04 March 2023
Jonathan Baker, a Gaming Digital Project Manager, takes us through his current project...
Tell us about yourself and this project:
I’ve owned over 20 vehicles, but the Series III has been with me the longest time – ten years. I’ve only just put it on the road again. I found it on eBay in late April 2012. It was ex-farm owned and quite scruffy but had a solid chassis and overdrive.
What’s the story so far?
It failed its first MoT so I fitted new parabolic springs, shock absorbers, adjusted a swivel housing and fitted some new ball joints.
In 2017 I decided to repaint it using a gun and a compressor. It was much harder than I expected and there was a lot of filling, sanding and repainting as I was not happy with the first attempt. I also soundproofed the interior and painted it, too. I also made my own vinyl trim panels using 6mm ply. I wish I’d bought pre-made trim panels, but where’s the fun in that? The bonnet has also had soundproofing added.
Wood-rimmed steering wheel adds some refinement
What else have you done?
The rear ladder and swing-away wheel carrier were added last year. Storing the wheel on the internal bulkhead is a pain, especially with 235 tyres.
For the MoT I had the brakes completely rebuilt and LED indicators/side/brake/tail lights fitted. Earlier this year it also had a new clutch fitted along with a new radiator, hoses, water pump and rebuilt handbrake.
How is the engine running? Are you planning on replacing it?
It’s the original 2.25 diesel. It’s not a refined power unit. However, it had new glow plugs fitted along with a larger battery. It will cough into life even after a couple of months of not being started. The long-term plan is to replace the engine with either a 300Tdi or Rover V8.
List some of the new bits not yet mentioned.
New seats, carpeted box arches, boot floor and both sides of internal bulkhead, Wolf steels painted in sandstone with Radar AT5 235-section tyres, drums, pads, springs
all-round including rebuild of handbrake drum, radiator, water pump, thermostat, syncro gearboxes quick-shift kit, alternator, aux fuse box, load bay LED light and front cab light, 12V/USB2 outlet front and rear, Superlite wood-rimmed steering wheel, Bluetooth amp speakers, headlining using four-way stretch carpet applied over 5mm sound insulation and door tops.
Queue balls are a nice touch
What is the hardest part of the project?
Finding the time. I have two young children, work full-time and don’t have the garage space that I once did to do all the work that I want to do.
When will it be finished?
Some would argue that a Series Land Rover will never be finished. Phase 1 was completing the interior electrics including the stereo. Phase 2 would be the V8 and then it will be as close to finished as I can get, but things will always need fixing along the way.
Who is helping you with the project?
My Dad has helped me a lot. I’ve had a few wobbles over the last 18 months about whether to keep it but now that it is on the road they have gone away.
Any other projects on the go?
I used to have a 2005 Discovery 3 HSE, but one Land Rover is enough!