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February 2012 Homepage (UK/Europe)

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Series Land Rover Restoration

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Decide whether you wish to restore a vehicle just to roadworthy condition, or do you wish to have it appear as it may have appeared just after leaving the factory? It took me 6 months to restore my Series IIA Land Rover in order to get it through its MOT certificate. It had simply stood idle and unattended on grass for several years. Improvements are still continuing - decades later.

Series Land Rovers were designed for ease of maintenance and repair. Many mechanical parts are DIYserviceable and specific repair kits are readily available.

It will almost certainly take you longer than you initially estimate. Having both a full-time job and a Series Land Rover restoration leaves little time for other things. You will need to decide whether to work on those aspects of the vehicle that will allow you to get it to roadworthy state first, or jump in at the deep end, and do a complete vehicle strip down. If you are planning to work over the winter period, then less daylight hours may be a factor to consider.

Restoration is costly and you will not recover the money spent if you sell the Land Rover, even if you do all the work yourself. Professional restoration costs are likely to exceed the purchase price of the unrestored vehicle.

Restoration requires lots of space; preferably indoors, otherwise you will be dependent upon the weather. Do you have enough space available? Could you rent it economically? When forced to work outdoors with limited hard ground, I have found a large sheet of 10mm plywood useful as a base for the lifting crane when removing the engine or gearbox. The width of the plywood is cut to the distance between the front wheels. At least you can then get the engine and gearbox indoors.

You will need to source all the parts required, in the order needed, as financing allows and according to the restoration schedule. If you are delayed, whilst waiting for parts, your schedule crumbles. You may need to pay more for parts to arrive more quickly and that will increase costs. A parts catalogue for your particular Series Land Rover is very useful here.

Is there any help available? Some parts are heavy and/or awkward to remove or refit. Potentially inconvenienced family members and neighbours need to be supportive of your endeavors.

A variety of specialist tools such as a torque wrench and engine hoist will be required. If you don’t already own these, and can’t borrow them when required, then you need to budget for the purchase or hire of them. If your restoration will involve welding, do you have the equipment and the skills required?

Series Land Rover Restoration

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