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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