News Category: Rebuilds/Projects


Our featured Land Rover Defender rebuild Andy the Landy is set to star in next month’s Land Rover Owner Magazine after the makeover has been completed after plenty of blood, sweat and probably even a few tears along the way!

Andy the Landy - Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

Andy the Landy – Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

We first started cataloguing the progression of Andy, a black (on the outside) and green (in some of the harder-to-reach places on the inside!) truck-cab Defender with a TD5 engine that looked pretty handsome on the outside but … you may have guessed, with a few gremlins on the inside.

Andy the Landy - Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

Andy the Landy – Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

Our intrepid Landy Lover James set about completely rebuilding the 90′ with the remit of “No more rust” which meant one hell of an overhaul. A brand spanking new built to order galvanised chassis from our supplier and dozens of parts later, Andy started to take shape into the fine specimen of a vehicle pictured here.

Andy the Landy - Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

Andy the Landy – Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

As you can imagine with a rebuild deadlines came and went September 2013 was the original target but we’re sure you agree all the hard work has been well worth it.

Brookwells man Dan (who probably spent more time in contact with James during the rebuild than James’ other half!) was on the scene of the official shoot to capture some sneaky peak pictures for us to use.

Andy the Landy - Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

Andy the Landy – Defender to feature in Land Rover Owner Magazine

The all-singing-all-dancing snaps will be in next month’s edition of Land Rover Owner Magazine, out October 8

We’ve seen them and Andy looks majestic out on the open road so make sure you head out to your local shop – or wait patiently by the letter box – to find out more about James’ experience and see if you can work up the courage to create your very own dream Landy.

If you want to see some of the early stages of Andy’s rebuild simply type in “Defender rebuild” into the search bar on the top right of your browser and select the article you want from the bar on the right hand side.


So here we go with Part 4 of Andy the Landy’s rebuild and the end is in sight but with the early November deadline having come and gone how much work is left to do…

If you missed the last installment you can click here to have a catch up.

As you can see Andy is looking good with the rear side panels, bulkhead and seat boxes now fitted so he is beginning to look like a 90 again.

Defender rebuild now has bulkhead in place

Defender rebuild now has bulkhead in place

Behind the scenes the brakes are all plumbed in and have been bled, the heater has been rebuilt with new seals and the bulkhead air vents have now been re-fitted.

James said “the dashboard and wiring have proved to be interesting as many extra electrical accessories have been added with the extra headache of where to put it all neatly”.

Defender front and rear LED indicator stop and side lights

Defender front and rear LED indicator stop and side lights

There has been a dilemma over the lights ” I can’t make my mind up over clear LED or normal orange indicators so have borrowed some from friends to try and asked lots of people their opinion to see what to get”. Most of the bodywork is back from the body shop so once I have the spaghetti sorted I will start fitting the sides roof and doors.

Defender rebuild dashboard controls indicator switch light switch and gauges

Defender rebuild dashboard controls indicator switch light switch and gauges

“As you can see below Andy is now looking great with the freshly repainted roof and sides on, many thanks to Dan and Debbie at Brookwells for helping with the parts as I had no idea what I needed as Andy was previously a truck cab, after some careful adjustment we have got it right but the next question is, will the doors fit…?”

Defender county station wagon rebuild with terrafirma 4x4 suspension td5 engine parts

Defender county station wagon rebuild with terrafirma 4×4 suspension td5 engine parts

Andy is really starting to take shape now and next time we’ll see how the initial start up went…keep an eye on our News section and our Facebook and Twitter sites for the next instalment.


Another couple of weeks of tinkering, hammering and perseverance have passed so it’s time for the latest update on our featured Defender rebuild. In part 2 the wheels, brakes, calipers, shocks and pipes had gone in. So where are we now?

If you missed the last installment, you can take a look by clicking here.

And as you can see from the photo below, the engine is now in place, looking superb on all the reconditioned and refurbished bits and bobs, but that’s only half the story.

Andy the Landy, James' Defender Rebuild Now Has The Engine in place

Andy the Landy, James’ Defender Rebuild Now Has The Engine in place

James starts with his good news, “The new super Griffin Exhaust has gone on, and ‘wow‘, can’t wait to start it. The ‘Roverdrive‘ overdrive was fitted which was very straight forward, having a rolling chassis does make these jobs a lot easier.” And as you can see below, the TD5 engine is also doubles up as a make-shift table!

James says, “The engine and gearbox have gone back in, with new flywheel and clutch supplied by Brookwells. Then we started on the engine loom and the hoses, which I have replaced as most of the coolant hoses had gone hard and brittle so as a precaution I decided to replace, again, from Brookwells.”

The Defender's TD5 engine also doubles up as a table

The Defender’s TD5 engine also doubles up as a table

But while all of the above seemingly went smoothly, as you’d expect there were a few more gremlins in the pipeline for our tamed Landy enthusiast. “Few nightmares have come around,” James admits, “The chassis wiring loom had some continuity issues when checked, so I stripped it down and it became apparent that some of the wires had fallen apart inside the loom, and as the copper had gone black we couldn’t repair it.”

James Roverdrive overdrive for his TD5 Defender

James ‘Roverdrive’ overdrive for his TD5 Defender

James concluded that the Defender must have been exposed to salt somewhere along the line. “So rebuilding it, well that didn’t fill me with joy,” He revealed, “And as the TD5 has different connectors I thought – ‘Help!!‘ So, after talking to Dan at Brookwells and having to lie down at the cost doubled with the fact that there aren’t any around, I thought ‘second hand‘, but I did worry about what condition they would be in. Thankfully Dan got back to me to tell me he had sourced one and it would be here with 2 weeks, so choice made, I fitted it the other night.”

Andy the Landy's Bulkhead is in position

Andy the Landy’s Bulkhead is in position

“The bulkhead, as shown above, returned from paint, so went straight on, and is now to start the refitting and parts refurb process. The major hold up at the min is the bulkhead people galvanized some parts and have mislaid some rear tub parts, so as that came back this week it will be fitted once the parts find there way back in some way shape or form.”

It’s clear from the pictures in this blog that things are really starting to come together now, we’re a bit behind James in his progress so we’ll try and catch up a bit – keep your eyes peeled for another update soon.


It’s been a while since we caught up with James, our man who has set out to create his dream Defender – a County with a TD5 engine and a remit of “No more rust“. And seeing as we’ve recently sent him out a load more Land Rover parts we thought it was time for an update…

If you missed the first edition, you can find it by clicking here

And where better to start than with his fantastic looking galvanised chassis from one of our suppliers which is surely the dream purchase for and Landy Lover – and fully personalised to specifications, too.

The dream of any Landy restorer, a galvanised chassis

The dream of any Landy restorer, a galvanised chassis

And if you thought it looked great when untreated, you’re in for a treat with the picture below which shows James’ rust-beating chassis with a sharp paint job looking great in the British sunshine. “The chassis is a lovely piece of kit, and first hand I can tell you that it all fits and lines up perfectly so far. It was T-washed and self etched primed, then painted in Jotun conceal a marine based paint.” James explains.

James' galvanised Defender 90 chassis fully painted

James’ galvanised Defender 90 chassis fully painted

Once the Landy had been stripped down (as seen in part one) and the paint had gone on the chassis it was time to reassemble Andy the Landy and get stuck into the best part of any project – seeing it come back to life – exactly how you want it.

Terrafirma shocks with calipers and Allmakes discs  fitted

Terrafirma shocks with calipers and Allmakes’ discs fitted

James said, “Andy is now back on his wheels (pics below) with fuel lines in place and brake lines to the front, the only hitch so far was putting the central cross member in place the wrong way round!!” We all make mistakes from time to time but surely James can be forgiven once you’ve seen how good his front Terrafirma Springsshockstubular turrets and securing rings look along side his shiny calipers and discs. 

The Defender 90 rebuild is at a perfect height to inspect the shocks and discs

The Defender rebuild at the perfect height to inspect the shocks and discs

And James explained that they really caught the eye of passers by and visitors before the wheels went on, as they were perfect eye-line height as he was working on them as shown above, you can see the Cross-grooved and drilled discs from Allmakes 4×4.

Bolts on and ready to rumble

Bolts on and ready to rumble

So here we are at the moment, as you can see above is the front of the rebuild, with the Terrafirma steering damper and wheels proudly on display, and below is the rear view.

Front end of the 90's Chassis with Terrafirma steering damper fitted

Front end of the 90’s Chassis with Terrafirma steering damper fitted

And what are the next steps for Andy the Landy? “Engine and gearbox should go in soon then exhaust, and rover drive. Have put the new flywheel and clutch. Just cleaning up the engine and box and fitting new coolant hoses of which Dan sourced the last one this morning.” James explains.

Rear end of the Defender 90 chassis with Terrafirma gear on

Rear end of the Defender 90 chassis with Terrafirma gear on

So keep checking back to see further progress on this build as we’re starting to get into the exciting bit now! What colours will James opt for? What other accessories will be put on? Will he hit his target of September?

Next time we can reveal that the gearbox is in, exhaust is on and James has been having fun with the TD5’s wiring loom.


James is a hardened Land Rover Defender owner and a loyal customer here at Brookwells. So when he had to replace his beloved V8 with a new truck, he experienced some of the ‘teething problems’ that many of us will have endured on a second-hand Landy.

While it looked great on the outside James says there were “Some issues lurking”. The familiar cry of a Landy Owner! But, before we go any further – a bit of history.

The Truck-cab Defender 90 before the re-build

The Truck-cab Defender 90 before the re-build

 

Andy, as he’s been named by James’ partner, started life in 2000 as a green TD5, working for the Forestry Commission. When his stint marshalling the forests was over the 90 moved to the Midlands where the transformation into the black beast shown above and below began.

A shot showing the two colours of Andy, the Land Rover Defender 90

A shot showing the two colours of Andy, the Land Rover Defender 90

 

Finally Andy found himself in James’ garage to replace his 3.9L V8 90 which had unfortunately given out. After begrudgingly selling the V8 for parts, James was looking for something a little more economical due to the need to travel in the pursuit of Green lanes.

And as always with second-hand Defenders there were sure to be a few gremlins, bulkhead and chassis are a common issue. This one was no different, as shown below.

Under the Bonnet of Andy, James' Land Rover Defender 90

Under the Bonnet of Andy, James’ Land Rover Defender 90

 

So, was it in considerably worse nick than James was expecting once he had gotten his hands dirty? “Landover drivers are optimists so yes, a fair bit worse,” be admits, “But not horrendous. I made a few alterations – the chequer plate back, tuning, ECU remap by Bell Auto services, a turbo boost box, and a really good service. I also made nice chequer plate back for the truck cab.”

“The truck had been lifted but with only springs and dampers meaning the geometry was all out, so with the wish list growing and a few issues arising, it was a question of ‘do I by another or build my own’? Requirements had changed and I needed more room for longer trips, so Countys were considered, but I wanted a TD5 as I liked the engine after the tuning.”

The rear chassis was in pretty back nick...

The rear chassis was in pretty bad nick…

 

“In the end after much deliberation I thought lets do the truck of my dreams and future proof it with all the bits I want, as we are all different.”

So, armed with his able ‘apprentice’ Gordon in tow, our ambitious Landy Lover set about planning the project and deciding on what will be on his dream Defender – a County with a TD5 engine. Locking diffs, quality suspension, re-bush, overdrive, heated seats and various other mods will all be featuring, but with the remit – no more rust.

Under Andy's bonnet, showing the Defender's TD5 engine.

Under Andy’s bonnet, showing the Defender’s TD5 engine.

So, how much of the old defender is being carried over? “Not as much as I hoped,” James explains, “The original bulkhead has been repaired and galvanized, original front wings, doors and front panels, the bonnet had been changed for the puma already. The engine and gearbox are all good, as I had already done a fair amount on these.”

“There’s also a new rear diff, rear tub and seat box, sides and roof to make the County. I would like to have kept more from the original but it was more cost effective to get replacement.”

This is just the first step down the road to James’ dream Land Rover. Up next – stripping the vehicle down and chassis work. You’ll want to see the galvanised chassis as it looks truly fantastic.

As the build progresses we’ll keep you all upto date on the work so keep checking back for more news.