86 Land Rover Defender 110 shop truck project

The goal of this project is to turn this beat up 110 into reliable, left hand drive, turbo diesel shop truck. Being in the Land Rover restoration business I am always transporting various land rover parts to and fro using my 110 wagon, having a pickup would be much more practical. I built a 110 shop truck a few years ago but ended up selling it, so this will be my second go at it.

Here is the first shop truck I built in 2010 but sold shortly after

This is the is the starting point for the new shop truck project

The previous owner had the body improperly sand blasted and every panel buckled and warped

the only part of the truck that was really any good was the rust free frame

The tear down begins

Incomplete 2.5 diesel is removed

The body is completely dissembled in about a day. 300tdi motor mounts are welded in.

The surface rust on the frame is ground down and the frame is waxoyled.

Smashed front axle housing will need to be replaced

Rear differential was filled with muddy water, it needs to go too

Truck cab was straightened out and repainted Alaska white

A decent bulkhead was sourced and bead blasted, this one only needed floor pans and minor rust repair

Since the replacement bulkhead was from an air con Rover I had to cut out the holes for the vent flaps and form a lip around the aperture for the vent flap gaskets to seal on

Etch primed, 2k urethane primed then painted in Alaska white acrylic enamel

The tub was straightened out as best as possible

Bulkhead, tub and top go back on the frame

Next up: converting the right hand drive heater box to fit the left hand drive position.


ambitiose sed ineptum
I've never seen a body warp like that - but the project looks awesome. Nice work.

Right hand drive heater box needs be converted to LHD position

All the rivets and spot welds are drilled out

It is cut on this line

All the individual parts that make up the heater box

The cut piece is flattened and the bent in reverse

The heater controls are removed and reinstalled on the opposite side

When reassembled it will look like this. Also a d shaped cut out needs to be made for the heater core pipes to exit on the opposite side. The cut out piece can be welded where the piped exited previously.

I opted to buy a new blower motor housing for about $65

The lower bracket also needs to be flattened and bent in reverse. When done it will look and function just like a LHD box except for the now upside down Land Rover label

Vdo gauges are installed in place of the stock gauges

The dash wiring harness needs to be slightly changed to work with the VDO gauges

The key to a clean install is having all the Land Rover correct connectors and crimping tools

a properly installed spade terminal just like from the factory

A nice clean dash harness

All the correct terminal covers


This is great to watch. I just got the bulkhead out of my '86 110 last night, and it's great to see what other, more experienced, people are doing. Man, I wish I had a shop.

Thanks for sharing.

- Andrew.

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I would have that bulkhead bead blasted, drill out the spot welds on the floor pans and have these welded in
You can just put in these outer panels to get away a little cheaper, plus the multi layer floors just invite rust.
Fortunately I already have this:


It's an ex-military bulkhead that I had stripped and galvanized. Now I just need to prime/paint, spray on some Al's HNR, put the 300tdi wiring loom back in, and figure out how to wire my 2.5tdi->200tdi conversion vehicle to the new loom. Should be no problem at all...

Anyway, I'm not trying to hijack your thread. Keep posting and I'll keep reading :)
I tried out these led lights

I like the fact that they are completely sealed units

They are noticeably brighter

However I ended up switching back to normal Land Rover lights; this is a work truck.



Which LEDs are those? I don't think I've seen them before. I put JW Speaker sealed LEDs on mine last year and have been very happy with them so far. The only exception is the side marker lights, which I might switch out for their daytime running lights as the ones I have aren't as bright as I'd like them to be.

Maybe you bought better incandescent ones than I did, but the ones I bought were already failing within a year. Having sealed LEDs on the back means that I can trust my tail/brake lights to be actually working. The LEDs coming on a bit quicker is also a safety consideration.