Our Build Process
Our aim at TATC, is to build these trucks better than when they first left the factory, and for our trucks to stay dynamic, strong and capable for the next 25 years of use.
We start each of our custom builds with a select search for the very best European and South African left and right hand side trucks. Our teams in France, Spain and South Africa strip and remove every single body panel and nut and bolt throughout the entire truck until we have a bare chassis.
Chassis Restoration – The foundation of all our truck builds:
Removing the chassis is a crucial part of the restoration, as it’s the foundation of the truck. If you don’t remove the body from the chassis you can’t see its integrity of the entire frame. Our aim is to build these trucks better than when they were first built and left the factory floor; to stay strong and capable for the next 25 years.
The chassis is shot blasted back to bare metal and any minor welding and repairs will be made before being primed and coated in Raptor® chassis protector. This is one of the core elements to how we build, and our price point on this makes us almost exclusive amongst our peers and differentiates us a long way away from some vehicle refinishers that simply concentrate on exterior good looks.
TATC Defender Workshop in Devon, UK ©TATC
Suspension, brakes and axles:
The chassis is now ready for its suspension, brakes and axles. We replace all brakes and brake lines and install new ventilated front disks, new disks and pads on the rear, and refurbished axles. This forms the base of the vehicle.
Next up, sorting the axles, brakes and suspension ©TATC
Remanufactured Engines and Gearboxes:
At TATC we only fit newly remanufactured engines and transmissions. Our engines are all from Turner Engineering who are the acknowledged gold standard in the Defender community. We take the same approach with the gearbox and transfer box, these are remanufactured for us by Ashcroft engineering who are again considered the very best on the market. In our South African built trucks we fit engines and transmissions that are rebuilt for us by LR Xtreme, who are considered the best on the continent.
TATC only fit remanufactured engines from trusted industry suppliers ©TATC
TATC fitting the transmission components ©TATC
Bulkhead and body panel preparation:
After stripping the body down into its component forms, we clean and prepare the outer and inner panels for paint. All floors, wheel arches, tubs and inner bulkheads are painted in Raptor protective paint which is resistant to rust, and it also adds some additional insulation and soundproofing. We fit brand new doors to all our restorations, including new door cards and door components, and as an option we also offer Zintec coated steel skinned doors to mitigate the effects of galvanic action which is commonly seen on older doors.
External body paint and body shop:
All our body shop work is performed by seasoned professionals in high end facilities, we do not undertake this part of the work ourselves and we feel that this is highly specilaised skill and better completed by others.
High-end professional body shop work sourced by TATC ©TATC
The Body rebuild:
Once the panels are back from the body shop we begin to bring the major components together. Fitted first, is the rear tub and then the front bulkhead is installed once we have fitted the wiring loom and fuse boards. From this basic configuration we are able to build up the wings, doors and run electrics.
TATC’s team of seasoned engineers fitting the bulkhead ©TATC
Once the bulkhead is in place the rest of the build starts to take shape ©TATC
Front view of front of chassis, engine mount and bulkhead ©TATC
Rear panels in place before for checks before fixed fitting ©TATC
Interior view or rear floor pan ©TATC
The distinctive Defender Roof being carefully lowered into position ©TATC
Our assembly engineers focus on the details of each fitting ©TATC
LED Headlights, Spot light packs and Roll Cages ©TATC
Interior and trim:
All our builds have an additional center dashboard with USB and 12v power sockets, light switches. New windshields, either heated or unheated, front passenger soundproofing rubber matting kits etc.
Alcantara headliner, thermal acoustic carpeting in the second row and cargo area, and in the case of Defender 90s fitted rubber matting in the rear.
A quick glance at one of our completed Defender 110 interiors ©TATC
Exmoor Trim offer the best seats for your interiors ©TATC
Close up examples of our attention to detail ©TATC
CoolAir Air Conditioning ©TATC
Beautiful Alcantara Headliners ©TATC
Land Rover Defender 90 Bench Seats and Rear Tray Mats ©TATC
Get even more fully loaded with all the extras:
The potential optional extras are extensive but in the main, we install Air Conditioning (AC), auxillary heaters, upgraded new seats, enhanced HiFi systems and many other bespoke additions.
We also offer full soundproofing as an option.
Test driving and completion checks:
Before shipping we run all our trucks for a minimum of 150 miles to iron out any issues and to double check the safety systems. Once we are happy the truck is sent for a full British Government MOT (safety check and certificate of roadworthiness) or European equivalent by an independent garage. And in the case of our South African built trucks, these are DEKRA tested, which is a German vehicle safety compliance test. This is the final stage of the build and the truck is now ready to ship direct to our client.