This month's homepage focuses upon the advantages of keeping worn or damaged Series Land Rover parts instead of simply throwing them away. A variety of reasons for hoarding are listed and discussed below. The importance of these become more greater the more remote your working environment is. There is even a case for obtaining parts not currently required, if they are available at virtually no cost e.g. from car boot sales or garage clearance sales etc.
Some parts will need to be stored carefully in air-tight containers, if corrosion problems are to be avoided. The longer you think it might be before the part is required then the more care that needs to be taken regarding storage.
Whilst the detailed reasons for the removal of a part from your Land Rover may be clear in one's mind initially,
that knowledge will fade with time. So record the date and any relevant technical points about the particular part and why it was removed before you commit it to storage.
Insurance against unavailability
Most parts for Series Land Rovers
are still available, some can even be obtained as 'new old stock' (NOS), but the list of 'hard to find' parts gets longer each year. If you intend to keep your vehicle for years to come, then it makes sense to keep those 'hard to find' parts you've removed. If they could be re-engineered to work again (albeit at considerably more expense than a current replacement part), then they may provide the means of getting your vehicle (or someone else's) back on the road again in the future, when such parts are then unobtainable. There is a also a case for renoting an old original part as opposed to fitting a new re-manufactured part of less durability. The quality of some brand new carburettors is questionable.
Can cannibalise for needed components
Some Series I,II or III parts consist of multiple components, yet are sold as a single unit. Examples would be
distributors, dynamos, alternators, fuel pumps, carburettors to name but a few. Each of these items and many others, have service kits available for the parts most subject to wear. But aging over decades, or accident damage, can cause deterioration in actual structural parts of a unit. In these circumstances being able to remove still serviceable structural parts from an old unit can help reconstruct a new one.
Use as an emergency spare
Sometimes we replace parts for either performance or economic reasons. Examples of this might be swapping a standard distributor for an electronic version or exchanging a Solex or Zenith carburettor for a Weber. In an emergency situation it would then be advantageous to simply swap back to the former part to get your Land Rover back on the road.
Use as template when there's a need to replace again
Some parts for Series Land Rovers have changed only gradually over time, but knowledge of these small changes can be essential to get the specific part you require. In a mail order situation the correct part may require knowledge of the specific part number, but at a Land Rover Show autojumble, taking along the removed part is more likely to ensure a correct replacement. There are also a few parts which can be used on a Series Land Rover that were designed for other vehicles. Two such examples are fan belts and alternators.
Use as an expendable model to learn how it works
Knowing how a component part works can be beneficial in understanding how it might develop a fault or how a future repair may be accomplished. Some parts are 'sealed for life' during manufacture and cannot be inspected internally without serious risk of damage. One such part is the voltage stabiliser that steps down the voltage from 12volt to 10volt for the fuel and temperature gauges. Opening up a damaged part after a repalcement has been fitted can add to your knowledge base and may enable you to perform a repair without the urgency of needing the vehicle back on the road. You could then have a useable spare for retention or sale.
Keep incase it was not the real problem
We sometimes need to resort to the substitution of parts in order to identify what the cause of a problem is. In the case of problems with intermittent symptoms we sometimes find that the initial part substitution has not solved the problem. We need to be careful in not being too confident that our diagnosis and solution is correct. If it is founfd that a wrong substition was made then it is often best to re-fit the removed part and keep the new repalcement as a spare for the future.
As a practise piece to rehearse a repair
There are quite a few parts on a Series Land Rover that can be repaired, either using a commercial repair kit, or by use of standard workshop engineering practises. If a part has been replaced as a matter of urgency, then rather than attempting to repair it, it can be useful to keep the part and go through the motions of a repair in order to gain experience for next time. If the repair goes well then fine and good, otherwise, valuable experience will have been gained should you need to attempt a similar repair in the future. Typical parts that fit this category may be the carburettor, alternator, fuel pump etc.
As a template for making a new part
Whilst the bodywork of Series Land Rovers is aluminium-based, there are chassis outriggers, support pillars, footwells etc. that are steel-based and prone to rust. Replacement parts are often available, but if for any reason it is necessary to fabricate a repair yourself, then it is helpful to have the original part available to make measurements on and use as a comparison during construction. So try to remove damaged parts with the minimum of additional damage if you intend to fabricate the replacement yourself.
(To see previous homepages visit the Homepage Archives link)