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.