Fred Dushin Ben Smith Dale Desprey Bill Maloney Bruce Fowler Dave Bobeck Dixon Kenner Alan Richer Mike Loidice
BBC Top 
Gear Land Rover vid 5mb Part of a series where people picked their 
favourite car for an 'all-time' greats poll. The Land Rover won hands 
  Vehicle Identification  
  History, Production, Sales 
  Repair & Maintenance
Data & Specifications
Chassis Numbers
Body & Chassis
Front Chassis Leg Installation
Body Rot Repair
Frame Preservation
Removing Military Angle Iron Reinforcements
Window Channel Replacement
Bushing Replacement Tool
Spring Bushings
Stud Plate Fabrication
Perils Of Ownership
Forward Control
  Clubs & Parts Suppliers
What's New
  Contact Us
  Return to OVLR
  Return to Rover Web

Series Land Rovers

Front Chassis Leg Installation

by Bill Maloney (OVLR)

Recently I replaced the front chassis legs on my 88. I had the opportunity to pull John Mc Muddy (sorry John, I can remember your plate but not your last name) of the Canadian club out of a sticky situation at the ABP rally last year. Unfortunately my front chassis legs were so badly rusted, I feared the bumper might pull off if given a good yank. I passed and left the recovery to someone else. My goal from that point was to replace the chassis legs and install D Rings on the front bumper for a secure recovery point.

My initial plan to install the chassis legs was to visit Bob Fischer (formerly of ABP) as he did a terrific job installing my galvanized rear cross member and would only take a half day (and he had done it before). However, a local welder was recommended to me and upon meeting him for an estimate he stated the job would take about 3 1/2 hours and run about $150, $160 max but probably less and that he could start immediately (9:00 AM on a Saturday morning. This sounded a little more expensive than Bob , but I figured my traveling 3.5 hours each way to Mechanicville and the gas used would make up for it. So I got a ride home and waited. And waited. At 2:30 I called and was told it was taking longer than expected, but would be done by 5:00. At 4:00 they called and said it wouldn't be done that day but maybe on Sunday. Sunday morning I stopped by the shop and saw the chassis legs had been crudely tacked on. He said the finished welds would be much neater but that it wouldn't be done until Monday. Monday afternoon I picked it up. The estimate had grown to $195. Ouch! I asked how the estimate grew so much he stated that between the new bolts he used and tax that it brought the price up.

When I got it home I proceeded to install the new D Rings and bumper and noticed that the top of the chassis legs in the back had not been welded. I called to ask why this had not been done and he said he couldn't get at it with the bodywork in place. I asked why he didn't bring this up when he took on the job he said it was more difficult than he realized. I asked if he felt this was strong enough to withstand towing stresses he initially said yes, but then offered that if I removed the fenders and brought it back he would finish the job for no additional charge. Very gracious. :- {

I removed the fenders as I also wanted to install the wing exhaust port cover I had just ordered so off they came and I brought it down to their shop. I'm glad I supervised the rest of the job because he would have missed a couple of small sections. The job is now complete but I see that one side is about 1/4" lower than the other. Not a lot but enough to be noticeable and annoying.

Also since they had difficulty with the screws holding the front valence on, rather that undoing the bolts holding the valence brackets to the radiator support, they used a torch to heat the screws (and blister and burn the paintwork) then drilled one and attempted an easy-out extraction, breaking and leaving the easy-out in place. They then drilled a second hole in the bracket and mounted the valence somewhat cocked.

I removed the valence and bracket, punched the easy-out out from the opposite side, drilled 2 bit sizes larger, and removed the broken screw with a pair of needle nosed pliers (enough was sticking out the other side so that it was easy to grip). They also scratched up the inner part of the wings where the valence sits - no charge.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Get more than one recommendation for people doing critical welding
  2. Get the estimate in writing
  3. Ask if they can complete the job (weld all sections) without removing the bodywork. You may choose to remove the wings ahead of time
  4. Remove the front valence yourself
  5. Ask how the extensions will be measured for position
  6. Ask to look at something the person has welded
  7. Ask if the person you are speaking to will be doing the welding and not one of his lackeys
  8. Bob Fischer is worth the 7 hour ride and $27 bucks in gas & tolls.

Reprinted from the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter, September, 1994
Copyright Dixon Kenner, 1995-2011. Last modified March 15, 2005.
Comments? Send mail to Dixon Kenner or Benjamin Smith
Site Designed and Created by Bill Maloney
Russ Wison
Russ Dushin
Tom Tollefson
Steve Denis
Don Watson
Fixing It
Ted Rose's Buns
Andy Grafton