Monthly Archives: September 2011

There has been some discussion that, in a money saving and ‘starting point to slash bureaucracy’ the annual MOT test was going to be made bi-annual. “Cars are more reliable and the annual test has not changed in 50 years”, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced.

The plan was for vehicle testing every two years instead of annually. However, it seems the Motor Industry disagrees and states that MOT Centres are “the backbone of road safety”. Indeed, every single day the MOT Test finds 2500 cars that are dangerous to drive, apparently. It seems that the Government is now doing a U-turn.

OctProdHosesViper-Performance has a new range of high quality stainless steel braided hose, suitable for oil, fuel, carburetor, brakes, clutch, water/coolant or vacuum. A quality hose at a very competitive price this hose is ideal for rebuilds, or competition purposes. The inner hose is NBR nitrile rubber which is resistant to fuel, oil and other fluids. The outer layers consist of two layers of braided stainless steel to protect the hose from damage and prevent the inner hose from expanding under pressure. Viper stock NBR lined stainless steel braided hoses in sizes AN DASH 4 (5.56mm) to AN DASH 12 (17.47mm) and sell it by the half metre length.

OctProdTopWe have been mentioning in this mag’s Our 4×4 reports that we suffer from having an open load bed on out long term Mitsubishi L200. No security, both from low-life scum, and the elements. Auto Styling has shown us some impressive new sports tops that would solve that problem. Tough, durable and undeniably stylish these tops can solve a lot of problems. Gas struts hold them open, and they can be easily removed when needed. Interestingly we notice that they are also designed to accommodate pick-ups that have the large rear chrome bars.

OctNewsPolarisThere’s a new Polaris on the market. The new Ranger CREW diesel shares the same 904cc, three-cylinder Yanmar diesel engine as the Ranger Diesel, and as before it has the ability to carry six adults. Rubber-mounted to transfer minimal vibration to the operator, this engine provides the necessary low-speed torque. The fully sealed, fixed centre distance clutch drivetrain keeps water out of the clutches allowing the Polaris to work perfectly in the dirty stuff. The Ranger CREW has a 55 amp alternator that gives the operator the ability to run many hard working, higher electrical load accessories, such as ploughs, extra lights, cab heaters and fans at the same time.

The TJ is really coming together now, but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves and overlook the basics, and with that in mind this month we visit G-force Autos based in Halifax for a thorough mechanical check over and service.

Words and photography: Matt Carson

OctJeepG-force is a relatively new company, but has quickly become established, and gained a well-deserved reputation for selling, servicing and supplying Jeep accessories. G-force is a Rugged Ridge accessories premier dealer and Skyjacker Suspension main dealer and can order in just about anything you might want for your Jeep. What marks G-force out is that they also maintain a comprehensive stock of bumpers, suspension and the more popular accessories, therefore minimising any shipping delay from the USA.

Proprietor of G-force Autos, Trevor Taylor, is a long time Jeep fan and he and his team know their way around a TJ so I shouldn’t have been surprised that while I was helping myself to a cuppa in their showroom, they had lifted the TJ onto the ramp and already drained the oil and were asking me to pass over the new filter. I’ve chosen to use a K&N filter for the TJ following previous positive experience with my Grand Cherokee. The filter is more expensive than most but the quality is top drawer and I’ve every confidence in K&N’s claims regarding superior filtration and high flow rates. I also love the one-inch nut moulded into the top of the filter case, making it the easiest filter on the market to remove.

OctBlogHilsPhotoThis month, Hils takes some R’n’R in the Swiss mountains but, as you would expect, still manages to seek out some fascinating 4×4 life

One of the best parts of this ‘At Large’ role is that I get out and about and meet people and their 4x4s. One of my particular favourite features is the ‘Professional User’, as getting close to real everyday, sometimes hard-core action is what this is all about.

However, much we get pilloried and abused in the press for our 4×4 use in this country, there will always be a need for the four-wheel drive vehicle to provide certain essential services.

BobCookeBob Cooke – contributor

OctOurBobA character by the unlikely name of Lemony Snicket wrote a story for kids entitled A Series of Unfortunate Events and I’m feeling now that something along those lines happened to me and the Cherokee. I certainly hadn’t intended to part company with the Jeep, partly because I tend to consider a favourite car as a friend rather than a lump of machinery, and the Cherokee and

I had certainly enjoyed some very exciting and demanding off-roading adventures together. It’s also partly because the old truck was still running perfectly well, the engine revving smoothly, the emissions clean and the only bits that had fallen off were the items of trim I knocked off by bouncing the Cherokee off trees, rocks and the like. The first Unfortunate Event was when the exhaust started blowing.

LouiseLimbLouise Limb – contributor

OctOurLouiseA quick 1500 mile trip down to West Penwith and back this month reminded me why I bought the car in the first place. The journey was completely trouble free, apart from the usual niggles, squeaks and rumbles that may or may not be real problems – I’ll leave the bonnet shut for the moment…and a diesel bill that cost more than the Landmark Trust rental and for a 4×4, the SWB Grand Vitara is really quite economical! Half a ton of seabird guano and airborne spume from a windy but glorious Cornish coastal break necessitated a thorough clean for the Grand Vitara on my return to ward off corrosion as, at the rate things are going with finances, this car’s got to last as long as I do.

HIlsEverittHils Everitt – Editor at Large


Since our last instalment the L200 has been used as a removal ‘van’ and general runabout while I took some time out from ‘at larging’ to spend some quality time in the Swiss mountains.

Before I headed off to the airport, by train, our designer Paul picked up the pick-up (!) one afternoon to move his girlfriend’s belongings and then dropped it off to our editor Nigel so that he could use it to get out and about. The initial intention was for Nigel to use it for a camping trip in East Anglia, but, as we’ve said before, without any kind of loadbed cover, the Mitsubishi loses its practicality as a serious load lugger for any kind of extended trip that requires lots of equipment. Luckily, Paul had dry weather
for the move.

NigelFryattNigel Fryatt – editor

OctOurNigelYou don’t have to go back that far before remembering that the name Skoda was once associated with some childish automotive jokes and a Yeti was a large hairy manlike creature said to live in the Himalayas. So adding the name of a mythical mountain creature (that has also been the bane of many people’s jokes), to an odd-looking new vehicle was a bit of a risk, surely. Looks are subjective, but no matter which angle you look at it, Skoda’s Yeti is, well odd – more miniature ambulance or ice cream van than off-roader. Odd looks, joke name, this had batter be good…