Mechanical genius Mark Evans dusts off his overalls and introduces his new project. A 1985 Range Rover that is to be converted to a one off 100” wheelbase hybrid; as a tribute to 25 special vehicles that Landrover built for the French and Swiss armies in the late seventies. First Mark cleans off the grime off his donor car & checks the health of the mechanical parts.
Meanwhile, in the first of our regular features, “4x4 Extreme” sees an extreme hybrid V8 car in off-road terrain. Mark buys the body panels, and sets about modifying the chassis to support it all, by welding in some new outriggers and quickly causing himself problems!
Mark makes the brackets and plates to join the body and chassis to make the unique combination. All is not so simple, as the wheels do not go under the wheel arches!!
While Mark is busy adjusting the rear tub, Neil Phillips shows the lightweight alternative to a Landrover: the Suzuki SJ410. Mark visits the vehicle that inspired his mammoth project; an original Landrover 100” wheelbase prototype. Back in his workshop, Mark fired up his plasma cutter and moves the bulkhead back on his rear tub. The test will be if everything lines up as planned…
Mark makes his own rear cross member, and with the aid of Paul Harris shows everything there is to know about MIG welding. Mark wants to assemble his aluminum tub, so will the help of Paul, he makes first steps in learning the art of TIG welding.
“4x4 Extreme” takes us to an extreme Suzuki / Landrover hybrid, fitted with some Landrover suspension parts, and a 1600c Vitara engine. Mark ventures out of the workshop and introduces a new regular feature, looking at the fascinating history of Landrover, starting at the original series 1.
With the base chassis stripped, Mark shows how to assess and rebuild the transmission. He rebuilds the diffs, and shows how to incorporate air locks. More extreme Suzukis appear in 4x4 Extreme, and proves that even people who are too young to take their driving test can succeed in off road trials.
Mark’s attention turns to the front axle. The History of Landrover focuses on the infamous series 2 and 3.
Attention is turned to the monster V8! Cleaned, stripped of its ancillaries and decapitated, Mark assesses its condition. A unique V8 space frame Land Rover based offroader is put through its paces in “4x4 Extreme”. Mark visits a Land Rover Gearbox and transfer box specialist to find out how they work and what options are available for his project.
Away from the oily bits, the chassis is cleaned and goes through the specialist Galvanizing treatment. Meanwhile, Landrover history looks at the biggest revolution for the legendary company: The Range Rover.
The galvanized chassis arrives back at the workshop. When Mark has finished admiring it, he starts to build it up! First up: suspension!! Meanwhile “4x4 Extreme” introduces Rob Jones, a farmer who shows how practical a 4x4 really can be! Mark continues playing with bushes, trailing arms, and panhard rods, before experimenting with Springs and dampers.
Land Rover history focuses on the 1980s & 1990s through the headlamps of some rather special vehicles…
Mark makes himself a roll cage out of the longest piece of tube he could fit in his van, and shows you how to bend, assemble and fit it. “4x4 extreme” shows that offroading is not just for men: we meet a special lady who relishes driving her everyday car to the limits!
The History of Landrover is brought up to date with more unique vehicles. Back in the workshop, Mark strips down and assess the internals of his V8. Is it as really as good as he first thought?
Mark cleans his pistons, prepares and lubricates the crankshaft and engine block. Out of the workshop, we follow another extreme 4x4 trials driver, while Mark fits the pistons & rings into the bores. The camshaft & its followers assembled, followed by the heads!!
Keen to learn another trade, Mark turns his attention away from the oily parts in his garage, to the shiny land of the paint shop and posh paint!! Away from getting dirty, Mark escapes from hard graft to host a new regular slot: “When Landrovers go mad!!”
Mark paints & sets the timing on his newly assembled engine. Meanwhile, Alan King shows his class 1 Range Rover Special, which is extensively modified. Featuring hydraulic steering amongst its many modifications, it can do some serious offroading. Back in the workshop, Mark fits his core plugs, before venturing to his bench to show how to correctly remove a broken stud. Attention is then turned to rebuilding the oil pump.
Out of the workshop, Mark looks at a unique Range Rover, and then unites the newly fitted Clutch and gearbox to the engine. Mark then takes the strain as he fits the rebuilt running gear into the awaiting chassis.
Mark fits and assembles the bulkhead to the chassis. The wiring transforms from a jumble of multicoloured spaghetti to the vital veins of the beast’s electrical system. Outside in the mud, we are introduced to a unique BMW powered special: “Rock Rod”.
Mark also looks at a unique floating Landrover in “When Landrovers Go Mad”. While he out of his workshop, he visits a paint shop to prepare the body panels of his new beast, before turning his hand to the fine art of painting!
The Landrover is starting to take shape, and attention is turned to the brakes, but Mark quickly runs into serious problems with the fuel tank filler. “4x4 Extreme” pays homage to a Daihatsu and a Range Rover hybrid proves a cheap and simple but effective extreme offroader. Returning to the workshop, Mark’s attention is now on the performance exhaust.
“Land Rovers go mad” goes all celeb as we visit a very special vehicle that has been featured in the movies! Finally, Mark fits the ancillaries to the V8 engine. Can he get the monster to purr??
Attention now turns to assembling the body. Before starting fitting and modifying the dashboard, we take a look at an extreme 4x4 Range Rover “bobtail”. The rear cab is next to receive attention in the workshop.
With the project nearing completion, Mark throws off his overalls, and finds how to drive Landrovers off-road.
Not wanting his unique vehicle to be stolen under his nose, Mark invests in some sophisticated Alarm systems. He also makes his own tailgate, fits a winch, side protection, and snorkel; and forgets his Wedding anniversary!
A Defender features in “Extreme 4x4”, and Mark learns how to operate his new winch on an Off-road driving course.
The specialty tailored seats are fitted, plus the last of the windows and door panels; plus Mark gets all scientific with his suspension & wheels. A V6 Ford Capri engine powers an extreme Landrover in “4x4 Extreme”, making it ideal as a starter vehicle.
Mark learns more about driving off-road on side slope and in deep water to prepare him for the big day ahead, when he gets to drive his own Landrover... which is not far away!
It has been a journey of blood, sweat and tears: Mark put the finishing touches to his special 100” Landrover, before bringing it outside into the Spring sunshine. Mark wants to see where he is going by fitting extra lights.
Mark runs into a problem with his suspension while testing outside the workshop, but he decides to go out and test it where it was born for – Off-road!