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
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
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
||From another angle.
||The engine - still looking good...Not.
||Filo pastry - only old Land Rovers and sausage
rolls will crumble in this way.
||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
Maybe you'd like to share any renovations you've
done. We'd love to publish your experiences for other viewers to
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restorations - anything would be great. Please mail us here
with anything you want to share.