My Restoration of a Land Rover Series 111

Military Lightweight (Air Portable)

26211_1398890329883_1161003486_31155995_7682084_n

 

I brought “oat” (that’s its reg number) My Military Lightweight, in March 2010. It was purely by chance I heard about its sale, an old farmer friend who I knew from my early Land rovering days, informed me;

His neighbour was selling up and had “Oat” in one of his barns on a farm in the North York Moors Area. Was I interested?

No not really, was my reply, I had given up messing with Land rover some years before, And a Land rover Owned by a Farmer, well that will be well used..

 

Still out of politeness, there I was, a week later, on my knees in farm waste looking up at the underside of “Oat”

It didn’t run, the wiring was shot, the affects of metal worm were everywhere, BUT it was a complete example and they are rare, very rare.

I knew after looking around it that it needed plenty of work, but the question was did I fancy starting a Land rover Series project after a 10 year lay off,

 

 

I just want rid of it lad, he said, its you or Ebay, how much I asked, 1600 quid was his reply, I thought for a moment and offered £800, thinking he will never accept that, Blow me his reply took a while to sink in, seeing as your Arthurs friend its yours but it has to be moved by tomorrow.

A quick phone call to a friend and a trailer was organised and “oat” arrived at my home the day after.

Well, I had a project, but from the look on my wife’s face as she eyed it up on our driveway, it wasn’t a popular decision.

 

The Rebuild Starts

26211_1398498640091_1161003486_31155050_5297005_n

3 solid hours with a Jet wash I’m soaked, and covered in muck, mind you, so is the driveway, the garage wall and most of my wife’s garden plants,

Turning the jet wash to its lowest setting to remove the muck from the plants didn’t help my cause; I was left with the problem of how to explain how she now had a whole row of headless geraniums.

On the Plus side, I could at least now, finally assess my new project, the radio shack in the rear was not required (or so I thought) so I sold it, bringing the price paid for “oat” to a mere £320. And after removing most of the upper body I could finally get to work.

26211_1398498760094_1161003486_31155052_4208015_n

 

 

(The metal worm had been hard at work.) . The rot was cut out and the chassis was checked from front to rear, wire brushed and cleaned as I go. Overall the chassis was in very good condition and required very little work apart from a couple of out riggers and one small patch.

26211_1398498800095_1161003486_31155053_3545924_n

 

The bulkhead was a different story; the tops usually rot on this model of Land rover they are well known for it, however this one was fine, but the foot wells were in a poor state so they required completely cutting out and replacing with new ones.

The nice thing about Series Land rovers is most parts are still available.

26211_1398883729718_1161003486_31155962_1949324_n

 

New foot wells in place ready for Welding, By early April, things were moving along nicely until that is, I got busy at work the biking season had started and the project ground to a stop.

26211_1398883649716_1161003486_31155960_6786777_n

The poor old girl sat on the drive untouched through, May and June until finally in July, I found the spare time to start work again.

26892_1419141276144_1161003486_31207389_2752188_n

 

This time it was the Bodywork, I had managed to source new doors, complete with original military door seals via Blanchards nr Beverley Hull, who specialize in Ex Military Land rovers and Military Equipment a new Tilt /canvas, again from Blanchards, and the old girl is taking shape. The centre front panel required work,

untitled

so with the help of a friend we rebuilt it with stainless steel panels, At this point the engine is cleaned down, and given a coat of paint.

26892_1419141076139_1161003486_31207385_7042417_n

IMG_1521

26892_1419141036138_1161003486_31207384_5210259_n

 

Plus “Oat” got its first lick of paint to the outsides, well I have to keep the neighbours happy…. Now it’s almost sealed up from the weather so I can start work on the insides if it rains.This is my way of keeping the neighbours happy and interested. Make it look tidy… bless em, the amount of free beers and chats, it was well worth it.

29203_1437991547389_1161003486_31256419_6801626_n

 

Work Continues

We now into august and its slowly coming together the undersides require finishing so a second session of stripping, scraping, and the first coat of paint is applied to the chassis and the axles followed by 2 more coats of paint and then Wax-oiled, I fit new brakes and new shockers, and finally get the new Leaf springs fitted too.

While sourcing the above parts, I met up with another old friend at his shop, from my 4×4 Trialling days, Jake Wright of Jake Wright Land Rovers real name John,  

He has been around Land Rovers as long as I can remember and he is a mine of information, plus he still had a good supply of used military land rover bits, which helped me in keeping “Oat” a 24 volt model. John fit me up with a 24 volt dizzy assembly, and all the plug leads and original fittings,

IMG_1522

Plus he also had complete military light fittings all supplied at very sensible prices. John runs a nice friendly family company, and is well worth a mention.

38092_1542915530423_1161003486_31523118_4078895_n

Rear lights are fit, and all rewired. Fog lights still to fit. 

Two days off this week, now there’s a first, so I decided, has you do, to crack on, in July I had joined the EMLRA, Ex Military Land rover Association,

This small but dedicated groups solo purpose is to keep these old Ex-Military Land Rovers on the road, and the information and help I have received from them was great, thanks folks, you are an addictive lot, so much so, after “Oats” Restoration, they helped trace the military service History of “Oat” 

landy

I had now decided, Thanks to the guys at EMLRA to go the whole hog and get the old girl back to full military spec, ( why did I sell that radio station)

When I got her, all the electrics had been ripped out, (why, I don’t know) so it’s a slow process re-wiring the whole Vehicle as I go. When it’s finished I will have her back to 24 volts. And hopefully equipped with a working radio system,

IMG_1525

First I need the Dexion mounting kit it took a while but I finally located a kit via the guys at EMLRA and a complete one at that, its amazing what they have access too.

38873_1548727795726_1161003486_31537765_78989_n

All work and no play can make you a very dull boy, So with my wife Tina along for the ride, we Jumped in the Range Rover and Headed to Ripley castle near Ripon to a classic car Show, These are held Two or Three time a year in the grounds and really are an enjoyable day out

This is where I bumped into Wayne, although I didn’t know that at first, Wayne was One of the EMLRA guys who had been giving help and advice on their Forum. Another fountain of all land rover knowledge…

IMG_1205

Wayne’s Ride. A fully equipped SAS long range Desert Group – Pink Panther.

After spending quite a long time chatting, EMRLA was mentioned by me, and the penny finally dropped, thanks for your time Wayne, we both enjoyed your company…

A Target Date is Set.

Friday the 6th of august, and here’s how the lightweight looks today.

IMG_1241

my target to be on the road is the first week in october. sounds easy, no not really, i have quite a few shows and events with work. which take me away, but my target is now set

September Rolls by, darker nights are drawing in but work continues,

The wiring is finally completed, and the wings can now go on.

IMG_1520 well one at least.

1st of October 2010, the dark nights are now with us, only a couple of weeks to the clocks altering, and not getting home from work until 6.30pm means that work on the project as slowed down.

plus a trip to france on a fact finding tour for next years tour with 15 goldwings and 30 folk as taken a lot of my spare time.

work is now limited to the odd day, here and there. but heres how the old girl is looking todate.

69475_1664667374143_1161003486_31801357_1180274_n

a runner at last

at 1.45 pm thursday 28th october, the old girl finally came to life, and ran as sweet as I had hoped. its a great feeling, after months of work on her. im hoping she will be on the road by the end of the month, but there is still a lot of work to do, only one or two minor spanner jobs so, here’s hoping.

ps, if you have spotted the mistake, with the light lense’s, i know.. they are now correct, I am blaming a very willing helper, my 5 year old grand daughter. who is going to be the first passenger, so she says…..

DSC06444

thursday the 11-11-10, like many I showed my respect at 11.00am with the 2 minute silence, then climbed aboard the landie, for its first official run back on the road in almost 20 years ( Nov-91 That was the last date on the tax disc I found in her)

its only a 2 mile run to the garage where the MOT was due to take place on friday morning. but i was going a day early so i could get her up on the ramps and do a full fluids change, grease, and wax-oil. hopefully the last jobs… ( we all say that, and theres always more)

The looks and the waves I got as I drove through town with a very military looking Land Rover made me feel quite proud. 

Friday, 12/11/10 Its 8.30 am and its MOT time.

The tester gave her a really good going over.. I explained I would prefer him being fussy, than easy on the old girl. ( did i really say that) well she failed, I was gutted. until he explained, he had only failed her on a frayed passenger seat belt. “you told me to be hard he said.” with a smile on his face.

no advisorys, no other faults found she’s a credit to you. pop a new seat belt in her and run her back down tomorrow, and collect your MOT. I could have jumped for joy…

As I was pulled out of the mot station, an old fella with a stick waved me down, he wanted to have a look around her, these were just coming into service as I left the service, he informed me, its nice to see chaps like you who take the time and care to keep these things running he said.. 20 minutes later and I waved him goodbye, he watched me drive off, with my phone number in his pocket, he asked to be taken for a spin in her when she is legal, how could I refuse, now I remember why I enjoyed owning an old landrover,

its a people thing. AND thats one 24 volt FFR lightweight back on the road. roll on the winter……

Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:01 am

well I spent yesterday (weds 1st dec) ferrying folk about in the snow, its amazing that a 30 year old landie can still out do many of the modern 4X4’s she’s been great fun,

in the snow

76379_1720999902421_907141_n 149814_1721000542437_231238_n

first time playing out

Like most folk who take on a task such as re-building a land rover you soon find out the work is never done, thats why we enjoy it so much,

here’s a couple of photos of the completed vehicle at shows, camping and helping fund raise with the Royal British Legion,

 

216008_2002287054424_986057_n Camping in the Dales

296882_2558426917573_1653914176_n fully completed

375628_2558436797820_1576827118_n Cab view 

378919_2973872343449_550924270_n Playing out with Peter Armitage 522287_3849808441304_1277636135_n Radio kit fit and working.

549277_3849807361277_289146035_n on parade at ripon show

298878_2569294189248_1320755486_n Fund raising for RBL. 

The best thing about restoring”oats” was, it give me back my interest in all things Land Rover, and if you continue to visit the website, you will see my other projects both past and present, I hope you enjoyed the write up, until the next one, Thank you.