The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, October 24, 2016 15:53:44
Today I found myself running the Dad errand of taking my youngest daughter to her first job interview. Seeing as the old Disco that has been sat for a week that was my chariot of choice for this small run.
All was going well, in fact the old girl was running just fine as I sat there chatting with the baby of my family, until something caught my eye in the rear view mirror.
There were plumes of thick blue smoke pouring out of the exhaust. Hmm that shouldn't have been happening of course so I looked down at the temperature gauge which was sitting quite unhappily in the red.
At this point I had two choices. On the one hand if I kept driving I doubt much good could come from whatever was happening to the engine but on the other if I stop now in what is essentially my back up motor that has been slowly falling apart my daughter would miss her interview. No brainer really, I kept going. It was only a few more miles and the old boy made it no problem.
As she trotted off to see if she could get a job I popped the bonnet and had a look to see if it was anything obvious. The coolant was low so I topped it up after the engine had cooled down.
With a shoulder shrug to myself I dropped the bonnet down and decided not to worry about it. When my daughter returned with a smile and a "It went alright" we started to head home.
It ran hot once more but to add insult to injury the nearside front brakes started to play up again. Every time I braked the Disco tried to shake itself apart. If you imagine a warped disc that had cracked and each time the pads go over that crack the wheel tries to break free of its nuts...yea it feels just like that.
This would be coming from the side that has been rebuilt several times now so that along with the now warm engine means I am done with it.
No more money will be spent on an old Discovery because I now have to make a choice.
I can spend my money on trying to fix an ancient Discovery that has done over 200,000 miles or on the 110 that is months away from completion but any further delay will in all honesty will leave me with such a distinct lack of enthusiasm that the project may never be completed.
So now I own two Land Rovers that don't really work. Typical eh...you have to love the green oval reliability. Now then do I strip it or sell it scrap???
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, October 17, 2015 17:05:39
Welcome to the sale of Brian my off road ready 300tdi Discovery 1 on an L plate.
Brian was completely standard when I bought him about six months ago but after a restoration I had just finished on a Series 3 I was a bit bored and decided I would get him off road ready so I could play with my Land Rover friends on all manner of different off roady sites.
For the start of his life he was used for years and years by the Sea Scouts in the middle of Lincolnshire no where near the sea who then got bored of him so sold him on without a care for the service he had faithfully supplied onto the first and highest bidder. Then he changed hands a few times eventually ending up on my doorstep ready for his transformation into an off road beast that could tackle any mountain.
The work was extensive on him and included:
- 235 85 16 INSA Saharas on Disco Steels that have nearly new tread including the spare.
- 2" lift kit fitted All round.
- Front Winch Bumper.
- Full Service.
- Rear Diff replaced.
- 200tdi prop conversion.
- Rear ball joint and fulcrum replaced.
- All track rod ends changed.
- New rear steering bar.
- Cb fitted.
- Light Bar fitted.
- Safari Snorkel plus 200tdi air box.
- EGR blanked off.
- Rear anti roll bars removed.
- Both sills welded up.
- Both rear wheel bearings fitted.
- Clear front Indicators.
- Rear arches trimmed to accommodate bigger wheels.
- New boot floor welded in.
- Fan Blowers replaced.
- Pre heat relay replaced.
- Steering guard fitted.
- Diff guards fitted front and back.
- Cam belt was changed at 144,000.
The speedo stops working every now and then but a new sender is supplied and I was also going to overhaul the whole fuel system just because that was the only thing that hadn't been done so I will include a sedimentor and a lift pump as well so if the new owner wants to do it themselves they can! I am sure I have another oil and fuel filter kicking around as well so I will chuck these in too.
So now he was sat all ready to go and smash those off road sites with the confidence of the well prepared and knowing that just about everything that matters had been replaced or just sorted out! First trip out I sat in my pride and joy smugly having photos taken of me looking like I knew what I was doing before setting off onto the breach, I was full of excited anticipation but after an hour (and I am being generous to myself here) I realised that even though I love the social side of things with the Nottingham Land Rover Club it turns out I am an old fart Sunday driver who is more suited to taking in the scenery than bombing up and down hill sides or wading through puddles deep enough to drown in.
Shortly after this admission to myself and with the laughter from my friends still ringing in my ears who have now renamed me a big girls blouse a nice 110 Defender has come along for me to restore and potter around old fart style in which is much more suited to my tastes and abilities...honestly the Mrs was better and braver off road than me.
Wifey has reliably informed me in no uncertain terms that “we” cannot afford to run two toys so I must part with one of them, trust me here I know I can afford to run two toys but when she who has to be obeyed has that head on and the bit between her teeth it's best to just nod your head then agree saying “yes dear” but I have to grudgingly agree there is no point having two because they wouldnt both be used on a regular basis so here now is our Brian up for sale.
Now I will admit that he looks great in the photos but I will point out that he had just been washed and is not anywhere near that shiny he is also scratched down both sides from my off road adventure so please bear that in mind if you want to buy a pristine show room condition Discovery because you will not find it here!
Please feel free to come and view and you can even take him for a drive if you can prove full insurance cover and I have the full asking price in my hand because if you break him you have bought him!
On the other hand I am happy to take you for a spin around myself then there is no stress either way.
I am located in the NG5 Sherwood area of Nottingham.
SO why would you want to go and build yourself an off roader when there is one sat right here freshly made then driven like a girl by me and basically ready to roll! Hopefully the new owner will have a bigger pair than I had and will enjoy playing off road with Brian like he was made to do!
Any questions please ask away and feel free to call any time from 9am to 9pm but please leave a message if no answer and I will call you straight back.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, October 16, 2015 18:21:29
I sat on my coffee break at work a couple of days ago drinking a cup of brown something that the machine throws out for twenty pence whilst perusing the tinterweb on my mobile phone, that is when it wanted to let me because it likes to glitch when you least expect it, when I chanced upon an advert for a 110 ex MOD 1980 something for a price that made me look twice.
I have always wanted a Defender but thought that I would never be able to afford one and I know I know before all the history buffs jump in this isn't a Defender but a 110 but that's close enough for me. Now I had a read through the ad and a read through again checking that it only needed the work it said it needed getting rather excited about the whole prospect when reality hit that funds are more than a bit tight with us saving to buy a house because Wifey says "We need something to grow old in" putting on the kids sounds like more of a plan to me but hey ho I just do as I am told but I needed a cunning plan putting into place before I could even consider this purchase.
So I got home and tentatively approached the subject with my nearest and dearest (she reads this blog) and with no hesitation she said "buy it". All matter of fact and no messing about... I couldn't believe my luck! She then went on to say
"Buy it, pick it up with Brian and a trailer then when you get back stick Brian up for sale to put the money back into the house fund and use my car while you rebuild the 110 because we both know that a Defender is what you have been slowly working towards".
My chin hit the floor! I knew I was onto a winner marrying this woman many years ago but she really knows me inside out and backwards and is the best Wife a man could ask for. Now before I get too soppy sounding I have a time limit on this exercise to get the cash back in situ which isn't too tight but tight enough and if i were to fall short and put the house buy in any jeopardy my life would not be worth living in fact I would probably be looking for a new wife minus some of my more important appendages but lets not go there!
To cut a long story short a price has been agreed and I will be collecting my 110 a week tomorrow and upon my return poor Brian, who has just been MOT'd, will be up for sale the same evening if not before but with a proviso that I have him until next Sunday.
Do you know anyone who wants to buy an off road ready Disco that's been driven like a girl so far?...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, October 11, 2015 12:42:54
Well I had a surprising start to the day this morning and no to the perverts among you the Wife did not wake up early and bring me tea in bed along with a gentle awakening no it was a bit more surreal than even that.
I sold on fleabay a razor bonnet I bought for the Series 3 "Mator" rebuild because I decided against changing him away from his original set up. The chap who bought it arrived nice and early as well as bang on time at 08:30, I love folk who are timely in nature there is no need to say you will be somewhere at 08:30 then turn up at 09:30 saying "oh did you actually have to be somewhere else doing something you wanted to do rather than waiting in for me?", and we walked around the back back of the house to get the part in question.
As always happens with another Landy nut the conversation was quickly turned to all things green oval and it came out why I was selling a series bonnet when there was a Discovery on the driveway there was a look of recognition on his face and the chap seemed to look me up and down with a smile and said "Oh are you THAT Nicky Smith?"
I have to admit this took me by surprise because even though I know the book has been selling a mere few copies here and there it has never really dawned on me that anyone outside of my circle of family and friends has ever really read any of it. I know that sounds stupid but you just don't do you I mean why would you? Anyway it sort of threw me a bit and I said that yes that was indeed me and it turned out this chap was reading it through The Landy newspaper that are publishing bits here and there of it.
So this was a new experience a dawning if you like in my hectic brain that out there in the real world folk really do read my drivel writings and it still surprises the hell out of me but fear not my head will not grow in size because only I have the access to see exactly how many copies of my book have been sold and I expect that this will be a once in a lifetime event!
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Tue, October 06, 2015 21:10:32
I was surprised to get a phone call at lunchtime whilst I was just getting stuck into my beef burrito after walking away from another driver induction that was about as much fun to teach out as pulling out my own pubic hair one by one with a pair of rusty tweezers due to the complete lack of interaction from the driver being taught to say that Brian was ready for collection already!
Another £130 down but hey A) He was done B) He was done two days early because another job that was supposed to be in this morning didn't turn up so Brian got dragged out of the corner and his small list of minor fixes sorted quickly!
Wifey had to go and collect him for me then upon my return from work informed me it had been quite some time since she actually had to "drive" a car instead of just gently plodding on in one but both Brian and Wifey seem neither the worse for wear!
It is indeed good to have him back again because this morning when I jumped on my motorbike all I got was a fizzling/sizzling noise when I tried to start it up and seeing as the Landy was in the garage I had to steal Wifeys car for the day because all of a sudden we were down to one vehicle which I did not like at all!
The bike will need looking at but seeing as the rain has not stopped for most of the day I will try to have a stab at that issue tomorrow, it's just nice have the Land rover back that now only needs a couple of jobs sorting out...
Just the sedimentor, lift pump and a good service to sort and maybe just maybe we will be good for the winter. Nope I am lying the trailing arm bushes want changing over as well then we should be good for winter. A rebuild wasn't on the cards for Brian when I bought him but he seems to be getting one slowly but surely!
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, October 05, 2015 15:47:05
There was a tale of a man who bought an old Discovery, it was Grey in colour and it was a happy little truck that just plodded on needing no major work at times it did need the odd fettle here and there but all of the little bits that needed changing just came off of the truck like they were nice and new ready for the healthy parts to be put back on.
The man and the truck loved driving around the the perpetual sunshine having adventures smiling as they did so...
Wouldn't that be a great thing eh but as any Land Rover owner knows a complete fantasy. Brian's new name is Brian the Bastard because he really is, I have never known a car that fights back as hard as he does on anything that has to be done to him. Last weeks adventures consisted of changing the track rod ends which would be an easy task of course but they were all rusted solid and in the end I did manage to change over the front steering bar ends but the back bar would not give them up for love nor money! In fact I smacked that damned bar soo hard that it ended up twisting around on itself so I had to buy a new one and seeing as I was buying new I decided to upgrade to heavy duty bars. When I went to Paddocks after calling them to check they had them in stock I set off into Derbyshire to collect them only to be told when I got there that the 40 odd pairs of Heavy Duty bars they had in stock did not have any locking nuts with them so with a heavy heart I bought another standard rear arm instead.
In all fairness it did not take long to then refit the bars and track rod ends and Brian took them on with no moaning at all so after a three day fight he was ready for a test drive. A quick blast up and down the ring road showed me that my turn count was a bit crap and that Brian was pulling to the left like a drunken dwarf on a stag night that has had a mild stroke so off to get him tracked up I went.
£40 later Brian drove straight and true once again and seeing as I had replaced the steering damper as well it was a new driving experience in him unlike the normal constant steering correcting that had to be done in him!...
OK so I was now pretty much convinced that I had done all I could to get Brian ready for his MOT and seeing as I only had one weekday off before this was due I took him early this morning for this annual torture. All was going well to start until the emissions test came up which Brian failed pretty damned miserably. Then there was the rookie mistake I had made after fitting the rear ball joint and forgetting to put the split pin through the damned bolt but that was no biggy. The biggest problem was when the tester noticed noticed the rear brake pipe was out of it's holding clip on the rear axle and when he moved it to pop it into place (whilst I was watching I hasten to add) it split cleanly and started to pour, and I mean pour, the brake fluid out. On closer inspection it looked like someone/thing had cut into the pipe so who the hell have I upset there then? I am just hoping I have caught the pipe when off roading rather than someone having it in for me!
So now I cannot drive the bloody thing home and I have no way of getting it back once it was fixed before the MOT runs out because the garage I use is not open on weekends so a price was haggled and agreed with the garage to fix it during the week and Wifey will have to collect it and drive Brian on the road for the first time.
I have to admit that I did consider throwing the towel in with Brian just for a few minutes and going to buy myself something a bit more sensible but hopefully with these last hurdles jumped Brian will give me some nice reliable driving for the winter to come...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, October 03, 2015 18:18:50
I should fill you all in on the fun I have had over the last couple of weeks fixing Brian's track rod ends ready for MOT but it's still too raw...maybe later.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, September 27, 2015 19:21:54
It hadn't been going too badly if I am honest. The other evening I decided to tackle the rear wheel bearings and it all went rather swimmingly with the half shafts coming straight off along with their bolts then the problem was instantly obvious with the bearing locking nuts being loose to the touch. I tightened them up and Bob's your Uncle problem solved.
With that done I decided to tackle the track rod ends next on the front steering bar. There was one on each of the bars to be done but I thought start at the front and work my way back it wont take long. Turns out Brian decided it was time for a rematch after me winning the first one of the rear ball joint and my god did he put up a fight. The first track rod end came off of the hub easy enough but would not move off of the steering rod so I decided to remove the whole arm and tackle it off of the motor itself. This is where the real problems began, the nut came away easy enough but I could not get the whole track rod end out of the steering box arm for love nor money. To make things a little more interesting I didn't have the room to whack a hammer on the end to shock it out because of the steering guard and even on full lock it didn't come away clear enough to give it a good whack.
After hitting my own hand and thumb a few times I gave up and decided to buy a ball joint splitter to help out but seeing as all of the shops were now closed it would have to be bought on Sunday morning.
First things first though it was Sunday morning after all so we took advantage of the warm day heading off to a car boot sale. Wifey and I fancied a bit more of a lazy day for a change so we meandered around the sale and to my amazement I came across a chap selling tools who had two types of ball joint splitters for sale brand new so a deal was struck for the pair costing me a grand total of ten quid! This saved me a trip to the shops and is the second time in two visits I have found what I needed at this car boot...someone must be helping me out from somewhere!
When we got home Wifey headed back out to visit her mother whilst I insisted that I had to sort out Brian (score to me I got out of an in laws visit!) and I set to attacking the stubborn arsed track rod end hitting my bloody left thumb with a hammer straight out of the gate (Devil getting me back for the in law thing).
A few good whacks with the fork type of splitter and the arm was free. Using a rather large hammer again I managed to quickly persuade the old track rod end that it's time was up and off it came quite willingly! After counting the turns off and fitting the new one I decided that seeing as the arm was off I may as well replace both ends or I may be doing the awkward job again before long. This does mean I have to buy another pair for the next arm but for the cost at least I will know it's all been done and that's some good peace of mind.
Next jobs then will be track rod ends on the other bar along with replacing the trailing arm bushes and bolts. There is also the sediment filter bypass to resolve and a good service but I really do think that is all that sits on the list for now. No no I am lying the lift pump might want looking at but I will see how the filter bypass does first.
Don't you just love owning a Land Rover!
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, September 23, 2015 19:47:32
A little brown package was waiting for me when I got home last night from work full of all sorts of shiny things along with the new fulcrum and rear ball joint for Brian. So today when I got in from work at a reasonable hour with some daylight left I thought it would just be a matter of mere minutes to put it all back together getting Brian back onto the road once again...I was sorely mistaken.
The first bolt dropped through like a charm but the second bolt went in a bit but then got stuck, I mean really stuck fast so it wouldn't move in any direction. With a sigh I stripped the whole A frame back off and set to getting the bolt back out with a rather large hammer and a strong sense of de ja vu. With that done I then drilled out the holes again clearing any remnants of crappy rust copper greasing the lot up and the bolts dropped back into place no problem at all. That was more than could be said for the rear ball joint arm that I just could not get the right angle on so I removed the A frame bolts on the chassis again and dropping the ball joint into place. With that done I then had to lever the A frame mounts back into position with a pry bar slotting everything into the place again.
That sounded quite easy didn't it but I can assure you it was fifteen minutes of messing around moving bits around straining like mad to keep the arms still long enough to slot the bolts through with my other hand but a little patience a lot of internal bad language that eventually turned into maniacal laughter and all was well again.
With aching arms I then set to tightening up all of the nuts and bolts then literally throwing all of the tools I used into the back of the Disco, jumping into the driving seat and going off with bated breath for a quick spin to see if the awful loud banging had finally gone. I am glad to say it has! What a difference it has made it is pleasurable to drive once again so now all I have to do is replace the rear wheel bearings and track rod ends...bearings first I think as they are quite noisy so lets see how quickly I can bugger that up and make a meal out of it ;)
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, September 20, 2015 16:10:40
After a pleasant morning meandering around a car boot sale in Tansley then a cheeky relaxed lunch in the sunshine at Matlock park we arrived home to the task of attacking that bolt stuck in the A frame arm and fulcrum again for Brian.
Well nothing had changed but I did come up with a cunning plan of taking it to the local quick fit and bribing them to have a go at it with an impact gun so off I toddled and they willingly obliged but there was no luck with the gun so they stuck it into a press to see if that would have any effect....nope bugger all moving so after another ten minutes they threw in the hat and I brought the bloody thing back home again.
I then set to having a look around the many sheds that litter my back garden I happened across a rather large sledge hammer. I looked at it and decided that seeing as all other options had been exhausted what the hell did I have to lose? I set to lining up a few good blows to try and loosen up the bolt and I did managed to make it move a bit off of the a frame arm which was progress! Smashing away happily making my back ache and sweating like a pig I managed after 20 hard minutes of sledge swinging to get the fulcrum/rear ball joint off of the arm but with the remnants of the bolt still stuck in it because the only way to make any progress was to grind the bolt head off first.
Pleased with myself I put my now freed a frame arm to one side and thought I would drill out what was left of the bolt in the fulcrum bracket but after chewing quickly through three drill bits I threw in the towel to call it a draw. I got the arm back but the bolt kept the bracket so sod it I will splash out and buy a new one with the ball joint already fitted because I have wasted enough of my time on this now and by the time I spend out on more drill bits etc I will be spending about the same anyway!
Hopefully I will get the part delivered one day this week along with new bolts and maybe just maybe refitted by the weekend...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, September 19, 2015 20:04:33
After a really nice day out at the LRO Show in Peterborough meeting up with a good friend and his Dad as well as taking Wifey along of course we got home late afternoon/early evening and I figured there was still enough light left to have another stab at that bloody rear ball joint on Brian.
I donned my man sized baby grow and set to attacking the bolt again with my new 30mm spanner to no avail so I heated the arse off of it then took a chisel along with a bloody big hammer and 60 seconds later the nut lay on the driveway in two very hot halfs. As I was wielding a hammer I then set to smacking the ball joint out of it's socket which wasn't that much of a problem. There was no way I was getting the seized bolt out of the fulcrum point so I took half of the A frame off which was fun and saved me from hitting the gym for a week with that sort of arm workout on yet another 30mm nut and bolt seriously I will soon have forearms like Popeye.
So round 2 to me I have the bloody off of the Disco and it now resides in my shed soaking in some oil to see if it will help with shifting it but if I have no joy tomorrow I will have to go off on a hunt to see if I can bribe someone with an impact gun to give it a go on. I suppose I should also order some new bolts and the rear ball joint because I could not find either at the show today much to my disappointment! On a more positive note my friend has offered to take the old one away to his work and press it out and then press the new one in :) Thanks again for that chap you know who you are ;)
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, September 18, 2015 20:22:49
Seriously I am going to go and buy a gallon of petrol then I am going to go and take one of my Zippo lighters from my collection on the shelf, pour the petrol over Brian making sure the windows are left open so the oxygen moves freely throughout the interior ensuring a good flame stand back and watch him burn back to the depths of hell that he was spawned from.
Why oh why does he have to fight me every bloody step of the way when any work needs doing to him? The rear ball joint is fubar and the banging noise has got to the stage now where I will not drive him any more on the road without doing some repairs. Seeing as I am off to the Land Rover Show in the morning I thought I best hold off on ordering any parts online in case some thing turns up there but this was not going to stop me from making a start on stripping out the old ball joint.
It did indeed begin well enough with the first bolt literally falling out of place but that was where my good fortune finished. Nothing else will move...at all...forever I am sure. The split pin has snapped off in the bolt on the ball joint with a bit sticking out of each side which will be just enough to stop the nut from moving. The second bolt holding on the A frame is seized solid not just solid but a big hammer wont move it solid. It took me over two hours to get to the "sod it I'm not doing any more and walking away" stage and nothing more than that first bolt that fell out within two minutes has moved.
On top of that since I fitted the other quieter rear diff it turns out that the rear wheel bearings were about done because the noise coming out of them is horrendous and in all fairness they did look a bit grim when the half shafts were out. The track rod ends want doing and seeing as the MOT id due in 6 weeks Brian can stay off of the road for now be fixed up properly and serviced to boot. That is of course if I can get this sodding rear ball joint off because if I cannot I am getting the grinder out and chopping him into very small bits that I can put in the bins locally a few bits at a time getting rid of the body slowly but surely making sure they can't be traced back to me.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, September 13, 2015 17:26:24
Today is a good day. I went to a car boot sale with Wifey this morning and managed to pick up a spare wheel for our little Ye Olde Tea Shoppe caravan for the bargain price of seven quid! This made me smile because I only yesterday I priced up and brand new wheel and tyre for sixty five pounds and I thought that was quite reasonable so to save myself that much is superb and I could not believe my eyes when I saw it just lying there next to someone's old clothing and tat!
Then we headed straight out for a brisk three and a half mile walk enjoying that last of the summers warmth walking through woodland...
but then we headed home for what needed to be done chore wise....Wifey took the indoor stuff and I ignored what I was supposed to do setting to changing out the Diff and doing the 200tdi rear prop conversion on Brian instead.
I have never changed a diff before but I had been told by my landy friends the whole process and how easy it is to do and they really were quite right!
I soon had off the old rear propshaft and doughnut then the half shafts came out no problem...this really was going too well for working on a Land Rover but undeterred I carried on regardless.
I had to scrape off copious amounts of concrete dried mud from several different off road sites to get to the diff housing bolts but they all played ball after a little encouragement and the diff was soon out. They weigh a bloody ton when you are lying on your back under your motor but if you have a cunning plan like I did you can save yourself some strain and pain by getting a plastic box of sturdy construction of course about the same height as the diff and slide it out and onto it then the same in reverse when refitting the replacement.
With that back in place and sealed up I lined up the 200tdi prop and then refitted the half shafts sealing as I went along. After all the bolts were tightened up I filled the diff with oil and took Brian out for a spin waiting for something to go bang because I had done it wrong but no it was all good! In fact the pick up is much better than before and the bang/play of the old diff has disappeared completely...
The whole job only took a couple of hours and that was with me not having done it before or much of a clue moving old bolts that have not been moved for years, I have no doubt that the next time I do it it will be much much quicker.
SO that's another job down on Brain and the track rod ends are next I was going to do theses one evening last week but thought as I was about to set to it that seeing as I had a pair of brand new track rod ends I may as well pick up a heavy duty steering bar and change the lot in one go so if anyone has one kicking around for sale let me know!
A good day had indeed and now I am off to have a beef stew dinner :)
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, September 07, 2015 19:46:56
A friend is breaking an old Discovery so I of course started sniffing around to see what was available. I came away with a few bits which I will add on to the price as and when I use them but things were mostly bought for spares back up of which I have bugger all at the moment but there was one piece that could be used straight away and was something I had been keeping an eye out for.
It was a back door ladder making it easier to get up to the roof rack when I have the kayaks up there. It was a bit rough but what do you want for a tenner and once it was fitted with a quick lick of paint it looks ok...
It seems to be able to take the weight of my fat arse climbing up and down it as well which is a bonus because hopefully I won't be falling off due to screw failure any time soon.Discovery Project Cost's
Remote Batteries £8
2nd Hand 2" lift springs £30
2" lift shocks set £122
New blower unit that was not needed £20
200tdi Prop shaft that still needs to be fitted £10
Track rod ends £9
Winch bumper and Winch £170
Light Bar £20
Oil filter £3
Power steering pump that still needs to be fitted £60
Ladder £10Total £1182
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, September 05, 2015 19:12:13
It has been pointed out to me that I started to keep the costs of my Discovery project at the begging but now that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
They are indeed correct I have not been keeping the costs written down and there are two reasons for this...
1) Brian is my run around unlike Mator (the series 3 rebuild) who was a full rebuild project so Brian really is ongoing all of the time because he is used a great deal week to week.
2) Honestly I just forgot about doing it and reason 1) is just hot air and a big fat excuse for my mistake :)
So after some scratching around and adding up of sums here is the latest cost listing to date...Discovery Project Cost's
Remote Batteries £8
2nd Hand 2" lift springs £30
2" lift shocks set £122
New blower unit that was not needed £20
200tdi Prop shaft that still needs to be fitted £10
Track rod ends £9
Winch bumper and Winch £170
Light Bar £20
Oil filter £3
Power steering pump that still needs to be fitted £60
CB £20Total £1172
I wish I had not added that lot up! Still in all fairness that's about all I HAVE to spend on Brian but it wont be because there are always little bits that you want to tweak and I hereby promise I will keep a more thorough costing from now on.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, September 04, 2015 20:32:50
After playing off road with Brian last weekend a few things have come up that need looking at including a rear Diff replacement bypassing the sediment filter two track rod ends and fitting the winch bumper that I bought a couple of weeks ago.
The bumper did need looking at though, it had a couple of huge spot lights that are not my thing but the old brackets had been welded on so out came the grinder to put short play to those. The bumper ends were a bit rough with dents and sharp lips along with copious amounts of mud inside so I cleaned them out ground them with my trusty grinder and welded new end caps into place some how managing to kill my welder in the process!
All that done it was time to crack open an old very small tin of Hammerite that surely must hold enough paint in the bottom of it to give a new lease of life to my old bumper...
With that looking better I let it dry overnight and when I got home today the sky was clear and it was only four thirty so I thought I would quickly change the bumpers only because it is only four bolts after all so it shouldn't take too long...my arse didn't it.
Four sodding bolts to remove the old one which in all fairness came off easily enough lulling me into a false sense of security...
Not only was I feeling a tad smug that all was going so well but I was happy to see a distinct lack of rust on the chassis which was reassuring. I jogged to get the new bumper from the greenhouse I had painted it in and managed to smack one end of it into a pane of glass that sang and wobbled for a few seconds but somehow amazingly didn't smash! With another good omen on my side all looked good for this easy change over.
I managed to line up the bumper on the ends of the chassis no problem were with the help of a jack it sat until I started tapping it into place proper with my trusty old lump hammer that lasted two good whacks then disintegrated in a shower of rotten splinters with the head flying off of the metal bumper straight back past my face so close I felt the wind as it passed and the jogger who was just passing behind me literally shot himself as it bounced next to his left foot then up again between his legs past his most sensitive area and past his right thigh. All this of course happened in slow mo and thankfully the head then rolled to a stop next to the gutter of the dual carriageway without clocking any of the passing cars.
I was going to give the jogger my apologies but he just seemed to start running away from me faster and faster as I stood up off of my knees?? Can't imagine why.
Once I had retrieved the lump hammer head I dug out my metal handled hammer and carried on jacking whacking and kicking the bloody bumper into place because when I got one hole lined up the other three were miles out. Not to worry I just bolted one hole at a time and kicked three bells out of it until another hole lined up eventually.
This went on for nearly two hours.
But good old fashioned violence and severely bad language the master of all and everything that fixes it in the end by hook or by crook and low and behold the bloody bumper was in place! It looked just about as bad as before I had painted it from the continued abuse it had taken so I set to seeing if I could drag another coat of paint out of the tin that I had already thrown in the bin thinking there was no way I could get much more from it and I stood back to admire my work. It took me a few moments of confusion to figure out what looked wrong with it when I realised I should really put the number plate back on or plod might have something to say about it...
Looks better than I thought it would! In fact Brian looks like he could do some serious business now...the only problem there is me of course but I am getting a bit braver with the off roading thing honest! I even drove over a hill last weekend that I had no idea of what was on the other side admittedly my friend who was sat next to me did know but that's not the point!
So I will go and pick a few bits up in the morning and keep getting Brian just right and running true. The winch itself is the next big thing to do but I want to do a strip down and refurb on it before on it before it gets fitted so I know all is right.
And to think I thought I needed another project on the drive when I had barely started on this one...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, August 28, 2015 21:37:20
Yet another use for Brian. Bloody love my Land Rover!!!
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, August 24, 2015 09:34:42
Brian got to tow the old caravan we bought a couple of months back for the first time this weekend. I have to say he did better than I expected with the two inch lift kit and bigger wheels fitted.
The old caravan does sit a bit high so I will be buying a drop plate tow bar for him (if anyone is selling one please get in touch!) and there were a few times when we were going over speed humps and especially when we were bouncing down the pot holed rough track to the camp site that I thought the back end of the caravan was going to come a cropper leaving our kit strewn behind us but no with some careful pants filling driving I managed to steer us in the right direction over Rutland Waters version of the Alps without damage...both ways!
I needed to fit a new pair of rear shocks to Brian that arrived last week because his old ones were getting more than a little sloppy but after working on the caravan all day Friday I just could not be bothered to do it, this was a mistake. When cornering at speed with a shed being dragged behind me the pitch and yaw were dramatic at times how i wished I had not been such a lazy git! Keeping it all at or around 50mph worked well enough though and I fitted the shocks as soon as we got back yesterday basically closing the stable door....
Still back to the weekend :) we arrived mid morning in blazing sunshine and temperatures that the Algarve would have been jealous of which was a bit of a surprise seeing as Nottingham had been grey wet and miserable when we left it so we dressed accordingly. Our friends were already there from the night before all settled in and I have to say how bloody easy is it with a caravan? Our friends were camping so you have all that putting up the tent blowing up beds building a kitchen trying to keep food cool thing going on. We just pulled up dropped the van opened up got the chairs out and put the kettle on. I kid you not this took five minutes maximum in fact it took longer to put the bed together that evening (smacking myself in the face in the process) than it did to pitch up.
This was a tester weekend away at Rutland Water in a camp site called Lyndon Top, give this place a go it's really nice and at £7 a night you can't go wrong, to see what else we would need to set up our little home away from home and there were a few things on the list but only simple stuff like extra pots, were to store stuff, a lighter that doesn't burn your fingers when you put the kettle on etc...
An Awning looks like it will be a must if I am honest or at the very least a gazebo just for some shade or somewhere to take off muddy boots etc but the van itself was great fun! It will be wanting something doing with the outside but what yet we have not figured out it just needs sprucing up a bit but we can see weekends coming up where we are out and about walking and riding bikes in the countryside which appeals no end. There are of course the weekends away with the Notts Land Rover Club as well so it will now get some use in fact it's getting more use over the next few weekends than in the last couple of months that we have owned it!
I mean we woke up to a magnificent view of Rutland...
Apart from the old buggers that turned up the day before and decided that out of all of the five fields you could use and out of all of the space in each field that was at their disposal they should park right in the middle of ours in front of us then spend most of the weekend sitting INSIDE their motor home watching TV. Well that's what it seemed like they were doing but they had a dog with them that we all only saw once the whole time so god knows what happened to that poor bugger.
When it came to time to leave it took all of five minutes again to close up shop and head off. There was an interesting metal on metal rattle coming from the front of Brian at times but when we got home and I had a look the only thing I could find was the big recovery U bolt on the Jate ring was resting on the steering guard so hopefully that's the end of that problem. I shall LID (let it develop) it for now and see what becomes more apparent.
The police seemed to take an interest in us as well as we passed through Melton Mowbray. As we were trundling along they were coming from the other direction when the driver looked me square in the eye promptly spun his panda car around then followed me for about seven miles. It was a mile into this rather slow pursuit that Brian's speedo decided to give up the ghost of course and I was judging my speed using the power of the force but I must have got something right because the rozzers soon got bored and turned off of the main road leaving us in peace. Maybe they didn't like Brian or the caravan or more than likely the look of me but hey why worry it gave them something to do. I think they were watching the back of the caravan seeing if it would bounce off of the road giving them a reason to pull me over and earn some extra income for the governments pot.
"Dolly" the caravan is now sat on my drive rather storage as it will be an early start next Saturday going to Avalanche off roading as well as sorting a few more bits out on it. Our first trip out was a success and we are looking forward to the next one...this shed dragging lark might be fun after all.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Thu, August 06, 2015 16:22:01
It has been a great week off so far with us seeing old friends and then popping off over to the Cromer area for a few days just doing as we pleased eating far too much junk food but why not we are on our holidays. We arrived home early evening yesterday and soon settled in having a "proper tasting" cup of tea, isn't funny how tea and the water tastes different in other places but once we move there it quickly becomes the "normal" taste, and Wifey told me her plans for today were going to be shopping shopping and more shopping.
My heart sank because just for a fleeting moment I thought I was going to be "invited" (in the way which us husbands are most often just told) to come along with her to enjoy the day being together but no she wanted to have the day to herself!!!
Hurrah I thought I can play with my welder on the Disco sorting out Brian's sills. So it was a bright and early 09:37 not long after breakfast when I donned my crappy clothes and set to removing the plastic sill covers from Brian to see the true extent of the rot. Turns out the couple of places I had a look before were the worst of the rusty bits because when the covers were off I was presented with this...
In the grand scheme of things this amount of rust is bugger all and the backs of the sills were as solid as the day they left the factory so I had a choice to make, I could cut the whole lot off and fit the box section I have bought ready or I could just pop a couple of patches on for now and fit the box section when and if I do any damage off roading or in the more likely case when the sills rot through again in a different place.
Well I am on holiday so the easier patch it up for now option won me over and if I have to admit it my welding skills are a little rusty so rather than bugger it up big style I thought it would be a confidence booster to do a few smaller patches onto old metal getting back into the swing of it again. There was also the added bonus of if I cocked it right up I could just grind the lot off and fit the box section anyway!
First I removed the battery (learnt that lesson the hard way before) and I got to grinding and cutting up my sheet metal that seems to have been with me for years and years just giving me a patch at a time and regrowing itself when stored in the shed and it all started to go together well enough with nothing catching fire apart from my arms on a regular basis...
Once I ground down the welds that resembled the Pyrenees I set to under sealing the lot covering myself in the sticky bloody stuff in the process that is of course mandatory whenever the tin is opened...
I then screwed the plastic covers back into place along with refitting the carpet trims then stood back with a feeling of accomplishment because it feels like forever since I have last done any sort of rebuilding of a motor and I do miss it.
So yes this was the easier option but I got to get some welding practice in again which for me was needed and Brian is once again in one whole piece with no holes growing where they shouldn't be. I have to admit that I did have a good look around to see what he needs doing next but at the moment it would appear that list is non existent...it's a Land Rover so that will not last very long.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, August 02, 2015 13:31:06
This weekend marks the start of a well earned week off of work and seeing as I had a few hours to myself this morning I thought I would start it off by welding up the end of the box section I plane to use to replace the sills on Brian with.
Now I have not done any welding for quite some time and I have never used gasless wire before but the job had to be done so I cut some sheet metal to size and had a stab using my dusty welder.
It didn't start well with the stuttering through from the welder then when it did start to run through it was blowing holes but with some tinkering on the welder feed speed it all came together well enough...
Not too bad for a first go in a long time it has penetrated the metal perfectly so it's just my technique that needs some looking at (Ooo err Mrs). I don't have the time to start to actually cut the old sills off of Brian today and weld him up that will have to be a job later in the week but at least everything is now sat ready to go. I have a feeling though I will be opening a can of worms when I start to take the old sills off though...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, July 29, 2015 19:08:48
I collected the box section and welding wire for my sill replacements on the old Discovery last week and just need to find some time to get around to fitting them on, I expect that will be fraught with problems and issues but hey that's the best way I learn.
I took Brian off roading last week with the Notts Land Rover CLub up at Holymoorside in Derbyshire and for the first time got to use his new springs and wheel clearance. He performed well but the site was rough and I am not that good yet off road along with the fact that I did not want to break anything which a few folks did loosing lights and bumpers!
The next weekend away is the end of August at Avalanche near Leicester and it will be the first trip out for the caravan as well we are really looking forward to it :)
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, July 18, 2015 19:49:32
The day started early with me jumping onto the motorbike to take it to get some new boots because the ones it had on were a nightmare for commuting on being the more off road knobbly type. I opted for the Michelin pilot 4's as a few friends along with all of the reviews I have read say they are really good all year round and in all weathers.
I have only had the steady run home on them so far so riding like a girl will continue for a while yet until they bed in nicely.
I'm off to some friends engagement do shortly when Wifey gets back in from having her hair done, god I am glad I am a bloke a quick shave of the head and face and I am good to go!, so I had to look around wondering what to do with myself for a few hours.
Brian the Discovery caught my eye and I remembered I needed to remove his outer plastic sills to make sure they were ok before welding on a set of tree sliders. I set to with teh task but didn't get very far at all because as soon as I removed the rear end of the drivers side it was obvious there was going to be some work to do due to the fact the rust dropped out like flour from a bag. The same thing was at the front drivers side with a photocopy on the passenger side.
So new welding wire has been ordered as the last of mine is now rust covered and I am going to have to get some more practice in welding once again as it has been a while since I last practised. I was looking for a new project...looks like I already have one sat on my driveway!
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, July 06, 2015 19:17:47
Brian has been happily plodding along in the back ground here at Smith Manor with only one big bug bear left to fix that being hos temperamental speedo that works when it can be bothered. I will get around to sorting it out at some point as it will need the small unit on top of the gearbox replacing so for now I have downloaded a speedo app onto my phone that gives me a ball park figure when Brian wont.
His other big news is that I have sourced a pair of tree sliders out for him and they will be fitted in a couple of weeks time ready for his first proper off road weekend since his upgrades and including taking the caravan to really enjoy it all properly with the land rover club folks :)
I did scrub him out and fit an air freshener and I am happy to say he still smells like dog. Gotta love Discovery's!
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, June 26, 2015 21:57:44
Finally there is hot air in Brian! I don't need any now of course because it is bloody muggy as hell but when the winter comes I will indeed be a happy fellow with warm and toasty fingers and toes it might even take the edge off of queuing in the rush hour traffic instead of weaving through it on my motorbike but I am sick of winter riding so warm really does sound good.
So when I bought Brian I knew his heater blowers didn't work, all he had was one of those little plug in heaters that are about much use as a fart in a thunderstorm so the issue did really need to be attacked head on, a little searching on the tinterweb and I came up with a replacement blower unit and I excitedly saw it had arrived when I got home from work today.
After a quick nosh up I headed outside and happily changed the units over switched the blowers to full expecting a tornado of air to hit me in the face and....nothing.
Hmm. There was a clicking noise but nothing else so I started to chase the wiring. All the plugs were in place, I found some extra wiring from Brian's sea cadet days that is no longer needed and I figured out how to take out the glove box without breaking it but none of this solved the problem in hand. I set to turning the switches on and off and trying to find where the click was coming from.
Turned out to be a broken wire inside a plug toward the top of the main unit so I stripped it back then refitted it and went back to those switches that have sat dormant for so long.
A quick flick and the blowers jumped into life for the first time in my ownership! I checked that it worked in all directions then sat back with a smile in my face. Then I realised that I ad been playing with lights and electrics all week and I hadn't started Brian in all that time with a battery that is a bit crap anyway. I turned the ignition on again and he only just started with a slow turn of the motor. Just then my eldest daughter turned up so we hopped in and set to for a quick drive to stick some magic juice back into the battery while catching up on the week.
Another job ticked off of the list of what needs to be done..I fitted a jate ring as well and that was an awful job to do and I stopped at one but that's another story. Luckily I have a friend who needs a blower unit so that will save chucking it back on Ebay...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, June 24, 2015 19:42:27
It's been a funny old week in the life of Brian. A lot done but it looks like bugger all as usual but hey I know what's been sorted!
Where to start? Well I will go with trimming back my rear wheel arches because my new 235 85 16's were rubbing when you went up anything kerb sized or bigger! I took advice on what to do and set to marking up and getting the grinder out trimming from the arch side careful to leave attached the lip that sits inside the wheel arch and followed a line down two inches in from the base of the arch. I then "slid" the cut back along teh rear wing and riveted it into place...
This gives me the clearance I need to stop the wheel catching leaving some support on the rear wing.
It was now the turn of wiring the CB in so I ran a live straight off of the battery and fed it along with the ariel wiring through the bulkhead. I set an earth to the body work and wired in the radio itself which promptly set to blowing every fuse that I put in the in-line holder regardless of what I did...so after some research and advice from those in the know it turned out the radio unit itself was shorting out inside, time to source a cheap replacement. I found one and for the princely sum of £20 I now have a fully installed and working CB in Brian for off roading and green lane days...
Did I tell you all that I had fitted the wheels spacers? I cannot recall and cannot be bothered to read back through so lets just say I fitted some wheel spacers to stop the front wheels from rubbing because the clearance adjusters had seized. Well it turns out that was a bit of a mistake because when I drove it at the weekend the bodywork where it has been welded before started to sing like nothing I have heard before! So the spacers were removed and now I just seem to have a bloody annoying squeeking going on from the drivers side rear suspension like rubber on metal...not annoying at all when driving!
I will live with it for now until either I get used to it or something falls off.
I decided it might be time to fit something in the back to cover the bare metal floor and the only thing I had to hand was some old lino so that'll do for now until I get the right carpet...
I still need to sort the light bar out properly but little steps at a time....
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, June 14, 2015 19:18:58
The weather has been crap. Not just a bit pants on a weekend day but pouring down get sodden within minutes when you go out in it sort of fun. So Saturday was a complete wash out from the moment I got up to the minute I went to bed much to my frustration!
I did nip over to see some new friends who were then going off laning but I cried off with every intention of fitting the wheel spacers I had just acquired of of them when I got back but it rained and rained and quite frankly I thought "Bugger that".
Imagine my surprise this morning when I got up and the sun was out! My first thought was to jump on with Brian's new mods but the more sensible part of my brain told me to get my backside out walking in Derbyshire with Wifey which we promptly did. A steady walk of only four or so miles in the stunning green countryside around the Matlock/Cromford area set us up for a nice lunch at the canal side and just as we were done the heavens opened once again!
By the time we got home it had eased away so I jumped onto Brian with the help of my youngest daughter who was really happy to have her picture taken without brushing her hair and all that other stuff young women do because they think they need to...
First wheel off and the spacer in place because the new tyres rub badly on full lock and the adjusters have a) no thread left to wind out much b) the nearside bolt is seized solid...
It didn't take too long to get all four fitted but I must have twisted a bit oddly at some point because as I write this my back is aching enough to warn me of both my stupidity and warning me that I have done enough for one day!...
The wheels sit a nice 30mm further out than they did before and now I can use full lock without skinning the inside of my tyres off!
I then jumped onto wiring in the light bar with the idiot proof instructions another friend had given me. Amazingly I managed to do it without burning out any wiring systems on the motor but only two of the lights on the bar will work at the moment.
At this point the heavens opened again so I jumped into Brian and called the friend who gave the idiot instructions who suspects there may be a wiring fault or bad earth in the light bar itself.
I will check that theory out during the week when it is a bit dryer so for now I have tidied up the tools, locked up Brian's doors and come indoors for a nice roast dinner and maybe a cheeky beer to go with it.
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, June 12, 2015 21:25:53
I have just had to read back through my own blog to see what the last post was about because it has been that sort of crazy busy week with work and life which has left me a tad more confused than normal.
So with that bit of revision done I now know where to carry on with our Brian's modifications and there have been a couple this week in between the chaos of working stupid long hours but the long lighter nights have given me time which is nice!
I picked up a light bar at the weekend and at eight thirty one evening this week I decided out of the blue that there was more than enough light to work by and that seeing as we live on the main ring road four holes being drilled wouldn't be too much noise so I set to work getting it on...
Looks good enough to me :) So I then pestered a friend who's an auto electrician at the Landy club meet to instruct me on how to wire it up. Bless him he was so patient as I stood looking confused then went to get a pen and paper drawing out a dumbass's description of what to do with a relay when I piped up "I have one of those that came with the Disco" and promptly ran out and got it to proudly show him I understood what he was saying. He grinned at me and confirmed that was the one so all I need to do this weekend is pick up an inline fuse and see if I can fry my cars electrics.
On top of this I ordered myself some new clear indicator lenses which arrived today and I decided to fit after my dinner.
Of course it then started to rain while I was eating my dinner but no dear reader I am no fair weather fixer so I donned my dog walking fleece, much to the dogs excitement then disappointment when it became clear I hadn't picked up a lead and no walk was in the offering, and braved the warm rain to fit my shiny new lenses...
Now I am sorry if my excitement seems a bit much over a pair of lights seems a bit much but I love the way they look! It changes the whole front end of Brian's face and even Wifey and my daughters pretended they thought they were great so I cannot be wrong or alone here in my thinking!
The weekends job is to see if I can adjust the front wheels to stop the new wheels rubbing on full lock but for now it's back to my pint of Hobgoblin...
The Discovery Project...Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, June 07, 2015 19:04:18
Well the day has finally arrived to put Brian a big step toward being a grown up off roader, it was time to fit the 2" lift kit and bigger wheels to him.
I popped into Sainsburys on the way to pick up a snacky lunch and a few cans of pop for those good folk that had volunteered their tome today to help me out then set off down the road to start pulling Brian apart.
A quick hello from Wayne who was helping me today and he passed me straight off to another fella called Matt because he was just shooting off to drop off another motor he had helped someone out with but not before giving Matt and I our instructions on getting Brian's ass off of the floor on axle stands, removing his wheels and old springs and shocks. Shouldn't be a problem that but for one issue we had from the out which was we could not find the axle stands. We were told they were in the shed but even after we emptied it we could not find the buggers and it was not until Wayne got back and asked if we had looked up at the shelf high in the air , we hadn't, at the two bright red axle stands that were just waiting to be used. So with that problem solved we set to stripping off the rear wheels shocks springs and anti-roll bars. I had soaked the nuts and bolts last night and this morning with WD40 so they came off ok with the minimal of grunting on my part and with some guidance soon had the new ones in place...
We fitted the new wheels and Brian was soon taking shape...
We freed off the front shocks jacked it high and then put in the new shocks and springs...
Right then I need to point out something about the springs here and it will save you some time and grief... The thicker longer lift springs go on the REAR AXLE and the lower slightly thinner springs go on the FRONT AXLE. Now there was a chap helping out today that struggled for many hours not so long ago to fit hos new shocks and springs only to find when he was done the Disco pointed down to the ground because the springs were on the wrong axles, he then had to start all over again. Now I would not be so mean as to name Matt on this blog that is read by many people because that would be cruel!
As well as helping me out these good folk soon cracked open a BBQ to cook burgers and sausages so none of us were going to be going hungry in the hot sunshine today! Why does it seem whenever I am off out doing some work to a Landy with other folk that the suns shines high and hot in the sky? I am not complaining about the good weather there's nothing worse than working in the rain but the sunburn on my neck is a little raw as I write this ;)
I have to admit here that Wayne really took over on the front springs and shocks because "it would be quicker" and I just became his bitch running tools and gear for him but I am not going to complain about that because he still showed me every step of the way on changing them over.
It soon looked like this...
Talk about the Mutts nuts!!!!!! Brian is starting to look like a grown up now and I am pleased as punch with him. I was worried about what the rims would look like and considered painting them black before they were fitted but I am glad I didn't as I think the green looks good.
Now you would think these chaps had given up enough of their time by now but oh no Wayne jumped in under the bonnet and ripped the EGR valve out and fitted the blanket kit that has been sat in my boot for a few weeks! Yet another job ticked off of the never ending list!
I drove home as happy as a kid in a sweet shop with Brian handling better than he ever has since I have owned him so the old shocks must have been pretty worn out. I pulled up on the drive next to my Series 3 Mator and could not believe how much higher Brian now sits...
He is slightly higher than Mator so should now be much more fun off road!
I would just like to say a massive thank you again to both Wayne and Matt for all of their help today. It never ceases to amaze me how Land Rover folk all chip in together helping out and passing on knowledge to each other and I am now proud to say I am part of that group, I only hope I can pass on as much as everyone else seems to do!
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sat, June 06, 2015 18:57:36
Today we took a step further towards achieving our Old Git status...we bought a caravan. Now it's a nice little two berth thing from 1983 that suits us down to the ground size wise and will be used primarily when we are out with the Landy Club off roading. That was the plan but Wifey is already making noises about taking off for weekends away which I don't suppose would be a bad thing providing it's to somewhere we can have a bit of fun. (By fun I mean walking through the hills, looking at old buildings, drinking and eating in nice places...I should probably already qualify for that Old Git Badge)
So Wifey was all smiles when we collected it and smiling even more when we got it to it's new parking up place and she could get in and have an explore around on how it all worked...
But after a couple of hours of pottering we decided we really did have to eat so popped into a pub a few miles down the road for some lunch. That sorted we took Brian on a magical mystery tour one last time through country lanes on his road tyres. We ended up back at the riverside so I took a couple of last shots of him on these wheels...
We wondered what this selfie thing was all about so had a stab at that as well after a few minutes of fumbling with the phone we nailed it...
I am excited for tomorrows plan of fitting the two inch lift kit and new wheels to Brian and who knows it might make me a bit more adventurous off road! The sun was out all day, I love this time of year, but the wind was blowing well just taking the edge off of it's warmth. That didn't stop us driving down the road a few miles and getting an ice cream though :)
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Mon, June 01, 2015 15:53:52
Brian is quite frankly getting right on my tits. Whatever I set out to do to him he fights it every last step of the way. There is no doubt I enjoy driving him and I am enjoying getting him off road ready but where as Mator my Series 3 was happy being restored Brian is like a grumpy toddler that is not interested in giving you any help at all in what needs doing.
For example today was a nice day off for me and I thought I would just potter along with the few bits that needed doing to him so I chose adjusting the handbrake as a starting point. Not a hard job I hear you say and indeed dear reader you are quite correct it is not a hard job but being the first of the cross overs between the 200tdi and the 300tdi Brian does have a few quirks and after stripping out the electric window buttons I noticed that he had the later version of the handbrake that is adjusted from underneath. So off I toddled to get my baby grow on and crawl underneath him for this fun chore. The bottom of the motor is still caked in dried mud that somehow never seems to drop off of him until you climb underneath when it happily rains down upon me in ever increasing amounts it seems.
After removing the gator I immediately saw that whoever had changed the lever cable over last time had omitted to fit the retaining nut to hold the tension in place. Hey ho that explains why the handbrake is pants then so I did what I could and headed under the bonnet to fit the EGR blanking plate and new pipe.
The engine was warm so I didn't think the bolts would put up too much of a fight but as I went to put the ratchet in place it fouled up against the actual egr valve and because of this it wouldn't slot into place...you could not make this up.
I then had a hunt around my toolbox but nothing smaller came up so my only other option was the steering pump replacement but I have danced that dance before and I was feeling a mite fed up at this point so I walked away from it all.
I am about to buy a 2" lift kit for Brian but who knows what can of worms that's going to open up! He will probably fall apart never to run again knowing my luck...
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sat, May 23, 2015 12:46:54
Just been pottering around on Brian the Discovery wanting to change his steering pump but he doesn't want to give up his old one so advice is being sought about that.
But I realised as I was staring at him imagining what he will look like with his lift kit that I had not tested the snorkel out yet to see if it works properly...
So I grabbed a thick plastic bag, I had mental images of a supermarket one being sucked into the air box leaving me to break any seals I already put in place, hooked it up and over the top of the snorkel and within a few seconds the engine stalled.
With a smile on my face I removed the bag and Brian fired up again straight away so I now do not have to panic whenever we come across any deep water off roading.
Don't get me wrong I haven't changed in myself I am still a Sunday Driver and proud of it but the worry is now gone if I am forced to wade even though I wouldn't want to!
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Fri, May 15, 2015 22:57:47
It has been a long week. I have been covering 12 hour night shifts at work to grab the night drivers for training and I have to say I tip my hat to those of you that work nights on a permanent basis because every fibre of my being screamed against it. I wanted to sleep at work but no matter how tired I was during the night I could not sleep when I got home. No no I could not I have had literally had ten hours sleep over five days which has proven to me that I can function without killing anybody on very little sleep.
The plus side to this shift pattern which is now thankfully over is that I now have a three day weekend! Today being Friday I had the house to myself with no chores so I set to getting on with Brian the Discovery as all of those little jobs are now adding up that need sorting.
Today's challenge then was to fit the actual snorkel to the body work but it was a second hand snorkel that came with no template...
Added to this it's a snorkel off of a 200tdi and I have a 300tdi so there will end up being some changes under the bonnet to make it work. Still the air box issue is for later first I had to fit the actual snorkel so out came a large piece of cardboard that I used as a template drawing the holes I needed onto it then measuring up against Brian I taped it into place...
Then I measured it all again felt a bit sick measured again and took the drill to the wing cutting out the holes needed...
I filed off the off the rough edges knocked out the inner wing as well in the premarked hole...
So with all that done as well as the holes drilled for the bolts to come through to hold the snorkel in place I offered it up to see if it would fit...I was very nervous at this point but hey I had already made the holes so it was all or bust.
It fit into place nicely!!...
I quick tip for those of you about to have a stab at this put a lot of electrical tape around your drill head to protect it from the sharp body work...
I have thought ahead about what to do with the air box issue and bought a 200tdi box along with the snorkel. So I took that apart cleaned it up and resealed it all together again to make it water tight...
so that will be fitted into place at some point over this weekend because today was my youngest's birthday and my parents were on their way up to come out for a nice birthday meal which wasn't that nice, the meal that is not my parents, and what made it worse was when the waitress poured a scolding cup of hot chocolate down my back but hey better me than one of the kids I suppose.
So the sun was out all day and I am glad to see Brian heading the right way ready for whatever off roading can throw his way but he still stinks of wet dog so a replacement interior is next on the list to buy!
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sun, May 03, 2015 19:28:49
I skimmed over on yesterdays blog the fact that I jumped into a mates Series Landy while he jumped into my Discovery to teach Wifey how to drive off road because let's face it I would not be much use there being the Sunday driver I am.
So here I was sitting in this 88" Series with a 200tdi engine conversion wondering how hard the thing was going to hit me once I started going along on leaf springs with no power steering but I did not have too much time to ponder though because as I have said before Wifey is a secret petrol head and she was gone in a flash. So I selected third gear nearly stalled it cursed to myself found first in the typically soupy series gearbox thanking god in my mind that it wasn't just mine that was like it and shot off like a bullet out of a gun forgetting I was in low range with loads of tdi power to play with!
I instantly by more luck than judgement found second and was away. I bounced around grappling with the steering wheel which seemed determined to either lose itself from my grip or break my hands whichever came first.
As I hit ruts and hills I noticed the old boy was very happy just tanking along as if none of it was there whist I sat snugly in the bucket seat that was stopping me from either going through the windscreen or taking a quick exit out if the drivers door. I was bounced thrown around slammed around and I got out of it twenty minutes later smiling like an idiot from ear to ear proclaiming "I want one like this!"
Now don't get me wrong I don't think I could stand a whole day in an 88" anymore than I could stand a whole day in Mator my 109" but I do think Mator will be coming along a time or two this year to the more gentle sites we visit for a bit of a play.
Still today was a wet one as you all will know so chores all morning for me until the sun made an appearance this afternoon when I headed out to Brian the Discovery having to change his wheels. The mud tyres are great fun but noisy which I can live with but one of those now has no tread across over a third of it so the old wheels that came on Brian have been sprayed up and refitted until I source a replacement tyre...
The wheels don't look too bad but I will be happy to see the alloys back on and a nice second hand Insa Dakar has to be sourced cheaply because I still want to put a 2" lift kit on him so bigger wheels will be in the pipeline in a while anyway.
We really enjoyed our off road day yesterday and a big part of that was because we are finally getting the right kit on board protecting Brian which as I have said before puts my mind at rest. Wifey couldn't give a monkeys she just like to drive fast or hard off road and if anything breaks she just looks at me shrugs and says "It needs fixing again"
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sat, May 02, 2015 18:11:30
It has been a hell of a week work wise. There have been loads of drivers coming through needing training so the hours were long during the day leaving me little time when I finally got home to do anything that needed looking at with Brian the Disco.
You may recall Brian's power steering pump was playing up so I had ordered him a new one in the hope of fitting it sometime during the week before we headed off to Stainby off road course with the Notts Land Rover Club today. I never did get the time so I just threw it in the boot with a bottle of power steering fluid "just in case" so really I was just hoping that the pump would hold together for the day which much to my surprise it did!
But before we headed out early this morning I had to set to last night fitting the rear diff guard the front was all sorted protection wise but the rear end was pretty lacking in any sort of cover. As I went to fit it it soon became apparent that it wouldn't fit up between the fuel tank and front of the diff so I was left with a real blonde moment trying to figure out how to get the damned thing on. Then the penny dropped and I jacked up the back end leaving enough space to fit another axle in so the guard was soon in place...
Hurrah!! All ready to play! I have to admit as most of you know I am a bit of a Sunday Driver so I was unsure of what to expect and a little apprehensive to boot but as we finally found the course after driving a couple of miles too far it turned out to be a great place! There was plenty of room and you were not committed to run come what may once you had started along it oh no you could bail out and take the easy route around each bit of it if you so chose too which suited me down to the ground!
I could be an old fart to my hearts content but the strangest thing started to happen while we were driving around...I grew a pair of balls taking steeper hills than ever before as well as ruts that I realised were fine for our Brian who was egged on because this time around he had some sort of protection front and back.
I felt the steering guard catching things I would have before mortified of hitting and for the most part the ground was solid but we did manage to find enough puddles to make a right muddy mess of the old boy...
There were plenty of challenges suited for all levels of folks abilities including a pleasant Sunday amble with nice views if you so wanted it. Wifey got a lesson in how to drive off road as well so is now itching to see what damage she can cause NO NO I mean she cannot wait to start enjoying some off roading of her own...I best start bringing a van full of spares because that woman knows no fear!
Here's a couple of pics of the day itself...
So Brian has had some fun again and I am glad we bought him but the conversion will have to continue though. I have to fit his snorkel a 2 " lift kit and slightly bigger wheels to start with but I have to save up for these bits, apart from the snorkel which I have already bought, and I will be trying to source all parts as cheaply as I can again keeping the price down.
My next day out with these good folks will be on the 31st May at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham at a classic car show so if you are free come down and say hello I will have "Mator" my Series 3 from "The Project Has Landed" with me as well.
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sat, April 25, 2015 18:41:21
The first job on Brian should really be his steering pump but that's £80 I don't have this week so I thought I would have a stab at sorting out his blowers. There are no fans working at all which in all fairness doesn't matter a great deal at the moment but after plugging in the portable fan on the dashboard it soon becomes apparent it is about as much use as a fart in a thunderstorm and is taking up space for no reason at all.
I had an old Transit van that had the same problem with the fans not working and that ended up being the switches so I thought I would start with those. My Ebay specials soon arrived and I set to dismantling the dash board in the Disco but I got to this point and the bloody thing would not come off...
I looked and looked but could not find the problem so after a bit more confused scratching my head I popped the picture on the tinterweb and was soon told that there were two screws under the alarm flashy bar thing. Those removed it all came off so I set to testing the wiring for power and they were all fine. I then plugged in the new switches and guess what...you got it the fans still didn't work!
Oh well one thing down eh and now I have a whole new blower unit lined up to replace the old one which I will get around to asap otherwise the Winter will be upon us before it comes to mind again.
Right I am off to list some bits on Ebay to raise that money for a new steering pump...
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Tue, April 21, 2015 20:57:31
We all now know I am a Sunday driver and the mickey taking has commenced in earnest but hey I can live with it I like my Sunday driving style it doesn't mess up my scones with cream and jam.
Having said that I am not going to be averse to having a play every now and then so I have been collecting parts here and there to help beef Brian up a bit so I stop worrying about breaking stuff! His latest addition is a nice steering guard to save those bars from being bent to buggery along with a nice sump guard. Both were second hand that's where the bargains are folks so I bought them sanded them back and got out the old faithful poundland special black spray and the results are pretty good...
That done I just had to "pop" them on which would of course be easy with only three bolts to undo and one extra to add for the steering guard. The sump guard went straight on no worries with just a little persuasion from a large rubber mallet and then it was time to tackle the existing three bolts for the steering guard I decided to start with the largest bolt that ran through the steering arm thingy bit and I am bloody glad I started with that one because it had been sat untouched since its first time being put there when the Disco was being built.
Not to be disheartened by the fact it would not budge at all I went and got the persuading bar which shattered the socket I was using as if was a cheap piece of tat rather that a decent expensive one and I knew then this was going to be trouble.
After losing skin blood and flesh to Mator on his rebuild I have learn't a lesson and I walked away from Brian at this point knowing I had to give this some thought. My thoughts led me to a friend who has a very good impact gun and with some bribery on my part he let me use it and thank God he did because even with this very expensive powerful tool that I was a little scared of using it took over two hours to get that bolt out of its comfy housing!
Thankfully with that done the rest of the bolts sundered easily and my newly refurbished Steering guard was put into place...
Yep it is a bit mucky in the picture but I could not be bothered to go back around to teh shed and get a rag before taking the picture but you get the idea :) It now has some protection going on so hopefully I wont be such a girl when playing off road!
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sun, April 12, 2015 18:30:17
"Shall we go green laning on Sunday?" I said online well it seemed like such a good idea at the time sat in my armchair with a cup of steaming tea by my side.
So a breezy chilly Sunday Derbyshire 10am arrived and we sat waiting for the others to turn up which to my relief a few actually did and we were soon heading off into the picturesque countryside. Now in my head I was going to be driving down gentle lanes taking in the views at a gentle pace just like I do when we are out walking...I was wrong.
I couldn't see the views because I was too busy trying to keep Bodget Brian in a straight line at a slow pace whilst bouncing up and down through deep ruts because he chose this moment to inform me that his power steering pump was at the end of life and not only refusing to play but actively sticking the wheels in the wrong direction making a tough job even harder!
I had to laugh though I thought it could only happen to me but as the day went on and after we had left two more motors had big issues with engines cutting out and drastic loss of power in that order! But we had already thrown in the towel after a couple of hours and missed these bits.
There was one downhill section that really ended it for us it was a bit tight plenty rough enough and I just couldn't keep it in any direction let alone the one I wanted...this was not what I had set in my mind while I sat in my living room asking who wanted to come out and play!...
All moaning aside it wasn't just our Brian who made it not as pleasant as I was expecting that dear reader was me. I have visions in my head of how I expect things to be and lets say they are not always realistic. I thought I would be taking in the views whilst doing my best Sunday driver impression but when I recognised this thought somewhere along a lane with yet another bank approaching fast even though it wasn't supposed to be I realised that what I was imagining WAS a Sunday drive out and all I was missing was a flask of tea then the penny dropped that was in a bag in the boot that realisation was soil destroying to start with my heart sank I decided I was old then considered what retirement options I had.
Then I accepted and a bit quickly as well because even though I want to go off roading I will with the NLRC and even though I want to green lane I will along nice flat easy ones so I don't shake up my flask of tea too much.
Wifey and I even stopped for lunch on the way home then started to giggle at each other over our dinner table in the restaurant as we looked at the fare we were about to start to eat, turns out we are sandwich tea and cake people aka old farts and we are quite happy with that :)
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Sat, April 04, 2015 20:54:40
Well the big day had arrived I awoke with a great big grin on my face today was the first day I would be going off road not only in my own motor Bodget Brian but I would be driving this time with the Nottingham Land Rover Club where as before I had only been a passenger with them.
To my surprise Wifey and the youngest daughter were also up on time so I loaded up some old wet weather gear much to a strange look from my wife wondering what that would be for along with a picnic for the three of us including the most important hot water flask for tea!
Bodget fired straight up after standing for a week proving all of my usual worrying was a waste of time thinking I would find a flat battery then we headed off for some fuel only a mile away up the road so not much charge would be going in...
But how much fuel to put in? What if he breaks down? I need to stop this crap beating myself up over nonsense that "might" happen says the more positive side of my brain and in goes £30 and Bodget fires straight up again no problems. We are meeting a few of the folk from Nottingham Land Rover Club (NLRC) on the way who will be showing us the way to Frickley so if anything was to happen to Brian we would be surrounded by Landy mechanics anyway that would by hook or by crook get us rolling again.
There was something nice about being in convoy with a couple of other Land Rovers it made you feel like you belonged to something fun with like minded nut cases that just want to play outside in their motors.
We were soon at Frickley meeting up with other members who had been camping overnight and I parked up on some solidish ground to start with Bodgets next upgrade.
The people who form the NLRC are a special breed of folk that you would be led to believe don't exist anymore they are caring fun to be around and always happy to help out. A member who I wont embarrass across the internet by naming them but you know who you are had kindly brought along a set of mud wheels that would fit Brian ready for playing off road today. Not only that but as soon as they were out next to Bodget other folk jumped in to help change them over quickly so we could go and play...
We were soon wheeled up and ready to play but seeing as thi swas my first time out driving one of the NLRC jumped in shotgun to help me out with some instruction on how to get around how best to drive and basically not kill my car or anyone else on the site.
I am glad he had come along because we drove around and into a muddy lane that looked like a mixture of slop and sandbanks. I best say here that this is a pay & play site not a load of green lanes that had been ruined! I took one look at what lay ahead and thought "I am never going to make it through that" but I did as I was told revving the nuts off as we started to get grounded aiming for sloppy lines that took a while to notice bouncing up and down side to side and every time I thought I had a grip on what was going on Bodget would prove me wrong by pitching and yawing completely in the opposite direction! I was loving it! Wifey and daughter were laughing like mad while bouncing around we were having a blast!
I grounded out like a beached whale soon enough and I could not get the motor moving again but I walked out into the slop and grabbed the tow strap that was wrapped around my spare wheel attached it to the accommodating fellow that was driving behind us and got dragged unceremoniously backwards and clear of our mud bank. With a run up and high revs we were over and out it was then we came to the water...I don't like water Brian is not set up for it and I was not going to be going through it. I wasn't the only one to stop either...
It was not long though before someone had a stab at it and soon enough he got stuck...
Luckily someone else had better luck getting over and pulled him out backwards back to dry land. After a few others with snorkels fitted drove over and back we took a new track that was even muddier if that was possible than the first one then we came across the first water crossing.
I have mentioned that today I don't like water I am not set up for it yet but the problem was I was second in line there was no where to turn around and there were 4 or 5 motors behind me. I don't mind saying I was a little scared in that good way when you are doing something you don't want to but also worried about wrecking my new toy. After soem assurance from my co pilot that Bodget would be fine we started wading across and made it safely to the other side with me grinning like the cat that got the cream. I felt that way for another couple of minutes until we hit the next load of water that after watching the chap in front go through it was apparent that this was a lot deeper than the first. Under instruction again I waded on using the left bank to keep my air filter intake up a bit higher but the water was deep the wave was small the revs were high and we were clear.
The relief was palpable on my part but that was then the revs dropped out. They came back again but when put under any big load they dropped out again...Hmm hey ho nothing I could do about it there and then so we ploughed on a bit and I even helped drag another Disco out of the mire which made me feel like a proper landy grown up and we headed back to camp for some food.
I have said before these folks are superb but I mean it they really are as soon as I got back I popped the bonnet up to check the engine over and half a dozen heads were straight under it looking for the problem...
One fella is a diesel mechanic by trade who shrugged his shoulders and said "you just got a bit of water in it nothing to worry about!" then another chap noticed a pipe was off of the egr valve as well and the assumption was some small amount of water must have gone in there but it had passed through ok.
The engine was ticking over nicely again but I wasn't I was knackered. It has been a hectic few weeks in my new job and I had been battling this god awful bug that is doing the rounds all week as well so I decided to cry off the afternoons session. This brought taunts of "scared you will break your car" "didn't last long chap" along with some more colourful friendly jibes and laughter but I was beat. The adrenaline had worn off and I felt like a bag of reheated crap so we washed the worst of the mud off so I could see out of the windows and headed towards home...
He drove home just fine with no more hiccups at all and I was surprised at how well he had done on fuel considering he had spent half of the day having his nuts revved off!
So all in all I have thoroughly enjoyed my first day off roading I have a sound motor that does it's job well and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much abuse these old Land Rovers can take I have been scared I have laughed I have made new friends and I have made it home with my motor all in one piece what more could you ask for?
The Discovery Project...Posted by min200 Mon, March 30, 2015 15:02:54
The weather has sucked in a big way all weekend with high winds and heavy rain just the ticket for when you have four days off and new toys to play with! Wifey and I did do the Easter Egg bike ride yesterday though not caring about the pouring rain and joining about 500 like minded souls on bikes to ride form Nottingham to Mansfield fire station dropping off easter eggs for kids who would otherwise be left out at this time of year. I am not saying this for praise because I am lucky to have a regular job a full belly and a roof over my head no I am telling you all about it because it is fantastic to see how people even those who are tarnished ruffians by a few will turn out regardless of weather to have some fun and pass on a bit of goodness it truly restores your faith in humanity :)
Anyway before I get too sloppy I awoke this morning to the sun in the sky and a whole day to myself so I jumped out of bed my back reminded me I am no longer 21 and set to getting the dog in the back of Bodget Brian (his new nickname) and set off for the woods to enjoy a few miles of walking with no women and no kids in tow. Bodget Brian is now the official dog walking vehicle...
After an hour or so and my dog looking like it was going to have a heart attack we headed back home and I stood thinking what I had to sort before Brian's first off road day that's coming up this Saturday.
I have been warned that it is a bit rough and deep ruts here and there especially in the entranceway that the front bumper in it's standard form would probably be an issue so I crawled underneath to see what I could do to solve this problem as I do not have a winch bumper to fit yet. Looked like the bottom trim would come off easy enough with just half a dozen bolts holding it on...
They came off in a jiffy so I set to with the grinder to cut down the bumper end trims to size...
And off it all came! At least I created a good 12" more clearance on teh front end so hopefully that will be enough for now! As I looked at the finished result...
I thought the bumper metal looked a bit scruffy so a quick spray of good old poundland black paint sorted that...
Maybe a bit daft seeing as I will be replacing it shortly but hey it made me feel a bit better smartening him up a bit!
While I was underneath Bodget Brian I noticed a hole that seemed to be missing a bolt so I will have to ask folk in the know about that...
The picture is taken from below and that's the sump at the sump at the top of the picture I will update next time on what it is hopefully saving someone asking the same daft question :)
So that's Bodget for now I won't get the chance to do much if anything else before the weekend but I will throw up some pictures on how I got him stuck when we get back.