Rover P4 (110) restoration - how far do I go?

How far do you go?
No, this isn't an invitation to one of those web sites, but an enquiry from a recent P4 owner just wondering how far he should strip (OK,
maybe it is one of those websites!!)
To be serious. I have had MOL 111 sitting on my drive for just over a year. In the next couple of months I plan to erect a car port over the top of her (with shielded sides) so I can work out there in all weathers. Then the serious restoration can start.
In the last 12 months I have managed to "unsieze" the engine and the block is currently devoid of head and pistons. One of the next jobs is to get the head checked for flatness, the crankshaft checked for ovality, new rings fitted to the pistons, new shells fitted to the big ends and the inlet valves ground in.
I then have the big question - how far do I go?
To put it into context, this was a friends daily drive until 16 years ago. It then sat in a garage for 15 years until I brought her to Trowbridge last January.
In those 12 months, at odd times (and for various reasons) I have had her up on axle stands and peered underneath. The outriggers need replacing and there is some significant rot to the chassis around (or at least near) some of the front suspension/steering components. Also there is evidence that the underseal is peeling away in a number of places.
I now have a decision to make;
1. Do I jack it up as high as I can, do the repairs (underneath) as far as I can and proceed on that basis knowing (in my heart of hearts) that it will probably need doing again fairly soon.
2. Do I check the mounting of the body to the chassis then purchase one of these "roll over cages" and get MOL 111 at 90 degrees so that I can easily work on the underside. The concern here is that I am putting a lot of stress on the body to chassis fixings.
3. Do I strip the body as far as possible (doors, wings, bonnet, boot, glazing, seats etc., ) then separate the body from the chassis and do a really good job in bringing the chassis up to scratch, knowing that it should last for years.
(3) is obviously the best option but as a novice - how easy is it to strip the body? What risk is there in damaging the glazing? How easy is it to remove the body? How heavy is the body when removed and how easy is it to transfer somewhere else (it will have to go to a rented garage locally?) Do I have to remove the engine to remove the body?
All suggestions and comments (preferably clean) welcome.
Regards
Peter
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puffernutter wrote:

Thats what would worry me too. You may find that if the chassis is as you describe, it may distort when "rolled" and rhen your welding would simply serve to fix it in the distorted state!

Guess it depends what you want to do with the car once it's sorted: personally I'm not an enthusiast for the "absolutely pristine restoration which never gets driven above 40MPH or taken out if there's a cloud in the sky" approach - my preference is for the 'working classic' that may have the odd scratch, chip or rust-bubble here and there but which does 10,000 miles a year and shows the world that {$insert marque here} still exists and is still capable of being used.
At least with a Rover 110 you have the advantage that engine-parts are still easily available from the various Land-Rover suppliers. A while back I saw a Rover 110 which had been fitted with a V8 and 5-speed box out of a dead SD1. It was apparently much too fast for its brakes, though still fun for surprising Mondeo-drivers in the outside lane of the M40.
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B270NZ, SA1838, TC8512, GHD96825, GAN3/48519, GAN4/63840, GHD5/315760 GHD5/324616 Tiltbed car transporter trailer hire - 25/ day. Near Derby. May even tow it for you.
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I'm reminded vaguely of someone I knew of who lent a car trailer to a friend, and as I recall the spare wheel became detached while in motion and severely damaged another vehicle.
All the details are vague now but I know that the upshot was that the *owner* of the trailer was held responsible for the incident, and whatever insurance he had didn't cover him. He was sued for around 20k IIRC, and had to sell his beloved classic to help pay for it...
--
Jamie

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<snip>>

If you are a novice, then (3) looks risky. If you distort the chassis or the body taking it off, you are going to have a devil of a job putting it back. With the weight of a P4 and the amount of chassis rust to tackle, I would hesitate try (2) and move the direction that gravity pulls at, because if a weak point of the chassis moves under the stresses and then you repair it, the car isn't going to have the right geometry after you put it back on its wheels.
The other thing to consider is that you claim to be a novice. If you try (2) or (3) and make a mistake that you can't correct, there is a possibility that you are stuck with a damaged car on your driveway. But if you are trying (1) and it gets too much for you, at least the car can be towed or trailered to someone else to sort it out for you (at a price).
So although it isn't going to be a long term solution, I would recommend that you go with (1) to get the car on the road and checked by an MOT station.
Then you have a structurally sound chassis, and a novice that has learned from experience and gained confidence. You will also have some idea from driving it whether you like the P4 enough to keep it for a long time. (I have had 2 P4s and liked them enough, but when the offer of a P5 came along I sold the P4 to buy the P5, which I thought was a nicer car altogether). If you decide that you do intend to keep the P4, then that is the time to think about (3) - you have already done most of the work underneath, so you don't need to consider (2) by then.
Hope that helps. Jim
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<snip>

<snip>
<snip other options listed>
You are not going to like what I'm going to say, but I'm saying this as both someone who has run a P4 and as someone who has been around the restoration of cars for more years than I care to remember...
The above option is your best course of action, option two is totally out of the question, the car is far to heavy and the stress placed onto an already weak non structural body will result in distortion that will be well beyond yours and many other peoples ability to sort out. As for removing the body, nothing is impossible, BUT you are going to have to make sure that the body is structurally sound first, which brings us back to option 1, as a lot of work will probable need to be done first. Now to the sting in the tail, the chassis, if this is badly corroded then the body might well have to come off to repair the chassis - but this work is quite frankly beyond a novice unless you are a skilled welder used to welding in a different field of work.
I suppose what I'm saying is, IMO a full restoration of a P4 is not really for a novice. Sorry
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