I bought a £450 pinin - here's what I want to do with it

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I'd been searching eBay for a while for a cheap off roader for a bit of fun and after realising defender 90's are too expensive I ended up winning a 2003 shogun pinin 1.8 mpi 2dr. It only cost £450 so I decided to run it in for an MOT to see if I could sell it as it could make about £1500 if I cleaned it up a bit. It failed due to 'excessive corrosion' in suspension and seat belt mounting points, with an advisory of rusted brake lines.

The plan was always that if it failed the mot I would turn it into a vehicle I can use at the farm (an excuse for an off road toy). I don't have a huge amount of experience in modding vehicles, but I have the capacity to put a lot of work into it. That's where I found this forum, it seems to be the perfect place to find the knowledge before I start chopping up my motor.

For this project I want to keep costs as low as possible - the car will never need to be road legal so I can run riot with a welder and angle grinder! It's just a bit of fun for me and some mates to work on. So far I've only spent £500 on the car and mot - but here's what I want to do with it:

Pickup conversion-
I'm going to attack the back of it with an angle grinder and make a pickup bed in the back with some steel tread plate, making it something like a Kawasaki mule. This way I can justify it as a farm vehicle and it will be legitimately useful.

Tow bar-
I'm going to weld or bolt a tow bar onto the back of it, it doesn't need to take a huge amount of weight as we have an arsenal of tractors and cars like Land Rover discovery, ford ranger for the heavy stuff, but it would be useful if it could tow small trailers, trees, arena graders etc

Weld differentials-
LSD's are expensive and frankly unnecessary for something permanently off road, I'll just hit the current setup with my welder.

Whatever I can find on eBay to weld to the front

Roof rack-
I'll fabricate something using steel pipe and put some spotlights on the front of it.

Suspension lift-
Everyone seems to want to do this, and it seems most complicated. I'd rather not fork out a load of cash on new suspension components. But if I can just cut and weld suspension mounts that'd be great. This is where I need the most advice.

I'll pick up some cheap old mud terrains on eBay on steel wheels. I should be able to recover some of that cost by selling the alloys. (If anyone in the UK wants some 16" equippe alloys, I'm your man).

Engine swap???-
I haven't researched this to heavily yet, but it'd be great if I could swap that 1.8 mpi for something like the 2.8 diesel on daddy shoguns or even an engine out of a lancer etc.

I open for some suggestions for paint jobs. I was thinking camo or a rally type paint job with fake sponsors.

Any other suggestions would be brilliant, I reckon this forum is the right place to be for all these mods! I'll post pictures when I make some progress


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