Transitmania 10 @Santa Pod 18th to 20th May 2018


mk3 recovery build

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mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:03 am

ive been working on this one over the last couple of months.....

its basically an early mk3 that ive specced up with all mk5 twin wheel running gear including a nice turbo di with bosch pump conversion from an ambulance.

i havent taken many pics so far but ill post all i have and update from now on....

heres the chassis cab as i got it,.....originally a single wheel pickup, at some point having been (badly) converted to a camper,...but overall in pretty good condition corrosion wise......at least at first glance as is the case with many of these projects!!

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the previous diy camper conversion was a bit of an advantage as there wasnt a huge amount of the back panel removed which left it easier to return it to original using a section from a mk5 van inner bulkhead panel.


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after stripping it down,..the worst area of the cab was the scuttle panel under the screen.....luckily i scourced a new mk5 one which went in with a bit of fettling!


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otherwise the cab was in very good order apart from a few small localised repairs here and there.


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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:44 am

after sizing up making my own recovery body and the cost of materials etc, i instead bought a mk5 recovery with a very tired cab and rotten chassis for 400 quid,...less than half the price of the materials alone id say, given the price of alloy chequer plate!! i also discovered when i got it home that it has a 4.63 axle which is a big bonus as the amby donor was only a 5.13!!

after taking the body off and removing the chequer plate i was happy to find it was as solid as i thought, only needing a couple of sections replacing that were gone a bit light. when i have all my alterations done to the body, im planning on having it blasted and galv dipped which should prelong its life second time round!!

of course before fitting the body, that wee short chassis needed stretching,.....and after some thought, the decision was made to make up a new stronger chassis from rectangular box section rather than joining the original twice and trying to beef it up!

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so the new chassis was spliced in under the cab for strength and the wheelbase was stretched to match the donor recovery and use its propshaft.


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the next bit of surgery was to graft in the mk5 top mount sections and the mt75 raised tunnel section.


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engine and box sitting in place....


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more updates to follow!
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:01 pm

heres a couple of pics of the donor recovery body....



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frame is in good order, should blast and clean up well.


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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby Chuggy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:18 pm

Wow, thats a lot of graft, pardon the pun, well done its looking good, are you anywhere near Hertfordshire?
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby ned » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:30 pm

Chuggy wrote:Wow, thats a lot of graft, pardon the pun, well done its looking good, are you anywhere near Hertfordshire?


Going off the number plate I would guess Ireland :wink:

Is that a mk2 you have lurking in the corner of your yard ? N
03 transit 125t280 2.0 tdci swb executive college blue 92 crewcab. Built in Belgium so deserves lots of love. 214,000 miles on the clock.

Instructions for use. fill with fuel. start engine. drive like a t#@t.
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby bambi mk 1 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:20 pm

Mk 3 twin wheel chassis cab here if you need bits :wink: Give me a shout next time your up this way :)
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:46 pm

bambi mk 1 wrote:Mk 3 twin wheel chassis cab here if you need bits :wink: Give me a shout next time your up this way :)



nice one,....will probably be looking a few wee bits when its going back together after paint...

must indeed call for a gander at your stuff net time im on the road
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:49 pm

Is that a mk2 you have lurking in the corner of your yard ? N[/quote]


its a mk one pop top....lot of bits carved out of it at this stage for different projects including my mk2 van.
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:06 am

ive got the body sitting in place now and ive most of the repairs done. before it goes for blasting and dipping i want to have all my alterations, welding and drilling done so its a matter of just bolting everything up when it comes back.

this time round im going to store the ramps down in the middle of the body rather than under it each side,......along with making it easier to store the ramps the opening in the middle will give extra clearance for low escorts etc.......ive cut out the crossbar where the body tapers back and moved it forward a few inches taking away the hump the the type 9 mounts and exhausts usually get caught off!!


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ill be sheeting off the bottom and sides of the ramp tray to keep the crap out,....was thinking about using the stokboard recycled plastic sheets you can get now, would be pretty light and less rattly than galvanised sheet id say!


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i made up the rear light panel with 40mm box iron frame and 2mm sheet infills,......again i got all the holes drilled for lights etc along with making up and welding on brackets for corner marker lights.


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i got a set of these cool flush fitting lashing rings on ebay for fook all which ill be a nicer job than the horrible re bar hooks that were welded to the sides of the body!! i need to mock fit these now as im welding bits of angle across the body underneath to pick them up for strength.



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more updates soon hopefully!
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby BROWNYS V6 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 pm

nice fab work 8)
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:32 am

a few more bits done......


lashed on a good shot of soundproofing on the bulkhead before refitting the heater box. it does these wagons no harm!


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i was looking into maybe buying a pair of lightweight alloy ramps, but it seems none of them are cheap and it would push my budget way over. so i decided id make my own with 40mm box and chequer, as the back alloy sheet needed replacing on the body and id get enough material out of that to sheet the frames i made up.


there was two different layers of paint on the body and the chequer plate looked crap, so i tried nitromors paint stripper on it, let it dry and gave it a shot of the soft wire brush on the grinder.....cleaned up fine!! good as new!! will do the rest of the sheets as well when theyre off again.




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got the cleats fitted to the body......


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and ramps finished and fitted,...will strip sheets off again and send frames off for galvanising with the body.


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i got the ramps made at 6 ft long which will help loading lower wagons no doubt. it leaves it tight going for the ramp tray to fit in under the chassis crossmember but its working out fine. ill add the final section of main chassis to match the body and maybe mount a towbar when the chassis/cab comes back from paint.......i want to leave it short for moving around the bodyshop easier.


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i got the new sheet cut out and fitted to the rear section of the body next.



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next job was to try it out for size to make sure all was good! i put my cavalier on and all is looking good....i also got the ideal locations marked out for the rear lashing rings.....i had measured out the front positions roughly which look ok.


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thats all for now folks!!
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby Chuggy » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:06 pm

Excellent work and pics, its really coming on now, keep em coming.
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby RustWidow » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:18 pm

Looking good, well done!
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby oldskooler » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:06 am

bit more progress to report......body is not far off ready for blasting and dipping,

just adding the last few bits to it beforehand.


i actually had the blaster down last week doing another job and got him to give the sills and back lower corners of the cab a lick as they had horrible black stone chip which would have been hard removed any other way!

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got my ramps and lashing cleats finished....


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got the side locker mocked up and fitted....



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next job was to decide where to put the spare wheel....i sometimes see them bolted up at the front of the body one side of the winch behind the cab which i think looks gash! i knew it would not be deep enough under the side of the body to slide the wheel in flat but at an angle it would not protrude out past the side of the body.

i sized up putting it on the passenger side behind the diesel tank which i just left in place for mocking up.


it was when i winched the wheel up into place for a look that i figured,....rather than make some sort of tray as i was planning,...that it might be simpler to go "factory" so to speak for mounting the spare!!



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i duly went and raided one of my mk5 scrappers of its lifting cable mechanism that originally sat under the rear loading floor and winched the spare straight up against the floor.


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and after some modding using an old early di fanbelt tensioner wheel, mounted the setup differently to pull the wheel up into place under the body.



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should work out sweet when the sheeting is back on the body.


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i also had to make up a different hanger bracket for the 6 stud twin wheel.



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had to make the unit bolt on as it wouldnt fare out well getting galv dipped!!



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just a few other bits of welding to finish and the body should be ready for blasting and dipping,.....and the chassis cab ill be going for bodywork and paint as well soon hopefully!

thats all for now!!
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Re: mk3 recovery build

Postby RustWidow » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:49 pm

Wow, that’s a lot of work, well done.
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