Saturday, 24 November 2012


It was a 5:45 am start and Katy wasn't invited I'm afraid because we were going to be travelling at high speed and I needed to seat 4 people

The destination Lode Lane, home of Land Rover and the manufacturing site of the still iconic Defender. A grey morning, bur we were soon feeling welcome as they had put up a sign to say so.

Our guides for the day were Graham and Sam. He'#s got about 46 year in with Land Rover, She's not 46 yet, but both were superb hosts and we had a lot of fun with them and we all thanked them both for the time they spent making sure we had a fantastic time

The spanners and hammers putting the Defenders together were a wonderful counterpoint to the new multimillion pound presses that create a whole half of a Range Rover in about 45 seconds.

Unfortunately they don't allow photography inside the plant, but I would love to do so if I could ever get the chance because the sparks coming off the new robots were wonderful

back in the shop we had another treat. Roger Crathorn Author of 'Born in Lode Lane' was passing through the shop and he was happy to sign a few books for the team

 And pose for a picture with the team...

Back outside we shared some sunshine before heading off to a local hostelry for lunch

 There we met up with some of the guys from the Defender line, shift supervisors and managers who were as passionate about the car we we all are. It was fantastic to chat with them and exchange information and opinions on how great the car is. They were a great advert for the marque (as was the whole day) and we had a wonderful day out 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Boing (Part 3)

In prior posts I wrote about my attempts to stop the Body Roll when cornering and driving on uneven roads
I changed the rear springs and shocks, and I changed the front ones too, and I replaced the Anti Roll bar linkages with new stiffer ones and polybushes

Everything made a little difference, bu nothing made enough of a difference so I have continued with the improvements so today I fitted a new28mm thick Anti Roll Bar with Polybushes from Extreme 4x4 to the back of Katy

Here is how it looked when I stated (there is a very similar shot of after the upgrade later on in the post)

The 1st job as usual was to get the old one off which was fairly straightforward as I'd been oiling all the nuts and bolts in preparation for this job and everything came off easily

As you can see

Next there was some adjustment as the new bars are narrower across than the old ones so the linkages needed turning around to fit.  As I had fitted new ones recently with new polybushes these were not being replaced. it was a simple case of knocking them out...

And turning them around ...

Soon the new bars were in place. If you compare this to the one at the top you can see it;s much thicker  as it has a larger hole in the bushes) as well as the different bar profile

And everything looked good for a test drive

Which went very well and I really do think these have made a lot of difference (maybe I should have stated here, but I'm happy with all the upgrades)

I have a new bar for the front which has not had one before. Whilst the difference has been significant I will still fit the front bar because I am told that it improves steering responsiveness and I still think everything that can help should be done

Frankly I'm surprised that Land Rover ever let these go out with just the standard Anti Roll Bar given the size and weight

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Mud Flaps

You would think my 100th post on this blog would be something profound.... it's not going to be

Nothing exciting you may think, but quite an excercise in itself, and another job completed so a bit more self satisfaction

As I commented in the post Nothing-is-simple the new rear flaps I had bought were not going to fit. After doing some checking the easiest thing was to buy some new front ones and cut them to shape.

However also in the last post you can see the state of the fasteners that held the old ones onto the brackets. These were not going to come off without serious effort and I ended up brealing them off with a long spanner cutting them off with a cutting disc on a battery operated Dremmel hand tool

To complete this work 22 nuts & bolts or rivets had to be addressed. 20 of them ended up being cut off.

I now have 22 nice new copper greased and undersealed ones holding the new flaps in place, so in 25 years tie shen this set wear out it should be easier for someone to replace them. maybe that someone will be me. As that point Katy will be my current age (50) and I'll be wat the 2 of us add up to now (75) so I'll need the jobs to be easier

At least there is less mud hitting the underside all the time now

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Katy's History again

I've recently had some information regarding Katy's history that I would love to look into further and try and get to the bottom of

As is stated on the About Katy page there is a question regarding whether she served in the former Yugoslavia. This has been commented upon by Clive who left a useful comment on the Anti Roll Bar Linkages page which put that possibility at even more question as he did not remember 127 ambulnaces when he seved

Purely by chance this weekend I was reading a book called Land Rover 90, 110 & Defender 83-94 Gold Portfolio by R M Clarke from Brooklands publishers which included a picture of a 127 in full UN paint stating it was taken in Bosnia by Carl Schulze who I find mentioned on the Internet as a photojournalist  .

 The print is not sharp, but I think the registration is 63-KG-63 whereas Katy is 63-KG-65, but it looks like  real confirmation that 127 ambulances were out there, and if one was... maybe another was

I've sent the publisher an email but if you know any contact details for the Author or for Carl himself I would be really pleased if you could pass on this post in the hope he may get in contact with me

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