Project current status photo:
November, 2001 Finally, ready for some local test drives. New 33 x 10.50' BFGs on, and most electrics wired in. Still, a long way to go before it's trail ready.
Why the Land Mutt?
Last year the old Rover chassis got to the point that there was so much rust there was nothing left to weld patches to. Something had to be done, so initially a straightforward chassis swap was planned.
A new Galvanized chassis from Rovers North was ordered; however, shortly after the chassis arrived ideas started rolling about on how to get a bit more oomph for those long freeway rides to the desert. Goal was to keep it simple and light, and that 4 cyl putt-putt feeling was key, so a big V-8 or V-6 swap was out of the question. Several engine swaps such as the Quad-4 / Mercrusier were considered, but adding more power also meant that it would probably need a stouter drivetrain.
The project plans solidified when a well-worn, but mechanically sound Jeep Cherokee showed up in the paper for $1000. The "Land-Mutt" project was a go.
When done, goal is to have 120+ hp, power disc brakes, ARB front and rear, 4:1 low range, even A.C. to extend the off roading season well into our desert summers. What's hopefully going to be missing are all of those puddles in the drive that keep the homeowners association breathing down my neck!
After all, if an AC can get a 289, and if the first Land Rover was built on a Jeep chassis, what's wrong with a little fiddling on old "rusty."
Follow along as we go through the various steps of the project including:
Chassis Build-up - Building up the shiny new Galvanized chassis from Rovers North.
Old Rover Tear-Down - Taking off the needed body and interior pieces. (Land Rover chassis and drivetrain is for sale!)
Build-Up - Photos of the overall re-assembly
Mechanicals - Odds & ends of mechanical re-builds and problems to solve.
Power Steering - Adding power steering to the "mutt"
Air Conditioning - As long as all the pieces are there, might as well use them!
Parts List - A list of all of the parts used in the swap, including part numbers where available.
A Little "Parts Plus" Plug:
One of the things that can make or break a project like this, is an extremely knowledgeable, willing, and creative partner that will help you find the odd-ball parts needed.
The guys at the Irvine Parts Plus in Irvine, CA have literally made the most difficult parts of this swap possible. Go in with a request for a GM alternator, with a v-belt pulley and say that you plan to put on a Jeep mount that's in a Land Rover, and they go "cool" and come up with a solution. There is no way to get all the little weird odds and ends needed for a swap without a parts partner that really knows their stuff. Thanks Guys!PARTS PLUS 14120 Culver Drive Unit E Irvine, CA (949) 857-0158
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