News
August/2006: Mr Custard gets a full preparation prior to going to Arctic Russia via Sweden/Finland and back through Norway.
Also fitted was a top quality water filter feeding both the sink and external shower for complete peace of mind.
(See LINKS under General Ecology)
May/2006: Like most winch bumpers I see, the paintwork was not looking too good and I decided it was time to get it done.
I wasn't looking for a showroom mirror finish, as after all, winch bumpers get a fair bit of hammering.
Now primed and repainted and fitted with a plasma rope instead of the old wire stuff and looking good again.
Plasma rope is stronger, lighter, safer and easier to handle - it will be interesting to see how long it lasts ?
Whilst doing the above, the winch conked out, so decided to replace the solenoids with a set of modern sealed ones.
Like most jobs I tackle, this took much longer than expected, requiring the removal of several other items under the bonnet
to gain adequate access...Job completed, but not without discovering that the original solenoids were working just fine after
all, only having a bad earth connection - a reminder to check this before doing anything else !
I also fitted 11 net cargo pockets around the place, making for much more convenient stowage of stuff.
April/2006: Had the rear axle changed by Foleys in order to upgrade the drum brakes to disc brakes all-round.
Some say drum brakes are just as good as disc brakes when properly adjusted - this may be true, but the beauty of disc
brakes is they self adjust due to gradual pad wear, so over time, disc brakes seem much better - anyway, I'm much
happier with them.
Also, at the same time, Foley corrected some (significant) paintwork problems - all done very nicely and free of charge -
now that's excellent after sales service for you.
November/2005: Periods of being left standing continues to see the starter battery go flat - a common problem these days as
there are numerous sources of parasitic drain on the poor battery...The biggest culprit is the immobiliser/alarm system...No,
problem, I can always jump start the vehicle using the auxiliary battery, but not a very elegant solution...Problem solved by
fitting the Battery Master unit by Van Bitz.
This unit monitors the state of the starter battery, and if the charge drops below a certain level it switches over the solar panel
to top it up - a very neat and hopefully reliable solution.
May/2005: I have been experimenting with the tyre pressures on the Defender 130 camper ' Mr Custard.'
The BF Goodrich All Terrain tyres (235 x 85 R16) fitted have quite soft side walls which is great for airing down and
increasing the footprint in desert sands for better traction - however, the 'side' effect is that the relative lack of rigidity in
the side walls makes for less than ideal cornering and general straight line handling at highway speeds.
An increase of pressure to 60 psi at the rear has considerably improved straight line stability and cornering, and greatly
complimented the stiffer rear double coil spring set-up.
February/2005: Defender 130 camper 'Mr Custard' gets stiffer rear coil springs fitted in order to reduce body roll.
January/2005: Defender 130 camper 'Mr Custard' has been fitted with an uprated intercooler by Allisport.
As this vehicle is fitted with air-conditioning without an extended nose-cone, it cannot have a full width replacement
intercooler. Instead, it has received a higher efficiency repacement for the standard fit item; giving a stated 18-20%
increase in power and torque.
As an overlander/expeditionary vehicle, it is important not to uprate the performance so much that you over stress other
parts of the drive train at the risk of reliabilty.
Initial feelings are that much is improved, with easier driving, earlier changing up of gears and a new ability to cruise on
motorways without dreading up hill stretches !
I look forward to seeing what happens to the fuel consumption.
Remember to always advise the vehicle's insurer when you make any modifications !
The table below shows a 'before and after' comparison for power and torque, rounded to the nearest integer.
  Standard 300 Tdi
Td5
comparison
300 Tdi with Allisport
intercooler
Extra for Allisport
300 Tdi over Td5
BHP
112
122
134
+ 10%
Torque lb/ft
195
221
234
+ 6%