Tag Archives: series

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!

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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.

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.


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.


Are you starting something?

Ali (now 5 years old) thinks the local Halfords auto-parts ‘specialist‘ is a bit of an idiot. He’s not wrong….

Mind you, when it comes to cars, Alex is a total sponge for information (as mentioned in previous blog entries). He is very curious as to how things work, so when I had to swap the old ignition coil out and replace the leads he wanted to help.

 

One explanation to Alex as to how the ignition system works and we then drove off to get the parts. We visited a couple of places to get prices for parts before buying anything.

The first place we visited was Camberley Auto Factors, who are usually pretty good at understanding parts and cars, although sometimes they need a hand, but all in all, they know their general stuff.

The second place was Hellfords… sorry, I mean Halfords… the high-street seller of  overpriced parts to Joe Public and chavs/chavettes who want pink wheels and loud stereos. Once upon a time you could go there and get what you needed to keep your car on the road, but now all you can get are fluffy dice, fat penis compensating exhausts for poxy Citroen boy racer hatch backs and gaudy crap to sprinkle over your pimp mobile…. and the wrong windscreen wipers, regardless of what you ask for…

Generally Halfords (from my experience) is now staffed by people who couldn’t get into the fast food business because they didn’t have the required qualifications…. (Now and then you can get lucky and find a helpful member of staff… but they generally get better jobs and leave Halfords very quickly).

We got the prices from Camberley Auto Factors with no problem, then went to Halfords as a comparison.

I asked the PARTS COUNTER SPECIALIST  if they had an HT lead set for a Land Rover… to which the drone responded in a close approximation to English “Is dat summit to do wiv der stereo?

Alex just tutted and said loudly “Let’s go back to the other shop. THAT man knew what he was talking about…

Spanner? Errr... wassat?

Parts Specialists…? I should have known I was on to a loser with them, especially as last time I asked for a Series 3 Land Rover part, they responded with “Is that the Defender Rover or the Discovery Rover?“…. No, you arse-hats, it’s a SERIES 3…. just like I JUST SAID IT WAS!!!

So we went back to Camberley Auto Factors and picked up what we needed. Once we got home I put all the new parts in place with Ali’s help (and lots of questions about how THIS bit works, and WHY does THIS bit do THIS?). Next I needed to do a bit of tinkering with timing, so Alex ran around to the drivers seat and awaited my instructions….


Worried about safety? Well, he knows to check the car is in neutral before starting up…. but to be on the safe side I had selected neutral on the diff’ too, just in case he accidentally selected a drive gear (this way the car was never going to move with him in it). Ali started the engine up when I asked him, adjusted the choke and gave the engine some throttle when I asked for it. Yes, I could have done it on my own, but he wanted to help, and he made things easier for me.

Timing is nicely set now with the new coil and HT leads working well.

I’m one proud dad… although that’s mostly due to his slam down of the guy in Halfords…

 


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.

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Rallying to the call

The Help For Heroes 4×4 rally continues – and they are doing great!

Series Team are still powering on through Europe!

Please don’t forget the sponsorship page will remain open for the entire rally, and some time after. https://www.bmycharity.com/V2/S2A

We really want to raise all that we can for Help for Heroes 4×4 European Rally – So please, spread the word and give what you can.

Regardless of whether you think our troops should be out in the places that they are, the facts remain:  – They ARE out there, and they are getting killed and wounded.

Saying they shouldn’t be out there doesn’t help bring back the ones who have been killed, it doesn’t help the wounded…. So please, protest all you like about the politics of what is going on, if that’s how you feel, but don’t forget the men and women who have been sent out to do a job under our country’s flag.

Times may be tough, but these soldiers put their lives on the line for us, so let’s show them that we appreciate what they do.

Thanks! Lucas.


Out of puff…

I was going to take ‘Frank’ to work tomorrow…. Pretty long haul for one of my first proper road trips in the old fella…. Carried out all the checks tonight to make sure I was good to go. Filled the tank & seized the filler cap so it wouldn’t seal… Half an hour later with no tools (yet…) I fixed it.

Then went to do the tyre pressures. Oops… These must be the original tyres, what with Frank having only clocked 4300 miles. They are cracked a little… and after a valiant 20 minutes on the foot pump (the forecourt pump just wouldn’t touch it), I had the spare up to 28PSI…. but it was leaking like an M15 document being looked after by Sony….

Photo

So…. I’m not risking over 100 miles of round trip on four geriatric tyres and no spare. Next stop the Internet… Let’s see what I can get for Frank to wear…

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I can be found at:
BLOG: www.sometimespace.com
TWITTER: @lucasblack Sent via iPhone


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!


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