Tag Archives: land rover

Bang, and the bolt is gone!

There are some who swear that the best and fastest way to remove seized nuts and bolts on a Land Rover, is to use an angle grinder, and then just replace the bolts afterwards.

I say nope. Use the right tools and most of the time the fasteners will free up.

Don’t use the angle grinder as your ‘go to‘ fix it all…

Especially if the bolts are holding on the fuel tank and are covered in fuel, and the metal they are bolted through is also saturated in fuel…


Sure, the angle grinder *will* remove the bolt, but it will also, vigorously, remove the fuel tank, most of the rest of the vehicle (from itself), sections of garage and garden, limbs and most definitely any body hair.

Watch “FRANK LIVES!!!” on YouTube

It’s taken 18 months of an hour here, an hour there, but finally Frank the Tank has blown the dust out of his figurative lungs and grumbled into life.

Me and a few friends pulled him apart primarily to fix a broken ring gear, but then additional tweaks were carried out. Purely functional ones, like the new manifold and stainless exhaust system, and new hand brake.

A little bit still to do (obviously!), but this was a great day!

Very Coincidental Land Rovering

Very weird day.

We’ve had brake issues in the Series 3 Landy. So, new drums, shoes, slave & master cylinders were fitted.

A binding problem was then causing trouble in reverse, so last night at a weekly engineering evening with good friends, the drums were removed & the problem investigated. Turns out some shoe adhesive was on the shoe face, causing a very slight ‘grab’ of the trailing shoe, which then pulled on tight like a ratchet as more rear moment was put on it.

A hand file to increase chamfers & a clean up has reduced the problem now.

The really odd thing though is that I took a trip today with Christine and Alex. It was a trip to Woking to let Alex spend some of his Christmas money on model making gear at Toys R Us. We’d never shopped in Woking before…

Whilst there I also brought a new waterproof coat in a shop sale in the spur of the moment. I needed one, and the sale one was greatly reduced. Chris waited with Alex outside the shop on a bench.

When I went to join her I saw an elderly gent sat next to her, and they were having a happy discussion about something.

I introduced myself & he made a joke apology about talking with my wife about Land Rovers…

It appears they had sat next to him, and Alex was looking in a closed down shop window and Chris commented that it just had shelves in, and joking said no-one would just buy shelves.

The old chap chipped in and said that he knew of a place that just sold screws and fittings… in metric and imperial sizes.

Chris replied that a shop like that would have been useful this week, as we needed some old imperial sized nuts and bolts.

The man then asked, after assuming it was for a car, what the car was.

Chris replied it was for an old Land Rover… and then they got chatting about Land Rovers… and it was at this point that I turned up.


I then chatted with him about our old Land Rover and recent issues, as he was very well informed about the mechanics involved.

It turns out that the chap, called John, was Dunsfold Land Rover Collection’s mechanic up until he retired.

This in itself was a fantastic coincidence! I took the opportunity to discus the brakes and he said the rectification actions we were implementing sounded just right.

Then he goes and asks if I have the Haynes Series I,II,III Restoration manual.

I replied that I did… and he then explained that he is the only person to have had his belly mentioned (by name!) in a Haynes Manual, as a workshop ‘must have’ tool. To top it off, the section that his belly is mentioned in, is slap bang in the middle if the brake overhaul section…


A really nice chap, and such a coincidence to meet him in a place we’ve never been before, due to a chance visit to a shop sale, a conversation about shelves, nuts and bolts that lead to Land Rovers and then finding out that all the work we’ve done this week links up with the work he used to do… and his belly is famous for!

Here Come the Girls

The girls have settled in well now. Bunty has made sure that the others all know that she is still queen bitch, but the others really only pay her lip service… Sorry, beak service…

The new girls are all competent jumpers, and even with cropped wings they still manage to reach new heights – literally. We’ve had to put higher netting up around the fences after Knickers found herself in the neighbours garden…. after getting on top of the hen house, along the fence & over the trellis…

Three of them are like shadows whenever we go out into the garden. Hulahoop, Porsche and Sonic have to be at our feet as soon as they see us. Hulahoop goes One further and tries to be eye level – or at least as high and close to us as possible. They are all very lovely ladies, and we’re glad that these rescued hens have settled in so well.


Two years ago we took in some rescued ex-battery hens. We took in 4, as that seemed a good number. You have to get a minimum of 3 so they have company, and if introducing them to an established flock you need a few to help the introduction go smoothly, or the new (scrawny) hens will get picked on….

Rescued hens awaiting new owners.

When we lost our first hen, we thought it seemed a bit too quiet with just 3. We decided to take on 3 more to make it up to 6. The reasoning being that if we lost 3, we would still have 3, and we could get another 3…. 6 as a number worked really well.

It’s really rewarding looking after rescue hens. Just seeing them become fitter, healthier and friendlier is wonderful… and of course there are the benefits of the eggs…. Gloriously bright & tasty yellow yolks, like nothing you’ll get in the supermarket.

In fact recently we had to buy some free range eggs from Sainsburys supermarket (we needed some for a cake, and had run out). They were top of the range supermarket free range eggs… the best they had to offer…. and in comparison to the ones our hens are laying, even the best supermarket eggs lacked colour and flavour.

Anyway… We lost one, so dropped down to 5. Then a friend said he had 3 hens that he wanted to pass on, as his wife wasn’t too keen on them. I figured that 8 wasn’t too much of a step up from the 6 we’d had.

So…. his 3 joined our remaining 5, and up until early 2012 we had the 8 hens….

And then we lost two due to old age & complications. We were back to 6.

Early this year, T2 bowed out…

…and so did Mel.

Ex-batts can have quite short lives.

This is due to their breeding, and what they have been through.

Then last week another took a turn for the worse and passed away. We were back to 5, so we put our name down for 5 new rescue hens to make the number back up to 10…. yes, not 8… Well, the garden looked so empty without a good sized flock…

And then in the same week, before we had picked up the new girls, another of our old girls passed away… We were down to 4….

I quickly changed our order to 6 new rescue hens. We still wanted 10… 10 was enough. A good number. No more though.

Today we went to pick them up…. and the lady in charge had managed to rescue 100 extra hens and was offering to up people’s orders…

… which is why I drove home in the old Land Rover with 8 new rescue hens…. These ones were ex-free range, so in better health to start with.

Hang on… we’ve got neighbours…

The 8 lucky ladies


Hulahoop, Sonic, Lotus, Pingu,

Charger, Porsche, Phantom and Knickers

joined V8, 22, Ginger and Bunty.

That’s it… 12. No more.

They have good sleeping quarters, as Cluckingham Palace has two wings, each easily sleeping 6 birds – and 4 nest boxes.

Cluckingham Palace is full.

More photo’s of the 8 new ladies here.

Chris has more hen & animal related stuff over at Crispy Snippets.

If you want to look into ex-batt and ex-free rescue, then get in contact with the British Hen Welfare Trust. (Website or Facebook)

If you want a good start in getting a hen-house – or extending what you have – then contact Hen House World and tell them I send you! They are really helpful, and if you don’t mind damaged/returned parts, they can do a real good deal if you’re handy with the tools (It’s how I made Cluckingham Palace).

Cluckingham Palace

Guess the Gift…

Every year I get asked by my ever loving (and suffering) wife, Chris, to guess what my presents are…

The other day I got in from work to see my son (5 3/4yrs old) looking really excited at some presents beneath the tree.

Guess what you’ve got daddy!!!” he asked.

I picked up a box and hefted it from hand to hand. I drink enough hot drinks, and wash up enough to know that this was a mug.

I told Alex that I wanted to leave it as a surprise for Christmas… but he was too excited…

“Here’s a clue! You can drink from it!!!!”

I told him that I didn’t want to know, that it would ruin the surprise and fun, so he agreed to keep quiet.


Later  in the evening Alex was sat next to me on the couch, with Chris the other side of him.

“I bet you can’t guess this years presents!” Chris smirked…

I looked at the bottom of the tree… “Hmm, is one of them a mug?” I said straight-faced.

“No!” she exclaimed.

IT’S GOT LAND ROVERS ON!!!” Shouted Alex in excitement!

“Oh great! There goes the surprise….” she said as Alex took away any doubt at all.

Later still when Alex had gone to bed, we were sat watching some TV when Chris said at least I still had a couple more gifts left as a surprise.

“Oh….” I said “The ones in the DVD sized packages?”

Damn you…. at least you don’t know what they are!” she said…. confirming that they were indeed DVD’s.

Well, one of them must be ‘Senna’.” I replied – as this was one I had asked for.

She defiantly said “NO! It’s not…. I bet you can’t guess what the other one is…

So one is ‘Senna’ then…” I smiled….

Damn you…..

It’s not that I want to know, It’s just that I can’t say no to a challenge…..

I still won’t open them until Christmas day though. Patience is a virtue.



Goodwood Breakfast Club November 2011…

Goodwood Breakfast Club November 2011… Mostly 4×4 trucks, sports, classics… & our Landy. PHOTOS HERE.

This was our Series Land Rover’s first time on the Goodwood Circuit for all to see…. and old Frank got a lot of interest. I was surprised at how many people stopped to look over the 1977 88″ Landy, and how many questions people had.

It made our day that ‘he‘ had so much attention and praise… and many photo’s taken!

Goodwood Revival – The other bits…

This year we didn’t see much of the racing. We spent most of our time taking in the static cars and aircraft, the shops and stalls… and the fun fair.

Alex (5) wanted to go on the rides. He started small and moved up to the Dodgems with me…. and then a family ride on a violent Waltzer! Alex is very keen to go on a roller-coaster, so I figured a few smaller rides would see how he coped.

I thought the Waltzer would be too much for him, but he watched from the side and still wanted a go. He loved it….. so it’s roller-coasters next year!

As in my previous post, the SPITFIRES stole the day…. Not a lot could contend, even though the event had plenty to offer.

Anyway… here are a few photo’s… (with more in full size HERE)

There are plenty more photos – in FULL SIZE… OVER HERE on FLICKR

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.


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).


  • 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.


  • 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…


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.

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