Dismantling

May 2002 - The stripping down of what is now the donor vehicle begins. The various outer panels, doors and interior trim are easy to remove. The trouble is, once the panels start to come off, you can see what's been going on underneath.

Easy stuff first.There was nowhere else to put the roof!All the outer panels off.
Rust in the bodyside.Tailgate has seen better days.I wasn't too worried by this.Starting to have doubts about the chassis.
The bodyside and lower tailgate I knew about, as well as the hole in the chassis by the exhaust. The one on the other side was more of a shock.
Down to the basic shell.Bodyside removal took a while. Now a lightweight Rangie!You wouldn't want to drive it far.

The only bits that were awkward were the bodyside structures - they're supposed to be bolted on, not welded! Shortly after this, I bought an angle-grinder.
It took about a month to get this far. By now, storage of bits was becoming a problem despite hanging them from the roof and careful stacking. Fortunately, the "vehicle" was still mobile so I could work outside - it's amazing how quickly you can fill a double garage!

Removing the transmission tunnel was the last step to reveal the chassis.
The Dakar 4x4 is about 2 feet shorter than a Range Rover so you get to chop off a lot of the rusty bits. Unfortunately there were a lot more nasties lurking.

Nowhere to sit now!I took a hacksaw and...Too much rust.
ByJuly 2002, almost everything had been removed from the chassis and I could see it was in much worse condition than anticipated. I sought advice from Steve Parker and the decision was made to change the chassis. Luckily, I found one quite locally at a good price, so that was stuffed in the garage with everything else.
New chassis is in good condition.Just now, it's a mess.Rear axle cleaned and painted.New disks and seals fitted.
See what happened next. Back to the front. Send an e-mail.
Lots of wires.Some BIG gears.Gearboxes overhauled.

Time flies when you're having fun, and it's now October 2002. I have acquired a triple garage and the chassis is in the final stages of stripdown.

Not a lot left.
The front radius arms look distinctly scabby until they've had a good clean and paint.
A lick of paint works wonders.Waiting for work to begin.It takes a lot of cleaning.Looks good after the hard work.
I decided then to chop sections off the chassis from the back forwards, starting with the rear suspension area. I took this opportunity to overhaul the back axle. Having stripped down the bulkhead and chopped the chassis just behind the gearboxes, I overhauled them in situ.
Having removed all the bolt-on bits, I cleaned and painted the new chassis and main suspension components - it took a few weeks!