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Tales Of The Unexpected - Part 10

Tales Of The Unexpected - Part 10

It's been a lovely sunny week, this week, and I took the week off work to potter about not doing much.

Of course, not doing much is a relative term, I've done a lot really...

As I promised previously, my mate and I took the Landy for it's first off road jaunt since I've had it.

We did a swift tour of some of the local green lanes, and a nice time was had by all.

The Landy behaved impeccably, not that we ever put it really to the test, but nothing dropped off it, and low box worked fine. I didn't get a chance to use the diff-lock - the tracks we went on were nowhere near bad enough to need it, but it impressed the hell out of my mate, who has never been off-road in a Landy before. (He wants one now!)

At one point - where after going through a small village, the main road continues as a bridleway - he and I were busy looking where the lane went, as we could see a gate up ahead, and didn't know if we would have to stop - and we both failed to notice a large steep-sided speed bump on the road in front of us. We hit it at about 20mph, and I think all four wheels left the floor, certainly we were in danger of making two head-shaped dints in the roof. We both fell about the cab, laughing in surprise.

On another track, definitely the most challenging, with a steep descent and some cross-axle ruts, we found a big patch of raspberry and blackberry bushes overhanging the track. They weren't ripe, but I made a note to go back later in the year to pick some.

Here's some pics...

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Whilst my mate was around, I press-ganged him into helping me with some of the larger jobs left to do on the Ninety.

As I think I have mentioned, I needed to take the doors off - particularly the passenger door - to replace the sagging hinges. I also needed to replace the lock barrel on the passenger door, as I couldn't lock that door from outside.

As my Landy is relatively modern, it has door trims and things, which have to be taken off before you can get at the door-hinge bolts, so we set too, removing the interior door handle, the window winder, the door latch surrounds and so on. These had obviously never been touched since the Landy was built, but WD40 is a wonderful thing, and we soon had all the screws loosened and removed, without stripping any of the heads.

To remove the window winder handle, you have to prise a gap between the handle and the door and remove a circlip which holds the handle on...

Cue much fun and hilarity, as it really didn't want to come off - and when it did, of course, it went PING... and disappeared into thin air.

Half an hour later, just before we were going to call for sniffer dogs and a full search team, we found the grey circlip lying on the grey gravel road in the grey dust...

After all the door furniture was off we carefully freed the clips that hold the trim on, using a "Land Rover screwdriver" (the biggest flat-bladed screwdriver I own - it's about a foot long with a half-inch wide blade). We found that the lower outside edge of the door frame was in a poor state, (the usual place on Landys), but we managed to get the clips out without taking half of the frame with it.

With the trim removed, we could then loosen and remove the door bolts. In retrospect, were I doing this again, I think I would take the hinges off at the bulkhead end, leaving them attached to the door, and then remove the door that way, but as we knew no better, we took the door bolts off first, and removed the door, leaving the hinges on the bulkhead. This was a pig to do though, as my mate had to support the weight of the door whilst I withdrew each of the bolts, until they were all free and the door could be removed.

With the door off, we tackled the bulkhead hinge-bolts...

Three of them came off with copious application of WD40, and a lot of swearing and muscle, but the lowest bottom bolt just rounded its head, and I ended up drilling it out and hitting it with a FBH to release the hinge.

We did a quick trip to Paddock, and bought a stainless steel replacement set of hinge bolts and captive nuts.

Whilst the door was off, I wanted to have a go at replacing the door lock barrel. To do this, you have to remove the exterior door handle, to get at which, you have to remove the internal metal plate which holds all the window winding mechanism inside the door.

We resolved to not do this...

Instead, we freed off the retaining bolts for the panel, and, with the door lying outside face down on the ground (on the back seat cushions), we were able to raise the bottom edge of the panel about a eight inches, sufficient to get at the back of the exterior handle and the lock mechanism.

One look at the setscrews securing the handle to the door convinced me that they weren't going to come off in one piece, however. They were well rusty, and the head of one was already chewed. Not having suitable replacements, I decided to live with the lock as it is for the moment.

We replaced the captive nuts in the bulkhead, and screwed the new hinges loosely to the bulkhead. Then we offered up the door and tried to get the bolts to line up to go through the hinge and door... This was not easy, and I think, were I to do it again, I would attach the hinges to the door first, and then offer the door up to the body and attach the bulkhead bolts last.

Anyway, we eventually hung the door, fully tightened the bolts at the door end of the hinges, and closed the door. Then, with the aid of wooden wedges, screwdrivers, swearing and prayer, we lined up the door so that it was in the correct position, and fully tightened the bulkhead screws.

We opened and closed the door a few times, and found it was still catching a bit on the bottom door sill, so we slackened off the bulkhead screws a bit, and used FBH to hit the hinges from underneath - raising them slightly. Then we tightened the bolts, and tried the door again. It still rubbed a bit in one small area of the sill, so after some discussion, I took the FBH and hit the sill very hard a number of times in that position...

That cured the problem...

We put the door trim back on, and battled with the circlip again to replace the window winder handle, and replaced all the other bits... Job done!

The door now opens and closes very nicely, but it still doesn't lock from outside - however, I reckon I don't need to disturb the hinges when I get around to doing the lock, as I can just take the trim off with the door in position.

Here's some more pics...

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Next time: we get to use an even bigger hammer!
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