Front control arm bushes on Series 3 Discoverys (from 2004 onwards) are vulnerable for failure, especially if the vehicle has been worked hard during its life. The original bushes are prone to ‘leak’ (they are oil filled) and therefore dry out. Add to this the fact that time does have an affect on rubber bushes and this can lead to movement of the lower arm. Buy the car secondhand, and you may not even be aware that the imprecise nature of the vehicle is not natural. Changing the bushes can make a huge improvement on the way the vehicle handles and these new products from SuperPro will do exactly that on offending Land Rovers. These guys know what they are doing with their bushes, and confident enough to supply them with a three year/36,000 mile warranty.
Paul and Helen Crittenden are half way through their planned overland circumnavigation and have just received an important boost from the guys at General Tire. Having fitted an original set of General Grabber AT2 tyres, their heavily laden Land Rover Defender 110 has made it through the steppes, deserts and mountains of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the forests of Siberia and did not have a single puncture or burst tyre during the 23,000 miles. Tyres do wear out though, and good news for the Crittenden’s is that General Tire think it well worthwhile sponsoring the couple for a further year and so have agreed to supply a new set of Grabbers.
If tyres haven’t been a problem on the journey, it hasn’t been all plain sailing; the Land Rover’s water pump gave out in the Gobi desert, they broke a halfshaft in Siberia and then hit a horse on the highway! With some help from the locals and some spares from a Russian UAZ they got back on the road.
Now the Project starts to get interesting. This month, our Wrangler gets a significant lift, and some serious rubber to make a big statement, and a big footprint. Let’s go off-road and have some fun…
Words and photography: Matt Carson
If you’ve been following our Project TJ, you’ll know that we’ve now got our Jeep protected from the elements with help from Rustbuster and so it’s now time to get stuck into the more exciting area of modifying. First step has been to visit the Essex base of FTE 4×4 Specialists Ltd, Jeep specialists for over 14 years. Owner Steve Fagioli, is a veteran of modifying all kinds of Jeeps, although naturally Wranglers are the most popular, so he seemed the ideal place to start. Steve will be well-known to regular readers and he certainly practises what he preaches as an active participant in the UK Jeep scene; an all round good guy who knows his stuff. Which is just as well, as the last time I looked at modifying a Jeep was 15 years ago and the market has moved on since then. With the internet at hand as a research tool and credit card at the ready, the world is your oyster, which means you need a guide!
Shion Scudamore – contributor
This month has seen some steady progress on the Bedford but the forthcoming MOT looks like it will have to be put back, as progress has not been good enough to actually drive there! Both passenger and driver side floors are now replaced which was the lion’s share of the MOT work, but I need to plate some cosmetic holes on the cab roof and in the cab back panel. I have started to re assemble the birdcage of mudguard supports as these have all been sprayed now.
The KAB suspension units were fitted to the Range Rover seats but this revealed excessive play in some of the pins, not something the MOT man is going to like, so it has been a case of dismantling and repairing them. Next on the list is the laborious task of fitting (the very necessary) soundproofing in the cab. The ‘proper’ material is top quality but way beyond my budget so I have been gathering off cuts left over from engine room insulation. The net result will be a patchwork but it should do the trick and will be covered by the rubber mats anyway.
Hils Everitt – Editor at Large
The recent heavy rainfall may be placating the poor farmers who were seriously worried about their crops not that long ago, but it has not been good for our long-term L200 Warrior. As the loadbed is open we can’t have a truck top as it is fitted with stainless steel sports bars and loadbed liner. There is an option for sport bars with retractable tonneau cover at £1479, but that is only available without the liner. I have to keep the L200 outside so that means that the loadbed gets quite filled up with water with all the torrential rain that has hit Kent recently.
The water does drain out with a bit of a tidal wave when you pull away through the outlets in the tailgate. I just have to make sure there’s nobody standing in close proximity when I do so otherwise they’ll get rather wet.
I said in our first report on the truck that I had grown to like its unique styling, which rather scared me when it was launched. It was interesting to compare it exactly with the previous model when I went to Farnborough Airport recently. In the car park was an L200 with a trucktop and sporting the two-tone bodywork that was all the rage back in the day.
Nigel Fryatt – editor
The anniversary of the purchase of our Toyota Rav4 led to something of a marathon drive, and a great week’s exploring and off-roading in Scotland. A tough test for a vehicle that clocked up the 100,000-mile mark on our return to Surrey. Best of all, however, the Toyota never missed a beat!
The purchase of the Toyota in June last year was always designed to give Sue a daily driver, and one that would allow her to actually get to this magazine’s Kelsey offices in deepest, darkest Kent regardless of what the weather brings. The previous year, the snow had virtually cut-off the Kelsey offices for a couple of days, to anything but a 4×4. And the Toyota was Sue’s choice, and personally I have always thought the thing a ‘nice’ car and very suitable for a woman… somehow it’s not that tough for us hairy-chested folk. What we threw at it this June, however, has made me reconsider.
The second part of an amazing 4×4 tour through the Balkan state of Montenegro that is home to brown bears, the second deepest canyon in the world and scary homemade ‘brandy’, finds our Editor at Large driving tight forest tracks, desolate, high, mountain rocky roads and visiting the spectacular Adriatic Coast
Words and photography: Hils Everitt
On the first two days of our tour of Montenegro with adventure company Medraft we looked down upon the stunning Sushica Canyon and wound our way through the deeply-rutted, muddy trails of the Crno Jsil forest; then climbed to the snowy peaks of the Dinaric mountains to the north of the country, revelling in its rugged beauty.
On day three of our tour we woke up in the superb Hotel Lipka in the ski resort of Kolasin and were told by our guide, the seven-feet-tall Gilad, that the day would start with a short hike around another beautiful lake. Medraft tours not only offer you the chance to jump into a 4×4 and explore new countries and landscapes; the Israel-based operation is also keen to promote nature and conservation and so takes every opportunity to encourage its clients out of its fleet of 4x4s and enjoy their new surroundings on foot, as well as meet local people. “We have three main areas that our tours are focused on,” explained Medraft CEO Omer Flum. “First is nature, then comes culture and finally adventure, which as well as 4×4 driving, includes cycling, riding, walking and rafting. We like to give our clients the full experience, with guides providing all the local knowledge and entertaining stories!”
When it comes to helping your 4×4 stand out from the crowd, a personalised number plate can be just the ticket. It makes a statement about you and your interests, or reflects some feature of the car. It’s straightforward to buy a plate, and there are plenty of options available. We look at how to go about it
Drive behind a car with the registration number K1 1LTS and you can surmise immediately that the owner is a tartan-loving Scot. Similarly, 1 MUT, probably indicates that you’re driving behind a canine enthusiast. That’s the beauty of a personalised plate – it enables you to communicate in a pithy, often humorous way to the world around you. And that means you can express your individuality, as well as giving your car some standout appeal.
Of course, as a 4×4 owner, you’ve already got a vehicle that is a bit different from the norm. But it’s worth enhancing this characteristic, and personalised number plates are a popular way of doing that. What is more, private registrations can be surprisingly cost-effective to buy.
New tool kits are always pleasing, aren’t they? No matter how many tools you have in that tool kit, you can always find room for some new quality items, can’t you? Kamasa has recently introduced three professional quality socket sets, all manufactured from chrome vanadium and feature smooth 72-teeth ratchet handles with cushioned grips. The 1/4”drive set features nine deep sockets, 13 standard metric sockets, six star sockets, eight star bits, three hex bits, 12 assorted screwdriver bits, a universal joint, 50mm extension bar, 150mm extension bar, sliding T-bar and screwdriver. Available at a retail price of around £55.95
The guys as Bits4Landys in Scarborough North Yorkshire are well-known for their high quality steel and aluminium sheet metal reproduction parts and accessories for Series Land Rovers. They also supply grit blasted and galvanized bulkheads, front panels, axle cases and wheels. The latest are a pair of bulkhead brackets suitable for Series 3 Land Rovers. New laser cut and CNC bent copies are made from 3mm steel and hot dip galvanized and there are claimed to be 100% accurate – which means they are going to fit!