Land Rover Club

We are Keith and Marianne, we are new to Land Rovers, and have recently acquired VYK to look after. VYK is a 1968 truck!!! Well that's what the paperwork says. He is supposed to be a Series IIA, diesel, but having only just started to understand how these are modified, it appears that all may not be as it seems. He was built towards the end of 1965, one of a batch of 521 vehicles of contract no. WV3692 placed by the Army on 10th September 1964. Designated as a Truck 1⁄4 ton FFR (fitted for radio) 4x4 Rover 8. Given Army registration no. 87 EN 81. Originally a soft skin B series, petrol engine when built. His military file is very sparse also. Booked in service January 1966, and s/o (sold off) from Ruddington depot, Nottingham on 13th February 1968. He came with a previous colour of black in 1999, and seems to have been turned into his current guise of a colour that resembles Marine Blue but is not, around then, looking at various bits and pieces fitted.

He was registered as VYK 83G on 1st December 1968, in Central London. The wings are Series 3 as is the bulkhead, engine and gearbox. Anyway he is what he is and we are generally pleased with him.

Recently I decided that the injection pump needed a look at, and having “played” with it for an hour or 2 trying to move it around to time the injection ( a bit like a distributor on a petrol, ) I ended up with a diesel leak. Well that was not good news. At the meeting in February I canvassed opinions for attempting the repair and decided that it was worth a go. The internet is wonderful and a new seal kit purchased, complete with a pdf link for instructions. Removing the pump was straight forward, so started a strip down. The fuel saga concluded. When I took the pump apart first time, 2 rollers “moved” when I was handling the injection head. I thought I had replaced them as they came out. They had in fact somehow turned around and therefore did not pump fuel! Very annoying, but after strip and rebuild a second time VYK finally came back to life.

The moral of the story, be very careful when you take things apart. VYK's first days. When we got home with VYK from the far flung region of Cannock ,I have to say, I wonder what I've bought here! Yes, he came from Ebay. BUT I had been to see him and chatted to the previous owner. He'd owned him for 6 years and it was pretty obvious that while used, not very much, there was little evidence that off road use was high on the list. I wanted something to play with and the condition was about what I wanted, lots of fiddling to do, but hopefully nothing major. The drive home was interesting to say the least. I had driven a Land-Rover before, but this was something else!! Progress in a straight line was impossible, sawing side to side along the road a nightmare (yes, there was an MOT only 6 weeks old) the brakes were so heavy I wondered whether they actually worked at all, the pedal, despite a Servo (yes, part of the Series 3 bits !) was so heavy.

First things first a service. Engine oil changed, drain plug needed a hammer, special tool no 1, to release it and the copper washer had been reused many times. Front diff was OK, both hubs need a bit. Transfer box needed special tool no2, a bigger hammer, to release the level plug, level ok. Main gearbox took 2 pints to fill!, overdrive another pint, no wonder it was noisy. No ill effects though, it still whines!. Rear diff was all but empty. Clutch master nearly empty, a top up on brake master. Steering box topped up and that is when I found out why it wandered. So loose, it was not surprising it wandered. Anyway tightened it up and much better it is now. Now the brakes. Being a diesel the servo is made to work by a butterfly valve in the inlet manifold. This was engineered in the 60's before vacuum pumps became reliable. What seemed to be the problem was a lack of vacuum. The book adjustment was correct but still no real brakes. Stripped the valve assembly down. Well-worn I think described it. Shafts wobbled in the holes. Repaired that and then found the Non return valve. What non return valve? It was holed, no wonder no vacuum servo assistance. I didn't much like the idea and operation of the butterfly so invested in a modern (X type Jag, keeping it in the family!) electric vacuum pump.


Keith & Marianne