Land Rover Defender Blog

Defender Chassis Options

There are several chassis options when it comes to your project, here's our guide on buying a new chassis for your Land Rover.

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

March 1, 2011

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year


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We've had a question from one of the readers of the site, which is always nice! Geoffrey asks

"I want to find a quality chassis to start building my dream defender 90 can you help?".

Geoffrey, indeed we can! We've published the response on the blog for everyone's benefit.

There are 2 options here, buy new, or buy a project vehicle. We'll consider the two options and the pros / cons.

Buy New

There are several aftermarket companies that now offer exact replica chassis', for every Land Rover model going. These companies offer galvanized chassis, which as you may, or may not know, are protected against corrosion and rust thanks to the zinc coating applied. A few of the companies will tap and re-drill all holes as well as removing excess galv for you. This will save a lot of time when it comes to a rebuild. The biggest advantage of buying a brand new chassis? You can quite literally deck it out as you want. You can choose a 2.5NA, 200TDI, 300TDI, V8, NAS / 50th Anniversary, TD5 or TDCI for your project, which means quite literally you can build any 90" model you'd like. Fitting a galvanized chassis will future proof your Defender

So which companies do replacement chassis and how much do they charge for such a service? There are 2 core companies offering galvanized chassis, they are:

Marslands Chassis

Based in Derbyshire, Marslands have been making chassis for over 25 years, with customers world wide. They can even offer a certificate of authenticity with all chassis. Marslands prices are competitive, but bear in mind the prices quoted exclude delivery and UK VAT. If your chosen engine is either a 200, 300, or a V8, then the price quote is £1040.00 (plus vat / delivery). A TD5 is £1100.00 again plus vat e.t.c. Marslands also offer some custom build options and are well worth a check out. They will export chassis world wide.

Richards Chassis

Richards Chassis have also been offering quality replacement chassis for many years and it shows in their knowledge and product range. Again, Richards will offer you a range of model choices and they are:

  • 2.25 petrol or diesel / 2.5 NA / 2.5 TD / 200 TDi
  • V8 Chassis - Original V8 excluding 50th Anniversary and NAS (this is going to be our next project, using a 3.5 V8 EFI from a classic Range Rover.)
  • 300 Chassis - 300TDi
  • TD5 Chassis
  • NAS Chassis - NAS 90 V8 / 50th Anniversary
  • Puma Chassis - 2.4 TDCi

However, they also offer a massive variety of custom build options, such as a bolt in gear box cross member or your own fuel tank arrangement. Richards build their side-rails from 2.5mm local, Sheffield steel, rather than 2mm, making them 25% heavier. This will give a slight increase in the vehicles gross weight, but also increases durability.

Prices are competitive and are as follows:

90" Defender Galvanized Chassis to fit all early 90's up to 200TDi
£ 1045.00

90" Defender 300TDi Galvanized Chassis to fit 300TDi engined vehicles
£ 1045.00

90" NAS V8 & 50th Anniversary Galvanized Chassis to fit North American Spec V8's and 50th Anniversary V8's
£ 1160.00

90" TD5 Galvanized Chassis to fit TD5 engined Vehicles
£ 1145.00

90" SV Galvanized Chassis to fit SV 200 TDi's
£ 1145.00

Again, prices are excluding VAT at 20%, but Richards have a handy postage cost calculator and prices for this are very reasonable. If you already have your base vehicle, you could always sell your old chassis on to offset the cost.

So what about buying second hand, or surplus? The best option as always is to jump on eBay. There are probably dozens of specialist Land Rover outfitters round the UK and a quick look on eBay reveals at least one of them has an unwanted, new, TD5 chassis going for £850.00. That's a really great saving. There's also a new, genuine Land Rover chassis for £1000.00 complete with manufacturers original coating. From time to time, projects fall to the way side and the parts end up on eBay. Keeping a close eye on the auctions will reveal something if you are patient.

A slightly more timely area to focus on is the forums. Occasionally, a forum member will decide to sell up and instead of posting on eBay will advertise it to forum members. Get yourself on all the major forums, such as LRO's, LandyZone, Defender2 and Lr4x4. Then simply play the waiting game. This may well be worth it though as you might just be able to grab a bargain!

Finally, you could always buy a project / base vehicle. This involves getting a down and out (or cheap) vehicle with a solid chassis and using what you can in your final build. You could strip the vehicle down, have the chassis galvanized and then start from scratch. This way, you have all the parts you need to use at least for reference and depending on the condition and age of the vehicle, some will still be serviceable. It could prove a more labour intensive way of building your perfect Defender, but the results are worth it and you could save yourself a tidy sum.

Hope that answers your question Geoffrey!

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