Fingers Crossed

MOT booked in for tomorrow. Going to sleep with everything crossed tonight, but to be honest I’m expecting a fail.

As I said in the previous post, brake imbalance is the most likely – or perhaps a leak somewhere. Maybe the seats aren’t bolted down securely enough or perhaps the fuel tank seals are knackered. The shock absorber bushes are a bit crappy too!

I’m long past my late November deadline, due to some problems with batteries and charging. I popped out to the drive just after my last post to find the batteries dead as doornails. The only cause I can think of is that I left the heater switched on. Shouldn’t make a difference, but clearly something did!

Charged the batteries, started the engine and found that the bloody thing wasn’t charging. The charge warning light was flickering slightly and the battery voltage stayed down at 24.5v or so. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at this point.

A few posts on the EMLRA forums and a bit of money spent and The Duke now has a new generator cable and a brand new set of 075 batteries. Quite an expensive set of purchases, especially since they didn’t actually fix anything. Well, OK, they did help but they were not the silver bullets I’d hoped for.

Wiggling the old cable where it attaches to the generator panel had always caused the charge warning light to flicker. The new cable fixes this and I can refurbish the old one over the winter. It didn’t make a difference to the charging problem though. The new batteries provide a massive chunk of finest umph to the starter and hold a voltage of over 25v when disconnected – but they didn’t fix the problem either.

In the end I took the generator panel to bits to check around in there. Found that everything is working as it should, so moved on to the shunt panel. There are two supplies from the generator panel to the shunt panel, one for the radio batteries and one for the vehicle batteries. I found that the radio supply (which was disconnected as I have no radio batteries) was reading 30v, while the vehicle supply was down at 24v. So, in the end I swapped them over and hey presto, it works!

Lord only knows why the vehicle supply is reading so low. Anyway, I have a charging Land Rover again and I can debug the problem later on. On the plus side, using the radio supply and shunt means I get an ammeter reading, showing the current passing from generator to batteries. Looks cool and actually gives me some feedback about what’s going on.

Anyway, that’s why I’m so late. Keep those fingers crossed and I’ll report back tomorrow!

Odd Jobs

Did a load of odd jobs today and fancied posting some pictures of my handiwork! The Duke is starting to look much smarter now, with refitted dash, new seats and a fancy spare wheel strap.

Very smart!

Pretty secure (though still got the wrong size tyre on!)

The interior is getting there – and Lorna’s offered to help me get it sparkling clean tomorrow!

The new fuse box with light supply in orange (from starter solenoid) and wires back to lights in blue/red and blue/yellow. Used 7.5A fuses, which gives 180W max for the lights.

Washer Worries Wiped Away

Wednesday: washers and wipers working, without wasting wonga on weplacements.

A new wiper switch is an expensive thing – £25 for a single speed and £35 or more for a two speed version. Turns out The Duke has single speed wipers, but I have a two speed switch, which I got with the replacement dash (thanks again to whoever robbed the original!).

As I’ve mentioned before, the washer button which screws into the back of the switch snapped off, then I managed to snap another one off another switch from a second dashboard. I’ve been having problems trying to find a cheap fix ever since. In the end I took the knackered wiper switch to Maplins to search for a momentary push-to-make switch that’d fit into the back. Maplins being Maplins, I didn’t find exactly what I wanted but this time I did find something to do the job…

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=34489

A decent quality push button for a reasonable price. After filing the hole a bit bigger, it fits in there snuggly and even tapped its own thread into the plastic. Soldered on the appropriate wires and the job is a good ‘un!


Sadly, I think my park switch is knackered. When connected up, it blows a fuse when the wipers get to the park position. Not exactly great for the middle of a rain storm, so I’ve left the park supply disconnected and will just have to twiddle the wipers off at the right moment! Here’s a pic of the wiper motor for the sake of it…

Rear lights

Just a quick post to say I’m almost finished with the rear lights. The fuse box works well and looks reasonably smart mounted in the engine compartment.


Interesting, there are two wires in the loom which I can’t find a use for! I suspect they are trailer related, but can’t be sure. I made the new loom as an exact copy of the old rather than using the circuit diagram. Anyway, I’ve left the cables disconnected and can attach them should I ever need them!

Only thing left to do on the rear loom is sort out the tail light connection in the military dash. I disconnected this after the short circuit earlier in the year and now need to get it wired back in somehow!


Also mounted the headlight relays behind the air filter. The tips of the self-tappers can be seen through the grille, so maybe should replace with nuts and bolts. Will do for now though!

You light up my life…

…well, strictly speaking, just the bit of my life that lies in front of The Duke. Got some snazzy halogen headlights fitted this week. Pretty simple job, though it did cost a little more than expected.

It all started because I needed to replace the old rusty reflectors in my original lights. After a huge amount of fruitless research, I found the part number embossed on the front of the lights themselves – “FV 157942″. Found them on the P A Blanchard’s website for a whopping £55 for the pair. That’s a lot of money to repair lights that will be about as bright as a pair of glow worms in jars balanced on the bumper. So I decided to investigate the idea of fitting some much brighter Halogen bulbs.

Looks rather smart with his new eyes.

Found everything I needed, including relays, lights, wire, connectors and 24v bulbs on Vehicle Wiring Products, who I have to say are pretty darned good. Less than 24 hours after ordering everything I needed (for £70 or so) everything I needed was on my desk. Well, almost everything…

Turned out I only ordered one light! So I had to spend another £25 on another identical light which, within 24 hours of me realising my mistake, was on my desk! So, it cost me about £50 more than originals would have cost, but I’m very happy with the results.

A pair of 24v relays close to their new home.

Decided to use relays to lower the current which flows through the headlight/indicator stalk. This has been suggested time and time again on the forums, seems like a good idea. Not mounted the relays yet, but the plan is to put them on the radiator housing, just under the bonnet. That way they’re nice and close to the lights themselves, which seems to make sense.

Worth mentioning that I also replaced all the wiring for the lights, removing the bulky military bullet connectors and nasty old cables.

Halogen bulbs look much brighter and have a much purer white than the filament bulb in the sidelights.

Looking quite smart I think.

Good Progress!

I got up early today – on a Saturday – to get a full day working on The Duke. I’ve finished now, with seven hours of hard work done, a slight sunburn and a big smile on my face! After a long soak in the bath I’m going to hit the beers and celebrate.

“Celebrate what?” I hear you cry. Well, today I ticked off a fair few things from last week’s To-Do list and I drove The Duke backwards and forwards a bit, which always makes me happy!

First off, I got the pressure washer out – kindly lent to us by Lorna’s boss – and cleaned off the drive, the chassis and the underside of the tub. With a nice clean surface to paint (decided to leave any old covering which withstood the Karcher) I could whack a thick coat of underseal on and get it looking smart. Well, smart for the underside of a twenty year old car anyway!

Undersealing the tub.

I also got another coat on the rear of the chassis, which is now quite thickly smeared up with the stuff. Special thanks go to the seagull which did a poo on the chassis just after I’d applied the final brushload!

Next on the list was the throttle linkage – huge thanks to Satancom from the Land Rover Forums for sending me his old linkage. I couldn’t find the part number anywhere and was starting to worry, so his help was invaluable. Even more kudos to him for asking only for a £5 donation to the forum – something I was happy to do.

The carb-throttle linkage finally in place!

Task number three was done while the paint dried – making up the rear wiring loom. I used a couple of screws in the fence to fix the cables, in a poor attempt to copy the pin boards they use in cable factories (my week’s work experience at 16 wasn’t wasted after all!) then taped them all together with a whole roll of rubber binding tape.

Making the wiring loom.

Fixed it to the chassis with cable ties, adding a couple of clips of my own but mainly using holes already there. I tried to follow the path that the brake pipes take, as I assume somebody at Land Rover thought they’d be in a safe place!

The new wiring runs along the inside of the chassis.

And finally, the biggest worry left on the project is now a thing of the past! I got The Duke to charge his own batteries! Decided that before I faffed about testing all the cables and components in the rather complicated charging circuitry, I’d try out the spare generator I got at Sodbury earlier in the year. Guess what… it worked! I now get a constant 27.8v across the battery terminals when the engine is running.

Two generators. The new one was from a lightweight, so the mounting needed swapping to the other side.

This is a massive relief, as the unknown scares me a bit. OK, I have half a degree in electronics, but I was far from happy with having to test the generator circuits out myself! Having such a quick fix work first time is something to really be happy about!

Just to prove I have a charge

All this good news obviously needs to be tempered with a bit of bad – and there was some bad news today. Annoyingly, I found another outrigger that is totally and utterly knackered. That makes two which need replacing and I only have spare parts for one. Also, this one is under the cab, so will be a right pain to get to.

You may ask how I failed to notice such a thing and the fact is that I didn’t. It was actually the first bit of rust I noticed when we picked The Duke up from Witham, but time had erased my memory of this tragic moment and I’d totally forgotten about it.

So, tomorrow will be a day of grinding and welding. Joy!

Another To Do List

Here’s an attempt at a list of things to do before the tub goes back on. Plenty to do this weekend!

  • Patch/replace rusty outriggers – DONE
  • Strip/clean rest of chassis (including front under wings/engine) – DONE
  • Strip/clean bottom of tub – DONE
  • Underseal entire chassis three times! – DONE
  • Underseal bottom of tub at least twice – DONE
  • Waxoyl inside of chassis and drill access/drain holes – DONE
  • Make and attach rear wiring loom (clip/cable tie to chassis) – DONE
  • Clip brake pipes back on – DONE
  • Fix charging problem (try spare generator) – DONE
  • Replace missing prop shaft nut – DONE

And just as an exercise in optimism, here’s a list of things to do before the MOT. Luckily I already have most of the parts I need to do these jobs, but I’m sure something expensive will crop up!

  • Get the tub on – DONE
  • Get the roof back on! – DONE
  • Carb throttle linkage (Haynes pp. 3.9) – DONE
  • Renew fuel tank fixings and reattach
  • Left door repair – DONE
  • Right door repair – DONE
  • Rear door repair – DONE
  • Rewire fuel gauges
  • Bolt bulkhead to new outrigger – DONE
  • Wire up the rear lights (with new fuse box in engine bay)
  • New headlights – DONE
  • Fix charging problem (as above) – DONE
  • Wing mirrors – DONE
  • Wiper switch
  • Realign driver’s door
  • Bolt on new bracing bracket – DONE
  • Screen washer tubing
  • Get new tyres transfered onto wheels
  • Put new seats in and ensure they are clamped into place correctly
  • Reflectors – DONE
  • Brake light switch
  • Headlight wiring
  • Passenger door check rod bracket