Sunday, 23 August 2015

True Colours Again

Since we found pictures of Katy in uniform I have been considering adding some markings back to her

The decision was helped by the reaction we got when we dressed her up for the South Wales Land Rover club annual road run last year

Actually she needs a full respray which may happen this winter, but as there is another road run coming up we wanted to do something a bit better than we did last year. So we went to see Dave and Wendy of Designs and Signs Cardiff and they made us some adhesive vinyl stickers to replace the originals that would have been on there

We decided not to go for the full red cross and the word Ambulance on the front panel as this could confuse people who saw her on the road. Therefore we have opted for the outline of a red cross and her name across the front instead, but still the UN letters on the doors.

You can see that the cross is smaller than the original and placed in a different place. The crosses can't go where they were originally as the windows have been put in

There is a similar problem on the back door as one door has been removed and the gas bottle cupboard has been added. So this is a compromise

We think that she looks great and we are looking forwards to showing her off properly on the Road Run 

Monday, 27 July 2015


For those who don't know the unofficial National bird of Wales is the Red Kite. It is of course a Raptor

What has that got to do with land Rovers  I can hear you saying.

Well recently we had a Red Kite fly over our house and it reminded me I had a  job to do .. So out with the old and in with the new

When we went to the Malvern Show this year we stopped by the Raptor Engineering stand we purchased one of their binnacle mounts and binnacles to replace the tatty and rattly one we had. We opted for both the binnacle and the mount in metal as the standard Land Rover parts are famous for breaking

The instructions from Raptor had been fairly simple - look for the multiconnectors and undo them.

That seemed simple enough so we started with the instrument lights unit which were held in with 2 screws and it was easy to reach in and disconnect the 2 white connectors

Then we undid the screws on the side of the binnacle (only one was actually holding it in) and we could pull it carefully and see the wires.

At this point we could disconnect the speedo cable. It was a simple job to press both sides of the connector cable and pull the cable backwards

We had been told not to connect these from the back of the speedo/fuel gauge and temperature gauge bit to go behind them and find another multiconnector, which is the black one in the picture below. It was really stiff, but once freed, the units would have come out had not a previous owner had an alarm fitted which was spliced in in places, but with a modicum of labelling of wires carefully and a set of photographs taken at each stage it wasn't too bad a job.

The only problem was the cable to the pre-heat button which was attached to the gauge wiring the wrong side of the connector and the screw that held it in was rusted solid. After quite some deliberation I decided to cut that one and fit a new connection in so it would be simple if I ever needed to take it out again

After that it was the removal of the bolts holding the binnacle mount to the dashboard and then slowly and methodically a case of refitting every bolt and screw where it came from (except where new ones had come with the Kit of course).  Small hands were an asset with this so Rhian helped doing the hard work

The Speedo cable plugged in as easy as it came out so that was easy and we upgraded the bulbs to new LED's as well, and the result. .. clean instruments that work and do not rattle around when you are driving and I can see at night

All in about three hours for us. I am sure someone more experienced could do it faster, but it's done and hopefully something we never need to worry about again

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cardiff 2015

The Pencoed car show having been washed out from the field it was in too often has resulted in a change of location to the Cardiff City Football Club Car park

Good for the road cars, but I#m not so sure that Land Rovers look so good on tarmac

Here's Katy in the Line up

And another view showing we are really at the football ground


We went to open up Katy for the year and had a really nasty shock

The roof was black with mould all around the skylight I fitted last year :-(

After some rapid removal of the mould we were left with the view below. The insulation was sopping wet so all around the skylight it I took it out as well

Something to note was that there were 2 ceilings, the original Ambulance ceiling which can be seen on the left below, covered in grab adhesive, and the "tidy" roof as you can see from the section that is still up

Up above the original ceiling I found the original air vent. I don't know why that space wasn't used 

After a lot of hard work including an awful lot of sealant and filler to block every possible space it now looks like this. We are trying to decide whether to varnish it and leave it wood colour or whether to paint it white

It's been a learning - when drilling holes don't apply twice as much sealant as you think you need, apply four times as much 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Katy in Uniform

Some time ago I wrote about finding pictures of Katy in a book called Land Rover Military Portfolio by Bob Morrison. On page 90 and 91 there is an article reprinted from a Land Rover Owner International magazine in October 1992 (where it was pages 38-9 if you have an old copy and want to look).

More recently I found one of the pictures in a colour form in Modern Military Land Rovers: In Colour, 1971-1994 by James Taylor and Bob Morrison

I have had recent correspondence with the Photographer (Laurie Manton) and I am extremely pleased to say that I now have permission to share these pictures on-line... So here they are...

This first picture shows Katy side by side with one of the 101's she was replacing. The 101's were excellent vehicles, but starting to show their age

What is clear in this picture is the bonnet mounted spare and the fact that the bull bars are original and with blue lights fitted to them. The UN lettering is clear on the front doors

In this rear view you can see a number of features, but they are better seen in the colour version  below.

In this you can see through the rear rood and also through the window on the drivers side that has been removed. The cable on the front window is leading to the radio aerial (the medical commander had insisted all ambulances were FFR - Fitted For Radio)

Once again UN lettering on the rear doors and also the red crosses on the sides and rear.

I clearly thank Laurie for his kind permission to share these pictures here on my blog. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Katy's NSN

On the Katy information page (click here or on the word Katy above) it has for the last 3 years said

"NSN 2310998937291 (I don't know what this means)"

Today that changes as I had some information from a contact on the UK Olympus e-group website
I can answer your query as to what a NSN is. It's a Nato Stock Number. 
I worked in military electronics for most of my career and every single item of equipment,component and consumable item (eg fuel/lubricants ) used by any Nato service and many NATO supported services has to be codified with a 13 digit NSN. 
This gives a common logistic system so that all NATO and associated forces can work together and provide support and maintenance for each other.
Katy's NSN would normally be written as 2310-99-893-7291. 
2310 indicates she is a "Passenger Motor Vehicle". If she was a motor cycle or bicycle it would be 2340. 99 indicates she was made in the UK.
The remaining seven digits are the unique code for this particular model/variant allocated by the UK Codification Authority.
We had a whole department that had to check every component we used to see if it already had a NSN and if not arrange a new number from the UKCA and also arrange codification for every sub assembly and equipment we designed. Every item used by Nato forces from soldiers boot laces to aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons has a NSN.
Thanks Peter

The page has now been updated... 
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