The First Mechanical Adventures

Firstly, I would like to make clear, as is oft the cry of Landrover owners, that this was not a break down, and merely a session of routine maintenance, that was not the fault of our trusty steed, and more our own failing of not having done it before we started…

Having spent about a day with Dave ( – highly recommended), sorting out various shortcomings with our ignition system, we were fairly sure that our existing distributor was not functioning as efficiently as it could be. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to have had one reconditioned for us by one of our sponsors, Distributor Doctor, and so, in a caravan park on the shores of Lake Garda in Italy, and on the instruction that we had to be out by 10am, Jon and Tom went to work.

After many pre-maintenance photos were taken, the old dizzy came off with little resistance. A quick inspection revealed some rather toxic looking corrosion and what appeared to be a suspiciously wobbly bush. Combining information from the trusty ‘book of words’ and the ‘Haynes book of lies’, we used a highly technical pencil to work out the position of No.1 cylinder, with a slight squeaky bum moment as it nearly got stuck. The new dizzy was then fitted (surprisingly, reassembly was indeed reverse of disassembly), and after a quick check that we weren’t 180 degrees out, the timing was set to 6 degrees before TDC.

Amazingly, she started (nearly) first time, and after a subtle high-five, we declared ourselves triumphant and packed up, a mere 3 minutes behind schedule. Now – on to Venice!

PS: Bottom radiator hose still not entirely leak-free, and the radiator cap still splurges boiling coolant everywhere when removed (particularly effective when Tom is lying underneath – thanks Jon…).
PPS: All other existing leaks still operating as normal, apart from the rear diff oil seal, which appears to have decided to spray fresh EP90 all over most of the rear underside of the vehicle, including our new shocks. Another day, perhaps….


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