Monthly Archives: March 2011

NewsMarFreelanderLand Rover has got 2011 off to a winning start with the news that the Freelander 2 has come out top in the 4×4 category in the Parkers’ New Car Awards 2011.

The Awards are especially valuable in today’s economic climate as they aim to identify ‘the cars that make your cash go further’ and are actually based on hard facts powered by the Parkers cost of motoring tool. This useful motoring tool allows buyers to easily identify the costs of a new or used car, taking into account all of the outgoings associated with it including servicing, showroom tax, fuel consumption and depreciation.

The 2011 Freelander 2 features a refined 2.2 litre diesel engine offering two power outputs, the 190hp SD4 and the 150hp TD4, together with improved fuel economy and an affordable cost of ownership.

The Freelander 2 TD4 ‘S’ is on sale with pricing starting at £22,745 on the road. For more information or to arrange a test drive, visit your local Land Rover dealer or log onto www.landrover.co.uk

With tyres so important when it comes to road safety it’s perhaps surprising that 12% of UK drivers never check their tyres for tread depth. On the positive, though, that means that almost 90% of us are doing these vital checks.

To help www.mytyres.co.uk has put together this simple tyre safety check list to ensure that tyres are fit for purpose.

Mt_tyre1. Ensure that all tyres, including the spare, have at least 2.5/3.00 mm of tread – the law requires a minimum of 1.6 mm but tyre experts recommend a greater level of tread depth for maximum safety. Should motorists not have a tread depth gauge handy then check the sidewall for the letters TWI (Tread Wear Indicator), adjacent to this in the bottom of the tread are blocks of rubber set at 1.6 mm, if these blocks are flush with the tread, then the tyre needs to be replaced.

2. Check and adjust tyre pressures against the manufacturer’s handbook recommendations. Incorrect tyre pressures increase wear and use more fuel and produce more CO2 emissions.

3. Check for uneven tyre wear which can be caused by tyres/wheel alignment out of line.

4. Clean dirt from around the valve and fit dust caps all round.

5. If whilst driving, the driver experiences vibration, wheel wobble or discovers patchy tyre wear, then have the front tyres checked for balance.

MarRock2MarRock1Pretty cool pictures right? We know many of you would love to have suspension like this on your 4x4s, and we know just the team for the job. FTE 4×4 Specialists Ltd is now a dealer for Rock Krawler suspension and will be offering their full line of lift systems together with many of their build components.

They offer lift kits for all the Wrangler series YJ, TJ, LJ & JK, casino australia Cherokee XJ and Grand Cherokee WJ, WK. There are also many upgrade components that will work in conjunction with other suspension systems.

For all your enquiries please contact FTE 4×4 Specialists Ltd. Email: [email protected] or phone 01268 730131 / 07973 198483. Watch out for the new section on FTE’s website showcasing Rock Krawler suspension.

April11FirstDrive1There is not much available these days in the 4×4 Commercial Van sector for a decent price, which makes Nissan’s Pathfinder Van a good choice, as long as you are under six feet tall!

Words: Kevin Baldwin; photos: Wayne Mitchelson

If a pick-up truck remains too down on the farm for you and you find the iconic appeal of the Defender a little too lacking in creature comforts, then the remaining choice of 4×4 ‘van’ for the commercial user comes down to a pretty restricted short list of potential purchases. The Nissan Patrol dropped off the list last year following Nissan’s decision to withdraw the model from sale in the UK, and the introduction of the latest upmarket model Land Cruiser killed off the commercial variant that has been an option on the previous model’s range. If you’re in a business where image is everything, then the Discovery 4 line-up will tick all the right boxes, but the two-seat Commercial version comes with an up-market £30k plus price tag to match the image. That leaves the ageing Mitsubishi Shogun and this, the Nissan Pathfinder Van, the latest 4×4 to ditch its back seats in an attempt to attract the VAT-registered buyer.

April11Adv1An expedition with World 4×4 Adventures into Arctic Russia has Steve White mesmerised by the sheer beauty of its remoteness and the tough off-roading, as Land Rovers share the trails with a Soviet Gaz 66. 

 Photos: Robb Pritchard

In any other country the old guy would be eligible for some sort of social help. He lives in a wooden shack miles away from the nearest other wooden shack, drinks water from a well and eats fish he catches from the sea behind his ramshackle house, but the fact that the Arctic Circle passes through his backyard means that his garden has become a bit of a tourist attraction.

NigelFryattNigel Fryatt – contributor

April11StaffToyotaOur RAV4 is knocking closer to the 100,000-mile mark and 10,000 of those miles have been done in the eight months since we bought the vehicle. In that time, while we’ve been checking, it has needed very little oil, and it’s not too thirsty, either; we have been averaging around the 35mpg mark.

Perhaps it would be better with new windscreen wipers, and we are very pleased with the Continental winter tyres fitted, but apart from that, costs have been very low, and it has been eight almost problem-free months. Still doesn’t make you that confident when you take your 4×4 for the MoT and an annual service does it?

AnnLockleyAnn Lockley – contributor

April11StaffRangeRoverKelsey rides like a new rig after the installation of 90 per cent of her new Terrafirma parts! Getting the parts installed, however, proved to be a bit of a challenge. My long-time friend, and the person responsible for introducing me to Land Rovers some 20 years ago, Jason Coakley, manages Simoes Automotive, the shop that installed the new transmission in the summer. The trans swap was worse than a nightmare and the owner, Norbert Simoes, had actually banned ‘Kels’ from ever stepping ‘tyre’ in the parking lot ever again. Thankfully, he was enjoying a week’s vacation in the Bahamas – perfect timing. Glen van Drecht, the newest mechanic, offered to do the work. He did a great job, for his first Range Rover; even went so far as putting on new brake pads free of charge, and was still talking to me at the end of it…

IanShawIan Shaw – contributor

April11StaffLandRoverHaving spent most of my career as a magazine road tester, I am constantly questioning what separates a great vehicle from a merely good one; a vehicle you can respect from one you love. When it comes to the vehicle you own, the question has amplified validity – after all, it’s one’s own money at stake. Do you buy with heart or head – or a combination of the two?

If truth be known, I bought my Defender 110 Utility Wagon with a combination of the two. I don’t consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool Land Rover fanatic, I didn’t grow up on a farm or learn to drive in a Series III, and, other than tinkering with an ancient Series IIA a mate owned in our late teens, my first real experience of Land Rovers was as test editor on the old Off Road & 4Wheel Drive magazine when a 110 Hi-Capacity Pick-up arrived for test in 1989.

BobCookeBob Cooke – contributor

April11STaffJeepDerek was thinking: ‘I didn’t mean to get into this position, but there’s no point in stopping now – pedal to the metal and hope it all comes right!’ It was the moment I thought he was going to put Eugene’s rollover bar to the test for real, the moment I realised I was actually watching the underside of the Hotchkiss as it scrambled by, showering mud from its whirling bargrips.

I guess it was Gary’s fault. He had seen the Hotchkiss and expressed an interest in doing a little off-roading. Naturally, I’d invited him to join us at Boxgrove to have a little drive round in Eugene. Gary did take it very carefully for the first few minutes, so much so that he was making hard work of some of the obstacles. Hence I suggested that he could try going a little faster. Oh dear.

GarryStuartGarry Stuart – contributor

AprillStaffNissanA drive up to Scotland to photograph the Scotia Extreme Winch Challenge was the last straw for me this winter. As I have mentioned previously, I have gone through this winter without a heater in the Nissan, due to a leaking heater matrix. After a long day on a freezing muddy Scottish hillside, I was faced with an equally freezing, four-hour-drive home. Not nice!

The next day I phoned Mark, who runs the local Kirkdale Garage in St Annes, Lancashire, and asked him to order a new matrix pronto. His suppliers seemed to have difficulty in getting one so I got onto the internet and in 15 minutes had bought one from an eBay store (www.demisterman.co.uk) which arrived by courier two days later. The Terrano was then booked into Kirkdale Garage for some major surgery. This will be the subject of a future 4×4 workshop feature, so I’ll say no more about it other than it was a traumatic experience.