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Friday 30 December 2016

Instrument binnacle

The plastic round the instrument cluster in Fender was held together with metal straps and badly fitting self tapping screws.

The rough repairs to the dashboard were because the plastic of the binnacle had broken round the fixing tabs. Apparently this is common and Raptor Engineering make a metal replacement. They also make a back bracket to replace the plastic one, also broken on our Defender.

It's winter and cold outside so I added some heating to make working on Fender more comfortable.

The first job I did while it was all apart was to fit an auxiliary fuse box. With hindsight I would have had more room to work if I had done that last!

Replacing the binnacle is a fairly easy job but a little time consuming because of all the bits that need to be removed and swapped over. I also took the opportunity to clean and repair other bits before putting it all back together.

The speedo cable drive is always awkward to remove but that is just one of my dislikes. I usually get the squeeze and pull to work after a few attempts.

One of the screws towards the back of the of the mounting bracket was difficult to get to. Removing the short section of corrugated heater pipe gave a bit more room to move the ratchet handle.

One of the fixings is a bolt and you get to the nut after removing the right hand heater controls.

Shelley cleaned up the rust and sprayed the existing metal lower plate to make that look better. She also replaced all the exterior lights with LED lamps while I worked on the dashboard.

Typical of work on Fender so far, someone had done a hasty work round making our jobs more difficult. One of the lamps had been replaced with the wrong type.

Luckily I have the correct Econoseal connectors in my shed and fitted one to the original leads.



LED indicators need a different flasher relay to get them to work at the correct speed.

Another distraction while fitting the binnacle was the steering column. You don't need to remove the steering column plastic covers to replace the binnacle but someone had left the immobiliser coil off of the ignition barrel and I wanted to put it back where it should be.

If you do take the steering column cover apart, the lower centre bolt is critical for aligning the plastic case. The steering column plastic cover has to go on before putting the binnacle back.

Swapping the instruments over is easy although it is necessary to drill the hole for the alarm light.

I was pleased I had bought a set of new gaskets for the instruments because several of the originals had perished.

I am very pleased with the result.

The last finishing touches are the stickers for the heater controls.

Monday 26 December 2016

Lucas 10AS remote fob re-sync

Why are all jobs on cars more complicated than you expect.

All I wanted to do was pickup some power behind the dash in a 1998 300TDi Land Rover Defender 90 and I ended up having to learn how to re-synchronise the immobiliser remotes.

In order to tap in to a permanent feed I had the power to the factory standard Lucas 10AS alarm system removed for perhaps 2 hours. By the time I put it all together again the remotes had decided not to disable the immobiliser.

Lucas two button remote

I went on to the Internet to find out what I should have done when disconnecting the battery. It did not take long to find out that I did not have to do anything in advance but that it was now necessary to re-sync the remotes to the alarm system.

Easy, they say, just press the lock button four times quickly in a row and they will work again. WRONG, that is only partially correct for our Land Rover.

After a lot of frustrating trial and error and snippets of information from various sources the following is what worked for me to get the remotes working again on a 1998 Defender, that does not have central door locking:

1. Shut all the doors and the bonnet of the Defender. I left the doors unlocked.
2. Take the remotes away from the car (I don't know if this is necessary)
3. Open a remote
4. Remove the battery from the remote
5. Press the buttons to discharge any residual power (I don't know if this is necessary)
6. Put the battery back in to the remote
7. Go back to the car but do NOT open the doors (I don't know if this matters)
8. From outside the car. Hold the remote a few inches from the windscreen facing the steering wheel
9. Press the UNLOCK button 4 or more times fairly quickly in a row

All being well the indicator lamps on the dash should flash to show that the immobiliser has been disabled. The remote should now work as expected.

I repeated this with the other remote and now both my remotes work.

One other thing that might help. To open the remote fob, remove it from the key ring and use a small screwdriver or blade at the key ring end, slide it in to the thin slit and twist to separate the two halves of the fob.

I had investigated bypassing the immobiliser, just in case all else had failed, so I now know a lot more about that than I previously did.

On the internet, people claim you can bypass the immobiliser be replacing the 'spider' box that is  deliberately well secured in the end of the battery box. The security is better than that, not much but a little. Some of the immobiliser functions are within the Alarm ECU, so unless you want to re-wire part of the car, getting the remotes working is the easier solution.


Saturday 24 December 2016

Defender 'Joe' 90 on the track

I wanted to get the model of Andy's Landy finished so I could give it to him as an extra Christmas present.

I just managed to complete it. We were only 10 minutes late :-)

On display at Andy's

Before I added the door mirrors I ran it round the track.

Four wheel drive based on the running gear from a Ninco RAID car. The body and chassis are 3D printed. The roll cage and a few of the details are made from brass wire.

To compare to the real thing, here are a couple of pictures of Joe.


Defender 90 Blend file
Defender 90 STL files (zip)
Licence attribution