When he bought it I gave the engine an oil change (Chevron Supreme 10w40 A3/B4),changed all the engines filters and changed the oil again 12 months ago even though it had only done 1500miles. Other than that it's been to a mechanic who I'm sure bought his indentures for a clutch, slave and timing belt.
Looking through the service history it seemed to be meticulously looked after until it was about 10 years old. After that it's had around 5 owners including my Father and there's very little in the way of bills.
Earlier this year my Father got caught drink driving (don't worry, I think he's a tool too!) so I decided to adopt the Defender for the next 2 years until he gets his licence back.
First thing I done though when I picked it up was check the tyre pressures and tank it up with diesel. I parked it up in Tescos carpark and walked across town for a haircut. When I got back there was a puddle of diesel under the drivers side of the car. It would seem that the tank is rotten around the centre line and is weeping and I ended up driving it up and down the motorway for an hour trying to drop the fuel level somewhat!
My only other experience driving a 4x4 is driving my Mothers 2013 Suzuki Jimmny which at just 4 hours old I dunked in the Ogmore river! The Jimny is underpowered, slow, 'wandery' and generally crap to drive. I was quite surprised when I got in the Defender. It feels very solid, it doesn't wander and even cruising at 'outside lane' speeds it's very settled even though the engine is screaming it's tits off!
Today, I threw the keys at my Missus and we drove from Bridgend up to Ebbw Vale to pick some garden bits up. My Missus absolutely hauled it up the A4060 which is a 4 mile long STEEP dual carriageway at full throttle. Half way up the hill I can smell a horrendous burning and told her to back off convinced the engine was getting a bit hot. A few miles later and the smell wasn't getting any better so we pulled over on the A465 to find the bonnet lining on fire just above the turbo!
I ripped out the burning lining and threw it on some wet grass on the side of the road before making sure it went out, stuffed it in a bin and continued on our journey!
My Missus usually moans driving anything other than her own car but 50 miles in a filthy, smelly and wet Defender she didn't moan once! Not even about her soaking wet feet where water was dripping under the dash or having her hair in a mess as you HAD to drive with the window open because it smells so bad.
So 24 hours with a Defender and I certainly have fallen for it's charm. I love the low down grunt of the 300TDi and the general agricultural feel of it. I'm sure my Missus is won over too but she's staying very quiet about it and not admitting anything.
I think it's obvious though that I need to do some work on it. It drives lovely, no worrying noises. It was a good truck when he bought it but I think if it isn't given some TLC soon it's going to turn into a dog very very quickly. My Father has agreed to pay for anything within reason and I don't mind stumping up for a few bits and bobs.
The car was waxoyled early on in life and has been done every few years since. I've had a poke around and the only rust I can see is on the rear crossmember.
I'm planning on getting rid of the loose bits, treating all the rust with Bilt Hamber products and welding two plates over it. The entire underside is going to get the old waxoyl stripped and I'm going to protect it with Bilt Hamber Dynax UB and S50 for the cavities. Hopefully that keeps the chassis sound for a few years unit I have the room to do a full chassis swap.
I've now done a good 300miles in the Defender the last week or two and got a real feel for it.
- Water Ingress From Alpine Windows
- Water Ingress From Front Vents
- Water Ingress From Windscreen Hinges
- Clunks/Clinks When Taking Up Drive In 3rd, 4th & 5th
- Clutch Fluid Keeps Dropping (Not Long Had New Clutch & Slave)
- Battery Light Stays On Until You Give The Engine A Little Rev
- Windscreen Wipers Wont Park And Noisy
- Rotten Fuel Tank
- High Handbrake
- Rear Crossmember Rust
- Rocker Cover Leak
- New Gauges (Rev Counter, Fuel gauge, Water Temp, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp & Boost)
- Full Engine Service (Oil + Filter, Fuel Filter, Air Filter, Valve Lash & Valve Caps)
- Transmission Oil Change (Diffs, Transfer Box & Gearbox)
- EGR Removal & Intake Clean
- Fix All Interior Leaks
- Rip Out Interior And Clean/Wet Vac
- Get Crossmember Patched Up
- Remove Old Waxoyl & Protect With Bilt Hamber Products
- Replace Window Wiper Park Switch, Cables And Wiper Boxes
- Rustoleum 'Rolled-On' Paint Job (Unsure What Colour? White?)
- Overhaul Cooling System (Radiator, Water Pump, Thermostat)
- Electric Fan Conversion
- Replace Fuel Tank
- Interior Retrim
- Remove LR Alarm/Immob & Replace With Aftermarket
- Brakes Overhaul
I've been 'umming and 'arring about what gauges to fit and I found some gauges made by Durite that I liked from their Marine range. I decided to order a rev counter to see what they're like and got it fitted this weekend.
I really like it and I will definitely be going for the same gauges for the water temp and fuel gauge. However, they're about 3" long so wouldn't fit in a the small 3 gauge pod I want to fit on top of the dash above the ash tray so may need to look at something else.
And my cat, Bertie who thinks he's a dog also seems to approve of the truck!
I had plans for a boost gauge to be fitted on top of the dash by the drivers side A pillar. Therefore I decided it wasn't vital it matched any other dials, which is a good thing because standard these things boost to 15psi and tuned around 18-20psi and I managed to find the perfect gauge!
It's hard to find a gauge that doesn't have a vacuum scale let alone is in PSI and also in the perfect range so I had to have it. I imported it from Australia and typically got stung for import duty.
I'd removed the clock to fit a rev counter and as the rev counter needed a switched supply I just piggy backed it off the temperature gauge. BUT the boost gauge needs a permanent feed so I decided to solder the old clock loom onto the new boost gauge loom to have a 'plug and play' type install!
So hopefully I'll get that fitted at some point this week and see what she's boosting as because it sounds like she has a little leak. I've got all new intercooler hoses as a precaution/preventative maintenance already!