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I have been quite lucky with Mator my old Series 3 Landy where oil leaks are concerned most people who own Land Rovers constantly joke about them “marking” their spots on driveways with oil leaks but mine has been great apart from just one leak from the front of the transfer box so I decided it was about time I tackled it because as leaks go it was quite a big one.

Up at the crack of dawn as is my norm these days I grabbed a brew got the baby grow on grabbed my toolbox and slid underneath the Landy to start taking it apart again. First things to come off where the four prop shaft bolts the first three came off with no problems at all but the fourth in good Land Rover tradition rounded off as soon as I put some pressure on it so out came the grinder…

I should point out I had drained the oil out of the transfer box as well before I started taking bits off of it even I am not that daft! With the bolts off I moved the prop shaft to one side and was faced with a nut with a split pin through it…


The split pin came out easy enough but that bolt decided we were in a fight for our lives and it seriously thought it was going to win…it nearly did. You have to use a pry bar or something similar to stop the whole thing from turning whilst simultaneously trying to undo the bolt that has been in place for years and years and years. I swore at it scrapped my knuckles threw things across the driveway used limbs of my body in better ways than I have ever done in a game of Twister but it would not move.

I walked away and made a brew muttering to myself what sort of idiot buys an old Land Rover anyway and came to the conclusion I must be some sort of masochist.

Ten minutes on and my blood pressure approaching something back to normal I assumed the Twister position underneath the Landy and had another stab at it. It undid as if it was only finger tight…bloody Land Rovers but I shook my head smiled to myself and carried on dismantling it all when a river of oil came flooding out of the front of the box all down my arm soaking the baby grow and the clothes I had on underneath. The angle of the driveway must have caused it to sit in there well away from the drainage plug just waiting for me to do something stupid like remove the shaft and seal and give it a way out!

At this point I just had to laugh out loud wipe myself down and keep digging until I got to the seal which looked like it was in good condition but I after getting all the way into it I changed it anyway. The rebuild went smoothly with it all going back together easily and I replaced the nuts and bolts on the drive shafts with new filled up the transfer box with oil started it up and rove it up and down the driveway a bit to then see it leaking from exactly the same place as before…I was not in the least bit surprised. I have come to terms that this will be my leak and it is quite a good one but this is to make up for the fact it doesn’t leak much from anywhere else.

The second job of the day was to take it for a spin and set up the carb properly as last time I was out it seemed to be underpowered. My mechanic friend who had turned up after the messy oil and seal incident good timing on his part eagerly jumped into the passenger seat for a ride out in “something old school” his words but he is right and off we went. After a few miles it had warmed up and was running way too lean so after a few stops here and there the mixture was tweaked up the tick over turned down and he difference is astounding.

You may have noticed I have been having a bit of a love hate relationship with Mator of late. I have loved building him and I love working on him but I don’t really relish the idea of driving him too far let alone off roading in him but having said that I wouldn’t want to sell him either so I have solved the problem…I have just bought myself a Discovery to play off road in and use in the wintertime because I am getting fed up of sliding around on my motorbike on the way to work and back then.
Because I have bought another toy I will change a couple of bits on Mator like the wheels and seats giving him more of the Military sense he had before tipping his hat at the service he provided in his last life.

BUT this means I have a new project again so watch this space for the next build it isn’t going to be long…

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