I have decided to do a thread on this, both as a record for myself, and because a couple of people have expressed an interest in my efforts; so here you go.
I've been running this 109" for twenty seven years, and it's had lots of work in that time. It's a proper "Trigger's broom" as, whilst I have always preferred earlier ones with central lights and all-metal dash, I have also needed to actually use it as a daily, so a lot of later parts/upgrades have happened.
It still looks like a snotter though, but at least that means I'm not afraid to use it.
A few years ago (2007 to be precise), I converted it to 200 Tdi power which, for the uninitiated, is one of the best engines ever to come out of Solihull and is, pretty much, the pinnacle of development of the original 1958 Rover 2-litre high speed diesel engine.
That engine was bought without hearing it running, for not very much money, and with about 200,000 miles on the clock. Since then it's done another 100,000 miles and is getting very tired. I also have a chipped tooth somewhere in the third gear train in the gearbox, and I've been avoiding third now for the best part of three years.
Last year, a domestic upheaval meant that my planned automotive trajectory (a new Up! Gti) was well and truly scuppered. If that had panned out, I'd been intending to "retire" the Land-Rover from "daily" duties, and treat it to some love over a long-ish period of time. Instead, I found myself in the dawning reality of likely driving the Land-Rover indefinitely, and that meant a leisurely rebuild wasn't going to be possible.
So, I've spent the last year or so slowly rebuilding and amassing bits for the 109" in preparation for a major organ swap and work through of the mechanicals.
To start with I stripped and rebuilt a spare gearbox. Many years ago, long before I was married, my girlfriend of the time had horses, and she used to occasionally drive the Landy in connection with them. Now, those of you that know about these things will be aware that there's no synchromesh on first or second in a Series 2 gearbox. This little issue was neatly circumvented by her simply smashing it into whatever gear she needed. As a result, Sharon-the-Gearbox-Destroyer managed to wreck two gearboxes in six months. In an effort to prevent this happening again, I fitted a gearbox from a later Series 3 Landy, which has synchro in all forward gears. Because the clutch release mechanisms are completely different between Series 2 and 3 'boxes, and because I was both skint and in possession of perfectly useable early parts, I built a hybrid gearbox using the main casing and innards of the Series 3 type, and the bellhousing and clutch release from the early one. It's a proven technique, and it's worked well enough for the best part of twenty years. The gearbox that's in there now I rebuilt, properly, to the same spec and fitted just before the Tdi went in in '07. It does leave you with the heavy clutch pedal action of the early boxes though which wasn't an issue when I was younger, but is becoming increasingly an issue now...
...so, the first thing i did when stripping my spare box down was to source the needed parts to convert it back to full Series 3 spec. It's not had a "cost no object, new everything" rebuild. It was working OK before I took it out, which I only did because Tdis had a reputation of wrecking boxes, and once I got it in bits everything inside actually checked out OK. I replaced a couple of bearings, and put all new seals and gaskets in it, and restored it to its original type of clutch release which, along with a modified clutch pedal box that I'll detail later, will give me a significantly lighter clutch pedal.
With the gearbox done, I turned my attentions to the spare engine I've had tucked away. This engine cost me the princely sum of £80, had been sat outside for a few months before I bought it in 2006, and had been stored and shunted around various lockups of mine, so I was not expecting too much when I pulled it apart. Good thing really, as it was pretty disappointing. The engine itself didn't look to have done very many miles, but it had had a cambelt change done by someone who really shouldn't have been allowed out with anything sharp. Instead of using a new crank pulley bolt, with thread lock, and torqued up FT, they'd used copperslip and when I went to undo it it was barely finger tight. The crank pulley/damper, which is a substantial affair, had been left to wobble on the end of the crank and had comprehensively knackered itself, the crankshaft and the sprocket behind it. So I had to scrap a crank that measured absolutely spot on everywhere else.
So, in for a penny, in for a pound. I invested in a new crank. New mains, big ends and thrust washers. The pistons cleaned up OK and the bores looked OK and measured up within tolerance - factory hatching still visible in the bores. A quick glaze bust with the hone, and some new rings was the order of the day. A couple of the cam rollers had some pitting on them, but the cam and its bearings were OK, so the rollers were replaced. All the rest of the cam follower assemblies were fine. I swapped the cylinder head for one that I'd had refurbished a decade or so ago, and also replaced the rocker shaft with a new one I had in store and that saw the top end sorted. New oil pump, all new gaskets and seals - you know the drill.
I had an unwelcome expense with the injector pump - the bill for sorting that was more than I paid for the other engine, and the injector overhaul was another couple of hundred quid. I know I could have robbed the ones off my current engine, but I wanted to have one complete lump going in, and one coming out to rebuild, so I felt I had no choice but grit my teeth and get it done. In the same vein, I fitted a new starter and alternator to it. Both the engines came originally from Discoverys, which means they have a timing chest layout that allows them to bolt straight up to a Series chassis mounting points with no modifications. Using the full Discovery setup though makes things impossibly tight between the chassis and the turbo, so I have a Defender manifold and turbo assembly on each of them. They're hard to find, and expensive when you do, but make running the exhaust much simpler and don't involve any chassis cutting or creative fabrication or plumbing to make them fit.
So with an engine done as well, I turned my attention to the other stuff that would make sense to do whilst the motor was in bits. I obtained a clutch pedal box from a 300 Tdi Defender, which uses an over-centre helper/return spring rather than just a massive tension spring to help with lightening the clutch action. I cleaned it up, replaced the metric captive nuts with UNF ones (I know, I'm insane), cut the later small girly pedal pad off and replaced it with the original style big square steel one, and gave it all a coat of paint and a new hydraulic cylinder.
The later gearbox has its slave cylinder on the other side, so I made up a suitable pipe and brackets to join it to the earlier setup's flexible hose.
Then I sourced a late Series 3 brake pedal box and servo assembly, refurbished it and fitted it with a new dual circuit master cylinder - that will be a useful upgrade from the standard single circuit unnerved system that i have at present.
I then dug out a pair of underseat toolboxes I'd bought a number of years ago, one for the passenger side with a double depth battery box, the other to go in the vacant space under the driver's seat.
Finally, I bought an Eberspacher/Webasto style diesel fired heater, which will go under the driver's seat.
Then I sat and waited, and waited, and waited for it to stop raining.
This next ten days I'm supposed to be on holiday, but we have lockdown so all that is cancelled. And the weather forecast is dry. So I have no excuses but to get on with it.