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Thread: The Rolling Restoration & Customization Of My 88' RRC

  1. #1
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    The Rolling Restoration & Customization Of My 88' RRC

    Update 2/2/2012

    I thought I should take some time to update this first post and outline the overall plan for the build of my Range Rover Classic. This build thread started out when I was preparing it for a 6000 mile trip at the end of July 2011. Even though I didn't end up going on that trip, I did still go on a smaller 2700 mile trip, but sadly that trip was not done with my Rover. However, not being able to take my Rover is not something I am planning to let happen again because going on long trips is the main reason I am building my Rover the way that I am.

    The overall goal in the simplest term is that I want to make an "Expedition ready" Range Rover Classic for use in long road trips, Overlanding, and as my daily driver.

    I do want it to be an expedition ready vehicle with a bit of a difference though, because I want to put in as much luxury as I can without sacrificing functionality. Which I suppose is what the Range Rover has always been about. I still want all of my creature comforts, luxury features, AND have all the functionality/versatility of an expedition vehicle that is ready to go anywhere at the drop of a hat.
    In then end I want my Rover to be a vehicle that I am able to walk up to and know that it will actually back up its rugged looks. Then be able to open the door to a luxurious interior which is relaxing, comfortable, has all the "bells and whistles", is entirely functional, and still very versatile. Think of something like….Overfinch meets Camel Trophy/G4.

    It has to be able to handle: being a daily driver, one person on extended trips/overlanding with a heavy load and set up to sleep in, two people and two dogs for long trips/short trips/overlanding, and four 6ft+ 200lbs.+ guys comfortably with all their gear for the shorter (few hundred mile) trips.

    I will post a "To Do" list and maybe later on a "Done" list that I will do my best to keep accurate.

    Anyway, if I think of anything to add to this I will update it later on….

    "To Do/Still To Do" List:

    IBS dual battery system
    Dual electric fans
    Drawer system and other misc. rear storage compartments
    Safari Snorkel (originally off of a Discovery)
    Sway bars
    Long range fuel tank
    Power inverter
    Axle swap w/lockers Front and Rear
    Winch in front ( I am thinking about using an ARB Discovery bumper because they look better than the ARB RRC bumper)
    Winch in rear
    Bed liner the underside
    Rebuild power steering pump
    Rebuild power steering box
    On-board air compressor
    Custom rear consoles w/ cup holders
    Modified sliders I bought in November
    Skid plates for vital areas
    Heavy duty springs and Bilstien shocks that I bought in November (not sure how much of a lift they are)
    Custom center console with cup holders
    On-board water filtered water system with two faucets
    Glind shower system
    Whatever I have to do to make it so my RRC will have a 1000 mile range between fill ups (i.e. long range fuel tanks and at least 25mpg)
    Etc……



    Original Post 05-27-2011

    So I figured it is time for me to start a build thread, especially with all the work I am doing to prepare the Rover for the 6000 mile road trip I am going to be doing at the end of July.

    So the first step is a brief recap of what I have already done to it:

    I bought it 3 years ago as a basket case for $550 in Seattle and drove it home 170 miles with 7 out of 8 cylinders firing and a warped water pump that leaked very noticeably. It had engine problems, electrical problems, interior thrashed, exterior had seen better days, but it was straight underneath and had virtually no rust at all. Believe it or not it got me home with only one stop to refill the cooling system. I have since rebuilt the whole top end of the motor, gone through the electrics, restored the interior, and cleaned up the exterior. I then swapped the roof from a 1993 RRC onto it because I wanted the glass moonroof instead of the metal sunroof.

    Anyway, without further delay I will get to the pictures of what I have done and the stuff that is going to go on. There will be plenty more pictures in the month to come…hope you either enjoy it or I hope it helps you out.


    Have a good one!

    Jon
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    Last edited by RRClassicBT550; 03-08-2012 at 06:21 PM.
    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

  2. #2
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    The first round of parts that are going on or into the Rover

    When I was installing the new hoses I found a tool that is for a popping the door panels off, is well suited for getting at the heater hoses that are connected to the front of the intake manifold. I also found that one of the hoses rubs on the valley gasket so I used a piece of the old radiator hose to help protect it.
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    Last edited by RRClassicBT550; 05-27-2011 at 10:58 PM.
    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

  3. #3
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    Very nice. You did a great job with the interior!

    So, as a fellow 1988 owner, I'll be watching and taking notes. As for 25 mpg, I will be interested to see how you get that done, but am thinkint TDI and 5 speed may be in your future. Me, I am in CA and always am thinking about sending my 1988 to Coupeville for a spell....so that the little conversion can get done too.
    It's about people and the Land Rovers that own them.
    01 DII : 95 RRC LWB : 88 RRC SWB

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by astateofmike View Post
    Very nice. You did a great job with the interior!

    So, as a fellow 1988 owner, I'll be watching and taking notes. As for 25 mpg, I will be interested to see how you get that done, but am thinkint TDI and 5 speed may be in your future. Me, I am in CA and always am thinking about sending my 1988 to Coupeville for a spell....so that the little conversion can get done too.
    I have thought about doing that. At one of the shops out here I can get a turn key swap with a completely redone 300 TDI for I believe $10,000-$15,000. Drop it off a petrol V8 and pick it up a TDI.

    I don't think I can give up the V8 burble though so I will try to squeeze every last little bit of MPG out of my 3.5 before I swap it. My potential swaps would be either a 5.7 HEMI V8 with the Multi Displacement System (4 cylinder deactivation) or the new Range Rover/(Ford F150) twin turbo diesel V8.

    The main things is, with 40-50 gallons of fuel on-board and 25 MPG I can do around a thousand miles between fill ups (fairly dependably). I have managed to get 19 out of my 3.5 in stock form. Hopefully the modifications I am doing now I will get a little better gas mileage. I will keep you posted on my results though.
    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

  5. #5
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    I do like the burble as well, but mileage would be key. I will say that when I went to the LRNR, Bay area to Moab, I had some days of cruising and others where I was climbing up to 8k or more and had to really put my foot into it (3.5, ahh the power) and I managed about 16 mpg IIRC with 3" lift, roof rack and 31" tires...... I am pretty impressed with the 19mpg
    It's about people and the Land Rovers that own them.
    01 DII : 95 RRC LWB : 88 RRC SWB

  6. #6
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    Hello everyone,
    First let me start of by saying that I am a home DIY’er like most of you guys and gals. I am no expert; I just do my best to research the decisions I make before I put my money, my Rover, or my butt on the line. So I will explain to you why I bought what I bought, how I installed it, and how it holds up in the long term. If I am wrong at any point in time, please feel free to let me know.

    A couple weeks back, one of the fan blades on my mechanical fan decided to let go and turn my fan-shroud into shrapnel. It made a loud bang and then the engine started idling very roughly. I thought I had broken a belt but after I pulled over, I found that my fan shroud was in pieces and one of the fan blades was missing. So I decided to limp it the 20 miles back to my house. On the drive home I weighed my options and decided to go for electric fans.

    I know that this can be a hotly debated topic with both sides swearing by their results, because I have been through forum after forum and article after article until my eyes hurt. I will give you my take on it though.
    A mechanical fan will sap some of the power from the motor because it is still attached to the motor even when it isn't really "in use", by going to electric fans that extra rotating mass is removed which frees up the some power and provides benefits such as horsepower, better mpg, less wear an tear on the water pump, less wear on the belts, and less wear on the engine overall. However, when the electric fans kick on that puts a load on the alternator, which then saps power off the motor doing the same thing as having the mechanical fan if it were still attached (kind of a catch 22). Any of you who have ever had a large stereo system or have used a winch will know what I am talking about with the alternator.
    The way I see it the only real way to gain anything from the swap over from mechanical to electric is to lesson the amount of power needed to drive the fans. In other words to find the electric fan with the highest cfm and the lowest amperage draws possible.

    One thing to be aware of though, and this harkens back to the putting my Rover and myself on the line. I have been told that when a mechanical fan clutch fails, it “fails safe”. Meaning that a mechanical fan clutch will lock up and then rotate with the motor 1:1 which means you can still get to safety. When an electric fan fails, it fails. Now, that kind of decision can have a high cost that is more than money depending on where or when you are stuck. I look at it this way though, for my normal everyday driving I will be fairly ok it were to fail because I know the areas I drive and my AAA is fully paid up, but for the longer trips I will carry a mechanical fan along with the numerous other parts and things I will carry.
    To me the simple fact is that the benefits of having an electric fan (i.e. better mpg and less wear on the motor) will save me much more than the fans cost in the long run and be dependable enough for my needs. Besides, most of the cars these days run on electric fans and I felt safe in my Honda’s, Chevy’s, Ford’s, and Jeep’s, why not feel the same way about my Land Rover with an electric fan.

    After much research and shopping around, I came to the decision to buy the Flex-a-lite 298 for a many reasons, Flex-a-lite is a company that I have heard of and that has been around for awhile so the likelihood of the warranty being honored is good (if I need it), and I should be able to buy spare parts in a couple years if I need to do so; also, these fans can move 4600cfm of air while pulling only 28amps.
    I know 4600cfm is more than I need but I do not want the fans to be running at full tilt for daily driving, because that is hard on the fans and the electrical system; not to mention, I want the option to have more flow if I am going someplace that is very hot or have some type of cooling issue.
    The other reason is because they only pull 28amps, while pretty much every other set of fans I saw pulled 50amps. So with 28amps(at full potential) being the lowest I could find, I went with those.

    Some things to be aware of though, the fans cost me $380 + sales tax and they do not come with the adjustable thermostat which is an extra $100 + sales tax. So shipped to my door the bill came to around $500, which I feel is pretty exorbitant. Here is the reasoning used to make my decision though; the cheaper fans were from companies I have never heard of, didn’t pull the cfm I was looking for, or ran high in the amperage department, and these were only about a hundred dollars more than the average price of the non-name brand fans, so I went with the “you get what you pay for” rule and looked the other way when the sticker shock came.

    I guess the nice thing for you guys is that you can read my review of these fans after I have put some mileage on them before you make your decision on whether to switch over or not.


    Ok, now lets get to the install:

    When I went to install the fans and I ran into a couple minor problems, which worked to my benefit (at least in my eyes). The main problem being the lower radiator outlet takes a hard turn as it comes out of the radiator and the fans interfere with it. The other problem is that the fans are a bit taller than the radiator.

    I have been thinking about having the radiator completely rebuilt anyway and now that the lower outlet and new fans interfere with each other I have my excuse to get it all done and modified. As for the too tall part, I will fabricate a piece to of sheet metal that will pick up the slack and it might give me a place to run the cable for my dual batteries across the engine bay.

    I took the radiator to a local radiator shop and it should be back next week so I will hopefully have an update on that a next week.
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    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Southwest Washington
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    Making new power seat switches

    Ok everyone, since the radiator is still at the radiator shop being rebuilt I figured I would pass the time by making some new power seat switches.

    I have had the idea to make seat switches for quite a long time now. It all came about when I was restoring the interior of my Rover. I must have had the seats in and out 4 or 5 times. I found that there were four motors which control the functions of the seat. Each motor goes forward and back which is pretty simple right? So why the overly complicated Land Rover (Mercedes) switch? Why not just you a momentary On-Off-On switch like power windows.

    Anyway in the following pictures are the results. The top one is the switch I made. The middle is the Land Rover (Mercedes) switch. And the bottom one is the first version I made (prototype). I am a little unhappy about the size of the switches on the final version but I couldn't find a smaller 30amp switch. When they are mounted together they will fit in exactly the same size space as the OEM Land Rover switches. I guess the upside about their size is that they will be easy to operate with gloves on in the winter months. ; )

    I made the final version with longer wires so I can mount the power seat switches in the console next to the power window switches.
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    Last edited by RRClassicBT550; 06-01-2011 at 01:06 AM.
    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

  8. #8
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    I'd like to see the final version. I went to cloth seats from a Hunter just because of the issues with the switches.....I hated them. I thought that putting the whole thing on a flexible arm, so you can pull up and use, then tuck away when not needed, would be ideal. Something like a winch cord, but the length of the seat belt..
    It's about people and the Land Rovers that own them.
    01 DII : 95 RRC LWB : 88 RRC SWB

  9. #9
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    Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by astateofmike View Post
    I'd like to see the final version. I went to cloth seats from a Hunter just because of the issues with the switches.....I hated them. I thought that putting the whole thing on a flexible arm, so you can pull up and use, then tuck away when not needed, would be ideal. Something like a winch cord, but the length of the seat belt..
    Hmm...now thats an idea, I might have to look into that for the two power bucket seats I am putting in the back of the Rover. Thanks.

    As for seeing the final version, the top one pretty much is the final version although I may change out the yellow terminal connectors for something a little more low profile. I am waiting on the rest of the wire to be delivered before I make the other three and I will show pictures of how to make the switches and where/how I will install them into the Rover. I am going to install them soon, but not having anymore wire and the fact that my interior is completely stripped out right now because I found a little rust, need to lower the front seats, swap out the steering column for tilt wheel, put in sound insulation, and for fabrication of the rear seat mounts. It will probably be about a week (maybe two) before I can show you everything in its final form.
    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
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    The to do list just became longer...

    Hello everyone,

    Sorry I haven't updated in a little bit, but I have been waiting for parts. In the mean time though, I was trying to figure out the floor mounting structure for the rear seats and drawer system; however, when I was stripping the interior out to look at the placement of that structure, I found a little moisture under the rear rubber mats (which is the dryer place in the Rover). So I immediately walked to the front and put my hand underneath the front rubber mats. Both the driver side and passenger side were wet underneath. The passenger side in particular though was sopping wet; it was like wringing out a car washing sponge (see pictures).
    Keep in mind that I have already been through this once when first bought it. I stripped, primed, and repainted the whole floor because there was a small amount of surface rust on the floor. So you might be able to imagine my surprise/frustration to find that there was rust in the same places again. I decided this time I was going to make sure it would not happen again! The problems that caused were many, because to take care of it in a way that it would not happen again meant that I had to push my plans for the rest of the interior forward so it is going to be a very busy month for me. Added to the list besides the rear floor structure is now: the modified 95’ RRC steering column, modifying the dash, custom console, lowering the front seats, auxiliary fuse box, other misc. wiring, and sound insulation (Lizard Skin).

    I am in the middle of the interior right now and have it completely stripped out. So figured I would show you a few in-progress pictures. As well as the pictures of where the leak was coming from. It turns out that the vent door foam was perished and was letting in a lot of water. If you are curious about your Rover, check under the front floor mats for signs of water, then pop out the outside vents on the cowl and you be able to see the vent door. I took it a step further and removed my cowl entirely to redo the seam sealer and check for rust. BEWARE! Removing the cowl is a careful two or even three man job, do not attempt it by yourself!

    Anyway, there will be more work going on this week and I will try to update with pictures but in the mean time feel free to ask questions and I hope you all have a good one!
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    Have a good one!

    Jon

    1988 RRC rolling restoration & customization

    <a href="http://www.LRRForums.com/showthread.php?19302-The-Rolling-Restoration-amp-Customization-Of-My-88-RRC" target="_blank">My Range Rover Classic build thread</a>

    Does anyone have a set of early 80's (4 door) front doors or door uppers w/ quarter windows for sale? I want to convert my rover to the quarter window style front doors.

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