Dave W

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About Dave W

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    North Yorkshire

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  1. I have a 12 year old T5 that I'm converting into a camper van. I've never been a fan of VW or had any real interest in them but we wanted a camper van and the T5 is the best option for that size although, as a result, they also keep their value which is both a good and bad thing. I have to say though that, especially when compared with the Land Rovers of a similar age, the VW is really well put together and of a much higher quality which for a commercial van should be a surprise you'd have thought ! I'll be honest, I\d expected a van to be pretty "agricultural", built to suit a purpose rather than put together with any real attention to detail. When I'm working underneath it there's not a sign of rust, despite it spending the last 5 years of it's life in Blackpool. When you pull off a protective cover on the underside you find factory paintwork, unblemished and coated with some form of protective wax coating. The wiring and connectors are completely untouched by corrosion, I can pull off a rear tail light unit and, despite it being completely external to the vehicle, the connector and the light unit are corrosion free. When I stripped the interior I didn't know what to expect under the sheets of ply and flooring, expecting to find areas of rusted floor where water had seeped in and pooled with no escape. What I actually found was a body and interior that was pretty much just as it left the factory, not a rust spot or blemish in site. It's not perfect but when comparing it with other 12 year old and newer vehicles I've had with a Land Rover badge on it it's so much better it's been a real eye opener to the difference that attention to detail and, perhaps better workmanship, can make to the longevity of a vehicle. They have their issues and just like our beloved green oval vehicles, if you read the vehicle specific forums and the horror stories that abound there are a number that are common problems. Some of which they share with Land Rover vehicles... 5 cylinder turbo diesel, highly tuned, has a propensity to warp exhaust manifolds especially when remapped, sound familiar at all ??? The VVT is nice though, surprised more people haven't tried to fit them to Defender TD5s. I've said before (before I owned a VW) that VW were unfairly targeted over the emissions and pointed out that Land Rover and probably every manufacturer had been doing similar tricks for years, it's what good engineers do when you set an unrealistic test as a required target for a specific set of circumstances. You aim to pass the test not necessarily meet the goal behind the test. Hell, even our school system is obsessed with that these days, teaching kids to pass a specific test whilst not necessarily teaching them anything outside passing a test.
  2. Commercial vehicles are exempt from the post '98 CE requirement.
  3. Not sure about the eBay stuff, not tried that. I normally get mine from the local agricultural tyre repair place, they sell it by the bag in both car and motorbike sizes. Probably around 50 strips for less than a tenner.
  4. He died in November last year. I'm sure there will be a topic on here from the time.
  5. A normal seal puller tool will do the job or, if you haven't got one of them it can normally be levered out using a screwdriver, spanner or small pry bar. There's plenty of room to get in around the pinion and get your levering tool between the pinion bearing and the back of the seal. Some people just over think these things !
  6. I can recommend the Koni Heavy Track, we fitted them on the front and rear of our 90 prior to our trip around Australia. We drove our very heavily loaded 90 16000 miles on a mix of tarmac and dirt roads including miles and miles and miles of washboard unsurfaced routes and a couple of desert crossings. I was so impressed with the way they worked and the way they stood up to the punishment that I bought a set for my competition vehicle when we got home. 3 years later we're still running the 90 on those same shock absorbers without any issues. Bear in mind you don't need the raid version that cost a fortune, just the heavy track version that cost around £80-£90 a pair. The only other brand I would consider would be the Bilsteins (assuming you don't want to go into coiler territory). They do have a tendency to be a bit harsh though.
  7. Thanks for the heads up, been meaning to buy another 200 piece set for a couple of years and never got around to it, couldn't resist with another £40 off the "normal" half price offer. Just snuck in before the 8pm cutoff
  8. The thing is that if you measure the current going into the first battery from the alternator and the second battery is connected then you're actually seeing the combined current going into both batteries. The only way to figure out how it's split between the two is to measure the current going through the solenoid/switch and that will give you the proportion of the current that is going into the second battery. If you have a volt meter, put the negative probe on the positive of the second battery and the positive probe on the positive of the first battery. Start the engine and, with the switch/solenoid open you should see a voltage of somewhere around 2 volts. When you close the switch/solenoid you should see that drop to 0 volts. If it does then it's connecting OK, if it doesn't then you have a high resistance connection so move the negative probe to each side of the solenoid terminal until you get 0 volts. If you get a different reading at each solenoid terminal then the solenoid is faulty, you should only see a 40mV drop at the most across the solenoid and that would be at 200 or more amps flowing through it. You can also simply measure the voltage across each battery and compare them but the advantage of the above method is that it's more likely to show up a high resistance connection.
  9. Are you getting any voltage change on the second battery when the solenoid is activated and the engine running ? Where are you measuring the current ?
  10. Forgot to add, when I fit these solenoids I always leave a bit of slack in the battery wires so that, should the need arise, the solenoid can be bypassed simply by moving a cable from one terminal to the other. I've never had one fail but if it does and you're in the middle of nowhere you never know when simply connecting the two batteries together will get you out of a bind.
  11. Yes, so to add in a second battery you just need a solenoid between the positive of the main battery and the positive of the second and you then trigger that by whatever means you want. I use an Albright HD solenoid between the batteries on mine and trigger it via an off-on-on switch where off isolates the two batteries, first on position is automatic triggered by the voltage on the first battery being above 13 volts and the second on position means it comes on with the ignition, allowing the auxiliary battery to help start the vehicle if required. The Albright solenoids are waterproof, extremely reliable and can carry a winch current - on my competition motor I use the HD versions to isolate both winches either via a switch on the dash or if I operate the kill switch for the engine. This is the HD version... https://www.devon4x4.com/albright-su280-isolator-250a.html This is the not so HD version which is fine for most uses... https://www.devon4x4.com/albright-hd-battery-isolator.html
  12. That would depend a lot on which engine you have but normally the charge goes directly form the alternator to the battery, normally via the starter motor terminal. It's not normally connected with the ignition in any way.
  13. I assumed, wrongly, it was Land Rover based I would still go down the route that it should be registered as a cargo carrying vehicle and the camper "pod" is simply cargo so it doesn't matter if it's present or not as it has no effect on the vehicle classification then. I can't see any reason to differentiate between having a camping pod on the back versus any other load you might be carrying.
  14. You can get it reclassified as a motor home if you meet the requirements. It doesn't effect the class (N1/M1) but for vans that would otherwise have to drive at the lower speed limits it allows them to drive at car speed limits. I'm in the process of converting my VW van into a camper van and as soon as I meet the requirements I'll be applying to have it registered as a motor home so I can legally drive it faster. It also means you can get cheaper insurance as motor homes are generally cheaper to insure than a panel van. The requirements are all laid out on the DVLA web site, 2 hob cooker, sink, bed, seating area with fixed table are the main ones. Converting a vehicle into a motorhome - Gov.uk That said for a Land Rover, where you're already exempt from the N1 speed limits due to it's 4x4 classification, there's little to be gained by having it registered as a motor home. Having a demountable camper doesn't change the vehicle any more than putting a pallet in the back would, it's basically just "cargo".
  15. Since we started our club we've had only one proposal to change the rules regarding eligibility and that was originally to do with tyre patterns and that was expanded during the proposal process to include tyre sizes. A number of us had been competing in Ireland for a number of years and noticed that the use of 35 inch Simex and similar, often larger, tyres was making it impossible for anyone without that size of tyres to move around the sites. even the marshals for the competition were using 35 inch Simex so when we turned up for the second year on 32 inch tyres we were pretty much stuffed as most of the tracks were impassable. We'd also seen similar effects on one of the UK sites we were using at the time which was being overused for pay and play between our annual trial there. Despite the land owners best efforts to keep plowing up and levelling the ruts that were being caused we were struggling to get vehicles around the site and didn't want to get involved in an "arms race" of tyre sizes. In the end, when the proposal went to the AGM, it was discussed at length and a unanimous decision led to the proposal being dropped for a number of reasons although it was decided that we should monitor all the sites we still use and reconsider if our use of them is not sustainable in the long term due to either over aggressive tyres or large tyres. As has already been mentioned here, the trials competitions in particular tend to penalise large tyres anyway and none of the sites we now use have pay and play on them so currently none of the sites we use have seen any deterioration. I strongly believe that, government interference aside, for the uk off road scene to continue all users and organisers need to consider the impact they are having on the land and what they can do to help the land owner manage the land and keep the sport sustainable.