My 1989 Landrover V8 90

Certainly not a new purchase, I bought it in June 2008. But it has recently been the subject of a bit of attention over the last 12 months.

What Is It?

A 1989 Factory 90 V8 Country Petrol.

I bought it because I previously had a 1981 Series 3 Stage 1 V8 which I got rid of many years ago, and I fancied another one. I’m not a particular Landrover fanatic like many are – but I do like a V8 engine under the bonnet. So I wandered in to Safari Engineering in Yateley and asked dave if he knew anyone with a 90 V8 for sale. It just so happened he did. The blokes nickname was Jesus and he used it as his dog walking car, until the engine had expired (little end failure). Now, a wet dog is a smelly thing, so it took a lot of time and effort, mostly by jetwashing the inside of the car, to eventually get rid of the smell of dog. But the name persists and it is known as “The Dog” in our household.

Over the years, have done many many jobs on it, when I first bought it I replaced the engine, going from a broken 3.5 carb to a 4.0 EFI, which I then later put a megasquirt on. Various welding jobs over the years.

A few years back:

And sometimes I do work on it:

This time it needed a little more work, so I gave it a fairly decent going over. I wanted to fit rear seats to it, but proper, forward facing ones with 3 point seat belts, not the sideways facing ones only with a lap belt.

On inspection of some of the bodywork in the vicinity of where the seatbelts would mount, I realised some work was needed:

The lower panel – easy to replace with a stock item from landrover, but that upper bracket is not available, so I had to make one.

First I made a template in CAD:

And then cut it out in steel:

I think it came out well:

Bulkhead Removal

As is often the way, I then started to get carried away, so I then removed the bulkhead, replaced with a bulkhead brace bar, to give a lot more room in the interior and make it easier for the kids to get in and out:

Body Cappings

And carried on replacing any rust as I found it:

Brand new cappings from Landrover:

It was starting to come together quite well:

Leaky Sunroof

The sunroofs are well known for leaking, so I decided to remove the sunroof entirely. Even though the roof is a bit old and dented, I still wanted the new panel to sit flush and look tidy:

A nice sheet of 1.5mm NS4 ready to cut:

Seemed to go OK:

And fitted nicely:

Quite happy with the end result:

Bulkhead Repairs

At this point, I was looking at the bulkhead. I knew the top corners were a bit rust and I’d put some patches on them a few years back. I decided it was time to do them properly. It was fairly scary how rusty the structures were underneath once I started cutting:

This took a fair bit of work to make:

But came out pretty well. I did both sides, naturally:

The Repaint

As I then suffered a severe bout of scope creep, I decided that as I’d just replaced a bunch of rust with steel, it just wouldn’t do to leave them unpainted. But what colour and how to do it. I decided it might be fun to learn to spray a bit. I did learn a bit – the main lesson being, it’s well worth paying someone else.

Nevertheless, it came ouf OK, although I intentionally did it in white because that’s more forgiving of my errors. All done in cellulose. Would have liked 2-pack, but I don’t have the booth or breathing equipment to do it. Felt like I spent forever filling and sanding – and even then, it’s not a great job!

Slowly but surely, things progressed:

Gradually it started to look like a landrover again:

Apple Carplay

One thing I like in cars is to have apple carplay, plus I wanted front and rear hitchcams to help me line up a trailer first time. But I don’t like the bulky dashboard solutions mosf of them end up with, so instead I found a suiper compact 5″ screen carplay unit which I fitted along with some auxiliary switches:

The slighty curveball here was that the LT85 gear stick is further forwards than the other variants, so I had to modify the gearstick to make it fit:

Somewhere during all this I replaced the gearbox too with a refurbished LT85 from Ashcrofts.

Rear Seats

Finally I was in a position to start fitting the rear seats, using the exmoor trim Loc N Fold ones. They’re really good.

Cab Heat

I also decided to add another heater to give a bit more winter heat in the cab:

Oil Cooler

And made some proper brackets for the oil cooler:


So with it all back together, here’s where we are today. Still on the original chassis, I will replace that one day, and I need to do new roof lining and carpets in the cab. But looking smarter than it was, I think:

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