Tag Archives: car

You Idiot…

Tired out from a mix of work & lack of sleep…

I finished work today, happy to have got an important analysis sent off to an important customer… I crossed the road from my office & clocked out in the admin building, then strolled to my car, which I had parked in a back road behind our building. I do this to avoid the traffic snarl ups that can occur on the main road in front of our building…

As I rounded the corner I became aware that the nose of my car wasn’t where I expected it to be… I walked on and there was an Audi sized space, but no Audi. I Felt sick….

I looked for any sign of towing due to illegal parking, but I wasn’t parked illegally… ARGH!

I dialled the first few digits for the Police, then stopped, swore at myself & walked back to my car, which I had walked past with my boss a few minutes earlier when we left the building. I was parked next to him….

Oh yeah… I’d parked out the back the day BEFORE….

Advertisements

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.


A Pointless Exercise

In which I try to explain things that you can’t see, and I fit a new ignition thing to the 1977 Land Rover…

Go straight to the ‘how to’ guide HERE.

Christine was driving with Alex (now 5 years old) when the old Series 3 Land Rover decided to breakdown at the side of the M3 motorway, junction 6….

The points had failed…

“Points?” –  you might ask… Well hold on – I’ll try to give a simple explanation of what they are, and how you can put something in place that’ll avoid some of the issues you get with a ‘Points Ignition’ system.

Older car engines mainly use a really simple electromechanical ignition system. Very basically an electric charge is sent to a distributor which then ‘distributes’ this electricity to each of the engines spark plugs – in the right order and at the right time.

There is a good write-up in more depth HERE.

This has to be set up so that the sparks fire off at the right time. If the sparks fire off too soon or too late then the engine will run really poorly… or not at all. A great deal of this set up is based on gaps and sparks and electricity zapping across between bits of metal at the right time.

Where sparks occur, you will get erosion, so these gaps get slowly bigger as the sparks wear away the metal, and the engine starts to falter. Some of these gaps are designed to open and close (like a switch) as the engine runs. Where sparking bits of metal touch you will find that the metal bits can end up welding/sticking to each other… and that means the engine won’t run because the switch has stuck…

The ‘switch’ is a major component in the ignition system – and is known as a contact breaker or ‘the points‘. The points are the bits at one end of the contact breaker that open and close to allow the electricity to do its stuff… or not… on/off/on/off etc…

Adapted by L.Black from original Wiki image by Frédéric MICHEL. Click image to go to Wiki 'Ignition' pages.

In this video you can see the metal arm going up and down causing a small spark at the end. It’s this opening and closing part that can weld and stick shut. It is totally manic in here as the engine is running, with the points opening, closing and sparking thousands of times per minute, so you can see why they are very prone to wearing out. (Note: The big spark to the top right represents the engine spark plug).

You would often find that if your car broke down on a journey and you had to call a breakdown truck, the breakdown truck driver would be able to swap out a set of points at the side of the road to get you motoring again – or at least he’d be able to un-stick the points and set them up to get you home or to a garage where they could be replaced. They are really simple and pretty easy to work with…. not like the modern electronic computer controlled units…. If they go wrong, then you are likely to be towed home and then face a big garage bill…

To make setting the ignition timing up easier, and to avoid points wearing out and ending up stuck at the side of a busy motorway (as happened to my wife and our little 5 year old lad in our Land Rover) there are several solutions.

There are many electronic conversion kits available that remove the contact breaker/points, although some require lots of work and cost quite a bit of cash. Some swap out entire chunks of your ignition system with new parts. They pretty much all do the same thing in the end though, so rather than going down this route I was suggested by a good friend a way can be done cheaply if you have a little bit of sense and some very basic tools.

I checked. I had a little bit of sense and basic tools…. so I looked into his recommended route…

There is a ‘pointless’ module that can fit straight into where the original points unit sat. It is a very simple module that uses the Hall effect to trigger the electrical signal to the spark plugs, rather than using points (this is too much information, but there if you want to confuse yourself)

Contact Breaker/Points unit (left) and 'Pointless' module (right)

Very simply put: 4 magnets in a black plastic ring (the trigger) spin and as they pass the red electronic ‘pointless’ module, the module releases bursts of electricity. There are no switches or parts touching each other, so there is nothing that can wear out or weld/stick together. Also this means setting the timing doesn’t require having to reset the point gap if you rotate the distributor  – because there are no gaps to set… in fact there is nothing to adjust as it can only attach in one place.

From this video you can see the spark to the top right that represents the feed to the engine spark plugs… but there are no points or touching parts in the unit itself. It’s like magic or something…

Fitting ‘Pointless’ Ignition

An idiots guide…

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.


Owdi A4

The Audi drives like a new car now… So quiet & smooth…

Two years ago my Audi had a front left wishbone changed (dangly bit that holds the wheel in place).

After that my ABS would vibrate at low speed & the brakes would snatch. The general consensus was a sensor was damaged during the work. As the actual stopping and control of the car was still fine (and passed the MOT), it became something I could live with. It was just a low speed irritation.

Over the next 18 months my auxiliary drive belt (fan belt) started squealing. The Audi had 130,000 miles on the clock so this was put down to shiny & worn pulleys. Some anti squeak spray (yes, really) helped this. Once more it was just a slight irritation and occasional squeal.

The other day the front right wheel bearing… or maybe brake disk… started vibrating. I purchased a replacement bearing & set out to fit it… before finding out I needed a big press tool. I decided to book the car into Regency garage in Cove. A failing wheel bearing is more than an irritation….

As the technician drove it to the ramp he noticed the ABS problem & squeal. His initial though was the same as mine – dislodged sensor & worn pulley wheels. Only once he opened the bonnet did his Polish tech notice why the belt was squealing. If you looked closely you could see the belt tensioner was bent. That could fail & take out the cam belt housing & wreck the engine. Well spotted!

Thing is, to fix that the front of the car has to come off, so as the car now had 160,000 miles on the clock, and 40,000 since the last cam belt change, I opted to get the lot done whilst the front was removed. I also had the water pump done at the same time, as they are prone to fail & doing it now would save time & money later.

This was expense I didn’t need, but the tech was happy enough for me to source my own spares to save additional mark up.

Whilst the car was up on the ramps the Polish guy noticed a bit of a problem with my rear brakes. As he walked past the car his eye caught a mess of seized pads & a wrecked disc. As I hyper-mile & hardly use brakes I had not noticed a problem. Once the wheel was removed I was shocked at the mess…. The Audi was scrap if left like this. Unsafe, undrive-able.

A new calliper was needed on one side, new pads & luckily the bearing carrying discs were repairable. Less customer orientated places would gave fitted new parts, but these guys figured it was worth a try overhauling them (as new parts to fix this mess would be upward of £200 a side….).

Luckily they managed to skim & fix the discs. This it turns out was also the cause of that ABS vibration…. which one unscrupulous garage wanted to charge me £1500 for a new ABS pump & fitting!

So an £80 job to fix a wheel bearing turned into £700 (including parts) to fix the rear brakes, cam belt, aux belt tensioner, water pump and wheel bearing. Regency did all they could to help me and to keep the cost down and did a bloody good job.

They talked over the work with me, showed me the problems, gave me the options. Not once did they try to pull a fast one or milk the job out. I heartily recommend them.

The Audi now feels a lot better… and is a lot quieter…. and the ABS doesn’t vibrate any more!

20110713-191207.jpg

20110713-191016.jpg

If you thought reading this tedious blog was painful, I’m the one who had to pay for all of this….


Mahāyāna

In 3 weeks our 1977 Series 3 88″ Land Rover has already given us some fun and surprises.

Chris calls ‘him‘ “Frank“… and it’s pretty much stuck, although I am adding “Mahāyāna” to that… It is Buddhist for “The Great Vehicle“…. I’m almost certain it wasn’t intended for a Land Rover, but what with reincarnation you can never be too sure…

New 7.5x16's fitted

At 5,000 miles on the clock, it must be one of the lowest mileage non-museum/non-showroom condition S3’s out there.

Land Rover UK gave us tickets to Goodwood Festival of Speed after I posted a few pictures up on their web site just days before the show, where we were then allowed into the owners area at the show – (now that we were owners…)

Alex at GW Festival of Speed

We have recovered a couple of vehicles stuck in sand at the beach (right place, right time). We rescued a Merc CLK & took over rescuing a VW Polo from a BMW 5 series that just span its wheels trying to tow the Polo.

Mahāyāna with a lesser vehicle...

All this happened within two parking space widths from where we’d parked. Fantastic! After the first rescue (which was so effortless!) I admit that I felt Frank could do anything. When we got back after paddling & castle making on the beach we saw the BMW hitching up to the VW… Still feeling pysched from earlier, as I walked past the VW & BMW drivers getting ready to try their first attempt, I said “I’ll be over by that old Land Rover when you need me….”~ How damned cocky was I!!! I blame Frank entirely!

Land Rover UK also  featured ‘Frank’ in their weekly web magazine. I didn’t realise until I received an email from WordPress saying that our blog had been linked to!

Little bits of work are being done to make Frank a bit more ‘daily drive’ practical, whilst trying not to move too far away from the original vehicle. Older Land Rovers aren’t the fastest, most economical or comfortable beasts, but they have a lot going for them – as I mentioned HERE.

Inertia 3 point harness

Frank now has new 7.5x16r tyres fitted (as originally intended) and has an Ashcroft high ratio conversion waiting to be fitted. Alex has a 3 point inertia harness fitted for his safety, and new Wipac halogen headlamps have replaced the original sealed beam units, as we like to see where we are going… Also, the Wipac units mean if a bulb blows, we can get one from a petrol station (you trying buying a sealed beam unit from a petrol station!).

WIPAC versus SEALED BEAM

The rear rubber matting was falling apart, so another job I carried out was to use some old wood effect linoleum… It didn’t turn out too bad! Kitchen floor reincarnation as  Mahāyāna’s rear floor cover!

Woody!

One of the next jobs is to fit an Ashcroft high ratio transfer case to take some load off of the engine and allow the great vehicle to cruise at 50mph without revving it’s nuts literally off. There is potential that a few more miles to the gallon could be achieved too – and that wouldn’t go amiss! Mind you, a Land Rover isn’t exactly the first choice for comfort, speed and economy! With this mod though, we can keep the original engine (we want to keep as much original looking as possible).

On the list of other things to do: Seal the chassis, get new seats (the previous owner had a dog…), restore the dented wings and repaint in the original colours. This all depends on money though – Funds are tight and all of these extra’s don’t really effect the running of Frank, so are low priority ‘niceties’.

Mind you, if anyone has any freebies going, then that’s a different matter! I’ll quite happily advertise you on this blog (and my other web presences) if you have anything to offer! (Hey… it can’t hurt to ask!). Frank will be going to a lot of Goodwood shows and eventually do the rounds of other shows and events, so companies willing to part with bits will be promoted and mentioned where ever we go. After all, one good turn deserves another.

.


The Joy of Old Land Rover Ownership

The older Land Rovers (leading up to the Defenders) are pretty much covered tractors with extra seating.

They were never intended as motorway cruising town cars. They were meant as work horses – and they do that well.

This leads to a few eye openers for those who do not know what to expect when they first get in an old Landy.

Take ours for example – a short wheel base (88″) Series III 2.25l petrol engined tank from 1977 – or ‘Frank‘ as Chris calls ‘him’….. or ‘The 88‘ as Alex calls ‘him’. (I use either…..). MEET FRANK

Some FRANK stats……

Driver comfort:

Square of foam for a cushion, with another one for a back rest…. some ‘posher’ models have the block of foam shaped slightly.

Air filled tyres.

Big letter box sized holes under the windscreen for cold air (and anything else that goes in them).

Engine for hot air (constant).

Passenger comfort:

Same as the driver – less a steering wheel to hold onto for reassurance.

Driving aids:

Steering wheel (big, as there is no power steering).  Clutch, a brake and a throttle.

There are indicators, but no hazard lights or reverse lights.

Mirrors. These give an idea of things around you… The vibration doesn’t really help with identifying what the things are though.

Gear stick. Ah, yes…. there are several of these. Where it lacks in other areas, it makes up for in the number of selector levers.

Stereo…. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Sure! Fit one, but you’re not going to hear the damned thing over the road noise and the engine and transmission howl!!!

Safety:

Frank has two normal (modern) belts for the driver and left hand passenger. The middle passenger gets a lap belt.

Rear passengers (4 people) get two shiny bench seats – No belts. Plenty of room to tuck and roll though…

That being said, the Landy is built on a massive girder chassis. If you do crash into someone, you probably won’t know it until you get home and spot their poxy Saxo boy racer embedded on the bumper…

I had a very early Range Rover that had the same type of chassis. A Ford Ka managed to write itself off on my Range Rover… whilst the Range Rover was parked and stationary…. The Ka hit my front bumper whilst reversing far too quickly out of a parking space. My Rangey didn’t suffer a scratch.

Performance:

0-60mph:  Ha ha ha…. really? 60mph? What’s a 60mph?

Braking: Eventual. Plan ahead.

Fuel Economy: 20mpg is possible….

From the Highway Code:

(Obviously not intended for drivers of old Land Rovers…)

1st gear – for speeds between 0 and 10mph
2nd gear – for speeds between 10 and 20mph
3rd gear – for speeds between 20 and 30mph
4th gear – for speeds between 30 and 40mph
5th gear – for speeds over 40mph

Reality:

1st gear – for speeds between 0 and 5mph
2nd gear – for speeds between 2 and 10mph
3rd gear – for speeds between 10 and 20mph
4th gear – for speeds between 20 and 45mph
Ear defenders & brave pills – for speeds over 45mph

Cost of running:

Spares are dirt cheap. I mean pocket money cheap for most of the stuff you require. It’s a giant Meccano kit and dead simple to work with (mostly).

Ignore the miles per gallon, as the smiles per gallon make up for it.

To improve of speed (and a little economy) there are various options you can go for, such as overdrives, bigger tyres, better engine, gearbox modifications – but it’s an old Land Rover, so I never expected 60mpg and precision handling! The overdrive or gearbox modifications can help with cruising speed though as you can safely sit at 60mph without over-stressing a good engine.

So…..

It doesn’t have whistles and bells (it does have a proper loud honking horn). Its all terrain capability comes from the driver knowing how to use the tools provided. It is geared for two wheel drive in high ratio (road use)  and has a high and low ratio four wheel drive – and if used correctly it’ll get you out of anything.

More modern 4×4’s (like the ones you see on school runs) rely more on computers than driving skills, which explains why you see more and more 4×4’s NOT GOING ANYWHERE in the snow, because people THINK the car can do it all itself. It can’t! You have to know what you are doing and how to use it! Most modern 4×4’s are just wasted on clueless numpty posers who think the car can go anywhere…. and up up getting stuck when their skill runs out.

The main question with any car is; “What do you need?” – A Land Rover makes a useless boy racer car, a Ferrari makes a useless family car, a Clio makes a useless utility car, and a Nissan LEAF makes a useless long range sports car…. You have to buy for what your needs are – and you have to weigh up what your needs are before you start to criticize what any particular vehicle can do…

The old Land Rovers were built to cross huge distances with really simple maintenance… If anything went wrong, the damned things could still limp home with engines rattling and gear boxes hanging off…..

For us though, Frank leaves a huge grin on our faces. It’s a simple, rugged vehicle that came up at a good price at the right time. Frank is perfect for Chris and her work with horses, where she needs a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, rain, sun, snow and ice capable vehicle that can take the knocks without any concerns  about getting stuck somewhere, and that the dent you just put in the wing won’t write the car off due to the insurance expense of fixing it… (you can fit a new front wing to Frank for under £30…..).

.


Frank 88

Chris has needed a 4×4 for some time now. Her work with horses means she has some pretty rough terrain to deal with, and she needs to be mobile in all weather. We ideally wanted a Land Rover, but they cost a lot for a good one (because they are the top dogs at what they do), so we were looking at various cheaper alternatives.

You don’t need a fancy 4×4 – In fact the modern 4×4’s are not that great, as they try to do the thinking for you, and that is generally meaning that the owners rely on the car and not their own skill. I don’t give a rats arse how capable a car is, because it is only as capable AS THE DRIVER…. and last year Chris was driving her old Ford Fiesta around some pretty fancy 4×4 hardware that were stuck in the snow, with brainless drivers not knowing what to do…. (Much like I’ve seen in the past).

Mid last week Chris went to pick up some chicken feed from a farm shop and saw an old classic Landy sat outside. She took a look over it, pretty much to see what they are like (she’s not really had a lot to do with Landys).  It didn’t have any sale signs on it, and Chris was purely looking out of interest.

Whilst she was looking over it, the owner came over and explained that the vehicle had come with the farm when they took it over, when the previous owner couldn’t keep the farm going and had to sell up.

The Land Rover was then just used up and down the farm. Chris hadn’t mentioned about buying it….. but the owner carried on and said he didn’t really want to sell it, but they hardly used it, saw no reason to really keep it, just kept MOT’ing it each year for no real reason or need… so said they’d sell to Chris for £1,800…

Chris came home and excitedly told me what she had found. From the few things she told me it sounded quite a good deal, so I suggested she ask one of our Land Rover experienced friends to take a look. When I say experienced, I mean ‘proper knows his stuff‘…

So he went to the farm with Chris… He said it was the second cleanest original Series Landy he had seen… The chassis is absolutely solid, the body work is in great shape (a few bumps, but it lived on a farm), good engine, interior dusty, with some torn seats (probably from a dog)…. but in general, incredibly clean, sorted and…… 4,300 genuine miles…. He was pretty excited at Chris’s find too….

It was a no-brainer… a deposit was paid, money was scraped together and Frank (as Chris named ‘him’) came home…

Other people in the know have since seen Frank and they can’t believe how lucky we were! This is one of those ‘found in a barnyard’ stories you see sometimes on the news or internet…. but you never think you’ll be that lucky….

So, how much of a deal had Chris spotted? FRANK is an 88″ Series III 1977 Land Rover. 2.25l petrol engine.

Popular web car sales sites came up with the following:

For £1,800 you can buy a similar aged Land Rover  that’s good for spares, no tax or MOT… non-runner… (looked a total wreck).

To buy one in similar condition to Frank, the nearest I found had 65,000 miles on the clock and was considered in ‘fair condition’… and was selling for £6,500…..

Within 24 hours of buying Frank, we have already been offered over twice what we paid… but Frank isn’t for sale!

Frank is the perfect vehicle for Chris – Just what we wanted. A simple old school 4×4 that she can use for work, that she can tinker with (she’s becoming pretty handy with the tools) , and that is hardy enough to deal with most situations. We never dreamt we could get a Series for this price (it was our ideal choice, but put way to the back of our minds)… and as such is in no way for sale!


Goodwood Breakfast Club ~ June 2011

Once again the Goodwood Breakfast Club didn’t fail to please. This old circuit was host to a huge selection of rolling cash… Old & new… Along with a brace of modern Italian supercars there were two Ferrari F-40’s parked next to each other, one off race specials, tuned drifters, classics tourers and ex-rally cars.This was the post-70’s sports car meeting, and it didn’t disappoint.

Photo_1

Viper…

Photo_2

Drifter…

Photo_3

Super-7…


Cool customs at Goodwood


Alex’s 5th Birthday Bash

There will be a few blog posts appearing over the next few weeks that are out of date order. This is because Sky Broadband failed totally, and right during a time where there were a few car shows to blog about…. so I’m going to have to catch up.

Meanwhile, and now we have Virgin Broadband (Sky can kiss my router) I am able to blog again (yup, sorry!).

What better way to start than with Alex’s 5th birthday bash bowling party.

Alex's salute - Taught by Granddad

Chris made a car cake for the 3rd year running – not saying Alex likes cars or anything… but yeah…

It was great fun – Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the kids were really well-behaved. Shame the staff lacked the competence and politeness of the kids, but that’s neither hear nor there…

Anyway, here’s a two and a bit minute video of the party. If you watch it for anything, watch it for the “Happy Birthday” song…. It was loud enough to distort the speakers and feedback pure white noise…. You had to be there… although you probably heard it if you were within 25 miles of the place….

Photo effects via iPhone 4 – Instagram, Dynamic light & Tiltshiftgen.


%d bloggers like this: