15 January 2024
Our experts answer offer help and advice with your problems
Triple wipers, locks and tubes
The article Game Changers in LRM July 2021 spurred me to renovate my 1984 petrol Ninety. But I was intrigued by the blue Ninety in the feature with a triple wiper set-up. Was this the work of a talented enthusiast or an aftermarket kit?
Also, in the light of your recent security article, my Ninety is fitted with an outside bonnet lock. In your opinion which is the most secure: internal cable or the lock?
Lastly, I would like to fit some Range Rover Rostyle wheels but I’ve been told that they only came in tube versions. Mine have 6x6JKx33 stamped on the wheel centre by the stud holes; would putting tubes into tubeless tyres be bad practice?
Ed Evans replies: Yes, that was a nice wiper set-up, reminiscent of the E-type Jag’s layout. I’m not aware of a kit to do this conversion. But I guess it would be a simple matter of withdrawing the wiper rack and its tube, drilling the bulkhead and installing the extra wheelbox midway between the existing two. The rack tube would need a section cut out and the ends flared to engage in the new wheelbox. The position of the wiper arms on their respective spindles might be critical, especially if there was wear in the existing wheelboxes or the cable drive – probably best to renew all that while there’s access.
The standard bonnet release cable and system can be defeated. A good external lock will be more secure.
Rostyle steel wheels, first seen on early Range Rovers, were also fitted to County Station Wagons as standard kit
The wheel centre section of the Rostyles is riveted to the outer rim, as seen on the reverse side of this wheel
The original Rostyle wheels were fitted with tubes. You can fit tubeless tyres, but should still fit tubes with an internal rim tape. The tubes prevent any leakage between the wheel rim and its centre which are riveted together, unlike later wheels which are welded and therefore not subject to air leakage.
This later steel wheel has its centre disc welded to the outer rim, so no risk of air loss through the joint
V8 cooling cowl
My Defender has a 3.9 V8 and I am running without a fan cowl which hasn’t been a problem to date, but I wanted your opinion as to whether I should fit one. As you can see in the picture, the fan is six inches behind the radiator so I think the fan won’t sit fully inside the cowl. Any thoughts much appreciated.
Robin’s picture shows the distance from the fan to the radiator. Fitting a fan cowl would ensure all the air is drawn through the radiator to extract maximum heat from the coolant. It’s also an important safety feature keeping fingers away from the fan blades
Martin Domoney replies: Hmm. I would be inclined to fit one if I were you – the V8s are sensitive to overheating and, while you may not have had an issue with it up until now, the cowl forms an important part of the cooling system. When the viscous fan is locked, it is designed to shift as much air through the radiator as possible. Without a cowl, the air will take the route of least resistance and blow around the sides and above and below the radiator, reducing its efficiency significantly.
You may need to use a plastic cowl, and then bend a piece of plastic or metal sheet and attach it to encase the fan. This will ensure that, when needed, the fan does the best possible job of forcing cool air through the radiator.
As an alternative: this V8 90 doesn’t need a fan cowl because electric fans are fitted, mounted directly on the back of theradiator to maximise air flow through the rad
Defender’s hard brake pedal
I have a 1998 LWB Defender 300Tdi that I have owned and serviced since 2002. It has done 178,000 miles. Recently the brakes started feeling as though the servo didn’t work; I could stop, but after a short time the pedal would go hard and required a lot of pressure to bring the truck to a halt. So far I have changed the brake fluid and the vacuum pump with no success. I have checked the non-return valve and that the servo holds vacuum.
I noticed that there is a T-piece in the pipe between the pump and servo which had a cap on it that was cracked. It appeared to have a hole in the top about 2mm diameter. I have tried blocking off the ‘T’ with no change. My question is, is there supposed to be a small breather hole in the servo pipe and, I suppose rather obviously, is the next step to change the servo unit?
David Albrecht, SW France
Andrew Varrall advises: The obvious common problem that causes this fault is either the vacuum pump or the hose between the pump and the servo. The brake fluid would not have caused the fault. But it is good practice to change this regularly, so you have not wasted your time changing yours; Land Rover recommends a fluid change every 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.
The vacuum pump and the hose are simple to check without changing any parts. Pull the hose off at the pump end and then, with the engine running, put your thumb over the outlet of the pump and check for a healthy vacuum. Assuming the vacuum is good then reconnect the hose and try the same thing with the hose when it is disconnected from the servo – if the vacuum is the same strength as at the pump, then the servo is at fault and if the vacuum is weak then the hose is at fault.
The ‘T’ piece you found with a faulty cap on is there because of differences in models in the range, rather than as a breather. If your engine had an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system then the ‘T’ would be used as part of that system.
Discovery 2’s random cut-out
I have a year 2000 Discovery 2 Td5 manual that has covered 180,000 miles. Everything runs fine and there are no warning lamps on the dash, but it has the problem of stopping
occasionally for no apparent reason. I have to coast to the side of the road, switch off the ignition, wait a few minutes, and it starts again without any problem. It will then drive for a few days faultlessly until it stops again and I have to go through the same procedure. Rarely, I have noticed after going over a bump the engine will cut out and then cut back in again without stopping.
I have replaced the fuel filter, checked the fuel lines and had an auto electrician check the ignition and injector electrical supplies. I’ve also replaced the injector harness under the rocker cover and checked the connector at the ECU, but there is no sign of the well-known oil contamination problem. I have also had a garage check for any fault codes, and there are none. Have you any ideas of what may be causing this? Could the fuel tank vent pipe be blocked? Also, the fuel gauge on the dashboard is sometimes erratic; could this be something to do with the engine problem?
Discovery 2’s in-tank fuel pump is reached through the load bay hatch after removing the carpet (which can take longer to remove and refit than the pump itself)
Ed Evans advises: This is very typical of a defective fuel pump and/or its internal wiring, which is all inside the fuel tank. When the engine stops, and before turning the ignition off, can you hear the fuel pump running? If not, and this may sound rudimentary, next time the engine stops, leave the ignition on and give the fuel tank a sharp kick from underneath and notice if you then hear the fuel pump begin running. You could also, with the ignition on, override the system by pressing the accelerator six times to make the pump run. If it doesn’t, it’s dead. Either way, I suspect your fuel pump is reaching the end of its life and needs replacing.
Another less likely option, is that debris from inside the tank is being drawn into the pump if you are in the habit of running the tank low on fuel. It’s always best to keep any vehicle fuel tank at least one quarter full.
Ensure the area is cleaned before replacing the old pump and pipes. The new pump is provided with an essential new seal. The level sensor is an integral part of the pump
Fit a Genuine or OE fuel pump. They were made by Siemens VDO and are part number WFX000280G. Always use the new seal supplied with the pump when fitting the pump to the tank. Also replace the fuel filter before starting up again.
The fuel pump has an integral fuel level sensor unit which may be causing unusual readings on your fuel gauge. This will automatically be replaced with the new pump. The filler vent shouldn’t have any effect on engine running on this vehicle.
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