Back in May 2019 we took over a bulkhead and door replacement on a Defender 90 which had been half completed by another garage (not local to us). It had been with the bodyshop for a very long time so it was long out of MOT and had been stood for a while. The customer was very keen to have his Defender 90 back on the road and had already spent a fair bit up to the point when it came over to us. It arrived on the back of a recovery wagon looking very sorry for itself, everything that had been unbolted from it (the whole dash included!) was now inside it, coated in bodyshop dust, and a strap was wrapped around it’s middle (bottom to roof) to keep it all from bursting out, bending up the sill panel covers.
Unwrapping it as it arrived in to us.
Needless to say, she was a Land Rover in need! When we looked at the bulkhead that had been supplied and half fitted it was clear that we were going to have a lot of trouble getting it in and lined up. We tried to straighten it out (albeit in a bit of a caveman fashion using straps) but it was just no use. It was a “refurbished” and galvanised bulkhead but the quality of the repairs were of a very poor standard and we really wouldn’t have been doing right by the customer or the Defender herself if we’d have carried on and fitted it. Not only that, it had been painted and was in a poor state (no prep had been carried out so the paint was peeling off in sheets).
After a discussion with the customer about what was best and whether or not there was any room in the budget, we opted to remove this bulkhead and we got straight on the phone to the friendly team at Shielder Chassis to order up one of their brand new, made from scratch, high quality galvanised bulkheads. In no time at all, the shiny and new bulkhead arrived and was sent immediately to our bodyshop for proper preparation and paint, including the new doors which had been supplied with the build. The colour they came to us wasn’t a match to the rest of the vehicle so we opted to have them re-painted. She was also going to be treated to new door hinges so they went for painting also.
Shielder Bulkhead after prep (primer)
Once we had the bulkhead, doors and hinges back from the bodyshop it was time to get on with the rebuild. We were super impressed with the amazing build quality from Shielder, fitting it was a smooth process and ultimately saved time in labour by not having to spend hours making a badly made/repaired one fit. We re-assembled her with new wiper wheel boxes, carried out a full engine service, new timing belt, new water pump, an MOT, new brake hoses, rear shock absorbers, exhaust centre box, brake pads front and rear and the brake booster.
New bulkhead & doors fitted
And to top it all off, she had a full top to toe machine polish before she left us so she was in tip, top condition for her owner to take her back home.
This was a great build which we enjoyed. We have worked with Shielder bulkheads on many builds now and can really attest to their build quality. We have more bulkhead replacements booked in to our diary so watch this space for details of more work carried out by us!