I couldn’t put the inevitable off any longer. I’d been monitoring the state of the rear crossmember on my 110 for a while and spotted the tell-tale signs of rust taking hold, where mud and water collects beside the jacking point.
I’d put off fixing it because I’m not a great welder, but the imminent MoT meant I had to act. I had everything I needed – metal, paint, cavity wax and some of Gwyn Lewis’s rear mudshields to protect it when done – it was just a case of waiting for a dry day.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my welding wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Okay, it’s never going to win any awards for neatness, but I’d managed to plate the problem areas, and some fairly hard thumps with a hammer didn’t dislodge them – so the welds must be reasonably sound.
It was all child’s play compared to preparing the back end to fit the new mudshields. I couldn’t find my TX50 bit for removing the lower seatbelt anchorage, so I had to buy a new one. Then the top bolts took an age to undo – I just couldn’t get an impact wrench on to them. Oh, and then I had to grind the heads off the screws securing the factory mudshields – and I couldn’t remove the wheels for access because I had the Defender on ramps. But eventually everything was off and, once the parts had been cleaned up, fitting the mud shields and replacing the anchorages was a doodle.
Hopefully it’s bought me a few more years use, but now I know the rust is there. I keep looking at the galvanised chassis under my Series IIA – that was replaced the same year my 110 was built. Admittedly it’s had an easier life, but there’s no rust on that whatsoever. Maybe I should just re-chassis the 110 too…