WRIT­ERS’ ROVERS

Time to get all the lit­tle an­noy­ances sorted on the Green Mamba

Land Rover Monthly - - Contents - PA­TRICK CRUYWAGEN ED­I­TOR

Who is the Green Mamba some of you might be ask­ing? Well it’s the name my son Isaac has given to my De­fender 110. Why the Green Mamba? Well not only is it the name of a quick-striking ven­omous snake, it was also the name given to the pro­to­types dur­ing the at­tempt by BMW to put M52 en­gines into South African De­fend­ers dur­ing the late 1990s.

I’ve just re­turned from an epic tag-along tour with Ven­ture 4x4 in Ice­land and the last thing I did be­fore leav­ing was to drop off my De­fender 110 at Rogers of Bed­ford, my lo­cal in­de­pen­dent Land Rover spe­cial­ists. Some of you might be aware of the fact that in the late 1990s Rogers of Bed­ford im­ported about half a dozen South African De­fend­ers with the M52 en­gines into the UK. So I could not have picked a bet­ter work­shop.

Since my first drive of the De­fender when it came off the con­tainer ship, the rear brakes have been in­cred­i­bly squeaky. I did ini­tially think that it might just be a bit of rust and so I tried sev­eral emer­gency brak­ing ma­noeu­vres, but the noise still per­sisted. My son did not seem to mind the noise, be­cause he could hear me be­fore he saw me when I came to pick him up from nurs­ery.

Other niggles in­cluded a bro­ken in­side door han­dle on the front pas­sen­ger side (which I snapped off at the Kel­marsh Land Rover show). The same door did not un­lock from the out­side and had to be opened from the in­side. Lastly the in­di­ca­tor stalk snapped when I was try­ing to fix the lights. This was all quickly re­solved while I was away. The old rear brake pads were re­placed with Land Rover ones. Then a new plas­tic door han­dle was fit­ted. Fi­nally the whole lock as­sem­bly on the front pas­sen­ger door was re­placed. So too was the lock but­ton and its hous­ing. The last job was to re­place the in­di­ca­tor stalk with a new work­ing one. And that was all Rogers of Bed­ford had to do for now.

Next month I hope to buy some stan­dard shocks and springs and re­place the raised heavy-duty ones that are on the

truck. When cor­ner­ing hard the Green Mamba han­dles like a ship in a storm. I’m sure that once we take it back to stan­dard it will sit a whole lot bet­ter on the road. I might even go for slightly big­ger tyres.

If you read the Billing Show re­port (page 72) you will see that I re­cently took my De­fender off-road. Ob­vi­ously I gave the le­gendary mud run a skip but I did go through a few other muddy bits. I was more than happy with how it did, though as soon as I got home, out came the Karcher pres­sure washer.

I have pen­cilled in a green­lan­ing trip with the chaps from the Shrop­shire Mas­sif next month so hope­fully there will be an­other op­por­tu­nity to get it off-road. I can’t wait!

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