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Sunday 24 June 2018

Defender door card removal

I've got to the stage in fitting the central locking where I needed to look inside the doors. There are plenty of other references on the Internet about fitting central locking however very few of them mention how to remove the trim from the door.

I did not do things in the right order, so as a first step, this is the order I would recommend removing bits so that other bits either support what you are doing or are free to allow something else to be removed:

1. Remove the bezel round the interior lock button
2. Remove the trim under the door release handle
3. Remove the window winder handle
4. Remove the door pull handle
5. Unclip the two visible trim clips. These have a plastic push through centre.
6. Lever up all round the edge of the door card to release the hidden trim clips

I highly recommend having a set of trim removal tools. They are relatively low cost and the various shapes and types of tool make removing the assorted clips much easier. For the defender doors I only needed the one tool for the bulk of the clips. Just a large plastic lever.

I would also recommend buying a set of spare trim clips before starting. Some will break and some will mysteriously go missing, as small bits on cars always do.

There are several suppliers on e-bay selling kits with just the right numbers and types of clips for Defender doors.

Interior lock button
This is made of three plastic parts. The escutcheon or bezel, the button and the guide that the button runs in. That last bit is screwed to the door.

To take the door card off, only the escutcheon has to be removed.

The bezel round the lock button is tricky to remove. It is held in place by two semi spherical nodules that drop in to holes. The top is held in position by a slide which is towards the outside of the door, hidden behind the push button.

The rear clip slides in an open topped slot.

The escutcheon must be pulled straight upwards to avoid breaking the rear slide. I found I had to use a lot more force than I felt comfortable with and a lever under the surround, to get it off. Eventually the escutcheon just pops up. It helps to understand where the two side nodule clips are.

This was much easier while the door card was still firmly attached to the door.

Refitting the button bezel is easier, just slide it from above. I made sure that the rear slide was aligned with it's slot and I just push down hard to get the side clips to pop in to place.

Release handle trim
This is fairly easy, it's just one screw at the lowest point in the handle recess and a clip towards the back of the handle.

Pull the handle to gain access to the screw and remove that.

Push the surround towards the rear of the car and lift the back out slightly to release the rear clip. Pull the handle then the surround should easily slide forward and out.

When putting it back I had to push it hard towards the back to get the rear clip to drop in place but then all that was required was to put the screw back in.

Window winder removal
I found this fairly easy but only after I looked up how it worked.
There is a wire clip round the splined spindle.

I made myself a couple of small hooks. I tried wire but I found a flat bit of scrap metal was a bit easier to hold.

With the door card pushed in a little it was just a case of hook the rear of the clip and pull it out. It was a bit fiddly.

There is a proper tool for this which pushes from the other side and opens the clip at the same time. It was too expensive for occasional use.

Window winder refitting
It can be tricky to refit the window winder. I needed to line up the spring clip and push at the same time.

I partially fitted the clip before fitting the handle. That held the clip in place while I pushed with something thin.
I tried a screwdriver which was OK but better still I had a furniture tack remover which is a bit like a screwdriver but has a cranked end. That was easier to get in position.
The spring clip does not push fully home. It is supposed to be a few millimetres away from the shaft of the handle. There are plastic marker posts that stops the clip at the correct distance. I don't know if that is deliberate.

Door pull handle
I nearly didn't type any notes for the door handle but it occurred to me that there has to be a first time for everyone.
Like every car interior handle I have ever taken off, there are clip in covers over the screws. A small screwdriver or knife can be pushed in to the small gap and the cover pivots away.

Take it gently, the plastic hinges are prone to breaking away. Luckily, they usually click back in to place, even if the hinge end has broken.

Until the handle is removed the door card is still held firmly in place.

Visible trim clips
There are two trim clips that are on show from inside the car.

One clip is near to the top hinge and one in the opposite corner. These are the expanding rivet type. Prior to use, they have a pin that sticks out. When installed the pin is pushed through until flush. This expands the legs of the clip to hold it in to a plastic receiver (part number MWC9917) or sometimes just a hole.

To get this type of clip off, I use a flat ended rod of a similar size to the centre pin. I used to use a drill bit but as I've done these so often, I ground down a small nail which I keep with my other trim tools.

I push the pin in a little and pull with a trim clip remover at the same time. I usually have to inch it out a little at a time and push the pin in further and repeat. If the receiver that should be in the door is missing the pin often pushes right through and it's easy to pull out.

If it is stubborn you can carefully cut the top off with a knife and discard it. That risks the fabric on the door card so I don't like doing that.

More likely the whole clip and receiver will pull out of the door. You then have to prise the pair apart or cut it off.

If you recover the pin and still have a complete clip, you can usually reuse these a couple of times.

Hidden clips
The first time you remove this type of hidden clip it is normal to be a bit hesitant. Even the cracking noise they make as they pull out is a bit disconcerting but basically it's necessary to just lever the door card off.

I usually work round the edge of the door card, slightly pulling to feel where the clips are. I put the lever in as close to each clip as I can without damaging the door card to do so. The lever is just pushed between the door metal and the door card and lever out a little so the plastic clip starts to pop out.
To minimise the chance of breaking the door card, I prefer to do each clip a little and work round the door then release fully on the second pass.

Invariably, some clips will break off instead of pulling out, which is why buying spares in advance is a good idea.
Pull the remains out with pincers or push them in with a screwdriver depending on how much they are broken.

Most of the time, it is the removable part of the clip that will break but you may also be unlucky and the hard plastic clip attached to the door card might break!

These are moulded in to the door and cannot easily be replaced. Some clips don't matter much if one is missing but if more than one is missing or if it is a particularly critical clip, the door card will not stay in place properly.

How someone else left it

Some people bodge this by simply putting a screw from the outside. I do not like this although I can understand why, as a last resort, people do it.

I prefer to repair broken clips invisibly. In most cases a screw can be used to replace the broken bit from the rear of the door card.

In the case of Land Rover Defender door cards, I have found that a 3.5mm countersunk head wood screw will do the job. It is fairly specific, the heads on a 3mm and 4mm wood screw are usually the wrong sizes. Check the clip fits before starting.

I cut a screw down with bolt cutters or a hacksaw so the screw has only about 5mm of thread.
I drill a 2mm or 2.5mm hole through the centre of what remains on the back of the door card being careful not to drill out the other side.

I use another screw, of the same size, that is still complete with it's point, to start the thread in the newly drilled hole. Be very careful to avoid the point coming through the other side. It just needs to be enough to start the thread then remove that screw. Put in the shortened screw in the thread already started by the full length screw.

It can be tricky to get it in square but it does need to be in square. It also needs to be raised enough to fit the clip under.

The clip can be pushed on as with the original. Just as effective.

Door card repairs
The door card I removed was cracked or split in a couple of places.

I simply used Superglue (Cyanoacrylate, CA) gel in the crack in the foam backing, making sure the joint was compressed together until it was set.

Rusty doors
The door inner frames of our Defender, like many Land Rovers of that age, are very rusty.

The drivers door was so bad I had to do a stop gap repair just to be able to put the door card back on! I filled the lower section with a lot of Isopon P38 filler.

I originally intended to repair the doors with new steel sections but there was more rust than expected. The repair sections I would have needed were about £60 each and would need a lot of work to weld them in to place. New doors were £300 each. I opted for new doors. These are currently away being painted.

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Sunday 17 June 2018

Swapping the 10AS immobiliser

As mentioned in a previous post I wanted to maintain factory features and factory look and feel but add central door locking to our Defender, called Fender.

To this end I have swapped the Lucas 10AS immobiliser for one that has central door locking (CDL.) This is not easy because Land Rover, sensibly, fitted this is an very awkward to get to location behind the dash binnacle.

I have used a Discovery Lucas 10AS immobiliser, which has CDL, to replace the Defender variant, which does not. By doing that I keep the standard Land Rover style 2 button key fobs (plips) and I am able to enable the same immobiliser features exactly as factory fitted.

I used a Nanocom to setup the 10AS, as noted in a previous article.

To get to the 10AS in Fender I removed the dash binnacle, disconnected the odometer cable and put the dash to one side. I'm not happy with it dangling supported by the wiring harness but I have been unable to find a better way to get it out of the way!

I also removed the small switch pod, which houses the hazard and fog light switches and the speaker below that. With all that removed I had visibility and access to pull the cables from the bottom of the 10AS.

The 10AS is bolted to the bulkhead above the steering column. There are green and grey connectors on the lower side. Each of those has a fairly easy to depress latch in the centre of the connector, facing the steering wheel. Pressing that in and pulling, with a bit of wiggle, and the connector comes out easily. The grey one is a little more difficult because it is immediately above the steering column but there is just enough gap to get the connector out and back in again.

Once disconnected I pulled both the connectors through the speaker hole.

To add CDL, I needed to connect two wires to the green connector and one wire to the grey connector.  Pins, 2 and 3 on the green connector and pin 7 on the grey connector. I bought the two different size pins from RS components.
I've already written a post detailing the connectors and pins I've used.

I wired up a short harness in the shed before starting work in the car. I decided it was easier to have a set of joints under the bonnet rather than trying to run the wires all the way to the doors in one long run. I used the wires from the Hawk CDL kit that I had bought off of e-bay. I maintained the Hawk colour coding for ease of installation. A blue and green wire, each with the larger pin to fit the green connector. A brown wire with the smaller pin to fit the middle of the grey connector.

To push the pins in to the existing connectors it is necessary to open up the connector housings. The green connector has 4 tiny plastic latches on the rear upper part of the housing. One latch at each end and another two either side of the main finger latch. A bit of poking with a screwdriver and some force got that upper part open.

The grey connector is easier, it just has two plastic latches, one either end.

Making sure the pins were the right way up, they just push in until you can hear the click of the plastic internal lock engaging with the pin. A small screwdriver sometimes helps if the wire is a tight fit.

Once I was sure the wires were in the right place I reassembled the connectors and taped the new wires to the outside of the existing cable bundles.

At this point I plugged in the replacement 10AS and attached a door solenoid, temporarily to the cables while I tested. I locked and unlocked the car, with the solenoid following as it should and I started the engine. This do not all work first time. I don't know why but it took a couple of locks and unlocks with each plip until the hazard lights followed as I had configured. It was unexpected but without making further changes, the reactions from the car settled down to what I had intended.

I removed the temporary setup before continuing.

Now for the tricky bit. Getting the previous 10AS out and the desired one in its place!

With a long number 2 pozidrive screwdriver one of the two bolts can be reached easily through the hazard switch hole.

The tricky bolt is to the left of the module. Everything is in the way. I managed to make up an extended 1/4" socket contraption with a PZ#2 bit on the end, that just reached and had enough movement to undo the bolt. Luckily neither bolt was very tight.

With the bolts removed the module can be slid to the right and removed through the speaker hole.

My replacement module had broken mounting tabs so I had the extra task of opening up the module, swapping over the internals and putting the replacement lid on the lower section of the original case. That way I got the correct stickers on the module but now with intact mounting wings. I'll be back to those in a moment.

The module goes back in the same way the old one came out. The wiring harnesses need to be pulled out the way and it took a bit of fiddling to get the unit back in place without trapping any cables. The good thing is that those cables conveniently hold the module roughly in place.

Despite the module being held up by the cables, I struggled to get the left hand bolt in to the hole with the limited space that is there.

My solution was to cut the left hand mounting hole in to an open slot and put the bolt with washer in the car first. That worked very well and made the job a whole lot easier. The right hand bolt is easy to fit and needs no such modification.

I deliberately did not over tighten the bolts.

I then ran the short harness through the bulkhead and temporarily secured along the back of the bulkhead under the bonnet.

I plugged all the connectors back in but before putting the dash back together I did a further test with a temporary solenoid hooked up. At this point, while I remembered, I swapped the remote key fobs on each set of keys and put the previous ones with the previous 10AS.

All back together, remembering to connect the odometer at the appropriate point in the reassembly.

More test engine starts, with the immobiliser activated and deactivated to ensure that everything is working as it should. The last job was to put the battery on charge to top it up after all the cranking without any movement.

Now I am ready to move on to the next stage of fitting the central door locking.


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Monday 11 June 2018

Lawnmower fuel leak

Shelley noticed a slight change in colour to the plastic on one of her mowers. It looked like a little fuel was running down from the carburettor.

I could not see anything obvious but gave it a partial service. I cleaned the spark plug, set the gap to 0.5mm and cleaned the air filter. I also sharpened and replaced the blade.

The air filter is an oil soaked foam. As per the service manual, I just washed it thoroughly in washing up liquid, dried it and bathed it in a little clean engine oil.

In the process of removing the air filter I noticed that fuel was present inside the filter housing, where it probably should not be. I removed that housing to reveal a gasket. I believe it is that gasket that might be leaking.

I didn't have a spare, so I cleaned and refitted it for now but made sure the screws were tight. I've ordered a spare gasket.

With the mower back together it ran a lot better.

Ready for the working day.


Sunday 10 June 2018

Rayleigh Town Trinity Fair

We popped in to Rayleigh to support Dean and Claire who had a stand at this, now, annual, event.

There were old cars, some Star Wars stormtroopers, quite a few stands selling bits and food.

Parking was a bit tricky, all the main car parks were full and we had to walk from a side street that we managed to find a space in.

The event was very busy.