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donmacn



Member Since: 06 Nov 2017
Location: Nth Scotland
Posts: 1644

Well, well... time to try and update this a bit, though I do feel I might be getting near "the end". Not in any sense whatever that my time with the car is over, but that I'm reaching the point where I've done most of the things I currently want or need to.

I say 'currently' because who knows what I'll need the car to do in the future, and which might need more changes.

Most of what's been done in the last year has been to make the car more of a 'camper', and also a bit of catch up maintenance - fitting some of the stuff I'd bought previously but not got round to.

A bit disordered I suspect, but first off, the 2nd row seats came out to allow more stuff in there - coolbox and folding bikes take up most of this. The kids are long gone, and even if they are home, we've other more comfortable options than the back of a 110.


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Next it was to try out the wheel arch storage boxes and middle shelf I'd got. I say 'try out' because at this stage they weren't bolted through the wheel arches, they were just remarkable stable simply sitting there, though I did bolt them down for the summer trip.


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Room underneath for two stacked Wolf boxes, and we eventually carried four altogether. I don't always travel with the workshop manual in the boot - I've a bit more faith in the car than that!


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About now I'd taken out a 'Puma' internal roll cage, was about to fit a Tdi/Td5-era one. Why? A couple of pics would show it better, but the Tdi one is meant for the narrower/smaller 2nd row seats, so it sits further inboard from the side of the car. This was important because... I wanted to fit gullwing windows, and wanted to be sure the gas strut and fixing brackets wouldn't foul the bar. I was fairly confident they wouldn't anyway, but not 100%


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These are brilliant on at least two levels - firstly they are just so functional. Really easy to access the storage boxes over the wing, and our other kit which sat on the shelf. Secondly - the external bit bolts through the bodywork onto a shaped metal bracket on the inside. This is a MUCH stronger arrangement than the original collection of pop rivets which just fix onto the aluminium skin. The sides now have a lot more rigidity and are a lot quieter.

With the rooftent, and the roll cage, and the shelves and kit, etc etc the car was a bit heavy. I've wanted to change to the progressive & softer SW springs for a while (more for when the car is empty), but I was worried they'd be too soft once loaded. My answer was to fit Airlift helper springs, as I know a few have done. I also modded the top bracket (as suggested by 'JocklandJohn' on LR4x4) to stop it coming through the turret. Fairly straightfoward fitting - and also pretty effective at cutting down on body roll.


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I linked the air tubing together, so both bags are inflated at one valve, and I put that into the rear lights/wiring cover on the driver's side. (No pic, sorry).

And finally, I fitted my Ashcroft front ATB diff which had been sitting on a shelf for ages. (Matches the rear and centre ones now). Finally, finally wheel spacers (ooh! controversial!).

For the diff, I was conscious that I was doing this the 'quick and dirty' way - leaving the swivels and housing in place - but I still intend to fit a replacement Tdi axle once I get the casing shot blasted and painted, so I didn't want to go the whole hog here and fit all new kit. It was "just" the half shafts/CV joint and diffs, maybe discs too, I can't remember.


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For the spacers - the hub face was as clean and degreased as I could get it, along with the wheel studs.


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Here's where I hit the problem - I really struggled to 'settle' the wheel onto the centre flange of the spacer. I got it roughly right, and nipped up the nuts, but still wasn't happy, so off it came. At this point I realised that the wheel was binding on the heads of the hex bolts. You can clearly see the marks on this pic - in the yellow circles - where the bolt heads have dug into the wheel.


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Oh poop, says I. I've since seen a couple of other folk mentioning this, but it hadn't really clicked before. Thankfully, at some point I'd read Darren/LandRoverAnorak's post about changing these for high tensile cap head bolts. I'd got some in, but hadn't fitted them. Whizzed out the hex ones, and replaced with the cap heads. Sorted!


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You can clearly see, through the centre of the wheel, that there's no fouling on the cap head bolts. Result - and thanks to those who have done and posted this mod previously.


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That's the 'tinkering' pretty much up to date. Now, on with the adventuring! Donald

1994 Defender 300Tdi 110 SW - owned since 2002 - 230k miles and going strong
(The 'rolling restoration' or tinkering thread: http://www.defender2.net/forum/topic58538.html )
2000 Range Rover P38 4.0L V8

in the past..
RR classic - fitted with 200Tdi
1984 RR classic - V8 with ZF auto box
1993 Discovery 300Tdi

not to mention the minis and the Type 2 VW camper...
Post #965581 20th Sep 2022 10:06pm
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donmacn



Member Since: 06 Nov 2017
Location: Nth Scotland
Posts: 1644

Going to see if I can bring this a little more up to date.

But first I'll go back in time. When I got the car first the 'Airport Fire Service' decals were still on the front doors, and when the paint was unpolished (i.e. always) you could read 'Islay Airport' on the sides of the rear tub where those decals had been. So I'd always known the history but recently my son got in touch with the firecrew at Islay to ask if they had any pics. They found one (with thanks!) and I found another online.

This one was taken in late November 1994 - my car was bought by Highlands & Islands Airports in April '94 so the timescale fits.



Then this one, undated but obviously later because they've upgraded one of their fire engines and built a control tower... shows the car hitched up to a rescue boat (because the airport is right next to the sea).


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The bumper I got with the car definitely hadn't had a winch fitted, so perhaps this is another of the 'Ops' cars - or this is mine and the winch/bumper got switched over to the replacement vehicle when the time came. My work takes me to Islay from time to time, so it has been back.

So that's its history. Then on holiday this year, the old fire wagon, enjoying its 'retirement' met a 'new pretender' at a French Sapeur-Pompiers station in Brittany. Couldn't resist the pic, though I found it hard to explain what I was up to when one of the guys came out, wondering which idiot was parked in front of their crash doors!


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Hidden in the garage behind the 90 is a rescue boat, presumably for any incidents on the nearby lake - so though they are decades apart both vehicles performed the same role! Donald

1994 Defender 300Tdi 110 SW - owned since 2002 - 230k miles and going strong
(The 'rolling restoration' or tinkering thread: http://www.defender2.net/forum/topic58538.html )
2000 Range Rover P38 4.0L V8

in the past..
RR classic - fitted with 200Tdi
1984 RR classic - V8 with ZF auto box
1993 Discovery 300Tdi

not to mention the minis and the Type 2 VW camper...
Post #972223 24th Nov 2022 12:34pm
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BaronDefenders



Member Since: 28 Jun 2019
Location: London/Cotswolds
Posts: 611

United Kingdom 2004 Defender 90 Td5 SW Santorini Black
Great bit of history! Thumbs Up Charlie

1949 Series 1 80 (SOLD)
2002 Td5 90 (SOLD)
2008 Freelander 2 (SOLD)

1958 Series 2 88 Pastel Green (2019 LR Legends Best Restored)
1983 V8 110 Limestone (Previously owned by Tom Sheppard MBE)
2004 Td5 90 Santorini Black (Td5INSIDE Powered & Rebuilt by CSK)
2012 Puma 110 Zermatt Silver (Overlanding Build)

Instagram: @BaronDefenders
Post #972231 24th Nov 2022 2:04pm
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LandRoverAnorak



Member Since: 17 Jul 2011
Location: Surrey
Posts: 10786

United Kingdom 2013 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 USW Orkney Grey
I thought that, too. A quick Google revealed a photo of the control tower in September '96 so your second photo can be narrowed down slightly to before then. Darren

110 USW BUILD THREAD - EXPEDITION TRAILER - 200tdi 90 BUILD THREAD - SANKEY TRAILER - IG@landroveranorak

"You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia
Post #972236 24th Nov 2022 2:21pm
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donmacn



Member Since: 06 Nov 2017
Location: Nth Scotland
Posts: 1644

Thanks guys. Like I say, I've always known this was the story, and it's on the V5 but I was really happy to get the pics to go with it.

Next up - for the last little while I've been working away at getting the car set up as a camper - rooftent etc. In June this year we managed three weeks off work and headed for France - should have written it up a little before now, but on the other hand when it's grey and cold and wet outside, it's nice to look at pictures of sunshine and remember the heat...

Our route was very roughly Roscoff to the Loire valley, we followed that for a bit then down
along the Vienne; Poitiers, Niort, L'Orient and then back to Cherbourg for the ferry home.

It was the first time in ages we'd had a three week break, as opposed to the normal fortnight. Even doing the road miles it was a much more relaxing experience. Anyway, there's not really much to say. Apart from a self-inflicted transmission issue (which wasn't a showstopper) and the turbo outlet hose popping off once, there were no mechanical issues at all - car just started, ran, stopped whenever asked. So - some nice pics of a Defender in the sunshine....


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France was just ...France.



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Some of the campsites even had sinks to 'wash your cockles' in... though it seemed a bit public to me!


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And finally "pole position" for the way home - third vehicle off the ferry -which given the delays at UK customs, and the time of night we arrived, was extremely welcome!


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So now it's a case of planning next year's trip. Definitely the Pyrenees this time. There's a couple of things I'm going to do, based on our experiences this year - but not much really, overall it all went pretty well:
- add a "suitcase" solar panel to the electrics. Our leisure battery died on the first day or so. Not really an issue as we were in campsites so just bought a hook-up cable, but for the Pyrenees a solar panel will allow us to do a couple of 'off grid' days;
- use a fridge instead of a 12v coolbox. This just struggled with the heat;
- better storage (behind driver) for the folding bikes
- better clothes storage
- the most "mechanical" thing I'll do is to try and replace the bearings on my Roamerdrive - it's pretty noisy now on the over-run and I wouldn't want to rely on it for such a big trip. Donald

1994 Defender 300Tdi 110 SW - owned since 2002 - 230k miles and going strong
(The 'rolling restoration' or tinkering thread: http://www.defender2.net/forum/topic58538.html )
2000 Range Rover P38 4.0L V8

in the past..
RR classic - fitted with 200Tdi
1984 RR classic - V8 with ZF auto box
1993 Discovery 300Tdi

not to mention the minis and the Type 2 VW camper...
Post #972239 24th Nov 2022 2:57pm
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