Arctic Terrain project

Welcome to our Arctic Terrain project, where we will take a 1999 Land Rover Defender 110 TD5 and turn it into an extreme Overlanding vehicle.

Land Rover has been engrained in Overlanding since the beginning of automotive Overlanding. 

In fact, some might argue that a Land Rover was the first vehicle to undertake an Overlanding trip when colonel Leblanc took his brand new Series I from London to Ethiopia.

What we do know is we’re a big fan of the Land Rover Defender, and it stands amongst the top of our list for Overlanding Vehicles.

We’re excited to take on this TD5 and hope to create a unique Overlanding vehicle to handle the arctic terrain.

The Vehicle

The vehicle is a 1999 Land Rover Defender TD5 Special Vehicle. It came to us from the UK, where it spent its previous life as a search and rescue vehicle.

We would consider the condition of the vehicle as fair, with 155,000 miles on the clock. 

We like this vehicle because it was a search and rescue, thus coming with lots of extras.

Already fitted to the vehicle is a winch and winch bumper, roof rack, warning lights, dual batteries, and snorkel.

We won’t be keeping all these extras, but it’s good to know most of the work has already been done.

The Plan

Our plan for this vehicle is to ship it off to Northern Canada to spend its days exploring, from snowy mountains, dense forests, and even as far as the arctic circle.

For this, we need to make sure the insulation and heating are of good quality.

This is going to be a complete restoration. Everything will be stripped down and replaced or repaired.

To start the process, the engine and gearbox will be removed and overhauled.

We do intend to keep the TD5 engine due to its simplicity and torque.

Next, the chassis will be removed, and after a thorough inspection, we will decide whether to restore it or replace it with either a galvanized or steel chassis.

Should we decide to restore the chassis, it will be stripped back to bare metal.

We will then etch prime and raptor coat it. After this, we will apply Dinitrol to rustproof.

Some of the doors need replacing as well as the door seals and window seals.


As this vehicle is going to hostile terrain, we must upgrade some parts to help handle the difficult situations it will be used in.

Of course, some of our first thoughts was dealing with the cold climate. 

To deal with this, we will be installing a Webasto block heater and a Webasto space heater.

We will also be deadening and soundproofing the interior, which will help with insulation.

After that, we will upgrade the interior with a new carpet and lining as well as a new Puma dash, seats and door cards, etc. 


For optimal performance and comfort, we plan to install a set of Fox 2.0 shocks, paired with a set of Old Man Emu coil springs to give a lift of two inches.

After a lot of thought and research on differentials, we decided to go with the ARB rear differential. We chose this because it is selectable, and the vehicle is used mostly in a snowy environment.

For the front axle, we will install a TruTrac Limited Slip.

A huge bonus is an ATB that will be added to the center diff; this should really help in the snow.

Tires are a pretty important decision with many choices; it is challenging to choose the right set. We opt for BFGoodrich Ko2 tires for this particular build due to them being All-Terrain and incredibly useful in snow.

Many extra features will be added as the build progresses, with things like upgrading lights to LED, adding light bars, winches, snorkels, etc. 

We will be sure to keep you updated on the process as we progress, and we’re very excited to have you along on this journey with us as we take on the Arctic Terrain project.

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