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 REBUILDING OUR DEFENDER 

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OVERLAND

 IT LOOKED EASIER ON YOUTUBE 

THE REBUILDING OF OUR DEFENDER

We bought our Defender, thinking thee is not much to do and we can pretty much start right away after some small adaptions. This was all before Benzino had a mad moment and ripped the whole car apart. After watching some YouTube videos he was sure he can rebuild the Defender easily and turn it into a perfect Overlanding vehicle. Turns out, reality ain't that easy. 

 

A lot to learn in the process, but that's what made the whole project even more unique....

OUR STORY IN SHORT

No idea about cars or traveling overland, but still having this big idea of overlanding Africa in a Defender. That's us and lucky as we are, we had a global pandemic, a layoff and a civil war coming in our way as well. Well, we wanted to leave our 'comfort zone', what better way to do this...

 

February 2020 | Project start: Purchasing the Defender

April 2020 | Benzino gets laid off

Mai 2020 | Defender reconstruction starts

August 2020 | Departure from Munich (no idea how far we'll get)

October 2020 | Arrival in Egypt

November 2020 | Civil war in Ethiopia starts .......

     THE REBUILDING PROCESS     

Deconstruction
of our DefendeR

Our initial plan with the Defender was to get the engine checked and then head off to Africa. A lot has changed since then and so have our plans for Bogdan. What started with the idea to change the carpet has turned into something bigger. But as Shiva teaches us, "you have to destroy something old in order to recreate something new." Well, we are on it because we all know "new is always better". 

Installing
the Gullwing window

It feels really good to finally install a new part after the deconstruction madness. The Gullwing window will be a nice add-on and a great companion on the way. BUT: the process also had Benzino lie to his instructor for the first time and realising that he has two left hands when it comes to handling the screwdriver. 

RESURRECTION or 'Rebuilding a Defender without knowing anything...'

This is the moment of truth. A couple of weeks back, you have started to follow THE SUNNYSIDE and thought, well let's look at another channel, just to make sure and you follow StepByStep Traveller. You tell yourself 'This is easy, I can build my own Defender into an Overlanding vehicle...' Well, it turns out, when you have no idea about cars and don't even own a screwdriver, it's not that easy at all. But somehow it has to work - and we work the problem!

Getting the electricity
madness sorted

Getting the Defender stripped down was an easy task. Now, the tricky one. We bought Boggy with a cable mess, not knowing what goes where. Luckily, we have Electro-Ditsche with his magic fingers. Took us a couple of days, but he brought light into the darkness, installed the new batteries and prepared our Defender for the final installations that will come later.

Fitting the baseplate
Sounds easy? Not with us...

Finally it's time to put the Defender back together, which means getting the jigsaw out and use it for the very first time. Let's see if we leave this experiment with all fingers on the hand. What we can already tell is that Benzino should leave the job of measuring to K-Girl... But hey, we somehow managed to get the baseplate in.

Interior Design Pt.1 - When the hardware store becomes your second home

We've always heard stories about how time consuming the rebuilt of a rusty old Defender would be - little did we know we wouldn't have a life anymore. We spent 12 hours daily working on measuring, sawing and glazing wooden plates, only to realise half of the time we had made a mistake. Benzino almost got to the point where he believed he had turned into a carpenter, whereas Katharina's thoughts mostly circled around the next snack or when she would be back home for Netflix and chill. 

Flaps, boxes and a guest-bed - No idea what we're doing but it'll be fine.

After the first bumps we got better at measuring and handling the jigsaw. Of course, we were off plan and needed Gregor to get us back on track. Somehow, we managed to build something and the result was a pretty decent start with our interior construction.

Why worse is always a possibility or how we almost became homeless...

Of course we didn't expect the rebuild to go smoothly all the time and that's ok. But if you are really into emotional borderline experiences you should give it a try and rebuild a rusty Land Rover. The Defender revealed his true self when we were finally almost done: he's nothing but a rusty piece of curved metal. Might this be the right time to give everything up?

The calm before the storm... from E as in Egypt to Z as in Zugspitze.

After a short but intense mental low we decided to let the pros do their job and get our energy levels back up. We went up the Zugspitze at 7 degrees and then down to Egypt at 37 degrees. After that it was back to work as we were entering the final phase.