June 2021, Lenny has 4 wheel arches and foot wells, the light carrier has been replaced, the pin on the top of the gear box has been replaced, the calipers have all been refurbished, he has new sills (thank you to Donks Customs, Chris), the rear drivers side window also works, he has a new headliner, all the lights work (occasionally!), he has been painted green, the boot now stays closed and the tailgate no longer has a hole!
BUT, with all this positive-ness, he has developed a few more issues… It is a Land Rover, so when you fix one thing, something else breaks! Where do I even begin with his list of things that now need fixing…
· Swivel ball seal needs replacing
· Sun roof is leaking
· Engine oil leak
· Front brake lines
· Front caliper refurbish
· Central locking system
· Ignition barrel
· Rear floor needs welding down
· Electrical Issues – Every time I hit a bump the radio turns off, I hit a bump and my headlights are on I lose all lights, when I need to indicate I have to hold the hazard switch down, when I need to use the hazards I have to put the fuse in. A random 12v disappears when it shouldn’t.
· Replace the door locks
· Replace indicator stalk
· Replace the entire suspension system
So not too many problems.
The most important thing that was on the list to repair was the sills, they were rotten through, had been patched and badly welded with half a tonne of seam sealer over the top to cover up any imperfections.
Chris (Donks Customs) came and took off the previously badly welded sills, wheel arches and a small amount into the floor pan. Although it did the job for the time being, it was not just safe anymore, the centre of the car had dropped to the extent the doors were struggling to shut and open again. We took the rear doors off, propped up the door pillars and we could see they had dropped about an inch roughly. After taking the rock sliders off and cutting out all of the rusty sills and a small amount on the floor pan, Chris propped up the door pillars and welded the new sills into place. The passenger side was not too bad in comparison to the drivers side. The n/s sills were chopped away, new sills in place all within 9 hours! The drivers side on the other hand took way longer than expected – 17 hours of grinding, cutting, measuring, patterns, plating and welding later Lenny has new sills and Chris has a newfound dislike towards Lenny! Haha.
Although I didn’t get involved very much – I made the coffee, cooked dinners and passed him the tools, I have learnt a hell of a lot. The main one being, it isn’t as difficult as people make out, yes it does take a long time and a lot of hard work and funny coloured showers in the evening, but all in all, it was not too bad. Also, having an experienced welder helps… haha.
Doing the sills were a task that I have been dreading since I bought the car, the previous MOT’er said that they need to be done prior to the next MOT, although not bad at the moment, they will certainly deteriorate very quickly now. I didn’t realise how bad of a state the sills were actually in until we took the old ones off! We could see why the car was starting to dip, before I bought the car they had welded new metal over the top of the existing sills (that were never going to hold the car up!), nothing had been treated, the bare metal was still showing and the new metal had started to rust on the edges.
Chris did an absolutely fantastic job in the short space of time we had the use of a workshop for. Working so hard to be out by 8am on Monday morning! We ended up finishing at 5am! I just could not sleep so I got back up and painted the sills – I then proceeded to ‘rest my eyes’ under the car!
Lenny has new sills and looks amazing, he drives better (I don’t even know if the sills make a difference) and is stiffer, doesn’t feel like there is any give in sills now and more importantly, the doors shut and open first time! Chris lined up the doors and latches too.
Is this a job I would take on again?
Yes! Although I didn’t do anything, I watched Chris from start to finish do the sills. I now have the confidence to be able to do this for myself in the future, I didn’t realise how much work it was going to be, but also, as Chris said “He isn’t that bad!”, I don’t think I want to see what a ‘bad sill’ looks like!
I bought the sills from a company called ‘DDS Metals’ who specialise in Land Rover panels from Series 1, 2, 2A, 3, Defender 90/110, Range Rover Classic, Discovery 1 and 2, all the off roading parts including turrets, beading, bumpers and winch bumpers etc. Based in Coventry, they send their parts out for delivery all over the world. They are a fantastic company!
Both inner and outer sills to both sides have been fitted, welded and painted, the rock sliders will go back on in the coming weeks and then he is ready for a little off roading, maybe.
The next job on Lenny will be to re-spray the bodywork, tint the windows, build a roof rack, fit the internals – cooker, leisure batteries, solar panel and various other things!
The time-lapse video of Lenny’s sills will be added to YouTube once the rock sliders have been added and you can see the whole process from start to finish!