Building the perfect 90


Technical Excellence Contributor
Makes me wonder what else you drive…. And do you have your own laser cutter and CHCC bender? Dear god…I want you to adopt me…even if I am older…


Well-known member
Makes me wonder what else you drive…. And do you have your own laser cutter and CHCC bender? Dear god…I want you to adopt me…even if I am older…

Nothing too interesting. A newer F150, lightly modified LR4, and MINI Countryman. The F150 is versatile and the two I've had with the Ecoboost engines have been reliable, although I've got an eye on a Grenadier if Ineos is able to offer the double cab pickup here. Had a variety of bikes and vehicles in the past but work and kids demand simplicity and practicality these days. LR4 is going up for sale, so the 90 is my only indulgence now.

Wife sure loves her slice of British motoring though.


On the fabrication front, I work in industry so have access to some neat tools. The shop at home is just a two car garage in a modest home. I'd like to have a dedicated shop and more room but moving is the last thing I need on my plate. For now, having the shop attached to the house makes balancing dad duty and shop projects more tenable.

Might need to extend the garage out a bit for these guys.

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A few more details on the compressor setup to better show how it mounts.

The main bracket attaches at two points on the front cover.


And one point on on the back where it shares an injection pump stud.


The adjusting link uses a spacer and longer bolt off the front cover so it sits on the same plane as the top pump bracket.


The belt I settled on for the compressor side was a Dayco top cog belt. This got me wondering what the difference was in comparison to the standard bottom cog 200Tdi main belt. Dayco attributes several advantages to the top cog belts but what I also noticed was the top cog belts are made in USA as opposed to the PRC for the bottom cogs. After some research and trial and error I eventually found a made in USA top cog belt that fit the main pulleys (manual steering length).


Now I can sleep at night knowing the belts match.


Also seen above is the crank pulley which had to be swapped out for the three belt version.


Technical Excellence Contributor
I ran the York 210 on my 3.9 and 4.6 and it is nothing short of friggin awesome. I ran the Sanden with oiler afterwards when I switched engines. NOTHING compares to the 210. It blows away the Sanden and anyone that says they are close to the same are dreaming IMHO.


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This 90 was originally equipped with power steering, but for simplicity I wanted to run it as a manual setup, at least for a while. I purchased a used Gemmer six-bolt manual steering box, what LR called "heavy duty". Much like everything else (pre-rebuild), it was gunky, rusty, and leaked oil.

Here it is after media blasting (the first time).


Fully disassembled


Into the ultrasonic to clean the casting internally


All parts fully degreased. Steel/iron parts starting to rust already though.


Key hardware wire-wheeled and set aside for zinc plating


Closer inspection revealed that the aluminum oil plug was broken.


Found a replacement plug, but it was too long, so I milled the end off to match the original.


Castings media blasted again to remove flash rust and then epoxy coated.


Young apprentice helping reassemble with a NOS seal kit.





Technical Excellence Contributor
After the shock & awe subside (at all of your disassembly pics with little parts all about), I feel the courage to boldly rebuild where I never would have before seeing this thread.


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Shoddy workmanship occurred and it's been eating at my conscience.

It's visible in this photo I posted previously, despite efforts to hide it with camera angle.






There it is - coating failure due to poor adhesion.

I painted these several years ago before gaining a better grasp on automotive refinishing and gained a lot of respect for professional refinishers and coating technology in the process.

The shock towers were originally bare zinc plated, similar to those below. I like the open design with easy shock access, but didn't want the bling.


If I recall correctly, I simply hand sanded them down before spraying with an unknown rattle-can white primer and then some unknown rattle-can black satin.

Mistake #1: Improper prep - Hand sanding was insufficient. Also likely didn't degrease the metal properly.

Mistake #2: Spraying black over white primer - Any intercoat adhesion issues will be very obvious.

Mistake #3 : Spray paints are cheap and convenient but mediocre in terms of qualities such as adhesion, sealing, UV resistance, durability, and leveling. There are a few decent products, but they're the minority.

Time to atone for my sins. The first step was to strip every last bit of paint. The process went like this:
  1. Chemical paint stripper
  2. Wait
  3. Reapply paint stripper
  4. Scrape paint off
  5. Wash off paint stripper
  6. Dry
  7. Degrease
  8. Dry
  9. Lightly etch in media blaster
  10. Blow dust off
Result, ready for coating.


What to coating to use? For bracketry and such I normally start with epoxy primer and topcoat with an alkyd enamel, but in this case (and the foreseeable future) I'll be using what is IMO the highest quality solution available to DIYers: SPI epoxy primer and SPI matte black SS polyurethane. Even better, I even happen to have it on hand - leftover from painting the chassis.


Quality alkyd enamel is good, but urethane is great, if you have the equipment to spray it effectively and safely (isocyanate exposure). Normally, SPI's Matte black SS is used on bodies of high end restorations. For example:

maxresdefault (1).jpg

However, it has two additional qualities that make it a great high-performance option for coating parts too:
  1. Gloss is fully adjustable simply by changing the activation ratio
  2. It's a single stage paint. No need for clear coat.
For the chassis, I used a 4:1 activation ratio. It was close, but I was left desiring just a bit more gloss. (This pic shows more gloss than it achieved after full cure)


This time I tried a 2:1 activation ratio, but I think that overshot the mark a bit. In the future I'll be mixing at a 3:1 ratio which should give that perfect OEM semi-gloss.


Atonement complete. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Back to practical concerns. The transfer case was functional, but worn and leaky. I also wanted to implement a few improvements.


Thoroughly degreased with oven cleaner and pressure washer, leaving dry dirt and corrosion.


Pulling it apart


Gears were in great condition. Non-drilled main hadn't lead to any wear on input splines, yet.


Pulling gear set with enthusiastic helper


Cutting seized selector fork off shaft. It was out of tolerance anyway.

More components out. Not much wear to been seen.


Inside the center diff, the spider gear spherical washers were nearly worn completely through. This would explain much of the backlash in the box.


Unboxing a shipment of Ashcroft components to completely refresh the box.


Beginning reassembly with new spider gears and HD cross pin.

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With the LT230 fully disassembled, I sent the casings off to be cleaned and bead blasted, something I didn't have the time or desire to do myself. In retrospect I should have, because six weeks later I received them back and they weren't even fully cleaned.

I finished cleaning them, applied Alodine chromate conversion, masked, epoxy primed, and top coated in silver enamel.


Linkage parts were blasted and Cerakoted for corrosion protection and dry lubrication properties.


Apprentice helping brush out every thread and hole in each casing.


Diff fully rebuilt with all new gears and bearings, including an Ashcroft 1.3 ratio gear set.


New drilled input gear and bearings.


Rebuilt rear output housing and new Ashcroft 1.3 intermediate gears.


Setting clearance on input bearings.


Getting creative with holding the LT230 in position while fitting components.


Setting output bearing clearance.



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Using dressed gaskets on this build, except on the stamped PTO cover. I like to trim the edges with a razor knife to give a clean appearance.


Cerakoted diff-lock lever being installed with all new O-rings.


New intermediate shaft installed. Needs a parking brake.


Fresh Ashcroft 1.3 gear set


Converted to direct cable-actuated type parking brake setup.


Installed the Cerakoted the parking brake drum and this LT230 was complete.



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This thread is many months behind the current state, but progress has been so slow lately that it's beginning to catch up. Anyways, here's goes another..

With the LT230 complete we have most of a driveline ready to assemble. Now it only needs a transmission. Fortunately, one of the few good original components was this freshly rebuilt LT77, a stronger late suffix specimen that will work great.


Shouldn't have to do anything with it, right? Just mate the engine, transfer case, transmission and bask in the sense of accomplishment. Finally, something easy.

However, even if it is factory correct, I don't prefer the black paint, and there's a few specs of surface rust..

No, better spend hours masking off the openings and then media blasting the entire thing so that painted-over-but-innocuous surface rust is done away with.


Then more hours.. You know the routine by now - epoxy and engine enamel


Better apply a low friction coating to the clutch bearing and spigot bushing areas too


Reinstalled the bell housing and new TRW slave cylinder, Britannica Restorations HD clutch fork, and HD clutch bearing


The reunion begins


Without a body, the transfer case goes in with less cursing than usual.


Transfer case gets crunchy if the wrong length bolt is used here.


Fill up the easy way

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