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November 2019 - Nobody mention Christmas

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Oh man, where did the summer just go?

So, the regular reader, and maybe the infrequent lodger, will notice we only made it as far as a first quarter update blog. All other quarters have remained unaccounted for thus far. Please do not write in and tell me how shambolic this is. I know, I have let everyone down. . .but we have been very busy in the workshop!

So the biggest project we have undertaken since last post was a full rebuild of a 200TDi Defender 90 on to a galvanised, Richards manufactured, chassis. Not the work the 90 was booked in for, but this is what the project evolved into. When you can literally jet-wash holes in the chassis things are not good. . . and it arrived with a valid MOT cert! New chassis, three new doors, new fuel tank, refurbished bulkhead, all new brake lines and fittings, the list goes on. We also corrected years of wiring “modifications” with a full, vehicle wide, scotch-block delete program. The finished vehicle is now very solid and should give the owners many years of loyal service.

We have also had a steady stream of Fairey Overdrives pass through the workshop for refurbishment. There was a horrible wait mid-summer when supply of both Clutch Sleeves and Mainshafts suddenly dried up, but thankfully that hiccup has now passed. We are currently looking into the viability of funding a small production run of Input and Laygear to keep things ticking over. We seem to have used all available stock up over the summer! We will continue to supply our rebuild kits. However, if reproduction gears are not available, we may need to review and potentially withdraw/temporally pause our very popular rebuild service. It is quite common for us to find damage to both Laygear and Input teeth.

Gearboxes. We have refurbished lots of LT76 Land Rover Series 4-speed transmissions. In fact, as I type, we are amid refurbing a batch of eight LT76s. Three down, five to go. A single Series 1 unit, three Series 3s and the remainder are all my favourite late 2a type. After discussions with recent customers, we are going to review our pricing structure for the LT76 rebuilds we offer. Far more people are requesting Genuine or NOS gears to be used in their rebuilt gearboxes over aftermarket parts. However, as the pile of these parts is ever dwindling, prices are going up and the monetary gap between them and aftermarket equivalents is ever increasing. Further details to come in the New Year once I have rubbed more brain cells together. We are considering a labour and bearings fixed price service with replaced component costs on top. This will then give the customer the option of choosing aftermarket or Genuine parts where available.

Moving on to our vehicles. .  . nothing to report really! No works at all on the Rover 11, very disappointing. The Lightweight, yup, nothing to report either. More embarrassment! We now have a new canvas for it and it really should be used more. It needs the accelerator linkage tweaking as it is a bit on/off rather than linear, oh, and it runs rich, but other than that it needs using more. Alfred still chuggs on as he always has. No issues at MOT time but really could do with some TLC now. . . at the very least a good bath and a week off! The 2.5NAD is hanging in there but is beginning to breath heavy and feel very gutless in the hilly bits around here. I can’t decide whether to 200Di him, go full fat TDi, or fit the 2.5 petrol engine I already have. Also thinking of fitting a Defender heater box . . or buying some more thermal long-johns. I do have a Bloomslang headlight loom along with some WIPAC Crystals on the shelf that would be better off fitted to him. . .but first, I really must finish those LT76s!

Talk soon

Gavin

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