Life at the end of the road

September 2, 2015

Under the ‘Old Girl’:-(

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:16 pm

Apart from pig feeding,

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hen feeding and a spell at ‘Number 3’ looking at the inverter I ‘fixed’, that just about sums up my day really. I’ve been laid down, sat down, bent double and contorted into various positions under the Land Rover with a MIG welder and grinder once more. Hardly exciting stuff but it beats the carp out of the last welding job I did on her some ten years ago. That would be when I replaced the two front outriggers with my then new MIG 140amp welder purchased specially for the job. Then I was working outside, on gravel and probably in the rain, at least now I’ve a nice shed with a level concrete floor and it’s a relatively midge free zone.

First thing I did this morning on the Landy was to lower the Britpart ‘shitpart’ rear member onto the deck and hack another 43mm off it. I may have been commending Britpart on their fuel tank yesterday but their cross member was a full 19mm ‘off centre’. The rest of it was pretty good right enough and I don’t think anyone will notice that the towbar is three quarters of an inch nearer the middle of the road than the kerb. There was plenty of length on the chassis extensions and they are designed to slip over the old chassis but even after cutting more meat off it and cutting some slots in the corners I couldn’t get it to fit flush with the back of the Rover.

Lots of belting with a large hammer and blocks of wood did very little so I got a large ‘ratchet strap’ attached it to another cross member up front and pulled it in with that.

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It worked a treat and was then followed by lots of welding,

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most of it pretty ropey. Dunno if it’s the gas or the welder but the last lot I did was far neater than this ‘bird 5h1t’, still, it won’t fall off Smile Perhaps I’m being harsh on myself considering that much of the time I was upside down with hot metal burning through my clothes Smile 


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I did get it all welded into position right enough but that’s only half the job, next task was splicing the wiring loom back together.

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The loom runs inside the chassis leg and must be cut to remove it, I fed it back through with a long nylon strap then pulled it tight with some bailer twine. This gave me enough slack to solder the dozen or so cables and cover them with ‘heat shrink’ tube, once joined I taped up the wires then pushed them back into the chassis. I’ve not tried the fuel gauge yet but everything else works just fine Smile

By this time it was after 18:00 so I gave everything another coat of paint then called it a day, I am truly sick of Land Rovers now!

September 1, 2015

It takes me right back :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, shed/house — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:12 pm

There was a time ‘long long ago in a galaxy far away’ that I used spend an inordinate amount of my time underneath vehicles welding rotten chassis legs and spring hangers. That would be in the days before my 29 year old Land Rover rolled off the Solihull production line. It says much for the improvement in manufacturing techniques and corrosion protection that the ‘Old Girl’ hasn’t needed ‘major surgery’ before now. When ‘I were a lad’ most ten year old cars were in the scrap yard and the second or third MOT on a Ford usually involved welding the inner wings. The Fiats, Lancias, Ladas and Skodas were either carrying a bent MOT certificate or dead, whilst the British Leyland vehicles were having their sub frames patched.

MIG welders were the size of a small wardrobe and only found in the likes of the Mercedes and Jaguar dealers body shops. In those days it was inevitably ‘oxy acetylene’ welding with the apprentice sat inside the car on ‘fire watch’. Many is the ‘bargain’ I’ve bought that turned into welders nightmare.

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This Lancia Fulvia 1.3S being a classic example, it can only have been 5 or6 years old when I bought it for £150 thinking it just needed a pair of sills. Two doors, a bonnet, boot, pair of front wings, a gazillion man hours  and several square feet of steel later it was a lovely car.

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My very first Land Rover was half the age of my current one but needed major welding every MOT.


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The first Range Rover I had was less than ten years old and needed new inner wings and sills, not only that I managed to set it on fire in MW’s garage Smile

Land Rover 110 rear cross member

With all these long years of experience you’d have thought that I’d have known that changing the rear cross member on the Land Rover wasn’t going to be straight forward.


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It started fine enough with a trip to Tarbert to feed the pigs, the day wasnae bad but far from the sunshine that was promised.

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First job was to remove the fuel tank, and much as I’ve derided Britpart ‘Shitpart’ components over the years this tank was a bargain at £85 some 12 years ago. A genuine Land Rover one would have set me back over £400!!! and even now it’s ‘as good as new’. Right enough I did give it several coats of paint and regularly power wash the underneath. With the tank removed I carefully cut the wiring loom which runs through the inside of the chassis then made some cuts with the grinder behind the spring seats.


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It was once the cross member was on the deck and out of the way that I started discovering all the other holes Sad smile

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I managed to get the cross member in place but to be honest it’s going to have to come out again in the morning as no amount of hammering would get it lined up.

Lachie on the other hand made sterling progress on the ‘bunker’ roof.


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And just for Kev,

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here’s how we did the solar hot water mounts. The mounts are screwed directly to the sarking boards with a small cut made around the adjoining slates. I actually purchased this kit first but as you can see it’s for ‘English’ roofs. The mounts I used are actually PV mounts as I thought the recommended solar hot water mounting kit was a joke , fine in Leicestershire I’m sure !!!!

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