Friday, 18 March 2016

"Blue Light" Adventures

My friend Dave helped me again with some work on the electrics today

It was quite a successful day before it stated getting cold so we decided to halt and do a test of the new features. The reversing camera cables were run underneath the vehicle and in through an existing gromit in the battery bx and then up to the plate I had fitted to hold the screen. A switch was added as we used a feed from the leisure battery rather than messing with wiring to the ignition

The reversing camera works just as expected ..

The connections to the leisure battery and camera were all tidied up ..

The Fog lights work  just as expected ..

The Spotlights however have been wired into a spare switch on the dashboard and when we turned them on this was the result (Click the picture or the link below)

Blue Lights Video

That will be great for car shows, but we will need to make an adjustment before they are useful at other times. 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Patrick and Jenny's Barn Find

Howdy folk... 

Travelling in the US you never know what you will find, and as I sat inside Uncle Viniie's Clam Bar in Raritan NJ I was pleased to see this little beauty pulling up outside.

The owners seemed pleased to see a kindred spirit so we spent a few moments exchanging information about our shared passion for Land Rovers before we all went back into what is reputed to be one of the best places in town to go and eat. 

Well folk, It looks a "mighty fine soft top" and well suited to the warm evening we were sharing

One of the really nice things about Land Rovers is when you find someone in a strange place the people driving it are almost certainly nice people 

I hope you had a nice meal folk....

Friday, 4 March 2016

Do Land Rovers Dream of Electric Sheep Part 1

It was a bright sunny morning today which was excellent news because I had taken up a friends offer of help. Last year at the Margam car show Dave Kilburn kindly offered to help me sort out the electrics I wanted to do on Katy.

Dave had been an Auto Electrics instructor in the RAF so was the absolutely perfect person to help with this sort out.

To set the scene Katy has three sets of Electrics

  1. Normal Land Rover Electrics
  2. Military Electrics
  3. Camper Electrics
The problem is that some were disconnected when she came out of service and some were cross linked when she was converted to a camper. back when we first had her the lights were so unreliable I had to spend quite a bit to get the basic Land Rover lighting sorted out 

Since then we decided in the Alps that we needed more lights as a backup as one failed on us but then was working again - spots and fogs are not strictly needed at the speed we go, but are valuable backup to the main lights. The trouble was which switch works which ? 

there were cables at the front from previously fitted lamps, but no power in the wires so Dave and I started our investigations and quickly identified that without power to the military fuse box none of the yellow (military) wires worked

Once we did it we were able to take a close look at the switches and identify what switch worked which wires

Soon they were labelled up and ready to go

Then whilst I drilled and ran a proper cable to that fuse box, Dave made a start sorting out the mess behind the passenger seat put in as a prior project and removes about half of the rats nest in the following picture 

And all of this mess

One downside - it seems the large Solar Panel is not working which needs to be investigated as the leisure battery will run down as it's not connected to the main battery any more 

So we decided to end the day on a high and Dave kindly wired up one of the spots and one of the fogs whilst I drilled some holes and prepared cables with spiral wrap and he connected them up and we were able to finish with 2 working new lights 

A really successful day and I could not have done it without his expertise 

BTW the power to the Military box has one very non subtle addition... Nee Naww,, Nee Naw.. strictly for use at shows only of course

Thanks Dave !

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2015 summary

It's been a quiet year in the Land Rover Katy world as my work has taken me all over the world and has left little time for Land Rover fun, Even when I have been here the weather has been awful

Back in January I bemoaned that Katy was going Green because of algae growing on her poor paintwork - well, it's as bad as ever and given the state of the year we have had even our white house looks like it needs a full Jetwash.

Then in February I pondered and was answered on the question of whether Katy went to Rwanda

We hit the press twice last year as I had an article in March when our Alps adventures were published in Total Off Road, and again in the Landy magazine in may

In June I had the pleasure of being able to share pictures of Katy in Croatia on this blog

In preparation for the SWLRC Road run in September we had declas made of her original markings and we showed these off again on the club stand at the Margam Classic Car Show

Refurbishments were in the main fixing things I had done badly with a leaking roof and a non working window to be sorted out, but there are plans in place for some more refurbishments and improvements in 2016

As a point in trivia I exported this blog and the Ambulances research page into MS Word format and given some reformatting they come out at 362 and 171 A4 pages each and at 54422 and 18216 words respectively which means I have written 533 pages and 72638 words in total.

I only stated it as something for me to be able to remember the work I had done and somewhere to share some information with a few friends. When I did this review at the start of the year the page reads on this blog were just 44,000, now they stand at just below 60,000. I really do hope that people have found this blog useful, from the comments and emails I have received I do think that is the case, but if you have any comments or feedback I would appreciate hearing from you via the comments options at the bottom of every post or page, or failing that via the email link on the right hand side of the blog

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Stamp collecting

It's a typical cold autumn day here in Cardiff with the wind blowing the rain strongly from seemingly all directions and one fence panel has come down

As many people who read this blog are aware the enjoyment I have had from owning Katy has extended to researching the history of Katy and of Land Rover Ambulances in general. See link above

So, it's onto the computer for some amusement and up comes an intersting post on one of the ebay searches I have running for a stamp with a Land Rover Ambulance on it. That got me thinking and given the weather, sitting here  was more enjoyable than going outside so I've done some research

That stamp is part of this set of 33 MT (Mozambecan Metical) stamp (about 44p UK in 2015) stamps issued in 2009  

It also appeared on this stamp  (about £2.35 UK in 2015) I note the date on this is 1956, but I think this must be a mistake as the 101 ambulances were not built until 1976

So that had me hunting for some more. .. This one from Lebanon in 1969 looks like a Pilchers Ambulance to me

This Kenyan 1980 Stamp clearly shows something that looks like the Series II dispensary sold by Pilchers from about 1958

This Jersey  1977 stamp has been said by some stamp collectors to feature a Land Rover Ambulance, but I am not sure about it, St Johns have had quite a few Land Rover Ambulances, but this looks a bit more like a sherpa van to me.

However best of all is this Pitcairn Islands stamp from 1995 featuring the Marshalls 127 Ambulance in UN colours. I can just about make out 63 KG on the number plate, but the last 2 digits are too indistinct. I have no evidence that Katy ever made it to that far away, but it is clear that at least one 127 did make an impact on the island even if it didn't get there in person

If you are into Land Rover stamps these are the most useful links I found (the links contain searches to land rover topics)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Saved by "Jeep1"

It was time for some sunshine and we headed off to Lanzarote (not using Katy) and settled in for a few days of relaxation as can be determined by this page from Rhian's diary

After a couple of days we found a way to have some Land Rover time by booking onto a birdwatching trip with Lanzarote Active Club who's leaflet stated we would be being taken around in a Land Rover Defender. I have to admit that I quite expected a Santana to come and pick us up but it was a Defender even if it was referred to by the owner in a most apologetic way as "Jeep 1"

We did not mind at all how they referred to it as we had been robbed that morning by someone sneaking into our apartment through a window and stealing all our cash so it was just nice to see a friendly face.

The hotel had not been very helpful so we were delighted when Tom our driver called his boss Carmen and she agreed to help us process things with the Guarda (Police). so this first picture is at the Costa Teguise Guarda station where I was inside doing paper work and Rhian was watching Hoopoe's displaying their crests

With all the messing around we missed the best part of the day, but with excellent service the LAC team agreed that they would run the trip for us on Thursday which was our last day. So that morning with cash in our pocket we were happy when tom turned up and we were able to head off on our adventures.

The first area was the "desert" of Soo where we actually did some spotting so here are Tom and Rhian scanning the ground for birds

In this area the LAC team put out some watering stations for the birds which is an excellent conservation feature and a means to monitor things as they can see the amount of footprints

In this area (please ignore this if you are not into wildlife, but given the events above I am very happy to advertise the excellent birdwatching services of LAC) we saw.

Cream Coloured Courser, Berthelot's pipit, Wheatear, lesser Short toed Lark, Kestrel, lesser Black Back gulls, Cattle Egret, Linnets, Great Grey Shrike, Trumpeter Finch, Barbary Partridge and Houbara Bustard (2 males and a female)

On route to our next stop we saw Storm Petrels and then we went to PeƱas del Chache where we were treated to the sight and sound of about 37 (it was hard to count) wild canaries flitting around

Finally on our route home we had wonderful views of an Eleonora's falcon swooping gracefully over the tops of the bushes hunting for prey, An absolutely delightful day out and a nice ride in a nice TD5 Defender

If you want to read more about LAC
Their home page is
Their facebook page is

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Working Window (nearly)

The passenger side window mechanism has been getting worse and worse and it's not usable any more as there is the risk that we won't be able to secure Katy

So today I made a start on refurbishing it (I had meant to do the whole job, but read on)

Once you take off the inner panel you can see the whole mechanism. it's not complex, but to do anything with the window you need to remove that steel panel

There was plenty of surface rust, but overall it was not too bad for something over 25 years old

Once I had removed the glass I removed the channels (as I had bought some new plastic ones from the Series 3 Club)

And then after some work with a wire brush there was plenty of rust killer painted all over anything that did not look like decent green paint

Whilst I was there I added some more insulation. She is a camper after all so every bit helps

And then the rebuild started

and back to a nearly useful door

The problem is that the bottom door regulator channel was a lot more rotten than I thought it was so I am going to purchase a new one and then the job will be done properly instead of my bodging it with adhesive

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