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History question


How did LR originally coat the chassis?

I am assuming that its not bare metal :)

Is it primed and painted? If so, what with?

Inside and out??
Originally, they hot dip galvanised them - so the current must-have of a galv chassis is nothing new.
Galvanising was very quickly abandoned, due to excessive weight or cost issues depending on what you read on the subject. Rover then went over to immersing the whole chassis in a tank full of black paint.
Older Series chassis from the Fifties and Sixties seem to survive better than newer ones - I reckon it has more to do with the better quality of steel they used in the pre bean-counter era rather than the paint.
You are right about the quality of steel being a principal factor in the durability of Land Rover chassis construction, and in the sourcing of the steel.
During the period between 1963 and 1974 a lot of the steel used in Britain was obtained from locomotive railway tracks as owing to the closure of tens of thousand of miles of rail lines due to the 'Beeching' report, their was a glut of steel track, and this was sold off by the government through the then nationalised British Rail to be reused in British industry.
The quality of this steel was rather mixed and depended a lot upon its age, although I am led to believe that Scottish and east coast railway track was deemed to be the best. Perhaps owners of sturdy series two's may have a chassis whose steel in a former life may have carried the Flying Scotsman on its famous east coast route.
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That's an interesting take on things. I must admit I've never heard of railway tracks being recycled before - never given it any thought. The worst Land Rovers for chassis rot seem to be the Series 3's made between about 1975 and 1981. The very last 3's made seem pretty good motors (better mechanicals, too) and the earlier ones you still see. The majority of the ones that get broken for parts due to being rotten seem to be mid seventies to very early eighties.
Very early series 1 chassis were painted green :)

I think the comments about quality of steel are absolutely spot on. S1 and early s2 chassis used a much thicker grade of steel, but this was of course more expensive and heavier.

Interesting about the recycled railways of the 60s, I never knew that.

crashbox you are right about 70s LR chassis, this was when BL had LR in its grip and they were churning out crappy Marinas and Allegros with similar rust problems. I think they must have imprvoed things a bit by the early 80s - my 1982 s3 had an excellent chassis that didn't need a welder taken to it for over 20 years. Still a lot thinner and flimsier than a s1 chassis though.
Jaguars went downhill ( the first time, not this time) and seemed a bit better when they turned to Bosch electrics about 1983.

Scrap steel has always been used in cars, don't forget Japan has no natural resources and buys all it's steel in, mainly as scrap. (China is taking most of it now, as the price has risen, we now get £60 a car.) but the cars don't rot as bad now.

MOT wise, I would say Italian cars Fail on chassis rot more than most, followed by older Fords, but the general quality is definitely better now.

As a footnote to my earlier posting relating to rail track scrap.One interesting piece of fact, is that the thousands of miles of steel track ripped up and sold for scrap by the government during the Beeching axe was valued as an asset to British Rail at thirty six million pounds.

The record for the monies received in the reselling of this steel was 0ne hundred and seventeen thousand pounds according to B.R. documents of the time.

The selling of rail track still goes on today by 'Rail Track' who release thousand of tons of worn track onto the market each year, selling this steel at a fraction of the price they paid for it. Nothing changes! Except that this cheap steel now is mainly sold to our competitors abroad.
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We are not long after selling an Original Series 1 80" with the Tickford Ash Frame station wagon body on it. The chassis on that was fine and did not need any welding IMO. Wish land rovers chassis would last for 50 plus years nowadays. Hopefully our waxoyl will help.
Onthe rail track thing they are busy replacing a lot of rail and sleepers on the West Coast railway line beside us from Fort William to Mallaig, the famous "Harry Potter Line" or "Rail to the Isles" running alongside the Road to the Isles. Anyway all the old steel track gies south with the trucks that deliver the new wooden sleepers to Nottingham or somewhere. Presumably to be sold for scrap.
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