Monday, 30 March 2009

Nearly finished

Sorry for the rather blurry photo folks, but its the best I could manage... camera phones and all that.

However, as can be seen, Bitsa is nearly complete now - the most major job remaining is the electrics....

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Despsite a bad start

Today didn't start well - NOG had her back diff go bang while I was heading up to the farm. All was eventually sorted (sèe for the full story) and I ended up at the farm around lunchtime.

A quick dose of lunch and then I set out to tackle the dreaded brakes. A new wheel cylinder was found and fitted, and then I bled the back end of the brakes. I got some pedal but I'm not really satisfied yet - I think some more bleeding and a round of adjustment is in order...
Still, I ran her up and the yard a few times, and and she does stop, and in a straight line too - how's that for a novel concept.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Tomorow's mission fully working brakes. Before Monday's disaster I was close to success, with a firm pedal first push of the brakes... Then I will have to run her round the yard, and see if they pull to one side. Once that is done, the main remaining jobs are the rest of the front bodywork, and some electrics... then I will need to find some pennies, and a friendly MOT man. Popular rumor has it that the place I've used in the past has a new super-vigorous tester - if that is the case then I'm debating trying elsewhere.

That said, I've not yet had a signifiant fail with any of the various sheds I own dispite their usual well worn appearances. And this place does free re-tests, so I've not a lot to lose I'm theory...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Just when everything was going to plan...

I thought that things were going well tonight. I guessed (correctly) which wheel had the leaking brake cylinder, yanked the drum off, pulled the seals out, stuck new ones in, bled it some, and got reasonable pedal.

Then disaster struck. I decided to bleed the rear wheels to see if that got a better pedal. The bleed screw on the wheel I tried was stiff, but eventually undid. I pumped some fluid through, wedged the pedal down, and did the screw up, or rather tried to. The thread in the wheel cylinder stripped with almost no force on it. On taking the screw out I found the reason - the screw had rusted in the cylinder, and when it was undone, it had removed most of the thread from the cylinder. The little that remained had failed when I tried to tighten it all back up.

The scary thing about this is that had I been a fraction more gentle, the little bit of thread remaining might have held... until such time as I hit the brakes really hard - when it might have blown out, which would cause total brake failure. I would now advise anyone who finds they have a stiff bleed screw to remove and check it properly - just in case it too is partially stripped.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Aternative uses for a landrover door - 1

Had you been up the yard on saturday night, you would have seem a strange sight.
Two men, both holding landrover doors, advancing on an angry pig.

We had had an "escapee" from the pigs version of Coldiz and in order to stop it rampaging round the site, we grabbed the nearest stuff to hand and started stalking the pig. Some planks, a sheet of crinkley tin and some hurdles later, we had a pathway for our pig to follow, so then we pursued it waving some Landrover doors...

Oh the fun of working on ones motor in the middle of a functioning farm.

NOG is still going strong... and I did manage to do some stuff on Bitsa. She has a seatbox and the battery just fits into the tray under the passenger seat. (type 017) if anyone is interested. I spent a small fortune on a new battery cable, which has meant that I no longer have to hold a load of wires together to get her started.

Tonight I'm planning of stipping the front brakes, in an effort to find which cylinder is leaking - wish me luck...

Friday, 13 March 2009

Two steps forward - one step back.

I finally plumbed the brakes up on Tuesday, bled them, and got what seemed at least reasonable pedal. Imagine my joy on ariving the yard last night and finding that the all the fluid had escaped. Looks like I've got a dead wheel cylinder, so tomorrow's mission will probably involve sorting that. I've also got to retorque NOG's head gasket, and would like to fix her handbrake. This item seems to be a constant source of trouble - it is more often broken than working. Hill starts when the engine is cold and running rough are rather more than fun without it...

In other news, my regular readers, if such I have, may be interested to know that this site is getting a revamp. I'm currently building a test version of a new front page, which will allow me to distance myself from the blogger default front page that is currently in use. This will have various virtues (no-redirect from the domian name for one), and should also allow me to maintain a seperate NOG blog, which I can intergrate into the front page. If others with landy blogs are interested, in theory I could gradually turn the SeriesLandrover pages into a portal that houses several different Landy blogs, and possibly other content... Once I have a front page that seems to work robustly, I'll change over from the redirect page, and see how things go...

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I didn't touch Bitsa last night

...cos I instead spent an evening recomissioning NOG. She had been sat about since October with exahust issues.

I was going to sort her our after Bitsa, but the fact that my SIII chassis has very much met the end of the road has forced me to change my plans. The front chassis legs both have massive cracks, and only tactical use of the much loved ratchet straps enabled me to get her home without the use of a big yellow lorry.

Anyway, I'd forgotten what the grin factor of a 2.6 is. Nail it in any gear, and unlike the 2.25D, you get this enthusiastic roar as she surges forwards. Being a 109" it actually goes round corners propperly as a bonus.

She does however need two new propshafts - the front is missing, and the rear bent... the vibrations from the back when one is gets over 50mph tempt one to caution. I must confess I did touch 70mph on the bypass on the way home from from the yard, just because I was enjoying myself so much... its ages since I've been over 60mph in a Landy.

All this leaves me kind of wondering what Bitsa will be like. From driving round the yard, the 200di seems to have more bottom end poke than the 2.6, but I suspect it will trail off badly as one goes faster, unlike the six... I suppose if I get my act together, I may find out shortly...

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Life at last.

Bitsa actually is starting to look like a landrover now. She has sprouted a rear tub, and actually runs about under her own power.

I've fitted the Automec brake pipes, but I can't honestly say I'm that impressed. Next rebuild I'll be back making my own pipes I think. The Automec stuff was OK, but the master cyl union was wrong (in fairness, it is a Bitsa), and all the pipes were around 8" too long. Finding space for an extra 8" of pipe is rather more than trying, although I managed by mounting the T block on the bulkhead rather than the chassis. Next mission is to try bleeding the little beggars.

The 200 seems very at home ticking away in the chassis, but the gearbox rattles a lot when its not in drive. I'm hoping its not anything serious - I've also got to find the bits of the gearlever I've lost, as I'm currently selecting gear with a lump hammer...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Almost time for a test drive.

The point where Bitsa will actually move under her own power got quite close tonight. I now have a working clutch, and have nearly finished putting the gearbox back together. It is supposed to be a good box, but it arrived less the handbrake assembly, rear output shaft and the overdrive cover plate. I spent most of tonight raiding the old box by the light of the SIII's headlights, then fitting the bits on the new box. Getting the handbrake drum nuts undone with no engine attached to lock the box is fun. However, they eventually gave in and undid. I think that the sight of the lump hammer worked wonders on them - that and the knowledge that when the lump hammer fails my next weapon tends to be the gas axe.

To drive her now all I have to do is finsh messing with the gearbox, fit the rear propshaft, connect up the steering, and fix the engine oil leak. To say I can't wait is almost understatement, but I will have to hold myself in patience until thursday night, as that is my next chance to play.