We had a brilliant opportunity before Christmas to modify a late 2012 Freelander 2. The modifications were part of Duncan’s Christmas present to Sandy, so the whole thing had to be completed while she was in Canada for two weeks. Sandy was ecstatic with her customised Freelander 2; here’s what we had done:
Wheels – Duncan brought the biggest OEM wheels he could find for that model. 19’s replaced the standard 16 inch boots and were powder coated in black.
Bodywork – A full genuine body kit in Java Black was completely resprayed in Santorini Black and installed. This was finished off with a genuine Freelander 2 sport tailpipe.
Grille – The grille was a challenge as Duncan wanted it in black. Land Rover don’t supply them separately so the body shop had to remove and re-spray the whole bumper assembly. Safe to say, it rolled out looking mean!
Finishing touches – The badges were replaced around the vehicle with replica ‘supercharged’ style badges in a lovely black and silver, blending perfectly with the rest of the vehicle. This was all finished off with a genuine light guard kit, black side vents, smoked side indicator lenses, black name badges (both bonnet & tailgate), and colour coded door handles.
All the parts added to the Freelander (apart from the black/silver LR badges) are currently available from our site; why not pick up something to personalise your own Land Rover?
I’m guessing you want to see some pictures? Scroll down and see the progress below.
While Richard’s Chassis manufacture our new chassis, we are looking ahead, and getting parts ready for the reassembly, the Radiator has been re-cored and a standard 109 Series 2 fuel tank has been modified to fit the forward control by an excellent local company: Sheldrake & wells Ltd (www.sheldrakeandwells.co.uk).
Whilst browsing though eBay, we found a company – S P Land Rover – who manufacture rare body panels which includes forward control doors; I have been searching for these for years. The doors have now arrived and the quality is excellent, they also make the Lightweight doors and Station wagon rear side door bottoms. The company is well worth checking out, and their prices are like from the 70’s (www.splandrovers.com).
Over the last few months we have completed the strip down of our Forward Control 2B, the chassis was much worse than we had at first realised, serious tin worm had rendered it past its best and beyond repair, as a result a decision was taken to go for a brand new Galvanised chassis from our friends at Richards Chassis in Mexborough, www.richardschassis.co.uk these chassis are rare and difficult to make, but luckily they had all the plans and templates there ready to go, as well as another chassis on the books from another dealer, so it made sense to build them both at the same time.
On Friday the 11th Sandy and I took the old chassis up to them, so they could confirm a few small details, apparently there are several differences on the chassis over the lifespan of the forward control, on arrival we were met by Alistair and Duncan Banks, the owners of the company, who proceeded to give us a tour of the premises as well as an explanation as to how the chassis are constructed from scratch. I was very impressed with the end product, and recommend this company to anyone thinking of purchasing a new chassis, their knowledge and experience, as well as their easy and friendly approach make this a great company to deal with.
Whilst this is away being manufactured we now have to strip down and rebuild both axles, but I have a feeling the chassis will be back long before we get this task completed!
Since buying the Forward Control 2B two years ago, we have been asked frequently what has happened to it, well, just over a year ago it was moved undercover into our Ipswich Depot where it sat untouched for another 8 months.
Finally in October we bit the bullet and started on a full rebuild program, and bit by bit the vehicle was dismantled down to a running chassis, the vehicle was up and running prior to dismantling so we knew that the major components worked after a fashion.The chassis proved to be extensively corroded to the point that after careful consideration it was deemed to be beyond repair, and so a new chassis is now on order with Richards Chassis.
Whilst we await the delivery of the new chassis our attention has turned to the engine and box, over the last week we have stripped the engine to its component form, the block and crank have been passed over to the capable hands of Pat Segar of Seager Engineering, in Ipswich, an old friend with many years’ experience in the reconditioning trade, we are awaiting his report on what is required. Whilst the engine was very clean inside there is evidence of wear on the crank although I am hoping we can get away with a hone and new rings for the pistons.
The Carburettor and Distributor have been sent away to be reconditioned, new replacements are impossible to find now which is a shame.Rather than tackle the gearbox ourselves we sent this away complete to Colin Whitehouse, the renowned Series Gearbox specialist to be completely stripped chemically cleaned and rebuilt So now we are awaiting the return of the engine so that we can rebuild it and have it ready to drop straight into the chassis when it arrives, our next task will be to strip and overhaul both axles prior to the return of the chassis too.I will keep the blog up to date as to how progress goes with this project, good news and bad, in the meantime if anyone reading this happens to have any 6 cylinder engine parts especially a water pump, and any Forward control 2B parts I would be glad to hear from you.
Forward Control Chassis - www.richardschassis.co.uk
P Seager Engineering - www.seager-engineering.com
R Whitehouse & Son (Gearbox Rebuilder’s) - 01384 221 304
Here is Duncan’s Latest Project to go with the Forward Control 2B, He has always wanted another 2 door Range Rover Classic. It was only after viewing and buying It, that Jason Moore pointed out that in fact Duncan had actually owned this very vehicle 10 years earlier. She is now at J Moore Classics to start Restoration