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MIGHTY CRUISER Magnificent 80-Series with a set of mods you won’t see anywhere else

Can you turn a profit on modifying your vehicle?

A hybrid that was so good, they had to build it twice…

37-inch tyres on a daily driven Wrangler

Final-edition Disco 4: still a winner off-road?

JUNE 2016

£3.99 06


9 772051 973008 An Assignment Media publication




You don’t follow the pack. For over 45 years, Superwinch has built winches that don’t follow the herd. We build products based on sound engineering and honesty.

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DA6291 FO 5W-30 1 litre DA6297 FO 5W-30 4 litres DA6292 FO 5W-30 5 litres Modern high performance low friction multi-grade engine oil with CleanSynto® technology. DA6368 TSi SAE 10W-40 1 litre DA6369 TSi SAE 10W-40 5 litres Highly-treated engine oil with CleanSynto® technology which allows for energy-saving operation. DA6376 FLJ SAE 5W-30 1 litre DA6377 FLJ SAE 5W-30 5 litres Fully synthetic, low SAPS, low-viscosity motor oil with CleanSynto® technology. DA6378 VMO SAE 5W-40 1 litre DA6379 VMO SAE 5W-40 5 litres Universal fully synthetic low friction motor oil based on PAO Poly-alpha-olefins. DA6380 Turbo-C HD-C SAE 15W-40 1 litre DA6381 Turbo-C HD-C SAE 15W-40 5 litres High quality multi-grade engine oil for passenger cars and trucks with diesel engines with or without turbo charger.

Transmission Oils

TYK500050 ATF 6HP Fluid TYK500050-20L ATF 6HP Fluid Specially developed for ZF 6HP series high performance automatic transmissions.

1 litre 20 litres

DA6372 ATF Dexron D II 1 litre DA6373 ATF Dexron D II 4 litres First class transmission fluid for automatic transmissions of all vehicles on the basis of high refined mineral oils with a corresponding additive treatment.

Find out much more information on each of the oils at

IYK500010 Transfer Fluid TF-0870 1 litre Fully synthetic gear lubricant for the latest generation of electronically controlled active transfer cases. LR002748 ATF T-IV Fluid 1 litre Primarily designed for use in latest Aisin Warner automatic transmissions. LR003156 EPX SAE 80W-90 GL 5 1 litre Multi-range oil for synchronised and non-synchronised manual transmissions. LR019727 Multi-disc locking differentials semi-synthetic lubricant 1 litre Developed specifically for use in lamella limited slip differentials. STC4862 ATF Dexron III H Fluid 1 litre Universal ATF for all transmissions with and without controlled torque converter lockup clutch. STC4863 ATF 5/4 HP Fluid 1 litre Special additives and inhibitors enable a smooth and reliable function of the auto transmission. STC50531 ATF JF 506E Fluid 1 litre Specially developed for use in JATCO 5-speed automatic transmissions. TYK500010 VSG 75W-90 Transmission oil 1 litre TYK500010-20L VSG 75W-90 Transmission oil 20 litres A high performance full synthetic oil. Offers highest possible levels of protection & performance.

How clean is your Land Rover’s oil? Extend the life of both engine and transmission... Lubetrend Analysis is the complete fluid analysis programme performed by the number one oil condition monitoring laboratory in the UK with over 35 years of experience in monitoring all types of fluid lubricated and insulating oil systems; giving you the confidence to act. Regular checks on the condition of the oil can extend the life of both engine and transmission and help spot potential problems long before they materialise. Our aim is to help you succeed in making the most of DA6358 your vehicles and machinery through reducing Oil analysis kit unplanned downtime, extending oil drains and detecting potential future failure before they happen. Essential not only for all aspects of motorsport - we’d recommend taking a sample after each event - but also recommended for your everyday transport as part of the annual service. The price includes the sample kit and the full analysis report. Only the postage to the laboratory is your responsibility.

TYK500030 MTF-2 75W-80 Gear oil 1 litre Fully synthetic gear oil. Low friction characteristics, exceptional high load capabilities.

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STC50519 SSF Power steering fluid 1 litre STC50519-20L SSF Power steering fluid 20 litres High performance central hydraulic fluid designed for use from -40°C to +100°C.


DA6293 Organic Technology Coolant Concentrate 1.5 litres DA6294 Organic Technology Coolant Concentrate 5 litres An eco-friendly 1.2- Ethanediol (monoethylene glycol) based silicate, borate, nitrite and phosphate-free coolant for cooling circuits in combustion engines.


DA4960 Multi-purpose grease 400g DA4961 Multi-purpose grease 5kgs Lithium based multi-purpose grease with oxidation and corrosion protective additives.

Sundries DA6485 DA6486 DA6496

Brake cleaner Silicon spray Copper paste

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JUNE 2016



4 | JUNE 2016




receiving a letter from the DVLA telling you to start the entire job again from scratch because something didn’t pass the SVA test. Would you give up in disgust… or resolve to make the second build even better than the first?

Mighty Rubicon

A daily driver on 37” tyres? That’ll be the spectacular 5-door Wrangler Rubicon built by Stewart Harding of the Jeep Owners Club with the assistance of some top kit from American Expecition Vehicles


You Only Live Twice

Building a hybrid Land Rover is one of the most daunting undertakings any 4x4 fan will ever make. So imagine getting your project finally finished, setting out to enjoy it… then



Unique Cruiser

There are plenty of beautifully modified 80-Series Land Cruisers, but with there not being a huge choice in the variety of kit available a lot of them look quite similar. Kev Martin’s brother used to fabricate custom bumpers for a living, though – so it’s no surprise that his tidily sorted 80 bucks that trend


Subscribe for a year from as little as £24 – and you’ll receive a £25 voucher to spend with top lubricant manufacturer Ravenol. Yes, you’re UP on the deal! 46



Final Disco 4


The Landmark name first cropped up when Land Rover was running out the Disco 2. Now it’s back, it signals the impending end of the Disco 4. So what does this £58,105 off-road gin palace tell us about the likely direction of the Discovery that will replace it?


Kidd’s Column


The way society was able to lie to itself for so long about the reasons for the Hillsborough tragedy has lessons for the off-road world to learn. And one of them is that if we give up in the fight for green lanes, we’ll be encouraging every bully, hater and enemy of freedom to be more selfish than ever in the future

Money From Mods

There are many arguments for and against all the various makes of 4x4 you can buy. Here’s an unusual one: depending on what you choose to modify, the bits you take off can be sold on for no more than a few pence – or for the sort of price that can see you actually making a profit on the job

Off-Road Scene

Repairs get underway on Gatescarth Pass, thanks to donations by 4x4 and trail bike users. Plus a stay of execution on Brushfield, – and news from around the country as the off-road comp season gets underway



Off-Road Calendar

The sun is up, the days are long, the ground is dry, the winter TROs have been lifted – time to get out there and enjoy your 4x4!

68 Roadbook

You don’t mess with South Devon’s rights of way unless your truck is the sort that can cope with a scratch or two. In the case of this route, make that a broken window and some rippled panels. This one is not for the faint-hearted…




A bumper crop of kit this month, whatever you drive and wherever you drive it. Protection, breathing, electric smarts, race-bred lubes and comp-spec fuel management – if it’s worth having, it’s here



Next Month

We’ve never featured a modified Volkswagen Touareg in Total Off Road before. But that’s all about to change…

JUNE 2016 | 5

Alan Kidd Founding Editor


ike most people of my age, I suspect, I will always remember the moment when I heard that something bad was happening at Hillsborough. I was at university at the time; I remember standing in my living room watching with mounting horror as those heartbreaking scenes unfolded on TV. One by one, my flatmates, alerted by their radios, emerged from their rooms and stood silently looking on, looking at each other, trying to comprehend what we were witnessing. Obviously, Hillsborough has been back in the news over the last days and weeks, in a huge and exceptionally significant way. The extraordinary heroism and tenacity of the bereaved families is beyond admirable. The truth, now a court of law has confirmed what it is, casts an extremely dark shadow over not just the police forces responsible for the tragedy and subsequent cover-up but over so much of what defined society at the time. I’m choosing my words very carefully here as I don’t want to be accused of making political capital out of other people’s grief. Something else I remember very clearly is my absolute disgust as, with bodies still lying on the pitch, a government MP being interviewed by the BBC started using the tragedy to curry favour for the identity card scheme they were trying to force upon football fans at the time. And heaven knows, I do not want to be that guy. So this month’s column is not about using Hillsborough to help me make a point. It’s about learning from the past, which is surely the reason for all history. And there are lessons to be learned which are very relevant to 4x4 drivers, in particular those of us who use our vehicles on public rights of way. Very importantly, my point is not about what happened on that dreadful afternoon in 1989. Thankfully, I can’t

6 | JUNE 2016

imagine any way in which a disaster of that magnitude could strike off-roaders. No, the lessons that are to be learned are about the way society perceived football fans at the time, and how this made it easy for the truth to be so shamefully covered up and lied about for such a long time afterwards. It’s going to be very hard to avoid sounding party political now, but back in the eighties Britain was at war with itself. Whichever side of the miners’ strike you were on, the amount of violence done by the state to its own people was shocking. The same can be said about the treatment of new age travellers, culminating in the infamous Battle of the Beanfield. If you were black or gay in 1980s’ Britain, you saw the authorities standing shoulder to shoulder with the fascist thugs who were out to get you. And when football fans cried out to the police for help at Hillsborough, it was as if they were appealing to the enemy for clemency. Football is so respectable now, if you weren’t around in the eighties it’s hard to believe how much you were made to feel like an outlaw just for going to a game. Society had become conditioned to believe that there was no such thing as a fan who wasn’t a thug (or a black man who wasn’t a mugger, or a miner who didn’t want to start a revolution etc). The media liked it that way, and the government certainly seemed to. So when the lies started about what had happened, people fell for it. So much so that it’s taken more than a quarter of a century for the truth to be told. Yet during that time, society’s perception of football fans has been transformed. When I don my kilt and go to Hampden Park, I’m no longer seen as a dangerous criminal but a normal person out on a jolly. Maybe a bit of a loud, drunken jolly, but come Monday I’ll be back at my desk so that’s okay.

When I get in my Land Cruiser and go laning, on the other hand, I’m very much seen as a dangerous criminal – by people who haven’t stopped to think that I might not be. Living a stone’s throw from the Peak District doesn’t help that, of course, but it’s a general point. The way football fans were perceived in the eighties meant they could be mistreated in the most disgraceful fashion, and society swallowed it. And it’s just the same for us. There’s no comparison whatsoever between the breadth and depth of the Hillsborough families’ loss, or the extent of the outrage we should all feel about the cover-up that followed the disaster, and the abuse that’s inflicted upon us as green lane users. Let me be absolutely clear about that – I’m not trying to equate the threat we face with the horrors they had to face on the day or the monstrous treatment they were put through for all those years afterwards. But some of the same dynamics which engendered that treatment are at work here. It’s convenient for society to think we’re bad, just as it was with football fans back then, so it doesn’t mind if we’re mistreated. Indeed, it might be argued that justice could only be done for the Hillsborough victims because the public’s attitude towards football changed – and even then, had the mistreatment not been so outrageous, and the families’ pursuit of the truth so heroic, the whole disgraceful affair would still have been swept under the carpet like so many other less visibly scandalous examples of wrongdoing in public office. But football changed, a little – and society changed its view on football fans, a lot. And I don’t see any reason why the same can’t happen for green laners. For sure, it’s a tiny issue and one which most people don’t care about, and when people don’t care they’re happy to make the wrong assumption. Maybe we need


One day, the comparatively tiny battle we’re fighting to save our rights of way will become part of history. Do we want history to record us as the ones who gave up?


Tel: 01283 553243 Email: Web: Facebook: Founding Editor Alan Kidd Brand Manager Peter Lowe Art Editor Samantha D’Souza Contributors Graham Scott, Mike Trott, Paul Looe, Gary Noskill, Gary Simpson, Pip Evans, Ted Leahy, Simon and Ann Cooper, Mary Don, Mike Miles Photographers Vic Peel, Harry Hamm, Steve Taylor, Leeane Morgan, Gavin Lodge, Ivan Brown Group Advertising Manager Ian Argent Tel: 01283 553242 Advertising Sales Colin Ashworth Tel: 01283 553244 Advertising Production Sarah Kidd Tel: 01283 553242 Subscriptions Manager Catherine Martin Subscriptions Assistants Lucy Williams, Yasmin Clews, Kay Tunnicliffe Head of Operations Jackie Lowe

to find ways of making it a bigger issue, though that’s a debate for another day. Fact is, green lane users are a respectable, responsible lot who do no harm. Fact also is, a few people who look similar to us are hooligans. The parallel with football is inescapable. Something that really saddens me is when I hear people saying they’ve given up green laning, because they’re sick and tired of the abuse, the authorities have ruined it and it’s going to be banned anyway. For sure, what the Hillsborough campaigners were fighting for was to right a wrong far deeper than we’ll ever comprehend. But did they give up? Let me say it again – we must learn the lessons of history. And one day, the comparatively tiny battle we’re fighting to save our rights of way will become part of history. Do we want history to record us as the ones who gave up? I for one do not. And here’s another question. Do we want the haters and antis and liars of the


future to look to the history books and learn from how their forebears, the liars and haters who oppose laning, managed to crush a minority pastime out of existence? Do we want our capitulation to strengthen freedom’s future enemies? Bullies pick on the weak. The families of Hillsborough were bullied, and bullied, and bullied – but they were strong and, however late it may have come, their absolute victory has made their bullies look more wretched, more contemptible than ever. That is a history lesson we all must learn, whatever our walk of life. As green lane users, we are being bullied by the same ingrained dishonesty, blind hatred and self-interest that sustained the Hillsborough cover-up for so many years. One day, the battle to save Britain’s green lanes will become that history lesson. It can, like Hillsborough, be a lesson that the truth always wins. Or it can be a lesson than quite simply, might equals right. The choice is ours.

Publisher and Head of Marketing Sarah Kidd Email: To subscribe to Total Off-Road, or renew your subscription, call 01283 742970 Current prices for 12 issues: UK £39 (24 issues £74), Europe Airmail/ROW Surface £45, ROW Airmail £59 Distributed by Comag, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE. Tel: 01895 444055 Every effort is made to ensure that the contents of Total Off-Road are accurate, however Assignment Media Ltd accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions nor the consequences of actions made as a result of these When responding to any advert in Total Off-Road, you should make appropriate enquiries before sending money or entering into a contract. The publishers take reasonable care to ensure advertisers’ probity, but will not be liable for loss or damage incurred as a result of responding to adverts Where a photo credit includes the note ‘CC-BY-2.0’, the image is made available under that Creative Commons licence: details at Total Off-Road is published by Assignment Media Ltd, Repton House G11, Bretby Business Park, Ashby Road, Bretby DE15 0YZ

© Assignment Media Ltd, 2016

JUNE 2016 | 7




ONE OF BRITAIN’S VERY BEST RIGHTS OF WAY is currently being repaired – thanks to a £2500 joint donation by the Green Lane Association and Trail Riders; Fellowship. Following a landslip this winter, Gatescarth Pass in the Lake District faced a prolonged spell of closure; with limited funds available but extensive flood damage to address in its area, the National Park Authority was highly unlikely to be able to turn its attention to such a low-priority matter during 2016 at least.

The donation of £2500 includes a contingency sum which, assuming the cost of the repairs does not over-run, GLASS says it would like to be used on remedial work to hairpins on the Sadgill-Kentmere byway which links to Gatescarth at its southern end. With volunteers assisting the authority’s contractor and the summer season already here, the organisation is keen for the lane to be returned to a drivable condition as soon as possible so that the LDNPA’s successful permit scheme can be put back into action.

Just over a year ago, another lane in the Lake District was repaired after donations by motor vehicle users paid for work which the authorities said they couldn’t justify paying for. Specialist work on walls adjoining the lane at Tilberthwaite cost in the region of £4000, which was raised by an appeal co-ordinated by GLASS. At around the same time as the Tilberthwaite appeal, the Welsh government donated £200,000 to pay for extensive repairs on Waun Fach in the Brecon Beacons – which were required due to damage

caused by walkers’ boots. Motor vehicle users who were angered then by the apparent double standards in the two cases may have been equally unimpressed to read reports in The Guardian that while they were putting their hands in their pockets once again this year to pay for the repairs to Gatescarth (which in theory they had already done by paying tax), the South Downs National Park was spending £35,000 on a campaign to encourage people to say hello to each other while walking in the area.

New evidence brings temporary reprieve for Brushfield A beautiful and popular right of way in Derbyshire has been spared the axe – for now. After a public enquiry resulted in an interim decision by the Planning Inspector to award bridleway status (prompting despair and ridicule in equal measure from 4x4 and trail bike users), LARA and the Green Lane Association lodged objections on the basis of new evidence having come to light. As GLASS and LARA are statutory consultees in the decision making process, standard procedure will be for their objections to trigger a further review – probably a second public enquiry. No-one with an interest in retaining the lane’s motor vehicle rights can safely assume that any evidence, however strong, will result in the correct decision being made in any case of this nature. As the evidence in this case includes the lane’s use as part of a TOR roadbook in April 2003, however, we’re as certain as can be that even by the disgraceful standards of recent goings-on in Derbyshire, for Brushfield to lose its rights as a route for motor vehicles would be absurd.

8 | JUNE 2016




THE GREEN LANE ASSOCIATION’S ambitious project to waymark the extraordinary network of trails criss-crossing Salisbury Plain has entered its sixth year. It did so with a campaign of new marking – in

GLASS’ own words, ‘we went crazy and decided on a three-day-on-thetrot mini-project to make the most of the auger we hired.’ Following a long weekend in which GLASS’ volunteers were

subjected to every kind of weather the Plain could muster, a tired but happy working party could reflect on achieving the bulk of what it had set out to do. Thanks to the association’s initiative, and to the

individuals who generously donated their time – as well as paying for all their own fuel – navigating the wonderful but sometimes baffling network of tracks on the Plain is now that bit easier for all.


A TEAM OF GLASS MEMBERS in East Anglia spent an afternoon in March erecting signs around the Thetford area reminding motor vehicle users of the need to stay on legal rights of way. Part of a campaign by GLASS, along with the Forestry Commission and Norfolk police, the signage is being backed up by scheduled tree felling which will create physical barriers to areas in which illegal activity has been noted.


During the course of the afternoon, the GLASS team bumped into a police byway patrol made up of PCSOs Helen Maxwell and Sharon Caws, who were using a Defender and a quad bike to monitor use of the lanes. A number of illegal motor vehicles have been picked up by such patrols and their drivers issued with Section 59 notices – which can be the last step before the vehicle is seized.

JUNE 2016 | 9


FIRST BLOOD TO BIRCHILL WORDS AND PICTURES: GARY SIMPSON JUSTIN BIRCHALL RETURNED to the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship in style as he took a win in the opening round at Pikes Peak. Blue skies and sun greeted the crews as they got their cars ready on Saturday morning – but by the time run one started, snow was falling around the course. It was Birchall who set the fastest time on the opening run in his Lofthouse Freelander, three seconds ahead of the Milner LRM-1 of Ryan Cooke. In third was Ben Duckworth, using a Milner R5 as his LRM-1 wasn’t ready. Birchall continued to set the pace throughout day one and he held a lead of over two minutes overnight. Other crews didn’t fare so well on the first day. Steve Smith, who had flown in from Dubai the day before the event, didn’t even make the start after problems with his Clio. Richard Coleby rolled his Polaris out of the event after setting some quick times. Martin Gould, whose Buxton 4x4 Rivet was not ready in time, broke a shaft on his Polaris. Cooke’s hopes of challenging for the win on day two were dashed when he was forced to stop on the third run. With a good lead, Birchall backed off slightly but still he broke a propshaft on the penultimate run. The shaft was replaced and Birchall completed the final run to win by over three minutes from Duckworth. ‘I’m very happy with the result’ said Birchall. ‘It was a fantastic course and the very changeable weather made it extremely challenging. I think we broke the propshaft by going slower in one of the rutted offroad sections so we went back up to normal pace on the last run.’ In third place was Colin Gould on his first event in his Clio V8. Gould commented ‘I’m extremely pleased with third, I’m still learning the car and we’ll get quicker – the car has the pace, the driver needs to improve a bit! It looks like it will be a good championship, there are some very talented drivers and quick cars out this season.’

10 | JUNE 2016

Mark Jacques’ Chevy-powered Lofthouse Freelander was fourth with Andy Powell, who had a new engine in his Simmbugghini, fifth despite suffering brake problems on day one. In the BCC Trophy Phill Bayliss enjoyed a successful first event as he took the win in his Land Rover 90 ahead of the Tomcat 100 of Ben Clay. Steve Anning was third. 2014/15 Freelander Challenge champion Ian Linford had suspected head gasket problems on the recce lap so decided not to start. Brian Chase was leading the Freelanders after day one but electrical problems dropped him to third behind Graham White and Pat Masters. Chris Bird led the Clubman category after day one and he was setting times which would’ve seen him leading the event overall. He didn’t contest the second day so it was Toby Jefferson who was the first Clubman home. In second was Phil Ibbotson who was using his Metro 6R4 for the first time since 2013. Jonny Koonja was third, driving on his first event for around ten years after spending recent years in the navigator’s seat.


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4/26/16 12:24 PM



THE VIKING 4X4 CLUB kicked off its six-round challenge series at Weekley Woods near Kettering on Sunday 12 April. The Odyssey Battery Winch Challenge Series is now in its ninth year and, as well as series sponsor Odyssey, the first event was supported by Goodwinch. With the prospect of Goodwinch winches and Odyssey batteries as prizes, the first challenge event got off to a stonking start.

Many of the old regular contenders returned to the fray, but we had several new competitors join us for the season opener as well. Having cut their teeth at Viking events, Allen Sharpe and Duncan Smith have become the nation’s top competitors, so it was great that both teams joined us again to battle it out for top spot. They were very much the teams to beat. However, as well as having some of the UK’s

top teams, the Viking Club is keen to promote grassroots competitors so it was great to see several teams who were competing for the first time. It was also great to see Dave Middleton again after a period of illness. Dave has been an ardent supporter of off-road motorsport for more years than he would probably wish to admit and has helped to run, organise and oversee events for decades. Competitors gave a spontaneous round of applause when he was introduced at the driver’s briefing, something rarely done for an event official. Immediately after the briefing at a challenge event there is usually a mad scramble to hunt for punches but, for some reason, many competitors took their time to get going – with some guys still working on their trucks before heading off. The organisers had done their best to cater for all comers.

Many of the punches had been cordoned off with barrier tape in order to create a tight, technical event. This meant competitors would have to maximise their use of winches and call upon all of their rigging prowess to get their trucks near the punches. However, there were also several places where it was a simple straight-line pull to get to a punch to make life a bit easier for newcomers and Class 1 trucks, which only have one winch. Massive engine power was certainly not needed for this one. Challenge events are meant to be tough on both man and machine and it wasn’t long before the first casualties returned to the pits for essential repairs. It was great to see Simon Essam, one of the founding fathers of the series (then known as the LRS challenge series) out again. But this time he was acting as winchman for his son Henry. Sadly,


they were forced to retire early when their power-steering pump gave up, which rendered their hydraulic steering system inoperable. Chris Booth with his son Tom were also to retire early with a rare gear breakdown in their hydraulic winch. There were many reported minor faults, but most were able to make repairs and carry on. In fact, it was probably the lowest attrition rate ever recorded at a Viking challenge event with only six retirements, all of which were in Class 3. Amazingly, all Class 1 and Class 2 teams kept going to the very end. Across the field there were some great battles with very little between each place on the leader board. As expected, there was a titanic battle between the top two teams. Allen Sharp with winchman Ben Turpie and Duncan Smith with Henry Papworth were going at it hammer and tongs. Both teams matched each other point for point, until Allen had a failure in the rear winch. A motor and a solenoid were quickly changed and they were back

in the game with just 30 minutes down time. And so it went right to the end. It is generally the practice to announce the scores in reverse order, but as the Goodwinch goodies are so highly prized, the scores are announced in descending order so that competitors can get first pick at the prizes. Scores were quite close in Class 1. Anthony Powell and David Longmore did their first challenge ever at this event last year and managed a creditable third, but a year’s worth of experience propelled them up to top spot for this event on 3068 points. Second went to Matt Dilley and Ben Robinson, who have been campaigning in Class 2 but have decided to disable their rear winch to try their luck in Class 1. They were tantalisingly close to top spot with 2938 points. Third went to Jack MacDonald and Paul Dallyn with a creditable 2450 points. The top two are competing in challenge special buggies whereas Jack and Paul are campaigning in a fairly

standard, full bodied 90 which did very well against the buggies. Class 2 was totally dominated by Dan Hicking and Alex Wilson, collecting a massive 8902 points in their ex-ORA buggy. They were the only team in Class 2 to get onto a second punch card. Some way behind were Ben Mark and Chris Sutcliffe on 5384. They also compete with a 90 but theirs is a pick-up bodied truck. Very close on their heels in another 90 pick-up were Ryan Stimpson and Tom Joliffe on 5249 points. As with Class 1, just over 100 points or one punch score separated them. The battle for top spot in Class 3 went right to the wire between Duncan Smith with Henry Papworth and arch rivals Allen Sharp with Ben Turpie. Both teams had completed one punch card and were on a second card, which only two other teams managed. However, someone had to win and it seems that the 30-minute stoppage cost Allen and Ben dear as it allowed Duncan and Henry to take advantage. They amassed a massive 10,226 points,

to take the win while Allen and Ben were just 314 points behind on 9912. Third in Class 3 went to father and some team of James and John Ayre. They had also managed to get onto a second punch card and collected a very creditable 7385 points. Some teams opt for hydraulic winches, but the great majority use electric. The top three in all classes went to trucks with electric winches. Although several competitors run the best winches money can buy, they still run on Goodwinch Bowmotors and both Duncan and Allen were very happy to get their hands on a couple of new motors. Every truck must use a winch line regardless of what form of energy propels their winch along, but the ropes of choice are invariably Goodwinch Bowropes, so the winners were very happy to walk away with one of these as well. There are still some spaces left for the second round, so check out the Viking 4x4 Club website for further details. The series has to be the cheapest entry fee for a motorsport event at just £50 per event.

Prior to the opening round of the Odyssey Challenge series, competitors from the Viking 4x4 Club gathered at Weekley Woods for a shakedown orienteering event – which also doubled up as prizegiving for the 2015 season. The club had intended to do this much earlier, but is seemed as if the only way they could get everyone in the same place at the same time was to tempt them with an off-road event – and with 50 punches to find, that’s just what this was. Sure enough, last year’s winners all turned up. Wisely, Pip Evans gathered them together to hand over the gongs before letting them out to play, just in case anyone changed their mind. Odyssey Batteries, the company which gives its name to the series, had been very generous with their prizes, with two of its coveted PC1500 batteries going to the winning driver in each class. One PC1500 was awarded to each of the second placed drivers and Odyssey goodie packs went to those in third. All winchmen in each class also received the same goodie pack. The only downside to handing out these powerful, range-topping batteries to the winning competitors is that now they’ll be tougher than ever to beat! Anyone wishing to do well in 2016 had better up their game considerably if they want to be in with a chance of the trophies…


JUNE 2016 | 13

Thornton 4x4 Breakers have been trading for 29 years, and are very proud to support the British Farmers. With the devastating floods that have hit the country we have been helping out where we can. As a thank you, for the support Farmers give us, we have been offering straw and silage bails to those who have been affected. So far we have donated and delivered large straw bales up & down the country.

We specialise in breaking late 4X4 Pickups, Landrover Defenders and other 4x4s. Visit us at to view our latest breakers, and read our Testimonials page to read about fitting jobs we have done, for trade and public customers.

WE BUY YOUR 4X4’S CALL US ON 01422 243100

The Sidings, Holdsworth Road, Halifax W.Yorks HX3 6SN

Thornton 4x4 Breakers have been trading for 29 years, and are very proud to support the British Farmers. With the devastating floods that have hit the country we have been helping out where we can. As a thank you, for the support Farmers give us, we have been offering straw and silage bails to those who have been affected. So far we have donated and delivered large straw bales up & down the country.

We specialise in breaking late 4X4 Pickups, Landrover Defenders and other 4x4s. Visit us at to view our latest breakers, and read our Testimonials page to read about fitting jobs we have done, for trade and public customers.

WE BUY YOUR 4X4’S CALL US ON 01422 243100

The Sidings, Holdsworth Road, Halifax W.Yorks HX3 6SN

Off-Road Calendar IMPORTANT! We do check our listings carefully, but events can be cancelled at short notice. In addition, some sites require advance booking. So you should ALWAYS check the centre’s website first, or give them a call, to make sure the event still running.

Playdays 15 May Avalanche Adventure Sibbertoft, Northants

29 May

Picadilly Wood

Devil’s Pit Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire

Cowm Leisure Whitworth, Lancashire

12 June

Explore Off Road Silverdale, Stoke-on-Trent

Frickley 4x4

Frickley 4x4 Frickley, South Yorkshire

Kirton Off Road Centre Kirton Lindsey, North Lincs

Muddy Bottom

Thames Valley 4x4

Frickley, South Yorkshire

Minstead, Hampshire

Slab Common, Bordon

Mud Monsters

Whadd on 4x4

Bolney, West Sussex

4x4 Without a Club

Mud Monsters

Essex, Rochford and District 4x4 Club

Parkwood 4x4

Rayleigh, Essex

25 June

Frickley 4x4 Frickley, South Yorkshire

Tong, Bradford

30 May

Fontwell, West Sussex

Whadd on 4x4

Hill ’n’ Ditch 4x4

Thames Valley 4x4

22 May

Minstead, Hampshire East Grinstead, West Sussex

East Grinstead, West Sussex

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Muddy Bottom

Aldermaston, Hampshire

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Parkwood 4x4

Explore Off Road Silverdale, Stoke-on-Trent

Slindon Safari

Tong, Bradford

Kirton Off Road Centre Kirton Lindsey, North Lincs

26 June

Mouldsworth, Cheshire

Oxleys Shaw, Berkshire

Cowm Leisure Whitworth, Lancashire

Thames Valley 4x4

Whadd on 4x4

Frickley 4x4

Slab Common, Bordon

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Fontwell, West Sussex

5 June

19 June

Kirton Off Road Centre Kirton Lindsey, North Lincs

28 May

Bala 4x4 Bala, Gwynedd

Avalanche Adventure Sibbertoft, Northants

Slindon Safari

Muddy Bottom

Devil’s Pit Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire

Whaddon 4x4

Slindon Safari

Kirton Off Road Centre Kirton Lindsey, North Lincs

Minstead, Hampshire

Frickley, South Yorkshire

Fontwell, West Sussex Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Playdays and UK convoy tours are listed up to the end of the month in which the mag goes off sale Overseas expeditions are listed up to a year ahead to help you book in advance. Our motorsport listings are limited to bigger national and regional events. However, we’re happy to promote all clubs in our Scene section; either way, you can contact us at

UK Convoy Tours 14-15 May

21-22 May

29 May

UK Landrover Events Wiltshire

4x4 Adventure Tours North Wales

UK Landrover Events Eden District

21 May

Waypoint Turs Wiltshire

1 June

Yorkshire 4x4 Specialists Lake District

22 May

UK Landrover Events Lincoln and Belvoir

4-5 June

18 June

4x4 Adventure Tours Lakes and Yorkshire

Yorkshire 4x4 Specialists Wales

12 June

19 June

28 May

UK Landrover Events East Yorkshire

UK Landrover Events North York Moors

UK Landrover Events Lake District

Landcraft Snowdonia

Yorkshire 4x4 Specialists Wales

Yorkshire 4x4 Specialists Lake District

23 May UK Landrover Events Yorkshire Dales

Overland Holidays 14 May – 26 June

27 June – 8 July

8-12 August

10-18 September

Onelife Adventure Namibia and Botswana

Onelife Adventure Spain

4x4 Adventure Tours Pyrenees (tbc)

UK Landrover Events Pyrenees

23 May – 2 June

4-23 July

13-26 August

12-21 September

Atlas Overland Corsica

Venture 4x4 Iceland

Atlas Overland Portugal

Waypoint Tours Spanish Pyrenees

6-20 June

13-28 July

13-28 August

15-29 September

Waypoint Tours High Atlas and Sahara Desert

Atlas Overland Iceland

Onelife Adventure Iceland

Atlas Overland Morocco

13-17 June

18 July – 26 Aug

15-19 August

16-29 September

4x4 Adventure Tours Pyrenees (tbc)

Venture 4x4 Iceland

4x4 Adventure Tours Pyrenees (tbc)

Trailmasters Marrakesh

19-25 June

18-27 July

22 Aug – 2 Sept

1-9 Octber

4x4 Adventure Tours Pyrenees (tbc)

Waypoint Tours Massif Central

Trailmasters Morocco

UK Landrover Events Pyrenees

24 June – 10 July

1-20 August

1-14 September

5-18 October

Atlas Overland Scandinavia

Venture 4x4 Iceland

Atlas Overland Morocco

Trailmasters Draa Valley


JUNE 2016 | 17




TJM’S NEW RANGE of off-road kit for the latest-generation Mitsubishi L200 includes a tailored version of the company’s Airtec snorkel. Made in the company’s home nation of Australia, this is moulded in highstrength polyethylene and mounted to the truck using stainless steel fixings. It’s not just a case of getting your intake as high as possible, either. The Airtec design is, in TJM’s own words, ‘engineered to supply the correct

volume of air or better to the engine.’ Its intake will separate out rain or moisture in the air before drawing it into the engine, too, as well as minimising the amount of dust drawn into the filter. In addition, TJM says its Airtec snorkels are colour-fast and, no small matter, easy to instal. The brand is exclusive to the company, and comes to the UK courtesy of XS4x4 – whose website you’ll find at

A WELCOME BOOST FOR DEFENDER OWNERS THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER is famous for many things. One of them, especially if you go back a model or two, is its heavy clutch. But Red Booster is here to do something about that. This new servo system takes away the strain of operating a Defender’s potentially wearisome clutch. The system has been developed for both Tdi models, TD5 and also TDCi Puma variants. It essentially reduces the pressure required to operate the clutch – not only giving your left leg a break but poviding you with improved control while driving. It’s a vacuum servo, much like the sort of system on the vehicle’s brakes. Included in the kit is the servo unit itself, the vacuum reservoir tank and relevant pipework, plus all the brackets. The only thing you need to supply yourself is the brake fluid. And the cost of this leg-saving modification? Well, it’s £375 including delivery, providing you’re a resident in the UK. Probably cheaper than a new leg then; step up to www.

18 | JUNE 2016


ALL BRAIN AND NO DRAIN A 4X4 WITH A FLAT BATTERY. Sounds familiar? There will be many of you who have faced this inevitability at some point or another. Whether it’s your old trialler that you’ve dug out after the winter, or your daily drive that’s seen more cold starts than Aston Villa fans have seen goals going in at the wrong end, even the best truck’s batteries are not invincible. In particular, if you only use your truck every so often, leaving the battery to drain down in between times then asking it to come back to life after a savage jump start is never going to be good for its long-term plans. Hence the Battery Brain. This small device has been developed by the company of the same name for an extensive range of vehicles. The idea is that it monitors your truck’s state of charge; you keep it plugged in and let it keep tabs on how the battery is faring. If some drain or other pulls the battery’s charge down to the minimum required level it will need to start the vehicle (usually 11.8 volts), the Battery Brain steps in to disconnect it. Of course, there’s no way of saving a battery that’s already been wrecked by time, a hard life and/or sheer neglect. But this clever bit of kit could certainly help see off the effects of two of those things. And if your RTV truck is the kind that sits quietly waiting to be taken out to play once a month, it could mean the difference between getting to scrutineering on time and missing the event that could have clinched you the championship. There are a number of Battery Brains to choose from, including a choice of 12v and 24v options. They’re all there for you to check out at www.

Britpart has added a six-point external roll cage for the Defender 110 DoubleCab to its range. This particular structure is for Puma models from 2007-2015, and features bolt-on mounting. Made by cage specialist Safety Devices, it’s made from CDS steel tube and finished as standard in black powder coat. Shop around for prices – we’ve seen it at under £1200 plus VAT – or visit www. to find your nearest dealer.


JUNE 2016 | 19


TOP LUBE FOR OFF-ROAD ENGINES GERMAN LUBRICANT MAKER Ravenol is fast becoming one of the most respected brands in all forms of motorsport across the globe. By working closely with vehicle manufacturers, motorsport engineers and drivers, Ravenol has been able to develop some of the most technically advanced racing lubricants available today. The company doesn’t just specialise in off-road sport, but it definitely understands the peculiar needs of a hard-working 4x4. ’In extreme off-road conditions where the engine is revving at maximum while forward speeds are relatively low,’ it says ‘the engine oil needs to operate at high engine temperatures. It must have excellent shear stability to keep the oil pressure up and reduce fuel dilution, and enhanced ‘cling’ characteristics to

ensure that the protecting oil film is there – whatever the angle the car is at.’ Whether your personal version of off-roading involves hammering flatout around Radnor, winching your way through the woods at Tong or trying to be the only person in the whole of Holymoorside who can still move by about 10.15am, that should strike a chord with you. Even if it’s just a hobby to you, looking after your engine makes abundant sense – especially if the same engine is asked to get you to and from work every day of the week. And it’s not just engines, either, that can suffer the consequences of a life lived off-road. Ravenol offers a complete range of specialist racing lubricants which dramatically reduce friction in engine and transmission alike – thus offering exactly the

protection you need. Less friction means more power and efficiency, too, which is good for everyone and really good if yours is a comper.

Want to know more about the Ravenol range of lubes? Head for and prepare to be enlightened.

HEAVY-DUTY RT DIFF COVERS FROM UK JEEPS ARE YOU WORRIED about your differentials? Don’t you think you should be? Is it really okay to just drift through life as if you don’t have a care in the world? You’re responsible for your diffs, just as much as for your children. You have a duty to protect them. You don’t seem to be taking your responsibilities seriously, if you don’t mind us saying so. What you need to consider is fitting some covers so that the nasty world leaves them alone. If you own a Jeep then you might consider a Heavy Duty Differential Cover from RT Off-Road. They’re made of highgrade forged steel which is 3/8” thick so rocks, stumps or long blades of grass should all be kept at bay. They have strengthening ribs to make them even stronger, and there’s a raised filler plug to increase oil capacity. The covers are powdercoated and machined to make sure there are no leaks, and they come with everything you need for fitment. The covers are £114.99 and that includes delivery. So if you want to take protection seriously, check out

20 | JUNE 2016


Suppliers of Crown and RT Off Road Parts & Accessories FULL CATALOGUE AVAILABLE AT:

NEW LIGHTING OPTIONS FOR TJ WRANGLER ‘WE WANTED TO TAKE the same light mounting versatility that we have for the JKs and bring them to older model Wranglers.’ So says Rugged Ridge – which means that if you have a TJ Wrangler (or an LJ, though we’re not aware of there being even one of these in the whole of Britain), you can now get lighting bars above the windscreen and at the front of the bonnet. Or, to put it Rugged Ridge’s way, there’s now a Windshield LED Light Bar Mount and a Hood Mount Light Bar. The latter can support up to five LED lights and mounts using the existing factory mounting points. The Windshield Bar is a pretty robust piece of kit made from 2” welded steel tubing. It can handle three of the Rugged Ridge 13.5in LED Light Bars, but it does require new A-pillar brackets – which are of course included. You don’t need to do any drilling or cutting to get them to fit. So if you’re searching for the light, check out Rugged Ridge’s website at

TOTAL OFF ROAD Proper Parts!!! Proper Job!!!

JUNE 2016 | 21


CLASSIC WORLD RACING BRINGS PRO-QUALITY FUEL MANAGEMENT TO UK ADVANCED FUEL MANAGEMENT isn’t something you’re likely to have thought of unless you’re at the top end of the comp safari, rock racing or winch challenge games. But many a modified 4x4 has had its tank replaced or repositioned during the rebuild process – and while an old jerry can and a ratchet strap is enough for some people, if you want to stay healthy this is not a place to be cutting corners. That’s why Classic World Racing has seen growing demand from the off-road market. To answer this, the company has recently added fuel storage products from Hunsaker to its existing line of Fuel Safe fuel cells – both are already well established back home in the USA, and CWR is looking forward to helping the companies grow their transatlantic sales as their Europe-wide distributor. Fuel Safe cells are designed with the high impact resistance necessary for track events. This makes them reassuringly over-engineered for the average off-road application. They’re available from stock in a range of sizes made from rigid HDPE, or you can order them custom-built in a flexible composite of nylon fabric coated with flexible polyurethane. These cells are typically housed inside a steel or alloy case, which

up. If you want to find out more, it’s time to pay a visit to www. provides a mounting point within the vehicle. They’re also available with internal pumps, baffles and anti-surge collectors, designed to maintain even fuel delivery at extreme angles while also minimising the amount of vulnerable external fittings. The new range of Hunsaker fuel churns, meanwhile, allows easy

filling, safe storage and quick refuelling. Made from tough HDPE, they’re ideal for transporting fuel to locations off the beaten track – as well as getting it into your truck with the minimum of hassle. In each case, Classic World Racing promises fast delivery and a trustworthy level of technical back-

BUDGET PRICED 16” STEEL MODULARS FROM RIMMER BROS ALLOY WHEELS ARE expensive things. Some of them are designed with off-roading in mind, but all too often the kind you’ll find on a 4x4 will be thoroughly vulnerable to getting damaged first time you go off-road. Given the number of Land Rovers that come with alloys now, these steel modulars from Rimmer Brothers could be a very worthwhile investment if you have a vehicle that shares tarmac duties with the

occasional bit of weekend-warrior action. Sized at 16 x 7”, they comply with Series Land Rovers, Defenders of all ages, Discoverys and the Range Rover Classic. Get a set on your Landy and you can stop worrying about getting marks all over your alloys. They’re priced at £41.40 each including the dreaded VAT. For more information, check out the Rimmer Bros website at www.






Range of Sizes 20 to 40ltrs Easy & Safe Storage Rapid Transfer


Large Capacity High Impact Resistance Internal Pumps & Collectors

Unit 66, Arthur Street, Laakeside, Reddicth, Worcs, B98 8JY

TEL: 01527 521050 www.classicworldracing

fits 3/4” shackle pin 1/2” Shackle Tab Thickness Virtually eliminates Shacklel rattle

Closed System Winching tel 01202 422385 email:


JUNE 2016 | 23


NENE OVERLAND ADDS RENEGADE SKIDPLATE TO WILD JEEP RANGE IF YOU’RE INTO JEEPS, you probably know that Nene Overland last year became the UK importer for American Expedition Vehicles’ leading range of off-road accessories. But the company isn’t leaving it there – it’s developing its own Wild Jeep range of kit to enhance various models from the iconic US brand. And they’re not just stopping with the usual suspects, either. ‘Almost anyone can modify a Wrangler,’ they point out. ‘But the Renegade is another kettle of fish all together.’ Indeed it is. The baby Jeep is very popular, but mainly among people with no interest in going off-road. Yet there are versions within the range that can definitely go there – and Nene reckons more people would be up for using them properly if they could get their hands on the right modifications and accessories. To this end, they’ve already developed a suspension lift for the Renegade. That’s a very good start, but protection will always be an issue with this kind of 4x4 – and so here’s the latest addition to the Wild Jeep range. The Renegade Skidplate is made from a single piece of alloy and has the sort of substance to it you need when there’s a tree stump waiting to get you. You can also option it with a variety of recovery eyes, too – including the simple lashing points in the picture.

24 | JUNE 2016

Looks good, right? But where’s the winch mount? Relax, that’s coming next – Nene say they’re developing one as we speak. For now, the Renegade Skidplate is priced at £499 plus VAT, with

special coatings and colour finishes available for a bit more. You do need to have it fitted by the manufacturer, however, which means a trip to

their workshops in Peterborough or Maidenhead is in order; to find out more, start with a visit to www.





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CLUB CLA Stewart Harding is the main man at the Jeep Owners Club. And whether in his own off-roading circle or beyond, he has one of the main vehicles. There aren’t many long-wheelbase JK Rubicons in Britain, and there are far less with the sort of kit he’s put on his. And when you distil it down to daily drivers running 37” tyres, this Wrangler is in a class of one WORDS: PAUL LOOE PICTURES: HARRY HAMM


eople who drive 4x4s can be split into two broad groups. There are those who think every other kind of vehicle is a waste of time, and look down their noses at sportscars, hot hatches, superbikes and so on. And there are those who are just born and bred petrol heads – they might have settled on off-roading as their car caper of choice, but show up in a Focus RS, or a well preserved Tuscan, or some sort of turbo nutter Hayabusa, and they’ll forever respect you for it. Especially if you let them have a go. Stewart Harding is definitely one of the latter set. Toss him the keys of your M3 or Caterham and there might be a little less rubber on the tyres by the time you get them back. He’s been interested in 4x4s since he was a kid, he says – but like so many kids, once he grew up and passed his test he headed straight down the well trodden path of owning one fast car after another. But something else that can happen once you’re not a kid any more is that you find yourself planning your honeymoon. In Stewart’s case, this was in 2004 and it took the happy couple to no less romantic a destination than Hawaii.

28 | JUNE 2016

And what do you do in Hawaii? Why, you hire a Jeep of course. A Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport, to be specific, and it didn’t half work its magic. ‘My wife wanted a Jeep from that moment,’ says Stewart. ‘And so did I!’ Well, more than half a decade passed before they managed to scratch that itch. But finally, in 2010, the Hardings bought their first Wrangler. This was a current-model JK, and it wasn’t long before they started using it the way Jeep intended. ‘We searched out a club to see if we could have a play and find out what it was all about,’ he says. ‘We joined the Jeep Club, which at the time was being run by Howard Lester and later the original founders Vince Bentley and Alex Kefford.’ Stewart obviously made an impression. Because now, things started moving very fast. ‘The Jeep Club closed in 2012,’ he continues. ‘Vince asked me If I wanted to take it over, but at the time I felt it would be too much of a commitment. But after missing the club, Gary Walton approached me and suggested we form a new one. So Jeep Owners Club was born in June 2012 to fill the void left behind by the previous club.’




JUNE 2016 | 29



1-3: Being a Rubicon, this Wrangler’s Dana 44 axles are already very fine things. They’re plenty strong, and as well as having diff-locks front and rear their 4.10:1 ratios mean they can cope with seriously big tyres. Which, as it turns out, is just as well. Both axles are protected by AEV’s diff covers, and on the back one you can clearly see the remote-reservoir Bilstein 5160 shocks that come as part of the same company’s 4.5” suspension lift


4: AEV’s DualSport RS suspension kit raises the JK’s suspension by 4.5”. The springs you can see here are progressive-rate jobs, but the four-link suspension remains unchanged – save for castorcorrected front brackets on the control arms 5-6: The trailing links remain unchanged at the back, too. Once again, it’s ‘just’ +4.5’ frequency tuned springs and Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks – a lift of this size can be more than enough to wreck a vehicle’s handling, but Stewart claims to have been astonished by how will his JK continued to drive on the road




Stewart explains that Gary departed the following year due to other commitments. That left him running the show – though Bob Seaborn, whose mighty long-wheelbase Rubicon was featured on these pages a couple of months ago, is heavily involved too. That Rubicon is only Bob’s because Stewart sold it to him, however. What you’re looking at here is its replacement, which features many of the same modifications but has the distinction of running on (even) bigger tyres. And while it’s never good to say things like ‘Britain’s biggest’ or ‘Britain’s best’ when you don’t know for sure what else might be out there, there surely can’t be many others that can match this Wrangler’s proudest boast. It’s the kind of off-road toy that’s also a daily driver – and how many of those have you ever seen running around on 37” tyres? These are 37x12.50R17 BFGoodrich MudTerrains, whose rim size squares perfectly with the Rubicon’s original fitment. They fit under the Wrangler courtesy of a 4.5” suspension lift from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) – a company with which the Jeep Owners’ Club has developed a strong relationship. Stewart has even been across to the USA to go off-roading on one of AEV’s own trips in the mountains of Moab. And he’s going to be heading back over there again soon: ‘I’ll be attending sand dune driver training aboard the 6.4-litre V8 Hemi converted Jeeps they build in Michigan!’ At this point, you might be musing on the fact that you tend to go green laning because playdays cost money, and wishing you could afford the fuel to do it in Wales or the Lakes rather than trundling


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Years Of Jeep

Summer Camp 22nd - 24th July 2016

A weekend of Jeep Fun.

The Venues Devils Pit

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary Year of the Jeep. Join us at Jeep Owners Club for the bigest UK Jeep event of the year, Jeep Owners of all types welcome, bring your family and friends too ! The 60 acre off road course will have routes suitable for all types of Jeeps, from standard non modified showroom Jeeps up to heavily modified.

Professional 4x4 instruction available to learn about driving off road for beginners and veteran off roaders

• 4x4 Driver Instruction • 4x4 Pay & Play • Show & Shine

Jeep Owners Club have hired Devils Pit for exclusive use for Club members, the site was originally opened in 1994, situated alongside the A6 at Barton-Le-Clay, Bedfordshire is set in over 60 acres of diverse terrain from gentle slopes to shear drops, you will find 3 marked out courses making the site suitable for the novice or the experienced.

Henlow Bridge Lakes

• Live Entertaninment • Weekend Camping • Trade Stands • BBQ

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There’s no need for any changes under the bonnet when you’ve got Jeep’s latest 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 on your side. This cranks out 285bhp and 260lbf.ft, so it’s pretty willing; thirstier than the diesel on your average UK Wrangler, for sure, but perfectly suited to the Rubicon’s masterful character. Above it is no normal bonnet. It’s a Mopar Powerdome bonnet (hood, sorry). Its vents are there for more than show, as they draw heat out of the engine bay and pull cold air in through the radiator – whether this is of any genuine value in the cold conditions of the UK is debatable. But they don’t half look cool, so who cares?

about on your local farm trails all the time. And when Stewart says of his truck’s history simply that it was ‘built in Toledo, Ohio,’ it doesn’t take much in the way of sums to work out that buying and modding it must have cost him plenty more than most of us earn in a year. But while this might be a case of how the other half ‘wheel, if

you’re a firm believer in the built-not-bought ethos you’ll find that this is a Jeep, and an owner, to be respected. ‘I like to do as much as possible of the spannering on my own rig,’ Stewart confirms. He’s not in the motor trade, but he’s happy to get stuck in anyway – even on a brand now vehicle like this.

‘The JK is a fairly simple truck to work on,’ he comments. ‘I fitted the suspension first, in one weekend, then the front and rear bumpers with the winch the following weekend! The wheels and tyres were fitted during a weekday morning at a local place. So it was mostly completed within three weeks!’

The shaping on the front bumper has original equipment written all over it, but when you drive a JK and you shop with AEV this is the sort of aftermarket item you get for your cash. It’s home to a Warn Zeon 10-S winch and a pair of distinctly old-school IPF driving lights

Below left: It’s mainly AEV around the Wrangler, but’s Jeep’s own accessory house does get a look-in as well. The Rubicon already has rock rails as standard, but these here are Mopar’s own enhanced units with built in tree sliders Below right: AEV’s rear bumper is another item which looks like it was put there in Jeep’s own factory. And it’s a cleverer bit of design than ever you thought a mere bumper would be. Inside it are a pair of 2.4-gallon fluid reservoirs, giving you a means of carrying a water supply without using any valuable space either inside or outside the vehicle Right: Riding on the back bumper is AEV’s swing-away spare wheel carrier – which, even with a 37” tyre on board, is still three inches away from full capacity. The high-lift mount is obvious here, but less so is AEV’s Fuel Caddy – a shaped 10-gallon petrol or diesel holder which you can see wrapped around the outside of the wheel

34 | JUNE 2016


What were we saying about big tyres? A set of AEV Salta rims is home to five 37x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains; that’s a tall enough tyre to be considered more or less exclusive to hardcore challenge events in the UK, but here you are looking at in on a trail rig that’s also a daily drive

Makes it sound easy, doesn’t he? And if you believe that that’s all he’s done, he also makes it sound like the truck’s barely modified at all. To be fair, though, the Rubicon comes as standard with heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, lower-ratio diff and transfer gears, rock rails and front and rear lockers – and that’s a whole lot of mods which everyone else has to make while you’ve got your feet up. Don’t forget that being a Wrangler, it comes from the factory with a roll cage, too. Of the mods he has made, Stewart reckons the AEV suspension lift stands out. ‘It was one of my big concerns,’ he admits. ‘But it handles far better than I expected.’ That echoes what Bob said about his JK, which uses exactly the same system. Future plans for the Wrangler include a dualbattery set-up and possibly a snorkel (from AEV, natch), but having bought it from new and done so much to it already Stewart’s now that rarest of things – a vehicle builder who’s pretty much happy with what he’s got. He likes the fact that this isn’t just an everyday Jeep from out of a UK showroom, too – you can only get a JK like this by special order, and he says Jeep only did two right-hookers in the distinctive Dozer orange colour. And he’s had them both. ‘It’s got “Rubicon” stitched into the seats,’ he says, ‘which is not a UK option. Not are the colourmatched hardtop and fender flares.’ This is a man who pays attention to the details. And, by the sound of it, the American lingo… AEV has a strong partnership with Jeep in the US, and a strong partnership with the Jeep Owners Club in the UK. Stewart can take a lot of the credit

for that – and his vehicle is a stand-out example of what happens when a world-class aftermarket comes to Britain. We photographed Stewart’s Wrangler at Tong, a site near Bradford that’s known as one of the best in the country. It’s owned and run by Parkwood Off-Road Centre, and the playdays it hosts are legendary. They’re at

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YOU ONLY L More than a decade ago, a Land Rover appeared in TOR which went on to get tugged for SVA testing. The ground-up rebuild that followed may have been forced upon owner Les Brocklehurst, but he certainly made the most of it – by the time it resurfaced, what had previously been a fairly run-of-the-mill coiler had been turned into a top-notch challenge truck. Having spotted it for sale recently, we were prompted to take a look back at the making, and remaking, of one of Britain’s best-ever hybrids WORDS: GARY NOSKILL PICTURES: STEVE TAYLOR


magine building yourself an entire car. By the time you were finished, you might reasonably feel that you’d earned the right to put away your tools and just enjoy driving it for a bit, mightn’t you? So now imagine getting the job done – then being told to do it all again. That’s what happened to Les Brocklehurst. When his hybrid Land Rover first appeared in

38 | JUNE 2016

Total Off Road, way back in 2005, it was an 88” Series IIA on a Range Rover chassis. A few years later, we gave it another look – and by then, it had become unrecognisable. Les’ truck cropped up for sale recently, which is what prompted us to bring its story up to date. But it’s a story to make you shudder. Shudder and, quite possibly, resolve to keep your gob shut whenever the DVLA is within earshot.

Having started out as a 2.25 petrol, the IIA soon found itself getting a V8. But Les wanted to be able to drive it within 100 yards of water, so it wasn’t long before that too was hooked out in favour of a 200Tdi from out of a Discovery. Having become the owner of a Range Rover chassis for the princely sum of nothing, meanwhile, the lure of more articulation and some (the word ‘more’ doesn’t apply) comfort prompted him to chop




JUNE 2016 | 39

Above: Chassis from a Range Rover, engine and rad from a Disco, body from a Series IIA, intercooler from Allisport. All good stuff, then – though it added up to a ticking timebomb just waiting for the man from the ministry to light the blue touch paper Right: Here’s the same engine in the hybrid’s 98” incarnation. Where once there was an air box big enough to create its own gravity, now you’re looking at a pair of 90-Amp alternators – one for the winches, one for everything else. Effective? No, Les told us, before describing the system he was designing with twin Optima Yellow-Tops wired in series to over-volt the motors

12” out of it and build what you could call a classic ARC-style hybrid. That’s what tripped him up, though it’s not where the trouble started. ‘I went and changed the log book from petrol to diesel for the new

computerised MOT so that the V5 form would be correct,’ he says. ‘I waited ages for it to come back, which it didn’t. ‘After two months, I called the DVLA. They said they’d been waiting for me to call, and that it would need inspecting… and it all went downhill from there. ‘ The inspection happened a week later. “Oh, we are not returning your V5. You need an SVA, sir…”’ It’s hard to believe that red tape can do so much harm. The points added up, and Les had insurance documents

to show that the truck had been built as a hybrid in the year 2000. But because the chassis had been modified, it had to be rebuilt if he ever wanted to take it back on the road. ‘It was probably out of date already when I finished it,’ he admits. ‘Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But the decision had been made for me. So I started on another entire rebuild, from the ground up yet again.’ This time, he decided to stretch the wheelbase back up to 98”, giving the truck a bit more stability on hills and, more to the point, creating enough room for the auto gearbox he later went on to fit. It won’t surprise you hugely that he told us he wished he’d just stuck with the Range Rover’s original 100” wheelbase in the first place… The long-suffering chassis was from 1974, which in Les’ own words was ‘apparently a good year.’ As well as going down in wheelbase, then most of the


The Range Rover chassis lost twelve inches then got ten of them back again. The welding work is clearly visible between mounts for the Qt radius arms and Gigglepin trailing links

way back up again, it lost as much as possible of its overhangs and became home to a roll cage and rear tray built by noted fabricator Pete Sylvester. Why go elsewhere for this job when he did all that chassis work himself? ‘Your life could be on the line should it all go pear-shaped. So it needed a grown-up with a proper welder!’ Testament to all this is the fact that when it resurfaced recently, the hybrid remained in good structural nick. From what we could see, it was still running the same suspension Les specced up back in the day, too, which was designed for articulation rather than loony-tune ground clearance. Rather unusually, he told us that he didn’t actually know what his springs came from (he started with Old Man Emu 764s, but after he’d shaved a load of weight off the truck these were way too firm). Either way, the axles progressed with the various stages of the build. If you were building a hybrid using a 1974 Range Rover, would you use the original 10-spline halfshafts? Les did. If you were rebuilding a hybrid with 10-spline axles, would you learn your lesson and replace them with something stronger? Les did that, too. By the time it had morphed into its 98” form, the Land Rover was riding on a 110 front axle and 300Tdi-era rear. Both were stuffed with ARB Air-Lockers and as much in the way of uprated Ashcroft internals as Les could get his hands on.

A Come-Up DV9000 at the front and a Superwinch Husky at the back were classics of the keep-it-sensible challenge scene a decade or so ago. They certainly suited the hybrid in its first incarnation – second time around, Les built it with Warn 8274s front and rear… then promptly started thinking about going Gigglepin on them

And what of the engine turning the axle? Well, as we’ve established this went from a 2.25 to a V8 and on to a 200Tdi. The engine, built during the last few months of 200-era production, was from a Discovery (which meant some extra fun and games during the installation phase), and behind it was an LT77 manual gearbox. The whole lot was mounted 4” further back than standard to let the front overhang come in as far as possible, meaning

the radiator ended up in more or less the same plane as the PAS box. You see people tuning the brains out of Land Rover diesels, but Les kept his Tdi fairly sensible. It gained an Allisport intercooler to go with its turned-up fuelling and turbo boost, but probably more important was an Ashcroft underdrive which provided extra-low gearing for the sort of extreme terrain this vehicle was built to tackle.

As it is, though, while we can’t be sure of what happened and when, neither the Tdi nor the LT77 remain in the truck today. As we mentioned above, Les planned the build on his Land Rover with an eye to fitting an auto box further down the line, and this has indeed happened – though these days, it’s turned by yet another V8. Maybe best not to tell the DVLA about the fuel change this time, just in case…

As you’d expect from a vehicle built by a former REME electrician, the dash and wiring in the cabin was all top-notch. This picture could be from before or after the SVA-enforced rebuild – the installation survived almost completely intact, though in later years the dash was skinned over in ally plate

Having learned his trade as an electrical engineer, Les had a lot of skills at his disposal when it came to wiring his truck. Shortly after completing the 98” rebuild, he explained to us how he was about to build an over-volting system for his 12v Warn 8274 winches. The system was to run on a pair of Optima Yellow-Tops, wired in series to provide 24 volts. Over-volting, Les explains, is all down to Ohm’s Law, which says that current is proportional to voltage and inversely proportional to resistance. So if you double the voltage you double the current. ‘Volts jolts, current kills,’ says that cheerful

42 | JUNE 2016

old aide-memoire, and sure enough Les says that doing this is ‘not for the faint hearted.’ It’s also not for people with rubbish winches. But Warn 8274s are the other thing, and these ones were fitted with Bowmotors from Goodwinch so they were even more the other thing. ‘A word of warning,’ said Les. ‘Not all motors are built the same. Many won’t take this, and will fry themselves if you try it. And it does also mean that the motors need stripping more often and the carbon blowing out. You can overspeed the motors, too, so you need to pulse them in and out under no-load conditions.’


Above left, centre: Simex Extreme Trekkers, Gigglepin trailing arms and Gwyn Lewis shock mounts demonstrate Les’ willingness to spend money on the right bits for what became an extremely well sorted challenge-spec off-roader. As you can see here, however, inner wings are something he decided need only apply to other people. The rear hoop of a roll cage built by Pete Sylvester picks up on the 6mm wall box-section seen in the top corner of the second picture – this is actually a single piece spanning the whole width of vehicle, not a pair of weld-on outriggers Above right: Here’s a pretty clear sign of the difference in intent between the hybrid’s first and second incarnations. When it was an 88, it had a Defender-style front end; later, in its 98” incarnation, North Off Road tubular wings added vast strength. The front overhang was already as short as possible, as was that at the back

It’s often said that the best way to get to know a vehicle is to be the one who builds it in the first place. And Les built this one twice, on his driveway (no garage, no), so he might have been forgiven for thinking that he knew it a little too well. He definitely got to know the SVA book too well, at least. Or did he? ‘To be honest,’ he said, ‘the SVA was not that bad. Provided you read the manual and prepare for it, it’s nothing to be scared of. People seem to bury their heads in the sand and say “oh, that won’t affect me” – well, I thought that and look where it left me!’


Where it left him, eventually and after a lot of grief, was behind the wheel of a really, really tidy 98” Land Rover whose spec and finish made it the envy of many when it first appeared on the scene. It gave him a Q-plate, too – which was something you used to dread, but these days it signifies a vehicle that’s been through the dreaded SVA mill and come out smelling of roses. Shortly after the hybrid was tested, the SVA was replaced by the IVA. A new name, perhaps, and a different set of rules to follow, but the same bureaucratic nightmare and at least as much potential for heartbreak.

And Les’ advice remains the same: ‘Read up on the subject and get to know its ins and outs. And if you’re involving yourself in a new build, build it to pass from day one. You don’t want to be starting from scratch again like I did!’ The day Les found out that he was going to have to pull his hybrid apart and start over probably ranks as one of the most despair-inducing of his or any other off-roader’s lives. But it’s an ill wind that blows nobody good. Had the SVA not reared its ugly head, you’d still be looking at an 88-inch Land Rover here – and Les admits that the best mod he’s ever made was to stretch the wheelbase to 98”. Even then, though, listen to this and learn from it: ‘There were several times that I was going to pack it all in. Just the sheer amount of work involved, having already built a truck which you then have to take apart and basically start again. It’s even more soul-destroying because you have no choice in the matter. ‘Would I do it all again? Er, no!’

APRIL 2016 | 49

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READY FOR When Richard Dykes started modifying his Suzuki Jimny, he found that everything he did made it heavier. So he decided to try and reverse that trend – and since putting it on a diet, he’s never looked back WORDS: PAUL LOOE PICTURES: HARRY HAMM


e often feature vehicles owned by people who’ve owned a long list of 4x4s. Usually it’s either one Land Rover after another or a wide range of different trucks that led them to whatever it is they own when we show up. The best 4x4 ever built? Ask that question all the way around the world, and it probably won’t be anything with a Jeep or Land Rover badge that wins the vote. Chances are that it’ll be a walkover, too. Across Africa, Asia and Latin America, not to mention Australia and most of mainland Europe, the Toyota Land Cruiser is like the Beatles, Jesus and Manchester United rolled into one. And of all the many vehicles to have carried the name (at least, of all those to have been available in Britain), the 80-Series is the definitive example. This was the last Cruiser to come here with TWO live axles. Each of them had a diff-lock in

46 | JUNE 2016

it, too. And up front was one of the best diesel engines ever made. Kev Martin’s 80-Series is a very fine example. It’s 21 years old and still going very strong. It’s been tidily modified and even more tidily maintained, but it gets used just the way a masterful offroader should be. And up front… oh. Nope, no diesel here. If you look in the classifieds, you’ll see that the cheapest 80s tend to be the ones with the smooth but brutally thirsty 4.5-litre straight-six petrol engine – and that’s what we have here. Having once had the pleasure of trying to keep up with a petrol-engined Land Cruiser’s thirst, Yours Truly can confirm that most of the time, you feel as if bankruptcy lurks around the very next corner. It’s so expensive, even going by train starts looking like an option. That’s why many of them have been converted to run LPG, and this is one of those. In fact, it’s

been converted twice. The first system was too small for the size of the engine – and besides, it had leaks, which doesn’t sound like anything good could come of it. Even with gas, Kev admits that it’s still a pricey old bus to keep fuelled. But it’s not his daily drive – he’s got a BMW Z4 for that (and for doing the odd track day, while the Cruiser gets used for playdays and laning). Not that he’s fixated on any particular type of fuel – previously to the Cruiser, he owned a long-wheelbase Mark 2 Mitsubishi Pajero with a 2.5-litre diesel engine. And he offroaded that, too. When the time came, the 80 he bought was more or less standard. ‘It wasn’t in bad shape,’ he says. ‘But it hadn’t really been looked after or regularly maintained.’ That was about to change. ‘I fitted the lift kit and 35” tyres pretty much straight away. The rest of the mods have been completed over the years.’




JUNE 2016 | 47

80-Series axles are ‘pretty tough,’ to use Kev’s own gently understated words. ’The standard stuff seems to handle 35s okay,’ he continues, though in the course of his time with the truck he’s replaced the CV joints and wheel bearings up front and the diff actuator at the back, in each case using OE-quality parts. ‘I drain and replace the diff oil after every wet off-road event, keeping everything clean,’ he comments – be as diligent as him, and you’ll probably enjoy the same level of dependability

Left, above: Ironman is an A-list name in the Cruiser modding scene, and the Aussie company’s suspension kit here is responsible for a +4” lift. As well as springs and shocks, the kit included adjustable panhard rods and castor correction plates; Kev says he ground away some metal on the latter to gain sufficient adjustment, but his overall verdict is very positive. The same can’t be said for the budget-priced polyurethane bushes he bought – unimpressed by the quality, he’s looking to swap them out for a set that’ll last Left, below: It’s the same deal at the back, where Ironman’s springs and shocks are augmented by the company’s own panhard rod. As you can see here, the anti-roll bars are still in use – Kev says he thought about binning them but didn’t want to end up driving a jelly, though at present he’s investigating the option of using quick-disconnects

48 | JUNE 2016

Most of the 80s that came to the UK were diesels, and what a gorgeous engine that is. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s light on fuel. Not that the 1FZ-FE petrol unit is any better, though with LPG installed the 4.5-litre six-pot is at least tolerable. The gas system it runs on now is the second it’s had, as the original was too small for the engine, and a bit of work was needed a couple of years back after a muddied-up radiator led to some overheating trouble

That lift was a 4” job from Ironman, and Kev reckons it’s spot-on with the 315/75R16 tyres he fitted. ‘I wouldn’t go bigger on the tyres due to risk of damage to the CV joints,’ he says. ‘Same goes for the lift – I think 4” is enough. I’m pretty impressed with the on-road handling this kit provides – I don’t get much body roll at all when cornering. Any higher and it would ruin that.’

For the same reason, Kev decided against using a body lift as a way of making room for bigger tyres. ‘I think the car is high enough. Besides, we’d get into issues of having to extend the gear stick, steering column and so on.’ As it is, a set of 35” Mickey Thompson Baja Claws looks just right under the Cruiser’s arches. ‘They weren’t cheap,’ says Kev, ‘but I’m happy with both their on and off-road performance – not too much road noise, and they grab pretty well on the looser stuff. I used 33” Kumho KL71 MT’s on the Pajero and really liked them, but couldn’t find them in 35”.’ The first thing you notice about this Cruiser, though, isn’t so much its height as its spectacular

bumpers and rock sliders. These were the work of Kev’s brother Chris, who used to run Leyland Fab Design (LFD) – a company noted among offroaders for building bespoke items. Before you go looking the company up (and a website does still exist), Chris has moved away from the fabrication side since the Cruiser was built. Basically, he found that there’s more profit in everyday garage services. ‘He does all the standard work including MOTs, servicing, repairs, exhausts, tyres and batteries,’ says Kev. ‘And he can still perform 4x4 modifications, supplying and fitting lift kits, wheels and tyres, beacons and light bars and so on.

This isn’t something you see every day on a modded off-roader, but it’s definitely all kinds of funky. If you want to get a bit more out of an engine, making sure if can breathe is pretty much the first step – and a performance exhaust manifold and downpipe from CX Racing in California is as eye-catching a way of doing that as you’ll ever see. In the fullness of time, this will be extended into a full 3” system

‘I’d like to thank Chris and his employee Nick for keeping the truck maintained over the years. I do some of the smaller jobs, generally just the maintenance stuff like draining and refilling the diffs, gearbox and engine oils after playdays. I have done some open heart surgery on engines previously, but my brother looks after that now. I’d rather repair computers than engines these days – my hands don’t get as dirty!’ Fair enough. Though he’s definitely not scared of getting his truck as dirty as it takes to make the most of it off-road, so it’s just as well all that protection is in place – as is a layer of underseal that was sprayed on a few years back. As you can tell from all of this, Kev’s the kind of off-roader who set out to buy the right truck in the first place and, rather than chopping and changing every couple of years, has been patiently enhancing it ever since. Not just as an off-roader, either – while the mods you see here have made a massive improvement to what was already an exceptional machine, most of us could learn a lot

from the diligence with which he’s maintained and indeed enhanced the everyday stuff. The braking system, for example, was stripped out and renewed. ‘We found a number of leaks,’ Kev explains. ‘We replaced all the brake lines with extended braided hoses, but we found the standard system was overly complex. ‘We removed the ABS unit and the rear load sensing valve due to leaks. All the brake calipers have been replaced with OE parts – after a few years of off-roading, the seals were leaking and the pistons and slider pins were corroded on the previous ones. ‘I do think it could do with bigger discs and calipers, with having the 35” tyres. So far I’ve not found anything suitable though. Do any TOR readers have suggestions for bigger brake discs and calipers that will fit the 80?’ Drop us a line and we’ll pass it on. That’s one area in which it’s a work in progress, then. Another is the exhaust – though as you may have spotted, the progress has already started.

In place of the original manifold and downpipe, the Cruiser now sports a groovy looking six-branch tubular job from CX Racing in California. ‘We need to finish off the exhaust to give it a full 3” system,’ says Kev. ‘We just need to get the 3” tooling for my brother’s hydraulic pipe bending machine!’ What else is on the list? Kev reckons the steering damper is about ready, and in addition to the Lazer LED bar already on the rood rack he’s got a couple more waiting to go on. He wants to make a few adjustments to the front winch bumper, too, which you suspect is going to mean asking Chris to put his fabricating hat back on, and talking of winches (sort of) he’d like to go to a dual-battery system with split charging. Most of which doesn’t count as everyday stuff, of course, because it’s distinctly off-road orientated, but this certainly does: ‘I’ve removed the air conditioning system, as the compressor had a dodgy seal and bearing and the condenser was gunked up, restricting air flow to the engine coolant radiator. I’ve had the compressor

Opposite: No shortage of cool stuff to see here. For starters, it’s a big bonnet – so why not make the most of it? One of Rock n Road 4x4’s Blunt Force cargo nets certainly does that. Up top, you’ll see a nice looking roof rack – or actually, you won’t. A single one wasn’t going to be big enough, so Kev cut and shut two into one. Still, if you can see the join you’re doing pretty well. Permanent fixtures up top include a Fiamma wind-out awning, which has somehow survived all the playdays and laning trips Kev’s done, and a Lazer T-16 LED bar. In between the rack and bonnet cover, you’ll have spotted the snorkel – this is a hybrid of sorts, combining an Alien intake with a Safari top

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Above: The 80-Series is already a solid looking bit of kit in standard form, but this one takes it to a whole new level. A handy family connection meant all the hardware was made by Leyland Fab Design, a company you’d have struggled to hear anyone say a bad word about back when it was still doing this kind of work. The steel front bumper includes an A-bar and winch cradle, in which a 12-volt, 9500lb Goodwinch unit is spooled with 100 feet of 11mm synthetic rope

Above left: Also from Kev’s brother is this steering guard – which, judging by the state of it, has guarded the steering more than once. Despite this, it appears to have taken the brunt of an 80-Series without being deformed, which takes some doing – though when you look at the thickness of it, you can see where its strength comes from Above right: The original sills were removed to make way for heavy-duty lengths of steel box. These are the anchor point for a set of rock and tree sliders that double up as high-lift jacking points (and, just as practically, steps for clambering aboard) Below left: Even with a big lift, bellying out is a concern with such a long wheelbase. This fabricated tranny guard means it’s a bit less so Below right: The back bumper is yet another piece of heavy-duty metalwork by Kev’s brother. The recovery eyes look like you could use them for mooring an aircraft carrier

The original spare wheel mounting point on the 80-Series is under the back bumper, which is vulnerable if you’re going to be off-roading it properly – and as much use as a concrete parachute when you’re replacing the tyres with 35-inchers. Enter stage right a fabricated swing-away carrier – this picks up on the lower tailgate when stowed, but the fact that this much weight can hang off the rear corner shows how strong the Land Cruiser’s body is


reconditioned (at great expense) so I’d like to get around to refitting it all one day.’ Back when this Land Cruiser was built not all 80-Series models came with air-con as standard – but if you’ve ever been sat doing a steady 5mph through the woods on a sticky summer’s day, you’ll know how uncomfortable it can get when all you achieve by opening the windows is a cabin full of flies. And crawling through the woods, or anywhere else that’s fun, is definitely what this truck is about. For many years, Kev’s been taking the truck to playdays around the M62 corridor at sites like Cowm, Tong, Kirton and Briercliffe, as well as enjoying our nation’s green lanes. ‘I try and do a lot of the TOR roadbooks,’ he says. ‘We’re not too far from the Lake District, so we’ve done all those ones. My favourite was the North Wales one from the January 2009 issue, the Flintshire and Denbighshire route. Some awesome scenery.’ You’re totally welcome. Best of all, perhaps, Kev’s also a responder for NW 4x4 Response. And if you’ve been cut off by snow or flood waters, seeing his 80-Series coming to the rescue can hardly help but be reassuring. We often feature vehicles here whose owners have had loads of other 4x4s before them and profess to be on the lookout for something else already. Nothing wrong with that if you just love having a project on the go, of course, but constant development is the key to creating a truly sorted machine. And the fact that Kev’s still thinking in terms of what to improve next suggests that his Cruiser will forever be getting better sorted.

The best truck ever built? No room full of random off-roaders will ever agree on that one, but 4x4 drivers across the world have been putting their trust in the Land Cruiser for decades. The 80-Series is the best we’ve ever had in Britain – and this one’s better still. We photographed Kev’s 80 at Tong, a site near Bradford that’s known as one of the best in the country. It’s owned and run by Parkwood Off-Road Centre, and the playdays it hosts are legendary. To find out more, head to Above: A set of 315/75R16 Mickey Ts makes the most of the extra suspension height. You can’t go down to a 15” rim on the 80-Series due to the size of the discs, but you can go up to a 37” tyre – though that’s the point at which you might start getting to know your CV joints a little too well Below: It was the last word in luxury back when it was new, and the Cruiser’s early-90s’ cabin is still a very comfortable place to sit whether you’re chuntering along on the road or easing your way over rocks and roots. It’s more a story of accessories than mods here – Kev’s replaced the interior lights with LEDs and fitted stuff like a CB and up-to-date Pioneer stereo with sat-nav, as well as a crash cam (which keeps going beep when he’s offroad, because every time the front wheels hit a bump it thinks it’s been in an accident…)



With Land Rover readying the Disco 5, the Landmark edition gives you one last chance to buy the current model – if you have £58,105 to spend on it ON TEST Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 Landmark


ack when the Discovery 3 emerged, the 4x4 world took a hammer blow to the head. Land Rover’s old mantra had been ‘evolution, not revolution’ – but now here was a Disco that not only left its own predecessors far behind, it made the rest of the SUV market look foolish too. The 2.7 TDV6 was, at last, an engine worthy of carrying around a modern seven-seat family car. The styling brought the Discovery into the 21st Century with a loud bang and the now-famous Terrain Response system would become the foundation for all of Land Rover’s off-roading

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capability and technological advancements in the future. The next Defender, for example… Land Rover got it right with the Discovery 3. So much so that they didn’t really have to try very hard when it came to replacing it. In 2009, the tweaked D4 was launched without the same frenzy its father had experienced. The engine got bigger, the grille got blingier and some interior details were updated, and for sure the Disco did turn into a better car. But it was very much a return to evolution, not revolution. Since then, the Disco 4 has been nipped and tucked into an increasingly upmarket SUV with

an interior much closer to what you’d expect from a Range Rover. An extra touch of polished metal here and another layer of hide there means the Discovery can now give you virtually as much luxury – especially in the Landmark derivative tested here. This of course uses the 3.0 SDV6 engine and eight-speed auto box which have long since become part of what the Disco is all about. And thus equipped, it really is a car for all occasions. Of course, the Landmark edition takes the Disco further than ever on the journey from what it used to be (the family vehicle that could do everything)


With the end of the Defender, this Disco is currently the most no-nonsense vehicle Land Rover has. Your view might be that there’s plenty of nonsense about the amount of controls and Displays it uses to make up for the absence of traditional off-road hardware, but these days Terrain Response is at the heart of everything Land Rover is about

to what it is now (the family vehicle that can do everything if you’re rich). But you get what you pay for. The only time you ever saw a TV screen in the back of a Discovery 2, for instance, was if you were taking it to the tip. But in the Discovery 4 Landmark we were sent, anyone in the second row of seats could watch live TV on a pair of headrest-mounted screens. That’s the sort of thing £58,105 buys you. Compare that to when the L322 came out, and people cringed at how expensive it was – more than (gasp) forty grand! At the time, Land Rover said it expected a large proportion of buyers to be on six-figure salaries, so what they expect the latest breed of Disco owners to be pulling in is best left to conjecture. And yet, in many ways this is a Land Rover that still stays true to its roots. While the interior has shifted towards the Range Rover rather than the now-deceased Defender, there is still an air of ruggedness about the vehicle; you just have to read between the lines. The twisting dials, for example, around the climate control settings. The door handles that still give you something to grab. And the whole dash configuration, which has a slightly chunky feel. Brilliant, but chunky. The exterior has always divided opinion. Some onlookers admire the squared off-posture, which they see as a nod to the Defender’s boxy shape – dressed up and carrying its butchness in a different, more handsome manner. I fall into this category – though others think it’s too opposing, even ugly. For all its talking points outside, though, inside while driving the Discovery 4 it is simply splendid. The engine is fantastic. There’s so much torque that big kid inside you can play all day without ever puncturing the truck’s air of sophistication. And when you take into account the melodies that this engine can play, even if it is a diesel, you’re in for a good time. The 0-60 dash (it would better be called the 0-60 stroll, actually) is achieved in an assertive 8.8 seconds, and it’s never less than pleasing to call upon the 256 horses stabled beneath that long, imposing bonnet. More to the point, we did a lot of towing with our Discovery, hauling heavy loads


on a wide variety of roads – and, as it has always been, it simply bossed the whole experience. Heavily laden or not, the Disco’s eight-speed auto box shifts with seamless efficiency. I drove a Disco Sport last year, with the newer nine-speed auto, and I actually found the older unit shifting with less fuss. Ride quality remains peerless as ever, thanks to the air suspension system that’s been part of the vehicle’s make-up since the advent of the Disco 3. Owners of early examples, please forgive me for praising what may well be the thing you hate most about your life right now, but when it’s new and working the effect really is excellent. Either way, you could tiptoe down some genuinely tricky rock runs aboard this Discovery en route to your favourite restaurant and still look the part when you arrive. Yes, rock runs. We’ve not forgotten that this is an off-roader. And neither has Land Rover, even if at times you feel the company would quite like to. Of course, the Discovery’s off-road ability is provided more than ever now by electronic aids than cold steel hardware. Whatever Solihull likes to say, independent suspension on a road car doesn’t give you the same potential stroke as a live axle, so articulation is way down on the

Disco 1 and 2 – and trying to make up for this with anything other than a proper, positive locking diff will only get you so far. As traction management systems go, however, the one on this Discovery has evolved into something far more effective than the witless setup that blighted higher-spec Defenders from the TD5 era. And with the suspension set high, you can certainly clear some very meaningful obstacles. As we always say about trucks like this, though, it’s not its crude off-road potential that sets the limits. No, not even with 20” rims helping ensure your fat 255/50R20 tyres are as happy going sideways as forwards. It’s the likelihood of damaging those alloys, or your sills, or God forbid those glossy great body panels. Even just cabin full of muddy boots would be bad enough in a vehicle so overtly sumptuous. None of this is more likely to happen in a Discovery than anything else, of course. But the consequences are much more likely to make you shudder. At this price, if they don’t then you really have got more money than sense (even if you have a lot of sense). Fact is, of course, that for recreational off-road use, if you can afford a car like this you’ll also have something else (a 90, probably) as a toy. And

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The Disco retains the same boxy, no-frills shape that’s been dividing opinion since 2004. It’s still a remarkable vehicle to drive off-road – though fat 50-profile tyres on 20” alloys are only likely to divide opinion between people who never go beyond the tarmac and those who do

whether as a tow vehicle or an everyday motor to use while your plaything waits patiently in the garage, the Discovery remains a supreme all-rounder. Yes, an older example of one of these can be a fearsome prospect to maintain, but the breadth of capabilities Land Rover likes to talk about certainly is there. To have seven seats, all of them providing room for each and every occupant so that they won’t murmur a word even on a long journey, takes the packaging skills of a master. Yet that’s a trick Land Rover pulled off with utter brilliance when it launched the Disco 3, and it remains unbeaten more than a decade later. Not by anyone else, nor by any other Land Rover product. Which is why, with the sort of luxury and equipment this Disco provides, you have to ask whether you really need to look for that extra mile of luxury. At £58,000, you shouldn’t really have to; you can spend a lot more for some additional pampering, whether from Land Rover or elsewhere, but do you get more car. Or, more to the point, a better 4x4? I’d say no. Flamboyance is a big part of what some SUVs offer, but the Discovery. It’s not overly showy, the way so many of its rivals are – and it crushes them off-road. For sure, the interior is classy, and never more so than on this Landmark edition. But a good part of that class comes from its dedicated fitness for function. There’s nothing unnecessary here, just the good stuff done as well as can be. Which gives Land Rover one hell of a benchmark. Because the advent of this Landmark

edition signals the beginning of the end for the Disco 4. And to beat it, the Disco 5 is going to have to be very, very good indeed. How will they go about that? First, the exterior will likely start again from scratch, having stuck with the same image and shape for the past 12 years – though trademark cues like the stepped roof are sure to remain. But underneath, expect an all-aluminium monocoque structure – because to catch up with the times, this is a vehicle that must become much lighter and a lot more fuel-efficient. Our Landmark tipped the scales at 2622kg, and the best we could get from it was 30mpg in fairly gentle driving. Lop 400kg off the thing, though, as they’ve done with the latest Range Rover, and you’re well on your way to recouping some of those extra miles between fuel stops. But the big question remains unanswered: will the Disco 5 be as much of a truck as the Disco 3 and 4? It will feel more modern, unquestionably – but, while there are Land Rover die-hards who see that as an instant red card offence, let’s not forget what happened when Solihull unveiled the successor to the Discovery 2. No live axles? No coil springs? No way. But

plenty of the people who hated what they were seeing have gone on to own a Disco 3 and love it. Most important of all, though, the Disco 5 will tell us a great deal about what to expect when the Defender is reborn. It’s been widely speculated that Land Rover can only make a business case for a new version of its signature vehicle by sharing parts and platforms – and with the Range Rover line so far removed from workaday reality and the new generation of small models so far removed from off-roading, only the Disco can provide that. Ironically, the Disco 1 was basically a 100” Defender with a curvier body and a comfier cabin. Land Rover’s next stop after the vehicle tested here will be to the Disco which will return that favour. So what you’re looking at here is a Landmark by name, and a landmark by nature.


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VISIT: 4Most4x4 The Old Community Hall Tenbury Wells Worcestershire WR15 8EG




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money from


hen it comes to the eternal choice between Jap and Landy, there are pros and cons on each side. We don’t need to go through them here, but you know the sort of thing – on top of character, kit and build quality, you have to consider the price and availability of parts… as well of course as how often you’re going to actually need any. But here’s something that might not come quite as readily to mind. If you’re going to be putting stuff on your vehicle, it stands to reason that you’ll be taking stuff off it too. And depending on what it is, the right choice of truck could be worth a very tidy sum indeed when you get round to selling the old bits. We’ve built quite a few project trucks down the years, and most of them have had steel bumpers at some point. In one or two cases, we could have done with them a bit earlier… you only ever try high-lifting an XJ on its factory back bumper once, for example, and tackling Hollinsclough with plastic at either end of our Patrol was only ever going to end badly. That’s not quite the point we’re trying to make, but it’s relevant. If we’d replaced our Patrol’s bumpers with heavy-duty ones before

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clobbering them against naked bedrock, we’d have had a pair of straight, original bumpers to sell on. Instead, we had a pair of mangled pieces of scrap to throw away. And what does this have to do with your choice of truck? Everything. Because the bumpers you take off can fetch several hundred pounds… or they can fetch next to nothing. We’ve got stories from our own vehicle builds, of course. And that’s where the pictures in this article come from. But we’ve also spoken to a good many owners with their own tales to tell – and what they bear out is a clear pattern of supply and demand. To put it bluntly, if you build a popular truck like a Discovery 2, there’ll always be people ready to buy your old parts. Choose something more esoteric – in this case, a Land Cruiser Colorado, though the aforementioned Patrol and Cherokee would fit the bill too – and you’ll be scratching around for someone to take the leftovers off your hands. In other ways, the Disco 2 and Colorado pictured here are more similar. Removing and replacing the factory bumpers is a little more involved than it would be on a Defender or an older Land Cruiser, but in either case it won’t be beyond the majority of owners.

As always, preparing for the task in hand will make it that much easier. Get in there first with the pressure washer, then follow this up with a good spray of 3-in-1 or WD40 so the fixings will be that much easier to crack off – even the newest example of either of these trucks is more than a decade old now, and that’s plenty of time for nature to do its evil work below decks. In the case of our vehicles, the Discovery was destined to receive a set of heavy-duty offthe-shelf bumpers from Extreme 4x4 while the Colorado was booked in at Spanner Monkeys to have bespoke units fabricated. In each case, job done in terms of strengthening the vehicles against the knocks and scrapes of life off-road, as well as providing somewhere to attach tow ropes and, up front, bolt on a winch. But then came the business of selling the old units. At this point, we’ll take a step back and let our readers pick up the story. We’ll contrast the experiences of a Disco 2 owner and a Colorado owner, each of them doing exactly the same as we did by putting their old bumpers up for sale on eBay. First, the guy with the Disco, who comes from North Derbyshire and, for the sake of someone else’s anonymity, we’ll just call Dave.


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Most of us know what to expect when selling on eBay, and it wasn’t long before Dave’s front bumper started attracting attention from jokers. ‘You can’t tell who I am from my user name,’ he told us. ‘But one of the messages I got was from a guy whose name was very familiar – he’s in the same club as me! “I can give you £150 today.” I did have some fun with him over that one!’ Just as well, too. Because taking that sort of money for a Disco 2 front bumper would be absolutely giving it away. ‘It was shortly after a cold snap in the middle of winter,’ Dave told us. ‘I got one message after another from people saying they had had lowspeed skids, bumped into things and shattered a corner of their bumper. Seriously, I could have sold it ten times over, and being silver mine was in even more demand. It ended up making more than £750, and when the rear one sold too I’d made close to a grand. It was easily more than I’d paid for my new heavy-duty bumpers.’ When it comes to jokers, we’re going to intervene here with a story of our own. It refers to the back bumper from our own Colorado. Unlike Dave’s Disco, there aren’t many other similar trucks out there, so the chances of someone needing a replacement are slim. Still,


we got a couple of bidders and eventually the auction climbed to the heady heights of… £45. Well, you win some and you lose some, so we waited for the guy to show up. Which he did – in a Daihatsu Sirion. With three passengers. If you don’t know, a Daihatsu Sirion is one of those little things they like in Japan that’s got the footprint of a decent-sized quad. Chances of fitting a Land Cruiser bumper into it: zero. ‘How far have you got to go?’ we asked. ‘Couple of hundred miles.’ So anyway, back to the chap we were talking about. He put his Cruiser’s bumpers on eBay too, sold the front one for about £50 and had to relist the back one because of, shock, someone who won the auction then disappeared. This time, it did sell. For 99p. ‘It wasn’t in the best of nick,’ he admitted. ‘It had a small dent in one corner and a couple of scuffs underneath. So I knew I wasn’t going to make a fortune on it. But I know for a fact that if I’d removed the light clusters, which were in good working order, I could have made at least a tenner or so on them. My fault for being lazy and just wanting it gone!’ That alone shouldn’t be enough to make your mind up about the kind of truck you want to

build. But there’s not many among us who can honestly say money’s no object when it comes to planning an off-road project – and if selling the bits from one vehicle is going to make it a grand or more cheaper to build than another, that can hardly help but have an influence on your thinking. At the very least, when choosing what to buy it makes sense to check out the sort of stash you’re likely to put away by flogging the stuff you unbolt as the project gathers pace. A bit of browsing on eBay will give you a good idea of what the auctions fetch. And don’t assume that it’s a simple case of Land Rover against the rest, either – the sort of cash you can raise from a set of Disco 2 bumpers would be dreamland territory to anyone doing the same thing with a P38 Range Rover, for example. Still, getting rid of the unwanted stuff has always been one of the fun parts of building a project car. Whether you list it online or lob it in the back and take it to a spares day, you can do anything from pay for a few nuts and bolts to turn a profit on the entire exercise. At the very least, it makes a nice change to reverse the normal flow of cash associated with owning a project car!

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Discovery 2: fitting Extreme 4x4 bumpers Changing the bumpers on a vehicle like the Disco 2 is more involved than it is on more basic Land Rovers. You need to remove the valance/bumper assembly itself, the metalwork that supports it and fixes it to the chassis dumb irons, the tubular guard piece between the main rails and the removable separate lower front sections of the inner wheelarches. Externally, you also need to remove the radiator grille. To let you do that, the battery cover, the plastic trim from above the headlights, the indicator assemblies and the lower headlight surrounding trims have to come away too. None of this relates to how much you’ll get when you sell your old bumper. But it does illustrate how much work it takes to do the job on a more modern, less basic truck. It’s not a hard job, but it’s definitely not just a case of bolt-on, bolt-off – even when all you’re doing is fitting a pattern-made aftermarket piece from a dependable supplier like Extreme 4x4. Still, at least you can look forward to turning a profit on the project!




1] Fragile? Is that meant to be a joke? This is the bumper as it came out of its crate, with fog lights already in place and Extreme 4x4’s rotating recovery eyes ready to be fitted 2] Obviously, being that they rotate, the recovery eyes have moving parts. Rather than just lobbing them on and waiting for the squealing noises to start, give them a generous coating of copper grease first 3] Prior to starting work, the roadwheels are off and the vehicle is up in the air. Waiting to come off is the front bumper itself, along with its supporting metalwork, the tubular guard piece between the main rails and the separate lower front sections of the inner wheelarch which are visible here




4] Looking more closely into the arch, the separate front inner portion is more apparent. As you can see, it’s screwed to the remaining wheelarch section and the valance. Don’t expect it to just fall away obediently when you free off the most obvious set of fixings – it’s attached at the bottom edge, too. Note the evidence of penetrating oil being used higher up – at this stage of the job, this stuff is your closest friend 5] With the front section of the inner arch removed, this is what you’ll find. At least, you will once the fog light wiring, breather pipes and washer jets have been disconnected. You can see the brackets holding the bumper to the chassis main rails here 6] We pointed out the main brackets holding the bumper shell to the chassis in the previous picture. These should be the last things you free off: before doing so, check that everything else has been undone or disconnected. Remember the splash tray between the main rails, too



7] With the bumper shell out of the way, it’s much easier to remove the remaining fixtures and fittings. Here, you’re looking at one of the two collapsible alloy ‘crush cans’ on the end of the chassis main rails which absorb energy in lower-speed impacts 8] Tucked into a corner just behind the bumper on the vehicle’s nearside, the washer bottle hangs down fairly low. There’s a feed from it to the headlight washers, which will become redundant when you fit your new bumper; remove the extra plumbing runs and seal this pipe just after the pump to prevent leakage

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9] The indicator assemblies need to be removed in order to fit the new bumper (which, as you can just see here, has been offered up here as a dry-fit). Why is that? Because doing so releases the lower trim strip at the bottom of the headlamp, which is necessary to get at the fixings holding the lower edge of the radiator grille in place. If you’re sat there wondering how on earth the assembly actually comes away, search out the small screw hidden in the plastic bracket at the top of the indicator


10] With this removed, you can get the indicator out – the hole it leaves is clear to see here. This picture also shows the retainer joining the bottom of the indicator to the lower trim strip – this is why the housing needs to be lifted away in order to slide the strip free 11] Here’s the new bumper held roughly in place on its bolts during the necessary dryfit stage. This is when you’ll get a feel for how much of your radiator grille and lower frame needs to be trimmed away to make space for your winch of choice 12] Viewed from behind the new bumper, you can see how close a fit it is around the washer bottle. So much so that if you ever need to change the bulb in the fog light on this side, it’s likely that one or the other will need to be moved






13] The rear bumper is fixed to two brackets on the outside of the main chassis rails. Before you ask, no Land Rover didn’t run the wiring loom through the ribs in the bumper shell and attach them using cable ties as standard: this particular bodge happened four years after the Disco in these pics was built, after it had suffered some sort of rear-end impact. We know the date because the replacement bumper still had a Solihull stores label on it 14] As you can see here, one of the mounts was slightly distorted in whatever shunt the Disco suffered. Would have been interesting to see the sort of state the bumper itself ended up in – but either way, whoever drove into it should be glad he did it before the Extreme 4x4 unit went on in its place… 15] The Extreme 4x4 back bumper is designed to use the tail lights harvested from the old Land Rover unit. These slot into a pair of recesses, inboard of which are eyes for use with a high-lift jack


JUNE 2016 | 63

Land Cruiser Colorado: fabricating bumpers We’ve just highlighted the fact that changing the original bumper on a Disco 2 for a heavy-duty one is a much bigger job than just bolting off and bolting on again. But that’s still nothing compared to the business of fabricating one from scratch. When we started work on our project Land Cruiser, we decided to get a set of heavy-duty bumpers made from scratch. Previously, when we bought off-the-shelf units for our old Nissan Patrol, the price was horrific – so this time we contacted Spanner Monkeys, a company which had been recommended to us by a reader. Most fabricators would have used our truck as a template (and we wouldn’t have any problem with this), but Spanner Monkeys’ view was that they prefer to build each bumper they make on to the individual vehicle. Even on something like a Land Cruiser, they reckon each truck is different enough to make this worthwhile. Since then, there are more companies in the UK now making bumpers for less common trucks like the Patrol and Land Cruiser, so you should do your research carefully before deciding what to do. Once thing that hasn’t changed, though – when it comes to selling the original bumper you took off to make way for the heavy-duty one you’re buying, you’ll never get anywhere near as much for it as you would if you were building a Discovery.


1] If the plastic bumpers on some of the more modern 4x4s sometimes look unnecessarily deep, taking them off can illustrate how large an area behind them needs to be protected. That’s one tall radiator you’re looking at there. In the foreground is the first stage of the new bumper’s design, as the height of the winch is mocked up using a chipboard ‘tray’ and a pair of axle stands on a pallet 2, 3] Sometimes, people build heavyduty bumpers that somehow manage to accommodate a winch while actually improving the vehicle’s approach angle. Not so easy if you start with a Defender, but when you’re working on a truck whose factory bumper looks like it’s had one too many chip suppers in its time it’s a piece of cake









4] You don’t want the winch to be pulling from too far above the line of the chassis rails (to avoid putting a huge turning force through its mount), but here it’s gone up an inch or so as the 3D design sketch takes further shape 5] Here, the front panels have been welded on to the winch cradle and box-section crossmember below it. Something else you’ll notice is that the manky old remnants of a winch used earlier on for sizing it up have been replaced by a spanking new Superwinch Talon 9.5 SR (and very good it has proved since then too). It’s just here to check for fit at this stage, though, as is the fairlead on the bumper 6] With the winch cradle fabbed up, now comes the tricky bit. The side extensions will be built on to the vehicle, too – which means measuring them up bit by bit 7] You hear stories sometimes from off-roaders who’ve designed their own bumpers using cardboard or thin MDF templates then taken the bits to the pros to make them up in steel. But how do the pros do it when they get to do the job from scratch? Like this…

64 | JUNE 2016

8] An advantage of watching a bumper being built rather than bolted on is that as it comes together, you can understand the way it’s made by seeing ‘inside’ it 9] The front panel of the bumper’s side extension is folded bit by bit to fit in with

the top. Once ready, it’s tacked into place before being fully welded up. The ugly plastic thing hanging down in front of the wheel is a splash guard from the original bumper – ahead of its date with a pair of shears, it illustrates how deep the old bumper was compared to the new one





10] It’s definitely taking shape now, with further triangular sections completing the span across to the side extensions – and building in an enormous amount of strength in the process. As with any handmade item, you can see ‘imperfections’ which you wouldn’t get on a copy machine – but which, in the eyes of anyone who knows what they’re looking at, indicate the level of workmanship that’s actually gone into it 11] The shaping of the side sections is particularly clear here, as is the number of individual pieces that went in to making it. The hose hanging down below the bumper is from the headlamp washers on the old one – not something many off-roaders would bother to ask a fabricator to build in to a heavy-duty item, though there’s no reason why it couldn’t be done 12] With a couple of recovery hoops welded on to finish it off, the bumper is removed from the vehicle ready for priming. Now it’s sat on a pallet, the chassis mounts are clearly visible



13] Primer done, the painting proper can begin. Spanner Monkeys tend not to bother with powder coating, as this is only good until it gets damaged – which it will, and what happens after that is a lot harder to remedy than it would be if all you’d done in the first place was paint it. It’s important to stay on top of scratches, obviously, but this was literally all done with spray cans 14] At last, the finished bumper can be mounted back on the vehicle. Definitely not a one-man job – just lifting it is enough of a struggle, but positioning it correctly on the vehicle needs as much control as it does grunting. Once it’s on, though, and the first bolt is taking the weight, it’s all plain sailing



15] Here’s the shape of the bodywork the rear bumper will have to meet. This is where, as a customer, you could find yourself making the compromise between custom fabrication and spending loads and loads of money. A bumper designed for commercial mass-production would most likely be shaped flush with the end of the plastic trim panel, adding another production process – and another chunk of cost. Spanner Monkey’s design is elegantly shaped to fill the space, but it stops short of any expensive showing-off


16] The vertical face of the rear portion is offered up, with the tail light housings tacked in to make sure they don’t cause any unforeseen conficts of space with the hardware that’s already in there 17] With the bumper fully built up, it’s time to take it back off the vehicle and get to work with the grinder. Here, the welds have been smoothed down and the assembly is propped up on a workmate ready for an attack of spray-painting


JUNE 2016 | 65

Parts & Accessories For All Land Rovers

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Suits right hand drive Defenders up to TD5 without air-con. Prevents operation of all pedals.


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HEATED SEAT KIT Fed up with cold seats in the winter? These kits are for 2 Seats complete with fitting instructions. Price from £67

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Premium quality guard made from machined 6mm powder coated aluminium plate. Suitable for Disco 1 '89-'98, RR Classic. Price from £135

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Our famous Disc transmission brake now available for P38! Complete with cable. Price from £275.00


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MONSTA 4X4 HEAVY DUTY SPARE WHEEL CARRIER For Def & Disco 1. Made from 6mm steel plate and finished in a black powder coating. Allows up to a 36" tyre to be fitted to the rear door without fouling the bumper. Price from £68

At Foundry 4x4 we offer: Genuine & Aftermarket Parts Fast, Efficient Mail Order Simple to use Online Ordering FREE Expert Technical Advice Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed Visit our eBay shop join us on Facebook for Special Deals

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Tents for any car, not one Email us Call us 07961 268297

66 | JUNE 2016


Prices include VAT, shipping is extra. Prices correct at time of printing but are subject to change

EXTREME off-road equipment

RCP manufactures all replacement chassis parts for Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery 2. RCP also has a new range Raid Sport. >LZ\WWS` Ä[HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK RCP manufactures all replacement RCP manufactures all replacement chassischassis parts forparts for Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery 2. all Raid Sport 90 rear Series 2/2a/3 rear 1/4 chassis RCP manufactures replacement chassis partsallfor Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery 2. RCP manufactures all replacement chassis parts forparts for RCP manufactures replacement chassis replacement cross £190.00 RCP also has a new range Raid Sport. Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery 2. and RCP manufactures all replacement chassis parts RCP also has a new range Raid Sport. Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 Discovery 2. for 2. Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery member >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK RCP also has a newDefender rangealso Raid 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK RCP hasSport. a new Raid Sport. RCP also hasrange a new range Raid Sport. 2. £200.00 RCP manufactures all replacement chassis parts for >LZ\WWS` Ä[HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK RCP also has a new range Raid Sport. >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK Raid90 Sport Series rear 2/2a/3 1/4 chassis Raid Series Sport rear 90 Series 2. 2/2a/3 1/4rear chassis Defender 90/110/130, 2/2a/3 andrear Discovery >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK replacement cross £190.00 Raid Sport 90 rear Series 2/2a/390rear chassis replacement cross £190.00 Raid Sport 90Sport rear Series 2/2a/3 1/4 rear chassis Raid rear1/4 Seriesrear 2/2a/3 1/4 chassis RCP also has a new range Raid Sport. replacement cross £190.00 membermember RCP manufactures allSport replacement chassis parts for Raid 90 rear Series 2/2a/3 rear 1/4 chassis replacement cross £190.00 replacement cross £190.00 >LZ\WWS` Ä[HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK £200.00 member £200.00 replacement cross and Discovery 2. £190.00 Defender member 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 member £200.00 member £200.00 Raid Sport 90 rear Series 2/2a/3 rear 1/4 RCP chassis £200.00 RCP also has aparts new for range Raid Sport. manufactures RCP all replacement chassis manufactures all replacement parts chassis for RCP manufactures allchassis replacement parts for £200.00 replacement cross £190.00 >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery 2. Series Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 and Discovery 2. Discovery 2. Defender 90/110/130, 2/2a/3 and member RaidRaid Sport RCP also hasRaid a new range Raid RCP also hasSport. aRCP newalso range Sport. £200.00 has a2/2a/3 new range Raid Sport. Sport 90 rear Series rear 1/4 chassis Front Bumper >LZ\WWS` Ä[HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK replacement cross £190.00 >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\YUHYV\UK £90.00 RCP manufactures RCP manufactures all replacement all replacement cha p RCP manufactures all chassis replacem member Raid Sport 90 rear Raid Sport Seriesrear 2/2a/3 rear Series 2/2a/3 Series rear 1/4 chassis Defender Defender 90/110/130, 90/110/130, Series Series 2/2a/32/2a/3 and Disco and Sport 901/4 rearchassis 2/2a/3 rear 1/4 chassis £200.0090 Raid Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2 replacement cross replacement £190.00 Raid Sport cross £190.00 Raid Sport replacement cross £190.00 RCP also RCP has also a new hasalso arange new Raid Sport. Raid RCP hasrange a new rang member Front Bumper Raid>LZ\WWS` Ä Sport>LZ\WWS` Ä member Front Bumper member [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\Y [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULK Raid Sport Raid Sport chassis p >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VU £200.00 RCP manufactures all replacement £90.00 Front Bumper £200.00 £90.00 £200.00 Raid Bumper Sport Front Bumper Front 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 Disc £90.00 RaidDefender Sport Raid 90 Sport rear90Sport rear 90 Series Series 2/2a/3and 2/2a/3 rear 1/ Front Bumper Raid rear Series £90.00 £90.00 RCP also has a new range Raid Sport Discovery 2 replacement replacement replacement cross cross replacement £90.00 cross Raid Sport rear chassis £215.00 >LZ\WWS` Ä [HSSV\YWYVK\J[VUHVULKH`[\ membermember Front Bumper Raid Sport 90 replacement member

£200.00 £200.00 £200.00 Raid Sport 90 rear Series 2/2a/3 rear 1 Raid Sport replacement cross Discovery 2 replacement Contact details: Discovery 2 replacement Front Bumper member rear chassis £215.00 replacement rear chassis £215.00 £90.00 RaidDiscovery Sport 90 2replacement DiscoveryDiscovery 2 replacement 2 replacement Raid Sport 90 replacement £200.00 Raid Sport Raid Sport Raid Sport chassis £215.00 sillsrear £120.00 Discovery 2 replacement rear chassis £215.00 rear chassis £215.00 Raid Sport 90 replacement sills £120.00 Front Bumper Raid Sport 90 replacement Raid Sport 90 replacement Front Bumper rearsills chassis £215.00 Front Bumper £120.00 £90.00 Raid 90 replacement sills £90.00 £120.00 sillsSport £120.00 £90.00 Contact details: Discovery 2 replacement Contact details: sills £120.00 Contact details: ContactContact rear chassis £215.00 details: details: Raid Sport 90 replacement R Contact details: sills £120.00 Fron Discovery 2 replacement rear chassis £215.00 Contact details: Raid Sport 90 replacement sills £120.00 Discovery 2 replacement Discovery 2 replacement Discovery 2 replacement Fro rear chassis £215.00 rear chassisRaid £215.00 rearSport chassis £215.00 90 replacement ContactRaid details: Sport 90 Raid replacement Sport 90 replacement sills £120.00 sills £120.00 sills £120.00 £90.00

sills £120.00 Contact details: Contact details: Discovery Discovery 2 replacement 2 replacement Discovery 2 replacement details: RCP manufacturesContact all replacement chassis rear chassis rear chassis £215.00 £215.00 rear chassis £215.00 Raid Sport Raid 90 Sport rep

Rai parts for Defender 90/110/130, Series 2/2a/3 sills £120.00 sills £120. sills and DiscoveryDiscovery 2. 2 replacement Contact Contact details: details:detai Contact rear chassis RCP also have a new range Raid £215.00 Sport. Raid Sport 90 re email:rcp@chessma email:rcp@ch We supply & fit all our product on a one day sills £120.00 turn around. Contact details:

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JUNE 2016 | 67


SOUTH DEVON Not for the faint-hearted… Local laners in the Devon area often drive old Japanese vehicles or Land Rovers on standard suspension. That’s because big, tall 4x4s are prone to suffering damage on the incredibly tight rights of way around here – and some of the tracks in this route are definitely not for shinies. It’s a very, very scenic part of the country, but it says a lot that you’ll hardly notice the fact, so tight and enclosed are the lanes you’ll be using. You do start and finish on the coast, and it’s pretty enchanting at each end, but in between the driving is awkward, involving and hard work – but all the better for it!



Mud-terrains recommended when wet Avoid when very wet Necessary in places Not suitable Very severe in places Care and precision required Highly likely


68 | JUNE 2016

Stoke Gabriel (SX 847 569) Coombe Cellars (SX 902 724) 28.85 miles 6 hours Tight coastal valleys Scratching; panel damage; Roughly eroded descents; Dangerous road junctions Landranger 202 (Torbay and South Dartmoor) TOTAL OFF-ROAD


JUNE 2016 | 69



SX 847 569

Start in Stoke Gabriel, in the car park by the River Shack at the end of Mill Hill. The shack itself is a delight – well worth stopping in for a drink before you set off. Zero your trip next to the shack and set off back into the village to start the route,




SX 856 577

Shortly after a road called Broadpath on the right, turn left immediately after the building that’s hard against the side of the road







Fuel on the left. Note what we’ve said in the intro about holding vehicles here if there’s more than a couple in your convoy






Waddeton Galmpton

82 | MARCH 2013


112 234




10 3.0


SX 839 590


12 13 4.25


Elsewhere, simple common sense and courtesy should be your watchword. The do-and-don’t list below should always be in your mind, but keep your speed down, be ready to pull over for others and make it your aim to show the world that 4x4 drivers aren’t the hooligans they think we are.


Anti-4x4 bigotry does exist, but it’s less common than you’d think. By and large, it’s limited to organisations who just want to get the countryside all to themselves. These organisations are beyond being reasoned with, but it’s rare to encounter real hostility even from their rank-and-file members. If you’re friendly towards the people with whom you share the countryside, the vast majority will respond in kind. There are always bad apples, but no more so than anywhere else. Likewise, most local residents will accept your presence if you’re driving sensibly. What suspicion you do encounter is likely to be from people worried that you’re there to steal from them, so be ready to offer a word of reassurance. Once satisfied that you’re not after their quad bikes, their mood will lighten. It only takes one vandal to tarnish a person’s view of all 4x4 drivers, and once the damage is done it tends to be permanent. But if enough of us resolve to be ambassadors, it might make a difference to the way we’re perceived by society in general.

We’ve deliberately made it as easy as possible to follow the route, using a mixture of instructions, tulip diagrams and grid references. We normally only include junctions at which you have to make a turning or don’t have right of way, so just stay on the main road or take the most straight-ahead option unless we tell you otherwise. If you’re unfamiliar with six-figure grid references, you’ll find a guide to using them on the legend of any OS map. Our aim is for you to be able to do the route without maps, but we do recommend having them.





Total Off-Road’s unique roadbooks guide you through the British countryside on a mixture of surfaced and unsurfaced roads. The tracks we use are public rights of way, either Byways Open to All Traffic or Unclassified County Roads, all of them commonly referred to as green lanes.

Caution – there’s a deceptive side-slope with a drop-off into the brook on the right. Keep your speed right down

The symbols on the first page of the roadbook advise you of how suitable it is for your vehicle. These are just guidelines, however. We’ll warn you of any hazards or difficult sections, but the nature of any green lane can change quickly. Wet weather can make a huge difference to the conditions underfoot, and what’s wide open in winter can be tightly enclosed and scratchy in summer. The responsibility is yours! Our roadbooks are designed to be safe to drive in a solo vehicle, and are largely suitable for standard 4x4s on road tyres. We do recommend travelling in tandem wherever possible, however. The risk of getting stuck can be greater than it appears – and if you break down, having help at hand can make the difference between it being inconvenient and downright dangerous.


15 5.1

16 5.3


Irresponsible driving is a massive problem on green lanes. In particular, you must always stay on the right of way. Never drive off it to play on the verges or surrounding land, even if you can see that someone else has; doing so is illegal and can be tremendously damaging, both to the land and to 4x4 drivers’ reputation. The fact that you can see where it’s happened shows how much harm it does. It’s no excuse to say you’re just following where another driver has already been. Most green laners have taken to videoing anyone they see behaving like this and passing the evidence to the police, which shows how much anger there is towards the criminal element.



your speed right down • Keep Pull over to let walkers, bikers and •horse riders pass in large convoys: •splitDon’tintotravel smaller groups to avoid hassling others Leave gates as you found them Don’t drop litter Don’t go back to drive the fun bits, such as mud or fords, again Scrupulously obey all closure and

• • • •voluntary restraint notices Don’t cause a noise nuisance, •particularly after dark Ensure you have a right to be •there. We research the routes

on our roadbooks very carefully, but the status of any route can change without notice Be prepared to turn back if the route is blocked, even illegally If you find an illegal obstruction, notify the local authority If someone challenges you, be firm but polite. Stay calm and don’t get into a slagging match Stick absolutely scrupulously to the right of way You have as much of a right to be there as everyone else. Which of course means they have as much right as you

• • • • •

JUNE 2016 | 71











As the main track swings left, carry on ahead on a grassier one


SX 809 605












Castle Marldon Torquay

22 1.4

1 212 9

30 3.5

Berry Pomeroy Castle Afton







72 | JUNE 2016


SX 840 628

Don’t go too early – this is after Afton Farm and the big corrugated barn on the left








Caution over the main road and follow ahead for Uphempston



SX 825 632

40 7.55









The surface goes from being road to track and back again several times over the next half a mile or so




SX 828 639

SX 835 648

Extreme caution â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this is a fast, busy road and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terrible visibility to both sides as you emerge before immediately turning left again on the track


SX 844 647


MARCH 2013 | 85

43 1.05

Follow ahead over the small road and ahead on Windthorn Lane. Be warned that this lane gets very tight indeed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our Discovery got a broken window, and we avoided panel damage by fractions of an inch. To miss it out, turn left here then right at the T-junction for Compton and Marldon. Follow the road until you come to Compton Pool junction, with a track the right and a sign for North Whilborough to the left. This is step 45 (the track on the right is the one you would have come out of ), so skip to there and zero your trip as you turn left. And in case you missed it, here it is again: this track is VERY tight indeed and could do your vehicle some proper damage. Go down here, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on your own. You have been warned!


Join the bigger track


45 1.65

46 0.8

47 0.8

48 1.5

49 1.55

Carry on ahead for North Whilborough ZERO TRIP

SX 871 666

Take the turning for Long Barn Holiday Cottages

50 1.7

51 1.95


Step 43: This picture barely illustrates how tight this lane is. We had no choice but to rub our Discovery along the trunk of a tree, and we went home with a broken window for our pains

84 | MARCH 2013


52 2.05


It’s not clear which road has right of way











The turning is between a pair of sheds




SX 904 693

Don’t go too early – it’s just after a couple of houses on the right



57 5.45



As you drop down the hill, suddenly the surface gets very uneven indeed on the way round a corner


SX 912 689

Very soon after step 59, follow the road through a farmyard/dump then turn left on the track up the hill

The track ahead is actually classed as a C-class road!


JUNE 2016 | 75








64 6.75

SX 916 703

69 0.85





48 | FEBRUARY 2013


SX 919 706

Turn right at the Stokeinteignhead sign


65 6.8

Caution as you turn left on the road, then immediately after the lay-by turn left again for Stokeinteignhead



Caution past the house, then after the road breaks down into a track kink left then right with the big barn to your left




73 3.45


SX 915 721

The turning is just after you pass a dark coloured wooden barn on the right



76 4.2







Turn right for Coombe Cellars, Shaldon and Teignmouth


Stick to the main track as it kinks right then left between field entrances


Turn left for Coombe Cellars



When you reach the waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge, turn left into the Coombe Cellars car park for the end of the route


JUNE 2016 | 77

The All Wheel Drive Club was established in 1968 and is the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only national off-road club for all vehicle makes. Competitive events in various disciplines take place most weekends. For full details, and how to join please visit

78 | JUNE 2016


PUSH IT TO THE LIMITS Whether for towing, load carrying or just a bit of weekend fun in the bush, Pedders TrakRyder 4x4 suspension kits are specifically designed for Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rugged and unique conditions. Trusted by Australians for over 65 years, Pedders are the brake, steering and suspension specialists. For further information go to or please contact your local Pedders experts. 01296 711044


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The all new jam-packed Total Off-Road website has launched! - Tons of trucks - All the best feature vehicles from TOR through the years - Must-have equipment - Off-Road business directory - Where to off-road - News and events

The brand spanking new Total Off-Road website is full to bursting with content from more than 13 years and 162 issues of the nation’s favourite off-roading magazine. Boasting tons of brilliant features from the magazine’s most incredible trucks - from Troopers to Tiguans, Terranos to TJs - the website is perfect for any 4x4 fan. There’s also a whole host of vehicle tests examining your favourite trucks’ practicality, on- and off-road capability and towing power to name but a few. If you’re looking for equipment, tools and accessories for your hobby, the Total Off-Road website is the place to go with over a decade’s worth of products from the world’s top companies. Not only that, but there’s also a handy search tool which will help you find businesses and off-road sites in your area quickly and easily. Plus, the new website will keep you up to date with all the latest news and upcoming events, so you’re sure to never be out of the loop. The website is easily viewed on your phone, tablet or desktop, and with new content added every day, it’s one to add to your favourites list. So stand by all you Total Off-Roaders, this website is about to become your new best mate!!

CLASSIFIEDS To adveRtise in this section contact ian argent on 01283 553242 Phone: 01323 848448 ➤ All Automatic Transmissions Reconditioned

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see: or tel: 07802 582 826 Quad bikes - entry £15 per rider (all riders 14 or over) email: 4x4 entry £30 per vehicle


JUNE 2016 | 81




Yes, you really are looking at a Volkswagen Touareg. And when we say ‘not just any old Volkswagen Touareg,’ you really had better believe it… HATCHBACK LANDY One of the most distinctive 90s we’ve ever seen reappeared recently. And it’s still as distinctive as ever

LANES FOR SUMMER It’s actually snowing as we write this, but never mind. Summer is here (no, it is) and there’s a world of byways out there waiting for you to spend some long sunny days exploring the countryside

THETFORD ROADBOOK After this month’s demolition derby in Devon (no, silly little haters, it isn’t really), something altogether less likely to tickle your paintwork but just as likely to tickle your fancy – especially if you drive something shiny or otherwise unmodded. It’s gentle going here – but great laning nonetheless

82 | JUNE 2016

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Newsagent This magazine is available to your wholesaler through Comag Magazine Marketing, Tavistock Rd, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE. Tel: 01895 444055 Fax: 01895 433602


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