Well, long time in my opinion.
Well, to introduce myself, I'm turning 18, turning 19 in June and have been around Range Rover's since about 1995. I am a freshman at the University of Rhode Isalnd and am majoring in Computer Science and Minoring in Computer Forensics.
I have been roaming through www.rangerovers.net
BBS and Rovers North's BBS, and was wondering how there was such a small following of these vehicles, but it appears there is a good amount of people here!
It all started off when my father bought a 1987 Range Rover in the color of Cassis Red, around 1995. He and my mom drove it daily until I was about 15 or so, and stopped driving it for a number of reasons, biggest one was that the steering box had gotten to sloppy to be safe on the highway and such.
So, later in the year after it had sat a winter, my dad told me that if I got it running and replaced the steering box, I could use it as my first car. He supplied the parts, and I did the work, of course with some tutoring from him. I had about 6 months before I received my license so I ended up getting it done. Unfortunately all my older pictures are missing because they are all on a currupted CD that I had them backed up on..
She was mostly stock, but she did have OE HD springs from rovers north, and Bilstein's all the way around (including damper).
Here's the pictures that I do have....
Playing around, some articulation pictures...
Obviously she was a bit rough. Notice the rusted lower tailgate, the upper tailgate we redid in plexiglass temporarily because the old glass was broken. I replaced the lower tailgate with an ebay piece, but I don't have any pictures of that. It was free to me truck though, and a learning experience for me. Who can complain about that?
Here she is with some half worn Dunlop Radial Mud Rovers approx 31-32" diameter,I took them off our 78 F250 that I had used for years doing fire wood and other odd jobs, The ford is where I first started my mechanical learning I suppose.
So, form there you can tell that I am of the off-road breed.
I sunk a few times, having to be towed home due to a muddy ECU, etc.. Good fun. I eventually put some spring spreading brackets in temporarily that gave me another inch or so lift. Unfortunately all of my other pictures are on that CD.
So, after driving it for a year or so, the tranny blew its main seal, and I had to "beach the whale" for a while. I found a 1988 white Range Rover on ebay for 800 dollars and figured I could take the transmission, and part it out and come out on the positive side.
Well, took about 6 months, but I got the tranny in!
Ran great for a month, then leaving my high school the timing chain slipped and caused havoc to the engine.... So, since then (almost 2 years) I had been Roverless. I parted out the white truck, and made a couple thousand probably on parts, which was great, and I had plans to swap the engine from the 88 into the 87, but the time was a factor. Didn't get to it for a while, and was driving a volvo 740 turbo wagon, and didn't really work on it for a while.
My lifelong dream was to own a porsche, so I found a ratty old cheap Porsche 944 on ebay, and used my savings from parting the rover towards buying that, which worked great until recently blowing a headgasket, and i'm in the process of rebuilding that engine.
So, last spring or so, ( a few months after getting the porsche) i began looking in a different direction for the rover. The 87 had horrible chassis rust (we had plates welded all over to keep it holding the car togehter) and I just felt it wasn't worth the work to now move the engine over, evne though I had just spent all the time on the transmission. So I began looking for a rover with possibly a good engine, but needing interior, exterior, or suspension related work, and figured I could build that one up from mine, which was in nice shape interior and suspension wise.
I ended up finding a 1989 Range Rover (also in white) on ebay, did a little bargaining through email and got him to end the auction for 750 bucks. Engine and tranny are good, interior is great, chassis is much better than mine was (only surface rust) and the exterior was in nice shape. It was in NH (I'm in rhode island). I was excited to possibly have a 3.9L rangie now, as the 3.5 was painfully slow, as you all know. The plan was, that if it did not turn out to be worth fixing up, I could either put the 3.9 in my truck, and/or part the whole 89 out. So it turns out when we get there, there is NO floors on teh driver and passenger front, as is common, we had fiberglassed the 87's rusted out floors. This was much worse than anythign I had ever seen before though, there was NO sill panels, the door pillars were not even connected to the chassis anymore. I could see the tires through the floor. Also, the front shock towers were rusted and nolonger connected because they rusted completely through. SO the 4 hour trip home was lots of fun, you cna imagine, driving 60mph or so wiht no front shocks, dad following behind with flashers on, it was a bit of a trip, especially when the brakes temporarily disappeared halfway home, while hitting an exit ramp on 495.
So I decided to go with it. Last summer i swapped the springs and bilsteins over (all of which was only a year or two old), and swapped in my brakes, fixed a brake line, did spark plugs, wires, rotor, etc.. in engine bay, cleaned up the interior, great fun. I was leaving the floors to be worried about later, hoping I could get the whole thing ready to take over for the porsche once the winter came.
Well, of course things got delayed, floors turned into a lot more work than I planned! So, by march or so of this year we got the floors done, we welded old bed frame that we cut up, to the chassis member that comes out to hold the floor (just inside the sill) and then used steel plating and reconstructed floors. We welded the door pillars to the framing we put in, and now it is at least as strong as original, possibly more. A lot of wor had to be done to patch up the front and rear wheel wells as well. I went to get it inspected, but failed because the rear of the car's structure they did not trust. Took a look back there, unbolted the rear tailgate, and the rear crossmember pulled right out of the truck, the mounts had rusted off of it, and the wings on both side were gone! the rear corners were not really connected to much anymore, and later on we realized that the passenger rear was sagging over an inch! I found a rear crossmember on DAP, and ordered it, and we were able to get it in, and weld it.
Prior to doing this, I air chisseled the entire rear chassis to get all teh surface rust off, any weak points we welded metal plating to strenthen it. I then did about 5 coatins of rust treatment, and once the rust was gone, I coated the entire rear chassis (and the new crossmember) with truck bed coating. I also did the rear bumper as well. I don't have perfect before and after pictures, and a lot of these pictures are camera phone pictures, but it came out spectacular.
Here's a ton of pictures of the work.
Oh and things got pushed off because once winter started i needed somewhere inside to work, and we built a small greenhouse to be my new car workshop!
Pictures from the shop, sorry about the horrible angles...
Fixing the rear chassis, somewhat before and afters!
Before: (this is after getting off teh chunks of surface rust with the chisel)
before crossmember install)
After: (with crossmember)
And, FINALLY INSPECTED:
And, yes, I got it muddy this weekend in my trails, actually my dirtbike trails in my woods...
This picture is cool, took it that day as well, it's now my computers background!
And to finish, a little German/British compare/contrast!!
Hope I can help out around here/get help whenever possible. If anyone's made it this far down my rambling, hope you enjoyed my story!