Hes­i­tate no more

Pa­trick tries to sort out his De­fender’s he­si­ta­tion is­sues

Land Rover Monthly - - Writers’ Rovers - PA­TRICK CRUY­WA­GEN ED­I­TOR

My De­fender has been run­ning pretty well since ar­riv­ing from Africa but now that the tem­per­a­tures have started to plum­met as we head into the depths of win­ter, I have no­ticed a slight en­gine he­si­ta­tion, es­pe­cially on long in­clines. In the hot sum­mer months I could just power out of sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions, but now I need to gear down. What’s go­ing on with the 2.8? Did wa­ter or mois­ture get in some­where while I was do­ing all those deep-wa­ter cross­ings at the Billing off-road site dur­ing Storm Brian? Rogers of Bed­ford were fully booked, so I drove it to my good friend Bar­rie Hearn from Have­lock Mo­tors, which is lo­cated on the Charles Wells Brew­ery prop­erty in Bed­ford. I pop the bon­net and ex­plain the prob­lem to Bar­rie. He con­firms what my re­search has thus far re­vealed. I’m a mem­ber of a 2.8i Face­book group and the gen­eral con­sen­sus is that they don’t like ex­treme cold.

We need to check the spark plugs first. The en­gine cover is re­moved and then Bar­rie care­fully re­moves each of the six coil packs. Sev­eral of the rub­ber ends on the coil packs are pretty badly worn.

Hardly ideal when they are sup­posed to cover the spark plugs. Has some mois­ture man­aged to find its way in there? I do not like the colour of the spark plugs and they look as if they have been in there for a while. Some of the elec­trodes look worn. New ones cost less than a fiver each, so I ask Bar­rie to or­der us six more then jump in my wife’s Audi (she works at the brew­ery) and drive to BMW to buy some new rub­ber ends for the coil packs. The Bed­ford BMW garage prob­a­bly still works on loads of M52 en­gines like mine and they should have some. They do – but they want nearly £20 per rub­ber, so I pop across the road to Bosch (who make them) and get them for £7 each! A bar­gain com­pared to BMW.

By the time I re­turn, Bar­rie has al­ready in­stalled my new steer­ing damper which I pur­chased while vis­it­ing Bear­mach last week to do the pho­tos for the Camel Dis­cov­ery replica story on page 74.

I still chat to the pre­vi­ous owner of my De­fender and he re­cently told me that the Ter­rafirma RTC steer­ing damper was al­ready about six-years old. Also, it was piss­ing out flu­ids. Hope­fully this sit­u­a­tion is now rec­ti­fied thanks to my new damper and hope­fully the steer­ing on Green Mamba will be a whole lot smoother.

While I put the new rub­ber ends on the coil packs, Bar­rie quickly in­stalls the new spark plugs. Will it be bet­ter now? Well the steer­ing is with­out a doubt smoother and while I do ini­tially think that the he­si­ta­tion prob­lem has gone, it soon comes back again. Es­pe­cially on cold morn­ings or nights or when I have not driven it for a day or two.

I post the de­tails of my prob­lem on the 2.8i De­fender Face­book group. I also chat to a me­chanic mate in the pub and he of­fers to come an take a look. I’m con­fi­dent that we will find a so­lu­tion.

New spark plugs and rub­ber ends for coil packs are also fit­ted Pat’s good friend Bar­rie Hearn of Have­lock Mo­tors in Bed­ford Old, leaky Ter­rafirma steer­ing damper was re­placed New rub­ber ends for the coil packs

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