News relating to Tag: Truck Cab Defender

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.

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.