86 Land Rover Defender 110 shop truck project

I've been using the Rover as a shop truck and daily driver for the last few months and am really happy with it. It's been getting 22mpg on average with the best tank being 24mpg at a steady 68mph coming back from Overland Expo East. At 75mph it drops a couple miles per gallon. It has been convenient having a pick up to take stuff to the sandblaster and make home depot runs. The pickup top feels cramped but the Puma seats are an improvement, I'm 6' and could live with pick up top without too much discomfort. But now that the novelty of having a Defender pickup has worn off it is time to put a real top on it.
So here are a few updates.

The Rover is really nimble and light as a pick up, visibility is incredible. With the tdi and xzls aired down it will pretty much crawl anywhere in low range at idle without slipping a tire. When I do loose traction I can shift the r380 pretty quickly between reverse and 2nd to rock it out, can't do that really effectively with the lt77.

The pickup is also really convenient for friends to throw their gear in the back and jump in when going out for some mine exploring

Added some Hella Horns

parking brake converted to left hand drive by cutting, flipping, flattening, rebending and welding back together.

made up some 2g winch power cables

got a full length roof, these tend to leak when the factory seam sealer dries up and cracks. I resealed it with self leveling seam sealer, the blue stuff in the channel. Also did the front and middle seams and inside seams.

got some slightly damaged new take off side panels with windows, already Alaska white. The roof was epoxy primed and painted Alaska white.

The seam sealer after painting and drilling new drain holes, this is really good stuff!

the roof is dynamatted and wired for a Hella matador work light and 2 interior lights

A used rear door is repainted. The hinges are rebuilt and fastened with the factory galvanized hardware

The old windshield was really scratched up so I repainted another windshield frame and brought it to a glass shop to cut and install a new windshield

The truck cab comes off

the new roof and sides go on

I added this warn M8000 that I've had forever

a tuffy box is installed

genuine Land Rover rubber matting, this unit is way nicer than other one piece floor mats.

With the truck cab the headrests hit the rear window so the seat backs are nearly vertical, so I was moving the seats forward and loosing leg room to get the backs somewhat reclined.


Great build. One question, i see you have the proper defender 300tdi air canister and air filter but I don't see any intake on the side. Where does the air intake pull air from?

reason I am asking is mine is currently just pulling air from the engine bay and I don't this this is the best solution




Busy Fly Fishing
You've got talent Mike, and a lot of patience. Converting to a hard-top for more leg room haha, damn


Very impressive. Really like the look of the new top and you still have a lot of functionality of the bed. Clean but with a little patina shining through...


Looks great both as a pick-up, and the top on although I like the pick-up mode better! Very nice either way!
Since the restoration this Rover has been my daily driver and has been working flawlessly for me. I've really enjoyed taking it out on some trips this summer and up to the Vermont Overland Rally

We have been working on a documentary about abandoned mine explorers and the Rover has been the go-to vehicle for for getting up to these remote mine sites. Here is a rough version of the mine exploration film. It is a work in progress but if underground exploring interests you check it out.

Here are a few additions I have made

The XZL tires have been great but with snow on its way I decided to give some duratracs a try

I mounted them on some standard 110 wheels designed for tubeless tires. They are 1'' narrower than the wolfs but much lighter.

I installed a camel trophy brush guard

I finished up my dual battery system

I am keeping my dual battery system simple. I used a blue sea systems selector to isolate the starting battery when desired, like when running a fridge at night. After restarting in the morning I can couple both batteries so the aux. battery gets charged while the engine is running. I have a sears battery as my starting battery and an optima as my aux. battery. The number on the dial corresponds with the number on the battery hold down in case I forget which is which.

The selector is within easy reach from the driver seat.

I am rebuilding a salisbury and adding a detroit locker and disc brakes.

I have also been adding sound deadening to quiet down the truck to make it a bit more civilized as a daily driver.
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I Leak Oil

Expedition Leader
My left front fender is intimately familiar with that tree on the left at about 2:00. That's known as the bypass. LWB trucks have a definite advantage there. Nice video.


Busy Fly Fishing
My left front fender is intimately familiar with that tree on the left at about 2:00. That's known as the bypass. LWB trucks have a definite advantage there. Nice video.
that tree has claimed many body panels and parts...