Wading In Washout Weather

Series 1 WadingPicture courtesy of Dove Publishing

With the worst of the winter’s weather hanging on for dear life, it seems appropriate to discuss the wading prowess of the Land Rover, and the importance of kitting your Land Rover out properly.

How To Wade

You’ve got two feet of ground clearance, and chunky tyres, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you are invincible. On the road, you’ll need to use your noggin as well as your knobblies.

mcdonald landrover Range Rover Wading

L405 Gets To Work

Picture courtesy of Clanging Bell.

The best advice for car owners is to move to the middle of the road, go slow whilst keeping the engine revs high and don’t stop but try not to go too fast.

Be aware that the bow wave you generate may affect other road users, but may also affect local homeowners, as the ripple tops doorsteps or walls of sandbags. It’s always nice to push the rugged boundaries, but it’s always a good idea to gather as much good-will as you can.

mcdonald landrover range rover wading

Range Rover Coming Home From Work

Picture courtesy of Business Car Manager.co.uk

With the added ruggedness mixed into the LR DNA, you don’t have to worry about the roads too much until you get to serious flowing water. Be advised that even a 4X4 can be affected by flowing water only 2 feet deep.

As the maximum wading depth of most Land Rovers is 500mm, or 20 inches, you can see that knee-high water is more dangerous than you may think;

Land Rover Series 1 500mm (20″)

Series 2    500mm (20″)

Series 3    500mm (20″)

Defender      500mm (20″)

Discovery 1     500mm

Discovery 2      500mm

Discovery 3      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Discovery 4      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Freelander 1     400mm

Freelander 2    500mm

Range Rover Classic  500mm (20″)

Range Rover P38   500mm

Range Rover L322    500mm

Range Rover L405    500mm

mcdonaldlandrover Discovery wading

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable

Picture courtesy of Landyzone forumite MBURTON2

Dangers of Wading

To the ordinary car driver, the major problem is the air intake. If this is low enough, or the water high enough, then the puddle may make it into the air box and from there to the combustion chamber. In that case, there’s a good chance you’ll stall and won’t be able to restart because your con-rods have been bent. The piston is supposed to compress fuel and air, not water which will not compress at all. You’ll need to be recovered and will have quite a large bill generated at the garage of your choice…

At best, you’ll have covered the electrics with water and shorted something cheap and easy to replace. You’ll still be puddle-jumping to get to dry land, but it won’t mean you remortgaging the house.

To the 4X4 driver, the greater danger lies with all the breathing the vehicle does; you probably don’t even know the half of it.

The air filter is a problem, but the air intake on a 4X4 is obviously higher as the engine itself is higher. There are plenty of snorkel kits available to solve the issue, and they’re not hard to fit.

The axles, gearbox and transfer box all have breather points fitted, as the cavities inside heat and cool and so need to inhale and exhale air.

If you plough head-first into a puddle, there’s a good chance that the axle/gearbox/transfer box cools rapidly and the air inside cools and contracts. The breather then sucks in not air but water, and the lubricant becomes a soupy mess poorly-capable of doing its job.

Consider however the electrickery which goes into modern cars though; do you know where the lowest electrical connector is on your car?

The manufacturers make these vehicles so that they can take on the world, but in a world of school runs and shopping trips, wading kits to take care of any deluge dampness are optional extras.

Gearbox and axle breathers and pipes, flywheel plugs and snorkels helping to raise the wading depth are available for all models, and are certainly necessary if you’re staring the Limpopo in the face or “Doing Dartmoor”. If you’re just headed for Marks and Spencers, though, it’s best to be circumspect about the heroic driving and go slow through the puddles.

For snorkels and wading kits, or if you’re past that point and need piston/con rod assemblies and a a shoulder to cry on, check out our website http://www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

mcdonald landrover Discovery 3 wading

Discovery 3 Going Over The Top

Picture courtesy of Landroversonly forumite BBYER

Check out Expedition Land Rover for expert preparation guides and the Land Rover Driving Guides for tips on driving in muddy conditions


All That Glitters Isn’t Blue

McDonald Land Rover Blue Lights

Can you fit blue lights to your car?

It’s quite clear that the Police, Fire and Ambulance services are valid users of blue lights to warn us of their passage, or to guide us to them necessary.

There has however been a trend of fitting blue lights to ordinary cars, perhaps to help the owner forget just how ordinary the car.

However, a Range Rover L322 was seen featuring this modern accessory, which begs the question; why?

Norfolk Constabulary has a guide to ensuring your car modifications are legal;

Lighting Offences:

Blue lights – Under the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, it states “except for emergency vehicles it is an offence to fit a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp or device resembling such whether working or not”

This, however, does not cover the difference between the colour of the light and the type of light used.

According to Wikipedia, the stalwart of internet-sourced quotes;

Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 […] as amended by various other pieces of legislation […] The 1989 restrictions state that no vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with a “blue warning beacon or special warning lamp”, or a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a special warning lamp, whether it works or not.

If the lights are simply blue LEDs, are they legal?. It seems so.

If they don’t flash, are they legal? It seems so.

As far as the aesthetics of a car are concerned, it’s hard to phrase a question which calls for some kind of judgement on this issue.

You really don’t want to lay down the law of ‘what looks good’ if you like Defenders; svelt and swoopy, they ain’t.

And yet in a world where Corsas and Saxos and all manner of small cars for generations have been manhandled by those with more individuality than either money or panel-beating skill, there’s surely some consensus as to whether a modification improves the look of a vehicle?

So how to respond to the position “putting blue lights on your car or truck makes you look like a tit, tempting Police to stop you so that you can rant at them and argue that you’re right and they’re wrong, and head back to the roadside burger dispensary of your choice feeling proud of yourself”?

Or indeed “why shouldn’t I be able to make a statement if it doesn’t brake the law, you tweed-clad Victorian reactionary, barking your patrician palsy at people who don’t care about appealing to a consensus they don’t share, before you retire safely to the net-curtained parlour of your choice and listen to Radio 4 until your Horlicks is ready?”.

For those on either side of the debate, we now stock PMH Lighting’s finest LED lights, in both blue and white, as well as LED replacement lights from both Britpart and Bearmach, at our webshop www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Land Rover Goes Green

Cornwall’s Living Linnaean Library Loves Land Rover’s Lithium Land-train.

McDonald Land Rover Eden Project Electric Land Rover Defender

I think I can I know I can…

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

The Land Rover Defender has been adapted by Land Rover to explore the uses of modern technology at The Eden Project;

The Defender 110 Pick Up badged ‘All terrain Electric Research Vehicle’ effortlessly tows the four-carriage 12 tonne road train carrying up to 60 passengers on a 6 per cent incline to and from the iconic hexagonal-panelled domes. The vehicle has been designed to perform its duties throughout each day before being recharged over night for the approximate cost of £2.00.

The Electric Defender has all the qualities and performance which have become associated with the Land Rover brand during the past 65 years. It has full all-terrain capability, permanent 4WD and a top speed of 70mph.

With a standard charge time of only 10 hours, this marsh mile muncher is hardly mercurial. A 4 hour charge is possible though, showing the way for the next generation of Chelsea Tractors.

Who Elsa To Turn To

McDonald Landrover Born Free Foundation Sponsored By Land Rover

Yeah, it’s funny Bowler should call theirs the ‘wild cat’…

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

So you run a charity designed to promote conservation and wild-life care, but you’re doing it in Africa and India.

A Prius just isn’t going to do the job, is it?

That’s why Land Rover has signed a 5 year deal to help make the world a better place;

  • Land Rover agrees new sponsorship support for the Born Free Foundation to continue a successful Global Conservation Partnership first established in 2002

  • The provision of Land Rover vehicles will help the international charity deliver compassionate conservation and care for wildlife in need around the world for the next five years

  • Born Free Foundation’s Land Rover vehicles will continue to provide vital support for projects in Africa, and India, equipped and modified to bring help to the most remote regions

  • Land Rover’s Global Conservation Partnership with the Born Free Foundation reflects its integrated approach to securing global sustainability

Started by actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers in 1984, and now led by their son Will Travers OBE, the Born Free Foundation sponsors conservation and wildlife-awareness programs in Africa and India.

And for the next five years, as it always has, it will do so from behind a green oval.

Pets Mean Prizes

McDonald Landrover World Equestrian Games Sponsored By Land Rover

Four By Four By Eighteen Hands

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Your correspondent is not paid enough to frequent gaming halls and the kind of dens of iniquity where games of chance abound, and yet he is willing to stake next week’s dentist’s bill on the fact that you won’t find a Gymkhana that doesn’t have a Range Rover at every corner.

From the Vogue’s handy tailgate bench debenture to the Defender’s roof rack grandstand, Land Rovers and horse sports have gone hand in hand for decades.

And so it is only fitting that Jaguar Land Rover should once again pony-up as Official Sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 and provide 50 vehicles to support the games in Normandy, France, from August the 23rd to September the 7th;

  • Land Rover is an Official Sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France 23th  August to 7th September 2014
  • Land Rover will provide a 55 strong fleet of all-terrain vehicles to support games officials including FEI representatives, Protocol, technical delegates, jury and VIP chauffeuring
  • Land Rover has a long history of involvement in the world of  Equestrian sport including partnerships with the Burghley Horse Trials, the US Equestrian Federation and the Gucci Paris Masters

An official Land Rover Spokesperson did not say ‘Hay, we all get saddled with something but we’ll find some Burghley men to get it done’.

For parts and service considerably better than the jokes, go to www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk or see me on Google+

This post was written by Rupert Astbury.

Bowler And Top Hat For JLR

McDonald Land Rover Range Rover LWB

Longer Name, Longer Range Rover

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

In a week of bold assertions, Jaguar Land Rover announced their intention to please all of the people all of the time.

In the near future we will be seeing a lot more of the new Range Rover Long Wheel Base, if you’ll pardon the pun, as they introduce a special Long Wheel Base and even more special Long Wheel Base ‘Autobiography Black’ Range Rover model dilemma.

Extra room in the boot will of course be practical, but the 186mm increase in rear leg room will be most welcome to the Maybach and Rolls Royce devotees in need of some upwards momentum.

McDonald Land Rover Range Rover LWB Interior

Opulence re-defined. Muddy footprints not on options list.

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Executive leather seats will be offered to replace the ‘bench’ seats, although either can offer a reclined position to allow you to gaze out of the panoramic roof, safe in the knowledge that the powered side blinds keep unwanted intrusion to a minimum.

McDonald Land Rover Bowler Rally Championship


Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

At the other end of the 4X4 party-trick-list, there are those lucky few who can keep the pace up as they seek ever-longer puddles of mud in which to race.

We say ‘lucky few’ as the price tag for fourb’four’s answer to the Porsche Supercup is in fact similar to that of the Porsche Supercup.

£60,000 including VAT (although if you can figure out how to claim the VAT back on that you should pick up where Bernie Madoff left off) buys you:

…a modified Defender 90 Hard Top utilising the factory-standard 2.2 litre diesel engine which has been uprated to 170 bhp by Bowler Motorsport. All Defender Challenge cars will run the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, controlled Kuhmo tyres and full MSA-approved roll cage and fire extinguisher system. Further aiding the accessibility of the series, all cars will remain road-legal and can be driven to events if required…

Bowler Defender Challenge Car Specification

Based on a Land Rover Defender 90 Hard Top

Engine: 2.2 Litre Diesel
Gearbox Standard 6-speed manual
Power: modified to 170 bhp by Bowler Motorsport
Torque: 450Nm

Additional Features

  • Full MSA-approved roll cage
  • MSA-compliant fire extinguisher system
  • Bowler Motorsport suspension system – including new dampers, springs roll bars and bushes
  • Bowler Motorsport lightweight 18″ wheels with controlled Kuhmo tyres
  • Racing seats and six-point harness
  • Bowler Motorsport lightweight front bumper and sill protectors
  • Intercom system
  • Upgraded mud flaps and mounting system
  • Bowler Motorsport revised door casings
  • Full Defender Challenge livery
  • Optional Bowler brake package
  • Optional service package providing access to Bowler Works mechanics, logistic support plus vehicle storage between events

Courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

If you like the idea of competing in a Land Rover Defender or Special, contact us at McDonald Land Rover for all the best off-road suspension and engine upgrades.

Go to our website www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

No Empty Gesture

Range Rover Sport at McDonald Landrover

Range Rover Sport Crosses Empty Quarter

As If it needed to prove the credentials of the Range Rover Sport after the Colorado Climax of winning their class at Pike’s Peak, Land Rover have decided to race around some more dusty tracks.

Land Rover’s Media Centre says;

This coming week, Land Rover will attempt to set the fastest recorded time for a land vehicle crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ – one of the harshest and most challenging desert environments on the planet, using a standard production New Range Rover Sport…

…The driver will be Moi Torrallardona, a 47 year-old Spanish off-road racer with extensive experience of the Dakar Rally, in which he competed for ten successive years with a best finish of 6th overall.

A dangerously arid climate with no reliable water sources and an ever-shifting terrain, the Empty Quarter in the Arabian Peninsula is one of the most treacherous terrains man and machine could face. The driving conditions will be incredibly harsh, with temperatures of over 50 degrees C in the day and towering sand dunes stretching 850ft into the air.

We’re gearing up for mud and hypothermia  rather than dust and sunburn.

Good luck to them, from all here.

If you would like help with your Range Rover Sport, pop along to our webshop and we’ll sell you some stuff; go faster stuff, go muddier stuff, go higher stuff or even bling-tastic stuff. We’re stuff experts. When the going gets stuff…

www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Historic Finds

How could you not want to take them home and love them?

Our office mole was just digging through the history of the interweb and found an old post on Landyzone about vehicle archaeology:

UK Land Rover enthusiasts John Craddock (of John Craddock Ltd) and Julian Gostling (of Exmoor Trim) have saved the collection of almost 100 Land Rovers and other collectable vehicles.

The two Land Rover specialists have jointly bought the collection, which includes various Series Ones, a One-Ton 109in and a huge variety of rare models including fire engines, ambulances and a Cuthbertson tracked vehicle in excellent condition. They were all stored in property at Sandnes near Stavanger in the south-west of the country and were due to be auctioned on December 4. Any which remained unsold at that auction would have been scrapped.

Some of the vehicles, which were being disposed of by the local police, are being transported back to the UK and many will come up for sale to enthusiasts next Summer. However, because of the immense task – and cost – of shipping every vehicle, some will be disposed of shortly in Norway. You can view this collection on-line and deal on the vehicle you require from Wednesday 1st December to Sunday 5th December 2010. This will be on a first-come first-served basis. Prices from £200 upwards.

Pictures of the collection can be seen here (Originally posted in 2010!)

What a collection! Given a lottery win and a free hand, it’s much the same as we’d end up with.

It would be great to know what happened to the stash. Answers on a post-card to the usual address please…

www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Diagnostics R Us

Bearmach Hawkeye Pro

Bearmach’s Hawkeye Pro – available at http://www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

Once upon a time the technology invested in cars moved most rapidly in their manufacture. Everyone knows about the production line and Henry Ford, and the search for faster and better production methods.

Oh how times have changed. Your Freelander, Defender, Evoque, Discovery or Range Rover will have in it more computers than you can shake a soldering iron at.

Since Volkswagen first introduced fuel injection in a mass-produced car, the Type 3, computers around the world have made a bid for freedom and colonised your car.

In case they go wrong, workshops and garages across the world have been buying more computers to talk to your car’s computer.

It doesn’t get any easier to explain when you look at the profusion of gadgetry in the cabin, as we sit in sumptuous comfort afforded by programmable adjustable seats, multi-zone air conditioning and heating, on board GPS and computerised vehicle settings, adjustable gearboxes and suspension and engine power and aerodynamic aids; the list goes on and on.

We’re happy with the Bearmach Hawkeye, Hawkeye Pro, Britpart Lynx and IID Tool home and workshop diagnostic computers we’re stocking.

So happy that we bought a Hawkeye Pro for the workshop. It doesn’t get more real than that.

Seek out our website for further details.

www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury