Back to the "Hall of Frame"

Please be aware that ECR is now a Defender repair and modification shop only.
We no longer work on Range Rovers, Discos or Series Rovers.
These pages are from work we did in the past and left up for your enjoyment.

1974 Series III 88 Hardtop
Galvanized frame swap and misc work orders

Friday 2:30 pm
(For the time line on this project keep in mind our hours are M-F 8:00 to 4:30)
This Series III 88" Rover has been sent to us by a customer from New York. The Rover's frame has seen better days and has had numerous patches and poor repairs, so we'll be removing the original rusted frame and installing a new galvanized chassis with a removable cross member for easy service and long life. We'll also be making a few repairs and updates to the 88 to make it longer lasting. Other items that rust just as badly as the frames do in a Rover are things like the fuel tank and springs. We'll be replacing those items and doing some upgrades along the way to make for smart and long lasting repairs to this Series III. The image above shows the 88 as it came to ECR. The first step is to do a full evaluation of all the systems and inform the owner about what is good and what is bad. Then we will work with the owner to complete the items that are important to him and get the 88 back on the road so he can enjoy it, knowing that he doesn't have to worry about frame rust again.

Monday 10:00 am
This images shows the 88 in the first stage of our frame swap process. All the systems have been disconnected from the body shell of the Rover, and then the frame is unbolted, or cut if rust and rusty bolts are a factor. We've been doing these frame swaps for so long, we have even refined the process so that we don't loose any of your coolant or other fluids (other than brake fluid). This doesn't get you a restoration, but it is the best, cheapest and fastest way to get a new galvanized frame into a Rover that really needs one, and for some of our customers that is just what the doctor ordered. Next step is to lift the body, complete, away from the Rover.

Monday 11:00 am
Here you can see that the body of the 88 has been lifted off in one piece and the old rusty chassis has been rolled away. The bulkhead on the 88 isn't that bad. It has some rust, but we will be able to patch it in the vehicle, without having to remove the entire thing for installation onto the bulkhead jig. The owner doesn't desire any cosmetic changes to the 88, so most of our work will be on the chassis. The body will remain here in the lift until the new chassis is ready for it. Think about how long it would take another shop to change your chassis if they wanted to take the entire Rover apart, piece by piece. You'd be in for a costly restoration and a long time in the shop. We love doing restorations, but we also understand that not every ECR customer wants or can afford that type of work, so we offer a full range of service to help you get your Rover back on the road with the right parts, built correctly by full time Rover professionals. It may take us a long time to get to your project due to how popular our shop has become, but once we begin on your project it goes quickly and smoothly.

Monday 12:00 Noon
This image shows the rusted chassis now out of the 88. The complete engine and gearbox assembly has been removed from the frame and set aside. The front axle assembly has been removed and the old chassis is being stripped of all its parts that will cross over to the new galvanized unit. A little more work and this rusty mess with be headed for the scrap pile, and the new galvanized chassis will be brought into the work bay and the parts assembled onto it. As with any 30 year old Rover, a few items just wouldn't come loose, so we'll be replacing those with new Genuine Land Rover parts. Items like a new steering relay and such will have to be installed as the old one have "become one" with the rusty frame.

Monday 4:30 pm
The image above shows the new galvanized chassis set up as a rolling chassis. The original axles have been installed onto the new chassis. We also installed a set of parabolic springs because the old springs were very rusted. These parabolics will offer longer life and a smoother ride and better handling both on and off road. They are a great upgrade to any 88. For more information on parabolics go here! We've topped up the new steering relay with oil (the most commonly neglected service on any Series Rover) and now we are ready for the engine. We've also seen so many rusted Rovers that we do all we can to make sure your future repairs go smoothly. Every spring bolt and piece of hardware that goes on during an ECR frame swap gets coated in anti-seize compounds, so that years down the road when you need to service a part on the Rover, the parts will come apart easily and not be seized or rusted in place. The minor bulkhead repairs have also been completed while it was hanging in the lift and next we'll drop in the existing engine and drivetrain into the new chassis, make some new stainless steel brake pipes and get ready to install the body once again.

Tuesday 12:30 pm
Here you can see the original drivetrain has been installed into the new chassis and the body is ready to install. We've made new stainless steel brake pipes for the 3 frame mounted brake pipes, installed the new rear wiring harness and replaced the exhaust manifold as well as some other small work orders. At this point we are ready to install the body shell and hook up the systems, but the owner called and has requested that we do some additional work orders, such as new U joints in the driveshafts, a new stainless exhaust system from NRP and more. He also wants us to sort out the clutch hydraulics and a few other odds and ends. We'll be doing these items without the body on because it will be easier for us, and will save the customer money. So we'll move on to other projects for now and start up again when these parts arrive.

Thursday 1:00 pm
The needed parts to complete the 88 arrived Thursday mid-day, so we have installed them and are now ready to install the body onto the new chassis. The image above show the new stainless steel fuel tank from Forever Rover (really nice units and well worth the added cost considering you'll never need another fuel tank!). This units fits perfectly and the customer won't have to worry about it rusting out.

To keep going with the "no rust" theme on this Series III we have installed a stainless steel exhaust system from NRP. This system will last a long time, as it is stainless steel, and it also gives some added performance to the 2.25 engine because it breathers better than the stock unit, and they sound really cool too.

Thursday 4:30 pm
Here you can see that the 88 is now back together, new galvanized frame mated to the old body. Now it is time to go through and hook everything back up. We'll also need to do a few requested work orders, such as tune the engine (this engine was so far out of adjustment it wouldn't get out of its own way) install wiring for trailer lights and a number of other small work orders to make the 88 operate as the owner wants.

Friday 11:00 am
This image shows the 88 nearly completed. We have hooked up the rear wiring harness into the body, installed the customer's trailer hitch set up and attached all the small odds and ends. Next we'll bleed the brakes, clutch and start some road tests to make sure everything is good to go. We've also had to adjust the doors to close properly (the old frame had a pretty good "sag" to it, and now the doors need to be set up to work with a new, straight, rust free frame).

Friday 3:30 pm
Here you can see the finished product. Like all unrestored Rovers, we had some trouble with seized brake bleeders and a few other decayed systems that didn't want to go back together, so the 88 needed a few more new Genuine Land Rover parts installed to make things right. We also installed a new front bumper and a few other items to get the 88 ready. The only thing left is to install the spare tire back on the hood and the 88 will be ready for delivery back to the owner. We've completed what he requested of us, not a restoration, but the installation of a new galvanized frame, with a few work orders to get the 88 into better condition. Is it now restored? No, far from it, but at least the 88 can now be put back on the road and the owner will know that although there is more work needed on the 88, the items that he had ECR complete for him are done right, with long term service in mind.
Due to our work load it may take some time for us to get to your project, but as you can see from the time line above, once we get there things move fast.
If your Series Rover needs work, from a tune up to a new galvanized frame, be sure and call ECR. We'll be happy to help you in any way we can.

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