Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wheel options ?

As I wrote in A Wheely interesting dilemma I was looking into what I can do about Katy's mismatched wheels which is a situation I'm not really happy with

This posting is about some of the research and information I've gathered whilst looking into this and some links to some sources of information to explain the concepts I've learned

The Problem

Wider wheels scrub on the radius arm (or other aspects of the inside of the wheel arches) or you want to just make the tyres look bigger and have potentially more stability by having a wider axle width on the road or you need more turning circle (all of these would be nice on Katy)


What they are for, is to move the wheel further out from the hub. This has the positive of making the wheel look bigger, and it gives some additional space when turning the wheel which will give increased turning circle and stop the tyre rubbing on the radus arm (or anywhere else) which is why I was looking into them

The trouble is that they are heavy lumps of metal and the effort of moving them around causes more strain on the suspension and transmission, and can increase bump steer which is a steering effect you get when you change the suspension geometry of any car, and it's bad because Excessive bump steer increases tire wear and makes the vehicle more difficult to handle on rough roads which is where Land Rovers are meant to go.

I've also heard (especially from the really helpful people on Land Rover Scene ) about all of the problems you can have if they are not absolutely tightened and come loose behind the wheel when you are driving, which ase led to wobbling wheels and even wheels coming off on the motorway, and also that many insurance companies don't like them

The guys on Land Rover Owner explained more

"Quality is very important as you are putting load on them from the hub to the spacer then from the spacer to the wheel from acceleration, braking, bumps, cornering and centripetal [see comments] forces from the spinning of the wheels and spacers themselves.Spacers should not effect wheel balancing as most spacers are turned on a lathe. Spacers can cause slightly higher wear rates in brakes and wheel bearings due to the extra forces they have to deal with under breaking and turning due to larger moving mass that comprises of the wheel, tyre and spacer combination when compared to wheel and tyre only"

OK that's enough for me to explore the other option which is why I then asked the same experts about wheel options and got a lot of comments about wheel offset which was something else I had never learned about so here is what I now understand about those concepts

Offset wheels

Wheel offset is the difference between the mounting plate that connects to the hub and the centre of the wheel. Fitting wheels with different offsets will move the tyre out like a spacer or inwards. Moving it outwards requires you to put on a tyre with a smaller (or negative) offset whereas making the tyre move inwards requires an increase (more positive offset)

To help you get your head around the concept this diagram may help

So to get more room for tyres to prevent scrubbing on the body or suspension which is the problem I've had I need to get wheels that have a more negative offset.

If I wanted to fit bigger wheels but had a problem with them sticking out of the wheel arches I would need to fit wheels with a more positive offset because that brings the wheels further back into the arches

It's been suggested that all four should be the same as the ones I have on the rear and I will certainly investigate getting some more like that

I've still got more thinking about this to do, and I need to get under Katy and on top to check out all the wheels I have and work out wat ofset they have, and see what I should have and make decisions

Friday, 9 December 2011

A Wheely interesting dilemma

Some time ago I bought Katy some new tyres which were a little wider than the ones she came with

Since then to be honest is is possible to get the tyres rubbing when applying full lock and i believe that this is an MOT failure so I've been looking into the options to resolve it

I considered just adjusting the stops, but to be hones she probably needs every little bit of turning circle she can get

I considered wheel spacers, but the advice from all the people on-line at LRO and LRS on this topic really seems to have come down on the this isn't a good idea. Steve Walford my master mechanic friend agrees with this stance

So it's either back to plan A or have a closer look at the wheels. I've known for a long time they were different. On the front (shown below) the space from the wheel rim top the bolted centre is 6cm

On the back (shown below) it's a little over 8cm.

This makes me think about swapping them around or getting 2 more wheels like the rear wheels to put on the front.

I think I need more advice before I decide so I'm going to call on all those on-line friends yet again (and a few more!)

Finally Exhaused

At long last I have completed the exhaust repairs

Here you can see the old and new centre sections and the extra section that goes in a 110 Land Rover exhaust system in order to make it a 127 / 130 exhaust system. The sections are joined with the olive I referred to in a recent post

And this is what it looks like in place


I have to say that putting these sections back was harder than I had thought as there is no hanger on these 2 sections which meant wrestling one end up into place and then getting one bolt in place, getting the other end in place and then coming back and tightening it all up. I did have to loosten off the rear section to give some wiggle room and then tighten it all back up again

One last thing was needed. Once I had it running it was clear that there was some soot being deposited on the side of the body. I'd been warned about this being a porr bit of Land Rover Exhaust design and I duly applied the fix I'd been told about which was to put a bend on the end.

I could have had a bit of a bend put in the pipe, but this extender from Halfords does the job fine and looks OK too (not too showy).

A girl likes bit of bling now and again so why shouldn't Katy have some :-)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Got it

I was working from home and getting ready for a trip today so in my "lunch time" I went for that part, and I did some thinking

In the last 20 years I've owned 3 cars. My Suzuki Grand Vitara (last 10 years) and before that 2 Lada Samara's

I didn't know where the local car parts shops were

I bought my Land Rover in February

I now know, not only the locations of Foundry 4x4, Bearmach, Europart and Unipart.

I also know the locations of 2 other local independents an exhaust specalist and ALL branches of Halfords in the area... and their opening hours

and all of their opening hours.

I got the part though -

Cost of the part £3.00 +vat

Cost of the round trip with petrol and the fact I bought 2 magazimes whilst I was there about £15.00

Saturday, 5 November 2011

One £3.50 Part missing

I tried to complete the Exhaust work today

The centre box is nwo blowing quite badly - it's got worse since the rear section went on, maybe I dislodged some rust or maybe the backpressure on not having something resembling a piece of lace behind it and therefore some backpressure was the final straw

It came loose from the back section easily as those were new nuts and bolts from when I did the centre section. It would not come loose from the next section forwards (the extra bit in a 130) because the nuts had been rounded off and were solid

Oo iff with the front of that section which has been off before when we did the gearbox work and I sawed the recalcitrant joint apart.

However on fittin git again I realised I needed 2 of the join olives and I only had one.

Bearmach was closed so I searched all the other local parts shops to no avail

Maybe I'll finish the job next time

Oh and she's still leaking in the door seals so the latest round of that has not been sucessful either

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Katy's Rock Star Video

Here's my new Katy video

Sound track from the blues brothers

We hope you enjoyed it !

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Katy's Military Record

Having seen posts about just emailing DES for the vehicle information on the EMLRA forum I did so on Monday and I got the Merlin Management information sheets today – very efficient and no charge

ERM                        63KG65 I knew this
Designation              Amb Crash rescue 2/3 Stretcher 4x4 Land Rover – ermm… this too
Colour White Gloss Interesting – there is camouflage paint all over her underneath a very poor paint job
Barbus Ind              N – I have No Idea what that means
Date in service        27-Jan-88
Date Cast               27-Apr-98
Disposal Date         16-Jun-98

Here is the Merlin report I got from DES

In case it's hard to read I've copied it out below



The Depot and disposal lines are fairly obvious – parked somewhere waiting for a new life

RAF Manston is fairly self-explanatory, What is nice is that it’s next to the Spitfire museum and that probably gives us a really good reason for a trip down there and take some pictures of her “at home”

Op Hanwood seems to be an operation to Croatia (Yugoslavia), but it’s not clear whether she went given the dates, it would be nice as that was I understand it a humanitarian mission (see post It's official as an update to this statement)

The rest I’m not clear on, and have asked some people on military forums to try and get clear

if anyone is looking into this I did the following 

DES is Defence Equipment and Support

I sent the registration number (like you have) and other information I had (see to an email address I found on

They were not the right people, but passed it on to someone in Nottingham and I got a letter back

Simples !

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nearly Exhausted

I've posted before on how I needed a rear section of exhaust and some of the troubles I've had in finding the right one. Here's how bad it was, there were about 3 sections like this in the rear pipe. The top has literally been eaten away and black soot is covering the bracket

Given the 2 non fitting exhausts I had, I took some advice from the guys in the South Wales Land Rover Club and visited Charlie at Pro-Speed Exhausts for some advice

He was really helpful and after a look around offered to widen the flare on the exhaust  I had already purchased for nothing.

 So this time it fitted first time, especially as I'd taken some more advice and lifted the chassis on a jack to give me more room over the rear axle. it reduced the stress in the job by about 95% Everything has of course been put back with new nuts and bolts where needed and lots of copper grease

There is a downside however in that the soot that you can see below which I had thought was coming from the rear section is now proven to be coming from the centre section. 

Charlie did offer to make me a stainless steel system, but I had hoped this was the last of the money I was going to need to spend this year, but it seems Katy's expensive tastes are going to continue for some time

Katy and I have decided to put the other not needed  exhaust in as a Children in Need donation to the club events to thank all the generous people who have helped us in this trouble

Friday, 14 October 2011

Katy joins a club

A few weeks ago I wrote about meeting kindred spirits at the Tredegar Classic Car show

Well last night we went out to meet the for the beer that I thought we'd have and I have to say what a wonderful warm welcome we had and what a great bunch of people they seem to be with a lot of fun and fundraising for charity going on and being planned

I had some excellent advice on how to get my exhaust problem sorted out and now hope to be completing that work very soon now

So I am now happy to say that we are officially members of the South Wales Land Rover Club

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Today I failed to fit a new exhaust - Twice !

Some time ago I bought a new 300TDi rear section for my 127 (it's the same as the 110) having got it I realised it had 2 hole flanges not 3 hole like the piece it needed to mate to. The system changes part way down - presumably because of an engine swap

So I went to Bearmach and got another, this one. The conversation went something like this

"I need a new rear exhaust section for my Ambulance which is outside" I say pointing at it
"What wheelbase?" says the man behind the counter
"That's not in our system"
"It will be the same as a 110, there is simply an extra section in the middle"
"OK. What engine?"
"300TDi, but that's not relevant, it was probably a V8 Petrol, but I'm not sure"
"What?" He's starting to think I am a wind up merchant
"It's not original, and the system changes part way down from a 2 hole flange to a three hole flange"
"So What do you want?"
"You to bring a selection out so I can go underneath and see what fits"
"Are you serious" He's starting to be P**d off

So one of the team went and found some, and I went underneath and held it in place and it looked OK

However when I got to change it today, even though the pipe is the same, has the flared end section it is not flared out enough to go over the centre section joint.

I've still got them both and I'm thinking that I'll need to cut the end off both, transfer the 3 hole flange to the other with the bigger flare and get someone to weld it back on for me. It would be OK if I could weld - I can't find evening classes in Cardiff to learn.

Or it's buy a third and hope I've got it right that time

Sigh !

Sunday, 2 October 2011


This is going to be a long story. First of all you gather the tools and set off into the adventure with a great deal of optimism - I mean how hard can it be to wax a Land Rover ?

According to all the instructions available you warm up the Waxolyl in water before using it and if necessary thin it with white spirit (which is also good for cleaning things as you will see later)

Whilst that is warming up I popped around the front and tried reversing Katy up onto some ramps I'd borrowed - unfortunately I gunned it a little hard, shot backwards and with no-one to tell me how far to go I misjudged it and ended up going over the back or the ramps and jammed them under the chassis (oops!)

No problem I thought I've got a good jack so I'll just lift her up a little, free them off, and take them out.

However the jack wasn't tall enough so I got a log from the log shed, which worked perfectly as you can see below.

Well actually what you can't see is this is after I've removed the first of the 2 ramps and discovered that the combination of log + jack at minimum height is taller than the gap up to the chassis when not held up by a ramp. This combination is therefore well and truly stuck !

So this is where Log & Jack number 2 comes in useful - I had to get an old scissor jack out of the garage and use that to lift the chassis up just a little so I could get the bottle jack out. I( have to say that this was a good lesson in the different capabilities of the 2 jacks because the bottle jack lifted her easily and the scissor jack was hard work

Having learned from the first side I put the scissor jack in whilst the bottle jack was still under and then released that one first and just lowered down on the less capable scissor jack.

On with the job then and the first discovery is that all this warming the stuff up was a waste of time it's still like goo and sprays awfully. So I go indoors and do some more reading and people talk about thinning it down so I take a dollop out of the can, replace with white spirit and shake madly - this time the stuff sprays OK so I start on with it

Apart from the nozzle on the sprayer blocking quite a few times I managed to get the job pretty well done, well at least I thought I had until I took these pictures. You see it's really black under there now and I didn't want to take a torch under as I was a bit messy by then, as you can see later. So I'll need to go back and touch up some bits

All in all however I have about 12 litres of Waxoyl applied and I'm letting that coat go off before I try any more as it's too sticky under there just now

Also at this point Rhian had come home and I needed to spend about an hour cleaning myself  as you can tell by this picture that she took. The 2 kids cycling past the end of the drive just at this time almost fell of their bikes laughing at the state of me.

However even though I do have some more to do I am congratulating myself on another job of improvement well done and no worries about going out in the snow and rain this winter

Update... I had this message from a friend (John Perriment who is a superb photographer
 Waxoyl? Didn't know you could still get that, what a blast from the past. I'm afraid I laughed at your predicament in overshooting the ramps and getting the jack stuck! Still, it's a job well done. At least Katy shouldn't rust anymore during the winter - and neither should you, judging by the state of that photo!
Thanks John!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Kindred Spirits

I have for a while thought it would be good to join a Land Rover club to meet like minded people and get some more sources of excellent advice

Recently I went to the Tredegar House Classic car show and I think I might have found some suitable nutters, I mean Kindred Spirits

Fancy using a classic car show to replace the chassis of your land rover ?

Well these guys did... and here's a view of the old chassis looking not too bad actually

And here's a picture of the new one looking all shiny and galvanised before all the rusty and oily bits go onto it

I suspect that these guys may well be worth having a beer or two with

It also reminds me that I need to get on with Waxolyling before the winter sets in

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Eyes Do Have It Now

After many hours of lying underneath looking at wires that end in knots with second rate scotch lock connectors and corroded wires I gave up

So off to HBH Land Rovers of Caerphilly she went for a short vacation and they have worked magic on her

All new lights were purchased as kit from Foundry 4x4 and despite quite a few comments about Britpart items I have to say that I'm a lot happier than the stuff that was there. With HBH help they are all in and they all work which is a lot more than I've achieved over the last few weeks

Here is a picture here of the nice tidy wiring !

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Wedding Belles

Katy just took us to the wedding of the daughter of some close friends. Holly and Colin looked so happy which is just what you hope to see at such events. The location for the wedding was "The field behind the cotage" and camping was available at the venue so what better vehicle to go in than our own wedding coloured camper.

It was fabulous being able to camp at the venue and therefore not need to worry about drinking. Another great win was the ability to get some of the leftovers of the Hog Roast put away for us to have a fabulous dinner the next day

Holly looked fabulous in her wedding dress. Katy it has to be said, still looks a lot worse for wear with her paint peeling.

No troubles on route but she needs to go in to get those electrics sorted now, and its a bit beyond me, so it's off to the local Land Rover specialist to get me a few more steps along the way

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A New Coat of Eyeshadow

Katy like all ladies like to look her best, but to be honest it's been a long time since she's looked perfect

Non the less as today's planned electrical work has  been postponed because I needed to find out some more information and get some advice on the best way to do things I though that we'd at least tackle some of the most obvious and worst looking areas

Katy does need a proper respray as the people who've painted her before have just put it on top of the old Nato Green and don't even seem to have sanded it down for a good keyed surface before they did so. They didn't even remove the light surrounds before doing it which is why you can see this large green area where they go

It was also really bad under the bull bar/front bumper area as you can see

So off came the plastic and that's had a rub down and a few coats of satin black - here they are in progress. by the time they were finished I got them quite a bit better

Next the old spotlights that don't work came off and we masked up - I was assisted by Steve (discogenic) from the Land Rover Scene forum who's missing not having a Landy at present and offered to pop round and help - THANKS Steve

And then on with loads of rubbing down. Acid etch primer and then a few layers of Halfords Leyland Arum White which isn't a perfect colour match, but was the best I could find for now and looks a lot better than all the peeling bits

This was just a temporary job so it was just the worst bits with the rest masked off, but at least we've stopped some water getting in to cause problems in peeling off more paint and I can take her out in public without feeling quite so embarrassed

There is an awful lot more to do yet. !

No picture of the completed job as it came on to rain just as I was finishing and I had to rush putting things away and pull her forwards onto the drive to get other cars put away

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Eyes have it (or not)

I'm working on improvements again

this time it's lighting which is a bit hit or miss ( a bit too miss to be honest!)

The passenger sidelight was faulty again !

So off with the lens and out with the bulb and yes once again it was a loose connection

So enough is enough and I need some new ones

Trouble is I've seen different kits available so I'm going to need to ask for help from those ever helpful Land Rover forums

So here are the pictures that I'll need to ask for help

This is a closeup of the passenger side light from the rear

This is the whole headlight area showing the original Army Green

And these do not look like any of the standard connections I've seen on lighting kits

And whilst I'm at it - these are the light switches most of which I still can't work out and get anything working when I operate them .. and what is that knob on the left ?

I hope to have some answers soon, and when I do I'll add them here

Monday, 29 August 2011

You Need Friends

One of the best things that has happened to us since getting Katy is the response that he gets when we go and see people. It's often one of amazement, but it's also one of approval and pleasure.

This weekend we popped into see three old sets of friends and we had a unanimously warm welcome from all of them.

First of all was some of my first friends I made when I moved to Cardiff, Chris and Judith who now live "oop north". OK well only about about 20 miles away which is no real real distance and therefore no real excuse for either of us, but we don't get to seem them as much as we should. We were amazed when we finally realised that we'd bought the tax disk after 6 months and they still hadn't seen her so we used the occasion of a Big Birthday to pop in our our way up north.

Both loved her and we've already been invited to drop in after caving conference which would definitely be another katy type event.

Next was another Chris - Christine this time. An epitome of a fun loving bubbly blond if ever I met one! 

Chris has a small house and has also recently had a birthday which we'd not been able to celebrate so we headed off with "Mas vino tinto!" (More red Wine) and Chocolate fudge cake in hand to see her and the mad spaniels she shares her house with. It's a small house and whilst we know she would put herself out for us there's no real reason to make her do that when you can turn up with your own bed in tow !

It even gives somewhere to hide from the mad spaniels !

And finally, but no means least we stopped by to See Hazel and Alan (Judith's Mom and Dad) on our way home. This pair have been real adventurers in their time and I've loved hearing their tales of just getting on with it over the years. They have been the sort of people who's ability to have adventures is inspirational. They had an old Series 3 90 themselves in prior years and I've known that Alan would love to see Katy for some time, but it's been necessary to get the gearbox working before we went visiting.

Alan gave us a really good smile and then one of the most complimentary comment we could get ... "Can we have one !"

So all in all a fantastic couple of days and we've had a really great time - so thanks to you all for making us all feel so welcome and we look forward to seeing you all again in the very near future.

BTW We also spotted an old Series in an almost collapsed barn on our walk. I'll need to take a camera next time I go walking up there.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

WWW = Wet Weekend in Wales

A Wet Weekend in Wales, well at least in part.

We went down to St Davids in Pembrokeshire and once again Katy was wel behaved on the run, however once we got there the heavens opened and we had rain pouring into the passenger footwell again. So out with more silicone sealant and I've tried to cover up every possible hole

Another of the leaks was around the cable where the solar panel feed comes in whioch was more worrying because it was above where we store the bedding ... the solution ... even more silicone sealant.

On the good news front the new shelves in the rear cupbaord worked really well and the smells have all gone now we're replaced the wood in the kitchen cabinets 

Sunday was beautiful and we had a fantastic day out followed by a really smooth run home in light traffic so we're much more confident about going for a run now all seems bedded down from the last trip

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Cupboard Love

Since our trip to Anglesey we've not had a lot of time, but there are some jobs that need to be done before we go away again

Replacing the fridge is going to be a long job, so for now it's been removed because I needed to replace all the wood in the cupboards because someone had spilt something which had soaked into the wood and now stank. We suspect rancid cooking oil. So this type of mess stank !

 Which was hiding this type of mess

Has been replaced with nice clean plywood which has been varnished so if there are more spills it can just be wiped clean and we don't get back to the same problem. As you can see a nice big gap for a new fridge

And whilst I'm there here are the new shelves for the rear cupboard - I mean who needs a wardrobe in a camper van anyway. it's not like the wife will be needing her evening dresses in the middle of a campsite is it?

Hopefully all this will be finished in time for next weekend

Whilst working today we resolved another problem. Another stinking mess in Katy has turned out to be the washer bottle - full of what looked like a bacterial soup - so bad it smelt awful and it gummed up the pipes. All has been cleaned out and works fine now

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Anglesey - The Road Home

OK it wasn't that early and we did take time having a cuppa before we got started, but then it was time for off. Sunshine & Scenery were to be the order of the day as we headed back through Snowdonia and then Mid Wales

First stop after Llanberris was to admire the scene of a rugged Land Rover in even more rugged scenery

Then down to Bedgellert where we met a Subaru Owners club coming the other way. Whilst waiting in the traffic one of them was sitting next to me enjoying the sound of his sporty engines with a bit of revving so I treated him to what the sound of a 300TDi sounds like in full flow. I got a bit of a shocked look!

The journey southwards was uneventful on the mechanical front which was good as it allowed us to concentrate on enjoying the scenery and it is indeed might fine scenery.

We arrived in Cardiff just entering the red on our fuel which means we have put just £95.00 diesel into Katy for this journey. OK we'll need to fill up for the next, but I think the new gearbox has made a massive difference to the driveability and we are all (all three of us I am sure) looking forwards to our next big adventure

Mind you I do have a list of new jobs ....
  1. Remove and replace cupboard shelves which stink !
  2. Add shelves to the rear cupboards
  3. Fix the Exhaust properly
  4. Find out why the washer water isn't working
  5. Find all the leaks around the windscreen and doors and fix them properly
  6. find out why the fridge is only partially efficient and repair or replace it
  7. replace the missing mudflaps
That should be enough to keep me busy for a few weeks or months

Anglesey - Church Bay, Holy Island, South Stack and Roscolyn

After the success of Parys Mountain we rose to some more poor weather so headed off in a slightly miserable state around the north side of the island which has some really small roads.

Church bay was nice, but we did get some strange looks in the lanes.. maybe because the blowing exhaust was getting worse. We arrived at the Llynnon Mill, the only windmill working on Anglesey. I have to say that in an earlier post I commented I would need bigger spanners for workong on katy, but to be honest that's nothing when compared to what you need to work on this gearbox !

Whilst we were there, the weather started improving which was nice so we got some pictures of a white windmill against something other than a pure grey sky.

We then headed to Bagnol Caravan Park in Treardurr Bay where we were welcomed by the owner with a huge grin and a laugh as we blew our way into the campsite and settled into a pitch. His laugh at the site of Katy was followed by him having to come and have a good look at her

The pleasant evening in the sun was followed by a super day on the cliffs at South Stack and then Roscolyn, and then we came back for a final night at the campsite.

With the long journey ahead I decided it was time for some running repairs and it didn't tale long to find the problem. One of the exhaust joints wasn't done up properly and we'd lost 2 bolts  leaving just one holding it together. So on with the overalls i had taken "just in case" and a root around to locate at least one more bolt I could use to repair it, and the blowing was quickly reduced to an acceptable level

All ready for an early start tomorrow...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Anglesey - Moelfre and Amlwych

Having been washed out of Beaumaris we headed north to Moelfre and Amlwych on Tuesday

We ended up farmyard camping at Nant Bychan Farm in Moelfre where we were lucky to get a place, and were only accepted onto the campsite when we said we didn't need electric hookup. It was a bit busy as you can see from this picture of Katy looking out to sea.

OK I can't see what the problem was either... maybe we made a little too much noise...  The exhaust is blowing a little ?!

As the weather was better we tried a little running repairs to the windscreen waterproofing with a tube of silicone sealant, but its not been successful so we need to work our where it's still coming in from

Wednesday we headed for Parys mountain which is a stupendous place, a marvel of geological and historical features and (especially after some rain) a riot of colours as you can see

Katy looked nice as well

We finished the day with a visit to see my relatives who have been on the island since 1951(ish). It was very nice to make connection again since we were last there visiting family in 1975.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Anglesey - Beaumaris

Monday it wasn't actually raining !

The first port of call was to be Beaumaris Castle and a brief respite in the rains allowed us to enjoy a few hours walking around this fantastic building. I've always enjoyed castles, but this one is a wonderful one to walk around as it has many of the wall walks and wall passages still available to walk around which is quite amazing in these times where Elf 'n'Safety has taken all the fun out of things.

After that it was off on some travels but before stopping for some diesel. £95.00 of the stuff !  

Then on to Llangefni to the Oriel Ynys Môn to have a look at the works of famous Kyffin Williams and Charles F. Tunnicliffe amongst others, and then on to Penmon Point to look aty some fascinating dirt (very young rocks) and some interesting skies

Finally we headed back past Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch where katy being a bit of a show off had to stand and have per picture taken in front of the famous railway station sign

Then we headed back in the rain to Beaumaris and another night's good rest on our very nice campsite another good day in Katy !

Anglesey - The Road North

Sunday afternoon, the packing was done, the rain was falling and we were ready for off.

Our first impressions were how much nicer it was with the noise proofing, the second was we were getting wet ! The rain was coming in from around the windscreen and dropping onto us. There was nothing we could do about it so we simply moved anything that could get damaged and continued.

The next sensation was we'd stopped moving forwards... Not a technical problem, simply that we'd reached Builth Wells and although the Royal Welsh Show didn't start until Monday there was still an awful lot of traffic trying to get into the showground and the famous traffic jams were already in full flow

Given the rather un-wonderful weather the scenery in mid Wales had to be described as "disappointing" and we pushed on as fast as we could. Next. we headed towards Snowdonia and once again all of the mountains were cut off at about 200 ft above us and there was nothing to see so we headed on again

We arrived at about 6:30 pm and settled into the Kingsbridge campsite and considered our evening meal. We'd considered eating out to celebrate, but with the weather so bad we settled in for some pasta and we cooked our first meal in Katy. It may not have been Cordon Bleu, but it tasted fantastic to me !

A wonderfully successful day on what we hoped would be be our first successful adventure since the Gearbox disaster

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Soundproofing and Heatproofing the Transmission

Last time we took Katy for a ride the overriding feeling of joy was slightly marred by the sound and warmth coming up from the transmission tunnel

So today';s project was to heatproof and soundproof the transmission tunnel. The starting point was a real old mix of  rubber mats carpet and plastic trim (presumably from the Discovery donor vehicle that provided the original replacement gearbox. It was all a right mess and needed to come out and be cleaned and replaced where possible

Then it was out with all the old and in with a load of sealant over all the gaps where panels were not fastened together well. Then, as with all jobs on Katy so far, nothing is entirely straightforward and the passenger side of the transmission tunnel was not fitted well to the foot well plates so the first thing we had to do was fix a strengthening plate across the screw fittings and seal up all the holes that could let water in.

l and then this shiny new heatproof and soundproof foam which we got of eBay.

The description that came with it was: -

1) Light Weight
2) Heat Insulation ( helps to keep the vehicle warm inside - thanks to the foil membrane ).
3) Sound Insulation ( Ideal to limit engine and road noise )
4) Waterproof ( The rubber is closed cell and so does not absorb water like a sponge - I think this is really important as we still have a lot of leaks)
5) Flame retardant
6) Interior or Exterior use ( Can be used in under bonnet applications )
7) Odor Free ( no horrible rubbery smell )
8) Self adhesive ( peel off backing sheet )
9) Easy to cut and form
10) 10mm thick

If you are interested click here  it was very easy to work with so I'm happy to give it a plug

And then over it all went some tidy carpet to finish the look and make the cabin a whole lot nicer place to be.

This should probably be specialist car carpet, but it's an off cut from the local carpet store which cost less than £5.00 and I still have enough to replace it a dozen times if I need to

I cut down the plastic surrounds as much as I could. I may look for a better solution, but probably need to see a few people's work to get some ideas

We did have to make some adjustments to the bulkhead rubber matting to get it to fit back in place properly because the new foam and carpet mix is about 10mm thicker than the old matting we took up, it took about 5 minutes with a Stanley Knife to get it fitting right.

The job isn't quite finished as we could only get brown foam to seal the gear lever plate so we need to get some coloured foam or plastic to complete the job (or find a proper new replacement part), and the foot wells need doing (but there's a leak to find and plug before I want to put carpet on the floor, even if the foam is closed cell) but it's another step towards having our adventures in comfort

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Carpet Shopping

Noise proofing is the next step forwards

The trouble is that the transmission tunnel in Katy is a real mess of parts taken from donor vehicles and then by the look of it hammered into place, and the plastic clips that should hold the gear lever gaiters have suffered in this, but I'm not sure what of the items available to purchase will fit because of all these mods. So I don't think that any of the kits I can buy will work out of the box.

Therefore we've been shopping today and we are now the owners of some heatproof noise proofing rubber matting and also some real wool berber carpet to put over that. I'm going to try extra strength Velcro to hold the gear lever gaiters in place as most of the plastic clips are broken

All of this should make quite a difference when it's all fitted properly ... IF I can get it to that is

I see many hours with a craft knife and double sided tape ahead

Monday, 4 July 2011

Katy's on the road again

With new gear and transfer boxes in place and working well and making Katy more driveable I think todays shakedown cruise to Pwll Du and back deserves a song in our hearts, and as I'm no good at singing, With due deference to Manfred Mann, Here it is ...

Katy's on the road again
Wearin' different gears again
Katy's turning propshafts round
To keep her tyres clean
All her fuel is flowing again
Her gear's as good as gold again
Sez if you see Rhian now ask her please to sit in me

Rhian and I we moved along
Since the day - down in the hollow
When the mind went driftin' on
And the wheels were soon to follow

Katy's on the road again
Wearin' different gears again
Katy's turning propshafts round
To keep her tyres clean
All her fuel is flowing again
Her gear's as good as gold again
Sez if you see Rhian now ask her please to sit in me

Downtown in the big town
Gonna set you back on your heels
With a camper full of memories
And a lot of stickers for my windshield
Shut the door, Cut the light
Katy won't be home tonight
You can wait till the dawn rolls in
You won't see our Katy again

Friday, 1 July 2011

What a Difference Some Gears Makes


What a difference !

I went up to do the final bits today and all is now completed. Including fitting all the  interior back and finding the air leak into the fuel system and having replaced a section of fuel pipe.

Steve found a piece of metal fuel pipe that would go inside the rubbine one and we could luse jubille clips to get a good seal . That was fun as I had to cut into the fuel pipe with a full tank of diesel and splice in a section. No matter how I tried I wasn't going to win and I ended up standing under a Diesel shower.whilst I got the new pipe in and tightened up the joints

Just as we were about to finish Rhian turned up with some rather wonderful fresh egg sarnies made with the output of the Walford hens. A few more minutes and some help from Phil (Rhian's dad) sorting out the airlocks that I had created in emptying the pipes (I learned an new trick of loosening injector number one and letting the air bubble out) and and we moved from a stationary hulk to the sound of a rumbling 300Tdi once more.

So here she is ready for the off.. .

And what the doors look like up close... 

Never mind that I've got a boiler suit on.

At that point I was able to start her up, engage reverse without it jumping out again, and back her out of the garage and do a quick back and forwards up and down the drive.

So a few more jobs it was out for a test drive of Katy with her new gearboxes today and I have to say that the sound and performance were superb !

Gear changes are now positive and the take up has no massive clunk, the sound of cruising is a simple high pitched gearbox wine and the speed up hills is maintained much better

I have to admit that I would never have been here had I not had Steve, Phil and Dan helping along the way but the pleasure I have had in doing much of the work myself is significant and I now feel that I will be able to show my face at land rover events and say with some confidence that I understand how they work and I can even show a few bumps and bruises for a while to prove that I have really been doing the work myself

It's not all done. There are jobs that need looking at again such as the reversing lights which need a connector that Bearmach were not able to supply and of course a complete clean inside and out before anyone is allowed to go in with nice clothes
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