Tag: restoration

  • Belting it out

    Belting it out

    A rattling noise that occurs at higher rpms near the top of each gear and may at first seem to be a dying mainshaft bearing or oil throwing wheel gone bad may in fact have a much simpler fix. Opening the bonnet whilst attempting to duplicate the behaviour reveals that the screeching sound seems to…

  • Blacksmith style jumpers

    Blacksmith style jumpers

    A simply-made d.i.y. set of heavy-duty jumper cables assembled from welding ground cables and clamps. Sturdy construction, highly flexible and wear-resistant, plenty of copper and a very strong bite for good connections. The negative clamps are differentiated by a coat of traditional tree-source urushi lacquer, normally used for Japanese sword scabbards. The two cables are…

  • Feeling at home

    Feeling at home

    A first visit to the forest on the island with Daisy, a 1997 Japan Specification Land Rover Defender 90 that spent most of its life in the Kansai area. The air is still cool but the light makes it feel like spring is arriving. Several small items have been checked off slowly so far after…

  • Mainland adventure

    Mainland adventure

    A quick stop next to an ivy covered tree along the upper edge of the river. While on the lower mainland, Daisy had a few things taken care of including a provincial inspection, refresh of wheels and tires, daytime running lights, front bumper cleanup and powder coating, and a general look-over. We are grateful to…

  • Adjusting the bonnet catch

    Adjusting the bonnet catch

    It is always nice to come across a piece of equipment that was designed with future adjustability in mind. Perhaps a little known fact is that the bonnet (hood) catch on a series rover can be adjusted to compensate for wear and change over the years. There is a nut above the spring that locks…

  • Canvas Bonnet Strip

    Canvas Bonnet Strip

    Series rovers originally had braided canvas cord filler strips along the front of the bonnet to cushion the closing or contact point and prevent unnecessary airflow or dust entry. At some point long ago this one had been replaced with a self-adhesive foam strip, which had subsequently degraded. Replacements in the original style are now…

  • Removing the grille

    Removing the grille

    Up to late 2a, series rovers had metal wire grilles in front of the radiator. A legendary use for these grilles was as an actual cooking surface in an emergency situation in a remote location. They may also need to be removed occasionally for cleaning, access to the bonnet catch, or steering mechanism. One way…

  • Window seals

    Window seals

    The original rear window seals had largely perished, hardening, cracking, and shrinking to leave significant gaps at the bottom of the windows, the largest opening being about an inch long. The two part system in comprised of a sealing strip and a centre filler strip. Judging by the current condition and surface textures the factory…

  • Tool making

    Tool making

    There is a specialized windscreen fillet tool in the Rover manual for installing the filler strip for the window seals, however they do not seem to be around anymore and even the vaguely similar replacements are very hard to locate. With a little blacksmithing a reasonable facsimile is possible to make. The main material in…

  • In hindsight

    In hindsight

    Finally time to put the proper looking mirrors back on. Side mirrors on series up to 2a are round and mounted near the front of the wings, series 3 introduced larger rectangular mirrors first on the wings and later on the windscreen hinges, and defenders are integrated with the door hinges. Concerns about the small,…

  • Mind the gap

    Mind the gap

    Some gracious friends allowed the use of their dry climate controlled space during a brief window when it was available. Since the arrival of the rivets, the onset of the wet and wintery season has prevented any work on sealing the drip rail around the roof. This timely opening provides the opportunity to move forward…

  • Urushi & tea leaves

    Urushi & tea leaves

    The incredibly excessive atmospheric moisture of this winter overwhelmed the painted finish on the steering wheel and it started flaking off. Series rover steering wheels are notorious for breaking down after about 50 years. The coating on the outside wears off over time and the composite material leaves black sludge on your hands when the…

  • License to chill

    License to chill

    A fun challenge creating a replica vintage Angolan license plate for a timeless look in photos. It was designed based on photos of examples from the time period, cut and formed from a rusty scrap of sheet steel using a few simple blacksmithing tools, and finished with traditional Japanese baked lacquer and tung oil. The…

  • Cat flap handle

    Cat flap handle

    The original rear “cat flap” door handle broke off one dark and rainy night (see first photo below), and was quickly fashioned into an interior handle while waiting for the exterior replacement to arrive. Once the replacement arrived a few blacksmithing skills made quick work of modifying and installing it. Under the collar of the…

  • Time for intense reflection

    Time for intense reflection

    After decades of service the aftermarket rear corner reflectors had a diminished performance approximately on par with dots of red paint. A pair of nicely-designed Lucas reflectors was sourced along with the roof rivets and installation was relatively quick and easy. Some testing with a small flashlight shows quite a difference between the old and…