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