It was that time again the TÜV (Department of Vehichles) saftey inspection is due at the end of July, so I wanted to make sure at least the base floor in the landrover was finished. I also wanted to fix a couple rust bubbles that were forming on the rear cross member before bringing it to our Mechanic. The best way to pop rust bubbles on steel is with a hammer, the rust falls off relatively fast and then you can sand it down, prime it and repaint it relatively easy. The only problem was the bubbles weren’t simply surface rust as I expected them to be, but the rather shoddy body filler patches from the previous owner. As soon as my hammer connected with the body filler patches, well as you see from the picture, the holes in the cross member made themselves known.
Such a patch job on a Defender cross member isn’t exactly uncommon, since its the most common spot where spray water, dirt and grime collect, which results in rust through from inside to the outside. It is also exactly where the main frame ends join the cross member this often means that the frame starts to rot at that spot and eat its way inwards. Luckily the frame is still solid (so my mechanic says) and the holes can easily be welded without issue, which is exactly what we did. Of course I wasn’t sure that the cross member was going to be in good enough condition to repair again so I went out and bought a replacement cross member to be on the safe side prior to taking it for service. I didn’t want to run the risk that after inspecting the condition of the cross member that we would have to wait 3-4 days for a cross member to be delivered. Thankfully it didn’t have to be installed that saved us quite a bit of work as replacing would take up to 3 days labor!
Four new tires, a complete service and a general check-up later and our Mechanic was praising our Landrover. According to him our Defender was a huge bargain for the price we paid. Thats a huge weight off our shoulders considering what we are planning a good feeling about the vehicle from our Mechanic is peace of mind.