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Mechanical Works

Knowing Steve Parker since he fitted a lead-free head to my 1983 petrol engine 110, right through to its full rebuild, I knew his work quality to be very high and in line with what I wanted. Steve has also owned several 101's and still has one. He therefore knows more about them than most Land Rover garages. Being surrounded by a good team, it was inevitable that things would turn out right!

Given the outline of my ideas, while I was away on business, Steve located a suitable vehicle and brought it back to his workshop. It was registered and made roadworthy for me to use for a couple of weeks to allow ideas to flow about the future conversion.

The following list of work was born:

The engine was to be changed from the V8 3.5 litre Rover petrol to a 3.5 litre Mazda 35SLT turbo diesel. Land Rover purists, leave here...

The frugality-headache of the V8 petrol, a hatred of petrol engine electrical systems, and the availability worldwide of Mazda engine parts (in some guise or other) brought about this change decision.

Fit power steering and a standard Land Rover 90/110 steering column. The question of power steering was a compromise. I wanted simplicity, yet I also wanted the luxury of power steering. The wimp-gene in me was stronger.

Raise the rear roof in the longitudinal central section to allow standing room.

Fabricate and fit galvanised roof racks on both sides of the raised roof section for storage of a mountain bike and the fixing of an aluminium box to store infrequently used, light and bulky items.

Change the double rear doors to a single entry rear door. This included changing the rear step arrangement.

Fit a stainless steel exhaust system.

Change the existing fuel tank to a stainless steel unit, and install a second stainless fuel tank to remove the requirement to carry jerry cans of fuel.

Remove the bulkhead between the front of the vehicle and the rear cabin to allow full through-vehicle access.

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Land Rover Forward Control 101 - Merlin Safari Trailer