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And So It Begins....


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And So It Begins...

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sun, March 22, 2015 08:34:46

For those that have followed me before you know I have spent the best part of a year rebuilding an old Series 3 Military FFR Land Rover using what was my cigarette money and trying to show you could still put an old Landy back on the road at a reasonable price. I smugly proved this surprising myself both in the achievement and the fact I can use a set of spanners without causing myself too much damage as well as following the excellent advice given to me from several different online forums fixing things I never thought I would be able to.

The problem now that project is finished is that I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the finished product I loved building it but I hate the idea of now breaking it by using it off road and if I am honest I don't enjoy driving it very far local journeys are fine but bone shaking noisy long journeys fill me full of dread along with the cost of taking the very inefficient two and a quarter petrol engine further than a twenty mile radius requiring a small mortgage to do so just doesn't appeal. On the other hand I couldn't sell it so what am I to do about playing off road with the Nottingham Land Rover club that I have been looking forward to doing for the last year?

I have found the solution which I could justify to my ever suffering Wife by solving two problems in one hit. The first is obviously playing off road which Wifey is looking forward to as well because secretly she is a bit of an petrol head for such things and the second is being the fact that I commute all year round to work on my motorbike but the winters are getting a bit much with sliding around along with our anticipated move to Derbyshire next year I will need something to drive to and from work in the winter months so I have gone out and bought "us" a bog standard Discovery...


This will be fun off road and ideal for commuting in the winter as well. It does mean the old Series 3 will only be used very occasionally but seeing as I would have smoked the money it cost to rebuild I am not too fussed about that I will even store it for a while if and when I find somewhere to do that.

The Discovery named of course "Brian" will not be standard for too long. It needs to be modded enough for some good off road fun but not so much as it becomes a chore to commute in.

Yes yes it does say Sea Rover on the front this is because it was used by the sea cadets in Lincolnshire for years but thankfully didn't spend a great deal of time anywhere near the sea! All major welding has already been done so no worries there and it is a good base for what I want to do.

So folks the say Land Rovers are addictive and they are not wrong because in the space of twelve months I am up to two and my eldest daughter is making noises about wanting one when she passes her test because they are "cool" or whatever word they use for that meaning now she said.

Watch this space changes are coming....


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You really can't polish a turd!

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Fri, March 27, 2015 20:14:42

The big day has arrived so after a hectic morning of getting the motorbike an MOT running chores for Wifey one of which was to collect yoghurt's on the bike from a superstore seven miles from my house then trying to get them back without breaking them in a top box that wobbles at the same rpm as the bike which much to my surprise I did then posting some nonsense and getting fuel it was time to go and collect Brian the Discovery.

Thankfully the chap I have bought it off of offered to come and get me so after a quick brew we were all set for the off. A quick trip to the petrol station for fuel and we were soon there.

Now this Disco has been sat all week by it's lonesome but it fired up straight away no problem at all and I set off to get it home so I could start it's deep clean because it was used mainly it would seem as transport for the fellas rather large dog on walking trips which I knew about before buying but it was going to take some cleaning before Wifey or the girls would get in it...thinking about it I missed out on an opportunity there to get some peaceful me driving time bugger.

What do you expect from a 1993 Discovery? well I bought this with my eyes wide open to use for off roading and a bit of a commute to work in the winter so I knew it was a little dented a bit more faded and plenty scratched up in other words exactly what I would expect from a twenty odd year old work horse but I got stuck in hoovering up hair dust mud and other wonderful things you find long forgotten under car seats. I washed and scrubbed the outside of it then dug out the old faithful bottle of T-Cut to see if I could bring the paintwork up from it's dull scratched state to something a bit shiny...I could not.

I put it on wiped it off and the old boy did not look so dull but it soon became obvious that it was never going to be shiny again but really why I thought it would be is beyond me.

So after several hours of cleaning it feels better it certainly smells better and it even looks a little better in fact in the following photo it even looks shiny somehow but it really is a trick of the light...


Next step is fitting the mud wheels off of Mator as I am going to get him a set of 7.50's if I find them at the right price put onto his series rims. Then it will be the CB and arial along with kitting out the boot with the off roading bits I need to take with me for my first time actually driving off road!


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Not getting anywhere fast...

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sat, March 28, 2015 17:49:46

I tried today I really did but everything seemed to be against me including at the forefront my complete lack of knowledge about the Land Rover Discovery. It will be a steep learning curve to say the least with my Haynes manual in one hand and the advice of my forum and club friends on the laptop in the other.

You see I thought I would just bolt on the wheels I have making the Disco look chunky and off I would go playing but in reality that is not going to be happening but I am getting ahead of myself here so I will back track to this morning where I awoke most of the neighbours up at 07:45 dragging my big jack from the shed at the back of the house to the Landies at the front mimicking the decibel levels of a 747 coming in to land but the old huge jack is just too heavy to carry!

So up went Mator the Series 3 and off came a wheel and up went the Discovery then off came his wheel and I went to swap them over but it was here the problems began...


It was not going to fit! Fancy having non interchangeable tyres eh! Well they could fit if I stick a 2" lift kit on then trimmed the arches back and changed the bumper sooo I am left with these options as well as just buying a set that would bolt straight on but where would the fun in that be?

The standard wheels went back on and both Land Rovers kept their own boots for now. I did dismantle the cb from Mator had a look at where to fit it in Brian and it soon became apparent that the Discovery is a bit more technical than the Series and all of it is behind moulded plastic. I am going to end up breaking stuff I can just see it! For now the CB resides in the glove box while I get advice from better folk than me on what to do with it!

I was left wondering "what to do now then?" so I had a stab at a couple of the little niggly things that need doing. I fixed the remote central locking with two new batteries as well as securing all of the gubbings properly inside the fob but the heater switches will need replacing as they don't work the only source of heating is one of those tiny plug in fan things not ideal for demisting!

With nothing more to do I went for a spin putting some fuel in and dropping off some sawdust to an acquaintance for his chickens. Overall it seems ok the ride does seem a little hard but shocks are cheap enough the synchro is worn between first and second gear but its old and done 155,000 miles as long as you put the gear stick in the right place it doesn't crunch...just quirky. The speedo has a life of its own so that needs to be looked at and the clutch is pretty fierce I look forward to the pleasure of Wifey using that as she has no concept of a gentle gear change!

Overall not too shabby for a £700 motor it wants some work but you have to expect that with any old car thankfully most of these bits will be sorted as I do the work for the off road upgrades so nothing to panic about. I will keep up with the costings on this one as well to show how cheaply a tight arse like me can do this conversion for and if I manage to keep it as cheap as the series 3 I will be a very happy man!

Discovery Project Cost's

Discovery £700

Remote Batteries £8

Total £708


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The Grinder came out again...

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Mon, March 30, 2015 15:02:54

The weather has sucked in a big way all weekend with high winds and heavy rain just the ticket for when you have four days off and new toys to play with! Wifey and I did do the Easter Egg bike ride yesterday though not caring about the pouring rain and joining about 500 like minded souls on bikes to ride form Nottingham to Mansfield fire station dropping off easter eggs for kids who would otherwise be left out at this time of year. I am not saying this for praise because I am lucky to have a regular job a full belly and a roof over my head no I am telling you all about it because it is fantastic to see how people even those who are tarnished ruffians by a few will turn out regardless of weather to have some fun and pass on a bit of goodness it truly restores your faith in humanity :)

Anyway before I get too sloppy I awoke this morning to the sun in the sky and a whole day to myself so I jumped out of bed my back reminded me I am no longer 21 and set to getting the dog in the back of Bodget Brian (his new nickname) and set off for the woods to enjoy a few miles of walking with no women and no kids in tow. Bodget Brian is now the official dog walking vehicle...


After an hour or so and my dog looking like it was going to have a heart attack we headed back home and I stood thinking what I had to sort before Brian's first off road day that's coming up this Saturday.

I have been warned that it is a bit rough and deep ruts here and there especially in the entranceway that the front bumper in it's standard form would probably be an issue so I crawled underneath to see what I could do to solve this problem as I do not have a winch bumper to fit yet. Looked like the bottom trim would come off easy enough with just half a dozen bolts holding it on...


They came off in a jiffy so I set to with the grinder to cut down the bumper end trims to size...


And off it all came! At least I created a good 12" more clearance on the front end so hopefully that will be enough for now! As I looked at the finished result...


I thought the bumper metal looked a bit scruffy so a quick spray of good old poundland black paint sorted that...


Maybe a bit daft seeing as I will be replacing it shortly but hey it made me feel a bit better smartening him up a bit!

While I was underneath Bodget Brian I noticed a hole that seemed to be missing a bolt so I will have to ask folk in the know about that...


The picture is taken from below and that's the sump at the sump at the top of the picture I will update next time on what it is hopefully saving someone asking the same daft question :)

So that's Bodget for now I won't get the chance to do much if anything else before the weekend but I will throw up some pictures on how I got him stuck when we get back.


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There's a few things in the pipeline...


Posted by min200 Fri, April 03, 2015 20:52:30

There are a few things in the pipeline I can't say too much yet but watch this space!

I am also working on more for "My CV" behind the scenes here getting the order of things right before sending it out for you good folks to read about :)

Tomorrow morning see's "Bodget Brian" out for his first day off roading and there will be a big update about that over the weekend!

Mator is still up for sale and there has been interest and even a couple of insulting offers but quite frankly I would rather keep him than give him away...there are always other ways to raise the house deposit money even if it takes a year or two longer than planned.

So in short there will be more drivel from me over this Easter weekend so stay tuned folks :)

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It's a 2 1/2 litre Diesel 300tdi and they are bullet proof chap! The early TD5's had some issues electrically but they were sorted out over the first year of production. Read the next post I have abused the hell out of it this weekend and it has just shrugged and carried on :)

I will be towing a caravan soon enough with it myself!

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Mud Mud Mud & Water

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sat, April 04, 2015 20:54:40

Well the big day had arrived I awoke with a great big grin on my face today was the first day I would be going off road not only in my own motor Bodget Brian but I would be driving this time with the Nottingham Land Rover Club where as before I had only been a passenger with them.

To my surprise Wifey and the youngest daughter were also up on time so I loaded up some old wet weather gear much to a strange look from my wife wondering what that would be for along with a picnic for the three of us including the most important hot water flask for tea!

Bodget fired straight up after standing for a week proving all of my usual worrying was a waste of time thinking I would find a flat battery then we headed off for some fuel only a mile away up the road so not much charge would be going in...


But how much fuel to put in? What if he breaks down? I need to stop this crap beating myself up over nonsense that "might" happen says the more positive side of my brain and in goes £30 and Bodget fires straight up again no problems. We are meeting a few of the folk from Nottingham Land Rover Club (NLRC) on the way who will be showing us the way to Frickley so if anything was to happen to Brian we would be surrounded by Landy mechanics anyway that would by hook or by crook get us rolling again.

There was something nice about being in convoy with a couple of other Land Rovers it made you feel like you belonged to something fun with like minded nut cases that just want to play outside in their motors.

We were soon at Frickley meeting up with other members who had been camping overnight and I parked up on some solidish ground to start with Bodgets next upgrade.

The people who form the NLRC are a special breed of folk that you would be led to believe don't exist anymore they are caring fun to be around and always happy to help out. A member who I wont embarrass across the internet by naming them but you know who you are had kindly brought along a set of mud wheels that would fit Brian ready for playing off road today. Not only that but as soon as they were out next to Bodget other folk jumped in to help change them over quickly so we could go and play...



We were soon wheeled up and ready to play but seeing as this was my first time out driving one of the NLRC jumped in shotgun to help me out with some instruction on how to get around how best to drive and basically not kill my car or anyone else on the site.

I am glad he had come along because we drove around and into a muddy lane that looked like a mixture of slop and sandbanks. I best say here that this is a pay & play site not a load of green lanes that had been ruined! I took one look at what lay ahead and thought "I am never going to make it through that" but I did as I was told revving the nuts off as we started to get grounded aiming for sloppy lines that took a while to notice bouncing up and down side to side and every time I thought I had a grip on what was going on Bodget would prove me wrong by pitching and yawing completely in the opposite direction! I was loving it! Wifey and daughter were laughing like mad while bouncing around we were having a blast!

I grounded out like a beached whale soon enough and I could not get the motor moving again but I walked out into the slop and grabbed the tow strap that was wrapped around my spare wheel attached it to the accommodating fellow that was driving behind us and got dragged unceremoniously backwards and clear of our mud bank. With a run up and high revs we were over and out it was then we came to the water...I don't like water Brian is not set up for it and I was not going to be going through it. I wasn't the only one to stop either...



It was not long though before someone had a stab at it and soon enough he got stuck...


Luckily someone else had better luck getting over and pulled him out backwards back to dry land. After a few others with snorkels fitted drove over and back we took a new track that was even muddier if that was possible than the first one then we came across the first water crossing.

I have mentioned that today I don't like water I am not set up for it yet but the problem was I was second in line there was no where to turn around and there were 4 or 5 motors behind me. I don't mind saying I was a little scared in that good way when you are doing something you don't want to but also worried about wrecking my new toy. After soem assurance from my co pilot that Bodget would be fine we started wading across and made it safely to the other side with me grinning like the cat that got the cream. I felt that way for another couple of minutes until we hit the next load of water that after watching the chap in front go through it was apparent that this was a lot deeper than the first. Under instruction again I waded on using the left bank to keep my air filter intake up a bit higher but the water was deep the wave was small the revs were high and we were clear.

The relief was palpable on my part but that was then the revs dropped out. They came back again but when put under any big load they dropped out again...Hmm hey ho nothing I could do about it there and then so we ploughed on a bit and I even helped drag another Disco out of the mire which made me feel like a proper landy grown up and we headed back to camp for some food.

I have said before these folks are superb but I mean it they really are as soon as I got back I popped the bonnet up to check the engine over and half a dozen heads were straight under it looking for the problem...


One fella is a diesel mechanic by trade who shrugged his shoulders and said "you just got a bit of water in it nothing to worry about!" then another chap noticed a pipe was off of the egr valve as well and the assumption was some small amount of water must have gone in there but it had passed through ok.


The engine was ticking over nicely again but I wasn't I was knackered. It has been a hectic few weeks in my new job and I had been battling this god awful bug that is doing the rounds all week as well so I decided to cry off the afternoons session. This brought taunts of "scared you will break your car" "didn't last long chap" along with some more colourful friendly jibes and laughter but I was beat. The adrenaline had worn off and I felt like a bag of reheated crap so we washed the worst of the mud off so I could see out of the windows and headed towards home...


He drove home just fine with no more hiccups at all and I was surprised at how well he had done on fuel considering he had spent half of the day having his nuts revved off!

So all in all I have thoroughly enjoyed my first day off roading I have a sound motor that does it's job well and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much abuse these old Land Rovers can take I have been scared I have laughed I have made new friends and I have made it home with my motor all in one piece what more could you ask for?


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Derbyshire green lane.

Land Rover Rebuild

Posted by min200 Sun, April 12, 2015 18:30:17

"Shall we go green laning on Sunday?" I said online well it seemed like such a good idea at the time sat in my armchair with a cup of steaming tea by my side.

So a breezy chilly Sunday Derbyshire 10am arrived and we sat waiting for the others to turn up which to my relief a few actually did and we were soon heading off into the picturesque countryside. Now in my head I was going to be driving down gentle lanes taking in the views at a gentle pace just like I do when we are out walking...I was wrong.

I couldn't see the views because I was too busy trying to keep Bodget Brian in a straight line at a slow pace whilst bouncing up and down through deep ruts because he chose this moment to inform me that his power steering pump was at the end of life and not only refusing to play but actively sticking the wheels in the wrong direction making a tough job even harder!

I had to laugh though I thought it could only happen to me but as the day went on and after we had left two more motors had big issues with engines cutting out and drastic loss of power in that order! But we had already thrown in the towel after a couple of hours and missed these bits.

There was one downhill section that really ended it for us it was a bit tight plenty rough enough and I just couldn't keep it in any direction let alone the one I wanted...this was not what I had set in my mind while I sat in my living room asking who wanted to come out and play!...



All moaning aside it wasn't just our Brian who made it not as pleasant as I was expecting that dear reader was me. I have visions in my head of how I expect things to be and lets say they are not always realistic. I thought I would be taking in the views whilst doing my best Sunday driver impression but when I recognised this thought somewhere along a lane with yet another bank approaching fast even though it wasn't supposed to be I realised that what I was imagining WAS a Sunday drive out and all I was missing was a flask of tea then the penny dropped that was in a bag in the boot that realisation was soil destroying to start with my heart sank I decided I was old then considered what retirement options I had.

Then I accepted and a bit quickly as well because even though I want to go off roading I will with the NLRC and even though I want to green lane I will along nice flat easy ones so I don't shake up my flask of tea too much.

Wifey and I even stopped for lunch on the way home then started to giggle at each other over our dinner table in the restaurant as we looked at the fare we were about to start to eat, turns out we are sandwich tea and cake people aka old farts and we are quite happy with that :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rusty Bolts and Spray Cans

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Tue, April 21, 2015 20:57:31

We all now know I am a Sunday driver and the mickey taking has commenced in earnest but hey I can live with it I like my Sunday driving style it doesn't mess up my scones with cream and jam.

Having said that I am not going to be averse to having a play every now and then so I have been collecting parts here and there to help beef Brian up a bit so I stop worrying about breaking stuff! His latest addition is a nice steering guard to save those bars from being bent to buggery along with a nice sump guard. Both were second hand that's where the bargains are folks so I bought them sanded them back and got out the old faithful poundland special black spray and the results are pretty good...



That done I just had to "pop" them on which would of course be easy with only three bolts to undo and one extra to add for the steering guard. The sump guard went straight on no worries with just a little persuasion from a large rubber mallet and then it was time to tackle the existing three bolts for the steering guard I decided to start with the largest bolt that ran through the steering arm thingy bit and I am bloody glad I started with that one because it had been sat untouched since its first time being put there when the Disco was being built.

Not to be disheartened by the fact it would not budge at all I went and got the persuading bar which shattered the socket I was using as if was a cheap piece of tat rather that a decent expensive one and I knew then this was going to be trouble.

After losing skin blood and flesh to Mator on his rebuild I have learn't a lesson and I walked away from Brian at this point knowing I had to give this some thought. My thoughts led me to a friend who has a very good impact gun and with some bribery on my part he let me use it and thank God he did because even with this very expensive powerful tool that I was a little scared of using it took over two hours to get that bolt out of its comfy housing!

Thankfully with that done the rest of the bolts sundered easily and my newly refurbished Steering guard was put into place...


Yep it is a bit mucky in the picture but I could not be bothered to go back around to the shed and get a rag before taking the picture but you get the idea :) It now has some protection going on so hopefully I wont be such a girl when playing off road!


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No Blowers...

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sat, April 25, 2015 18:41:21

The first job on Brian should really be his steering pump but that's £80 I don't have this week so I thought I would have a stab at sorting out his blowers. There are no fans working at all which in all fairness doesn't matter a great deal at the moment but after plugging in the portable fan on the dashboard it soon becomes apparent it is about as much use as a fart in a thunderstorm and is taking up space for no reason at all.

I had an old Transit van that had the same problem with the fans not working and that ended up being the switches so I thought I would start with those. My Ebay specials soon arrived and I set to dismantling the dash board in the Disco but I got to this point and the bloody thing would not come off...


I looked and looked but could not find the problem so after a bit more confused scratching my head I popped the picture on the tinterweb and was soon told that there were two screws under the alarm flashy bar thing. Those removed it all came off so I set to testing the wiring for power and they were all fine. I then plugged in the new switches and guess what...you got it the fans still didn't work!

Oh well one thing down eh and now I have a whole new blower unit lined up to replace the old one which I will get around to asap otherwise the Winter will be upon us before it comes to mind again.

Right I am off to list some bits on Ebay to raise that money for a new steering pump...


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Diff Guards & Dust Bowls

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sat, May 02, 2015 18:11:30

It has been a hell of a week work wise. There have been loads of drivers coming through needing training so the hours were long during the day leaving me little time when I finally got home to do anything that needed looking at with Brian the Disco.

You may recall Brian's power steering pump was playing up so I had ordered him a new one in the hope of fitting it sometime during the week before we headed off to Stainby off road course with the Notts Land Rover Club today. I never did get the time so I just threw it in the boot with a bottle of power steering fluid "just in case" so really I was just hoping that the pump would hold together for the day which much to my surprise it did!

But before we headed out early this morning I had to set to last night fitting the rear diff guard the front was all sorted protection wise but the rear end was pretty lacking in any sort of cover. As I went to fit it it soon became apparent that it wouldn't fit up between the fuel tank and front of the diff so I was left with a real blonde moment trying to figure out how to get the damned thing on. Then the penny dropped and I jacked up the back end leaving enough space to fit another axle in so the guard was soon in place...


Hurrah!! All ready to play! I have to admit as most of you know I am a bit of a Sunday Driver so I was unsure of what to expect and a little apprehensive to boot but as we finally found the course after driving a couple of miles too far it turned out to be a great place! There was plenty of room and you were not committed to run come what may once you had started along it oh no you could bail out and take the easy route around each bit of it if you so chose too which suited me down to the ground!

I could be an old fart to my hearts content but the strangest thing started to happen while we were driving around...I grew a pair of balls taking steeper hills than ever before as well as ruts that I realised were fine for our Brian who was egged on because this time around he had some sort of protection front and back.

I felt the steering guard catching things I would have before mortified of hitting and for the most part the ground was solid but we did manage to find enough puddles to make a right muddy mess of the old boy...


There were plenty of challenges suited for all levels of folks abilities including a pleasant Sunday amble with nice views if you so wanted it. Wifey got a lesson in how to drive off road as well so is now itching to see what damage she can cause NO NO I mean she cannot wait to start enjoying some off roading of her own...I best start bringing a van full of spares because that woman knows no fear!

Here's a couple of pics of the day itself...



So Brian has had some fun again and I am glad we bought him but the conversion will have to continue though. I have to fit his snorkel a 2 " lift kit and slightly bigger wheels to start with but I have to save up for these bits, apart from the snorkel which I have already bought, and I will be trying to source all parts as cheaply as I can again keeping the price down.

My next day out with these good folks will be on the 31st May at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham at a classic car show so if you are free come down and say hello I will have "Mator" my Series 3 from "The Project Has Landed" with me as well.


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Rough & Rubber

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sun, May 03, 2015 19:28:49

I skimmed over on yesterdays blog the fact that I jumped into a mates Series Landy while he jumped into my Discovery to teach Wifey how to drive off road because let's face it I would not be much use there being the Sunday driver I am.

So here I was sitting in this 88" Series with a 200tdi engine conversion wondering how hard the thing was going to hit me once I started going along on leaf springs with no power steering but I did not have too much time to ponder though because as I have said before Wifey is a secret petrol head and she was gone in a flash. So I selected third gear nearly stalled it cursed to myself found first in the typically soupy series gearbox thanking god in my mind that it wasn't just mine that was like it and shot off like a bullet out of a gun forgetting I was in low range with loads of tdi power to play with!

I instantly by more luck than judgement found second and was away. I bounced around grappling with the steering wheel which seemed determined to either lose itself from my grip or break my hands whichever came first.

As I hit ruts and hills I noticed the old boy was very happy just tanking along as if none of it was there whist I sat snugly in the bucket seat that was stopping me from either going through the windscreen or taking a quick exit out if the drivers door. I was bounced thrown around slammed around and I got out of it twenty minutes later smiling like an idiot from ear to ear proclaiming "I want one like this!"

Now don't get me wrong I don't think I could stand a whole day in an 88" anymore than I could stand a whole day in Mator my 109" but I do think Mator will be coming along a time or two this year to the more gentle sites we visit for a bit of a play.

Still today was a wet one as you all will know so chores all morning for me until the sun made an appearance this afternoon when I headed out to Brian the Discovery having to change his wheels. The mud tyres are great fun but noisy which I can live with but one of those now has no tread across over a third of it so the old wheels that came on Brian have been sprayed up and refitted until I source a replacement tyre...


The wheels don't look too bad but I will be happy to see the alloys back on and a nice second hand Insa Dakar has to be sourced cheaply because I still want to put a 2" lift kit on him so bigger wheels will be in the pipeline in a while anyway.

We really enjoyed our off road day yesterday and a big part of that was because we are finally getting the right kit on board protecting Brian which as I have said before puts my mind at rest. Wifey couldn't give a monkeys she just like to drive fast or hard off road and if anything breaks she just looks at me shrugs and says "It needs fixing again"


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sunshine & Snorkels

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Fri, May 15, 2015 22:57:47

It has been a long week. I have been covering 12 hour night shifts at work to grab the night drivers for training and I have to say I tip my hat to those of you that work nights on a permanent basis because every fibre of my being screamed against it. I wanted to sleep at work but no matter how tired I was during the night I could not sleep when I got home. No no I could not I have had literally had ten hours sleep over five days which has proven to me that I can function without killing anybody on very little sleep.

The plus side to this shift pattern which is now thankfully over is that I now have a three day weekend! Today being Friday I had the house to myself with no chores so I set to getting on with Brian the Discovery as all of those little jobs are now adding up that need sorting.

Today's challenge then was to fit the actual snorkel to the body work but it was a second hand snorkel that came with no template...


Added to this it's a snorkel off of a 200tdi and I have a 300tdi so there will end up being some changes under the bonnet to make it work. Still the air box issue is for later first I had to fit the actual snorkel so out came a large piece of cardboard that I used as a template drawing the holes I needed onto it then measuring up against Brian I taped it into place...


Then I measured it all again felt a bit sick measured again and took the drill to the wing cutting out the holes needed...


I filed off the off the rough edges knocked out the inner wing as well in the premarked hole...


So with all that done as well as the holes drilled for the bolts to come through to hold the snorkel in place I offered it up to see if it would fit...I was very nervous at this point but hey I had already made the holes so it was all or bust.

It fit into place nicely!!...


I quick tip for those of you about to have a stab at this put a lot of electrical tape around your drill head to protect it from the sharp body work...


I have thought ahead about what to do with the air box issue and bought a 200tdi box along with the snorkel. So I took that apart cleaned it up and resealed it all together again to make it water tight...


so that will be fitted into place at some point over this weekend because today was my youngest's birthday and my parents were on their way up to come out for a nice birthday meal which wasn't that nice, the meal that is not my parents, and what made it worse was when the waitress poured a scolding cup of hot chocolate down my back but hey better me than one of the kids I suppose.

So the sun was out all day and I am glad to see Brian heading the right way ready for whatever off roading can throw his way but he still stinks of wet dog so a replacement interior is next on the list to buy!


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Sucks & Snorkels

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sat, May 23, 2015 12:46:54

Just been pottering around on Brian the Discovery wanting to change his steering pump but he doesn't want to give up his old one so advice is being sought about that.

But I realised as I was staring at him imagining what he will look like with his lift kit that I had not tested the snorkel out yet to see if it works properly...


So I grabbed a thick plastic bag, I had mental images of a supermarket one being sucked into the air box leaving me to break any seals I already put in place, hooked it up and over the top of the snorkel and within a few seconds the engine stalled.

With a smile on my face I removed the bag and Brian fired up again straight away so I now do not have to panic whenever we come across any deep water off roading.

Don't get me wrong I haven't changed in myself I am still a Sunday Driver and proud of it but the worry is now gone if I am forced to wade even though I wouldn't want to!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Really not playing...

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Mon, June 01, 2015 15:53:52

Brian is quite frankly getting right on my tits. Whatever I set out to do to him he fights it every last step of the way. There is no doubt I enjoy driving him and I am enjoying getting him off road ready but where as Mator my Series 3 was happy being restored Brian is like a grumpy toddler that is not interested in giving you any help at all in what needs doing.

For example today was a nice day off for me and I thought I would just potter along with the few bits that needed doing to him so I chose adjusting the handbrake as a starting point. Not a hard job I hear you say and indeed dear reader you are quite correct it is not a hard job but being the first of the cross overs between the 200tdi and the 300tdi Brian does have a few quirks and after stripping out the electric window buttons I noticed that he had the later version of the handbrake that is adjusted from underneath. So off I toddled to get my baby grow on and crawl underneath him for this fun chore. The bottom of the motor is still caked in dried mud that somehow never seems to drop off of him until you climb underneath when it happily rains down upon me in ever increasing amounts it seems.

After removing the gator I immediately saw that whoever had changed the lever cable over last time had omitted to fit the retaining nut to hold the tension in place. Hey ho that explains why the handbrake is pants then so I did what I could and headed under the bonnet to fit the EGR blanking plate and new pipe.

The engine was warm so I didn't think the bolts would put up too much of a fight but as I went to put the ratchet in place it fouled up against the actual egr valve and because of this it wouldn't slot into place...you could not make this up.

I then had a hunt around my toolbox but nothing smaller came up so my only other option was the steering pump replacement but I have danced that dance before and I was feeling a mite fed up at this point so I walked away from it all.

I am about to buy a 2" lift kit for Brian but who knows what can of worms that's going to open up! He will probably fall apart never to run again knowing my luck...


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Caravans & Sunshine

The Discovery Project...

Posted by min200 Sat, June 06, 2015 18:57:36

Today we took a step further towards achieving our Old Git status...we bought a caravan. Now it's a nice little two berth thing from 1983 that suits us down to the ground size wise and will be used primarily when we are out with the Landy Club off roading. That was the plan but Wifey is already making noises about taking off for weekends away which I don't suppose would be a bad thing providing it's to somewhere we can have a bit of fun. (By fun I mean walking through the hills, looking at old buildings, drinking and eating in nice places...I should probably already qualify for that Old Git Badge)

So Wifey was all smiles when we collected it and smiling even more when we got it to it's new parking up place and she could get in and have an explore around on how it all worked...



But after a couple of hours of pottering we decided we really did have to eat so popped into a pub a few miles down the road for some lunch. That sorted we took Brian on a magical mystery tour one last time through country lanes on his road tyres. We ended up back at the riverside so I took a couple of last shots of him on these wheels...



We wondered what this selfie thing was all about so had a stab at that as well after a few minutes of fumbling with the phone we nailed it...


I am excited for tomorrows plan of fitting the two inch lift kit and new wheels to Brian and who knows it might make me a bit more adventurous off road! The sun was out all day, I love this time of year, but the wind was blowing well just taking the edge off of it's warmth. That didn't stop us driving down the road a few miles and getting an ice cream though :)


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Height & Heat

The Discovery Project...

Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, June 07, 2015 19:04:18

Well the day has finally arrived to put Brian a big step toward being a grown up off roader, it was time to fit the 2" lift kit and bigger wheels to him.

I popped into Sainsburys on the way to pick up a snacky lunch and a few cans of pop for those good folk that had volunteered their tome today to help me out then set off down the road to start pulling Brian apart.

A quick hello from Wayne who was helping me today and he passed me straight off to another fella called Matt because he was just shooting off to drop off another motor he had helped someone out with but not before giving Matt and I our instructions on getting Brian's ass off of the floor on axle stands, removing his wheels and old springs and shocks. Shouldn't be a problem that but for one issue we had from the out which was we could not find the axle stands. We were told they were in the shed but even after we emptied it we could not find the buggers and it was not until Wayne got back and asked if we had looked up at the shelf high in the air , we hadn't, at the two bright red axle stands that were just waiting to be used. So with that problem solved we set to stripping off the rear wheels shocks springs and anti-roll bars. I had soaked the nuts and bolts last night and this morning with WD40 so they came off ok with the minimal of grunting on my part and with some guidance soon had the new ones in place.

We fitted the new wheels and Brian was soon taking shape...


We freed off the front shocks jacked it high and then put in the new shocks and springs...



Right then I need to point out something about the springs here and it will save you some time and grief... The thicker longer lift springs go on the REAR AXLE and the lower slightly thinner springs go on the FRONT AXLE. Now there was a chap helping out today that struggled for many hours not so long ago to fit hos new shocks and springs only to find when he was done the Disco pointed down to the ground because the springs were on the wrong axles, he then had to start all over again. Now I would not be so mean as to name Matt on this blog that is read by many people because that would be cruel!

As well as helping me out these good folk soon cracked open a BBQ to cook burgers and sausages so none of us were going to be going hungry in the hot sunshine today! Why does it seem whenever I am off out doing some work to a Landy with other folk that the suns shines high and hot in the sky? I am not complaining about the good weather there's nothing worse than working in the rain but the sunburn on my neck is a little raw as I write this ;)

I have to admit here that Wayne really took over on the front springs and shocks because "it would be quicker" and I just became his bitch running tools and gear for him but I am not going to complain about that because he still showed me every step of the way on changing them over.

It soon looked like this...


Talk about the Mutts nuts!!!!!! Brian is starting to look like a grown up now and I am pleased as punch with him. I was worried about what the rims would look like and considered painting them black before they were fitted but I am glad I didn't as I think the green looks good.

Now you would think these chaps had given up enough of their time by now but oh no Wayne jumped in under the bonnet and ripped the EGR valve out and fitted the blanket kit that has been sat in my boot for a few weeks! Yet another job ticked off of the never ending list!


I drove home as happy as a kid in a sweet shop with Brian handling better than he ever has since I have owned him so the old shocks must have been pretty worn out. I pulled up on the drive next to my Series 3 Mator and could not believe how much higher Brian now sits...


He is slightly higher than Mator so should now be much more fun off road!

I would just like to say a massive thank you again to both Wayne and Matt for all of their help today. It never ceases to amaze me how Land Rover folk all chip in together helping out and passing on knowledge to each other and I am now proud to say I am part of that group, I only hope I can pass on as much as everyone else seems to do!


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Bars & Blinkers

The Discovery Project...

Posted by Nicky Smith Fri, June 12, 2015 21:25:53

I have just had to read back through my own blog to see what the last post was about because it has been that sort of crazy busy week with work and life which has left me a tad more confused than normal.

So with that bit of revision done I now know where to carry on with our Brian's modifications and there have been a couple this week in between the chaos of working stupid long hours but the long lighter nights have given me time which is nice!

I picked up a light bar at the weekend and at eight thirty one evening this week I decided out of the blue that there was more than enough light to work by and that seeing as we live on the main ring road four holes being drilled wouldn't be too much noise so I set to work getting it on...


Looks good enough to me :) So I then pestered a friend who's an auto electrician at the Landy club meet to instruct me on how to wire it up. Bless him he was so patient as I stood looking confused then went to get a pen and paper drawing out a dumbass's description of what to do with a relay when I piped up "I have one of those that came with the Disco" and promptly ran out and got it to proudly show him I understood what he was saying. He grinned at me and confirmed that was the one so all I need to do this weekend is pick up an inline fuse and see if I can fry my cars electrics.

On top of this I ordered myself some new clear indicator lenses which arrived today and I decided to fit after my dinner.

Of course it then started to rain while I was eating my dinner but no dear reader I am no fair weather fixer so I donned my dog walking fleece, much to the dogs excitement then disappointment when it became clear I hadn't picked up a lead and no walk was in the offering, and braved the warm rain to fit my shiny new lenses...


Now I am sorry if my excitement seems a bit much over a pair of lights seems a bit much but I love the way they look! It changes the whole front end of Brian's face and even Wifey and my daughters pretended they thought they were great so I cannot be wrong or alone here in my thinking!

The weekends job is to see if I can adjust the front wheels to stop the new wheels rubbing on full lock but for now it's back to my pint of Hobgoblin...


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Steering & Lights

The Discovery Project...

Posted by Nicky Smith Sun, June 14, 2015 19:18:58

The weather has been crap. Not just a bit pants on a weekend day but pouring down get sodden within minutes when you go out in it sort of fun. So Saturday was a complete wash out from the moment I got up to the minute I went to bed much to my frustration!

I did nip over to see some new friends who were then going off laning but I cried off with every intention of fitting the wheel spacers I had just acquired of of them when I got back but it rained and rained and quite frankly I thought "Bugger that".

Imagine my surprise this morning when I got up and the sun was out! My first thought was to jump on with Brian's new mods but the more sensible part of my brain told me to get my backside out walking in Derbyshire with Wifey which we promptly did. A steady walk of only four or so miles in the stunning green countryside around the Matlock/Cromford area set us up for a nice lunch at the canal side and just as we were done the heavens opened once again!

By the time we got home it had eased away so I jumped onto Brian with the help of my youngest daughter who was really happy to have her picture taken without brushing her hair and all that other stuff young women do because they think they need to...


First wheel off and the spacer in place because the new tyres rub badly on full lock and the adjusters have a) no thread left to wind out much b) the nearside bolt is seized solid...


It didn't take too long to get all four fitted but I must have twisted a bit oddly at some point because as I write this my back is aching enough to warn me of both my stupidity and warning me that I have done enough for one day!...




The wheels sit a nice 30mm further out than they did before and now I can use full lock without skinning the inside of my tyres off!

I then jumped onto wiring in the light bar with the idiot proof instructions another friend had given me. Amazingly I managed to do it without burning out any wiring systems on the motor but only two of the lights on the bar will work at the moment.

At this point the heavens opened again so I jumped into Brian and called the friend who gave the idiot instructions who suspects there may be a wiring fault or bad earth in the light bar itself.

I will check that theory out during the week when it is a bit dryer so for now I have tidied up the tools, locked up Brian's doors and come indoors for a nice roast dinner and maybe a cheeky beer to go with it.


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