everywhere though, and the paint which I'd previously applied the last time all the bodywork was off and the chassis patched, had long gone.

LandRover 013.jpg (99888 bytes) From another angle.
LandRover 007.jpg (93071 bytes) Head on.
LandRover 010.jpg (105909 bytes) The engine - still looking good...Not.
LandRover strip 085.jpg (99473 bytes) Filo pastry - only old Land Rovers and sausage rolls will crumble in this way.
Bulk head One knackered bulkhead. It was hung from the car port roof like a piece of meat for about 6 months. It seemed the safest way to work on it.

 Page 2 will be arriving soon

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