Personalised 4x4 Wheel Covers Custom made wheel covers in both semi rigid vinyl and stainless steel wheel covers from The Sign Maker. Single colour, reflective colour or full colour printed. New to 2013 - Full Wraps
I do not like mud on my 4x4s. In fact, I hate it. Mud damages bodywork and mechanicals so I clean my 4x4s as soon as possible, usually directly after the trip before the mud has a chance to bake in hard. The ‘wash’ is exactly that, a wash, not a wax and polish by any means, more of a rinse.
To my mind, driving around with a dirty 4x4 is not a badge of pride, it is sign of laziness. If you’re inclined to show where you’ve been and what you do then you don’t need to leave the car filthy to do that. It is easy enough for the initiated to pick a 4x4 used for off-roading regardless of how clean it is, and I think it a better look to have a tidy vehicle with subtle clues to many past adventures than a wheeled mud bath that’s clearly only had an excursion or two. That said, I do love mud driving, just not the aftermath. I’m past the stage where I feel the need to drive a giant bog hole just because it’s there, but if it’s along the way on a trip then it’ll be conquered.
Just for a moment I thought the Cherokee wasn’t going to make it. It was Pete’s fault, because he thought the Cherokee blasting through one of the water splashes would make a good picture, but he needed me to come in from the other side because of where the sun was. That meant bypassing the splash through a stretch of gloopy mud and turning around on what turned out to be not only gloopier mud but deeply rutted by other cars with bigger and more aggressive tyres. What was meant to be a quick three-point turn developed into a painfully slow seven pointer, taking it ever-so-gently to give the Wrangler Duratraks every chance of grabbing some grip in the cloying mud. Fortunately the mud at the Hop Farm isn’t of the seriously slippery clay-heavy type, so heavy-treaded tyres can find something to bite into. Time after time the Cherokee sank into the ruts, but gentle near-tick over tickling of the accelerator eased it out until it eventually lined itself up with the water splash. From then on it was easy.
It took a long time, but finally I’ve done it. From the very start of my Toyota Hilux ownership, some 18 months ago, I’ve been going ‘to do something about it….’ The problem with the Hilux, and any opened backed pick-up is that despite the fact that you have enormous carrying capacity, it’s not actually very secure. You can’t just sling things in the back and forget about them; they’d get nicked, and they’d get very wet! The only option, therefore, is to have bags and cases behind the front seats. To help this, the Hilux’s rear seat folds upwards and so there is a massive space, and it does have ‘privacy glass’ to help mask what’s being carried, but it’s not secure should you park the vehicle and leave it for any period. There are two ‘secret’ hidden compartments under the rear seat (don’t let anyone know) but these are small, only really useful for documents, wallets etc. They are not even big enough for a decent sized camera.
Last time I wrote I brought you the news that my LR Discovery 2 had been an interesting purchase and as many would expect, ownership hasn’t been plain sailing.
Previously I found that a rear brake caliper was binding causing the disc to heat up dramatically, which I could have done without. On the plus side the Discovery axle is fairly mechanic friendly, with great access and simple to work on. After some searching I found a pair of calipers online for just £44 delivered from McDonald Land Rover. Although they will be nowhere the quality of genuine I thought I’d give them a go. When delivered two days later they appear to be just the job, fitted without a problem and in the end appeared to cure the problem of binding brakes, saving the life of my recent pads and discs. However whilst I had the axle apart I thought I’d take the time to service the axles too. There were signs of oil on the right-hand side so thought best to try new axle O-rings at 58p each, before jumping into new hubs which are some-what dear in comparison.
Last month I reported that our Discovery 3 was reporting no less than three faults – park brake light flashing, suspension height error in off-road mode and an engine system fault accompanied by black smoke and a loss of power. This month the fixes are in, and they’re all simple – a software update solved the first two, which were as usual with modern Land Rovers related even though they’re in entirely different parts of the car, and the third was the common split turbo hose replacement. So the D3 is returned to health and we’re continuing to appreciate the car’s performance and versatility. Our latest run was a 1000km drive to the 2013 South Australia Land Rover Jamboree, which we comfortably managed without refuelling thanks to our second fuel tank. Once there, we relaxed with friends and other Land Rover owners, enjoying a nice small campfire as conditions permitted.