THE MAGAZINE OF THE DISCOVERY OWNERS CLUB
Number 14 - October/November 2003
Detling - August 2003 The Belgian National Cape to Cape Challenge 2003 5th London to Brighton LR Run
On-Board Air System Window Winder Resurrection Replacing a Door Lock Rear Suspension Links www.discoveryownersclub.com
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The Small Print For the purposes of this notice, ‘Discovery Owners Club’ and ‘Club’ are interchangeable and assumed to mean the same thing.
Discourse Articles The Club reserves the right to edit or refuse articles received from members.Views expressed by members contributing to this magazine are those of that member and may not necessarily be those of the Club. Every effort is made to verify the contents of member’s articles, but the Club can not accept responsibility for the veracity of its content.
Caveat Emptor Every effort is made to ensure advertisements are bona fide. The Club can not accept responsibility for the quality of goods or services advertised. The moral is “buyer beware”.
Public Liability Insurance The Club has Public Liability Insurance for registered Club events of a non-competitive nature. Cover is provided for full Club members, their spouse or partner and children residing at the same address. Family members as defined in the Club rules travelling in a separate vehicle are also covered. Road traffic accident risks are not covered by the Club’s Public Liability Insurance. It is the responsibility of the member to ensure that they have proper and legal Insurance cover for themselves and the vehicle from leaving home until returning home.
Complimentary Show Tickets From time to time, the Club receives complimentary tickets to shows the club is attending. The Club’s policy is to make these tickets available to those members willing to help on the Club stand during the event. If you are willing to help at the event on the Club stand and/or allow your vehicle to be displayed, please contact the Club’s event organiser (listed in What’s On) whose decision on the distribution of those tickets shall be final. Surplus tickets shall either be destryoed or returned to the event organisers.
Data Protection The Club recognises its responsibilities under the 1998 Data Protection Act. The Membership Secretary is the Club’s Data Controller. The membership database of current and past members shall be for the Club’s exclusive use and shall not be made available to any third party. Elected Officers of the Club may have access to member information having shown good reason. Ordinary members may request contact information of another member. This shall only be through a Committee member who will contact the member to first ask permission.
Committee Meetings Under the rules of the club, members may attend, but not participate at committee meetings. If you plan to come along, please let the Club Secretary know in advance. The planned dates for committee meetings are: 7th. December, 2003 at Northampton and 4th. January 2004 at Redditch.
Activities in particular but not excluding off-roading and green-laning are undertaken solely at the participants’ own risk. Vehicles should be suitably insured and prepared for the undertaken activity. Participation in any Club organised event is on the understanding and acceptance that safety is the responsibility of the participant.
Front and back cover photographs by Alan Smart.
Green Lanes All ‘green lanes’ are highways as defined by the Highways Act 1980. Green laning events require the same level of insurance, road tax, MOT and driver’s licence as normal roads.
Association of Rover Clubs The Club is a non-competitive member of the Association of Rover Clubs (ARC), an organisation bringing together all member Land Rover clubs for organising events (both competitive and non-competitive) and providing many essential services to member clubs. The Club’s ARC Representative is Alan Smart.
GLASS The Discovery Owners Club supports GLASS (Green Lane Association). GLASS is a national rights of way user group representing the interests of motor car users on unsurfaced minor highways or ‘green lanes’ in England and Wales. GLASS promotes responsible off-roading and the Club endorses this.
Club Web Sites & DOC Forum www.discoveryownersclub.com and www.discoveryownersclub.org are the Club’s website addresses. www.docforum.co.uk is our forum address. For instant access, all you need is a valid membership number to register on site. Once registered, you can log on anywhere in the world to catch up with your favourite club, post replies and help fellow Discovery Owners. Subjects range from Caravanning to Humour. There’s optional email notification for individual postings, entire topics or forums.
Back Issues Two ways for members to obtain Discourse back issues: Printed copies at £2.50 ea together with a self addressed A4 envelope stamped at 41pence, or CD-ROM at £2.00 including postage (this would have all back issues). Cheques should be made payable to ‘Discovery Owners Club’ and sent with your order to the Membership Secretary.
Advertising in Discourse Advertising space will be available in future issues of Discourse. Advertisements can be whole page, half page and quarter page in either black and white or full colour.
In This Issue Land Rover News Book Review Letter to the Membership 5th London - Brighton LR Run Detling - August 2003 Of Belgian Corn and Bridges On-Board Air System - DIY Cape to Cape Challenge 2003 Mystery Walk ReDiscovered A Saga of Discovery.... 3D Puzzles & Tight Spaces Window Winder Resurrection Committee Corner Rear Suspension Links Member’s Letters What’s On - Tim Arnold Calendar and Contacts Regional Meets
4 5 6 7 8 9 11 13 15 16 18 19 22 23 24 25 26 26 27
Suppliers and dealers wishing to advertise in Discourse should contact Alan Smart for a Rate Card and details of space available.
Small Ads for DOC Members Members can place small ads for Discovery stuff in Discourse for free. However, if you have a cottage to let or anything else that would bring in some income, then you’ll also be able to advertise in the small ads section but will be expected to make a contribution to the production costs of Discourse.
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Articles for Discourse When submitting articles for inclusion in Discourse, please save the document as a text file without embedded images. Images should be separate and sent either as photographs or digital images in .jpg format on CD. All files should be sent to the Club’s Editor for selection. They should only be sent to the Publisher directly by prior arrangement. Photographs will not be returned unless requested.
Your Interim Committee Neil Brownlee
9 Lindisfarne Way, East Hunsbury, Northampton, NN4 0WG. Tel: 07768 366 157, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
17 Ditchford Close, Hunt End, Redditch, B97 5XT Tel: 01527 404103, Mobile: 07939 411995, Email: email@example.com
The Bales, Cow Lane, Kimpton, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8NY. Tel: 01264 772851, Fax: 01264 773300, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Ashford Cottages, Lake End Road, Dorney, Windsor, SL4 6QT. Tel: 01628 662566, Mobile: 07802 800060, Email: email@example.com
73 Tottenham Crescent, Kingstanding, Birmingham, B44 0ST. Tel: 0121 603 3632, Mobile: 07759 299031, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
9 Sunstar Lane, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 5HS Tel: 01323 489003, Mobile: 07801 292024, Email: email@example.com
1 Vulcan Close, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 4LZ Tel: 01227 264747, Mobile: 07944 836 177, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 Knowsley Crescent, Offerton, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 4JB. Tel: 0161 480 7096, Email: email@example.com
66 Western Rd, Daws Heath, Thundersley, Essex, SS7 2TL Tel: 01702 553281, Mobile: 07765 894009, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 Fenhurst Road, Ward End, Birmingham, West Midlands, B8 3EQ Tel: 01484 644764, Mobile: 07956 825867, Email: email@example.com
158 Malcolm Drive, Duston, Northampton, NN5 5NH. Tel: 01604 582252, Mobile: 07721 559456, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
16 Deganwy Close, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5JT Tel: 02920 757459, Mobile: 07977 545790, Email: email@example.com
Secretary, Archivist, Wessex LSR
Membership Secretary, Sth. Staffs LSR
Publicity & Press Officer
Acting Member Representative
Vice Chairman, North Worcs LSR
Camping & Caravanning Officer, North West LSR
Acting Club Shop Officer
Don Hoaglin Kent LSR
23 Springcroft, Hartley, Longfield, Kent, DA3 8AR Tel: 01474 707531, Mobile: 07714 696270, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone wishing to represent a Local Section should contact the Paul Walker for advice.
From the Editor’s Keyboard - Alan Smart With the SGM out of the way we can get on with running the club. Discourse is coming to you about a month later than originally planned and I hope the wait is worth it. If you are a member you will find an insert with an account of the SGM and for members whose membership needs to be renewed you will find a renewal reminder. We’re now entering the quiet season for events but we are planning a full season for 2004 (see What’s On, page 26). If you can help at events or have any ideas for an event that Club can either run or attend, please contact Tim Arnold. The Club always needs more of you to get involved. It’s a members’ club, so why not go along to your local meetings and say hello. If there isn’t a meeting near to you, then contact a member of the Committee about setting up a new local meet. Many thanks for all the articles you send - keep them coming. Please read the piece about sending articles and the best formats to use. It makes our life a lot easier to compile the magazine if we don’t have to keep converting files. It’s always a pleasure to read about you and your Discovery, how you use and abuse them, break them and then mend them and other members benefit from your experiences. The copy deadline for Discourse 15 is 22nd December to be with you mid-January (so you know what I’m doing over the holiday!). On behalf of the team, may I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. May Santa bring you lots of Land Rover goodies! Page 3 - Discourse 14
Land Rover News
2004 Discovery The Discovery, which was substantially revised late last year with a new look and a number of technical upgrades, is further enhanced for the year 2004 model. Its off-road ability is improved with a centre-locking differential as standard equipment on the XS and ES specification models. This feature distributes the engine power equally between the driving axles, reducing the risk of wheel slip and enhancing the Discovery’s already impressive off-road credentials.
XS models gain twin electric sunroofs, adding to the ambience of the Discovery’s interior, a centre-locking differential and an enhanced exterior look with the addition of thicker roof bars. The already comprehensively equipped ES model also receives the centre-locking differential, revised restyled thicker roof bars and interior enhancements in the form of new wood trim for the centre console. Additionally, all Discovery models will be fitted with Automatic Drive-Away Locking. This fully automatic system locks all of the doors as the vehicle moves away. The system will detect when the driver or passengers wish to exit the vehicle and will unlock all of the doors and doors are also unlocked when the engine is switched off.
For 2004, the Discovery receives additional revisions to enhance its appeal with families. All models now receive the ISOFIX child seat fixing system. This simple, yet universally agreed standard enables any ISOFIX child seat which has been approved for use in a Discovery, to be fitted easily and securely to the vehicle.
New colours for 2004 Discovery include Maya Gold and Helsinki Blue. Also available will be Adriatic Blue and Giverny Green, previously only available on the Range Rover. Completing the changes for 2004 are revised badging in Range Rover style with raised lettering in a Brunel finish.
E and S specification models now gain heated electric door mirrors, a valuable safety addition for winter driving; whilst the GS models also gain a heated front screen, powerfold mirrors, a single slot CD player and twin electric sunroofs.
On the road prices for the new 2004 Discovery commence at £22,195 for the five-seat Discovery Td5 in ‘E’ specification, rising to £34,590 for the seven-seat V8 ‘ES’ model with automatic transmission. Also available is a range of Discovery commercial vehicles, which can be adapted for a variety of uses, with prices commencing at £22,995.
G4 Edition Discovery Two new ‘G4 Edition’ Land Rovers went on sale from 1 September 2003, in the shape of expedition-ready editions of the Discovery and Defender.
G4 Edition Discoverys come with a selection of specialist expedition equipment and convenience features. Specification highlights include ‘A-frame’ front protection bars, front and rear lamp guards, new Black Mogul ‘technical’ fabric seats, special colour schemes including Borrego Yellow and Tangiers Orange, air-conditioning and a CD player. It has ‘Style 3’ 16” alloys, lockable roof-rack cross-bars for additional equipment security, cruise control and self-levelling suspension. Commenting on the vehicles, Land Rover’s managing director Matthew Taylor said: “The first Land Rover G4 Challenge was the ultimate global adventure which took place in some of the world’s toughest terrains. These new and very well equipped vehicles embody the spirit of this adventure and will enable many budding explorers to re-live the experiences of our G4 Challenge heroes.” The G4 Edition Discovery is available from £28,595, on-the-road.
The vehicles are launched in celebration of the success of the inaugural Land Rover G4 Challenge, dubbed the ultimate global adventure and spanning four time zones during four weeks of extreme sports and driving competitions. Sixteen competitors from countries all around the world fought it out, with the victor driving home in a new Range Rover as the winning prize.
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L R Looks for Growth in Asia AFTER a few years of uncertainty under different owners, sales are picking up in Japan for Land Rover. “In fact they have more than doubled since 2000” said managing director Matthew Taylor at the Tokyo Motor Show. “We have had to do a certain amount of re-structuring and we are now getting some rewards for it,” he added.
Land Rover News From 1,200 sales three years ago Land Rover will grow to 3,000 in Japan this year, mainly Range Rover and Discovery. Taylor said: “This is about where we expect to stay for the next five years, we are not looking for huge sales numbers as our vehicles are very much niche players, but they are high margin sales for us.” Land Rover does have greater ambition elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region - particularly China where the market is starting to boom. “We are looking at that market closely,” said Taylor. “We are working with Volvo to establish a network there and the way that market is growing it could be our third largest sales outlet after the UK and United States by 2010.” That could lead to Land Rover starting production in China at some point in the future he added. “We have to look at all the markets in that region and plan how we move forward. Currently Taiwan, Thailand and China are where we anticipate good growth. Beyond that we could be looking at South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.” Land Rover started assembling Freelander models in Thailand last year.
LR Sponsors Sir Ranulph Fiennes for the 7x7x7 Challenge Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his long-term expedition companion, Dr. Mike Stroud, are about to embark on an epic around-the-world trip with the aim of completing seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Add to the challenge the fact that Sir Ranulph underwent a double heart bypass operation only four months ago, and this becomes one of the intrepid pair’s toughest ventures yet. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has been chosen as the sole UK benefiting charity of the challenge. The epic journey starts at London Heathrow airport on Tuesday 21 October for the long and complex journey to the Antarctic, and the first marathon - in the Antarctic - takes place on Sunday 26 October. Then follows the Santiago marathon on Monday 27 October, the Sydney marathon (29/10), Singapore (30/10), London (31/10), Cairo (1/11) and New York (2/11).
Sir Ranulph, 59, said: “Luckily, the bypass operation and the care I received have given me back the kind of life I think of as normal. It’s a fairly routine operation today - but only a few years ago, it was being pioneered by the British Heart Foundation, whose work I’ve come to admire greatly, and I am delighted to be back in a position to support this very important charity.” He added: “To succeed in the Land Rover 7x7x7 Challenge, we need to complete each marathon within about six hours, and in the last two training runs, both Mike and I have come in with times below 4 hrs 30 mins. However, there is still the risk of delayed flights and treacherous roads to contend with, so as usual, we will need the Land Rovers and luck to be on our side - but we are confident.” Dr. Mike Stroud, 48, said: “We had been talking about this challenge even before Ran’s heart attack, and now, with the support of Land Rover, we are even more determined to complete it. I will carry sufficient medical equipment, including a defibrillator, in case of emergencies, and we have agreed that if one of us falls ill, the other will continue and aim to be the first to complete this amazing physical, mental and logistical challenge.” Land Rover vehicles will be used in six of the seven countries to carry the runners and their equipment to marathon starting points, using their off-road ability to follow the most direct routes. Carrying the pair from country to country will be British Airways Club World in-flight beds, without which, exhaustion would certainly cut the challenge short. Donations to the Land Rover 7x7x7 Challenge fund and the British Heart Foundation can be made online at www.bhf.org.uk/7x7x7 or by post to the Land Rover 7x7x7 Challenge, BHF, 14 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6HD.
Conversions and Applications by Richard de Roos From the Editor’s Bookshelf
The sub title “The world’s most versatile vehicle at work” just about sums up this 128 page book crammed with fascinating and sometimes bizarre conversions based on Land Rover products. Most of the conversions are based on the utilitarian Land Rover (leter known as Defender) but there’s a crop of Discoverys as well. How about an Amphy Rover? A Discovery with flotation units and a PTO-driver propeller. It also features a roll-back canvas roof. I wonder if leaks? There’s also a road/rail version of a Discovery developed for rail maintenance and a couple fitted with roof-mounted stem lights that were shipped out to the Moscow traffic police. In the expedition section, there’s a Camel Trophy vehicle as well as the Darien Gap Range Rover. The ingenuity of some of the conversions is quite staggering. From mobile cinemas for the African bush, medical vehicles, camper vans, tracked versions, fire tenders, military applications and snowploughs. The list is endless; there’s even a dustcart! The early chapters fascinated me where the emphasis was clearly on agriculture. If you believed all the marketing hype, you didn’t need a tractor, just a Land Rover. As someone who has harrowed a field with his Discovery, I can vouch for it being a lot more comfortable but the turning circle lets it down.
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Letter to the Membership
26th. October, 2003 Dear Member, The Discovery Owners Club has been through a turbulent few months with multiple resignatio ns of committee members and the calling for an SGM, which has made us recognise that the Club is desperately in need of modernis ation and professionalisation. The Club was started a little less than four years ago by a handful of Discovery enthusiasts who at the time could not have foreseen that the membership could have grown at such an astonishing rate. To involve more members in the running of the Club, committee posts were added until the Club reached a point where there were too many voices on the committee, but without positive direction. We now have a one time opportunity to reorganise ourselves, streamline the executive management, develop our image and branding, introduce more activities and involve more members. An Interim Committee was elected into post, with more than 80% of the membership vote present at the meeting, and is committed to introducing the changes necessary to both move the Club forward and instil long term stability. Our aim is to establish proper operating procedur es, make all committee members accountable to the general membership, streamline the committee management, involve more members in assisting with the organisational aspects of the Club, establish service agreements with members providing essential assistance and facilities to the Club, and improve communication between the Club and the membership. By establishing a practical and affordable marketing strategy, we hope to strengthen the Club by introducing more new members and also encourage lapsed members to rejoin. Our intentions are to expand the Club both Nationally and Internationally. The Discovery Owners Club has a very diverse membership from the avid ‘mud plugger’ to the new car owner who bought their Discovery simply because it is a Discovery and a Land Rover. As we all know, the Discovery is a very special vehicle in the automotive world. It was introduced by Land Rover to combat the Japanese four wheel drive invasion that was beginning to seriously eat away Land Rover’s unique market. Enough history. There may be in excess of 300,000 Discovery owners out there and almost all of them bought the car because it is a Discovery and they know it can do (or be made to do) whatever is wanted of a 4x4. A Discovery can go anywhere that any other 4x4 can go and the Discovery Owners Club could not only get to where other Land Rover vehicle clubs are but could become the biggest and best LR marque single vehicle model club in the world. Your Committee is dedicated to making the Discovery Owners Club “the best 4x4 Club by far”.
Neil Brownlee Chairman
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5th London - Brighton LR Run Alan Smart
When I was a child they used to show a film on the television of a train doing the London to Brighton run in four minutes. This year’s run organised by the South London and Surrey Land Rover Club took just a little longer - about two and a half hours to be precise!
Once we got going, all was well and, as expected, the last couple of miles into Brighton were slow. The weather was that good you could have been forgiven for thinking it was the height of the holiday season, not October. As we swung into Madeira Drive an excited Diana Andrews jumped out in front of me. I nearly ran her over! She wanted to interview me about the preproduction Discovery and the Discovery Owners Club. Whilst I was parked on the club stand, the Discovery parking area was at the far end of Madeira Drive so we felt a bit separated.
Our Sunday started at a bleary-eyed 04:30 as we set out for the start at Crystal Palace via Farnham to collect our friends in their press fleet Discovery. We did the run in our pre-production five door Discovery. We arrived at about 08:00 to find about 400 Land Rovers already there. Some crews had braved the frosty night and camped! The queue for the loos was longer than the booking in queue but there was a party atmosphere and Land Rovers of all ages and condition were inspected and talked about with enthusiasm. As we approached the booking in tent, a lady looked at me and exclaimed “Large!” Apparently this was to let her helper know what size tee shirt was needed. We inspected our goodie bags and rally plaques were proudly affixed to our trusty steeds. As we waited for the drivers’ briefing, about another 100 or so turned up and parked across the top of the park.
At the drivers’ briefing we were told to expect no major hold ups, there were no major road works and to watch out for speed cameras. We set off through the delights that south London has to offer (please excuse the sarcasm of a country boy) with flags fluttering off vehicles and everyone watching for the dreaded Gatsos. We felt sorry for the poor chap in the Series 3 who appeared to have had a coming together with a Euro-clone at Purley lights. I think I can guess who came off the better! As we progressed along the route people waved from the pavements and we all waved back (didn’t we!). All was well until we got to Crawley when everything came to a halt due to road works. Gas mains were being laid and the dual carriageway was reduced to a single lane approaching a busy roundabout with lights. Great! I grabbed the cool bag out from the back so we could have a quick drink while we sat and admired the scenery (actually it was the Thales factory). The sun was now out and it was getting warm. A very tidy Series 1 was dead at the side of the road with the bonnet up but by the time we got to it, they had fixed the problem and off they went.
All around were people just looking at Land Rovers - and there were lots to look at from the pristine shiny to the downright tatty. Specials abounded. Stretched ones, extra axles, V8s, you name it, it was there. Even a Pink Panther! An inter-club Tug a Series 1 event was organised which proved to be very entertaining. There were prizes for the best vehicle in each and class and the wooden spoon was won by a deservedly tatty six wheel Range Rover. In all, 516 Land Rovers were signed on for the run, including a few from the continent, making it a truly international event. A healthy 40% of the entries were Series Land Rovers all of which were 20+ years old. The next biggest group was the 90 owners who had 98 vehicles and then the Discoverys and Range Rovers both with just over 70 apiece. The remarkable thing was the event was oversubscribed and over 130 entries had to be returned. Well done to the South London and Surrey Land Rover Club for an eventful and enjoyable day and we’ll see you next year.
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Detling – August 2003 Damian Bunn
Last August the combined DOC Kent, DOC East Sussex and Hastings and District Land Rover club held their first ‘official’ private off road meet at the Kent Pluggers site in Detling, near Maidstone, Kent. The site itself is not huge, but can be very entertaining when wet and boasts some nice ‘shiny friendly’ sections. The problem was it had been a glorious summer thus far and the fear was that the course would be far to dry. Well it was very very dry on the day, but we encountered at totally new phenomena to us hardened mud worshippers, the marble effect of clay and chalk. The weekend started, unusually with a social meet up on the Saturday evening on the site as we had booked for camping, with off roading on the Sunday. Don Hoaglin from the Kent group kindly walked us around the course looking at potential problems and advising us of what sort of action to take. Personally I just wanted to try the new winch out that I had fitted the week before onto my 90. I wasn’t to be disappointed as whilst the BBQ was warming, Tim Arnold and I set up a winching demonstration on a straight run, basically to stretch the new cable. After much heckling and mickey taking I got it stretched and then the order of the day was Booze and Beer, sorry Booze and food.
As usual on such events everyone started off sedately getting to grips with the car and the conditions. It wasn’t long before the pace quickened, not dangerously I hasten to add, and people were finding things pretty easy going; so more challenging routes were sought. We discovered that clay baked hard, topped with very fine chalk dust is like marble and road tyres in fact performed better than Muds on what proved to be a very slippery, un-predictable surface.
It wasn’t long before we had the first casualty of the day, and that was not down to bad driving, dodgy conditions or sheer bad luck, but a dodgy transfer box that had recently been rebuilt. The victim was none other than Paul Stephens. I hadn’t met Paul before, but his reputation preceded him and, well I can’t say any more as he knows where I live. We had a couple of newbies on the day, taking their cars off road for the very first time and from what I gather they had loads of fun. I’d like to thank Mike Jackson from the Hastings LR Club for taking them around and showing them the ropes (including my other half Tracy – think I’m mad, letting her drive my car). What really surprised me about the day was that people were actually starting to get stuck. I of course did it on purpose as I just had to get the winch out and with Tim Arnold’s help managed a safe, efficient recovery. It was however pointed out to me by several people that I had two bolts missing on the front of my winch bumper and the bottom bolts were not adequate, so the decision was taken that I would not perform a recovery on anyone other than myself, unless with good old Rope.
One question that always crops up is “Does our chairman actually ever go off road?” Thanks to Neil Rowe and Paul Stephens, with a guest appearance from Mel Wolf for the cooking, I enjoyed the company, food and beer. Everyone started drifting off to their tents quite early in order to be fresh for the morning, and unfortunately when I went to my tent the kids had crashed out hogging all the room, so I ended up sleeping under the stars beside my pride and joy (My 90). Sunday morning, gate open, usual ablutions, some food and a cuppa, Don’s speech then – LET’s OFF ROAD !!!!!!!!!
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There were a couple of casualties on the day, most pretty minor fortunately. Roger had a rather nasty fall on a slope and gashed his leg open quite badly, which ended his day not long after he had arrived and I just don’t know how he did it. James Law managed to bend his rear suspension link up very badly forcing the rear wheel to seat itself neatly, forwards in the wheel arch. With much use of high lifts and the good old bottle jack the car was actually repaired and James managed to continue driving, all be it gingerly for the rest of the day. Earlier in the year the site managers had setup a tame, course in the grass by the campsite which proved very popular with the children (small ones) whilst the bigger children (Neil Rowe included) played on the main course. We were lucky there was something for everyone including a brilliant axle twister that I just had to try in My 90.
Recent Events All in all I feel the weekend was a total success and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. The company was great, the weather fine and we didn’t even get raided by the SAS despite the course direction signs being in English and Arabic. We had the obligatory car line up with as many 90’s and 110’s included as possible then everyone disappeared leaving me to tidy up and shut the course up. I’d like to thank everyone who came along and all those who contributed, especially Mel for his bin man skills, Paul for being himself, Don for his tech advice, Neil for his music and most of all Tracy for letting me go.
This year we managed to get from Calais to Tornai without getting lost; mostly because I let Mabel (our GPS) do the navigating this time. We arrived to a beautiful summer’s day even though it was mid September, and the weather kept up all weekend. The first day there isn’t much going on, except registration, so we pitched our tents and then just chilled out (or tried to in that heat!) and tried to make up for that painfully early morning. Oh, nearly forgot to mention the essential stickering up ritual. There are many sponsors for the event, and it is a requirement that you display their stickers in the formation decided by the organisers. So amid much swearing and with various methodologies in place, the stickers were attached, and even most of them in the right place. The hard part really was to find space on Piglet to put them all, and I was hard pressed to work out which were the new ones and which were the old. All the meals are laid on, so after listening to the introductory talk, we queued up for our cocktail, and then our dinner. The first night is always a large plateful of cold meats and salad - very tasty and filling. Just as we were feeling relaxed and sleepy, it was time for the first adventure of the weekend. The Night Navigation. This is always a bit daunting as they send you out in the dark with a tulip diagram road book, and expect you to find your way back. And without even a bag of breadcrumbs! This year they had organised it better and were sending people out in two shifts. As first shift we were out while it was still light, and it seemed that fewer people were doing the Adventure Course with us this year. The choices for courses are: Adventure - more for Green laning, the Xtreme - green laning with some trialling and XXtreme - the real mud plugging. As we had done this before, we led the group and managed pretty well. For those who don’t know, a tulip diagram is a drawing that shows where you are as a dot at the bottom, and an arrow pointing which way you need to go. There is one of these for each junction, with a note of how many meters it is between each tulip. The road book is a series of these diagrams and for the night navigation there were about 10 pages of them.
Of Belgian Corn and Bridges Maddy Brownlee
It was our fourth Belgium National and getting very familiar by now. We travelled down on Thursday night, in convoy, to the usual Travel Lodge. I then put the kids to bed while the rest of the group found the pub next door. Extremely early next morning (or was it still night), we crept (read barged) out of the hotel and drove the mile or two to the docks, where we met up with the rest of the group. Time for introductions now I think: Neil and myself, with the two Brownlee minors in Piglet, Alan Beale and Nick in Alan’s vehicle (does it have a name?), Mad George Glover and his nephew Justin in Liberty, Neil Rowe and brothers, Paul Clarke and George Neil, Owen Edwards and Bob in the fire engine.
Although there must have been hundreds of vehicles out that night, it was not just a question of following the person in front. Other vehicles may have been following a different road book or may even have been lost, so we stayed in our convoy and went our own way. Everyone in the convoy was following the road book, so when I missed a turning, there were plenty of people coming through on the CB’s to let us know. Thanks guys! It isn’t always that obvious what you need to do, and the road books are not that accurate with the distances, so we did need to turn round a couple of times. At one point in the road book, we came to a diagram that merely said IN and OUT. Wondering what this meant, we turned onto an off road track and came to some pretty sharp ‘down’. We managed to negotiate this ok, when we turned another tight corner and found some more down. Coming out of this, we drove across a valley of tree stumps. Swerving to avoid the rather deep ditch straight ahead of us, we turned the
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Recent Events corner to be confronted by a bridge. Now in hindsight, perhaps we should have got out and had a look at it. Easy to say now, I know. But then we would have known that it was about 12 feet down, and that there were two logs on each side, wheel width apart and with a big gap in the middle. And then perhaps, just perhaps, we wouldn’t have fallen off them. It’s ok, I said to Neil, looking out of the passenger window, you have plenty of room this side, which of course he did. Just not plenty of log under the rear wheel, which decided to drop down the gap and stay there. No forward or backwards. We couldn’t really get out due to the sheer drop on either side of us, but some brave souls attached a rope and pulled us back out of it (Owen I think), and George Neil managed to balance on the edge and shout instructions to help us steer out of it. I’ve never been so glad to have a steeplejack with us! We managed to get across it second time lucky, and nobody else had a problem with it - well they’d seen how not to do it, hadn’t they! We thought that would be it, but there were still some pretty sharp ascents and descents to go. We breathed a sigh of relief when we saw the exit, and realised that this had been the trials course for the previous site of the Belgium National. And we had watched that in previous years, in the light, thinking how difficult it looked! The kids of course managed to stay asleep throughout this and did not believe any of it had happened until we showed them the video footage. We survived to tell the tale, and finished the road book, getting back about half past twelve for the onion soup they provided. Hmm.. much appreciated. Next morning we were up bright and early and ready for the off again. There was a mist rolling in, however so we the start was delayed. Just time, thought the truckers among us, for a second breakfast! The day trip is more laid back. There is no real pressure to complete the road book, as we had way pointed the camp site into Mabel (the GPS, remember!) so we could come back when we’d had enough. So we set off when we were good and ready, following the Adventure course road map. Now we were able to see the beautiful countryside in the light at last. Many of the lanes were recognisable from our previous adventures here, although we had seen them wetter it has to be said. The heat wave had provided very dusty tracks, and we were hard pressed to find so much as a puddle the whole weekend. Sorry Mad George! George did manage to console himself by stopping in every field to avail himself of some corn for the camp fire we were planning that night. Good idea, but George do keep up, we keep losing you! We only took a few wrong turns, although there was a hairy moment when the road book showed a very different picture to the scenery around us. We realised it was the road book that was wrong, and took a wild guess. Thanks to Paul and George the guess was right and we were back on track. Phew! We all changed drivers so everyone had a chance driving and navigating. At 4 O’clock we agreed we’d had enough and it was time to get back and do some serious drinking/shopping/relaxing. We managed all three, and after dinner sat around our camp fire and enjoyed the fireworks that had been set up near the trials
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course. The much anticipated corn on the cob unfortunately turned out to be not ripe enough and did not cook well on the fire, but they did burn well. Never mind George, try the potatoes next year! Sunday was spent recovering, and watching the trials. As we were all hoping to take our vehicles home in one piece, none of our group entered this event, but it was fun to watch. Another Belgium National event over and time to head back for the ferry. Managed to stock up on essentials at Calais, and still made the ferry in time, before hitting good old British traffic jams. A good (if hectic) weekend of fun to test our driving and navigating skills, and great to spend time with other members of the Club. We will of course be watching the website to see when we can book next year. Just for the stickers of course!
On-Board-Air System - DIY
How it all comes together
The first thing that springs to mind is WHY? Why have a compressor built onto your beloved Discovery when you could easily nip to the local garage to pump up that slightly flat tyre? Or, why not just buy a small portable compressor from the nearest motor spares outlet and chuck it in the boot with all the other odds and ends that most Land Rover owners seem to lug around with them? Well, most of the compressors available from motor spare outlets are totally useless when it comes to inflating a 235/70 up to 2.8 bar. Unless you want to pay up to £200 for a flash American compressor, the next best option is to build your very own on-board-air system. On-board-air systems have been used by trailers and off road types for years. If you lower your tyre’s air pressure, you create a larger footprint thus enabling you to gain better traction. The only drawback with letting your tyres down in the middle of nowhere is trying to re-inflate them again before you hit the road home. I could prattle on for ages about the pros and cons of having a 10 bar air system available, but like me you could use it to run air tools, or an ARB diff locker, or as Mrs Wizard suggested, when camping “that would inflate the air beds a treat”. The kids have even used it to inflate balloons. How did I ever manage without it?!! The main reason I embarked on this project is more down to earth. Somebody on the Land Rover Owners forum said: “that won’t work” and to any self respecting wizard that’s a bit of a challenge. The key parts to any on board air system are: Good Air Conditioning Compressor: It would be easier to get one that is a standard fit for your vehicle. In my case, one for a 200 TDi would have been nice as it would have bolted straight on, but things are never that easy. I was offered a compressor from a V 8 Range Rover for £20, and thought ‘well V8 -Tdi not much difference’ and, as luck would have it, making up a mounting bracket and belt tensioner was fairly straight forward.
As you can see by the diagram above the system itself is quite straight forward. The compressor is belt driven from the crank pulley. If you have air conditioning fitted already you will need to fit an electric compressor, which will bump the cost of this project up quite a bit and, being a bit of a tight wad, that is something that I always try to avoid!
Air Receiver: This is the most important part of any on board air system, as it holds bags of air in reserve and enables you to build up a good supply of compressed air ready for use. Again Range Rovers are a good source for an air tank. In fact any vehicle with air suspension should have a nice compact air tank for you to use, or you could a visit www.onboardair.com and, like me, order a custom made air tank for $45 and, also like me, pay an extra £20 tax to her majesty’s custom and excise coffers (robbers) when it’s delivered. Pressure gauge: Any decent 0-10 bar pressure gauge will do. RS have a good selection for about £17. I used an RS stock no. 777-075. Pressure switch: Again, RS are a good source; I used stock no. 297-0052, which is a 1-15 bar pressure switch with a double contact. This switches in a relay to operate the compressor when pressure is low. I set mine to pump up to 9 bar; it cuts back in at 7.5 bar. Pressure relief valve: These are a good idea just in case things go a bit wonky. I set mine to vent at 10 bar.
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Discovery Workshop The suction side of the compressor must have some sort of air filter on it to stop dirt entering the working parts. The outlet goes direct to the tank via an optional non-return valve. The air from the outlet of the compressor is very hot at this point so the pipe work should be copper tube for the first 300 mm or so. I mounted the tank under the Disco between the chassis and body outriggers, I then made up a bash plate to protect it when offroading. The next step was to mount a pressure gauge and stab in air connection. These were both mounted out of the way under the rear bumper. While sourcing the parts for the on board air system I managed to â€˜acquireâ€™ several extra bits, so if anybody needs a gauge, pipe fittings, couplings, in fact anything apart from a compressor and receiver, give me a shout.
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Cape to Cape Challenge 2003 Sue Meakin
Organised by Motor Challenges Ltd., this challenge has been taking place for ten years; the aim is to drive non-stop from Nordkapp (North Cape) Norway, the most northern point in Europe at Latitude 71-10-21n to Cape Tarifa Spain, the most southerly point in Europe. The exact start and finish points are set but part of the challenge is to plan your own most advantageous route between the two! Speed limits must be strictly adhered to and violations incur penalties or even disqualification. The current record stands at 55hrs 56 mins and was set by a Volvo 740 in 2000. We first heard about the drive by reading an LRM article written by three guys who made an independent attempt on the Record in a Td5 XS in 2000. We had just completed the rebuild of our 1996 300Tdi, which was bought as a write off, and we needed another challenge. This was perfect, our entries were made in November 2002 and preparations got under way. The challenge is not cheap at a minimum of £3000 without any extras, so sponsorship became number one priority. We also decided to do this for Charity, so hoped that this would not be too difficult - wrong!! As we were totally unknown and nothing to do with the motoring industry nobody wanted to know. Well for those that did sponsor us we did them proud by Winning the 4X4 Class, winning the Mixed Teams Class and coming Second overall in a very respectable 64hrs 10mins. We also raised £6500 for our Charity, The Riding For The Disabled Association. To raise the money we sold advertising space on the Discovery, which meant that we needed a vinyl graphics company to make the stickers for us, Damar Signs Wooburn Green, Bucks offered their services. Next came the vehicle preparation, an independent L R specialist, Lee Perry - Radnage, did all the necessary mechanical work for just the cost of parts. There were three people in our Team, Phil Grunhut, Kevin Grey and myself, all of us under 5ft 9ins and 13st, so we were making a good start on keeping the total weight down. Planning the interior took a bit of thought. The sleeping area was obviously very important as rest en route was crucial. We removed the 60% section or the rear seat and replaced it with our deflated air bed, a folded sleeping bag (we might need these for camping on our way up to Nordkapp) and several beach/bath towels (for Spain). This was finished off with a foam mattress topper in a cotton cover, two pillows and a sleeping bag; all of which could be folded to one side and held in place with a seat belt when not in use. Rucksacks containing personal items required for the journey went immediately behind the drivers seat, helping to keep the bed (and sleeper) in place. An electric cool box went behind the cubby box so navigator and sleeper could easily reach. A dog guard was essential to ensure that nothing fell forward from the load space, this also provided a very useful hanging area for, on the front; fire extinguisher, kitchen roll and two toilet rolls hanging on short bungee, on the back; two small tents and pack of latex gloves clipped on a small karabiner. A shelf for the load space provided sufficient space under for; luggage, two steel framed chairs in bags, warning triangles, some food for the trip in a small collapsible crate and third sleeping bag. On top we put the bulk of our food in an under bed box, the jump starter/compressor, toolbox and a large box containing all things that make camping more civilised (kettle, gas ring, spare gas, matches, saucepan, bottles of water, etc.) and some
spares (oil, power steering fluid, windscreen wiper blades, serpentine belt, rad weld and tyre weld), also spare drinks to top up the cool box before we set off from Nordkapp. Storage compartments on either side of the load space housed the main rechargeable torch, top and bottom radiator hoses, oil filter air filter and J cloths. A fold up aluminium camping table wedged very nicely between the dog guard and the alpine window. A 4-gang extension was fitted to the cigarette lighter to power cool box, map light, GPS and data logger. Overhead nets held 2 head torches and lots of carrier bags for rubbish (binned at each fuel stop). The wheel brace lived under the bed. Two first aid kits were carried, one with all the normal items the second held Nurofen, bite relief spray, indigestion tabs, throat sweets, emergency blankets, Piriton and athlete’s foot powder. Our kit was completed with lots of air fresheners, several packs of dental gum, breath fresheners, deodorant wipes, wet wipes, foot spray, tissues and pens. As standard the car has a soft ‘A’ bar and spotlights, side steps, a life hammer and a spare bulb set. On June 20th 2003 we set of for Peterborough and the scrutineering. At a fuel stop we were passed by a very smart Land Rover Defender With ‘Cape To Cape’ plates front and back; it looked very ‘expedition ready’ and didn’t help to calm the nerves! On arriving at The Moat House Hotel we couldn’t see any obvious rivals but a Tomb Raider Defender 90 soon joined us, with every aid to navigation possible, or so it seemed to us! More nerves! A few people appeared from the hotel with Cape to Cape plates and started putting them on various vehicles around the car park and as the rivals began to show themselves it really hit home just what we were about to embark on!
Scrutineering was a check on our compulsory safety equipment to comply with European regulations, a check on all documentation, some teams with manufacturers’ cars needed ‘permission to drive’ letters, data loggers and GPS equipment was also checked. The ‘briefing’ was followed with lots of questions for Geoff the Scrutineer and Tony Stubbs the Organiser. Next day, off to Harwich for the ferry to Cuxhaven Germany, with the long haul up to Nordkapp and the start point ahead of us. The
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Members’ Stories crossing was 19 hours so we had the chance to get to know some of the other teams. 35 hours, several fuel and food stops later, we approach the tunnel which has replaced the ferry crossing onto the island where Nordkapp is located. It’s 11.45 pm as we exit the 8 km tunnel and we still need our sunnies on. The midnight sun is unbelievable and made the long trudge up here completely worthwhile. Twenty minutes later as we pull up outside the hotel, the sun is already beginning to bounce back up off the horizon to start the new day! The next day was supposed to be a rest day. No one had slept well - a down side of the constant daylight. There was just so much to do; wash the bug strike off the cars ready for a photo shoot with a Norwegian newspaper, go for Lunch with the Chief of Police for the Island and his family, then an escorted tour of the island and The Nordkapp with them, and of course a fuel fill to the brim ( a good range on each tank could make all the difference). Back to the hotel at about 8pm and our start time for the next day was 6.30 am, so we had to be up around 5 am meaning an early but sleepless night all round. Before bed, two other female contestants and myself were making sandwiches to take with us in lieu of breakfast.
Wednesday, June 25th. The weather has changed, the sun has been replaced with very murky low cloud and will make the first and very important part of the drive very hard. We’re at the Start by 6:00 am; it’s deserted and very spooky! Just time for a quick photo by the Nordkapp Globe. Oyistyn, the Policeman, who is the official starter, is in place. Log Book signed, photo taken, we’re ready to go. Every body in the car, lots of waving and cheering, a wave of the Norwegian flag and we’re OFF, back down the mountain with its remnants of winter snow to Honningsvag and the tunnel. The speed limit’s 80 kph, surprisingly high for such a difficult road; this was the hairiest bit of the drive, as we needed to keep up to the limit despite the low cloud, twists and turns ups and downs and in some places a very gravelly, uneven and unstable surface. Once through the tunnel heartbeats began to settle and we got into the rhythm of the drive, constantly watching the GPS to check our speed and constantly (to the point of paranoia) checking that the data logger was relentlessly
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flashing green! One worrying aspect was the very strong possibility of reindeer wandering onto the road in the far north, then moose further south. We saw plenty but encountered none. Fuel was a concern; we had way marked fuel stops on the Etrex (our secondary hand held GPS) but didn’t know just how long a tank would last. Average at home is 430 miles per tank. Could we do much better with no stopping, starting and generally lower speed limits. Nearly six hours from the start we still had just under half a tank, but badly needed the loo and a driver swap. This was supposed to be reserved for fuel stops but the next lay by with a loo saw us pull in, jump out relieve ourselves (me inside, the two lads round the back) then realisising that we’d abandoned the Disco with doors wide open, engine running, lights on!!! Kevin took over the driving and on we trudged keeping an eye on the fuel gauge! At 523 miles we pulled in for fuel just as the warning light came on so we could have done another 20 or so; not at all bad when you consider the weight we had on board with all our equipment. At every border crossing we had to make a note of the time and our mileage in the logbook and send a text message to Geoff to give him a rough idea of our progress . Keeping strictly to the speed limits was very hard work; cruise control would definitely have made life easier.
Resting was easy, the bed arrangement was very comfortable, and nobody had any trouble getting sleep. Sweden was particularly tedious. We had already done all of this part of the route on the way up but now the real enormity of the country really hit us, one road for 500 miles with nothing but pine trees, road works Scandinavian style made for light relief, they don’t close the road, they just dig it up and you make your own way round. OK for us and the Defenders suddenly finding yourself off road but I bet it was a bit painful in a Mazda 6!! The Oresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark was a very welcome sight as it loomed into view - part road bridge, part tunnel. It spans miles of water. Denmark passed very quickly and we were soon getting our tickets for the Rodbyhavn-Puttgarten ferry, a 40 min respite from driving and a 200 mile distance saving as long as the
Members’ Stories timing is good and you have a bit of luck with the loading. Within a few mins of pulling into our lane queue we were called forward to load. Car parked, we went upstairs for a coffee, looked back just as the boat started moving to see two teams on the quayside with a half hour wait for the next ferry, big boost to tired spirits. We’d been on the go for 34 hrs at peak concentration but bizarrely hadn’t seen darkness for nearly three and a half days. This was all to change - Hamburg 6 pm and it was grid locked; we saw one other team twice in different directions as we tried to navigate our way out of trouble. We picked a lucky route that made up for lost time and put us a good way further down Germany by the time it was dark. The Rules of the Challenge limited our speed to 130 kph, which is the RECOMMENDED limit for all traffic. Imagine you’re in your Land Rover at just under 130, ahead is a lorry at 120, you check your mirror, nothing there you indicate and check mirror again there is a speck on the horizon you begin to pull out suddenly there is a Merc/BMW/or whatever doing over 150 and you either suicidally carry on with the manoeuvre and get serious hoots flashes and abuse or you sheepishly go back to the safety of the slow lane behind the lorry. We maintained our average speed well - our back end obviously looked quite scary. We were all very happy to cross the border into France. France passed fairly smoothly apart from problems at Lyon (we should have gone straight through the middle, not aroubnd to the East). Having set the new route and gone back to sleep for an hour, it was early morning on Friday 27 th June when we crossed into Spain - already the heat is building up. Our route took us down the East Coast of Spain to just south of Alicante (we could have killed for air conditioning here) where we headed inland to Granada then south to Malaga and along the coast towards Gibraltar. Daylight is just fading as we see Gibraltar to our left as we come of the toll road for the last few miles to Tarifa. The traffic gets quite heavy and Phil suddenly gets very competitive, which was a bit scary as he had been very laid back for most of the journey. After a quick and unplanned circuit of the Town of Tarifa we found our finish point in the Car park by the Citadel. We can’t go any further south without getting wet! Data Logger off, text Geoff and phone home! We’d arrived in a very respectable 64 hrs 10mins, 50 mins quicker than our estimate. Now came the worst and hardest part of the whole trip - finding our way from Tarifa to Jerez where we were based for the next few days. We had our only argument and it took two hours to do what should have taken 45 minutes! Turn off the adrenalin, kick in exhaustion and the brain turns to mush!! Most teams encountered similar problems on that last uncompetitive leg.
better corporate sponsorship, based on this year’s performance. Anyone interested in putting forward a team for the 2004 Cape to Cape or possibly offering sponsorship to us as a team or sponsorship for the whole event can contact me email@example.com or tony stubbs at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.capetocape.co.uk or www.teamredrum.com for more information.
Mystery Walk James Ferguson
09:15, Saturday August 23 2003 - three Discoverys full of keen and eager walkers gathered in the Toys-R-Us car park adjacent to J2 of the M5 - gathered to go on a ‘Mystery Walk’ organised by Paul Jones. No one knew what Paul had in store, but had simply agreed to turn up with stout waterproof footwear, torches and fishing nets. Most of us had assumed (perhaps wrongly?) that the other items on the required kit list (including scuba gear, snorkels, inflatable boats, parachute, etc.) was a joke. In fact, some of us hadn’t even taken the torches too seriously, which turned out to be a mistake. The idea for the ‘Mystery Walk’ had come up at a pub meet a few months before. It was a very closely guarded secret as to what exactly the walk would entail, but we were guaranteed that it would be; suitable for children and dogs, not require too great a level of fitness and most important of all be GOOD FUN. The more curious and adventurous of us signed ourselves up straight away! On the day, the number of people that turned out wasn’t as good as had been hoped, so we waited patiently for a few minutes in case there were any latecomers - when Simon Grego turned up somewhat hung over we didn’t feel the need to press him on the reasons for his lateness! We piled into our Discoverys and set off in convoy to a destination unknown. Fifteen minutes driving and we parked in the car park of The Little Dry Dock public house, Windmill End, Dudley. We abandoned ship (sorry!) and set off on foot up across Warrenshall Park. Just a few metres away from where we’d parked the cars is a cross-canals where the Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal
Two weeks later all the Log Books had been checked routes and speeds confirmed and Prize giving held. We didn’t break any records but we did win the 4X4 class, win the Mixed Teams Class and came second overall. Next year (yes we want to do it all again) we would like cruise control and air conditioning. The only other changes we would make would be to the route, we choose to follow the Rhone Valley through Germany as it looked flat which seemed a good option for our Disco with it’s unmodified 300tdi engine but I think we would rather face hills than German roads!! None of this would have been possible without the help of our sponsors; we raised £6,500 pounds for our charity and almost covered our costs. We hope that next year it will be easier to get
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Members’ Stories and Dudley Canal Line Number 2 cross at right angles. There are four pedestrian bridges enabling people to get onto any bank without the need to swim. The location is picturesque and most unexpected in this industrial part of the Black Country. The weather was close and humid, the climb was steep, so at the top of the hill I was glad of the opportunity to hop into a bath (there was an old bath that was used as a drinking trough for cattle). As we crossed the road, Paul pointed out a circular wall around the top of the air shaft going down to Netherton Tunnel beneath us. There are seven of these vertical air shafts, the deepest of which ends 344 feet (104 metres) below the surface. From there, we walked across Turners Hill golf course (resisting the temptation to hide/move the golf balls of the unseen golfers) and through the suburbs of Dudley. We wound our way down the hill, stopping briefly in a corner shop for Mars bars and cans of drink. By the time we had descended all the way back to the canal tow path, we had all worked out where the walk was going to take us - through the Netherton Tunnel. Construction of the Netherton Tunnel started in 1855 and was completed on 20 August 1858. Before the Netherton tunnel, boats carrying minerals on the canals had to pass through old Dudley tunnel which had no tow paths. These boats had to be propelled by a method known as ‘legging’ which involved men lying on their backs on the top of the boat and pushing off the tunnels walls with their feet. Before the construction of Netherton tunnel it took over three hours to ‘leg’ a boat under the Rowley Hills through the old Dudley Tunnel. Complaints from the iron and steel industry about the long delays to boats passing through the old Dudley tunnel eventually compelled Birmingham Canal Company to plan Netherton tunnel from Windmill End, under the Rowley Hills to Tividale. Netherton tunnel shortened the route to Birmingham by four miles and avoided three locks, the passage of boats was relatively easy as Netherton Tunnel would have tow paths on both sides. Unlike old Dudley tunnel, Netherton tunnel was wide enough for two boats to pass one another inside the tunnel. To construct the tunnel, seventeen shafts were sunk to ease removal of spoil. Upon completion, seven shafts were left open for ventilation, and lined with bricks. Only the very highest quality bricks from Old Hill were used in the tunnel construction. The tunnel was originally illuminated by gas, and then later lit with electricity. Nowadays there is no lighting at all - which means it is pitch black in the middle! The tunnel is about 1.7 miles (2,768 metres) long and straight. We stopped for a quick breather at the mouth of the tunnel before entering. Peering through binoculars it was just about possible to make out an orangey yellow glow of light at the other end of the tunnel. We could hear voices and singing of people in the tunnel - we guessed they were on a canal boat. Just before we entered the tunnel two cyclists came shooting out with no lights on the bicycles, so I wonder how they could see where they were going! One of the cyclists was weaving around all over the narrow tow path (perhaps he’d stopped for a quick bevy at the Little Dry Dock) so we watched with bated breath for him to weave an inch too far and cycle into the canal. Sadly for us (but luckily for him) he didn’t fall in - at least not whilst we were there to witness it. We strode purposefully into the darkness. Light from the portal manages to get a little way into the tunnel but after a short distance I couldn’t even see my hand held out in front of my face. A few
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hundred feet into the tunnel we came across the first air ventilation shaft. This was one of the shafts that we had seen from ground level as we had walked across the top of the tunnel. Light (and much condensation) comes down these air shafts making a small pool of light in the middle of the canal. For a minute or two we watched Sticklebacks popping up to the surface in this spotlight on the waters surface before we trekked off into the darkness again. The tow path is uneven and potholed. Some of the potholes are an inch or two deep with water. Those without decent torches muttered oaths as they plunged their feet into the wetness. As we got further into the tunnel, we became increasing grateful that there were railings on the tow path edge to prevent you inadvertently wandering off the tow path into the canal. These railings were also useful to help gauge a suitable line to walk to avoid marching into the tunnel wall. Towards the northern end of the tunnel, the whole width of the tow path was submerged under an inch or so of water. Splashing through the water, I was hoping that I wouldn’t find the water was suddenly much deeper. According to Paul’s measuring from the map, we walked a total of about nine miles although to be honest, it didn’t feel like it. We debated getting one of the Discoverys and driving the whole route; across the golf course and down the middle of the canal to verify the exact mileage but decided the golfers and British Waterways might not take too kindly to that. The walk was nicely rounded off with a visit to the Little Dry Dock (Windmill End, Dudley DY2 9HU) for beers and some food to replace any calories inadvertently burnt off. Meals for all of us were orderd from the cheap and cheerful menu (the most expensive item on the menu was gammon steak and chips at £5) and waited..... and waited..... and waited. Eventually my meal arrived, then shortly before I finished, the next meal was served. However, in the end, we all enjoyed our meals. The food was good value and nobody really felt like complaining despite the delay (although we all encouraged Evie to complain as according to Paul she can really moan when she wants to!). So all in all, we had an enjoyable morning of gentle exercise, topped off with some nice food and a good natter. Sincere thanks to Paul and Evie for planning and organising the whole event. Next time I hope more people will take part; just make sure if Paul says to bring a torch that you do! Further reading on Netherton tunnel: www.nethertondudley.org.uk/nethtun.htm
ReDiscovered Alan Smart
Work on ‘Ee-ack’ as it’s become to be affectionately known, has all but ground to halt due a problem with my back caused by lifting my toolbox (another storey!). MoT time was a worry as I had not been able to start on the list of jobs so I gave it a quick once-over to ensure all the lights worked and off we went. I elected to stand in the ‘viewing area’ (you stand next to the ramp!) and watch. It sailed through the emissions and lights and, did you know they have to check you have the correct fuel cap fitted? I didn’t, and it did! Then the ramp was raised.
Members’ Stories He gave the brake pipes a thorough inspection but after some tutting and sucking through teeth declared he would pass but advise. The sills got the same treatment, as did a weeping swivel seal. He declared this was a cherished vehicle and, under the rules, the customer is allowed to perform the brake test. No problem there apart from a slight pull to the right but within allowance.
Fuel consumption varies between 18.5 and 22 miles per gallon depending on traffic and road conditions, the lower figure was the London to Brighton run. Having sorted out the ‘going’, by my next report I hope to have sorted out the ‘stopping’ as well.
He declared a pass and went off to do the paperwork. He wrote an essay on the test sheet but nothing that I wasn’t aware of. The swivel got fixed, as I didn’t want it all over the front disc. Unfortunately it needed a new swivel housing as the old one was pitted. I decided I will fit new brake pipes all round and having weighed up the advantages of buying pre-made pipes I grabbed my parts manual to identify the part numbers. Fronts? No problem, standard left-hand drive. Rears? Ahh, my chassis number isn’t covered and it doesn’t exist, according to Solihull’s parts computer! Bearing in mind it was built by Special Vehicles, anything could be true. I’ll wait and see if our guess was right when they eventually come. While I have the brakes apart I shall overhaul the front callipers to stop the pulling as I’m sure it’s a sticky piston. The noisy power steering pump has been fixed with a new one. The Discovery workshop manual is useless. It just says ‘remove the pump from the engine’; very helpful. As it’s the same as the Range Rover I looked in that manual and found a very detailed description of what to do. All was well until you try and undo the rear mounting nut. I’m not sure what shaped spanner you need but I couldn’t get on to it. In the end I managed to gently pry the bracket to slacken the belt. By removing the alternator lower stay bracket (metric one end, imperial the other) I could undo the three setscrews and drop the pump away. Putting it together was a doddle and it bled through without a problem. The noise had been caused by excessive end float on the pump shaft. I managed to find a set of OE Goodyear Wrangler tyres in the most unlikely place - my main dealer at £57 each! They’re imported from South Africa but now ‘Ee-ack’ stands proud on new tyres. I brought the old ones home to sell at Sodbury and this showed another problem. The shock absorbers were shot. With a total of four tyres and another wheel and tyre in the back, it rolled all over the place. On fitting the new ones (STC3939) I found the pair I had taken off were not a pair, but of two different makes! For the fronts I have bought new turrets as well, as they are past their best.
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Peter Greenway - 18 Fenhurst Road, Ward End, Birmingham, West Midlands, B8 3EQ
For Sale Front bumper and spoiler for 300 series, good condition £60. Set of brake pads (STC9190) £20, part set of Polybushes £10, radiator cowl £5. James Locke, 07771 681429 (Andover).
Page 17 - Discourse 14
A Saga of Discovery.... Gerard Brooks
After last year’s Land Rover shows at Billing and Peterborough I had had enough of piling Mrs Wizard, three kids and all the associated camping paraphernalia into and on top of Goth Thing, my fairly trusty 200 Tdi Discovery, it was time to get real, and get what all Land Rover owners really want ...a trailer. Stage one: The Long Search A scouting mission to the local DIY warehouse quickly ruled out their trailers, they were to small, and looked a bit lightweight when put behind the Disco. There are a few ‘safari trailer’ manufacturers about but I refuse to cough up £2,500 for a camping trailer! The only real option was a Sankey trailer, a real Land Rover trailer, a real butch trailer. So the search was on. A quick look on the World Wide Web found loads of Sankey trailers, the only problem was they were all over a hundred miles from Cardiff, I wanted something a bit more local, and within a hundred miles from home. Back on the web again, and onto my (second) favourite site, Land Rover Owner International, a few days of checking the ‘military bits’ forum turned up several trailers, one in Cornwall, one in Manchester and another in Norwich, all a bit to far just to have a look. Now I was getting a bit frustrated, so its time to break out the big guns, I splashed out £1.50 on the Ad Trader, there are loads of trailers in there, including two Sankey’s after a few phone calls I was on my way to look at two trailers, one in Swansea for £200 and one in Barry for £150, both sounded quite promising, but haven’t you heard that before. The first one in Swansea turned out to be a rust bucket with a large hole in the side and a flat tyre, and the one in Barry, well - the only thing Sankey about it were the wheels, everything else was made from plywood and looked well dodgy. Mrs Wizard’s first reaction was “you must be kidding” and she is rarely wrong (her nick name isn’t Encarta for nothing). Just as I was beginning to despair I found one for sale near Gloucester, not too far away, it sounded ok and more importantly, a fair price. A trip up the M50 secured a very cammo coloured trailer in good nick with a newly undersealed body. The only drawback to all this is a cammo trailer looked a bit odd behind a silver Discovery!! Stage two: The Paint Job If you have ever attempted to strip cammo paint from anything you’ll know all about this. I’m sure the army gets the stuff for free because they lash it on, the paint must have been nearly three inches thick!! I stripped everything off the trailer, front and rear lights, tow hitch, brake lever, number plate bracket and a few other brackets that I haven’t a clue as to what they are used for, after a few weeks of sanding off cammo paint (I’m not joking) she was ready for a coat of smooth silver Hammerite. After several coats of silver, the trailer was beginning to look quite good, the lights went back on with the indicators on the outside to make it road legal, for some reason the army put the brake/rear lights on the outside and the indicators innermost, which aint legal for civvy types. After overhauling the tow hitch and brake lever these
Discourse 14 - page 18
went back on with a break away cable to activate the brakes in the event of the trailer and Goth Thing parting company. I coated the inside of the tub with a rubber-based paint and lined it with an old conveyor belt, sourced from work. Now it really did look smart, but something was missing, there was no way of keeping the rain off all the camping kit that would eventually fill up the trailer, so a quick call to Cradock’s secured a second hand canvas trailer cover, problem again, canvas is green, green and silver..NO I don’t think so. Stage three: Making a Lid A friend once said to me “ never buy something until you have tried to make it”. Now it just so happens that I had several lengths of 3/4 inch angle iron and a few sheets of aluminium chequer plate laying around, just the thing to make a trailer lid out of. I made up a frame using the 3/4” angle that was slightly smaller than the lip around the edge of the trailer and secured two hinges to the side so that the lid would pivot up on the drivers side, after which it was just a matter of cutting the chequer plate to size and pop-riveting it to the frame. This then created another problem, the lid was rather heavy to lift up, how are the kids going to get me a beer from the cooler in the trailer if they can’t lift the lid up? Easy solution: purchase two gas struts as used on 101 little hatchbacks, £40 a pair new or a tenner from your local scrap yard - a trip to the scrappy then. Half a hour later with two gas struts installed, it was time to do my Homer Simpson impression, lid goes up, lid goes down, lid goes up, lid goes down, .... You get the idea. All I needed now was a spare wheel. 90% of all Land Rover wheels will fit on a Sankey trailer, but as luck would have it, the Range Rover Vogue ones on Goth Thing don’t fit. Like most jobs I do, I don’t think about a before and after photo until the job is done, so you will have to imagine a before picture.
3D Puzzles & Tight Spaces Alex Drummond
As I mentioned in the last article I have been needing to replace the passenger door lock for a while but being a lower priority job it kept getting postponed. It’s a common fault on Discoverys, the repair of which is more fiddly than difficult. What happens is that a small spring in the lock mechanism fatigues and breaks. This means that although the lock still works, the button has a tendency to drop down and relock the door on its own and the central locking although operating on the lock does not seem to move it far enough to release the door. The spring is not separately available so a complete lock mechanism is called for at around £40. The fun comes in fitting it. It is not possible to replace the lock without dismantling the whole door, and that means removing the top of the door frame, and the glass, and the winder, and the motor. It looks a good deal more difficult than it really is. The difficult bit is manoeuvring stuff through the access panels and in remembering which link went to which handle or lever. The Haynes manual does its usual trick of getting you to jump between sections, dismantling part X as described in section 23.54 from where you find that you first remove part Y as described in ..... and so on. Be familiar with the text before you start and make sure you have a Torx T40 for the one odd bolt that is fitted in a bid to frustrate the home repairer. It interests me that this one bolt is torx when the others are Phillips or hexagon head - it can only be to catch people out. You also need some strong adhesive tape to hold the glass of the window to the frame when you remove it. Now I used parcel tape the first time and it worked fine, this time I used Gaffer tape and having set the window and frame aside, a few minutes later the tape gave way and the window dropped to the ground. No harm done but probably best to set the frame on its side so the glass can’t go anywhere.
The job follows the pattern laid out in the book. Remove the door lining, remove the plastic sheeting then set about removing the mirror. A thin blunt instrument is needed to lever the plastic cover off the mirror mounting plate. It’s only a press fit but it can be damaged if the pressure is too localised by using a screwdriver carelessly. The mirror has three screws and two electrical connectors. With it removed and set aside your attention turns to removing the window. Remove the three hexagon bolts that secure the motor and jiggle it out. I leave it dangling carefully rather than chase the connectors. The electric lock servo comes out next, this time four Phillips screws. Again I leave this dangling carefully. There are four Phillips bolts securing the winder mechanism for the window and with these removed it’s a bit of a jiggle to get the mechanism out through the hole in the lower part of the inner door panel. With that out you can release the bolts that secure the black window frame to the door. There are three bolts on the top of the door; two are at the bottom of the runners, inside the door. With these released the whole window and frame come out quite easily although you need to prop the door for a moment while you ease the mirror wiring through the access hole. The door lock is secured with three bolts, two on the edge of the door, one on the inside. Before undoing it, take a really good look at where the rods all go. There are five that need to be unclipped before you can release the lock. You’ll probably need a long thin screwdriver to get at the clips - but don’t lose them, the new lock does not come with the clips. (I mean, would it kill them to put a couple of spares in with the part?). To remove the lever that goes to the lock servo you need to release the bell crank lever which is mounted to the inner door skin with a square plastic clip. To remove this, push the round bit in the centre - it’s a pin that expands the legs of the square plug to keep it in place. With the pin removed the plug pushes straight through and the lever is released. Note which way round this lever goes though, as it can get confusing later on putting it back the wrong way up! Removing the lock itself is another fiddle but quite satisfying when you achieve it. Some of the push rods have to be transferred to the new lock from the old. Count the number of turns to put stuff back as before. Reassembly is, as Haynes would say, the reversal of the dismantling process, but I came across two things worth noting: Firstly, check the lock works properly before you put the window back in. I found the rod to the outer handle needed adjusting for length to get the lock to release. This was much easier with the window out so I could reach inside the door and operate the mechanism manually. If you don’t do this there is a serious risk of finding that once closed, you are unable to open the door at all! Secondly, with the lock working fine and the window in place check the operation of the winder. Last time I did this job the window would make a clunk on lowering and rising. This time I investigated and it turns out the clearance between the metal bracket on the bottom of the glass and the motor is really tight. Make sure the motor is properly engaged and drawn in to position - it can sit out slightly but still work, and make sure the legs of the frame where they bolt to the bottom of the door are adjusted out a little. Incidentally, you’ll find that flicking the motor switch helps to engage the gears when you’re assembling it. All in all it was a mornings work (including tea drinking time) that fixed an irritating fault. It’s not that expensive or difficult to put right if you have the patience (and of course the torx socket). Now I must find some time to do the water pump - the last one did 90k, this one has done over 100k and is starting to show the signs of wear the last one did. Until next time - keep dabbing that copper grease.
Page 19 - Discourse 14
Discourse 14 - page 20
Page 21 - Discourse 14
Window Winder Resurrection John Batchelor
Over the previous few days I’d noticed that the drivers side electric window of my 95 300Tdi Discovery was making a slight knock part way through its travel, though only while lifting up. As one does, I’d mentally consigned it to the ‘must have a look at that sometime’ box and taken no further notice.
cable ties to prevent movement and chafing. While the trim was off the linkages of the locking mechanism were also cleaned and lubricated before re sticking the polythene lining into place. Those ‘bullets’ that had broken during removal of the trim panel (c 30%) were replaced and the panel was carefully tapped back into place. Finally the door handle and lock trim were refitted and the job was done. Costs? A fiver for the welding and a few pence each for the ‘bullet’ fasteners. Saving? a new regulator is about £60 + VAT from your Main Dealer! Moral? Next time, strip and lubricate before it all goes bang!
One afternoon I went down to our local airport to collect my daughter and family and, once parked, I pressed the ‘Up’ button on the console. Up went the window until about an inch from the top when there was a very loud bang and it stopped, followed by a loud rattle from within the door. Thanking my luck that it was at least nearly closed, I went into the airport and collected the family. On the way home the glass slowly slid down and disappeared into the door, so the car spent the night on my drive with a sheet of polythene taped over the opening while I didn’t sleep! The following morning out came the Haynes manual to find out how to strip it down. Getting the trim panel off was easy, remove the screw holding the trim round the lock handle, undo the two bolts holding the inside door handle and gently prise round the edges of the trim to release the bullet fastenings. Don’t forget to disconnect the speaker leads as soon as the trim comes free. Then carefully peel off the polythene sheeting inside the door to reveal --- a half circle of gear wheel lying in the bottom of the door! (See pictures 1 & 2) Inspection of this showed it to have originally been fastened to something by three spot welds, all of which appeared to have failed more or less together. (See pictures 3 & 4). Next step, according to the manual, was to remove the motor. Lifting up the glass and fastening it to the top of the door surround with gaffer tape exposed more of the bits and pieces, but taking out the four bolts securing the motor to the inner door panel still left it fastened to something. The bottom slider of the door regulator could be seen to be secured by two more bolts; these were removed but still nothing would come out! Lowering the glass carefully by hand eventually revealed the top slider to be secured to the metal base of the glass by two more bolts; once these were removed and the motor wiring disconnected, the whole motor and regulator assembly could be manoeuvred out of the lower aperture in the door panel.
1. General view of door with trim & polythene off, note gear at bottom left. 2. Close-up of gear fallen into bottom of door. 3. Broken spot welds. 4. How it should fit together.
It was then possible to see that the gear had been spot welded to one arm of the regulator. Initial thoughts were to drill and grind off the welds and bolt the gear back on. This was seen to be impossible because of insufficient clearance for the bolt heads during operation of the winder. Hence it was over to my trusty friends at HBH Land Rovers Ltd. where it was soon cleaned up and MIG welded back in place. Back at home the sliders and pivots were cleaned and re-greased. The glass was then lifted right up and secured firmly with tape; this allowed the motor/regulator to be wiggled back inside the panel and bolted into place. Thread locker was used on all the bolts since they had been so treated when new. Once secured, the motor wiring was re-connected and the regulator motored to the ‘Down’ position. In that position the glass could be slowly lowered by hand until the top slider of the regulator could be lined up with the metal base of the glass and re-fastened with it’s two bolts. The operation up and down was then carefully tested before re-fastening the wiring with
Discourse 14 - page 22
Report on Recent Meetings
Member Discount Schemes
Following the SGM the new Interim Committee met for a brief meeting. A timetable of events to complete the pledges made at the SGM was presented and the Committee agreed to meet monthly for the foreseeable future. The Committee agreed to work on a ‘buddy’ basis and divided up into pairs and groups to complete the tasks.
We’re trying to compile a list of suppliers who offer a discount to Club members. If you have negotiated a discount with a supplier or know of suppliers who offer discounts, please let Alan Smart know. Please include their name, address, telephone number and a contact name as all discounts will need to be verified. Once we have a list we can publish it as an insert in Discourse.
The positions for Club Shop Officer and Camping and Caravanning Officer were vacant and needed to be filled. A team was set up to look at the forum and web site and come back to the Committee with recommendations. Various members were tasked to report back to the next meeting on matters relating to finance, membership and insurance. Alan and Nick will resume responsibility for Discourse and Mick Caswell was co-opted as the Member Representative. It was agreed to hold another meeting on the 26th October.
In the Wake of the SGM
At this meeting, outstanding actions from previous minutes were reviewed and progressed. The Club’s finances were reviewed but due to hand-overs, a final figure was not available. It was agreed to move the Club’s bank account to Abbey National Business who offer on-line banking and easier paying in facilities. At the moment we have over 250 lapsed members who will receive a reminder in November’s Discourse. The method of taking memberships at shows will also be reviewed. There is a full calendar of events for 2004 but we still need to get more members involved with the running of events. Kim Hollings agreed to take on the vacant post of Camping and Caravanning Officer and Peter Greenway was co-opted as Club Shop Officer. The Club’s shop stock is being counted so it can be valued for the end of year accounts. A working party was tasked with looking at the operation of the shop, how to get it from show to show and how it should be run at shows to ensure full accountability. Health and Safety procedures at shows are also to be reviewed. As we promote ourselves as a family club, Uncle George Glover and Uncle Mick Caswell have agreed to devise a childrens page for Discourse, maybe with a competition for a small prize. The Club’s Data Protection Statement was reviewed and the membership application form is to be revised. The Club is to apply for a Post Office Box number so there is a perpetual address. Post will be forwarded to the Membership Secretary so if the holder of the post changes, we only have to change the redirection instruction. The marquee needs some minor maintenance and providing members with refreshments at shows is being looked in to. A working group are to come up with guidelines for the forum and there will be more moderators appointed to ensure the guidelines are adhered to. Future meetings planned: 7th December, Northampton 4th January, Redditch 1st February, Northampton 7th March, Northampton.
Unfortunately a number of members who were providing support and running Local Sections have decided to stand down over the past couple of months and many of the problems that brought about the sudden resignations of the former Committee members still need to be addressed. When a handful of members are undertaking most of the administration, there is always the risk that their interests take preference when decisions are being made. This Committe is determined to resolve some of these issues by encouraging more of the general membership to share in the responsibilities of producing the Club maggazine and developing and maintaining the Web Site and Forum. Already we have taken steps to establish proper control and ownership and as you can read under the Your Interim Committee section, all Committee members now have Club email addresses. A new Web Site is under development and as you can see, we have already introduced some new ideas to the design of Discourse in order to establish some continuity between the Club’s communication resources. After just a few weeks, we are not only already on the road to achieving our objectives, but have managed to fulfill some of the outstanding actions agreed by the previous Committee at meetings prior to the SGM. If you think you can help the Club to achieve its ambition to be ‘The Best 4x4 Club By Far’ and have some relevant skills and some time to contribute, then please contact Alan Smart.
For Your Information MoT Test Update
Next year all 19,000 MoT test stations in the UK will be connected to a central database of vehicle information, test results and authorised examiners and testers. All test stations must have a viewing area where you can watch your vehicle’s progress. A few points worth noting about the test: examiners may decline to test excessively dirty vehicles so if you go off-road, bear this in mind. They may also refuse to test a loaded vehicle, even one with a full luggage area. Cracked or damaged number plates can also mean a fail as can unapproved fonts. You can arrange a test up to a calendar month before the expiry of the old certificate which you should take along and have the days in hand added to your new certificate. If it’s the vehicles first test, you can have it tested up a month before the anniversary of its first registration but take along the registration document (V5).
Page 23 - Discourse 14
Rear Suspension Links Alan Smart
Early Discoverys had lower rear link NTC4720 fitted which is prone to bending when used off-road and these were superseded by NTC8328 which must be fitted in pairs. The change is from VIN HA477040 (about July/August 1990). The originals are only 22mm diameter. The thicker ones are 28mm as used on later Range Rovers (post 1986) but the older RR ones are a different part number as they are imperial. As they were not using up old stock, I wonder why early Discoverys had links that were peculiar to them when the Range Rover ones were already available. Interesting things, part books (for the really sad!).
Discourse 14 - page 24
Member’s Letters The Good Points Outweigh the Bad
Proud of our Flag
I’m prompted to write about my own experiences. I had been a Series 3 owner for nine years along with another car. Altered circumstances dictated running one vehicle so we (me, really) opted for a Discovery to provide a family vehicle and still have a Land Rover. I looked at a few ads and went to view a few vehicles in local garages. I liked the look of a particular vehicle and armed with a hoard of magazine knowledge, I made my choice. So K36NTU became ours in January 2002. It hasn’t been an entirely happy year and I certainly wouldn’t recommend the garage or go back there. Various items that I asked to be put right before I collected the Discovery were still being attended to three months later. And guess what? It was only a three month warranty!
On the cover of Discourse 12, the Discovery flying the Union Flag on the slope at Gaydon during the Heritage Run, has got it upside down. They flying of the Union Flag this way at sea is traditionally a distress signal. Was this Discovery member in distress? James Law
The garage changed the timing belt along with part of the clutch mechanism (allegedly!). They showed me the old one and I winced when they told me how they removed the crankshaft pulley. An annoying rattle soon returned so I took it to a local 4x4 specialist who confirmed the clutch mechanism had finally gone. I was also concerned that a large piece of circlip had come out of the gearbox when I changed the oil. A new clutch and a reconditioned gearbox were fitted. The factory fitted alarm finally gave up after having been soaked in rainwater, so I had another fitted. I was dreading the MoT test but only a couple of rusty brake lines were found and a headlight needed adjusting so I can look forward to another year of Land Rovering! They did point out that the inner front wings had some holes and I wonder why they are made of such thin material when they are so vulnerable. Does anyone recommend a repair solution? Robert Powell.
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The good points outweigh the bad, and through work I have either done myself or had done I am generally very pleased with the vehicle. It’s a TdiS five door model, in blue metallic with alloy wheels. It doesn’t have sun roofs so that avoids the leaks! There is one annoying leak that continues to baffle me. Rainwater drips down from above the seatbelt mounting. The garage suggested resealing the Alpine lights but it still drips. I noticed there is a gap between the trim and the rear door. Is this where it gets in? Has anybody successfully dealt with this?
Tarriff: Wheel Cover Umbrella Key Fob Tax Disk Holder Triangle Sticker Jigsaw Puzzle Mouse Mat Picture Mug DOC Mug Big Kid Sticker Van Sticker 33 inch Sticker 22 inch Sticker Website Sticker Turn Me Over
Personalised Personalised Personalised Yellow Silver Silver White Red
£.p 20.00 15.00 2.00 1.00 2.00 12.00 6.00 8.50 3.00 3.50 3.50 3.00 2.00 3.00 6.00
p&p Stickers 75p ea, other items £2.50 ea
Please make cheques payable to Discovery Owners Club and send to:
Peter Greenway - 18 Fenhurst Road, Ward End, Birmingham, West Midlands, B8 3EQ
Page 25 - Discourse 14
What’s On - Tim Arnold Christmas is still some weeks away but planning for 2004 is well underway. Willing volunteers are always welcome and as you will see below there are some spaces to fill. If there is something else that you feel members would be interested in get in touch and we can add it to the calender. This year isn’t over yet and many of the local groups will be having Christmas partys so why not give your local LSR a call, For those who want to get muddy instead of shopping, Damian (01424 813673) has booked the Mud Factory near East Grinstead in East Sussex for the day on the 14th December and George is arranging a whole weekend of activity around the Northants Christmas party..
DOC National Rally? Abingdon has grown considerably and is now an established date on the 4x4 Calendar. We wish Garry continuing success and I am sure many of you will be going along to help next year. However, we do not feel that it is the ‘Club’ event any longer due to its size, which is why we are proposing a National Rally solely for Club members to be held initially at a central location and then to be hosted each year by a regional group. Please contact me directly or through your LSR with your thoughts and ideas.
If you have any ideas, please get in touch with me or any other member of the committee. If you know of a suitable venue for a camping and caravanning rally, please let Kim Hollings know, whether it’s a commercial site or just a farmer’s field, we can make it happen. Likewise if you know of any off-road venues or just a bit of gentle laning, we’d like to know. We also need to expand our local sections. You can find local meets on page 27 but coverage of the country is a bit thin. If you feel you would like to meet with fellow Discovery enthusiasts in your area but don’t know how to start, get in touch with a member of the committee. They’ll help you to contact other local member’s you can approach about setting up a local section. For us to help you, you have to help us. Working together, we have the potential to be the Best 4x4 Club x Far!
2004 Calendar and Contacts 16 Nov - Green Lane Clearing, Kimpton, Hants. Contact Alan Smart - 01264 772851 15 Feb - Indoor 4x4 Show, Donnington Contact Peter Greenway - 01484 644764, 07956 825867
In conjunction with Hampshire Paths Partnership and Kimpton Parish Council we are planning to reinstate an overgrown part of U57 which runs up to the Wiltshire border. The planned date is Sunday 16th November with a start time of 10:00 at Kimpton village hall. The overgrown part is about 500 metres. We plan to split into two groups and work from either end and (hopefully) meet in the middle.
Easter - Caravan/Camping W/E Contact Kim Hollins - 0161 480 7096, 07831 541245
Hampshire County Council will supply Personal Protective Equipment including hard hats and gloves. Stout footwear should be worn by all volunteers. Steel toe capped wellington boots will be available to those who wish to wear them and for those who are required to wear them, i.e. if somebody is using a slasher. You are welcome (encouraged) to bring hand tools such as loppers pruning saws and secateurs but no chainsaws, please.
15-16 May - Land Rover Owner Show Contact Required
Map references are (Land Ranger sheet 184 or Explorer 131) Kimpton Village Hall SU281473. Clearance between SU272480 to Newdown Copse SU268483. Contact: Alan Smart.
Fed Up with Xmas Shopping? GET MUDDY - 14th December. Detling seems like an age ago with Xmas just around the corner, so why not escape for a day and get your Landie really, really muddy. Damian Bunn is proposing private hire of the Mud Factory at East Grinstead. Same informal rules as Detling 2003, from £15 for the day, but no more than £20. Damian doesn’t know the course himself but hopes that those who have been there can enlighten him so he can pass any comments on. If you’re interested, let Damian know asap 01474 834258 or email@example.com
Your Club Needs You! To successfully run events for members we need to know what sort of events you want us to run! It sounds obvious but the truth is we get little guidance from you, the members. For the 2004 season we’d like to expand the range of events we put on for you.
Discourse 14 - page 26
2 May - Land Rover Heritage Run, Gaydon Contact Neil Brownlee - 07768 366157 ? May - Piece hall Land Rover Gathering, Halifax Contact Neil Brownlee - 07768 366157
? May - ARC National Contact Alan Smart - 01264 772851 19-20 Jun - Land Rover World Show Contact Paul Walker - 01527 404103, 07939411995 3 Jul - Discovery Challenge Contact Paul Walker - 01527 404103, 07939411995 16-18 Jul - Land Rover Enthusiasts Show Contact George Glover - 01604 582252, 07721 559456 ? Jul - Beaulieu 4x4 Show Contact Stefan Tapp - 02380 441905 ? Aug - Caravan/Camping W/E Contact Kim Hollins - 0161 480 7096, 07831 541245 ? Aug - Town & Country Show, Stoneleigh Contact Required 11-12 Sep - Land Rover Owner Show Contact Required ? Sep - Langley Farm Contact Required ? Sep - Belgian National Contact Neil Brownlee - 07768 366157 ? Sep - Major’s Memorial Trial at Eastnor Contact Alan Smart - 01264 772851
Events ? Sep - Abingdon 4x4 Festival Contact Garry Tredwell - 01235 520240 ? Oct London to Brighton LR Run Contact Required Date TBA - National 4x4 Show (Trentham) Contact Required
Regional Meets Central Southern Location: When: Time: Contact:
East Sussex Location: When: Time: Contact:
The Packhorse, Milton Hill, nr Abingdon, Oxford. Third Wednesday of each month 7:30 pm onwards Post Vacant. Tel: Paul Walker. The Horseshoe Inn, Windmill Hill, nr. Hailsham. Second Sunday of each month 12:30 pm onwards Post Vacant. Tel: Paul Walker.
Home Counties North Location: When: Time: Contact:
Location: When: Time: Contact:
George IV PH, London Road, Baldock, Herts. Third Tuesday of each month 8:00 pm onwards Post Vacant. Tel: Paul Walker. Black Lion, Southfleet. First Wednesday of each month. 7:30 pm onwards Don Hoaglin. Tel: 01474 707531
Northampton Location: When: Time: Contact:
Billing Quays, Northampton, (nr Aquadrome). First Thursday of each month. 7:30 pm onwards George Glover. Tel: 01604 582252, 07721 559456
North West / Manchester Location: When: Time: Contact:
The Railway PH, 1 Avenue Street, Portwood, Stockport. Second Wednesday of each month 8:00 pm onwards Kim Hollings. Tel: 0161 480 7096, 07831 541245
North Worcs / South Midlands Location: When: Time: Contact:
The White Hart PH, Evesham Road, Redditch, Worcs. Second Tuesday of each month 8:00 pm onwards Paul Walker. Tel: 01527 404103, 07939 411995
South Staffs / North Birmingham
Location: Moxull Hall Hotel, Holly Lane, Wishaw, nr Sutton Coldfield, B76 9PD. When: Last Thursday of each month Time: 7:30 pm onwards Location: When: Time: Contact:
Location: When: Time: Contact:
The White Hart PH, Wolverhampton Rd, Cannock Second Thursday of each month 7:30 pm onwards Lee Jones. Tel: 0121 603 3632 The Felin Fach Griffin PH, Hay on Wye. First Sunday of each month 1:00 pm onwards Gerard Brooks. Tel: 02920 757459, 07977 545790
Location: When: Time: Contact:
The Rack & Manger, Crawley, Hampshire. Second Wednesday of each month 7:30 pm onwards Alan Smart. Tel: 01264 772851
West of England
Location: The Wheatsheaf PH, High Street, Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire. When: Last Friday of each month Time: 8:00 pm onwards Contact: Post Vacant. Tel: Paul Walker.
Location: When: Time: Contact:
George & Dragon PH, Apperley Bridge, Bradford. Last Friday of each month. 8:00 pm onwards Post Vacant. Tel: Paul Walker.
Location: When: Time: Contact:
Sir Jacks PH, Bawtry Road, Bramley, Rotherham. First Sunday of each month. 12:00 noon onwards Martin Thomas. Tel: 07985 736021
If you would like to form yor own Local Section of the Discovery Owners Club in any area not covered in those listed above, contact Paul Walker or any of the Local Section Representitives on the Committee who will be pleased to advise and assist you.
Weather Warning - Month After Month of Beautiful Days Could Catch Drivers Out After a spring, summer and autumn of continuously near-perfect driving conditions road safety champion, the Guild of Experienced Motorists, (GEM) is warning that motorists could be caught by surprise as winter sets in and drivers discover they lack recent experience of what hard weather can do. “We have had three seasons with very little rain, visibility has been excellent day after day and winds have tended to be moderate,” says David Williams, Chief Executive of GEM. “Now we may be faced with fog, rain and cross winds creating unexpected hazards especially as we may have forgotten what it is like to drive in slippery conditions with poor visibility.” “The unnecessary process of changing the clocks from British Summer Time does not help either. By failing to adopt Central European Time we lose an hour of daylight during the most dangerous time of day on the road, the late afternoon and early evening. The gloom causes a massive increase in accidents, injuries and deaths.” He says all motorists need to take extra care as they re-learn winter driving-skills and to help, GEM’s charitable arm, is offering free copies of its Motorist’s Guide to Winter Driving. Send a 9in x 6in stamped addressed envelope to: Winter Driving Leaflet, GEM, Station Road, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5EN, or email winter firstname.lastname@example.org
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Page 27 - Discourse 14
The 2003 London to Brighton Run - Looking Down on Discoverys?. Photo - Alan Smart
Published by Focus TC - 01628 662566 Discourse 14 - page 28
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