Dave W

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Everything posted by Dave W

  1. It's an old 110 V8 so a lot heavier duty/deeper than a 90 chassis, the crossmember near the brake is one that was added to support a centre mounted winch under the floor. My gearbox is a LOT longer than the Ford setup otherwise it'd be nowhere near that crossmember.
  2. Been out to look at mine to try and see where you might be having an issue and took a pic for comparison. Bear in mind my transfer box is around 15cm further back than a standard setup due to the long gearbox adaptor between the gearbox and transfer box. I still can't see on your pictures what is catching, is it the operating arm catching on the cross member or something catching on the chassis rails ? If the latter, maybe the gearbox mounts are too low ?
  3. Can you take a wider picture, looks to me like you've not fitted it correctly but difficult to tell from a close up pic of a tiny part of the brake.
  4. I found a few pics of mine, might help... might not The sticker is on the driver's side on the main hoop behind the driver's seat.
  5. Not exactly bolt in, no. They were supplied with plates similar to the ones on the bottom of the cage, these had nuts welded to them and were welded to the floor after cutting suitable holes. That said, that was for the FIA version of the cage, for the none competition version you can probably just bolt through the floor/sill. From memory you install them from the front backwards and you may need to cut part of the dash away depending on the model. They are a pain to get into position and until you get the front legs bolted to the floor you'll feel like you need 6 hands. You also need to get the windscreen top bar in before putting the main hoop in, again this is from memory as it's nearly 20 years since I installed mine !
  6. The difference is in the angle of the backplate from memory. On the Disco the calliper is mounted in a different place to clear the body. No reason why they wouldn't fit to an 88 inch, it's a shame you don't gain any extra length for the rear prop shaft by changing them !
  7. I was dubious at first but if you compare the ratings of the single pole solenoids with the ratings of the winch control solenoids that people have been using for 20 years, you'll see that they are rated pretty much identically. It's a while since I researched it but from memory if you download the Albright specification sheets for both there's nothing to choose between them. I don't pretend to fully understand the ratings as I have an electronics background, not electrical. Many of the current specifications are to do with switching current and not passing current and much of that is voltage related and indicates, as I understand it, the current and voltage that the devices can switch, not what they can pass. As an example, if a circuit is passing 300A and you open the switch at that point, especially with higher voltages, the contacts can be damaged as the contact areas separate from each other. The transition between 0 ohms and infinite ohms in the contacts is not instant and for the fractions of a second in between the current can arc between them. That's not to say that 300A is the maximum it can pass, it's what it can switch. In a cut off solenoid the chances are it will never switch anything like the current that a winch control solenoid might. I spent many hours pouring over data sheets and talking to control gear experts that deal with this stuff all the time and the conclusion was that I was worrying too much about it. Having run this setup for many, many years I've never had a solenoid fail although I've been through a few winch control solenoids in that time.
  8. The MSA technical committee specifically stated that that did NOT meet the regulations and this was confirmed by the MSA cross country committee and Ian Davis in November, 2010, I have the letter from the MSA confirming this somewhere if you really want to see it. I suggested that the winch solenoid could be interpreted as an isolator providing it was controlled via the FIA switch, as you describe. This was rejected out of hand by the MSA at the time and their view has not changed. The technical committee felt that the winch solenoids had to be isolated under the existing regulation. When the regulation stated that ALL electrical items should be isolated from the battery by a single switch, they included winch solenoids in those "electrical items". I had an, at times, quite heated "discussion" with the MSA regarding the implementation of the new challenge regs and it's taken 6 years for then to finally agree and amend the regulations. Similarly, another "trick" that people use to make the FIA switch easier is to wire the alternator direct to the battery, this also doesn't meet the regs then or now. Just because you weren't pulled up at scrutineering doesn't mean it met the regs, the fact that you couldn't actually meet the letter of the regs regardless of setup meant that most scrutineers simply ignored them. How many people were running illegal D shackles, for example, prior to the regulation change ? Come to that, how many people are still using really old D shackles that have now been made illegal as a result of the regulation change ! The new regulation also doesn't allow the winch solenoid to be the only means of isolating the winch btw.
  9. It was rewritten to allow two switches and also to make it clear that you could also use a solenoid to isolate the winches. IMV the latter is always the best option, use an Albright single pole solenoid for each winch next to the battery (you could use 1 for more than 1 winch but I prefer to keep everything independent), that way you can easily wire it so it will only activate when the ignition is on (turning off the ignition removes power from all winches), have a master switch on the dash that disables all winches, fed from the ignition, and when you turn the power off with your FIA switch the winches are also isolated. One master switch kills everything, engine and winches, without putting too much current through the FIA switch. I was responsible for the regulation amendment although the MSA modified the wording slightly which, IMV, made it less clear but that's their job ! Prior to the regulation change nobody complied with the regulation as it was worded, more the "spirit" of the regulation. Edit... sorry, nobody running electric winches I should have said !
  10. It will but you will need to drive it as a PWM valve with resistor on one side. There's a recent thread on this on here somewhere. The MS3X is the only one that can control it in the way the Thor system does (by controlling both sides of it) but using it as a PWM works really well anyway.
  11. MS2 is about $60 more expensive if you're buying from scratch (cost of an MS1 kit versus the cost of an MS2 kit) $279 for MS2 $219 for MS1. To upgrade an existing MS1 to MS2 is around $100 Performance wise the MS2 processor is a massive upgrade over the MS1 version both in speed and capabilities. It's that speed that allows it to make much finer adjustments to everything so, in simple terms, while the MS1 can adjust the fuel being injected in 256 steps the MS2 can adjust it in 1024 steps. Ignition timing is also more accurate and the MS2-Extra firmware is much more advanced than the MS1 version as the processor can support it. There is a version of firmware that runs on MS1 and was kind of the predecessor of MS2-Extra, called MS1-HR (high resolution) which sacrificed some functionality (like dual tables) for finer control and that can be used as a stepping stone but it's not been updated very much since it's inception as so few people are running it. MS2 is quicker to respond to events and has a much finer control of ignition and fuel. The firmware is far more advanced than MS1-Extra and takes advantage of the speed and capabilities of the processor to give you much better control of all aspects. The downside of MS2 versus MS1 is that all the options can take longer to get used to and mistakes in the configuration can be harder to identify. As long as you are methodical and make regular backups of your configuration it's not really an issue though.
  12. If you're using a Thor top end then you don't need stepper control and I can't think of any good reasons to ditch Thor in favour of Gems. Thor uses an IAC that can be controlled directly by any of the MS ECUs with just standard modifications. So, MS2x would be my choice as it's quick, smooth and reliable without the costs of an MS3X setup. I've updated my ECU to MS2X twice now and both times been impressed with how smoothly the engine runs compared to MS1x. Sadly both times I've ended up selling the MS2x on to someone else after being offered decent money and gone back to the old faithful MS1x. I should build another MS2 ECU but I haven't had the time. MS1x is solid and reliable, just a bit "agricultural" when compared to MS2 but then I've been running MS1x for over 15 years now on the same ECU without a problem so there's something to be said for it's "agricultural" nature !
  13. The TD5 ECU sends out an RPM square wave signal to the ECU at 5 volts, maybe you are missing that ? Although it's a 5 cylinder engine the ECU actually sends out a spoofed 4 cylinder RPM with 2 pulses per revolution. Without that RPM signal I doubt the ABS and TC can operate.
  14. There is more info on it available here... It's a simple mod that allows any MS ECU to control one of these valves and has been around since the early MS1-Extra days. A few people have documented it but MegaSquirt has become a bit fractured of late and lots of info has disappeared as commercial entities have replaced the hobbyists that created it and a lot of their work and contribution has been discarded. I suggested it because it's the simplest solution as you only have a single wire to the ECU. That said the MS3X (which I assume you have, rather than MS3) can control a 3 wire valve directly, controlling both sides of the valve. I've never tried it though so not sure how well it works. If you have an MS3 you will need to use the resistor mod as per previous MS versions. There are more details on the attached pdf that might help... idle_valves.pdf
  15. The normal way to control these is to use it as if it were a 2 pin type although it's a bit of a quick and dirty workaround. It works though and that's normal all that matters, especially on such a none critical part of the system. The centre pin on the connector is connected to 12v (ignition switched) and then a power resistor is connected to one of the outside pins. The MS ECU is connected to the remaining pin. The idea is that the power resistor acts as a "spring" pulling the valve to one side by earthing the valve through the resistor. When the MS ECU applies an earth to the other side the valve swings the other way as the MS ECU earth is a lower resistance. By using a PWM sign at the MS ECU it can work against the "spring" and control how far the valve opens. You're best having it so that the "spring" closes the valve, easy to figure out which pin that is by trial and error. Ideally you would remove the "spring" resistor and use the valve as it was intended where it can be moved one way or another by a simple pulsed earth at the appropriate side but last time I looked there was no provision for that although it might be possible to use the four wire stepper control to do it with a bit of rewiring although how effective it would be is anyone's guess !
  16. I watched my first "new" Top Gear the other night and just found it a bit dull really. I'd hoped that enough time had passed that they could have reinvented the show into something new to fit around the strengths of the new presenters. It seemed to have all the right ingredients (the same ingredients of the "old" TG) but I just didn't find myself interested in it. Maybe it was a bad episode but 15 minutes in both me and the other half realised we were both looking at our phones and not actually watching it any more, just glancing up occasionally. They should have reinvented it and given it a new structure as they seem to be struggling to progress the "old" format in any way. Matt LB was doing a "road test" and it seemed like they'd copied one of Clarkson's old scripts and asked him to deliver it as if he really felt it... and he failed to do so with any conviction. They then switched to the studio and they tried a very stilted version of a summary as they stood around the car.... and once again completely failed to come across as if they were a) interested in the car at all and b) weren't delivering a scripted speech that they'd only memorised 5 minutes previously and not rehearsed. Like first night at a very amateur play, none of them knew what the others were about to say and they were waiting on the next cue for them to say their line. The dialogue was stilted and badly timed, frankly I've seen better YouTube presentations. The KoH section seemed to have come from CBBC with the presenters doing their best over enthusiastic, over acted and definitely over the top presentation to 10 year old kids. Maybe it's my age but the KoH coverage bored me so much I have no idea what they actually did because they lost my interest in the first few minutes. By comparison, the James May "challenge competition" on GT was predictable but funny and entertaining at the same time. I think I may prefer my TG to contain childish humour rather than presenters who treat me like a child. Where you pretty much knew James May was out of his depth and you knew how much of it was contrived, it didn't matter because it was so well delivered and a lot of that hangs on his personality just as the format of the show that TG now tries to continue, was built around the personalities of the three presenters that it evolved around. So many "good bits" of the first GT series that I've enjoyed, just like TG as was, it's a mixed bag but I can't think of a single episode of GT or it's TG predecessor where I haven't found part of it funny and entertaining. The new TG though, frankly I found it more annoying that amusing, in part because they seem determined to be stand-ins for someone else and they seem to know it. I don't know why TG won't let the show move in a direction to suit the presenters and their personalities rather than trying to stick to a formula that worked well in the past. Perhaps, to throw in a bit of Black Adder, when asked why they weren't fighting a campaign based on issues rather than personality, he responded "because our candidate has no personality". Obviously if you didn't enjoy the presenters in the "old" TG then you're not going to enjoy GT and may find the new TG suits you better than the old. If you liked the old TG though, for me the latest incarnation is a pale imitation of GT and GT has continued to evolve despite all the contractural stuff the BBC has them pinned down with.
  17. It's not "hate" it's just how it is. If you compare Gigglepin to a similar (in my mind) UK engineering company (Ashcrofts) who actually stand by their products 100% with real warranties that they honour, Gigglepin fall well short of the mark in my personal experience. I think it's just something you have to accept with Gigglepin, there's no warranty to speak of because you use the winch in competition, break an Ashcroft half shaft in competition in the first 2 years = free replacement, no quibble. Even out of warranty (my 7 year old Ashcroft CV that I blew apart) Ashcroft bent over backwards to help and shipped parts FOC to me so I could repair it. Will I buy from Ashcrofts again, absolutely. Maybe I've just been unlucky by being an "early adopter" and hitting issues with very expensive "upgrades" that subsequently failed. I accept that parts fail through bad design or manufacturing, what really makes a difference though and sways your perception of the company is the attitude when something does break and that something has broken, not through abuse but through design and manufacturing faults. That's when you find out which companies value their customers and which are taking you for a ride. When you phone a company up to tell them the part you bought is now in two pieces, at the very least you expect them to offer a discount on the new part even if they don't feel that the part wasn't fit for use. What you don't expect is some smart arse on the other end of the line saying "Oh, yes, those early ones were really unreliable and weak, we now make our own which are much better and stronger, retail on the replacement is £x + VAT + Shipping, would you like to buy a replacement ?". They wouldn't even do free shipping ! The attitude was simple, pay full price to replace the faulty part or throw your winch in the bin, which is it to be ? Am I really being unreasonable in expecting, at the very least, a discount on replacements for parts which, by their own admission, weren't up to the task in the first place ? Even bl**dy Britpart give a 2 year warranty on their stuff ! I'm not the only one though, I've spoken to a number of new Redwinch owners and customer service from Gigglepin is a major factor in why they now run Redwinch kit instead. Maybe Gigglepin have been disadvantaged by being first, Redwinch have possibly gained from Gigglepin's experience, I don't know. I'm glad to see Gigglepin responding but, as I said, you won't find me spending more money with them even if I could find a competition in the UK that inspired me to want to take part. Your Land Rover comparison makes no sense really. If you buy a Land Rover and part of it fails within 3 years they'll replace the part FOC under warranty. If there's an upgraded part available that is better and has superseded the part that's broken, they fit that FOC under warranty. My P38 Range Rover had 3 different alarm pickup modules fitted under warranty before I bought it as Land Rover worked out the faults in it ! Having said all that, I've never bought anything from Redwinch and have no idea what their customer service is like, they may be just as bad or even worse than Gigglepin but I've not heard anything like that around any events. I'm sure their stuff breaks too but my experience of Gigglepin makes me fairly certain that their customer service and after sales support can't be any worse ! just to show I'm consistent, you might want to check out this topic from 5 years ago... the only thing that's changed in that time is that Redwinch seem to have taken a big chunk out of Gigglepin's market share.
  18. Checked my RR parts catalogue and I can confirm NRC7616 is the correct part number, it's listed as a 7/16 x 4" UNF bolt.
  19. That's not the right part western, the 3 bolt uses imperial bolts and fittings. 1987 on will be metric. From memory the bolts are UNF, probably 1/2 inch or 5/16. I have a parts book from my Range Rover (1980) in the loft I can check against later.
  20. I'm nervous about buying anything "new" from Gigglepin, they don't exactly have a good track record when it comes to supporting their products and "known" points of failure. Their customers basically end up paying for their R. and D. When you phone them up and say "x has just snapped in half" the normal response is something like "oh yes, that's a known issue with the early ones, we can sell you an improved one for £x * 2". You don't even get the replacement at cost price even though they've acknowledged it was a faulty part by design or manufacture. They're obviously feeling the pinch a bit though with Redwinch and, from the consumer's point of view, having Redwinch and Gigglepin going head to head to compete against each other is always going to improve innovation and price ! Sadly both are out of my "justifiable costs" budget at the moment but Redwinch is where my money would go if I was looking for a new winch.
  21. There's a minimum size for a bed in the regs, not sure a hammock would comply... if you fit a pop top though you can integrate a bed into the pop top, there's a bed in my pop top that could potentially sleep 2 adults. It can, in theory sleep 4 adults in the van although it'd be a bit "cosy" ! As the Disco is based on the Range Rover it's very likely the roof can be separated, don't know for sure though as I've never really looked at a Disco 2 from that point of view. The main ones are these... Guide to Changing body code to Motor Caravan inc sample letter DVLA Vehiccle change info. They're a bit old now but still being used and if you search the forum for DVLA there are regularly reports and advice from people using that info to get there van changed. Interestingly, the second link, first post, talks about the external appearance thing which isn't in the regs as such but is classed as a 'reasonableness test'. I'm building my van because we compete in dog agility competitions and we needed a vehicle that could carry the dogs, handle overnight stays and give us somewhere to chill in between runs during the day. On the agility forums there are often complaints from people who have sign written vans, that they use for work during the week and agility at the weekends, where they have been refused entry to camp sites because it looks too much like a van despite having full camping facilities in the van.
  22. On the VW T5 forum there is an FAQ and sample covering letters that outline what you should and should not include in your application to the DVLA and the vast majority go through first time without an issue. The "looks like a camper" thing is not something that comes up as an issue very often. I suspect in Simon's case that it's the lack of windows that has triggered the issue if, externally, it looks like a panel van. My van build is also being kept as unobtrusive as I can but it has all round windows just like the Cali that is pictured above and that is normally enough to be "not a van". I can't see from the pics if the sliding door has a window or not ? One of the odd things about the UK system is the speed limit issue and DVLA have said in the past that it needs to look like a camper rather than a panel van so that the police can tell what speed it's supposed to be travelling at. It's generally accepted that a van with all round windows is assumed by the police to have car speed limits whereas a van without rear windows or only one or two rear windows is assumed to be a van and subject to lower speed limits. The irony is that if you have a van with all around windows that isn't M1 classified and is not classified as a motor caravan, you never really know what speed you can travel at without getting pulled. Even if you are M1 classified or have the model as a motor caravan you may still get pulled for doing 70 on a dual carriageway if the police think you're driving a van... Hence the DVLA insisting that it not look like a panel van to reclassify it.
  23. Speed limits and insurance are the main reasons. As a van it's restricted to 60MPH on dual carriageways and 50MPH on single carriageways. As a camper van it has the same speed limits as a car. For insurance, insurance as a camper van is much cheaper through specialist insurers that will only insure camper vans and not commercial vans. The insurer I am with at the moment gave me a really good deal but one of the conditions of the insurance is that I have 6 months to convert it and get it changed to a camper van with DVLA at the end of the conversion process. Yep, seen a few people report that previously although I believe there has been a change of mind from DVLA on that in recent months. Not a problem for mine as it has windows all round and a pop top.
  24. In the UK there are specific requirements for a vehicle to be reclassified as a camper van. I guess there will be something similar in Ireland. FWIW in the UK you need a bed (minimum dimensions are required), a seat and dining area (with a fixed table that may be detachable for storage), a sink, a stove or microwave for cooking and some form of wardrobe/storage fixed to the vehicle and some form of water storage. Full details of what is required for a UK vehicle is here... https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/522756/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motorhome.pdf Just about to submit an application to DVLA for my conversion as it happens. As I say, I would guess that there's something similar in Ireland to meet their requirements.
  25. 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.