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Land Rova shenanigans

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Between Fatha Thestag and I we see to have collected 6 Land Rover products, a Series IIa 88, 3 Range Rover 2 Door models and 2 1990s Vogue Range Rovers – though one of those has gone, shedding rust and blowing steam to Solhalla, offroad factory test track heaven.








Three are legal runners, two could be classed as barn finds except for the fact that I aint lost em to find them again in a barn.


So starting with the first, dad living in North Devon had an itch for a series Land Rover. The car he bought in about 2002 was solid enough but definitely Devon maintained. Love alone would have struggled to keep it running much longer. Every MOT was painful, I fixed the head gasket and fitted a autosparks loom to replace the very crumbly original in 2004. That cured most of the electrical related failures, patches were welded over patches on the chassis until Feb 2009! Ubiquitous MoT refusal sheet looked as follows;


Reason(s) for failure

Indicator tell tale missing (1.4.A.2a)

Windscreen washer provides insufficient washer liquid (8.2.3)

Rear registration plate deteriorated (6.3.1d)

Offside Rear brake drum contaminated by brake fluid (3.5.1h)

Offside Front Brake hose excessively deteriorated (3.6.B.4d)

Centre Vehicle structure has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)

Nearside Front Shock absorber has an excessively worn bush (2.7.4)

Nearside Rear Vehicle structure has an unsatisfactory modification, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)

Offside Rear Vehicle structure has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)

Nearside Rear Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded (2.4.A.3)

Offside Rear Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded (2.4.A.3)


Advisory notice item(s)

Service brake: service brake efficiency only just met. It would appear that the braking system requires adjustment or repair. (3.7.C.1a)

Parking brake: parking brake efficiency only just met. It would appear that the braking system requires adjustment or repair. (3.7.C.1b)

Steering system slightly tight (2.2.D.1)

Steering system slightly rough (2.2.D.1)

all brake pipes have corrsoion

underside of vehicle has corrosion

shcok absorbers and leaf springs have corrosion

Oil leak


Bill from garage for welding alone was £600 but by now Wesley the IIa was running very sweetly, engine and box were sound, body was battle scarred but patinated, new canvas had been fitted and of course we had invested in a new loom. So the only course of action had to be a new chassis.


Mutha Thestag was sold the concept and accepted under protest.


Formulated a plan for three blokes to do the chassis change in 48hours. Me to plan and lead, dad for basic spannering and uncle Ian to shear heads off nuts and bolts


This is what we did, notice subtle difference between the two pics. Fatha Thestag appears in both pics





MoT pass took another two months because uncle Ian took the damn thing apart again to get the panels painted. It passed with a clean sheet, first one of those for many decades



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rolling chassis still carried some weight - mainly rust and the road is steeper than it looks :D


All of that ^^^ was day 1


Anyway the rolling chassis was taken down the lane, shackles cut from the old chassis, new shackles and pins to attach the axles to the new chassis then built back up with milestones for beer consumption










A-Posts looking pretty ropy







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roll fowards to 2015, all that has happened is fitting some proper 1 tonne rear springs because the originals collapsed under the strain of logs :D


My nephews were washing the car ready for the South Molton Vintage Rally when the passenger door was "accidently" dragged from its top hinge. They both denied any misdemeanour. Quickly was able to identify not only very rotten door tops but also upper a-posts. The interim fix involved a lump hammer and lump of firewood.


This aint going to close



Going to need a bigger hammer










That old bastard in the brown fleece is me


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fast wind to last week for the series. cut out and replaced the upper a post. needed screen out but else pretty easy. fitted new doors and screen tops. Paint match wasnt the best, think Ray Charles did that bit eh Fatha Thestag?


Doors shut like a 1950s Bentley now

















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my first Range Rover has a hasty purchase, looked shiny and the seller was the publican from my old local where I met Mrs Thestag. I should have walk no run away but I ended up parting hard cash for a money pit.


This was it at the end of our relationship




I let me down more times than all my other cars combined. I was on first name terms with the call centre lady at the RAC. But it was a blast. 


Problems in a nutshell were rust and mechanical issues. Oh and the lacquer was lifting making each panel a different colour. and the rear top tailgate liked to open all by itself. the viscous diff was seized, the CV joints were dead, the transfer box went bang very loudly. the engine regularly shat coolant from the expansion tank due to dropped liner in the block and the rust! did I mention the rust.


At the very end it popped the rad and lost all coolant on the M40, by the time I got to the hard shoulder the engine has seized solid. It did restart again but sounded nasty. I threw in the towel


Interestingly I found it was a Land Rover owned car, it was painted BRG and was the first Range Rover to be painted BRG. I probably shouldn't have scrapped it but economics didn't make sense at the time. Don't make any more sense now tbh


I bought my next Range Rover for less than it would have cost me to put this one right. There is a tinge of guilt that it is no more. newish bits were recovered and went on my shelves in the garage and still keep current car on the road. The rest went on ebay. one dustbin of stuff went to the tip. I returned a tidy profit out of it I think













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What a great fleet! Top welding skills, is it you or your dad that's handy with the MIG? Interesting to read up on your RR classics, I suspect mine looks like that under the (aluminium) skin.

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This replaced it and is still my daily driver




Bought it in July 2006, it had done just 46k miles and had two owners from new, at that time I could find NO rust on it anywhere. 


It has now done over 150k


fitted LPG early in my ownership and it has averaged 15mpg, horrific? nah last fill was at 49p / litre and I get a 3.9 V8 to play with


Routine maintenance (which I do myself) really until last year when I had to do my first batch of welding on it, could do with a new rear crossmember which I will do in the new year.


I replaced all the bushes first with red Poly but they were too hard so I went for Blue Poly which are very much like factory rubber. Why not go factory rubber? i dont have a 20 tonne press yet, and didnt fancy going through this every couple of years.


I fitted leather seats from a 1990 Vogue last year, no shitty memory seats but they are electric. wasnt sure to start with but they suit it.


o/s CAT bunged up earlier this year and rather than go for a cheap shit-part mild steel unit I went for stainless from the manifolds out. it transforms the sound, and is more economical too, only .5mpg but that .5 makes a difference :)


Hauling the family down to the South of France and back was a load of fun and something I recommend, LPG all the way too. Heavily loaded, bikes on the rack on the back and 16mpg average on cheap fuel. Equivalent to high 20's mpg - what the same as a 300TDi? never and for a V8, noooooooooooooo etc









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What a great fleet! Top welding skills, is it you or your dad that's handy with the MIG? Interesting to read up on your RR classics, I suspect mine looks like that under the (aluminium) skin.


My welding, more credit to mr flappy disc to be honest. Much more on 1972 RRCs to come

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next instalment, 


Unsuspecting owner "Hello Mr Land Rover Dealer my car heater blower squeaks and squeals quite alot, can you fix it please"


LR Dealer "certainly sir £11ty thousands groats please"


Unsuspecting owner "fucking hell why so steep?"


LR Dealer "because the first thing installed into the interior is the heater unit, to get at it we need to remove the world first"


ah but no you dont.




remove top dash maybe an hour if you need a fag break every 15 mins




with dash top out of the way you can see the top of the heater unit.


Use hole cutter to drill two holes where i did




being careful of the motor loom that runs inside






then using a silicon lubricant with the straw you can reach the two bearings on on the end of the motor 




and the other through the right hand hole 


While you are there get rid of the field mouse that has been doing all the squeeking



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front brake discs next


MoT 2014 had an advisory that the discs were getting thin but not weakened. Never done the front discs, pretty good chance they were factory items so that will be 150k on them then. so when the pads were getting low I thought I would change the discs at the same time. In Aug 2015 




^^ thats a bit scary on a 2.3tonne car that I use on the motorway quite a lot.


Piece of piss to do though, and a standard 1/2 inch drive socket set does most of it except for the 1/4" af bolt that secures the rigid pipe from calliper to flexies on the top of the hub. rusted solid. used my dremel to grind it off.


with calliper out of the way the only special tool (probably the only special tool on the Range Rover) is one of these to undo the hub nuts




they can be had for less than an Ayrton so it beggers belief why folk use a chisel and hammer!!


Hub - Disc bolts are undone easier if you lay the road wheel face down, insert the hub and disc onto the road wheel so it is held in place by the wheel studs, then you can attack the hub-disc bolts. you end up with this




then it started pissing down!!


3x3 gazebo to the rescue




removed bearings from hub, cleaned in petrol, refitted with new hub seal and locking tab then bolted it all back together




Just the other side to do now :D

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New discs and pads on the front, took it for a drive and all working. next day driving to work and at anything over 20mph but below 40 I could hear a click click noise like a stone stuck in the tyre. but no stones. put up with it until end of the week and it was now click click clicking at all speeds upto about 40mph but after a 5 mile drive.


So I stripped down the drivers side hub and found this


small disk brake.mp4


disc runout was 14thou, removed disc and checked mating face between disc and hub. checked wheel bearings but all ok, so I swapped out the disc for one with a 5thou runout


Still click click click, so I bought another set of pads just to check, always useful to "have on the shelf" and at this point noticed that the back of the pad is just painted metal. no squeal pad!


FFS! to I stuck some duck tape to the back of the pad and refitted and no more click click click


ended up buying anti squeal adhesive pads from ebay to stick to the pads. Mintex decided to no longer supply pads with this anti squeal bits fitted. 

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Splendid thread. Love the IIA and on a Sussex reg too.

My RRC was as fucked as your first one, I still don't think in the grand scheme of things they are any worse than any other old British motor and least they are nice and chunky to work on.

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I had a problem with the drivers side manifold blowing gaskets all the time. I went on fixing it for ages. then the cat started rattling. I suspect some of the downpipe gasket found its was in and cats dont like bits rattling around against them.


These are the gaskets that sit between the manifold and the head




against new items




I didnt plan to remove the manifold but though I saw a crack in it. so did, and the manifold to down pipe gasket looked like this




and the manifold crack, it wasnt a problem but I had another manifold in the shed from the green car I broke so that went on




But I had to mess about with thuds and stuff




new gaskets fitted up and it blew again within 100 miles


fuckedy fuck


In the end I came to the conclusion that the cat was bunged up on the drivers side. I tried to find a second hand used old stock downpipe and cat y section but they have all gone! then I looked at the mild steel offerings but mindful that my mild steel mid and back boxed rusted out in 18 months it was going to be expensive. I ended up going for a full stainless system from manifold back. pricey but not planning to sell this car any time soon.




Manifold no longer blows and the car sounds awesome


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Range Rover headlining look like the inside of a Bedouin tent?


Easy fix. 2h work max


I had done this already but made the mistake of using normal fabric adhesive and not the stuff that could survive on the surface of the sun. so somewhat annoyingly the job had to be redone a few years later again.. arghhh


So in a nutshell headlining on the range rover is on a fibreglass backing which is held in place by rear speakers, sun visors, roof lights and fuck handles. It comes out in as long as it takes you to undo 32 cross head screws, 4 inside the overhead lights, 6 on the sunvisors, 8 on the speakers and the rest on the fuck handles.


The rear seats have to fold flat, head rests out of the front seats and boot side trim needs to come out. I have a toroidal LPG tank where the spare wheel sits and the head lining comes out at an angle through the rear tailgate. you should end up like this






the old fabric comes off quite easily and the backing is tough but I was careful not to shred it.


New fabric supplied as a complete kit by Martrim was laid roughly in place then folded back halfway






Then this glue was sprayed generously on the backing in one direction and the back of the fabric in the other.




It was sunny on the day I did this so I started working the two together from the mid point outwards. once it sticks it is a bugger to lift off again. When the mid - back section was done folded the loose fabric from the front and repeated 


the fabric has enough give that you can mold it into quite complex corners.


Should look like this








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With the fabric glued and in place, trimmed roughly around the edges so there was a 2-3" overlap and then glued that in place. this stuff sticks on contact. very pleasing to use




holes, lots of them I cut out carefully leaving a 2-3mm overlap. I used a bradle to make holes for the screws




then it was read to refit. needs two people to line it up. to keep the new fabric off the floor. but basically got the head lining into the car so it was resting on the rear view mirror. then tucked the rear most bit under a metal flap that side along the top edge of the tailgate. then fitted the two interior lights. that gets it into the right place so then it is just a case of fiddling the other screws in to finish the job.








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Splendid thread. Love the IIA and on a Sussex reg too.

My RRC was as fucked as your first one, I still don't think in the grand scheme of things they are any worse than any other old British motor and least they are nice and chunky to work on.


I though C"PX" would be a Pompy number :D


You think the green car is fucked - well it is now, I will post up some picks of the red 2 door,  here is a taster of one of the better bits, complete body rebuild is needed. budgeting of £2k in panels, welding gaz and wire :(



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Nice work on the headlining! I'm in the middle of doing the same on my Visa, which has a fibreglass backing, or something cheap, French and more cardboard than fibreglass, tbh. I say I'm half way through; one half has been glued to the backing then left overnight to check for adhesion and the other half is awaiting the same fate, weeks later.....


Must say you achieved much better results on the curved parts than I did!

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be careful with the glue! #1 mistake I made first time round. inside of the roof in summer temp will exceed 120f. The glue I used first time was a contact adhesive but bugger all use in high temp areas. so first sunny day and the whole lot comes down. 


Martrim sell this stuff by the can




i suspect that the fabric I used is a lot more giving and the results flatter me which is why I found it to fit nicely

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I like a bit of grinding. Only I like to protect myself. Googles, Leather Gloves and Ear Defenders. (and hat to stop my hair burning)

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Oh crumbs health and safety ;)





in retrospect I probably should add to that picture don’t try this at home folks. Nobody tells Unc Ian what to do and he was grinding away from his face and wearing glasses. That is about as close as he gets to elf and safety.



Goggles for me are mandatory when grinding , so absolutely agree there 



I think there is a degree of being sensible with any H&S. In the workplace and because employers are obliged to keep you as safe as is possible not only will you will look like a cosmonaut in Chernobyl to cut the head off a bolt but also have to go on refresher training every month to ensure that the employer has fulfilled every obligation to keep you safe.



So leather gauntlets when using a grinder? Not for me because I am more in control of the device with bare hands, especially when switching on and off.  Anyway gloves not going to stop a 10,000rpm disc should the unthinkable happen. So understanding the risk I will take my chances



Same I guess with Ear defenders! My kids and Mrs make more noise than a 60 second burst of grinding :D



I do take my time when doing anything like this and do think twice before starting or doing anything that is going to hurt if it goes wrong but I have to be sensible, well more sensible than unc Ian that is.


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Excellent thread, really like reading these (prolly cos I cant do any of that sparkly stuff) and seeing how people keep stuff going that would otherwise be left for dead.    That RR heater work-around is just like the one for a T25 VW!    And CPX...G is indeed West Sussex, May-June 1969

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Today was a busy day for the 93 Vogue


The screen washer bottle empties too damn fast and the bonnet was wobbling more than normal on a trip to Bromsgrove last week.


Washa Bott 1st


8 litre capacity on this baby sadly not a Cricklewood Bentley though, couple of bolts hold it in place but LPG gubbins get in the way to remove so I have to give it a wiggle.


Once out found that the water was leaking past the float level warning






Smeared bathroom sealer on the seal and refitted




Left it 1 hour to dry and refilled the tank and all is well again


3 pumps and one float level sensor that didnt work until today. works again so I fixed two things at the same time




^^ After wiggling it back into place again


Washer jets block up with the mould crap that is in the washer bottle so I tried to remove as much as I could with bleach and other nasties. Didnt use Cilit Bang because I want to keep this. Blast of 120psi air through the water feed to the washer jets on the bonnet cleared those in about a millionth of a second





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wobbly bonnet!


Had this before and tried too subtle a fix!


Needs the crap welding out of it but for that I need less rain and the bonnet off the car.


So short term fix was call for.


Here is the problem and judging by the number of bonnet pins and external rubber locks on Range Rovers this is a common problem.


The centre pin catch is secured to the inside of the bonnet by three nice bolts. the weak point is the metal on the bonnet. As you can see here it fractures, note this is after I had remove the previous too suble fix and the bonnet catch itself




This is the failed fix but broken






The revised fix is to use a single lump of steel welded to the bonnet. in the short term it is bolted and riveted in place.


Air drills have enormous torque. and using the hole enlarger I got this easily




With the centre hole drilled out for the reverse side of the plunger and its huge square captive nut, I marked out for the 3 bolts that secure it to the bonnet




which were drilled while clamped to the work bench with a g clamp and scrap / sacrificial wood




Fitted back to the car with pop rivets all is wobble free again











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93 Vogue central locking has been playing me up. Up until today it often locks all the doors, then unlocks them all but arms the alarm. Cue loads of HONK! HONK! HONK! fun when doors are opened. Found it was the drivers door plunger that was causing this. using the key to lock the car via the drivers door lock made me very nervous because despite it locking and arming it was also very tight. I had visions of completing the exercise on a dark and damp night but withdrawing just half of the key.


Other problem is that the n/s/r door locks just fine but doesnt unlock on the central locking. Just typical niggles on a 22 year old car. Imagine how fucked off Tarquin was with his brand new very expensive conveyance outside his Kensington pad and in front of his Polo chums? I mean like ffs and panel gaps that you could get a ham into  :)


Today however the situation when up a level. Car alarm was arming itself without me doing owt. then HONK! HONK! HONK! without me going near the doors! After the forth time on the Shell forecourt and while being watched on by sympathetic Nissan Fuckarsed Juke owners I used the drivers key to lock the car arm it and stop all the HONK! HONK! HONK! shit.


So windiest day of the year. time to fix, this is at the start




Never been apart before But I know how they go together. loads of stupid clips and stuff that mean it is a bugger to do if you dont know.




This is the pull handle, plastic trim covers the screwheads.




Plastic covers that are made from bone china




Using my latest ebay purchase, with a bit of duck tape wrapped around it to protect the painted surfaces I teased each plastic clip from its home without breaking one of them!!!!










Nice factory stamp on the back of the panel. Thanks guys but I think JG may have been a scab in 1763 etc



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