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Thread: The Gubblemobile- Series III from hell.

  1. #1
    Alaska Mike's Avatar
    Alaska Mike is offline Expedition Portal Moderator ExPo Moderator/Eye Candy
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    Default The Gubblemobile- Series III from hell.

    As I said in the Rover Fever thread, I bought this '73 Land Rover Series III SWB for $500 from a friend. I did a quick once-over, checking the frame at various points and looking at the bulkhead to see what was wrong. It doesn't run (shop rags stuffed in the spark plug ports and the carb) and it's missing a few engine parts, but it has a nice hard top and the body panels are in pretty good shape. Since I've always lusted after Series Land Rovers, I jumped at the chance. Foolish, foolish boy.


    I started pulling it apart on Friday. The hardtop, tub, and floorpans came out easily, and I was really getting into the swing of things. Sure, I started noticing a lot of rust in spots on the frame, with a couple of the outriggers and the rear crossmember suffering from some serious cancer. I was seriously contemplating a galvanized frame anyway. I figure the rust I don't see is much worse than the rust that I do see. I don't like suprises- especially on the trail. I did the math on what the reapir pieces would cost, and an entire frame looks like a better option.

    Then I got to the dash and the bulkhead, and things started to go seriously downhill. The channel that the windshield sits in rusted away on the passenger side, which then allowed water to enter the heater vents and start really doing some damage. That section is sealed up pretty tight, so I couldn't get in there to do an assessment of the overall carnage, but I'd say that there's a good chance the bulkhead is beyond repair. The door posts are starting to rust, and there are a couple other small sections that have a little too much ventillation. Time to look for a replacement- again beyond economical repair.

    Just when I thought the worst was over, I find the front grill panel has cancer holes that were covered by the plastic Series III grill. Great.

    Now I'm at the debating stage. So far my total investment is the initial purchase price and the time I spent so far taking it apart. I know of several people who want to buy parts off of this rig, which would recoup my purchase price plus a little more. Then I would just have to dispose of the carcass and begin again. However, there's this little voice inside the Rover that's calling to me to not give up and dive headfirst into the project. There's potential there. I can feel it.

    So, I sit tonight in contemplation.

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    Sorry about the news. Pretty much what I expected you'd find.

    From your previous post: With a bad frame and bulkhead you'll spend $5k in a heartbeat just getting it safe for the road. It just gets worse from there.

    If a stockish 88" is what you're looking for, save up the bread and come down below and find one with a new, or at least decent frame. For $7k-$10k you can usually find yourself a pretty nice truck. Get the one up there for spares.


    It's very easy to spend $10k rebuilding one of these trucks and you can spend $20k rebuilding one without too much effort too. Start talking about engine/drive train conversions and there goes another $5k. Trust me, I've been there. Heck, I'm there now!

    If you've got patience, time and spare cash, sure, you can rebuild that truck. New frame, rebuild the bulkhead or buy a new Defender bulkhead and start from there. I'm building a 109 right now that is in worse shape than that truck. But again, it takes patience, time and cash....All in large amounts.

    jim
    OM616 powered 88 Land Rover
    OM617 turbo powered 109

    Built, not bought

    http://www.seriestrek.com

    Wishful thinking and just plain ignorance

  3. #3
    DaktariEd's Avatar
    DaktariEd is offline Expedition Portal Team 2005, 2006 Tech Course Champion: Expedition Trophy
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    Bummer!
    Sorry to hear about that.
    Sounds like parting it out or a large cash investment are the only two really viable options right now.
    All things considered, there are probably quite a few Series Rovers out there in much better shape that you will find with time.
    Good luck, keep us posted.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    1982 Land Cruiser FJ40 w/Horizon Adventure Trailer
    K7EDB


    Hold fast to your dreams.
    For if your dreams die,
    then life is like a broken winged bird
    that cannot fly.

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    Yeah I here ya we have 67 International Scout 800A and in the same boat though it ran when we bought it. I've started the parting out will dispose of the carcass, its very sad to say the least. She wants us to move forward in the restoration but I just don't see it. My brother is having a hard time letting go and says he can do it for $5k I know it will be more like $10k.

    Aaron

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    Default Rule of 3

    It will cost 3 times what you think
    It will take three times as long
    You will get 1/3 rd of what you put into it when you try and sell

    That said I have an 88 and just purchased a basket case Dormobile. Which once I have in hand will join the expedition ranks here on this board with a build up story. No as custom as Jims as he has mad skills, but it should be fun.

    There is a great website called Guns and Rovers which has had a few right ups on bulkhead repair. If you like I can find the posts, or just troll on there for a while getting ideas.

    http://p200.ezboard.com/bgunsandrovers

    Good luck eith way you go. It is a fun ride when you have a Series.
    Sean
    1960 Series II 88
    1967 Series IIa Dormobile

    http://milehighrovers.com/

  6. #6
    Alaska Mike's Avatar
    Alaska Mike is offline Expedition Portal Moderator ExPo Moderator/Eye Candy
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    I'll probably do some pricing to get an estimate of what I'm looking at. I planning on a long-term project, and this certainly qualifies. We'll see...

    This certainly isn't an investment. I generally keep my 4x4 vehicles for a long time (ask Scott). The original concept for the rig was a Rover body on a hodge-podge of more reliable/better performing parts. That hasn't changed. A quick, highball-ish estimate puts the rig in the range of $10,000-$12,000 when "complete" (what rig ever is?), which includes a galvanized frame, bulkhead, improved engine with a beefier drivetrain, cleaned-up interior, and a few other mods (power steering, upgraded axles...). I don't think that's out of line for a completely rebuilt Series rig, even with the non-standard parts.

    Right now it's scheduled to be a two year project to get it back on the road, but that timeline could change depending how parts fall in line. I'm in no hurry, so I can wait for deals to fall into my lap. Still, the question is, is it worth it?

    Thoughts?
    -Mike
    Last edited by Alaska Mike; 11-10-2007 at 08:55 PM.

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    Default Look at Jim's 88 Rover rebuild

    Go to http://www.seriestrek.com/ to see what can be done. It sounds close to what you want, but maybe different parts.
    Sean
    1960 Series II 88
    1967 Series IIa Dormobile

    http://milehighrovers.com/

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    Alaska Mike,

    An old rusty rover is just a soul in need of saving. Breathing new life into a series is only a waste if you don't find any enjoyment along the way.

    Of course, I have been there. Some times I fixed the rig and sometimes I didn't. I think I lost money every time regardless but some of the best times I remember were spent in the restoration.


    Britt
    Britt Pinson
    Tread Trainer

    Vancouver, WA

    Roemer Adventures

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    Alaska Mike's Avatar
    Alaska Mike is offline Expedition Portal Moderator ExPo Moderator/Eye Candy
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    I'm kinda in the "blank canvas" mindset right now. After the shock of just how corroded the bulkhead was wore off a bit, I started assessing where I was and where I wanted to be. If I can source a good bulkhead for a decent price, I can slowly start adding components over time. My creative side is seeing all kinds of possibilities, but my practical side is seeing bills and a lot of time wrenching, plus some heartache when things don't go well.

    I don't know. Monday I'll start working the phones to see how these latest relevations affect my bottom line.

  10. #10
    Alaska Mike's Avatar
    Alaska Mike is offline Expedition Portal Moderator ExPo Moderator/Eye Candy
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    My weatherman is a liar.

    Well, today and possibly the the next few months are a bust. I knew it was coming, but when I looked out the window, there it was- snow. Coming down in big flakes. Imagine that. In Alaska. Where's Al Gore when you need him? There's not much so far (about 6"), so hopefully it will stop soon so I can shovel the Rover off. At least I covered everything with tarps before it hit.

    The tub is sitting off to the side on blocks, so I may decide to put the hardtop back on it to clear some space in the garage.

    With current condtions, all that's left to do is dream and begin the slow process of aquiring parts. Yes, I'm leaning towards going through with this madness.

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