Easter 2017 opening hours

Our opening times for the UK Easter holiday this year are:

Thursday 13th April – OPEN AS NORMAL (08.00 – 17.30)
Friday 14th April – CLOSED
Saturday 15th April – OPEN AS NORMAL (09.00 – 13.00)
Monday 17th April – CLOSED
Tuesday 18th April – NORMAL SERVICE

Orders placed after Thursday 13th will be processed on Tuesday 18th.

Thanks for coming!

Britcar’s first charity open day was a resounding success, with over £4000 being raised for Parkinson’s UK across several fundraising channels. We had a great turn-out for the day, with lots of people trying the games and activities.

There was a minor interruption with some rain later in the day, but plenty of visitors were still around to grab a bargain at the end as some stock and prizes were traded for donations at bargain prices!

We’ll post an update once we have the final total for the fundraising, as we’re still waiting on a final run of donations to come in.

Thank you again for everyone who came or supported the day.

Easter opening times 2015

Our opening times for the UK Easter holiday this year are:

Thursday 2nd April – OPEN AS NORMAL (08.00 – 17.30)
Friday 3rd April – CLOSED
Saturday 4th April – OPEN AS NORMAL (09.00 – 13.00)
Monday 6th April – CLOSED
Tuesday 7th April – REDUCED SERVICE
Wednesday 8th April – NORMAL SERVICE

Orders placed after Thursday 2nd will be processed on Tuesday 7th. However, there is a regional planned power outage on Tuesday 7th which means we will be operating in a reduced capacity. Normal service will resume from Wednesday 8th onwards.

We appreciate your patience while we work around the power outage on Tuesday. There may be a longer than normal wait on the phones and live chat.

SHIFTING SANDS EXPEDITION UPDATE

SHIFTING SANDS EXPEDITION UPDATE: Two women return from Series IIA Land Rover journey through North Africa and the Middle East

In March we left England to drive our Series IIA Land Rover around the Mediterranean to experience and document everyday life in North Africa and the Middle East. We wanted to tell a positive story from the Arab world to balance the general negativity that we see in the mainstream media, a personal tale interweaving the stories of the people we met with our own.

We had a fight on our hands before we’d even left. Planning our expedition had pretty much taken over our lives, but we had no money and no car and it seemed that nobody was interested in backing two women to make this journey.

So we worked and saved, dedicating our evenings and weekends to planning our trip and applying for every grant under the sun. We still failed to find sponsorship but continued to battle through the highs and lows, rejoicing when a friend lent us his beloved Landy and gritting our teeth when she subsequently failed her MOT to the tune of £600.

We eventually realised we could talk about our trip forever but that nobody was going to take us seriously until we actually started doing it. So we fixed a leaving date, started organising visas and accommodation, and quit our jobs.

Just before setting off a chance phone call to Duncan at Britcar yielded useful advice and the fantastic offer of cost price Land Rover parts. David at All Wheel Drive next door helped us out with some last minute mechanics.

To save us travelling with a load of heavy and expensive spares, Britcar suggested we use their international shipping service to obtain parts as required along our journey. It wasn’t long before we had need of this…

We’d got as far as France when we heard (and felt) a monumental clunk, which was Landy’s rear differential breaking into pieces. We’d massively underestimated how long it would take to drive through Europe so – bodging a temporary repair – we drove for 26 hours without stopping, crossing over the snowy Pyrenees at midnight.

By the time we reached Marrakech – where Britcar had sent our new diff – we’d identified a whole new problem: the noise from the engine bouncing around Landy’s sheet metal interior had become unbearable. Our ears were ringing day and night – even on non-driving days – and we knew we’d be deaf by the end of the trip if we continued. We faced the embarrassing prospect of coming up with a solution or giving up entirely.

Some Moroccan artisans came to our rescue, so – on the only day it rained in Morocco – we found ourselves sitting in an icy puddle installing a new diff while they lined the whole of Landy’s interior with thick slabs of soundproofing cork – and gorgeous brass detailing.

It looked incredible, worked a treat and gave us an idea.

At the age of 43 Landy was a thing of beauty but pretty basic so we decided to adapt her to meet the needs of the expedition. Having left England as a classic British car Landy would pick up a flavour of every country we travelled through.

How Landy looks today tells the story of our trip in a way that nothing else does:

Now we could hear we wanted a sound system…and Tunisia was the place to do it.

Our friend Sihem embroidered beautiful seat backs in Algeria.

Our plywood bed was ripping our sleeping bags so Abu Deraa painted it – Bedouin style – in Wadi Musa, Jordan.

Libyan curtains were stitched by Moussa in Tripoli old town.

We installed a super loud horn to fight off trucks in Egypt.

We upgraded our gear stick – Tunisia again – paying homage to the home of Star Wars.

In Lebanon we were told we looked military – so adapted our spare wheel cover in response.

Finally Landy was decorated by ‘Leo Lunatic’ the most famous graffiti artist in Istanbul.

Despite the attention she was getting Landy continued to cause mechanical havoc for most of the trip often testing our strength, tolerance and creativity to the extreme. We got to know her pretty well…and learnt quite a lot about ourselves at the same time.

We learnt how to drive with no brakes…no clutch…no handbrake…and a sticky accelerator. And we learnt that it’s OK, so long at is doesn’t all happen at the same time.

We replaced the brake master cylinder three times in Lebanon (all the local spares we found were faulty in different ways), had the front brake pads relined by a garage in Jordan, reattached our accelerator cable in Algeria and a dangling exhaust pipe in Jerusalem. We changed the oil and filters in Jordan, replaced two brake cylinders and carried out a basic service. Our fuel pump was reconditioned in Cyprus by local Land Rover mechanic Socrates.

We learnt to never trust anyone else to direct the car and that the term ‘mechanic’ is to be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

We discovered that it’s more terrifying to be driven around by an overexcited Tunisian friend than to lose our own brakes on a mountain pass in Lebanon, but that the scariest part of our project bar none was leaving our jobs in the first place.

We found a side to life in the Arab world that is barely touched in the mainstream media as we made friends and experienced generosity like never before.

Arriving in Algeria we were greeted off the ferry with ‘Hello Mrs Land Rover!’ from a beaming customs officer. Two old women argued in the street over who would give us coffee. We only had to wander into any shop (whatever it sold) to come out bearing more cakes than we could comfortably consume without being sick, and a random serviceman in a service station presented us with 350 litres of free diesel coupons.

A family in Baalbek took us in for the night when they found us replacing the brake master cylinder in the dark – and gave us a sensational Lebanese breakfast. And when we got stranded overnight in a Land Rover workshop on the outskirts of Amman the owner went home, returning an hour later with a steaming lamb mensaf dish made by his mum.

We realised that being two women in an old car was by far the safest way to travel and our vulnerability was our biggest strength. Everywhere we went people just wanted to help us.

But few understood this.

People in each country warned us against neighbouring countries and frequently enough we were warned by our new friends against the people in the next town – where we would arrive and be met by equally friendly people who could hardly believe we had passed through the last place unscathed.

We discovered that people everywhere have an innate fear of the unknown and that the biggest problems we’ve encountered both at home and on the road – the stereotyping of race, gender, religion and nationality – are direct consequences of this fear.

And we found more than generosity. Everywhere we went we met people setting up book clubs, exhibitions, websites, festivals: cultural activism was rife. Social media has got people from different backgrounds engaging with one another on a grassroots level like never before. The creativity and initiative we encountered was inspiring and it was amazing to see the fear of the unknown being broken down in this way.

People in every place bought into our project and told us time and time again how important it is to them that people back here don’t think they’re all gun toting extremists.

We came home at the end of August having driven through every country bordering the Med with the exception of Syria. After two years of planning, 22 countries, 174 days on the road, hundreds of new friends and thousands of miles we were back in one piece and – with a bit more help from All Wheel Drive and Britcar – Landy even passed her MOT.
We would like say a huge thank you to Britcar for supporting our project and for their help and advice along the way.

Our next challenge is to bring the tales of our journey alive in a mobile exhibition with our beautiful Landy at the centre. Starting in London we plan to drive our exhibition around the UK and then back to Morocco in 2016. Please see our website, Facebook and Twitter for further information and updates:
www.shifting-sands.com
www.facebook.com/shiftingsandsexpeditions
@ShiftingSands14

Product Focus: 7″ Crystal (Halogen) replacement lights

With several Land Rovers in use across the company, we’re often installing replacement parts or upgrades that we sell on the website. Occasionally, we come across a part that’s so good, we have to use it across the board.

Today, we’re going to look at the latest of these parts, and explain why we think they’re the best thing since the last best thing we found.

You’re probably already aware that we’re well into our restoration of the Forward Control, and have just started working on the Series IIA 109 LWB. When we decided to keep the 109 on the road (see this post), one of the issues that needed resolving for the MOT test were the headlights. If any of you have ever tried to drive a Series II at night and had to rely solely on the original lights, you know it can be a ‘memorable experience’. As the man in charge of getting the 109 through it’s MOT, Jim looked at replacement headlights from the range we have on the site, and selected Britpart’s RTC4615C for the job.

RTC4615C-400x300The good news was that these lights are a very simple and clean fit. They went straight in without any hassle and look (we think) excellent. Duncan however, had an opposing opinion. He was mortified that we’d fitted something to the 109 that wasn’t appropriately ‘authentic’ looking. It passed the MOT though, so he settled into a general grumble about the new lights, mentioning them every time he talked to someone about the 109.

It all changed recently though, when Duncan had to use the 109 at night.

The very next morning, Duncan burst into the office and insisted we had to tell everyone about these lights. We’d already told him that the lights would be better, but it wasn’t until he’d had to use them that he realised just how much difference it would make. The manufacturer of the lights claims they produce around an extra 25% of road-legal light; now we’ve used them, we think that’s a conservative guess.

If you need even more light output, for example if you live off the beaten track and have no street lighting to help, you can fit high-output Xenon bulbs. A bonus of this is being able to increase the light from your car without having to fit additional lamps and bars, keeping your vehicle looking just as original as before.

Britpart’s RTC4615C is a pack of 2 right-hand-drive replacement headlights. The lights are fully road-legal and E-marked. The standard 7″ fit is compatible with Series, Defender, Range Rover Classic, and any other classic car with a 7″ fitment.

The kit doesn’t come with bulbs, so we opted for a pair of Ring Automotive’s xenonmax bulbs – VPLDV0061.

We’re so sure of the difference this will make to your vehicle, we’re offering these headlights with 10% off the list price, and a no-quibble money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied (and impressed).

To claim the discount, add one of the RTC4615C kits into your basket, and use this discount code when checking out: BL-RTC4615C-14

LWB makes short work of it’s MOT

DSC_8165-2

In May of this year I was offered a 109” Long Wheel Base 2.6L 6 cylinder Land Rover, initially we planned to break it, as the Bulkhead unusually was in excellent condition. It had never been welded, and the gearbox appeared to be in good condition too, both parts being in need for the 2B restoration.

However, upon closer inspection DPF394J was found to be totally original and in sound condition, so breaking it was out of the question; we decided to MOT it, and after some fettling by Dave at All Wheel Drive Services she finally passed her MOT test and was legally on the road.

She came with both a hard top and truck cab, we intend to fit the truck cab when the weather changes but for now we will drive her as she is with the roof off.

Since the MOT, we have fully rebuilt the swivels with new chromes and other parts and have fitted four new wheels and tyres. The tappets are now adjusted and she sounds like a sewing machine, what a beautiful engine these old 6 cylinders are. I personally prefer them over the V8, so quiet and smooth.

All of us have now piled into her for a road test, some of our guys had previously never driven a series Land Rover, all came back with big smiles on their faces.

Driving this old girl brought back so many memories for me, you can’t help but smile as you wander down the road, or rather side to side down the road. I love it, having been spoilt by my L322 Range Rover – it has bought it back to me what it is like to actually take control of a vehicle, where air con is a vent flap and you have to force your foot through the floor to get it to stop (ABS on this vehicle means Ankle Breaking Service!).

One other phenomenon I have noticed which I have not experienced for 30 years is that other Land Rover owners wave at you! I had forgotten that, having been cocooned in the luxury of a Range Rover. This never happens now, I was overtaken on the A12 yesterday by a brand new 2014 Range Rover, he not only hooted, but leaned across into the passenger side to wave wildly as he went past….at least I think he was waving……

It is not just Land Rover owners, I can see other road users coming towards me break into smiles, evidently remembering their youth and experiences with the old Land Rover.

We now plan to have this into the workshops next year when the forward control rolls out, we will
then totally strip it and rebuild her to how she once was, I am already looking out for panels and
parts ready for the big day. One thing that will not last until then is the engine – unfortunately the big ends are a bit rattily under load, and so rather than wait for the engine to seize we will get Jason from J Moore Classics to swap the engine for a good 3 Litre one he has in stock. Then the original engine will be sent to Pat Seager at Seager Engineering for him to apply his skills to fully rebuild her ready for next year; anyone who has not seen his work yet are in for a treat, we will shortly be posting up some pictures of what he has done to our Forward Control engine. It is hard to find a really good engine specialist who still does things the old way, but Pat is one of the best.

Now it is time to sit back and enjoy some classic motoring for the next few months, as long as I can get it out of the staffs hands – it is amazing how quickly they volunteer for any local delivery or collection jobs, for which DPF is always the first choice.

If anyone out there has a set of hood sticks for a 109 truck cab going we would be very interested!

Duncan Mansfield

April’s Prize giveaway Winner – Mark Wood

Attachment 11

In the month of April all invoices were entered into a prize give away, the winner was picked at random.

Congratulations to Mark Wood for winning a Sealey welder.

If you want to have a chance of winning a Cordless Lithium-ion Hammer Drill/Driver, simply place an order with us to be entered into this month’s prize draw.

may-prizedraw copy

 

 

 

 

 

Replacing swivels with Britpart Swivel kits

There are quite a range of swivel Housing Kit available for Series Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Defenders and Discovery 1 vehicles.

Here’s a Video which toursandtales.com has kindly let us use, showing how a Defenders swivel comes apart, and goes back together




 

DA3163 DA3163P Discovery 1 – up to JA32850 – with 12mm sealsRange Rover Classic – up to JA624516 – with 12mm sealsContents – Swivel housing;swivel pin bearing; gasket; seals; plate; shims; joint washers; swivel pin upper & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3164 DA3164P Discovery 1 – up to JA32850 – with 8mm sealsRange Rover Classic – up to JA624516 – with 8mm sealsContents – Swivel housing; swivel pin bearing; gasket; oil seals; plate; shims; joint washers; swivel pin upper & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3165 DA3165P Discovery 1 – JA32851 onwards – non-ABSRange Rover Classic – JA624517 onwards – non-ABSContents – Swivel housing; swivel pin bearing; gasket; seals; plate; shims; joint washers; swivel pin upper – non-ABS & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3166 DA3166P Discovery 1 – with ABSRange Rover Classic – with ABSContents – Swivel housing; swivel pin bearing; gasket; seals; plate; shims; joint washers; swivel pin kit – upper – ABS & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3167 DA3167P Defender – up to KA930455Contents – Swivel housing; housing and bush; thrust washer; swivel pin bearing; joint washers; seals; shims; swivel pin upper & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3178 DA3178P Defender – from LA up to WAContents – Swivel housing; swivel pin bearing; gasket; seals; plate; shims; joint washers; swivel pin upper – non-ABS & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3179 DA3179P Defender – XA onwards – non-ABSContents – Swivel housing; swivel pin bearing; gasket; seals; plate; joint washers; swivel pin kit & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3180 DA3180P Defender – XA onwards – with ABSContents – Swivel housing; swivel pin bearing; gasket; seals; plate; joint washers; swivel pin kit & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3169 DA3169P Series 2Contents – Swivel housing; swivel pin; railko bush; thrust washer; swivel pin bearing; o-ring; lock washer; locker; shims; oil seal; retainer for oil seal; jointwashers & swivel housing grease sachet
DA3181 DA3181P Series 2A/Series 3Contents – Swivel housing; swivel pin; railko bush; thrust washer; swivel pin bearing; o-ring; lock washer; locker; shims; oil seal; retainer for oil seal; jointwashers & swivel housing grease sachet

 

 

The Shifting Sands Expedition

140225 Press releaseIn the wake of the Arab Spring, two intrepid women set out to experience and document everyday life in North Africa and the Near East, some of the most rapidly evolving
regions in the world.
Their aim? To break down inter-cultural prejudice by bringing into focus the personal lives and stories of individuals in these areas, adding a new layer of information to the picture generally portrayed in the mainstream media.
In March, Anne-Laure Carruth and Lucy Engleheart will leave their jobs and secure lives behind them to drive their vintage Land Rover into the unknown.
Logistically, their challenge is impressive. Circumnavigating the Mediterranean with five months on the road they will have to contend with the rapidly evolving cultural and political situations of a vast and diverse region, learning a language with a new script and complex regional variations. They must become comfortable with unfamiliar environments, both physical and bureaucratic, in a society that is traditionally seen as male dominated. Pitting their wits against the sand and extreme heat of the desert, they will drive long distances over hugely varied terrain in a vintage Series IIA Land Rover that they will repair and maintain themselves, relying on only their own experience and ingenuity to
get out of trouble. Their trip will be unpredictable and how they adapt to changing circumstances is key.
Linked by a love of maps, Anne-Laure and Lucy will use their journey to create their own pictorial and topological maps through the stories they encounter, recording the human face of the region. Their maps will interweave the stories of the people they meet with their own, offering an original and per sonal narrative of experiences to sit alongside existing media perspectives.
Throughout their expedition they will gather stories of everyday life in North Africa and the Near East which will form the backbone of their maps. They will regularly upload glimpses of daily life on the road in the form of writing, sketching and photographs. On their return they will refine their data into a series of engaging, beautiful, even experimental maps that characterise their journey, culminating in a UK exhibition of their work and speaking tour.
Their undertaking is ambitious but they are determined individuals and seasoned travellers, used to pushing themselves to the limits and operating in challenging environments. Lucy is an experienced expedition leader, overland truck driver and bush mechanic who was one of the first team to raft the unnavigated Rio Grande in Bolivia with the Scientific Exploration Society. Multilingual Anne-Laure trained in architecture and is also a published artist. She co-founded the Exhibition Collective, aimed
at building a network of artists and organising creative workshops, and was ship’s artist on a trans-Atlantic voyage on the tall ship Tenacious.
Anne-Laure and Lucy have worked hard to build a support network of links and collaborations allowing them to benefit from the experience of others. They maintain that the strength of their expedition
lies in their ability to combine the knowledge that they have with their capacity to gain access to the knowledge that they don’t have.
They hope their adventures will inspire people to discover more about North Africa and the Near East and to encourage others to pursue their own projects, expeditions and dreams. Their progress will be documented via Facebook, Twitter and at www.shifting-sands.com