Author Archives: simon

Episode 2 – Search & Rescue

Episode 2 of the Green Oval Podcast meets with James who is the Wyre Forest Land Search Training Manager for the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA).


We chat with James to find out how they use the Land Rovers on shouts out’s, the gear they carry and what a typical day looks like in the world of search & rescue.

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How many Land Rovers?

Ever wondered how many Land Rover’s there are still on the road? Well I did some digging and it turns out the DVLA publish the figures. Next time you think of breaking a Land Rover for parts remember there are not that many left.
 

Taxed Land Rover’s Q2 2017

 
  • LAND ROVER 127 – 5
  • LAND ROVER 109 – 254
  • LAND ROVER 88 – 526
  • LAND ROVER DISCO-Y – 773
  • LAND ROVER 90 – 1294
  • LAND ROVER 110 – 1608
  • LAND ROVER DEFENDER – 13816
  • LAND ROVER DISCOVERY – 217,915
  • LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER – 302,555

Salisbury Plain off-road weekend

Since we entered the 2018 Santana Trophy we thought we better get some off-road time in and test the equipment, people & the Land Rovers. We chose Salisbury Plain because it’s roughly the same distance for all of us to get to and because there is plenty of space to get off-road.


Saturday morning we met at the pub/camp site Woodbridge Inn which is a great little pub and camp site and very close to the plain. A quick map recce and we jump in Stuart’s 110 and head out 4 up to see how comfortable it is (the answer is not very), there is a possibility that we only take one vehicle so this was a quick test. The reality of four men in a Land Rover 110 for two weeks was all to clear after 20 mins off-road. Sitting in the front is fine even if you are tall, but sitting in the back means sitting at an angle which is not comfortable for any period of time, add additional equipment you need for 14 days and you have an emotional trip. So that’s decided we need to take two Land Rover’s.

 

We headed back to the pub for a spot of lunch then out again but this time with the 110 & the Defender 110 in convoy. Not really knowing the best areas we randomly picked points on the map and drove, we managed to get the 110 stuck in a deep muddy hole and learn’t that tow bars can severely reduce your drop in angle.

All in all a good weekend was had and the equipment and the people were tested.

Land Rover 110 300tdi coolant bleed hose issue

Taking the bleed hose off to check it, although we had no idea what it did we thought it best to check it. Each of the 3 hoses are joined by a little circular 3-way joiner (called an injector). Where the hoses are attached to the injector they don’t have jubilee clips but what looks like a metal band that is crimped, we tried to get them off to have a look down the pipe, but no such luck. 


Looks like the hoses are not meant to be removed from the injector, we guess it’s a throwaway part. To test the hose we stuck it under the tap to see if water past through it and guess what it didn’t! It passed through to the radiator pipe but not through the expansion tank pipe. What we were not sure about is that normal? Does the injector work as a one-way valve, a bit of a google but couldn’t find much about it. We, therefore, figured we would just cut the pipe and order a new one as it’s only a £10 part (300TDI Hose – bleed pipe to expansion tank BritPart PCH117840).

Well, what do you know, as Andy squeezed the pipe like it was a teenager with acne, out came an oozing stream of a clay-like substance? I guess that was why nothing was passing through it!


So we might just have found our cooling issue, or have we …


The million dollar question was what is this and how did it get in the pipe? We had not found this in any of the other pipes.

I turned to Facebook for the answers (the people in the Facebook groups are such an amazing resource) and posted the photos into a Land Rover group and back came a few possibilities:


1- Mixing of coolant types

2- Oil in the coolant

3- Radweld or K Seal


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOLXay–AbM



So I don’t think its option 1 because I recently flushed all the coolant out and replaced it. Option 2 I am not convinced would look like this and I would have exhaust smoke and a whole bunch of other issues. So that leaves me with option 3 which looks highly plausible. If you do a look around the web you find articles like this showing something very similar. See our video showing the extent of the blockage Radweld can cause.


So the conclusion is that the previous owner stuck a bottle of Radweld or K Seal in but to fix what? My guess is a leak in the radiator which by all accounts it fixed because I can’t see any obvious leaks, however, that feels like something that now needs replacing – oh good another job …

Santana Trophy 2018

We have signed up for the 2018 Santana Trophy (what have we done!)


The Santana Trophy is a tribute, a homage to the past, to the classic Land Rovers and to the pioneers in rally raids like the Paris-Dakar or Camel Trophy.


Santana Trophy is a race made up of 7 stages (200Km) driving Land Rover Santana (Spanish version of the Land Rover) and Series. Navigation, orientation, driving-ability tests and rescues are all part of the day to day of the event, all of this set in the spectacular landscapes of Morocco.


Since we need a historic Land Rover that is not a Defender i.e. before 1990, we had to buy one specifically for the event. Stuart (photo – he doesn’t look that professional in real life) who already has a Range Rover on the drive decided to begin the search for something suitable(ish).


It seems obvious now but you kind of have three options; pay a lot for an expedition ready Land Rover approx £10 – £15k, or you can buy a solid wagon to make expedition ready £5 – £7k or lastly you can buy a project £1 – £4k. Either way it’s going to cost you similar amounts of money the only thing you are exchanging is your time, blood, sweat, rust and tears.

 

After many hours on ebay (i mean working hard) and a few trips out to visit some, one in Worcester, heavily restored, £15k, no thanks, looked like a new car, one in Sheffield, blinged up to look modern but had a slipping clutch and crap brakes and one near Peterborough with a dealer, lovely but ‘full retail’ price so too expensive!


Then this 1989 110 200Tdi for £6500 from Newquay appeared on ebay, now it’s not unheard of for one of us to buy something off ebay unseen and hope for the best. Not Stuart he was happy to fight bank holiday traffic for four hours to go and view the Land Rover (I would have just bought it). A week later having paid the nice lady for her Land Rover he was on the train to go pick it up.


The next step is to get her expedition ready, we will keep you updated with the costs and challenges right here on the blog for more updates check out our facebook page

Landrover-110-300Tdi

Landrover Defender 110 – 300 Tdi

Its been a few years since we have had a Landrover in the family so it felt like time to fix that. So after a bit of searching in the usual places of autotrader, Landrover owner international and ebay I came across this beauty. It’s a 1997 110 300Tdi thats done 160,000 miles, not quite a classic but fast becoming one.
Landrover-110-300TdiThe plan is to refurbish it for the Birmingham to Capetown adventure, currently planned for 2020 and maybe as a support vehicle on the Santana Trophy in 2018.