Just a load of old rambling about me and the different things I end up doing...normally projects and builds of some description!
I have also published a book called "The Project Has Landed..." about the Land Rover Series 3 rebuild I did and it can be bought from any amazon website so please feel free to go and get yourself a copy!
If you feel the need or just want to talk feel free to contact me via Nick@nickysmith.me and I will get back to you asap :)
The Books...Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, February 01, 2017 19:39:35 Well it has finally been finished! The first book in the "MY CV" Series that looks back on how easily you could flip through jobs in the past from a very young age!
The following link is for the paperback version but the kindle version will be out in the next few days
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Tue, January 31, 2017 12:56:20 That horrifying moment that you realise the file containing the book you have been writing for 18 months has disappeared from every electronic gizmo you have...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, January 29, 2017 15:02:22 You have probably noticed that there has been very little on the Land Rover front lately. This is for two reasons. The first is quite frankly I needed a bit of a break away from the damned thing. It was starting to grate, as most of you know, on my nerves and the constant working every spare minute was leaving me feeling exhausted as well as fed up with the whole process. The second reason is that I also have a house that I am doing up and after all of the dedication to The 110 the house was feeling a little neglected.
This years plan for the house after last years running start on it was to get the conservatory finished. That is as much as I wanted to put upon myself house work wise and this seems like a good plan. Firstly I had to build up the inner wall. It has been well over ten years since I last built any sort of wall and this took me two days along with a raging back ache! Ten years ago it would have been a day job but even at the spring chicken age of forty three I have noticed I am slowing down in certain areas. Heavy block lifting and wall building being one of them. Patience it seems is a virtue though and the wall is straight and true meaning that I have not lost my knack, only my speed.
That was a couple of weeks ago so this weekend involved deciding on how we wanted the conservatory to look, then going to buy some masonry paint, then some poor smuck had to paint the first coat onto the exposed brick wall...yep that would be me.
The before and after effects are pretty good even if I do say so myself! We will be going with an "Industrial" type look on the painted brick wall with old lights and conduit piping for the electrics.
With this lot going on I had declared to my ever suffering Wife that I would "Not be spending any money on The 110 this month" because we have just been paid.
That lasted about an hour. I ordered the primer and paints needed to make the Landy look good but "That's it. Nothing else for it this month" were the next words out of my mouth. In all fairness to me I lasted about seven hours before a set of chequer plate wing tops and bonnet top came up on the internet at a price I could not refuse...
That's it though I am skint. I am not buying anything else for it this month. I have given my debit card to Wifey and put parental access controls onto the sale pages and websites that suck away my cash. Just nobody tell me they have a cheap 200tdi alternator for sale and I should be alright...
Pic of the Day.Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, January 29, 2017 08:06:55 I love this gravestone found in Bakewell that states, Near this place lies the body. "Well, you know, we definitely buried him somewhere near here Vicar"
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Fri, January 20, 2017 19:33:06 We last left the opposing teams all set at their respective bases counting down the time until the shout of "GO" was shouted out. The with hearts pounding we all started running at each other through the trees diving for the cover of any obstacles we could find to get away from the hail of paint balls that seemed to be coming from all directions both high and low.
For some stupid reason I first tried to hide behind a tree that saw me taking a paint ball to the stomach. Obviously the tree was not quite as wide as I expected it to be nor my stomach which must have been protruding from the very thin trunk (yes I am going with it being the trees fault) making a rather easy to hit target. Thankfully I had lots of padding (a few extra layers not just my stomach)so it didn't really hurt. Having been hit I had to put my hand into the air and walk the fifteen feet back to base to "Respawn". That walk though had me taking a couple of shots to the back as I wandered away from some overly keen enemy... If I am honest the first game was a disaster for me getting hit from all sides and spending most of the time walking back to base getting shot on route. This was confirmed at the end of it by the large amount of paint balls I still had left in the gun. Still not to worry the stag had been hit a fair few times and so had just about everyone else. As gung ho as we all were deciding we were the best thing since sliced bread with guns we were outshone by a trio of lads that had come by themselves all kitted in in their own paintball gear. Now these folks obviously liked to do this sort of thing regularly but when surrounded by twenty "normal" people over two stag parties and a couples day out I am not quite sure why they seemed surprised when they got some responses from things they tried to command others to do. To one guy they told him to "Give us covering fire!!" to which he replied "Waste your own paintballs" Another one was "YOU run left and draw their fire!" to which the response was "YOU bloody run left and get shot" By far my favourite one though was an action. Two of these guys commanded "We all run left...GO!"
Off they ran all by themselves into a hail storm of gunfire and to quick deaths. There was a quick look of smugness between the rest of us through our steamed up visors (I had abandoned the use of my specs inside them after the first game as it was like trying to see through blown double glazing) as these "Professionals" sulkily walked back to the base to respawn to the sounds of sniggers and "well done fellas" from the group. Seriously, why would you try to tell a group of complete strangers who are on stag do's how to play this sort of game. There is strategy for the stag do boys and that is the desire to shoot the hell out of anything that moves from the opposite direction whilst manically laughing your head off.
There were several different settings mostly the longer firing range but one setting involved storming a castle. This was close quarters fighting and quite painful if you were unlucky enough to take a hit. Thinking "Buggered if I want to get shot that much" I decided to chase the flank around to the opposite teams side to catch them off guard. I need to take a moment here to tell you about a young couple that were also playing the games. He got shot as much as the rest of us but she was brilliant! Any gun she used she seemed to be able to snipe you from a long distance with very little effort using only one or two paintballs.
Well, my sneaking was going well. I had used the trees as cover and worked my way around to the opposite teams base without getting wiped out. That done, my bravery started growing so I headed towards one of the entrance tunnels to the castle. I stood listening but could hear no sounds coming from the entrance. Full of bravado I walked around the side in a slight crouch and much to my surprise I found the young couple standing there. He was facing me with a hell of a surprised look in his eyes and she was bent over at the waist looking around a right hand corner completely oblivious to my presence. I didn't think I just reacted. My gun was already up in the horizontal position and firstly it flicked to him as a few shots were fired. A yellow explosion of paint took him in the chest. The gun then flicked to my right where his girlfriend was still bent over looking around the corner leaving a more than ample rounded target swaying slightly from side to side. Before I knew what I was doing I had fired off two more rounds which headed off on a direct trajectory to the twin moons that faced me. The shots were true and could not resist what must have been a slight gravitational pull hitting their target as if they were guided. As they exploded with a "whump, whump" she jumped up high enough to nearly bang her head off of the ceiling whilst emitting a high pitched squeal. The evil side of me was delighted that I had managed to take two of the enemy out and another big part of me thought that the last shots I had taken and the outcome were hilarious! This was very quickly followed by me feeling a bit guilty that I had shot her right up the arse. But if I am honest that last feeling did not last long. She had after all been sniping my team out all day long!
It also turned out I was not the only person trying to shoot the stag at every opportunity that arose but he seemed to have a hell of a knock of not getting wasted!
The day was a good one and the meal later on was superb! But I realise now that I am no longer 25 years old. I am not even 35 years old anymore. I ached from head to toe the following day...well days. My friend is getting married in a couple of months or so...his wife to be set his stag do way way ahead of the big day. I don't think she trusts us enough to take him out the night before I mean he could end up on a train anywhere...or a plane.
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Thu, January 19, 2017 10:19:29 Yes, yes I know my last post had me throwing a tantrum. You saw me throwing all of my toys out of the pram. I spat my dummy out as far as it could go and I was stamping my feet shouting "It's my toy and I don't wanna play anymore" But the sulk is now over. I have stood still wondering where in the hell I went wrong in the Land Rover life when a friend gave me a bit of a talking to.
After reading my last post he simply messaged "Ring me". I didn't want to because I kinda knew he was going to have some cunning solution to what was going on engine smoke wise and it turned out that he did. That and I am an "Arfur Job" fool.
The first question was "Have you plumbed it all in correctly?" which with a roll of my eyes I answered "Of course I have, I am not that stupid." "But have you plumbed it ALL in?" he asked. "Bugger" I thought to myself "Here we go I am going to feel stupid in a minute" was the closely following thought. "Well not all of it. I mean I have not piped up the turbo to the intercooler yet" I replied. "That will probably make it smoke a bit" he told me in a calm manner "Not a great deal but enough from unburnt fuel etc. It isnt the be all and end all but it would probably help. It's been stood for years and then your knackered turbo will have dumped oil around in places so give that a go because the engine will really need a good run out as well. Oh and while you are at it stick some fuel cleaner through it and an engine flush probably wouldn't do any harm either. Nick stop panicking and start plodding through the bits I've said."
So I did. I ordered the bits I needed to make up the bottom intercooler feed and popped the fuel cleaner in. The postman brought me the parts yesterday morning so I set to seeing if my friend was right....again.
After making it all up and fitting the turbo out I fired up the engine and there still some smoke but nothing like what had been before...it was at this point I started to feel a bit stupid along with daring to feel a little bit hopeful. I let the engine run through for about for about half an hour systematically revving up and holding them to get the heat all of the way through the solid metal lump. I wanted to get the coolant nice and hot as well.
As it ran and revved getting up to and holding its temperature the smoke more or less disappeared. I could not believe it! After all of that feeling a bit sick with disappointment thinking the whole thing would be better burning here I was looking at a much improved picture. Yes the power steering box was still shot but that is a doddle of a job compared to pulling the engine apart. An expensive job but an easier one non the less. So thank you my friend, you know who you are, you have yet again advised me well and there a couple of beers with your name on when we next meet up again!
Happy as I am that it is all heading back in the right direction I am changing tack and walking away from the mechanical side for a little while. What I am going to do is put the bugger back together wiring up the lights then prepping the bodywork for painting. I want to get the old boy looking like I want him to. It's looked like scrap since it turned up all of that time ago so I am heading down the "Make it look nice" route. This will show me what I am working towards and I do have this nice car port that I can put it under and seal off to do the job.
My biggest problem now is I had decided months ago what colours I wanted to paint it but know I am not quite so sure! Best to start with the primer then. The rest can sort itself out from there...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, January 16, 2017 15:25:02 You can actually get past saturation point you know. I did not think that that would be possible but it turns out that it is!
But before anymore of that let us head back to the beginning. Our last instalment showed that the turbo was knackered so I had to try and figure out how on earth I was going to afford a new one. Well a kind friend gifted me a 300tdi turbo so all I had to do was do a few modifications and Bob's your Uncle. Sod's law being what it is a few days later another friend called telling me he had a 200tdi turbo that could be mine for a very reasonable price. Skint as I am this month I could not refuse this as it would safe a great deal of messing around so I bought it.
Yesterday was the day to get the old replaced with the new and all went really well for a while. The old unit came off nice and easily leaving just the old gasket to remove and the face there to clean up. A nice new exhaust manifold gasket was then popped into place.
My luck held as I installed the replacement turbo then less the ninety minutes after starting the hole shebang was all back together.
Happy Days!! I thought to myself as I was putting the tools away. All I had to do now was start it up, admire the not blue exhaust smoke and enjoy the whistling sound of the new turbo as it spun in. I connected the battery and turned the key. The engine coughed quickly into life and I reversed it up to the top of the driveway to stop the exhaust fumes building up under the car port gassing anyone unfortunate enough to enter. It was still a bit smokey but not too bad at the moment. I figured it would be burning off the oil that had got into the exhaust system so not to worry. As it got warmer the smoke did not subside. If I gave the engine some rev's it got a great deal worse...and blue.
My heart sank. Everything I seem to do on this motor leads to more issues. It does not seem to make any of it any better. Still not to panic, I let it run up to temperature before driving it back to it's semi permanent spot under the car port. After a bit of online chatting with friends and folks on forums I decided to remove the exhaust to make sure that it was not full of oil....it was not. I then ran the engine again to make sure the turbo I fitted was in good working order with no major oil leaks...it was fine, there was still blue smoke. The bloody power steering box wasn't happy though. It took this opportunity to dump every last drop of fluid it had in the power steering system all over my driveway as I backed the 110 up it...I could have cried.
A bottle of Fairy liquid later saw the driveway usable once more while I popped a drip tray under the steering box to catch the remnants of what was held in the system.
I left the engine a few hours to cool then checked the valve clearances. These are all good and still the engine smokes badly in blue. There is no evidence of the head gasket being the culprit but that of course doesn't mean that it is not. A friend is popping over later in the week for a quick nose at it and another has hinted it could be the valve oil seals.
A diagnosis will be gladly welcomed but if I am honest here I am now sick to death of it. Today has cost another wad of cash I do not have and before anything else there is the added cost of a power steering box along with an alternator. I don't think I mentioned the alternator is shot as well. No output at all there...
Unless it is going to be a cheap fix on the smokey side of things The 110 is getting parked up. Mothballed. I may even be tempted to sell the damned thing but I will give myself a few weeks before making any sort of rash decision there. All I wanted was a Land Rover to do some Overlanding in, a bit of camping in nice places. I should have gone with my first idea of doing this with a more modern Discovery and I have to admit that this idea is once again becoming more and more tempting. Lets see what Thursday brings but I expect to park it up for a while in anycase because once you get to this verge of hatred point it is best to just walk away. My other hobbies are calling and I have a week off so from tomorrow morning I will be focusing on those a little more so as to get out and about. Not a great ending to this post folks and I am sorry for that but I could not be any more fed up with this without taking a large hammer to it....
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, January 15, 2017 20:05:11 My legs ache. I don't think deciding that it was time to start swimming a few times a week to get back into shape just before heading out on a friends "Paintball" stag do was the best decision I have ever made. But it was a decision that, quite stupidly, was made so here I sit because it is all I can really do today and tell you all the tale.
I shall start the tale with our dashing groom who decided that the best way to spend the daylight hours on a Saturday was to run around the woods shooting the hell out of anything that has a heartbeat to celebrate the upcoming nuptials with his beautiful Bride to be. I should also point out here he is full of life, fit as a fiddle and doesn't seem to ache after strenuous activity. The way none of us did in our mid twenties. I was cordially invited along with half a dozen or so other mugs I mean friends to join in the fun and I genuinely thought "Yep, I have done that before and it's great fun so Hell yea I am in!" What I failed to remind myself of is that the last time I partook in this sort of adventure would have been over eighteen years ago. When I was in my mid twenties. A minor point if I had had the sense to give it a fleeting thought but it may have planted a slow down seed for the day somewhere in my mind.
So the day arrived brisk but dry with wall to wall blue sky! We all arrived on time, apart from our groom who somehow managed to get lost on route to the venue even though he was the one who had booked it! We were soon donned with a set of comfy overalls that fit easily over all of our clothing. It was now I noticed that everyone else had also donned up in lots of extra layers. "Have you all done this before?" I asked "Yep, not getting caught out again" was the basis of all replies. You see if you have ever been paintballing you know that it can smart more than a touch when you get shot and the best bet is to layer up increasing your padding whilst dropping down on the sting effect of taking a hit. This is a lesson that only needs to learnt once. The large round bruising itself from where each paintball has exploded on your skin is like a lesson to your youth that you are not as big and strong as you think you are when you are young.
Luckily for us today though it was pretty much on the cooler side of things then add to that the shade of the woods and us older folk had to give no reasons as to why we were wrapped up ready for a polar expedition. So we were all stood in our camouflage overalls lined up ready to get issued masks and weapons when the organiser, who was stood at the front of all of the groups who decided that today was a good day to pay to suffer, asked "Who's the groom?" With big grins we all with raised pointed fingers picked out Richard who was given a rather limited choice of onsie's that he would have to wear. He chose a Superman one. Hmm still seemed a bit manly that so thanks to some foresight by one of our group we soon had him donned in a more appropriate attire of Fairy's wand, wings, pink hat and a rather fetching sash that on the front said "Stud Muffin" and on more importantly on the rear said "Shoot Me" How lovely he looked! A princess get up that any five year old girl would have been happy with.
So with our stag suitably attired along with a stag from another group dressed up as Duff man we all funneled through a small walkway with full face masks on to be issued with our weapons. A quick tutorial on how not to shoot each other within the compound, I mean where's the sport in that? It's much fairer to pop us all into a slightly larger compound before we got around to that sort of behaviour. We stood all macho laughing at how easy it was going to be to see the stag in the woods and how we were going to obliterate our opposing teams! It was then we recalled we had been split up onto opposing teams but that would just add to the fun wouldn't it.
A short march onto our first site that would have us fighting for control of a bridge. We were instructed that we could not shoot each other at point blank range, "Thank God" I thought at that point as well as not to pummel each other with the butt ends of our rifles. Then off we were sent to our "bases" at each end of the fenced off area to wait for the shout to begin. The wait was not a long one before the marshall hollered out "GAME ON" and we all started to run towards what was now the enemy....
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Thu, January 05, 2017 13:51:40 It felt like I was slipping backwards, all of the hard work putting things back together seemed to be coming back off The 110 in droves. One step forward seemed to lead to four steps back. This though it would seem is all part of the fun of Land Rover ownership.
After the initial run up of the engine and the modification of the radiator brackets I had to actually mount the Header Tank in a proper permanent position. Now this should be a straight forward affair really but the 300tdi header tank I had bought fouled the suspension cone turret. "Not to worry" I thought to myself "I am a resourceful fellow, I shall make a bracket up" So that is exactly what I did. I dug out some metal and made up a bracket. This fitted easily and before I knew it I had the header tank fixed into place.
A little later I got talking to a friend about the turbo issues that were going on when, after I had sent a picture of the days work, he pointed out that the header tank was probably far too low to work properly. Hmm...back to the drawing board then. I set to seeing what could be done I mean I am not that daft to only come up with one solution to a problem so I sat back with a brew and pondered the issue. A new bracket then but I only had the metal that was already used but not to stress a bit of bending here in the vice and there with a hammer along with some gentle persuasion soon saw it all remoulded for a higher mounting.
Now that header will sit above the radiator and the coolant can now circulate around nicely. As the tools were out I quickly popped the rad and front panel back into place so The 110 will finally once again start to look like a Land Rover.
One thing I am not looking forward to doing is wiring those lights back up. I hate Land Rover wiring...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, January 02, 2017 14:58:07 Here we are again then folks, we made it into 2017 alive and kicking. Some friends and family were not so lucky but that drives home the fact that we should live our lives to the max every day doing what we enjoy. With that said I have done bugger all for the whole of the festive season on The 110 and that I did enjoy! But all good things come to an end eh.
Before work today I decided that I really had to sort out that issue with the bonnet sitting too high and resting on top of the Discovery Radiator and oil cooler housing.
First things first I had to drain the coolant out from the radiator, luckily i had only put in just enough anti freeze to keep the whole thing from freezing so no great expensive loss there. Once all of that had finished dripping its way out I disconnected all of the pipework forgetting that the oil cooler pipes would have oil in them...that was messy.
A few minutes cleaning up an oil spill later and I lifted out the whole rad/cooler set up popping it into the garage then covering it up with a plywood board. Yes I am paranoid about putting a hole into another radiator!! It is an expensive mistake not to be made twice. Obviously I had already measured the gap between the wing and bonnet so it was just a quick mark up on the existing bottom brackets before cutting through them then cleaning them back to bare metal ready for welding up.
A few minor adjustments with a lump hammer saw the newly trimmed brackets dropped into place with all of the body panels then offered up and hurrah! the bonnet now closes like it is supposed to. I dug the welder out which didn't want to play with the feed coughing and spluttering away giving me just enough cooperation to get the brackets welded permanently into place.
I have left all of the radiator bits off for now as I want to position the header tank properly and get those oil pipes made up and fitted into place, this will make access just a little easier. When I stand back though I cannot help but think The 110 is starting to look like it wants taking apart again...
***A quick follow up note. At the beginning of this post I mentioned doing what you like every day and a memory came to me yesterday as I ran through the torrential rain with my coat held on only by being hooked over my head that when we were kids we did just that, hooked our coats onto our heads whilst pretending to be superheros. I was always Batman of course and I have to admit running through the rain yesterday made me feel like I was seven again. And it turned me into Batman...I am the Batman.
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, December 24, 2016 18:04:56 It's amazing how quickly things end up coming together in the end. After spending as much time as I could on The 110 recently it has got to the point where I am easily putting things back together surging head long towards getting an MOT put on it. With that in mind I decided that I was getting a little fed up with falling through the gaps where the floor should be whilst clambering over two seats that moved around more than my teenage daughter. So the first point of call was to get those seats secured for now. They will be coming out again once the motor is on the road to soundproof it better but for now I am happy to keep it nice and functional, just how it was originally designed.
I soon made short work of popping the main tunnel and floor pans back into place. These for now are just resting there incase I need a little better access to the gearbox or transfer box whilst getting the final set ups sorted out. A freshly charged battery was grabbed from the garage, fitted and secured into the recently welded up battery box. The exhaust was now fitted so with no fear of being gassed once again I climbed into the drivers seat and turned the key in the ignition to be met by the 200tdi engine bursting into more or less instantaneous life. This was accompanied by the usual grin from me but now was the moment of truth seeing if everything I had refitted would work making the car once again move under it's own steam.
I dipped the clutch pedal that gave enough satisfying resistance then gently tried to engage reverse gear. It slotted perfectly and smoothly into place. I let the clutch pedal up a little and was soon met by the biting point. I grinned like a nut case once again and let the clutch gently start to bite and the whole 110 began to move slowly backwards along the drive. To say I was preoccupied in my amazement that I had actually put everything back together correctly would be an understatement and only just in time did I realise that I was about to reverse into the fence that The 110 had been tightly parked up against! In fact I am not sure how I managed to move the fifteen back that I did without bumping into the fence already.
This though gave me the opportunity to see if it would move forward as well as backwards so I selected first gear and smoothly drove forwards with no issues.
I soon had it all the way up and off of the driveway as far from the house as I could to let it tick over warming itself through for the first time in years just incase something went bang or caught fire.
To say I was happy is an understatement. My creation has proved itself by moving at least fifty feet under it's own steam! Yes it smelt a little burning oily but I just put this down to it being sitting around for years along with the odd spillage here and there when I changed all of the fluids before firing it up. Nothing to worry about. Well nothing for about five minutes until I noticed the alarming amount of oil that was dripping out of the Turbo itself... I literally hopped back into the drivers seat, drove it over the hump of the driveway then killed the ignition letting gravity on my downhill driveway pull The 110 back into it's semi dry working spot under the car port.
I felt really disappointed. Talk about one step forwards then two steps back. Add to that I am skint and it will take me several months to save up for a replacement turbo I could have cried a little. I was literally ready to throw in the towel proper then, just sell the whole damned thing and buy myself a facelift Discovery 2 instead because at least then I would have something I could use straight away.
Time for a cup of tea then.
Twenty minutes out had seen me take a few deep breaths, go back to this expense peice of scrap I owned and refit the drivers side wing. I wanted to offer up most of the front end because the radiators seemed to be sitting a little high for the bonnet. I was right there too. I need to adjust the mounting brackets lowering them by about 30mm so that the bonnet will actually close.
I also had to trim the outer brackets off of the radiator cage as well as these were fouling the wings.
I popped the front grill back into place so I did not have a repeat of the whole sticking a ratchet through the radiator performance. All in all though things are still heading in the right direction. There is still other work to be completed while I save for a turbo but I was hoping to have it on the road in about a month. Hey ho things can always be worse eh.
Christmas time is once again upon us! It seems to come around quicker and quicker each year. My home seems to resemble Santa's grotto more as each passes but I don't mind that at all. I would just like to Wish all of you out there a very Merry Christmas! May you all have the best one you can and remember it's not about what you get given but trying to enjoy time with Family and close friends, then congratulating yourself at the end of the day when they have all left without you killing them...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Tue, December 20, 2016 18:27:24 After yesterdays success I would quite like a repeat performance of hearing the engine running once more but without the rather excessive black smoke that was like smoking a couple of thousand cigarettes at once. The first order of business was to get the exhaust fitted. The rear and mid sections were no problem at all of course but the front had to be cut shut and welded up once more to make it fit onto the 200tdi Disco engine.
That done I started to drain the old thick black oil out of the engine. Whilst that was happily dripping out the oil filter grabbed my attention. This had to come off and I had my trusty oil filter grips to use. It did not want to budge. I managed to crush the bottom of it then dent the middle but still no movement. Time to take a breather. I lay there under the 110 resting up my arms for a while before putting the grips towards the top of the filter and with all of my might twisting hard it finally budged a few millimeters. That came with the feeling of relief so I gripped hard and twisted again. It moved more easily this time, finally coming loose and dribbling as much oil out of it's housing as seemed to be coming out of the sump.
I left the whole thing to drain for twenty minutes or so before refitting the new filter then topping the engine up with new oil. Tomorrows plan is to tidy up the floor well then start to refit the seats and floors themselves. Then I can start it up properly and run it up to temperature seeing if we have any issues with what has been refitted...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, December 19, 2016 21:27:27 What an eventful day! I literally just popped out under the car port for a bit of a potter on The 110. As always I quickly ended up in my own little world tinkering here and pottering there. First off I had to attach some ends to and ground the two Earth wires that were on the engine onto the chassis after a few good minutes sanded back the underseal to get to clean metal.
Then I figured I may as well top up all of the oils in the gearbox as well as the transfer box. Four litres or so later that was done up and put to bed so I got to looking at engine itself. I really wanted to start it but I knew I probably should change the engine old fist but I have to admit that after all this time getting the lump into place impatience was getting the better of me. "Sod it" I thought to myself and headed off to get a can of diesel. WHen I got back without anything but excitement in my mind I filled up the fuel filter and using the lift pump primed up the fuel system as best I could. There were three old batteries in the garage that were ok when I put them in there but I had topped them all up last week. With a grin on my face I hooked up the first one then with excited anticipation I turned the key...the engine turned over twice before the battery died. Hmmph. Right not to be phased I grabbed the second one. Same thing, two turn overs before the starter ground to a halt. OK then it must be third time lucky. Nope, dead from the outset.
I was beginning to suspect that my very old battery charger might just have given up the ghost. A quick conversation with a neighbour and I had a boost pack in my possession. This was duly hooked up and left for a few minutes to force some charge in. Then with bated breath I clambered once more across the two seats, sat down and turned the key around.
The engine fired up instantly into life and I learnt two things...
1) You really should change the years old oil in any engine before you try to start it. 2) Make sure you have fitted the full exhaust system as well as replacing all floor panels so the inside of the cab does not instantly fill up with thick black smoke leaving you fumbling for the keys in the ignition to switch the engine off.
So GOOD NEWS!! The engine runs!! It's alive!!! I have no idea if it drives yet because I could not see my hand in front of my eyes when it was running so a quick oil change along with fitting the exhaust and floor pans back into place should put that right.
Those dreams of heading out onto the open road could well soon become a reality...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Wed, December 14, 2016 12:50:51 Right I need to go to work soon add to that I am full of cold again this is going to be a hard and fast update and not in a fun way!
I started with the power steering. I stood wondering what pipe went where but it was pretty obvious once all of the bts were out as they would only go so far lining up with the correct holes just begging to be plumbed in!
Once done I cable tied the fluid reservoir in an upright position and promptly filled up as much of it as I could with power steering fluid. I will bleed it properly once the engine is running.
With all of that done quite easily I decided to set up and support, with cable ties of course, the coolant system and expansion tank. Again literally took minutes.
And when I stood back looking at the magnificence of my complete creation it brings rather a large smile to my face!
That left just one more thing I wanted to tackle today...the exhaust. Well the down pipe from the manifold. I bought one of those James Parkin (I think that's what the name was anyway) Discovery 200tdi to Defender conversion kits. It hit the footwell. So I had to modify the footwell. Well I need to modify it, all I did today was cut piece of the footwell out so the exhaust wouldn't keep knocking as I hopefully drive around.
It wont take long to fabricate an extra piece of metal to slot in there. I did have to modify a 17mm spanner to fit in on the back bolt of the exhaust (I just cut a spare spanner down in length) so it wouldn't foul on the engine block. It was soon all in place though.
Next up will be fitting the exhaust in place and making up some brackets to keep it there. I need to pick up some engine oil and do a quick change before I try to fire it up and I think I have some EP90 kicking around somewhere so the rest of the fluids can be sorted out at the same time. That's going to be it for a few days folks as the retail madness of Christmas kicks in at work, I don't think I will have much time to be doing much of anything apart from work then sleep for a few days!
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Mon, December 12, 2016 16:26:00 Are there any other Males, especially Dads, out there that have any idea what Christmas presents have been bought for their daughters? I have to admit I don't have a clue before hand but as I informed my youngest daughter last night when she brought this up that I personally vet each and every gift when it is unwrapped on the big day,. If I am honest it doesn't stop with my daughters either, it runs out to our friends and family who when tell me "thanks for the present, it was just what I wanted!" I tend to reply "That's great, I am really pleased that you like it. What did I buy you?" Some would say that I this is really bad not having a clue what has been bought and leaving all of the festive cheer for my ever suffering Wife to sort out, but not really it is for the best. I am rubbish at buying gifts and even worse at wrapping them! Luckily the girls are now older and tend to (Always without fail) wrap their Mothers gifts from me vetting them as they go and handing back with receipts in bags the ones I need to change along with a list of what I should change them too. Then they look at me for about two seconds, take the bags back off of me and just put their hands out for my debit card usually muttering "Just give it all here, I will sort it tomorrow." You see it's not for a lack of trying...I am just a little bit rubbish at the whole thing! I did buy a few extra gifts for my Wife today and they are currently sat in hiding waiting for my youngest to get home to tell me how well I have done but one thing is for sure, if the crowds (more like mobs) I saw out today were like that on a Monday I do not want to be anywhere near any sort of store until about February! Then it needs only to be a car shop.
After that little swaray (I'm sure I have spelt that wrong) venturing into the great retail world I decided that seeing as I am on such a roll with The 110 I may as well have a stab at a few of the little jabs that are outstanding. I had nipped into Paddocks on my way around earlier so the water pump bypass hose along with the top intercooler hose were just itching for fitting.
The bypass hose was soon out of it's packet and into place along with a couple of shiny new Jubilee clips.
The intercooler hose though would need extending and seeing as I had just spent what was left of my bank account on Wifey for Christmas I was going to have to be a little creative here. Off to the spares shed I pottered with the beginnings of an idea forming at the back of my mind if the part was still in there. After a minute of moving things around, I really need to tidy up in there, I found a shiny new V8 exhaust down pipe that was exactly the right width! Now this had been part of a job lot bought a long time back which I had already made my money back on so chopping it up was not going to be an issue. In my nice dry garage I measured out the length that I needed, chopped it off and fitted it in no time!
The bottom hose is on back order so that will be done later in the week. I decided that as I was already in my dirty work clobber I may as well bleed the clutch. The old fluid was really dark so who knows how long it had been sitting in there! I have a non return bleed pipe that cost me about two pounds a lifetime ago which still works wonders when you are doing this sort of job alone. Again it all went really smoothly with me getting the correct pressure build up nicely on the clutch pedal very easily and quickly.
Another few jobs down then. Feels like the reality of driving the bugger is actually an option now in the not to distant future. I did realise whilst stood back looking at it (as you do) that I still need to plumb up the power steering pipes before I fire it up as well. Not a problem as I have those pipes but not today, I need to do the whole Dad breakdown and recovery thing for my eldest daughter who managed to crash her motorbike once again today. Thankfully she is ok but as for the bike, well, that remains to be seen.
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, December 11, 2016 19:54:23 Well I have had a busy couple of shifts on the 110 over the last 24 hours and I have surprised myself at how many loose ends I have managed to get tied up. It was all nearly scuppered early on last night when the rain started to fall heavily. Now in the last house it would have been game over but with the car port covering most of the land rover and the shiny new garage roof keeping all of the water at bay outside where it belonged, I was happy as a pig in the proverbial pottering about with the dark winter nights being held at bay!
I have been sitting here for the last few minutes since finishing the first paragraph trying to remember exactly what I have done in what order but I am giving up with that! I will just pop in what I do recall as there has been quite a bit! Firstly I put jubilee clips on the pipes I fitted last week, I had bought a large box off of the internet of the mixed sized ones and they have been a godsend, then it was onto getting the alternator and power steering belts. I changed a couple of the bracket bolts over so they actually tightened up then after a ten minute mild panic hunting for the belts I knew I had bought in the garage then the spares shed, the belts finally turned up in the back of the 110 where I had put them so they would not get lost. It took a mere couple of minutes to pop the into place and getting them tensioned up.
The top along with the bottom coolant hose were then fitted but the water pump bypass hose was a no go because I had bought the wrong one. I am off of work tomorrow so I will nip out and get the right one then. I had bought a pair of intercooler pipe hoses thinking they would be long enough but after messing around with them fitting new O rings it turned out that they were exactly the same length as the ones I have already fitted.
Hmm what to do because I would really like to have a stab at getting the engine running this week and without these pipes I would quickly end up with all of the engine oil coating the garage and driveway, I don't think Wifey would be too impressed with that and cleaning up could take a while... As a temp measure I sliced into the old pipes and extended them with metal pipe for now so I can at least get the engine fired up and will once again be able to move the motor about.
What now then? As I was still protected from the weather along with my new under car port lights creating a false daytime I decided that I may as well dig out the new radiator and get that lot fitted. Out came the old one still in its frame along with the cooler and after a little more rummaging around I found the shiny new one too!
It literally took ten minutes to switch them over and drop the whole caged lot into place with the pipework plumbed in.
It's amazing how these little jobs take next to no time but make a huge difference! That was enough for the evening because I was getting a bit cold and tired...the things that my shiny dry well lit work area could not help me with.
The following afternoon though I was in the mood for a little more titillating after all there were quite a few little jobs that needed finishing the majority of which were centred around the transfer and gearbox. I had to dig out the transfer box linkage out from where it had become trapped somehow between the transfer and gearbox. It again was surprisingly easy...surely my luck could not hold here?
Then I swapped some of the bolts holding the transfer box onto the gearbox around as they had been put in in the wrong places...literally took minutes.
After a quick clean up I remembered that the handbrake cable would need to be attached and with the way things are going it should not be an issue. Yep this is where it started to get a bit more challenging. Firstly I had fitted a Discovery transfer box to a Defender so the handbrake cable mounting was different. Ha! No problem there because I had the foresight to remove the one from the 1:6 ratio transfer box I removed. With a slightly smug grin I removed the Disco one and it became very obvious that two of the bolts went into different places. Humph, I am on a roll at the moment so I would not be out off here. Now don't get me wrong I wanted to cry a couple of times as I tried to modify the defender bracket but after destroying three different drill bits, and I am also pretty sure I have broken my drill, the old bracket now sat proudly in place all adjusted up with the handbrake working.
After sitting back with a brew in hand I wondered at the speed that the whole project seems to be coming together all of a sudden. There seemed to be months when all I seemed to be doing was constantly working on the old boy but seemingly getting nowhere but in what amounts to a couple of days the whole thing seems to be accelerating at a crazy pace towards completion. All of these little jobs are ticking the big jobs off of the to do list which is getting smaller and smaller by the day and it feels great!
So I will be picking up the bypass hose tomorrow which will leave the exhaust to try and get fitted, the clutch needs bleeding then my friends it will be time to to get this beast started...
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, December 04, 2016 15:28:24 As most of you already know we bought a house in the spring of this year, lets say it needs a little work. Not to worry because the price we paid for it was more than fair but lately most of what I have been doing is just getting it to stay warm once the heating goes off. This entailed mainly putting more of that itchy loft insulation down along with fitting floor boards so Wifey has all of the storage her heart requires because "this house has no storage" I am told regularly. Lots of sweaty hard itchy work that cost enough and literally leaves me walking away looking like nothing has really been done! Still has to be done and I wont have to do it again for a long long time after the stud walls have been insulated.
Enough of the house though because there was a much more pressing construction issue on the house...my garage roof. The garage roof leaked like a sieve through old asbestos/cement roofing sheets, this was so bad when raining I had to put down eight different buckets and pots to catch the worst of the water coming in. They did not catch everything just stopped the place flooding. Seeing as my tools, motorbike and electrical's are kept in there I was more than a little concerned with the worst of the winter yet to come with cold rain and probably snow.
I managed to source some reasonably priced roof sheets and seeing as the day was forecast wall to wall sunshine it seemed like a good time to get stuck in. I had soon dug out a set of ladders and a pair of old scaffold boards so I could climb onto the old roof and see what I was up against getting that awful sheeting off without falling through on top of everything I wanted to protect.
Luckily all of the old bolts came out easily enough and before I knew it the sunshine was covering the inside of the garage for the first time in forty odd years.
These old concrete sectionals are not designed to last for ever but I need a few more years out of this one yet before I can afford a newer larger purpose built garage for my toys. The old sheets were brittle and heavy but happily they all came away without breaking and I was soon putting the new metal sheeting up there, then using the boards screwing them all into place without falling through the roof or damaging the sheets.
There is a decent overlap on each one along with more than liberal doses of silicone sealant along the joins...I used just about every tube of this I had in the place!
The result though is much better.
I now have a water tight garage that kit will actually stay dry in! Now you may think that that would come as standard with a garage but I can assure you from bitter experience it does not! I'm off for a lie down now though, this physical exercise stuff is exhausting!
MusingsPosted by Nicky Smith Sun, December 04, 2016 08:35:32 There is a Teabag Mountain challenge in my house at the moment. When the lid falls off the loser has to take it all out to the compost bin...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, December 03, 2016 20:29:46 Sometimes I am amazed by the kindness of strangers. Now this may sound stupid but I have, along with my ever suffering Wife, for a great number of years tried to make someone smile everyday. That person can be someone I know but more often than not it's a stranger. Sounds daft eh but a kind act or daft joke normally aimed at myself can make a huge difference to a persons day. I work on the proviso that you don't know other peoples stories so have no idea on what they can be going through, good or bad.
Turns out it's not only us that do this. A couple of days ago I put out a request for help on teaching me how to change the cambelt in the 200tdi engine. This is something I had never done before, I had read up on the do's and don'ts which seemed pretty straight forward but really wanted someone around when this was put into practice so I did not bugger the engine up before I had it out for an actual drive. There were a couple of offers for which I was thankful but after my last blog post went out a chap called James contacted me again to say he had some time straight away if I wanted to get stuck into it! Now until we met today James was a complete stranger so to say this was a kind offer is probably an understatement but you have to love the fact that there is still this sort of generosity out there.
He turned up in short time along with a great deal of tools then ran through what he was doing as the cambelt was slowly exposed behind the cover. First out was a pully to remove the wheel.
Then the cover was whipped off.
The tensioner was next off as was the other wheel (forget the name, it's late and I am tired) leaving the cambelt just dropping out. Some cleaner was applied then all of the timing lined up.
A locking pin was popped into place before most of that (yep I am getting tired and forgetful here) and soon enough the new cambelt was put into place. A couple of rotations and a check later, all was sitting well and where it should be :)
A couple of brews later along with some very good guidance on the transfer box linkage issues I am having and James was off! I then set to getting the cover back into place along with the new water pump fitted. First up was cleaning the two mating surfaces off. I spent a bit of time here making sure all of the surfaces were flat and free of any old gaskets and contaminants. That done I popped on a bit of instant gasket around to help hold the new gasket in place.
Then I cleaned each and every bolt back to a muck free condition and liberally applied some copper slip before putting them back into the holes that they came from through the cover. Once all were set into place neatly through the gasket I ran around them all a few times gently tightening them all up. Then out came the new water pump (seeing as the old one was in such good condition I have cleaned it up and kept it as a spare) and that along with its replacement gasket were soon set into place.
I do still need to check that I have tightened up the came pulley bolt enough so I have marked this down on my to do list so I don't forget. Due to the act of kindness from someone who started the day as a stranger I am now so much further on than I thought I would be for a few weeks. Looks like I may have found the hoses I needed for the oil cooler from another friend as well so I may just have this motor running within a week or so! Is it me or are things starting to get exciting all of a sudden...
The 110Posted by Nicky Smith Sat, December 03, 2016 12:54:51 December has arrived. That means, in my house anyway, all of the decorations that have lain boxed up in a dusty loft for eleven months of the year now see the light of day once more. What that means for me is a great deal of work putting up decorations, hanging lights on trees and this year it comes with the new experience of putting lights up on the outside of the house. The only problem with hanging lights up on the outside of your home is the fact that you have to get right up the outside wall balancing on a ladder whilst holding onto the long length of dormant lighting simultaneously hammering in the wall clips to keep it all in place.
Ten years ago this would not of bothered me but these days I am not overly keen on balancing on one foot on the top rung reaching as far as I can with a hammer wondering why I don't have two pairs of hands because that would make the job so much easier. My daughter asked "Are you scared of heights Dad?" to which I answered "The heights don't bother me kid, it's the falling from them that does" Funny how as you get older you realise you would much rather not do some of the things you used to do without thinking. I recall running up and down the same extended ladder cleaning windows on three storey Victorian houses in the wind without batting an eyelid. You literally could not pay me enough to do that now! Still the lights are up and it will be at least a month before I have to climb the ladder again to take them down again, or I could just leave them up until next year...
Progress is being made again on The 110. This week has seen me still focusing on the 200tdi lump I popped in earlier. I decided to have a stab at re-piping the fuel lines and it is here that I must admit that I got it completely wrong. It looked good with all bases covered but there was just one snag, I had not run in the from and returning to the fuel tank. This may have caused the odd running issue so I posted my bad pipe work online with a big help attached to it and quickly got a large number of responses. I seemed to keep getting this relatively simple task tangled up in my head so I popped around to have a look at a friends motor and as soon as I saw underneath the bonnet I had a "Of course you tool" moment. It was a tad dark and cold when I got home so the following morning I rearranged the spaghetti pipework and it all now proudly sits where it is supposed to.
I could not find a diagram to easily explain it so I have tried to make one up. Feel free to tell me I have got it wrong!
As I stood with my wolly hat on drinking a brew convincing myself that it was not quite as chilly as my body was trying to tell me I was getting I thought I may as well tackle plumbing the the meagre heater once again. Lets face it some heat is better than no heat at all! I knew I did not have the correct 200tdi pipework but what I did have was a tub full of old pipework, so I dug that out and soon mackled together a system that would work. Its not the prettiest looking set up and I no doubt will return to it in the future to redo the whole system but for now it is functional and lets face it, you don't look under the bonnet when you are driving along. That and this old beast is not going to be winning any beauty contests any time soon.
The only thing left to do really on this engine is to change the cambelt over. Now I have never done this before and there have been offers of help that I will happily accept as not to bugger up the lump before I begin using it. First up though was to remove the water pump and those swine bolts that like to snap off inside the engine. Lessons have been learnt in the past of trying to force rusted bolts then ending up weeping quietly in the corner before having to drill out and re-tap the threads, so caution was the buzzword of the day.
Nearly all of the bolts cracked off and out easily enough but there was of course the two that did not want to move, at all. Off I toddled into the garage to get the long bars and with more force put onto the bolt heads than I ever wanted to use they started to move slowly. I then kept gently moving them back and forward clearing their threads of the rusty crud that was helping to keep them in situ. Patience was the name of the game even when I started to get a little bored with this game but I was rewarded ten minutes later with every bolt having come cleanly out of the water pump! A rarity indeed!
I did put all of the different length bolts in a piece of cardboard so as to recall where they all go back into so as not to repeat the transfer bolt mix up!
The ease of teh bolts coming out and the fact there is no play at all in the water I have just removed leads me to think it could not have been on the engine for too long before the whole lump was removed. I will still replace it with the shiny new one I have bought though just to be on the safe side.
It really is nice to be on the service and put back together side of things now. It feels like the project is running towards getting an MOT which should only be a few months away...
I am now a forty something who has come through most of my mid-life crisis trying to cheat death by now eating healthy foods exercising more and stopping smoking....I doubt this will work seeing as I have abused (no not in that way) my body with booze smokes and doing sod all for couple of decades or so but hey I feel a bit less mental for trying it!
So instead I rebuilt a Series 3 Land Rover, then a Discover, after that A Defender 110 and now I have decided to head more towards enjoying my outdoor pursuits. In comfort. Yep there will now be a campervan build in progress (as soon as I can find a decent base) for myself and the ever suffering Wifey to head out i ...see there is still some joy to be found in life!
I hope you enjoy my rambling drivel and if you do please feel free to share it around using the cunningly disguised "Share" menu at the bottom of each post I believe it does Facewipe, Twitter and those other places all the cool kids hang out in indoors now a days.