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Tales Of The Unexpected - Part 9

Tales Of The Unexpected - Part 9

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away...

Oops, better not use that, might get sued by George Lucas!

I thought I'd post some pics, before and after type stylie...

But first, the news...

Late this morning, I went and spent money on goodies for my Ninety.

Then, I came home and fitted said goodies.

I bought a rubber mat, for the back floor.

Fitting this was a terrible chore... Remove parcel tape from rolled up mat, unroll mat, shove into corners in back of Landy.

After that, I had a cuppa and a ciggie. (I was worn out I tell you!)

I bought a new reversing light unit - readers of my previous episodes will know the current one doesn't work, due to green alien infestation where the copper contacts used to be - but I didn't fit that. (Didn't fancy fighting with electrics today).

I bought two vinyl bench seats, for the back. This is in an effort to stop the whinging of friends and family members who want a ride in the Landy, but don't want to sit on splintered plywood - with which the back is lined.

I fitted those...

I spilt blood, and tea, and said rude words, and had to call for assistance, but I fitted them.

Here's what happened...

They are the standard Britp**t bench seats, which come in two parts; the back frame which includes the back cushion and the bottom rails which sit on the wheelboxes, and the foldy-uppy bit which supports the seat cushion.

I did the passenger side first...

The back rest cushion is ready assembled on the frame, so the first thing I did was take it off. This is because my Landy is lined with plywood. The normal backrest fixings, which come with the seat, are a pair of hooked brackets which slide behind the side rails of the body where the capping of the lower wing goes, and thus hold the seat in position.

In my case, however, as there is a sheet of 3/4" ply between me and the side of the Landy, I had to devise an alternative. I attached two flat plate brackets (the triangular three hole type sometimes known as mirror mounts or picture mounts) to the back rail of the seat frame, and then re-attached the back rest cushion. This screws on from behind, so once the seat is in position you can't get at the fixings.

That done I decided where the seat would go, and marked and drilled the bottom holes through the plywood and through the wheelbox. The standard M6 bolts which come with the seat are only an inch long, and I found that with 1/2" plywood and then a gap, and then the metal wheelarch, I could only just see the end of the bolt under the wheelarch with just about enough length to start the nut on it - but only if I didn't use any of the supplied washers. This obviously wasn't any use as a permanent fixing, as the nut would just pull through the ally wheelarch very quickly.

I tried starting a nut on the end of the bolt, hoping that by tightening it I could pull the wheelarch and plywood together enough so I could get the washers on, but the nut kept chewing the end of the thread and coming off, leading to my knuckles bouncing off the chassis and other solid lumps of metal. This hurt...

So, I swore a bit, and then went and found the big hammer.

I flailed about under the wheelarch with the hammer but it was stubbornly springy, and the hammer just bounced off without much impression - apart from making a lot of racket and proving the chassis and outrigger are fairly solid, as the hammer ricocheted off them.

So I swore a bit more, and contemplated the job...

I measured the height between the underside of the wheelarch and the ground. Then I dived into the cellar.

I re-appeared some time later with a couple of bits of timber, one just slightly longer than the measured height, and the other to act as a ground-plate. I put the ground-plate on the ground, (well, yeees!) and jammed the other piece at an angle between that and the underside of the wheelarch (as near as I could get it to where the bolt was).

Then I hit the bottom end of it repeatedly with the big hammer...

I love Land Rover engineering - it lets you release all that pent-up aggression...

The abuse had the desired effect though, and pushed up the wheelarch (and the Landy) so that I could see enough of the bolt to get both the top and bottom washers on, and the nut. (it may have helped that my trusty assistant was in the back, as well, holding a spanner on the end of the bolt).

I repeated this manoeuvre for the bolt at the other end of the seat, and tightened them both up.

Then I drilled a pilot hole through the plywood side where the two mirror brackets were, and used big self-tappers to screw the back of the seat to the plywood.

Then I attached the second bit of the seat frame and placed the seat cushion on it. (I will secure it later, but I don't have any ribbon - cord stuff to tie it with).

Then I went to the other side, and repeated the whole thing - but without as much swearing, or blood.

The other things I bought were a pair of 6" Driving lights, and a small front nudge bar to mount them on.

I was thinking of getting an A bar, but neither of my two local Land Rover parts places sell them - I wonder are they no longer legal? so I ended up with this short, low nudge bar instead. Actually, I think it looks alright, but i would welcome comments.

This was almost easy to fit. I offered up the bar to the bumper, and measured its position so it would end up central. I nicked a yellow wax crayon off my daughter, so I could mark it's position on the black bumper. The bar would not balance on the bumper on its own, so I had to hold it with one hand whilst I measured and marked with the other...

This provided some entertainment, but I only dropped it twice, and both times it had a soft landing on my foot or shin, so it wasn't damaged at all.

Then I marked the position of the mounting holes I would have to drill in the bumper. I'm sure I have seen nudge bars and A bars which use the original bumper bolts to mount to - but of course this wasn't one of those.

Having marked the holes, I thankfully laid the bar to rest on my foot, and got my lecertric drill.

I drilled the bumper in three stages - small, medium and honking big sizes of drill bit, but even so I managed to flatten one battery on the drill completely (and it was fully charged). They make those bumpers strong, don't they?

Once the holes were drilled, and cleaned up, it was a quick job to drop the bolts through and stick the nylock nuts on the bottom, and tighten everything up. Then I mounted the lights, and pointed them roughly in the right direction (forwards is good!). I haven't wired them up yet, that'll do tomorrow.

PICS!

The rear interior

before:

def90-029.jpg

after:

def90-022.jpg

The front

before:

def90-03sm.jpg

after:

def90-023.jpg

The back

before:

def90-012.jpg

after:

def90-028.jpg

The cab

before:

def90-025.jpg

after:

def90-026.jpg

That's all for now...
Author
alisterg
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