Chassis, the final strip … well, almost!

Another few hours spent on the lightweight’s chassis this weekend.

Yesterday saw the last couple of small brackets and fittings removed, along with both axles.

Today we thought would be the last couple of jobs before getting the chassis shot blasted……

Not so.

The spring bushes in the chassis seem to be the most stubborn I’ve come across. Several attempts resulted in two stripped and one sheared puller threaded bars, one of which was stainless steel and only two out the four bushes partly removed. Partly because the inner sleeve and rubber came out, leaving the outer steel sleeve in the chassis. Time to resort to more labour intensive methods and the use of a hacksaw.

The other item that well and truly beat us today was the steering relay. This is pressed into the cross member. Having been there for nearly 40 years, it isn’t going to give in easily and resisted all attempts using strong backs and an 8 tonne jack. Being pressed into quite a deep section of chassis, in a deep tube, I have a feeling either a long slow process with a hacksaw, or gentle, precise use of a plasma cutter might be needed to cut the outer casing of the relay from within the chassis. Care being needed to avoid damaging the chassis tube.

Ofcourse, if it’s rusted in that solid, there’s every chance the tube will need replacing anyway, so maybe being gentle isn’t the way forward.

So, it’s almost ready to go for shot blasting, which will show up how much corrosion there really is. Everyone who’s seen it have all said how good it is. The sooner it gets blasted the better. I can then get on with weld repairs and start getting ready for the rebuild.

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7 comments

  1. Blimey, you two have been working hard at it !! All credit to you ( I’m a lazy sod and going the galv. chassis route for my Defender this week ! ) especially keeping with the OE chassis as this adds pure class once rebuilt. I doff my cap to you and all the helpers šŸ™‚

  2. Good progress, those suspension bushes are horrible to remove. I had the same problem as you and wrecked the threads on my pullers so resorted to hacksaw.

    The steering relay isn’t actually pressed in on a normal chassis (not sure if the military ones are different), on a standard chassis when everything is new and rust free there is a good 1/8″ clearance around the relay and it drops straight down the chassis tube. The turned/machined shoulder of the relay is actually located in a plate that mounts to the underside of the chassis. This not only locates the relay but effectively seals the hole and allows water and mud to collect in the tube and eventually it all ‘welds’ itself together with corrosion. I bought a replacement heavy duty locating plate and cut out half moon shapes in it to partly clear the bolts on the relay and also to provide drainage to try to prevent water buidling up in the tube.

    You can see how much space there is around the relay in the tube in this photo, it is very loose:

    And this shows the plate bolted in place that locates it all:

    1. Thanks for the reply and info about the relay. The bushes I can deal with easily. The relay looks like it’s going take a bit more effort to get out without damaging the tube in the cross member. If all else fails, it’s going to need a new tube fitted into the cross member.

      Could do without this extra work when I’m trying to get the chassis shot blasted, welded and galvanised before Xmas which will allow the rebuild to start while I’m off work for two weeks over Xmas and New Year.

      1. Fingers crossed that the relay will come out. If you can get the locating plate off and the two upper retaining bolts you may be able to jack the relay out? Or sacrifice it and hammer the thing out. A new one is about Ā£50 from memory.

        By the way, apologies for flooding your post with the pictures. I meant to just post the links but it seems wordpress have done an update so that any link to a picture now shows the picture in the comment. It never used to do that šŸ˜¦

        1. Many thanks for the comments and suggestions.

          No problem re the pictures. Good to see them.

    2. Just for info. The steering relay on the lightweight isn’t pressed in either. It’s fitted the same way as any other series. Just that it was so well corroded in, it seemed like it.
      Suitable admin of a sledge hammer soon had it out. New one will be fitted and the gap packed with grease. I’m also contemplating making a couple of gaskets/seals to fit top and bottom of the tube to ensure the grease can’t get out and dirt can’t get in.

      1. Congratulations on getting it out!

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