Car Changelog!

It occurred to me that I should keep track of things I do to my cars. Typically I’ve done most of the work to the Landie over the past 2 years, and now it’s just minor fixes, but here goes..

Land Rover

* Replaced oil pressure sensor
* Replaced alternator bracket
* Replaced alternator
* Replaced rear fog lamp (thank you Kenny!)
* Re-fitted handbrake expander spring


* Cleaned rear suspension wishbones

Land Rover Series 3 Alternators

[flickr id=”6796206814″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”large” group=”” align=”left”] Recently I had the misfortunate to wear out my alternator. It started under-charging, and my battery would slowly discharge over the course of a week. It was time for a replacement. This would normally be a routine task, if it weren’t for a massive potentially £200 gotcha that seems to befall a few of us.

The Series 3 originally comes with a 28Amp Lucas 16ACR alternator, and this is mostly superceded by the 17ACR – a drop-in 35A replacement that everybody seems to use. Well, it’s mostly drop in…

[flickr id=”6796205110″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”]I found out the hard way, when the new alternator chewed through a fan belt in under 20 miles. Further inspection showed that the alternator pulley was about 6mm further forward than on the previous alternator. Much searching on Google revealed that in the cases of those with engine numbers starting 901, 904, 361 or 364, with suffix A or B, a bracket is required. Specifically part ETC4357 or 574855. Everywhere you search for this part will offer it for the best part of £200. If you’re unsure what your engine number is, look on the left hand side of the block, just behind the face that the water pump mounts on, and just below the first exhaust port. Scrub it clean, wedge your head into the engine bay, and get the number. A list of prefix and types can be found at if you’re also interested.

[flickr id=”6942321385″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”true” size=”large” group=”” align=”left”] Unsure about where to go from here, at 9.30pm I got in touch with Dom at LR Series, who replied within 15 minutes. Talk about customer service! He advised that a second hand part is available at a much lower cost if you order it on their website and let them quote for the part. Suffice to say, not only was the part much *much* cheaper, it was also express couriered up and will be at home in less than 24 hours. This, your honour, is the solution to the bracket-for-slightly-less-common-engines problem, and how you make loyal customers 🙂

Sure/Smartie LCDProc

Recently I’ve been looking at getting a computing device into the Land Rover. Short of buying a full sized 7″ touch screen, I opted to go for a slightly cheaper £20 4×20 LCD display. This was more to be proof of concept, and give me a starter to work on, before I decide whether or not to put a full sized screen in.

Ultimately, I purchased a SmartieLCD module from Ebay. It arrived, I plugged it into my laptop running Windows at work, and it worked first time. Now it was time to get it working with LCDProc!

Earlier on I had spotted that SmartieLCD in Windows used the Matrix Orbital DLL file. Sadly, when using LCDProc in Linux, Matrix didn’t work at all. It was time to go looking

Enthused by, and manufacturers documentation, I decided to check out the CVS copy of LCDProc. The last ‘release’ was back in 2007, so if I was to get anything recent it would have to be from CVS

cvs login
cvs -z3 co -P lcdproc

Having a look around the source files indicate that Sure Electronics displays were supported, but not enabled by default. A simple ./configure flag would enable them, so it was time to get compiling. Firstly some support files have to be installed first.

sudo apt-get install libusb-dev autogen automake

After that, kick off the build process, and enable Sure Electronics support at configure time.

sh ./
./configure –enable-drivers=SureElec
sudo make install

Now that the software is installed, LCDd needs configured in order to send data to the LCD display.

sudo vim /usr/local/etc/LCDd.conf

In here, a few parts need changed –


And that’s it! Execute /usr/local/sbin/LCDd, and you should get a Clients: 0 and Screens: 0 on the LCD display.

All is good!

More Land Rover Stuff

Work continues on the Land Rover, and it’s mostly road legal now. More than it’s ever been in the past 3 years 🙂

Things now fitted include… Windscreen seal
Front lighting grills
Radiator grill
Reversing switch and lamp
New floor
New seats
Replaced foglight wiring and switching
New dashboard switches
Extra windscreen to roof seal
27A Rear accessories electrical supply
Repaired offside rear hub
New hub bolts and gaskets
Battery clamps
Forward fuse box and circuit
New gearbox frame and lever
Fuel cap

It’s pretty much good to go for an MOT. It just needs grease and oil in the right places. I don’t know if I’ll manage to get it ready before I go on holiday, but it would be nice. On the other hand, it would be preferable to get things like the door trims, lighting, radio gear and computer installed before an MOT. Just get it all done before the big day really.>

Land Rover Stage n

I’ve not been updating this site cos I’ve been working on the Land Rover so much! I’ve lost count of all the stages that it’s gone through, but I’m hoping this is the last one.

All being well, I could get the work done before the end of November and in time for a tax disc in December. However, a 2 week holiday in December makes that a little uneconomical. We’ll see… economics vs eagerness.

Things that have been done so far…
Refurbished and refitted dashboard
Custom chassis wiring management system (ie waterproof tubes)
New wiring loom front, middle and back.
New light, front and back.
New instrument panel
Refurbished front wing mounting points.
Scratch fabricated aluminium reinforcement behind front lights
Scratch fabricated aluminium reinforcement at wing mounting points
New mud shields, and snazzy drainage system between shields and footwell devised by Bill
New windscreen seals
New bulkhead
Renovated heater and blower system
Refurbished handbrake drum, brakes and mechanism
New front doors, top and bottom.
Painted front and rear doors
New and sealed fuel tank
Removal of old rear seats, refurbishment of mounting points
Fitment of rear storage compartment and gas struts on lid
Drain and replace all oils and fluids
Regrease all grease points
Removal of redundant and broken choke cable, modification of ignition barrel to accept modern choke cable.
Design and fitting of interior rear shelf.
A thorough wash and polish

Things that remain to be done for an MOT.

Fitting of new seats
Replace N/S rear axle stub
Replace all drive flange bolts and gaskets

Things that I’d like to get done very soon
Fitment of LaSalle door interiors
Fitment of radio gear
Fitment of rear floodlight, reversing lights, and fog lights