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    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover-Series-II / #Land-Rover

    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 46,305
    Miles since April
    report 1407
    Latest costs £5

    CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE

    I’ve now been driving my Landie around with its Fairey overdrive installed for a few months. And, although I am considering having my hearing checked just to be sure that the increase in noise levels isn’t doing any lasting damage, I am still happy with my new addition.

    Has it quietened down as the gears get to know each other? Not really, but the occasional wintry snaps have brought about a bonus. The colder, thicker oil in the overdrive and transfer boxes does at least reduce the whine for a while at the start of each commute.

    The more relaxed cruising is extremely welcome on the motorway, and knocking it out into direct top makes you wince because it feels as if you are pushing the drivetrain even more than it used to. It certainly seems as if it will need a rebuild at some point – just as an attempt to reduce the noise to an acceptable level should I have passengers or family in the car – but that will be a job for another day.

    In the meantime, I was treated to a diversion when the ignition light began glowing one morning. It only started when I had the lights, heater and wipers on, but I decided to kick off investigations by putting a meter across the battery. All looked okay there and, to be honest, so did the readings from the alternator, but I chucked on my brand new spare to at least eradicate that as a possible cause.

    There was no noticeable change and I recalled that I’d recently had a couple of issues with the headlamp switch. Turning on the lights would sometimes result in the ignition cutting out – a gentle wiggle resuming normal service – but it was enough of a coincidence to presume that there could be a connection.

    Taking out the switch, dosing the back with WD40 and cleaning the contacts improved things significantly, but there’s still a glimmer when you switch on more ancilliaries. That said, my initial panic has been tempered by the fact that the IIA still starts on the button, with no drop in cranking power, and the lighter mornings mean that I no longer notice the glow!

    Fellow Land-Rover owner and designer Matt Purdon kindly dug out an ageing spare that I intend to clean up and use to prove the idea. But, hey, I’ve got the whole of the summer to sort that… haven’t I?

    Out and about in West Berkshire – with spring just around the corner.

    New alternator ruled out a charging fault. Spare switch will test theory of resistance.
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    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover /
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 49,487
    Miles since July report 2675
    Latest costs £12.99

    Stunning evening sky as team C&SC checks in at the Portsmouth ferry. Inset: post-race calm with Port and his Landie atop the banking overlooking the Porsche Curves.

    DIZZY GRINDS TO A HALT – AGAIN!

    With the hub bearing failure a distant memory, it was inevitable that something else would crop up. First was a small stutter that was most noticeable at low revs. A few minutes adjusting the valve clearances sorted that and I took the opportunity to check the compression. With readings all around the 117-125psi mark, I was happy (considering it’s an old, well-used engine), and any concerns of imminent major failure were allayed.

    Then came a request from Oxford Scientific Films to use my Land-Rover for a scene that it wanted to shoot for a natural history programme. The director is a regular reader of C&SC and thought that my IIA might be suitable.

    Conveniently, the filming was to take place a stone’s throw from the office at Shepperton Studios. So, on a lovely early summer evening, I watched while the riggers assembled what looked like a corner of the Forth Bridge on my front wing, upon which sat a camera worth far more than my IIA. With Pixel the dog in the passenger seat, we did several runs up and down a quiet leafy track in order to get the ultrahigh- def slow-mo shot that they needed. With the sun dipping behind the trees, “It’s a wrap” was called triumphantly and I disappeared back down the M3.

    Slightly more nerve-wracking was the annual MoT test. I spent a couple of hours prepping the IIA and was duly rewarded with a pass without advisories. Given my attempts to work more often from home, I was surprised to see that the Landie had still clocked up another 12,500 miles in the past 12 months.

    It would then go wrong, as the gearbox began to make odd noises when lifting off the accelerator pedal. In the course of trying to diagnose what, I presumed, was play in the main shaft, I removed the Fairey overdrive, refitted the standard gear and bearing housing and all the noises and play disappeared!

    The lock washer had broken up and I found the tabs sitting in the clutch sleeve, but there is a lot of play in the main gear shaft that I suspect is to blame. It will have to stay on the workbench for now until I can undertake the intended rebuild.

    Frustratingly, that meant I would once again be heading down to Le Mans for the Classic without overdrive. With a few days to go, in fact, a further misfire came to the fore and, when I removed the distributor cap, I found that yet another 25D body had ‘eaten itself’. Like the last unit, the bob-weights were chomping their way into the casing, causing all sorts of rough running.

    It serves me right for fitting a cheap remake I guess, so I dug out an original 45D with the correct advance curve for a Series Land-Rover. The electronic ignition module from the 25D wouldn’t fit, so I popped in a set of points and condenser and it ran just fine – until the following morning, when it refused to go above 10mph. With just hours left before catching the ferry to Caen, I noticed that the distributor cap was faulty – one of the internal contacts had broken loose and so I limped it over to see Will de la Riviere at Beech Hill Garage.


    The 45D was a common fitment on later MGBs, so I knew that he would have spares of the required quality. After an hour on the forecourt overhauling the system and once again timing the set-up by ear – with a confirming nod from fellow Landie owner John Alexander – I was back on the road.

    In a moment of madness for this Le Mans Classic, I left all of the weather gear at home in a bid to travel light – even ditching the tent in favour of a bivouac-style bedroll.

    I’m glad that I did, too – the weather was glorious and, with empty French back roads and just a windscreen for protection, it felt as if I was driving the IIA as much like a sports car as it would allow. Smiles aplenty and, after a stunning few days awash with classics on and off the track, the only dampener was a faulty ferry on the return trip, which meant that I was very nearly the last vehicle allowed on.


    “No more 4x4s – too big!” said the nice French lady in charge of loading. So I folded the windscreen to lower its profile, smiled hopefully and, much to my surprise, she waved me on and I reversed into the last available space out on the open ferry deck. Several hours later, I was, as a result, first off in Portsmouth and hitting Winchester before the other chaps had been unloaded. Even a few spots of rain couldn’t ruin the buzz from the weekend and, by midnight, I was crawling into bed, but not before I’d given the Land-Rover an appreciative pat on the wing for being a faithful companion once more!

    45D and points replaced electronic 25D.
    Pixel the dog in Landie for filming duties.
    Last man on; others weren’t quite so lucky.
    Lock washer tabs found in clutch sleeve.
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    Four hours, the biggest hammers he could find, an air-chisel, an oxyacetylene torch and a 9in disc cutter later Port was left with this tortured ‘work of art’!

    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover /
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 46,812
    Miles since June report 507
    Latest costs £150

    LANDIE LOSES ITS BEARINGS, AGAIN

    Was it a blowout? Had one of the wheelnuts had come off? A sheared stud? There had to be a reason why my IIA had suddenly lurched across two lanes of the M25 and given me a slight ‘brown trouser’ moment.

    As it crawled out of harm’s way, I noticed that the brake pedal was pulsing, the steering vague and there was a nasty noise coming from the offside front wheel. Once the IIA was in the air, the amount of play in the hub bearing was alarming. As I resigned myself to returning home on a recovery truck, I reflected on the fact that this was the same corner on which I’d renewed the bearings six months ago…

    Once it was on the drive, I set about removing the hub, but, with the drive member and outer nut off, things got tricky because the inner nut would not budge. After giving up on the box spanner, I turned to a hammer and a cold chisel, but still nothing. A length of bar on a socket wouldn’t shift it. Even Phil and Oli popped over from Classic Jaguar Replicas to offer some extra ‘persuasion’, but it needed heat in the end.

    Oli got busy with his oxyacetylene torch at CJR and that, plus a bigger hammer and an air chisel eventually did away with the nut. There was no way that the hub and stub-axle were going to come off cleanly, so Phil Bashall at Dunsfold Land Rover kindly couriered over a box of replacement parts.

    It was then ‘simply’ a case of pulling the spacer washer and outer bearing race, except that those were also welded to the stub-axle. By then, we had been trying to remove the hub for three hours and, as I lay my head on the wing in despair, I briefly contemplated dismantling the rest of the Land-Rover and just leaving the hub instead!

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, though. It’s no secret that my favourite tool is a good old disc cutter. So, when we all agreed that the only option was to cut off the hub, I wasted no time and we breathed a sigh of relief as the hub at last came free of the axle.
    The Land-Rover was back on all four wheels after another hour, and the next day a nervous owner made his way around the M25 once again.

    All seemed well. There was no undue heat in the hub and the following day I took the precaution of removing the drive member to inspect the hub before draining and refilling both swivels and front diff. So what had caused the failure?

    The keyway tab on the lock washer was half gone, but had that allowed the nuts to turn – or were the tightening nuts responsible for ripping that off? Only time will tell if there is an underlying problem.

    Importantly, thanks to the generosity and help of the aforementioned friends, the IIA only missed a day’s commuting. As James Page put it: “Yours is probably only one of a handful of Series IIs used for motorway commuting, so little wonder these things happen!” He’s right, so I promise to give the old girl an easier life... one day.

    THANKS TO
    Phil and Oli Cottrell: www.classicjaguarreplicas.com
    Dunsfold Land Rover: www.dunsfold.com; 01483 200567

    Gentle road test was followed by a full-on commute the next day.

    Failure to proceed near Heathrow’s T5.
    After hammers, came heat. It didn’t work.
    Refitting the drive member after new hub.
    Mini disc cutter also proved ineffective.
    After 9in cutter, new stub axle was fitted.
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    A return to life in the slow lane. Just as I’d decided that the Scimitar was here to stay, Elliott pinged over an e-mail that began ‘Would you be interested in buying...’ / #Land-Rover / #2016 / #Land-Rover-Series-II /

    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 12,100
    Miles since acquisition 596
    Latest costs £575

    My reply should have been ‘no’, especially considering that the subject was another Land-Rover – the exact thing that I’d sold because the GTE was faster, more economical (just) and more comfortable. At that stage the Reliant was still in the workshop undergoing surgery, so it seemed unfair to contemplate replacing it. This was the motoring equivalent of sitting in a bar eyeing up a leggy blonde – albeit a slow, smelly one whose eyes were quite close together – while your wife was laid up in hospital. I already felt bad.

    My head said no, but my heart was shouting yes. Comments from Mrs P – who, I should add, was not in hospital and I was not perched on a bar stool – weren’t helping either: “You should buy another Land- Rover. It’s more... ‘you’.”

    I even spent the entire journey home one night trying to convince myself that I should stick with the GTE before I then drove past a Series III sitting majestically in an area of felled woodland while the owner loaded it with logs. It was a period brochure come to life and I found myself smiling at the scene. “Can I come to see it on Friday?” I asked Liam Cardiff, founder of The Warren Classic (see News, July) and vendor of the ‘would you be interested in...’ 1964 Land-Rover.

    Secretly, I hoped that it would turn out to be nothing more than a pile of rust beneath some dented panels to make the decision much easier. So I went, took lots of photos and posted them on the Series 2 Club forum (www.series2club.co.uk) to ask for opinions. Fortunately, those in the know reckoned that I could get better for my money, so that was that – or it should have been. What’s the saying about heart ruling head? I had to face facts: something about CSF 46B had got under my skin and a second viewing showed that the all-important chassis was really rather good. Which is exactly why, after chasing several other ‘better’ options, I suddenly had the keys in my pocket and was towing it back to the office.

    There was the minor matter of it passing an MoT test before I spent the rest of my budget on making it look better, though I couldn’t resist buying a set of hood sticks and a tailgate before taking delivery of a new Exmoor Trim full tilt from Bearmach. That meant that the horrid hard-top could go plus, with the help of Clements and Page, the transformation was completed in a lunch-hour. “That’s how a Landie should look!” I exclaimed as I stood back to admire our handiwork and made tentative plans to repaint the body in Bronze Green, but, after two weeks of tinkering with more help from Page, it was MoT time.


    Elliott reckoned that the Landie would pass first time. I didn’t, though, and so a wager was made: one chocolate biscuit to the victor. I decided to hang around at Orleans Garage so that Alan Fox could show me the fail points as he found them... except that he didn’t and the IIA passed with no advisories.

    As I drove away with the certificate beside me, Elliott pulled in to the test station and a moment later a text popped up with the words: ‘You owe me a biscuit.’ I don’t like losing a bet, although this time I was happy to suffer defeat for some reason! It’s good to be back in the world of life-size Meccano.

    THANKS TO
    Bearmach: 02920856550; www.bearmach.com
    Britpart: 01588674200; www.britpart.com

    Full tilt, new mirrors and blasted trim completes stage one of makeover; wheels are next.
    Port took cash and a trailer... just in case!
    After sitting idle for a year, the IIA gets a shock to the system as Port revisits some green-lane favourites and exercises the leaf springs.
    Clements and Page clear a year of grime.
    Painted galvanised trim was soda-blasted.
    Hard-top made way for sticks and tailgate.
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    CAR #Land-Rover-Series-IIA / #Land-Rover / #Land-Rover-Series-II / #2016

    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May #2013
    Total mileage 43,970
    Miles since January report 1612
    Latest costs £78

    THE BEAR(ING) NECESSITIES

    It was a cold, wet and dark Monday morning when, barely two minutes into my commute, I heard an odd noise from the front of the IIA – followed by a sudden knocking that not only could be heard above the engine, but felt through the pedals. Not an ideal start to the week.

    As the Land-Rover climbed a gradient, I stuck my head out of the window to try to pinpoint the source. But as I reached the peak and then began the descent, I quickly withdrew my bonce, grasping the wheel tightly. It had become apparent that the IIA’s direction of travel wasn’t quite corresponding to my aim!

    I pulled over and checked for visible problems, but failed to see anything. There was nothing else for it – nurse the Landie home and grab the keys to the Beetle instead. The rest of the day at work was torture, of course, with the next eight hours spent mulling over possible causes split chassis?

    Knackered bush in the swivel joint? Broken UJ.

    That evening grabbed a torch I and was at least able to confirm that the chassis was okay okay. A couple of days later, I managed to have a proper poke around during daylight, starting with the obvious: jacking up the front and wobbling the wheels. It became immediately apparent that there was something fundamentally wrong with the offside bearing, but I also realised that, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the front propshaft to turn. I called Phil Bashall at Dunsfold Land Rover, but he couldn’t get his head round the anomaly either and suggested that it could be a broken differential.




    Local legends Phil and Oli Cottrell even popped by for half an hour to assist with my diagnosis. Phil reckoned that it was the diff, too, but with one of us in the IIA, one underneath, and one at the wheel, we examined all possible combinations of gearing and drive. In the end, it was only when I removed the MAP free-wheeling hub from that side – and observed the half-shaft turning when the prop was rotated that those present had a lightbulb moment.

    Although affecting the steering, it transpired that the freewheel hub had failed – confirming that at least the front diff was okay. That left the bearing at fault so, armed with a replacement inner and outer, I set about the swap. An hour and a half later, the IIA was back on the deck and ready for a test drive. The bearing needed nipping up a little further but, crucially, the knocks, groans and directional ‘variables’ had been eliminated – quite possibly the best-case scenario.

    In the process I had, of course, removed both MAP free-wheeling hubs and reinstalled the standard drive flanges. I was then left to marvel at the spectacular wear on the old outer hub bearing. With the Landie back on the road, it was a good time to finally fit the bargain Viking mascot that I’d bought at the NEC back in November. Strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with the IIA, but a good many owners have added them as a nod to the Rover origins of the company – or perhaps because they have a P4-derived engine under the bonnet. Mine doesn’t, but personally I think it just looks the part!


    A definite end-of-year highlight was being present as the hammer came down at the auction of the two-millionth Defender. The winning bid was a record £400k, with all proceeds going to the Born Free Foundation and the Red Cross. As a bonus, while I was there I finally managed to meet Tim Slessor – a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition of 1955 and author of First Overland, an inspirational book for any Land-Rover owner. Commuting to London in the IIA doesn’t come close to what Slessor undertook, but oddly he seemed impressed by my stupidity and, as a result, my copy (which ‘I just happened to have with me’), now has a fitting dedication on the title page. Thank you, Sir!

    THANKS TO Dunsfold Land Rover: 01483 200567; www.dunsfold.com Phil and Oli Cottrell: 0118 971

    2091; www.jaguarreplicas.com Kim Palmer

    Viking mascot keeps watch over the road. Port with his hero, who signed book (inset).

    Oli Cottrell passes judgement on the wear Replacement ready to be fitted into hub The new oil seal is carefully tapped home.

    The Land-Rover takes to the track at Bicester Heritage – not its natural habitat, but good fun! Inset: wheel bearing was on the verge of collapse.
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    Car #Land-Rover-Series-IIA
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 28,270
    Miles since December
    2014 report 1210
    Latest costs £50

    TRANSMISSION, REVAMPED

    To put it bluntly, it serves me right. After racking up 730 miles in one week thanks to our Poor Boys’ pilgrimage to Ypres as well as normal commuting duties, I could be accused of gloating at doing all of that in a 50-year-old motor that I bought for a little over £1000. So, when it suddenly refused to come out of third gear one evening, I figured that karma had come knocking, wanting to collect its dues for my smugness.

    I’ll admit to being a little confused: I could slot the Land-Rover into third nicely, but if I wanted to take it back into neutral, the lever remained solid until something, somewhere would finally release itself and I could move the lever back again. After a handful of wrestling matches, I drove the remaining 30 miles home avoiding third entirely. Having checked that there was nothing obstructing the gearlinkage arms, the next step was to drop the oil from the main ’box. Although relatively clear, there were several pieces of metal sitting in the drain plug. Fishing through the rest of the oil with a magnet immediately produced enough bits to make up a neat semi-circle – it was eventually identified as a probable broken snap ring.

    With help from Elliott, Page and Pittaway, the interior was stripped and the gearbox pulled out. I then mulled over my options: a full rebuild was out of the question thanks to the state of my wallet, and even if I was to do it myself, the parts bill alone would run into the hundreds if I did it properly. The next option was to find a good secondhand ’box, but the majority are for sale only because they’ve had their overdrives removed and are a bit of a gamble.

    In the end, I spoke to Phil Bashall at Dunsfold Land Rover hoping for a bit of sensible advice. “Bring the gearbox down and we’ll have a look,” he offered. A proper diagnosis would be a start at least, so we manhandled it into the back of my Vauxhall and took it to Surrey. Bashall confirmed the snap-ring diagnosis and eventually agreed to go against his usual thorough approach and perform a ‘get me back on the road’ fix. The initial idea was to remove the bellhousing and replace the ring from that end, but years of corrosion meant that even just getting the clutch operating shaft out would be a time-consuming process.

    Fortunately (for me), Phil had another gearbox waiting in the wings and it turned out to be exactly what I needed: a known-quantity, good, low-mileage unit that had been removed from another #1964 #Land-Rover because the owner was struggling to cope with a nonsynchromesh ’box.

    “I’ll take your transfer unit and put it on this main ’box,” Bashall suggested. “It’ll get you rolling again and you can then take your time and rebuild the old one properly when you can afford it.”

    So, by lunchtime I was unloading back at the #Drive-My workshop, and a few days later was ready for a testdrive. It was while pulling out from the car park that something struck me – namely just how knackered my original gearbox must have been! Whine was minimal because the gears themselves weren’t too worn, but the rattles and clunks that I had become familiar with during acceleration – and that I had presumed were on the engine side of the bellhousing – were now absent. After the first 50-odd mile commute, I was happy once again to have the Land-Rover back on the road. This time though, I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.
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    DO IT ONCE AND DO IT PROPERLY


    Model #Land-Rover Series IIA
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May #2013
    Total mileage 29,110
    Miles since February
    report 840
    Latest costs £244.50

    The headline offers the advice that I should have followed, but instead I ended up kicking myself for not thinking things through completely when attacking gearbox woes as detailed in the February issue.

    With the IIA back on commuting duties, I revelled in just how quiet the new transmission was – the only grumble being a faint knocking when on the move. A quick peek revealed that the ’box was almost sitting on the crossmember, and staring me in the face just inches away was the reason: a mount that had seen better days. That was the first time I kicked myself. The mounts cost only a few pounds yet, while replacing them wasn’t the worst job in the world, it was nothing compared to the mere seconds that it would have taken had I sorted them while the gearbox was out. Still, it cleared the crossmember on the new ones and the clonking disappeared. I then ploughed straight into job number two: fitting the pair of MAP freewheeling hubs I’d recently bought.

    This was the second time that I had tried to fit them. I realised on the first occasion that a previous owner’s bodge to try to fix one of the actuation discs meant that it would foul the stub axle so it all had to come off again. Later that night, the gearbox stuck in third gear and you know how that story played out. This time, though, I was armed with a replacement disc from LR Optional Equipment and, having prepared all of the parts, they were fitted in a lunch-hour.

    There is much debate as to the benefit of free-wheeling hubs, but, considering the amount of motorway mileage that my Landie covers, I think it is a worthwhile addition. Yet even I began to think that perhaps they were jinxed when things went awry once more that evening as I left the motorway. I went to pull away as the traffic moved ahead, but there was no drive at all and I could select any gear with the engine running without touching the clutch pedal!

    Two police cars and a recovery lorry later, I was able to ponder just what could be wrong. I settled for the possibility that the clutch was at fault and that, for whatever reason, the centre of the plate was spinning on the input shaft. That was when I kicked myself for the second occasion. The gearbox was going to have to come out yet again – or at least be moved back so that I could confirm my diagnosis – and I kept thinking about how easy it would have been to have fitted a new clutch just a few weeks before. So, for the third time in 12 months I found myself undoing everything connected to the transmission and, with a helping hand from my brother-in-law Pat Richards, we slid the gearbox back and the old clutch was removed. The broken spring was immediately obvious and the centre of the plate was rotating independently of the rest. But, thanks to First Line’s efficiency, a couple of days later I had a new Borg & Beck clutch kit sitting on my desk and I borrowed an alignment tool from Phil Cottrell at nearby Classic Jaguar Replicas in readiness.

    Centring the new plate was the easy bit, but I knew from experience that manhandling the gearbox back onto the bellhousing studs was going to be a challenge on my own. After working up a sweat and nearly managing it, I abused Phil’s neverending generosity and he was soon on my driveway eager to assist. Half an hour later, I was bolting everything back up and, despite the cold, damp and darkening conditions, by the end of the day I was ready to test it. The next morning, I drove the #Land-Rover-Series-IIA to the #Drive-My office – albeit without its transmission tunnel and handbrake, while the floors were just temporarily located into position.

    Reassembly was finished that lunchtime and I was hugely satisfied to have the Landie back on the road again. With a white Christmas eluding us for another year, though, I’m now busy praying that we have snow before something else breaks. Oddly, my usual optimism seems to be suffering slightly...

    The old gearbox mount is easy to identify.
    MAP hubs fitted after a clean and repaint.
    Freezing cold, pitch black and blocking a motorway slip-road in rush-hour – not the ideal conditions for sudden clutch failure.
    Broken spring and loose centre to blame.
    New clutch plate and cover restored drive.
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  • Post is under moderation
    Martin
    #Land-Rover Series IIA
    Run by Martin Port
    Owned since May 2013
    Total mileage 26,150
    Miles since September report 2420
    Latest costs £98

    SMALL VICTORIES FOR HAPPY CHAP

    Barely a day goes by without a “What’s wrong with it now?” comment from a passer-by in the #Drive-My car park, but then hardly a lunch hour goes by that doesn’t involve lilting the bonnet or getting my hands dirty. In the Land- Rover’s defence, I don’t consider it a reflection on its quality or condition - daily driving means daily tinkering in order to try to keep on top of little things and hopefully help to keep major problems at bay.

    Inevitably, some larger issues are unavoidable and when I left the motorway one evening, I was greeted by the cacophonous roar of exhaust components that had fallen out with each other.

    In fact, the centre pipe flange had comprehensively broken its weld and, given the state of the rest of the system, I decided to replace the whole thing - an easy decision when you can buy one for £50!

    Rather than try to take off rusted nuts and bolts, I just cut the sections apart in order to facilitate removal and, failing to learn from years of experience, I stupidly thought that fitting the new one would be straightforward. In hindsight, I suppose it was - once I’d figured out how to get the front section in, over the crossmember and up in the direction of the manifold, but a corroded stud thread did little to help. Still, once on the new exhaust was (obviously) quieter and pleasingly had the correct kink in the tailpipe to allow for the larger 7.50 x 16 wheels rather than having to take an oxy torch to it.

    Then I could turn my attention back to the ongoing ‘to do’ list and finally got around to dismantling the wiper motor and investigating the screeching that had developed. Everything looked in order, but the grease packed into the housing that serves to lubricate the various cogs has a tendency to go hard over dine so I cleaned that out before applying fresh LAI grease to all the moving parts. That sorted the noise, but with one thing fixed, another breaks and this time it was the turn of the 50-year-old Bakelite indicator switch - the casing of which fell apart only a month after I’d fitted it to the Land-Rover. Instead of mucking around with other toggle switches, I opted to go for the tried and tested option of a Tex Magna-Lite unit - a metal-cased indicator switch that became a popular add-on as turn signals were added by owners in the early 1960s.

    A #Land-Rover-Series-IIA (Series 2 Club) forum member supplied one at a fair price that was just missing the bracket to secure it to the steering column and, 24 hours after collecting it, the same member had found me a bracket as well as another complete switch for just a few pounds! There is something very honourable about the generosity of Series Land-Rover owners and this was also displayed when another club member gave up his weekend to rescue a spare 2286cc petrol engine out of a vehicle bound for the scrapyard, only to offer it up on the forum for free.

    With it being just up the road from the office, I jumped on it and therefore secured the spare engine I had been looking for - one that I could then rebuild at my leisure before swapping out the rather tired unit currently in the IIA.

    I bagged another bargain in picking up an early Series II brochure and poster set for less than half the normal selling price thanks to an eBay listing that had been timed to finish mid-morning on a weekday, and, after more than a year, got around to sourcing the correct type of fuel cap. Small things, but it all helps to keep this Landie ticking along, racking up the miles and keeping a smile on my face.

    Auction win: late-'50s brochure and poster
    Aged Landie exhaust gave up the ghost.. so was replaced by new mild-steel system
    Free engine is already being stripped down
    Sneaking into a field of ripening crops provided an excellent photo opportunity. Inset: correct filler cap finally fitted
    Lucas wiper motor silenced by overhaul
    Robust Tex Magna-Lite indicator fitted

    THANKS TO
    • Britpart: britpart. com
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