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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
So the preparations continue, due to a few personal reasons we have not been able to get out camping this year - but the weather hasn't been great so I am not too fussed. Plenty of Airbnb weekends climbing in the Lakes and North Wales which has been nice.

We had the MOT on Saturday and passed with flying colour, even with a tier one panic just as we were leaving home with the windscreen wiper arm falling off - I mean why... why is that even a problem.... If I wanted to take it off, it would never come off!? The only advisory on the MOT was a slightly worn track rod end which I will sort out.

I have been working through the list of things to do, sadly as I tick one off another seems to creep up on us but thankfully most are only quick things to sort. All the big awkward jobs are done, so now its finally down to the fun / more interesting bits... but those are the bits that always seem to take the longest!

- Steering damper bushes
- Quite bad water ingress issues**
- I have replaced the radio but now one of the speakers is buzzing
- I need slightly higher awning brackets, I asked AW4x4 about this on a few occasions and never heard anything back so going to make my own using his as a template.
- I am going to make a rear door drop down table/ storage & fit a gas strut to the rear door.

I am still not happy with the storage inside, everything is stored in stiff canvas bags (think wolf box cubes), that's great for stopping everything flying around but makes things little tricky to access.

The best thing we have fitted so far is the full width intercooler, it feels a lot smoother and more responsive. Carpeting the interior trim has also been a big plus, really changed how it feels looks a lot smarter.

**The water ingress saga is doing my head in at the moment. I must admit I haven't been impressed by AW4x4 in this at all. The way the roof is constructed there are two separate areas - lets call them upper hinge and lower hinge. Its impossible for a leak on the upper hinge to affect the lower hinge and vice versa. So I have identified at least two leaks.

The first is the upper hinger the canvas on the divers side front corner is always wet. When you open the roof there will be quite a substantial flow come out of the roof (and through the window if its open).

The second is from the lower hinge, water ingresses and builds up behind a void space, then overflows into the headlining (which has its own smaller lip) so as soon as you move off it pours water from the roof - and there is no way to remove this before driving off as its behind the headlining. I have resorted to pushing a tea towel into the gap to try and soak it up when driving.

Having already gone back to AW4x4 and the problem coming back even worse my partner and I set to with the hosepipe and identified several places it was leaking - about three bolt holes (the bolts were completely loose), several rivets which you could see daylight through and the corners where the original roof had been welded to the frame and just filled with some sort of sealant.

We contacted him again, and to be fair he did say he would help (bearing each time we go up there is a 200 mile round trip), but rather than just saying he would sort it - instead we got a whole load of reasons / blames: "why are you just messaging me out of the blue with this" (surely any message is out of the blue? You cant pre warn someone your going to message them?) "you don't look after the truck", "its the snorkel", "the rust will wipe off, its probably just a chip in the paint", "no one else has ever had an issue" etc etc. To be quite frank, I don't want to deal with someone like that, also based on the quality of the previous 'fix' I don't trust that he will solve the issue either.

So yesterday set about solving it our self. We removed each bolt in turn, applied sealant and larger penny washers and replaced. When he had reinstalled the bolts last time he must have done them up with an impact as several were stripped and some of the threaded holes had been stripped. We then also went around and tightened everything we would and applied sealant around all the edged, joins and corners that we could find. We didn't remove the hinge this time as its a huge pain and I don't think that's where its coming in, its the actual bolts.

When my partner is back on Tuesday we are going to hosepipe test it again and see if that's fixed it. If that fails then I think I am going to look at either putting a different hinge on the front and / or replacing the small Alan headed bolts with larger flange type ones which should form a better seal. The front hinge is the main problem. The way its attached means that the slightest leak will come into the cab or wet the canvas.



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Post #1028448 18th Mar 2024 11:33am
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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
EDIT - Posted twice
Post #1028449 18th Mar 2024 11:33am
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Bluest



Member Since: 23 Apr 2016
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 3997

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS CSW Java Black
That's a shame to hear about your experience with the leak. I think sorting it yourself, if you can, will be the better long term option. It does seem that a lot of these relatively small aftermarket firms selling high value products struggle when things go wrong. I think they basically don't have the capacity in the business to deal with issues. You've almost got to buy on the expectation you'll be on your own afterwards, as frustrating as that can be. 2007 110 TDCi Station Wagon XS
Post #1028511 18th Mar 2024 6:22pm
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LR Nuts



Member Since: 10 Aug 2022
Location: UK
Posts: 827

 
"You've almost got to buy on the expectation you'll be on your own afterwards, as frustrating as that can be."

Not unlike the vehicle it s on ....... Sad
Post #1028514 18th Mar 2024 6:38pm
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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
@LR Nuts - tell me about it! It seems like an uphill battle sometimes!

@Bluest - A big thing for doing it myself was I know its done then. I did the remedials at the weekend and its sat on the drive now with everything still exposed so I can hosepipe it down daily and see if the issue is solved. If this fails then I am not sure what to do! Back to square one I think and start again with a new hinge, seals and bolts.

I agree with what you said, it certainly seems that way.
Post #1028731 20th Mar 2024 9:38am
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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
So I have finally found the source. Its the drivers side roof corner. Where AW4x4 has welded the original roof to the filler piece of the pop top that goes above the dash. In the rain last night it was visibly coming in, then fills up the 2cm lip / gully behind the headlining. If I opened the roof it would all come pouring out. If I leave it, it will fill up more and overspill into the lower lip / onto the driver. Its a really bad design.

I have already sealed everything from the outside and inside and its still getting in somehow. I have started removing the sealant on the inside to try and have another go but there is just no obvious place on the outside.

Other than sealant or getting someone to take apart the roof and re-welding I am not sure what what else I could do, its an incredibly awkward corner to get into. I could possibly trim the gasket / rubber seal between the roof and frame so the water can drain out, but its a bit of a bodge and wont stop the canvas getting wet.



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Post #1028753 20th Mar 2024 1:35pm
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St1410



Member Since: 19 Mar 2024
Location: Greater Manchester
Posts: 1

United Kingdom 2003 Defender 110 Td5 CSW Alaska White
Hi, surprised to hear about problems with your pop top. I had mine done by Lewis at AW4X4 a couple of years ago and haven’t had any issues. As he is not too far away for me, I’ve had other mechanical jobs and paintwork done and always been very happy with the results.

Appreciate it is a trek but I would take Lewis up on his offer to help sort this out. I’ve always found him to take great pride in his work so I know he would want to make sure you’re happy.

Not wanting to upset but I’ve used a lot of small specialist firms over the years so don’t really agree with comments/posts about aftermarket service being poor as most of these firms live and die by their reputation so go the extra mile and AW4X4 is no exception.

Hope all gets sorted and you get your project back on track and get many trouble free trips away with your defender pop top camper conversion.
Post #1028807 20th Mar 2024 8:19pm
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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
So good news!

After a trying on and off for weeks, I think we have finally solved the water leak. Yesterday I washed the car, and all night it rained and I just checked and touch wood - its dry! I think its been a combination of things including:
- Loose bolts on the front hinge
- Damage to the threaded holes during the last remedial works
- Pin holes in the welding on the front corner
- Possibly around the alpine light (not 100% sure on this)

Having stripped the entire roof apart its given us a few ideas of things to change / how to make a few improvements over the coming year. One of those is maybe redoing the headlining, its been insulated but they did not insulate the vertical bars in the roof and also around the alpine lights / some of the joins have been cut a bit short so could be better. It would be a right faff to do working upside down though, but my partner is brilliant at all things carpeting.



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We found that before Christmas when we were out in about -6 the roof was fine apart from where the bars were which were frozen on the inside. The opposite was the case too, on the outside the roof was frozen apart from where the bars were which had melted. Its amazing to see what the difference insulation makes!

Another improvement I want to make is that there is a light and 12v socket, I want to rewire these to the leisure battery rather than the starter battery.

Yesterday was a mixed day where we got a lot of the small things done including:

- When we took the roof apart we found that the Velcro holding the canvas together wasn't stitched on one side (the other side was stitched) so my partner stitched that on.


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- We have been making clear panels for the side windows so we can have them open when its wet / cold. Its amazing how much difference in light it makes.


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- The roof has a lot of flex when you lift it and so we are looking at maybe fitting a roof rack to add some strength in the future. But for now we dragged out our old roof bars, painted them up and fitted them. Its added surprisingly more strength that I thought. While the paint was out we also touched up the shovel on the wing, the snow cowl and a few different bits.

- My partner is brilliant at all things carpeting. I have tried myself before and not a chance! I just don't have the patients or finesse for it. She has carpeted all of the interior trim and did the outside of the cubby box yesterday.


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Were going away this weekend for a club meet up which will be nice, first time away this year in the defender so fingers crossed!

I think the next stage of work is to get it ready for the Pyrenees. We are going to make a bug net for the rear door and using some C-channel and engineering make a Alucab Rain Gutter style piece to go between the truck and the awning.
Post #1029231 25th Mar 2024 2:07pm
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L110CDL



Member Since: 31 Oct 2015
Location: Devon
Posts: 10502

England 
Got my fingers crossed for you and a great update, many thanks Thumbs Up

Have a great time away this weekend Very Happy 1996 Golf Blue 300Tdi 110 Pick up. Keeper.


Clayton.
Post #1029293 25th Mar 2024 9:18pm
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34064



Member Since: 12 Dec 2023
Location: South Central
Posts: 93

United Kingdom 2003 Defender 110 Td5 HT Alaska White
Good luck with your trip interesting thread to read and has given me lots of inspiration 110 Td5 Ex Utilities slowly converting into a pop top camper one day

Build thread:https://www.defender2.net/forum/post1024784.html#1024784
Post #1029320 26th Mar 2024 1:08am
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Lewis Wright



Member Since: 19 Mar 2024
Location: skelmesdale
Posts: 2

United Kingdom 2003 Defender 110 Td5 CSW Alveston Red
just had a read through this and am amazed at the lies that you have actually typed up
if you would like to post our conversation we had through messages then great but please do not tell lies about how you have been treated as we have offered to fix it for you
you have been to our workshop once for a repair and on here you have made it sound like you have been back multiple times
I hadn't said you was to blame for anything but if you are going to slander my company then ill say it as it is
its YOUR fault for being so stupid and driving with the roof up off road which should of voided your warranty but we still done it for you as like i said in our messages i will do anything i can to keep all my customers happy
please post our chat or i will coz as far as I'm aware we have you booked in for the 6th of april which obviously we will now cancel after reading this
oh and just to be clear the sunroof leak you had first time around was nothing to do with us as we use your roof and heavily advised against keeping it but you wanted it
This is your roof after we insulated and carpeted it so not sure how yours looks a mess around the alpines now so i can only assume you found it to be them leaking and pulled the carpet away to inspect making it look like that's our finished product when luckily for me i take pictures of all my work as i take pride in doing everything i do
Kind regards
lewis
aw4x4


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Post #1029433 27th Mar 2024 6:34am
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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
@Lewis Wright

Morning Lewis,

This is the only time I am going to reply as I am not going to get into a childish 'he said - she said' argument on the internet over this. This entire thread is dedicated to the ups, down's trials and tribulations of converting our land rover. Somethings have been great, somethings not so, somethings really hard and some easy - and I am not going to pretend or write otherwise.

Is there a particular bit of the conversation you would like posting? Having read over it this morning nothing seems to stand out as being particularly damning?

I agree, you have offered to fix it - nowhere have I said otherwise, nor have I said that we have been back for for it to be fixed more than once. But having already been back to you once, and it is something like a 150+ mile round trip so we need to weigh up the cost (both time and money) of coming back to you (remembering the last time it was remediated it the lower leak which my partner and I had fixed had come back) vs doing it ourselves.

The big difference is we can spend hours with a hosepipe, days with bits of tissue trying to find tiny little leaks or problems - to us it doesn't matter as we can go outside and test something for half an hour, see if that works, then again the next day - if it takes us a fortnight to solve the leak then so be it. I don't want to tell you how your business runs, but I doubt you can do that - If you are remediating ours, your not making money, which less face it - that's what we all go to work for.

So that is why we have fixed them ourselves.

As you are fully aware, at no point have we ever driven with the roof up off road. Nor have we ever driven the car at all with the roof up. Have you got any evidence to support this at all or are we just getting into the realm of trying to smear mud all over each other?

Yes, the car has been driven off-road / green lanes, think 'Strata Florida' type lanes. So we are hardly talking rock crawling, extreme off-road here. You are designing a product that fits on a land rover defender, this is what people do with them, at no point have you ever said to me that I should not off-road / green lane nor does it say that anywhere on your website.

With regard to the sun roof leak, which I have said several times both to yourself and on here, is a non issue - are we annoyed it leaked, yes. Is it a problem / are we that suppised a land rover sun roof leaks - no not really.

On the 19/04/23 I advised you that we had a sun roof. You replied that you had only done one with a sun roof & that you seal it, remove the handle and blank it off (essentially plate it over is what I read?). 20/04/23 I ask if we can leave it as it is i.e. an opening sunroof. 21/04/23 you said "Yes we could do any way you like to be honest". 3/06/23 you asked me again if I wanted the sunroof usable and I agreed. When we picked the car up on the 11/06/23 you advised us that this was the first sunroof you had left as it was and that you had not tested it so unsure if it leaked. That is the entire conversation regarding sunroofs.

Having spent days tracing water leaks we found that the alpine lights have not leaked. Arguably there could have been some slight water from condensation, but no way near enough to cause the puddle of water and rusting.

The area where the carpet is cut short is missing off in both photos. In the first one the roof is the other way around and in the second it is the area that is missing / cut off on the left hand side of the photograph. But as I said in my earlier post, again this is a non issue as we are going to do the carpet again so we can insulate the underside of the roof bars / where the sections of roof join.

Many Thanks,
Post #1029455 27th Mar 2024 8:51am
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Lewis Wright



Member Since: 19 Mar 2024
Location: skelmesdale
Posts: 2

United Kingdom 2003 Defender 110 Td5 CSW Alveston Red
Your not going to get into it on here yet you have done nothing but slate my product and my workmanship all the way through this thread.

I have done 28 pop tops since i designed it and i am on the 29th currently and you have been the only customer that has been unhappy so i must be doing something right!

If we have a customer that has a problem then yes we can fix the problem with no effect to our cashflow at all so not sure what you mean by this.

We fixed it for you in front of you and your missus and you watched us tighten every bolt on the hinge and then go over it again to check they was tight and on here you made it sound like I've left bolts loose/ruined threads

We also we use sika flex sealant which is the best out there and again you watched us seal it behind the hinge

I turned my hobby into this business so i don't just go to work for money i go to work because i love doing what i do Very Happy
and yes i designed this to fit a land rover defender but you should take notice the word 'conversion' being we are converting your defender into a camper/motorhome
When you contacted me 2 months after the repair you was rude and abrupt like i was aware it was leaking and yet i still was offering to fix it.
I asked you what you would like me to do which really meant things like we would cover fuel costs, maybe come to you to do it or even pay a company closer to you to fix, even some money back the ball was in your court and you've thrown it out.
I really hope you manage to get it all sorted out and have many great trips in it and i'm so sorry we couldn't make you happy.
Kind regards
Lewis
Aw4x4
Post #1029493 27th Mar 2024 1:58pm
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Andrew95



Member Since: 27 Jul 2022
Location: Midlands
Posts: 58

United Kingdom 1997 Defender 110 300 Tdi SW Corris Grey
We got back last night from a really good weekend away near Bala with the Overland Club. It was our first weekend away camping this year and thankfully after what seems like never ending rain the weather held out! Although still chilly, the sun has started to get some warmth in it. Ground everywhere is completely saturated.

We headed down late Friday morning and got there mid afternoon after stopping off in Llangynog to see a friend. Both Saturday and Sunday we did two routes of greenlanes. We had done a good majority of them before as we spend a lot of time in that corner of the world, but we also discovered some new ones which we will certainly go back and do again. Monday we had a slow pack up and I organised a shorter loop of lanes around the Vyrnwy area.

The camper was great, I think we have finally started to get it dialled down now. Just before we went I bought some wooden boxes to go in the gullwing storage (we had plastic ones before that were slightly tapered so they moved around a lot). They didn't move around at all and getting things in and out was easy enough. I think I will get a few more for the other shelf.

The intercooler has really improved the driveability, its still lacking off boost power, but its a lot easier to drive now. I am a little concerned about overheating when we go to Spain later in the year but its something to keep an eye on.

Thankfully only one thing broke! Annoyingly it is probably the most annoying thing to do - the passenger wiper spindle has completely detached from the rest of the mechanism. Easy enough to fix, just a faff especially as it was only replaced a month or so ago. We were all discussing at the weekend about the general quality of aftermarket parts and how, regardless of brand, you normally end up buying something twice as the quality is awful.

One thing I want to do is make a side table. I am still 50:50 on attaching cargo rails to the side - my partner is dead against, so that's that! Prior to the roof conversion I had modified one one of our waffle boards to have wires and hooks on it and it would hang on the roof bars below the gullwing as a table. With the roof conversion we cant do that anymore.

We have locking tree sliders on the side of the truck, they have seen better days and in desperate need of a paint, so I am think of putting two rivnuts into them with some sort of O-ring / hook and then I can attach a small table in a similar fashion. I wouldn't bother with the waffle boards again though as they are damn heavy so I think I will fabricate something up either using a thin sheet of timber of aluminium.

Something else that has worked well, I can't remember if I mentioned it on here previously, is that we have metal vents which fit into the second row windows. On one side I attached two small USB computer style fans to act as an extractor. They are almost silent and reduced the condensation on the windows to almost nothing. I think I might do a similar setup on the other side to pull the air in and circulate the air around.

Oh and if anyone is into fruit teas, I can hightly recommend Birchills Red Berry!



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Post #1030182 2nd Apr 2024 10:33am
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L110CDL



Member Since: 31 Oct 2015
Location: Devon
Posts: 10502

England 
Thank you for the update Thumbs Up 1996 Golf Blue 300Tdi 110 Pick up. Keeper.


Clayton.
Post #1030545 4th Apr 2024 9:44pm
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