Category Archives: General Interest

Black Rhino Down

The Western Black Rhino has been declared extinct.

Good job guys. Hope you feel proud.

We look back at the human caused extinction of the Dodo and we think how stupid we were… and yet it goes on.

Anyway, with this in mind… a philosophical question for you… (fictional…)

Pay to Kill
A company is set up to breed endangered species.

This costs a lot of money to run, so to fund themselves they open a reserve for hunters to pay top dollar to hunt & kill the endangered animals.

They plan to release a breeding pair of an endangered species for every one of that type that is shot.

So, for every three lions they breed, one is put on the reserve to be hunted, and the other two (breeding pair) are released to the wild.

This means:

Without the company, for each endangered animal that is hunted & killed there is one less of that animal in the world (until they are extinct).

With the company, for each endangered animal that is killed there are two introduced back into the world.

Allow this company to set up breeding & controlled hunting & save a species OR don’t allow it and wipe out a species through illegal poaching…

There are only two options to discuss:
For or against?


Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck(ed) the big one…

Another Update (November 20 2011):

It must be said that the responses to the blog that I originally wrote were mainly people having trouble with Max Emmerson-Fish. I don’t think anyone else had trouble with Glenbourne Motor Company apart from me. Both of these companies/people were operating under the umbrella of Farnham Carriage Company at the time, but have since moved on.

My last update (October 2011… below) was due to Martin Dawes from FCC contacting me. Within it I wrote that:

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back…

Well…. I received a call the other night from the owner, and he offered that very deal (or some other arrangement if we wanted). Now this does nod in Glenbournes favour, as even though this problem has gone on for a couple of years, they have not just brushed it under the table.

They have now followed it up to give me, the customer, the satisfaction I require. We have yet to discuss the finer points, but I want to get this blog updated to at least show they have stepped up to the mark, and to separate them from the Max Emmerson-Fish fiasco that a lot of my blog readers commented with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I will go back to a company time and again if they offer good service. If they make a mistake, or something goes wrong, I won’t automatically walk away and never use them again IF they deal with the situation calmly, honestly and politely. If they ignore me, or blank me… or tell me to piss off…. then sure, I’ll not recommend them and I’ll spread the word around…. but if they do all they can to help, then that’ll gain my favour.

Faulty products happen. Sometimes they can’t be helped, sometimes wires cross, sometimes a company might just try to get away with something and get caught out…. but as long as they front up and DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, then I’d rather go to them, than go to someone with a better product and NO customer service.

Windows offer sod all customer service – or at least a customer service that is near impossible to deal with… yet the pricier Apple have customer service that is second to none. Honestly, they bend over backwards to delight the customer – even if it is the customers stupid ass mistake if something went wrong in the first place. They KNOW that any money lost in this type of event will come back in multiples if they give a good follow up service. I know this first hand – See HERE for details.

 

UPDATE (October 11 2011):

Okay – A strange thing happened tonight. I step out of the shower, throw some clothes on and the doorbell chimes.

The man on the doorstep is Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company.

This is the company that in 2009 caused me a lot of problems (on going), and prompted me to write a blog entry. The blog entry gained momentum….

I was half expecting the visit at some point – and was in fact planning to call him up regarding this blog. I had a feeling that changes were in motion after receiving a response over the original write up (Aug 2009 – below). – THE RESPONSE

You see, this blog entry about his company has had so many hits that it ranked higher than the company itself.

I

This gave me a warm feeling inside – a victory for the man on the street…

…but as Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company now explained from my doorstep, not only has Max Emmerson-Fish left the Farnham Carriage Company site, but so has Glenbourne Motors.

This means that Farnham Carriage Company has removed these tumours from site – and Farnham Carriage Company themselves would like to distance themselves from the past problems caused by the other people they shared the site with.

The thing is, I don’t want to remove this blog entry, and explained to Martin that, seeing as I have been getting more hits than Farnham Carriage Company itself, that as a gesture of good faith I would write this new introduction. After all, people searching for FCC will still land here, and from here they can click the link below to Farnham Carriage Company itself, happy in the knowledge that things have moved on, and that the people who caused my problems have been removed…..

As Martin said in a comment response in September this year:

Farnham Carriage Company would like to thank Max Emmerson Fish and Glenbournes for leaving the Farnham site. Please feel free to use this blog if you have any complaints regarding FCC and we will try our best to resolve any issues you may have, or telephone us on 01252 711900 anytime.

… oh yeah, they’ve gone all right…. but just in case you want to contact them… Just in case you have outstanding issues with them… Martin included their company details too. After all, free advertising cuts both ways.

So… Click link for the Farnham Carriage Company (now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Glenbournes):

Now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Purdy

If you have outstanding questions (etc, etc….) with either Glenbournes or Max Emmerson-Fish (Auriga), then I am sure that they’d be more than happy to hear from you at their new sites…….

Glenbourne Motor Company – Twelve London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5HN

Glenbournes…. Just so you know

Max Emmerson-Fish can be found at Auriga Autos, Bowenhurst Golf Centre (apparently).

Oddly enough Auriga Autos only has a phone number, with no address. A car dealership who won’t say where they are? Am I the only one that thinks that is a bit odd…. It seems like someone is trying to stop their past catching up with them… but that’s probably just my strange way of thinking, and might not mean anything….

Address…. yeah…. erm….

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back for, lets say £995. It still drives poorly, the engine still misbehaves and we have to keep nursing it due to intermittent faults (which we are still trying to fix). Yes, that would be a turn around for the books – a phoenix from the ashes…. a fat chance of ever happening….

Hell…. whilst I’m dreaming… they could really get huge kudos from me if they gave me an old Discovery or Land Rover in exchange for the continuing nightmare of the purple Fiesta! As if….

That original blog:

Remember, Farnham Carriage Company are mentioned below in the original blog, but the group within FCC that caused all of the problems in the blog & the comments after the blog, have moved on (Glenbournes/Auriga). As far as I am aware, FCC are now a good company to deal with. Credit to Martin Dawes for coming over to see me to explain the recent history.

So… step back in time…

Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck the big one…

Allegedly….

August 23rd, 2009

The Purple Fiesta died again…. due to a mistake that could only have been made by a mechanic used by a Farnham car dealership.

Lets start at the beginning…. Due to some unobservant idiot driving into our Citroen Berlingo and sending it to the car graveyard we were forced into buying a replacement car in a very limited time.

Death of a work horse

Death of a work horse

We found a Purple Ford Fiesta with low mileage and in superb condition at Farnham Carriage Company.

It was purchased with 3 months warranty and a service. I had looked over the car and found the handbrake a bit slack, and a spark plug hanging out. Not to worry, Farnham Carriage Company said it would be serviced before I picked it up.

I picked it up… got home… spark plug still loose… handbrake on end of adjustment.

Mechanic said spark plugs in Fiestas have a tendency to do that (can you smell that? can you?)

60 miles later it blew its guts out on the M3…. head gasket had blown…

Theyll do that...

They

Oh yeah, they’ll do that if the temp gauge doesn’t work – a known issue – Missed at service.

So they fix it – In the meantime I chuck money on top of the purchase price as I have to get a hire car for a week – which Farnham Carriage Company don’t pay for.

We get the car back and it doesn’t sound right. The sales ‘robot’ says I’m being over sensitive and just picking out faults. He says it sounds fine for a car of that age. I say it may sound fine for a car of that age, but it sounds bad compared to how it was when I brought it… 60 miles earlier.

Getting fed up of trying to get the smug numpty to even admit there may be a fault, I accepted to drive away and give it a go.

Less than 8 weeks pass and it blows its guts out again. It turns out that the mechanic hadn’t fixed a pipe back properly and it had worn through on a drive shaft. Water emptied everywhere. Car had to go back to the warranty garage at Farnham Carriage Company… and I had to get a hire car again…. yet more money!

The mechanic tries to use sticky tape to do a temporary repair…..it chucks water out again… funny that.

I tell him I’ll leave the car there until he gets the parts in.

We have to pay half of the bill under warranty conditions, even though it’s the fault of the repair THEY carried out last time. Bloody cowboy criminals. Half the £100 bill…. which doesn’t cover the £200 hire car…. Their £50 is no way half of the costs these repairs have cost me. Thieves, if you ask me.

Farnham car salesman yesterday

Farnham Carriage Company yesterday?

They even tried to say the pipe might have been like that all along! That’s a bunch of arse – No way a rubber pipe would last 60,000 miles bouncing on a drive shaft! Maybe 1000… which is what I had done since the head gasket repair was carried out…. what a coincidence… Yeeee haw!!! COWBOY! You don’t need to be ‘engineeringly minded’ to realise this doesn’t add up.

So they fix it… ahem. Chris drives it home. The thing is filthy orange from all the rusty water that has sprayed all over it… and they didn’t even bother cleaning it. Chris then notices a big scratch where something has rubbed hard against the wing whilst at the garage.. bloody shoddy workmanship, and no care for the customer vehicles.

Hoik spooot!

Where

She then pops the bonnet up and sees…. NO WATER in the car again! She calls the garage and they say that sometimes after a repair like that, the water needs time to settle and get the air out of the system! Once more the flaming cowboy alarm goes off! I have done car and aircraft maintenance, and I know that after topping up reservoirs and systems you BLEED them.

You don’t give an unfinished job to the customer and try to fob them off with some half arsed lame tale, because according to other technicians I know, and general engineering common sense, that’s exactly what it was – an excuse.

I did double check with a couple of well trusted auto technicians I know…. and they said that you would never return a car like that. One even said that he would bleed the system fully, but also tell the customer to check the level once they got home just in case there had been an air block. The Farnham guy mentioned nothing.

There you go – If you are looking for a car or mechanic, then stay clear of Farnham Carriage Company if this is anything to go by. Seriously.

I am honestly thinking of legal action, as the car fails to meet SSG act limitations.

LATEST NEWS: Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL – It goes on – Still haunted by FCC

On the plus side, I was forced into getting a second car sooner than I had envisaged.

We always needed the two cars as I need one for work, and Chris needs one for here weekly tasks. I had a list of things to look for in a car, and number one was it had to have the VW TDi engine…. so that meant a VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat….

I had been looking for some time, but no cars matched my criteria – and if they did they were in Scotland or some other far flung location. The day the Fiesta blew its pipe I was desperate to find a car as I needed reliable transportation to do my 110 mile round trip to work each day.

My luck was in this day… Whilst waiting to pick up the hire car I carried out an Autotrader.co.uk search… and there was a ’96 Audi A4 only 7 miles away… in my price range…. with a service history that was so anal it was untrue! This car has been so well looked after! It appeared to be owned by a person who would replace a whole engine if an air filter needed changing! A quick test drive and a look through the records and I was off!

Mr Audi

Mr Audi

The only problem was a mismatched alloy wheel – but £30 later and eBay got me 5 second hand A3 alloys with good (nearly new) Pirelli P6000 tyres… only 5 miles from my place of work! A little bit of luck was due our way!

The fan belt was on the way out though – but one chat to my auto technician friend, a Haynes manual later, and a trip to Camberley Autofactors and I was elbow deep in the engine bay.

Haynes said remove the front bumper and associated parts, and jack the car up, use axle stands, two people etc….. I managed with opening the bonnet and cranking a 15mm spanner to swap the belt over! (with a third hand from Chris to keep tension on as I fed the new belt in). This was thanks to advice from the technician I use – and can’t rate highly enough!

I took the new Audi (or Mr Audi, as Alex calls it) to T.J Services – who I trust. I wanted to get a service done to make sure it is all up together. He looked over the history and was taken back by the work the previous owner had carried out. Most of the expensive bits that haunt any car… all of them had been replaced already! I had spotted a gem of a car! Trevor (T.J) simply said he’d see me at the next MoT, as no work was needed yet. Hurrah for honest tradesmen!


Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck(ed) the big one…

Another Update (November 20 2011):

It must be said that the responses to the blog that I originally wrote were mainly people having trouble with Max Emmerson-Fish. I don’t think anyone else had trouble with Glenbourne Motor Company apart from me. Both of these companies/people were operating under the umbrella of Farnham Carriage Company at the time, but have since moved on.

My last update (October 2011… below) was due to Martin Dawes from FCC contacting me. Within it I wrote that:

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back…

Well…. I received a call the other night from the owner, and he offered that very deal (or some other arrangement if we wanted). Now this does nod in Glenbournes favour, as even though this problem has gone on for a couple of years, they have not just brushed it under the table.

They have now followed it up to give me, the customer, the satisfaction I require. We have yet to discuss the finer points, but I want to get this blog updated to at least show they have stepped up to the mark, and to separate them from the Max Emmerson-Fish fiasco that a lot of my blog readers commented with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I will go back to a company time and again if they offer good service. If they make a mistake, or something goes wrong, I won’t automatically walk away and never use them again IF they deal with the situation calmly, honestly and politely. If they ignore me, or blank me… or tell me to piss off…. then sure, I’ll not recommend them and I’ll spread the word around…. but if they do all they can to help, then that’ll gain my favour.

Faulty products happen. Sometimes they can’t be helped, sometimes wires cross, sometimes a company might just try to get away with something and get caught out…. but as long as they front up and DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, then I’d rather go to them, than go to someone with a better product and NO customer service.

Windows offer sod all customer service – or at least a customer service that is near impossible to deal with… yet the pricier Apple have customer service that is second to none. Honestly, they bend over backwards to delight the customer – even if it is the customers stupid ass mistake if something went wrong in the first place. They KNOW that any money lost in this type of event will come back in multiples if they give a good follow up service. I know this first hand – See HERE for details.

 

UPDATE (October 11 2011):

Okay – A strange thing happened tonight. I step out of the shower, throw some clothes on and the doorbell chimes.

The man on the doorstep is Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company.

This is the company that in 2009 caused me a lot of problems (on going), and prompted me to write a blog entry. The blog entry gained momentum….

I was half expecting the visit at some point – and was in fact planning to call him up regarding this blog. I had a feeling that changes were in motion after receiving a response over the original write up (Aug 2009 – below). – THE RESPONSE

You see, this blog entry about his company has had so many hits that it ranked higher than the company itself.

I

This gave me a warm feeling inside – a victory for the man on the street…

…but as Martin Dawes of Farnham Carriage Company now explained from my doorstep, not only has Max Emmerson-Fish left the Farnham Carriage Company site, but so has Glenbourne Motors.

This means that Farnham Carriage Company has removed these tumours from site – and Farnham Carriage Company themselves would like to distance themselves from the past problems caused by the other people they shared the site with.

The thing is, I don’t want to remove this blog entry, and explained to Martin that, seeing as I have been getting more hits than Farnham Carriage Company itself, that as a gesture of good faith I would write this new introduction. After all, people searching for FCC will still land here, and from here they can click the link below to Farnham Carriage Company itself, happy in the knowledge that things have moved on, and that the people who caused my problems have been removed…..

As Martin said in a comment response in September this year:

Farnham Carriage Company would like to thank Max Emmerson Fish and Glenbournes for leaving the Farnham site. Please feel free to use this blog if you have any complaints regarding FCC and we will try our best to resolve any issues you may have, or telephone us on 01252 711900 anytime.

… oh yeah, they’ve gone all right…. but just in case you want to contact them… Just in case you have outstanding issues with them… Martin included their company details too. After all, free advertising cuts both ways.

So… Click link for the Farnham Carriage Company (now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Glenbournes):

Now with 100% less Emmerson-Fish and Purdy

If you have outstanding questions (etc, etc….) with either Glenbournes or Max Emmerson-Fish (Auriga), then I am sure that they’d be more than happy to hear from you at their new sites…….

Glenbourne Motor Company – Twelve London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5HN

Glenbournes…. Just so you know

Max Emmerson-Fish can be found at Auriga Autos, Bowenhurst Golf Centre (apparently).

Oddly enough Auriga Autos only has a phone number, with no address. A car dealership who won’t say where they are? Am I the only one that thinks that is a bit odd…. It seems like someone is trying to stop their past catching up with them… but that’s probably just my strange way of thinking, and might not mean anything….

Address…. yeah…. erm….

If Glenbournes fancy a bit of a shoulder pat for customer satisfaction, then they could buy our Fiesta back for, lets say £995. It still drives poorly, the engine still misbehaves and we have to keep nursing it due to intermittent faults (which we are still trying to fix). Yes, that would be a turn around for the books – a phoenix from the ashes…. a fat chance of ever happening….

Hell…. whilst I’m dreaming… they could really get huge kudos from me if they gave me an old Discovery or Land Rover in exchange for the continuing nightmare of the purple Fiesta! As if….

That original blog:

Remember, Farnham Carriage Company are mentioned below in the original blog, but the group within FCC that caused all of the problems in the blog & the comments after the blog, have moved on (Glenbournes/Auriga). As far as I am aware, FCC are now a good company to deal with. Credit to Martin Dawes for coming over to see me to explain the recent history.

So… step back in time…

Cars, and why Farnham Carriage Company suck the big one…

Allegedly….

August 23rd, 2009

The Purple Fiesta died again…. due to a mistake that could only have been made by a mechanic used by a Farnham car dealership.

Lets start at the beginning…. Due to some unobservant idiot driving into our Citroen Berlingo and sending it to the car graveyard we were forced into buying a replacement car in a very limited time.

Death of a work horse

Death of a work horse

We found a Purple Ford Fiesta with low mileage and in superb condition at Farnham Carriage Company.

It was purchased with 3 months warranty and a service. I had looked over the car and found the handbrake a bit slack, and a spark plug hanging out. Not to worry, Farnham Carriage Company said it would be serviced before I picked it up.

I picked it up… got home… spark plug still loose… handbrake on end of adjustment.

Mechanic said spark plugs in Fiestas have a tendency to do that (can you smell that? can you?)

60 miles later it blew its guts out on the M3…. head gasket had blown…

Theyll do that...

They

Oh yeah, they’ll do that if the temp gauge doesn’t work – a known issue – Missed at service.

So they fix it – In the meantime I chuck money on top of the purchase price as I have to get a hire car for a week – which Farnham Carriage Company don’t pay for.

We get the car back and it doesn’t sound right. The sales ‘robot’ says I’m being over sensitive and just picking out faults. He says it sounds fine for a car of that age. I say it may sound fine for a car of that age, but it sounds bad compared to how it was when I brought it… 60 miles earlier.

Getting fed up of trying to get the smug numpty to even admit there may be a fault, I accepted to drive away and give it a go.

Less than 8 weeks pass and it blows its guts out again. It turns out that the mechanic hadn’t fixed a pipe back properly and it had worn through on a drive shaft. Water emptied everywhere. Car had to go back to the warranty garage at Farnham Carriage Company… and I had to get a hire car again…. yet more money!

The mechanic tries to use sticky tape to do a temporary repair…..it chucks water out again… funny that.

I tell him I’ll leave the car there until he gets the parts in.

We have to pay half of the bill under warranty conditions, even though it’s the fault of the repair THEY carried out last time. Bloody cowboy criminals. Half the £100 bill…. which doesn’t cover the £200 hire car…. Their £50 is no way half of the costs these repairs have cost me. Thieves, if you ask me.

Farnham car salesman yesterday

Farnham Carriage Company yesterday?

They even tried to say the pipe might have been like that all along! That’s a bunch of arse – No way a rubber pipe would last 60,000 miles bouncing on a drive shaft! Maybe 1000… which is what I had done since the head gasket repair was carried out…. what a coincidence… Yeeee haw!!! COWBOY! You don’t need to be ‘engineeringly minded’ to realise this doesn’t add up.

So they fix it… ahem. Chris drives it home. The thing is filthy orange from all the rusty water that has sprayed all over it… and they didn’t even bother cleaning it. Chris then notices a big scratch where something has rubbed hard against the wing whilst at the garage.. bloody shoddy workmanship, and no care for the customer vehicles.

Hoik spooot!

Where

She then pops the bonnet up and sees…. NO WATER in the car again! She calls the garage and they say that sometimes after a repair like that, the water needs time to settle and get the air out of the system! Once more the flaming cowboy alarm goes off! I have done car and aircraft maintenance, and I know that after topping up reservoirs and systems you BLEED them.

You don’t give an unfinished job to the customer and try to fob them off with some half arsed lame tale, because according to other technicians I know, and general engineering common sense, that’s exactly what it was – an excuse.

I did double check with a couple of well trusted auto technicians I know…. and they said that you would never return a car like that. One even said that he would bleed the system fully, but also tell the customer to check the level once they got home just in case there had been an air block. The Farnham guy mentioned nothing.

There you go – If you are looking for a car or mechanic, then stay clear of Farnham Carriage Company if this is anything to go by. Seriously.

I am honestly thinking of legal action, as the car fails to meet SSG act limitations.

LATEST NEWS: Farnham Carriage Company and the AA FAIL – It goes on – Still haunted by FCC

On the plus side, I was forced into getting a second car sooner than I had envisaged.

We always needed the two cars as I need one for work, and Chris needs one for here weekly tasks. I had a list of things to look for in a car, and number one was it had to have the VW TDi engine…. so that meant a VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat….

I had been looking for some time, but no cars matched my criteria – and if they did they were in Scotland or some other far flung location. The day the Fiesta blew its pipe I was desperate to find a car as I needed reliable transportation to do my 110 mile round trip to work each day.

My luck was in this day… Whilst waiting to pick up the hire car I carried out an Autotrader.co.uk search… and there was a ’96 Audi A4 only 7 miles away… in my price range…. with a service history that was so anal it was untrue! This car has been so well looked after! It appeared to be owned by a person who would replace a whole engine if an air filter needed changing! A quick test drive and a look through the records and I was off!

Mr Audi

Mr Audi

The only problem was a mismatched alloy wheel – but £30 later and eBay got me 5 second hand A3 alloys with good (nearly new) Pirelli P6000 tyres… only 5 miles from my place of work! A little bit of luck was due our way!

The fan belt was on the way out though – but one chat to my auto technician friend, a Haynes manual later, and a trip to Camberley Autofactors and I was elbow deep in the engine bay.

Haynes said remove the front bumper and associated parts, and jack the car up, use axle stands, two people etc….. I managed with opening the bonnet and cranking a 15mm spanner to swap the belt over! (with a third hand from Chris to keep tension on as I fed the new belt in). This was thanks to advice from the technician I use – and can’t rate highly enough!

I took the new Audi (or Mr Audi, as Alex calls it) to T.J Services – who I trust. I wanted to get a service done to make sure it is all up together. He looked over the history and was taken back by the work the previous owner had carried out. Most of the expensive bits that haunt any car… all of them had been replaced already! I had spotted a gem of a car! Trevor (T.J) simply said he’d see me at the next MoT, as no work was needed yet. Hurrah for honest tradesmen!


Lover of Power? Power of Love?

20111007-221820.jpg


Lord March’s ‘Big Wing’

Goodwood Revival time again….

The annual event that I go to because I enjoy it (obviously), and because I use the Revival Spitfire display as a time to reflect on, and remember my Dad.

Once more, lots of fearless drivers in priceless historic cars doing their best to give the insurance companies heart attacks…

… yet this year all of the racing, side shows, fashions and paddocks full of historic cars, all of everything… was overshadowed (for me) by a chance encounter.

I saw a couple of Spitfires parked along the airfield, so I took a stroll to get closer and grab a photo…. but as I drew closer I saw another Spitfire… and another, and a couple more…and another … and two more… and another couple….

I had never seen so many Spitfires in a line up. Not even static ones on permanent display, let alone airworthy ones!

Then I noticed each had a pilot in, awaiting a clearing in the weather (it was hoofing it down with rain)…

And then…. one by one… the engines rumbled in to life…. a bell was rung… engine revs picked up and ten Spitfires scrambled…

As the final one took off the crowd applauded!

We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. This was a momentous occasion… Ten Spitfires flying together… TEN!!!

I admit I had a lump in my throat and had to hold a tear back…. and I was not in the minority.

My Dad would have loved this a Hell of a lot.

Scramble!

Fly Past.

 

There are more Goodwood pictures to follow, but really THIS was the be all and end all of the day for me.

 


A Balanced Plea to Land Rover

An appeal to the heads of Land Rover…. For their sakes and ours I hope they listen.

Regarding the Defender DC100 concept for release in 2015

(Please share this around).

Spanners & Hammers

We all use them. They are tools. They do what they have to do, and they do it well.

Time moves on… things change…. but besides the smallest of tweaks, the hammer & spanner remain the same. Sure, socket sets joined the party… but spanners & hammers stayed. Tools do what they do & that’s all we ask.

The Series is our vehicular spanner or hammer. The Defender is the socket set.

No alteration needed.

It already does the job.

Stand by your product

You (Land Rover) want to be brave & bold among car manufactures in 2015?

Then don’t change a thing and STAND OUT by standing next to a product that needs no introduction, no fanfare, no design guru and NO CHANGE, because it’s fine the way it is.

You notice the people who like the DC are few & far between, and young.

The people who USE Land Rovers & have EXPERIENCE have spoken out against it…. and I’d bet those young inexperienced DC ‘likers’ would sing out against it if they had a clue about how the Defenders really get used.

The DC100 sounds great on paper. Hell, it might even work really well (I’m sure it will)… and it does have a certain look to it that stands out… but I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that our blunt stick Defender is much preferred to the gaudy disco ball DC100.

Yes, you may have a market for it, and your research might have come up with a customer base for this new model… but it’s not the Defender customer base that need the Defender type of car. It’s the cool brigade. With sunglasses and fake tans.

Run the two together, but don’t lose the Defender work horse just to keep up with fashion & iPhone cool.

Very tough to replace

You say that coming up with a replacement for the Defender was one of the toughest things you’ve had to do….

…. but did you ask yourselves ‘why is it so tough to replace?’…

It’s because you’ve already got it right.

Back to the spanners and hammers…. You don’t need improve on something that ALREADY WORKS!

You are like kids in an all you can eat restaurant ~ Just because you have the ability to have everything, it doesn’t mean you should….

Now please, just say that you’ve heard our feedback, and that you weren’t so aware as to how much people really want to keep the current Defender, and that you are strong enough to see that you don’t need to change it after all.

Now THAT I’d respect.

Brand Identity

A Range Rover is a Range Rover.

A Discovery is a Discovery.

A Freelander is a Freelander.

They have variations, but they get lumped under their main name….

Yet say Land Rover & people relate to the classic box, covering Series, County, Defenders… These are Land Rovers.

The DC100 is not this Land Rover, let alone a Defender. It is different… new… not a continuation of a line.

The Friendly Wave

If the action man, tarts handbag, swatch watch DC100 is made, I don’t think it’ll receive the same friendly hand signal from other drivers as they pass.

They’ll probably still get a hand signal though….

Serious Flaw

The DC100 has a very serious flaw.

From it’s sloped bonnet, to the curved and angled roof… to the lack of a sticky out bumper… you have removed a primary function of the Defender & Series type Land Rovers.

There is nowhere to place your mug of tea, or park your backside when working on it…

Now this is bad for individuals, but Landies are also a good social vehicle, and that’s going to end up with a group of people standing around a scratched bonnet DC100 with broken mugs on the ground.

Aftermarket failings

The old Land Rover owners have a huge choice of aftermarket spares and add-on parts at their finger tips. They can raid the parts bin and find items that will fit almost the entire range of Series, County and Defender type vehicles.

This means parts are cheap and plentiful… and pretty easy to fit… and that means the Landies can be kept on the road at low cost and a chunk of the work can be done by the owner.

The DC100 has ‘Defender’ written on the side…. but that is where it ends (and also the only thing that links it to its heritage).

No longer will you have the parts interchangeability. This puts spares prices up… and means you’ll also probably have to go to a main dealer to get the thing fixed.

Be individual like everyone else

It’s almost as if Land Rover have decided that they want it all to themselves, and that if you want to personalise your DC100, then you can have it any way you want, as long as it is on their specification tick sheet…..

Yup… like all those individuals in their new Mini’s and Beetles with individual paint schemes… that look just like the other people who chose the same specification.

Help… I’ve broken down

Stuck in the middle of the jungle with nothing but the contents of your boot and a knife?

The older the Land Rover, the easier it is to get home safely. They will run and run even when things are failing and falling off…. Your Landy will get you home.

Okay… so the DC100 has some very cool gadgets which will mean idiots will have the ability to think they can go anywhere because they have a Land Rover (I see many of these idiots stuck in the snow because they have no clue how to drive, even with the right tools).

The gadgets all rely on computers… and in the name of safety you can pretty much be sure that if something goes wrong you will get a warning light come up and the engine will automatically cut out…. and you now need to get the AA or other breakdown service to take you to a Land Rover approved garage to be plugged into a computer to get reset and fault diagnosed.

You show me an approved Land Rover dealer in the middle of the bloody jungle…. let alone a vehicle recovery service who will come out and honour their ‘get you home’ policy from some deep dark uninhabited swamp land…

Even if you can override the computers you’ll be stuck…. After all, everything is computer controlled…

We want simplicity Land Rover… Even the current Defender is a bit too techy for our liking… but it works.

Plea

The DC100 is a great showcase of what you can do. Very much like the other companies who produce outlandish concept ideas to show various new bits of technology…. but never actually put the vehicle into production. It’s a proof of concept… It’s showing off your skills… It’s what you can do… not what you have to do…

You are geniuses! You’re styling department puts out some eye popping designs.

… but we still want our old Defender in that line up.

The big uproar is the future demise of the Defender as we know it. The DC100 being a death knoll on a line of OBVIOUS family heritage… The simple go anywhere vehicle.

I think had the new Land Rover been released as a stable mate, rather than replacement, then there would have been riotous support for it.

Yes…. Try this for size…

“The new Land Rover DC100 Overlander ~ The future of off roading…. (P.S… you can still have your Defenders folks….)”


Fitting ‘Pointless’ Ignition

Fitting ‘Pointless’ Ignition

An idiots guide…

(Just the guide, less the ‘how it all works’ bit)

Yes, the part came with instructions… but they were slightly incorrect in my case, so I figure an easy to use photo guide would help some people. Our old Landy has a Lucas 45D type distributor.

The module I chose is a Britpart component from MM-4×4.com I purchased for £12.75 (at time of writing). The first module they supplied to me had a manufacturing fault, so MM-4×4 replaced it. These things happen, but the customer service was fast and great, so no harm done.

  • All I really needed was a flat blade screwdriver and cross point screwdriver (No.2 size) (Or use one screwdriver with interchangeable heads…!).
  • The large screwdriver and 11mm spanner are for tweaking timing if required AFTER fitting the module.
  • The kit came with the module, an all in one rotor/trigger and a separate trigger (depending on your distributor type) all the required wires, coil tab (if required), cable tie, grease.

Parts and Tools

  • Loosen the small brass ‘wing nut’ on top of the air filter clamp and move the air filter to one side. This gives better access.
  • Don’t let the filter touch the battery terminals though…. unless you need waking up…

Move the air filter

  • Attach the supplied (red) wire to the coil. It should only fit one way due to the end fitting.

The coil

  • Un-clip the top of the distributor. (Leave all the spark plug leads plugged in, they don’t need to be touched).
  • Remove the black central rotor (the bit with the brass strip on top – It pulls straight up and off).
  • Disconnect the contact breakers black wire from the black extension wire that comes down from the coil.
  • Remove the old contact breaker and condenser (the little metal cylinder to the right).
  • Keep the screws safe – you’ll need them again. (Leave the wire that was attached to the condenser screw – you’ll attach this end again later).
  • Lift the old contact breaker and condenser out of the distributor and pull the black wire carefully out through the distributor body as you do so. (It is worth keeping this unit safe in the car somewhere, just in case you break down and need to fit it…. You probably will never need it, but hey, it doesn’t take up any weight or much space!).

Undo the old fixing screws, remove the central rotor.

  • Use the supplied white grease and coat the base of the new module. This makes sure it has a good contact with the distributor body.
  • Using the screws removed earlier, fit the module into the distributor body.
  • NOTE: Don’t forget to refit that wire that used to be on the condenser (under the cross head screw).

Splash it all over

  • Select the new supplied combined black rotor and trigger assembly (on the right in the photo below).

Choices...

  • Feed the black and red wires through the hole in the side of the distributor.
  • Connect the black and red wires up to the red and black wires coming down from the coil. They should only fit one way – red to red, black to black – (see note 1 in the photo below).
  • NOTE: The supplied instructions state to fit the new trigger (the black plastic ring) to the distributor, and refit the OLD rotor arm (the black plastic thing with the brass strip on top – Left on the photo above).
  • This DID NOT work for our Land Rover (the vehicle totally failed to start).
  • Instead, fit the combined rotor and trigger part into the distributor (the part on the RIGHT in the photo above).
  • Make sure the lugs line up. (see note 2 in the photo below).

Putting it together...

  • You are almost done….
  • Make sure that the red and black wire have some slack in the distributor body. Pretty much make it look like the photo below, otherwise the wires can pull tight or foul the units operation when the engine is running.

That's the internals done

  • Clip the cap back on securely – Make sure you don’t trap and of the wires.
  • Double check that the black wire goes to the black wire, and the red to the red.
  • Make sure the red and black wires are secure on the coil.

Ready yet?..... Yup!

  • Now, you could drop the air filter back in place and tighten the brass wing nut up BEFORE trying to run the engine…. or you could now to run the engine, make sure it works, and THEN put the air filter back in place… It’s up to you!

Does it run?

From what I understand, and from ALL the data I have found on the internet, the part should just drop into place and bingo, job done. Nothing to set up and it should run straight away.

If it doesn’t, try re-checking all of your connections, wires and spark plug leads (you might have dislodged something). If it still doesn’t work you could try removing the rotor and fitting the supplied trigger (the black ring) and fitting the OLD rotor on top of that.

Failing that, maybe drop me an email or message via this blog and I’ll see if I can help.

11mm spanner and big screwdriver?

You might have been wondering what that was for. Well, lower down the distributor body (just below the catches that hold the cap on) there is a nut and bolt (a pinch bolt) that allows the distributor to be rotated to advance/retard the engine timing.

A bit more info HERE.

Very, very basically – This changes when the distributor sends the spark to the spark plugs – and therefore when it ignites the fuel in the engine. Too soon or too late can effect performance and economy – and damage the engine.

Our Landy (and for all I know, all early Landies) can be set reasonably well by just using the charge light on the dashboard as a guide.

If the engine ticks over and the light is on, or flickering, then you have too low an idle speed.

From what I have learnt the best thing is for the engine tick over (once warmed up) to be just fast enough to not have the charge light illuminate or flicker.

So…

  • Run your engine until it is at normal operating temperature (about midway on your temperature gauge).
  • Turn your engine off and carefully (it is HOT now), loosen the distributor pinch bolt. Just enough so that the distributor can be rotated.
  • Turn the engine ON again and let it run.
  • Wear insulated gloves to rotate the distributor so the engine slows until the charge light flickers or comes on.
  • Now rotate it the other way until the light just goes out.
  • Tighten up the pinch bolt.
  • Job done.

The reason you wear insulated gloves is because you don’t want to wet yourself, burn your hair off or kill yourself whilst touching the distributor, which is full of angry electricity that doesn’t mind giving a loving Landy owner a bastard kick last time I did it…. ahem….

I don’t actually use gloves myself, I use the LONG INSULATED HANDLED SCREWDRIVER to gently tap on the distributor cap catch lugs to carefully rotate the distributor clockwise or anti-clockwise. This way I can stay away from the HOT engine and easily get to the distributor without reaching over all of the engine components, wires, muck etc…

Safe....

Well, if that hasn’t confused you too much, I think I’m done!

If you have any comments/improvements or techniques you’d like to add, please feel free.


What are you, CHICKEN?!?!

Splitter!!!!

Splitter!!!

Chris has gone off to write a more chickeny, horsey, pussy related blog for the family.

Here you can learn about buying and restoring ex-battery hens…. Hmmm, too much classic car work on my mind..

At CRISPYSNIPS.COM you can find out how to go about looking after hens at home. Yup, if you’ve thought about doing it, then Chris will tell you what’s involved and how to go about doing it.

There are lots of sites telling you in depth how to keep hens, but not a lot give you a basic run down up front to let you know what you are letting yourself in for!

Her site also has horse and cat related tips and advice, plus lots of other news and views from around Chris!

Go check it out!


Crispy Snippets

Chris has started up a blog about keeping hens, looking after horses, pets and the Land Rover.

Crispy Snippets ~ Chris’s Blog

It’s a great little resource & not too heavy going.

Fancy getting hens? Then check out her site first!

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A picturesque addition

Well, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you’ll know I like my photography. Not in the in-depth way, although I’d love an expensive bag of equipment… I just use a few simple cameras and an iPhone4… and software.

I use many different apps in a mix to get my resulting images – sometimes putting the photo’s through the apps several times. Below is an montage of a few of the apps currently in use.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Recently I have been putting my work up on to Instagram. It’s free to join, but currently you have to join to see all of the photo’s in any usable way. As such, If you don’t want to post photo’s to Instagram, then I suggest you use Webstagram as a viewer. You don’t have to join and you can search all the photo’s.

To see my filtered images, either click on the photo below, or click the Instagram link in the right hand menu bar – – – – >


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