Vehicle: White Defender 110 300Tdi County Station Wagon, 1994.
Work done by: Pete and Selina
Words by: Peter Johnson
We bought our Defender 110 300Tdi County Station Wagon from Famous Four in Feb 05 to replace a petrol V8 Station Wagon. Having discovered Famous Four while we lived in Lincolnshire in 1994, and been impressed with their help and knowledge, I was happy to buy a vehicle from someone I felt I could trust. The price was right and despite having moved to Gloucestershire by this time, we went to view the Tdi. I was initially skeptical about things like wind up windows on one piece doors (very un-series) however after a chat and after my daughter negotiated the inclusion of an official Land Rover teddy bear in the sale, we bought it and the vehicle has served us well ever since.
Time moved on and the Land Rover aged with our family. We had a new rear cross member fitted by local company 5 years ago and this was now worryingly showing surface rust, so we decided that it was time for a refurbishment from bulkhead back. My daughter wanted to help with the work- not her first rebuild as she helped rebuild my original 110 V8 at the age of 3. Now somewhat less young she has good practical skills and was keen to work on the Land Rover as an investment for her future. Hopefully with two of us working on this it should be an easy if long task…
The Defender has to be stripped to fit in a domestic garage, and even then it’s a tight fit! With the doors and roof off the vehicle feels lighter and more airy… almost making me want a soft top version, but then I’d probably change my mind when winter arrives. One of the things I really enjoy about the Defender and Series vehicles is the simplicity – the ideal cross between Meccano kit and Tonka toy, it really is unlike any other car I’ve met.
After a brush down and pressure wash (only possible due to manual labour and the defenders handles now the body was off) we could see the overall state of the chassis. Not as bad as it first looked but still in need of TLC. Some surface rust to deal with but fortunately no plating needed. The drivers foot well was a different story and in need of a repair. We decided to change the rear shock absorbers too since the old ones were getting a little tired. A new rear exhaust section was also needed. With a long list of parts, some routine, some quite obscure, I called Famous Four to get them ordered – a long job that was made so much easier by the knowledge and help from the Famous Four staff – many thanks guys!
Once inspected we could start on the clean up. Old waxoyl and underseal came off relatively easily using stainless steel pan scourers from the local super market. We got through many of these; I even thought about posting an online review but I’m not sure the company would appreciate the endorsement. The exposed chassis was then wire brushed and surface rust scraped and chipped off.
Once cleaned, the chassis was given a coat of Red Oxide primer and then black stonechip paint. A coat of waxoyl/underseal mix went on top of the stonechip for further protection. Although this stuff takes ages to touch dry I wanted the flexibility it would provide as the chassis flexes.