Land Rover owners wives, are used to the sight of their beloved peering into the engine bay, trying once again to identify just exactly where the oil is coming from, even though it is a fact that oil leaks are endemic amongst Series Land Rovers, frequently clearing up and then reappearing without notice and even managing to change their location at will. Oil leaks in Series Land Rovers are, in my humble opinion, like a floating spec of dust, difficult to spot but present all the same.
The other favoured position of the contented Land Rover owner is under the vehicle, muttering like a well seasoned back street mechanic, complaining about seized bolts and previous owner botches, scratching their chin and cursing the ineptitude of some long retired Land Rover design engineer for putting bolts in impossible to reach places.
Of course every Land Rover owner expects his wife to be a willing apprentice, happy to squeeze arm, body and soul into those aforementioned impossible to reach places, to try and hold the spanner in place as he tightens the nut/bolt, to help lift unbelievably heavy, dirty and oily pieces of Land Rover off, on, off and then (if she is really lucky) back on again for the final time – not that there is anything final about Series land Rovers or the refurbishment/restorations that they undergo.
Then there is the trip out. A jaunt for the Land Rover owner and his wife because the kids are at school. A rare treat, to be enjoyed to the nth degree.
Today Mud had a day off, the last one before the Mudlets break up for the Summer. So with the girls safely ensconced at school, we set off for a trip out …….. to BAP for nuts and bolts, A&P to drop off another order for parts and then we had lunch …. a tasty creamy steak bake slice in Morrisons car park. So very romantic!
Then it was back home to begin the job of aligning the tub on Ciggy, in readiness for the reassembly of her body panels and various parts.
Actually, I had gardening club to run first and so Mud had to kick his heels for the duration which is something Land Rover owners are not very good at.
“You can have a cup of tea first,” was his generous offer on my return.
I was feeling more than a little jaded by now, as it had been in the very high 20s temperature wise and the prospect of several hours of working in the workshop, was not exactly filling me with joy, especially because with its’ clear roof it is like an enormous greenhouse during hot weather.
Mud is a pessimist, tending to focus on the negatives of a situation rather than the positives ……. except that is where Land Rover jobs are concerned, where a hitherto undisclosed optimistic side comes to the fore.
“Right, let’s get on with it then,” he said in a cherry voice,”It’ll only take an hour.”
I gave him my best Mrs Mud look which clearly stated that I didn’t believe that for a second, grabbed the Special land Rover tool number 154 (brushed double knit yarn in case you’re wondering) which I had managed to find in a drawer upstairs, and followed him out to the workshop.
Alignment of the tub is the crucial starting point when refitting the body panels to a Series chassis and so the first job was to check the alignment of the tub to bulkhead. This was done by stretching a long piece of wool from the back of the tub to the front edge of the bulkhead, along the body crease checking the distance from the top of the curve to the wool. This was done several times during the course of the 2 hours it actually took us to get the tub alignment right.
You see Claire, I could even find a use for a spare bit of wool during Muds Land Rover rebuild 🙂
I finished the afternoon off with one of my numerous ambles around the vegetable patch, checking on the growth of the various plants, picked some mangetout and thinned out the Carrot Early Nantes. The size of the thinnings was really quite impressive and these joined the mangetout as part of the Sweet and Sour Chicken dish that Mud cooked for tea.
So by close of play this evening I can announce that Mud is happy to have the tub finally bolted into place, as can be seen from his boyish delight at being able to rock the tub and in doing so, moving the chassis, instead of causing the tub to move along and nearly fall off the chassis rails.
As for me, well I’m just glad that I won’t be required to carry either the tub or the bulkhead anywhere for the foreseeable future and I’ll be happier still when the various body parts which are currently dotted around the garden, join the tub and bulkhead, so that I can look out of my windows and see grass, flowers, shrubs, you know, garden things.