Tag Archives: Petrol

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!

A Land Rover Runs Through It

The A3 tunnel has now opened as part of the new Hindhead bypass. SEE HERE FOR DETAILS.

Alex wanted to drive through it after seeing it on the news, so we took the Land Rover for a trip under The Devil’s Punchbowl.

The tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the UK (at present) to not pass under water. It’s a pretty neat bit of engineering, and has a few facts (interest levels dependant on if you like tunnels….)

  • 963,959 cubic yards of earth was excavated during the tunnel’s construction
  • The fuel consumption rate of the excavators was 528 gallons of low-sulphur diesel per day
  • Digging the tunnel took 290,875 man-hours
  • 378,599 cubic yards of concrete were made
  • 1,399,034 man-hours were worked without an accident
  • The tunnel contains 156 miles of cable
  • The tunnel lights are twice as bright as the ones at the Old Trafford stadium
  • The tunnel has 104 CCTV cameras
  • The fire main tank can hold 8,358 gallons of water
  • 4,322 people worked on the project

(Info from Wiki page)



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!).


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!


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.


TOTAL Customer Care

I fill up 60 litres a week (my car does over 55mpg). Currently it’s costing around £80 each fill up.

Recently the price has been going up each week, and this is putting an extra few quid on each weekly fill up… Not good!

Last week I went to fill my car up with diesel and was happy to see the price on the billboard at the entrance hadn’t gone up since the previous week. Sure it was 136.9p per litre, but it hadn’t gone up in a week!!! Woo hoo!

I got to the pump, got out, opened my cars filler cap, picked up the nozzle and noticed the price was 137.9p per litre. Different to the board by 1p… Sure, just 1p (60p more to fill my car), but annoying that the price HAD actually gone up this week, AND was different to advertised at the entrance.

Yeah, probably an oversight during a price change, although the cynical side of me did think it was a cunning way to get customers in, only to find the fuel was 1p more…. but hey, by the time you’re at the pump you’re not likely to say “sod it” and go to another gas station….

Anyway, I mentioned it to the cashier, who apologised – so score 1 on customer service. A bit later I looked online and sent TOTAL an email because that price board was misleading, even if the cause was completely innocent.

I might sound a bit “Victor Meldrew-esque” but I believe that if people aren’t going to do anything about a problem, then they shouldn’t moan about things.

One polite email later and I received an apologetic letter and a £5.00 gift voucher from TOTAL. Score 2 to customer services.

So there you go. It goes to show that a polite email does work better than just mindlessly complaining to anyone in earshot but not actually doing anything about the problem.

£5.00 eh! That’s 500 times more money than the budget knocked of a litre of fuel… Nice one TOTAL.


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