Sunday, 23 December 2007

Diesel woes

What happens when you don't move your vehicle?

It doesn't start. Naturally. Especially when it is a cantankerous 3.5 diesel.

Anyway we got some great advice from LRUK so set about sorting the filter first and then bleeding the system.

Old filter

New filter

When we changed the filter, emptied and cleaned the sedimenter, the fuel was clean. Then we bled the system. Didn't work. Still wouldn't start.


The lift pump was not pumping. At all. This then became the main suspect. Had a look round on internet for prices. Some cheap, some dear.

Lift pump

Still wasn't convinced it was the lift pump though, but couldn't work out what it was.

Went into the back of the vehicle and took off the cover plates over the fuel tank. Checked all the pipes were clear, they weren't gunged up and then re-tightened all the jubilee clips. The fuel in the tank was clean.

Access plates to fuel tank in back body

Electrical connections and pipework

Pipe feeds, note the clips in the metal frame -
exactly the same as on our Series

Then we followed the pipework through, checking there were no breaks, there was no intermediate filter on the chassis that could have been blocked. Everything seemed in good order. Had another go at bleeding just for luck, but still no joy.

We wanted to get it moved so in the end we got one of the local garages to come and have a look. They walked down but they couldn't get it started either, so towed it back to the garage.

How embarrassing.
Small van tows giant Land Rover Santana

How many guys does it take to push a 3.5 truck?

Fast forward to the solution. The fuel system was in order, no problems with lift pump or injector pump. As we knew, the fuel was clean - there was no obvious pipe blockage or build-up of gunge. The nasty diesel bug didn't seem to have taken up residence either.

So according to the mechanic, the problem was a faulty cable that ran from the ignition to the injector pump. It had no voltage on it. So they replaced it.

And she happily started so we drove her away.

But the next day, would she start? Not without Easy Start. Although only a very tiny spray. Of course, she does start when she's been warmed up. So naturally when we had picked her up from the garage she had started good as gold as they had driven her out onto the street - she was still warm. Don't know how they had started her though..Easy Start?

At the time, we had pointed out the glow plug light was not working, but the mechanic said not to worry about it.

Should glow red - doesn't

So now apart from anything else we have to screw back the dashboard which the garage didn't bother putting back. And then we have to work out whether there is a loose cable, a loose connection, a cable totally pulled off, or a blown fuse.

Then when we have gone through all that we will be checking the glow plugs.

Glow plugs and injectors

A serious big thanks to all the guys on LRUK Series Forum who have put up with our inane questions and patiently answered them all.

When it stops raining we'll be tackling it. Sometime after Christmas probably, given the three days continuous rain we have had.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Santana (1)

The amount of information about Santanas on the Internet is tiny compared to the info about Land Rovers.

Having a vested interest in this, I thought I would start to write something based on everything I have found so far in Spanish and English - with links.

In my reading about Santana I have found a lot of inconsistencies - so I am trying to put them all together. If I have mistranslated anything please let me know. Also if you have anything to add or find any errors please comment and I will update it (with a reference back to any other sources or websites, and acknowledgement to the sender).

So...Santana...The history. Part 1

Land Rover and Santa Ana struck the deal in 1956, for the Spanish company to build Land Rovers under licence in Spain. santanauk (Image courtesy of the same website).

But how and why did Santa Ana start up? For the following history I am grateful to AutoAventura 4x4 for the excellent and very interesting story of the origins of Santa Ana.

The Jaen Plan

In the early 1950s the province of Jaen in Andalucia was in a poor economic position. Many people could only get work for a few weeks in the olive-picking season. Only 20% of the population had running water. After some lobbying of the Franco government of Spain, a development plan for Jaen was approved in July 1953.

There were four aspects to the plan: improving the water supply with new reservoirs, regenerating the countryside, extending electrification and the railway connections, and finally - industrialisation.

The last one of these, industrialisation, included the establishment of an agricultural machinery factory. There were two key contenders for the location of this new factory, Martos and Linares. The efforts of the Civil Governor of the Province and the Mayor of Linares ensured that the site of the new factory was to be Linares.

Linares was a city with an impressive and long history, and from the sixteenth century onwards, it had become an important centre for agriculture and stock-breeding. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the lead-mining industry developed in the area - many exploited by British companies - with the lead exported not just to Spain but also to America. It's slightly ironic that the location for the Land Rover deal was a place where the British had already made their mark.

The decline of the mines was one of the reasons why Linares was chosen for the new machinery factory. The approval for Linares as the site for the new workshop or factory for agricultural machinery was given in December 1953.

The bid for the right to go ahead with the factory was won by Don Antonio Saez de Montagut, Don Alfredo Jimenez Cassina, Vicente Izurquiza and other associates. They formally constituted themselves as a firm in February 1955 with initial capital of three million old pesetas.

Jimenez Cassina had found the right place to build the factory. It was on land owned by a family from Santander. They had come to Jaen to try and acclimatise dairy cows from Cantabria to the hotter climate of Jaen. It hadn't worked, but the swimming pool they started was successful, attracting lots of swimmers. In a very short time the consortium acquired the finca for the grand sum of 650,000 pesetas - a fortune in those days.

They called the new finca Santa Ana - which quickly became contracted to Santana. They immediately built a warehouse of 4,000 square metres, and in December 1955 they had extended the property by buying another 90,000 square meters of neighbouring land. The new buildings were blessed in May 1956 - Santana was up and running.

Image from Club Land Rover Todo Terreno España

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Duzi2 - From England to South Africa

The good thing about living at the bottom of the Iberian peninsula is that there are always lots of people setting off for Africa.

Sometimes they come into Gib, like this one. Duzi2, on her way to South Africa from England, with Ross and Heidi. She was parked in Main Street Gibraltar. We did hang around for a while, but no-one came back to the vehicle while we were there - and next time we went out she was gone.

Here is their website which is a good read. Hope you enjoy your trip guys and we will be checking in on your site to see how you are doing.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Camping in Spain (3) - Tarifa revisited

Tarifa. One of our favourite places in spite of the wind.

The first time we arrived there was when we had done a Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco and Portugal trip. Three weeks backpacking for Adrian's 40th birthday.

We arrived on his birthday, we were promptly offered some hash as we walked up the main street, and we missed the last bus to the campsite.

But we met a fine South African called Nick. He was busy driving up and down the length of Africa doing tours, complete with two huge ex-South African Army trucks in which he transported a car, an enduro, as well as all the people and provisions, so we had a few days chilling out for our birthdays and a good laugh with him. So we had good memories of Tarifa and decided to go back (not something we normally do...).

We found a nice exposed corner spot (to dry out the tent). Of course that only works when it isn't pissing it down and it is blowing a gale. It was not blowing a gale. It always blows a gale in Tarifa. We must have spent a week there with not a breath of wind. In the end we moved pitches to one that was less exposed but at least we could hang out the towels in the rare dry moments.

But it was good for Landies. We met a French guy with a Series II who had been to Morocco, but was starting to think that they were both getting a bit old for it. He said everyone seemed to have new vehicles these days and looked appreciatively at the SIII.

We met some Germans who were in the Deutscher Land Rover Club. They had been to Morocco too but one of them had a steering problem. He had managed to get from the bottom end of Morocco to Tarifa with a clunking noise, although when Adrian looked he could see nothing wrong with it. Hope he got home ok. Not sure whether it was a ball joint or what.

German Defenders on the left. Our Series III on the right.

And we met the couple from Hampshire. Sue and her partner in their 101 Forward Control.

We always remember them because he went to great pains to tell us that their mates at RPI had sorted the vehicle for them. We didn't see much of her, she was making a cup of tea and looked at us as though we had crawled from goodness knows where. They were off to Ghana or somewhere.

Hex, or whatever they called their 101

They weren't very chatty. Even though Adrian was dead keen to look it over. I think they must have been tired. We read one of their articles in a Land Rover magazine later.

But we did meet a nice guy who gave us a jump start when the battery was flat. He had a posh Land Rover, well, it was a Discovery, and he was dead helpful.

The flat battery was my fault. We had an excursion to Baelo Claudio. Very nice. Lots of Roman ruins. Well worth a visit if you are down Tarifa way. I said I wasn't going to wander round but couldn't resist so I got lost amidst the stones. (I think it was free, that may have been what lured me in). Meanwhile Adrian had the engine turning over and eventually the battery died.

The problem was that Baelo Claudio is in the middle of nowhere up and down a few steep hills. After much swearing and messing around we eventually got going and went back to the camp site. To chill out with a few beers. But the next day the battery died again.

So after the guy gave us a jump start we decided to bite the bullet and went to Tarifa for a new battery. The second in less than two months. And the third in about six months. Batteries huh.

It was a good site with some cool people. If you were stuck, people would help. Usually if people needed help they asked those of us with Land Rovers. We pulled a German guy with a huge rig out of a little bit of mud. He was well impressed. It would have cost him a fortune to get the recovery people out so he gave us ten euros for a beer. Good guy.

And when we weren't doing Land Rover stuff we sat in the nice bar/lounge/common room with a great fire talking to French windsurfers and young (well younger than us) travellers. In fact those of us who retreated there regularly used up most of the camp site stock of logs. There is not much else to do when it rains in Tarifa.

A couple of dry moments. Paddy resting his head on the generator....

....and Prince. Helping me cook and telling everyone to get out of his face.

So then we moved up the coast.

Mileage for trip

In and out of Tarifa - not much
Tarifa to Baelo Claudio - not much either

Landy problems
Flat battery at Baelo Claudio
Failed again at camp site
Bought new one in Tarifa

Landy help
A jump start for us (thanks guys)
We towed a campervan out
Looked at the German Defender and our advice was it should get him home

Monday, 15 October 2007

Camping in Spain (2) - Murcia to Tarifa

When we first came to Spain we intended to chill out in a rented villa for a couple of months.

As it was a total disaster we packed up and cleared off and went camping up the Andalucian coast, east of Malaga. We planned to follow the old N340 coast road all the way up as far as Murcia, as it was the only part of the Spanish Mediterranean coast that we had never properly explored.

The first stop was Valle Niza, a slightly scruffy site about five miles before the resort of Torre del Mar.

Apart from the weekends - when the Spanish descended with all their extended family to stay in their caravans or chalets, and made an absolute disaster of the toilets - the place was peaceful and tranquil.

There were a few northern Europeans with campervans. Some would stay a few days, the odd one or two stayed a few weeks.

Across the road from the campsite was the beach. We would wander up the bay with the dogs at sunrise, and wander up and down again in the evening at sunset.

We got sucked into the place and stayed for four or five weeks, but the weather looked as though it was about to change - it was late February and the rains were due - so we packed up and travelled on up the coast to the province of Almeria.

We found a clean and well-organised site at Almerimar. The site was right at the far end of the town on the beach. It was quite a hike into town though so we ended up just staying around the site. It was full of Germans. We would walk round in the mornings saying "Morgen" to everyone and hope they didn't launch into a conversation. But lots of them did come to our pitch and spoke to us in English. We were a quaint novelty act with our 30-year-old Land Rover, and our small well-used back-packing tent. I don't think they could believe the reality as they went back to their BMWs/Mercedes plus matching expensive caravans. Our tents match the Land Rover of course. Same colour.

Almeria has Europe's only desert. It is very dry. But not in winter. When it rains it rains just as heavily as it does anywhere else in Spain. Not only did it rain on this camp site we had a full-on Mediterranean storm. In the middle of the night, the camp site maintenance staff were driving round clearing the roadways which were absolutely flooded.

Drying out after the rain

There is not a lot you can do on a campsite away from the town when it keeps raining all the time so we left. As did loads of others in their amazing campervan rigs who were all complaining at the management because their part of the site was flooded. Can't say we had much sympathy for the whingers. It was hardly management's fault that it rained.

We continued our trip up the coast and then decided to move inland to dry out at an excellent cheap hotel in a pretty seedy-looking area in Lorca. Great food in Lorca - highly recommended.

Two days of comparative luxury and we were off camping again. We did an about turn, and decided to head for Portugal via Gibraltar.

Through the Almeria desert on the return trip -
stopping outside mini-Hollywood

While we were checking out a camp site at Torrox Costa - the alternator bracket went. Again. The first time it had gone on the trip had been back in November when we just outside Cartama, a few miles short of our destination. Fortunately we had a few spares with us that we'd made earlier out of angle iron. Didn't seem a good omen for the camp site though so we pressed on to Valle Niza.

After a couple of nights there, we headed down the coast. We stopped at Camping Tropical, which is just north of Estepona. It has atrociously small pitches - so much so that we had to commandeer some help from other campers to try and manoeuvre the heavily-loaded trailer uphill into the poxy space. Strictly a one-night job. So we moved a few kms further on the next day and found a great site - Camping Chullera (just south of Duquesa). It has now closed which is a shame or I would highly recommend it.

Next stop Gib, or at least La Linea for the Landy. We walked into Gib.

Here's the old girl looking at the Rock while she waits for us to return

We decided we would head onto Tarifa to one of the sites that we had stayed at before when we were backpacking. I think it is the Rio Jara one, the first one on the left as you leave Tarifa. Given Tarifa's windy reputation we figured that at least the tent would dry out and we would have a few nights away from the rain. Wrong.

Setting up camp in Tarifa

Mileage for trip - no toll motorways taken.

First day from Alhaurin via Torremolinos to Valle Niza - 80kms
Valle Niza to Almerimar - 150kms
Almerimar to Lorca via Mojacar - 214kms
Lorca to Valle Niza via the desert and mini-Hollywood - 350kms
Valle Niza to Camping Tropical (one night only) - 110kms
Camping Tropical to Camping Chullera (Duquesa) - 25 kms
Camping Chullera to Tarifa via La Linea/Gib - 75kms

Landy problems
1 Broken alternator bracket. Time taken to replace 1-2 hours.

Monday, 17 September 2007

SIII - a few pix

A few photos of the Series III enjoying life in the sun.

On the beach

Outside the house next door (because the street was being tarmaced)

Outside our rustic house

And sunbathing again (the beach is rustic too)

The starter motor

Idle Adrian decided to drive down to the beach - rather than walking. I suppose because it was late morning and hot.

So he got in - and discovered the starter motor was jammed. He did the usual stuff, whacked it kindly with a hammer, and put it into gear and rocked it backwards and forwards. No joy.

He took it out. Pretty quickly. And then had a beer. It was Sunday so he couldn't do any more.

The next morning he put it on the back of the bike and cycled the 8 or 10k to the local town to get prices for a new one.

He went to the truck motor factor on the industrial estate that he had discovered when he was helping Bedford Truck Man. Cost 665€ plus IVA at 16%.

He cycled round the town. It's one of those spread-out sort-of towns with a few hills to add variety.

He managed to get a few more prices. One went up to 776€ plus IVA and transport. But the same shop had another dealer and got a price of 540€ all included.

Poor old Worn-Out Cycling Adrian decided it wasn't a good idea to come home and tell me this. So he stopped at the auto-electrician on the way home. It happens to be opposite a good bar too.

The auto-electrician is a good old boy. When we first came we had problems with the alternator. He checked to see if it was beyond all repair and sadly it was, so we had to stump up for a new one. We've used him ever since and he's always seemed ok.

Anyway the jefe said he would take it apart and have a look - it would take half an hour or so. Best to wait at the bar opposite, thought Thirsty Adrian.

What a poppet (the old boy). Turned out the starter motor was ok, might need new bushes in a while, but he would clean it up for us. The solenoid was stuffed though. But 55€ for a new solenoid is a lot better than 540€ for a new starter motor.

Very Fit Cycling Adrian came happily back to pick up some money and went back to pick up the starter motor. The old boy wasn't there. Critical Adrian went to the work bench and took a look at the insides of the starter motor. He stuck his finger on the suspicious-looking stuff. Oil.

"¿Qué pasa aquí?" One of the young urchins came to attention. We think it's the grandson working in his school holidays.

"I've cleaned it," he said, helpfully.

"Not with oil, you haven't. It will just chupa the polvo."

One of the not-so-young ones roared at him.

The jefe came back. He roared at the grandson even more. "It will chupa the polvo."

"That's what the foreigner said," (the young one was catching on fast).

"That's because the foreigner isn't an idiot. You are though."

Old jefe rolled his eyes, and said, "These young ones. They just don't understand. I'll clean it up properly for you. Sorry about that."

Another beer called for. It's pretty hot at the moment and cycling around with a heavy starter motor isn't really that much fun.

When he went back to pick it up, the jefe had left it apart so that Critical Adrian could see it was cleaned up.

"I've used four litres of solvent to get rid of the oil. That would cost 40€." Sad Spanish face - this job had become not very cost-effective, even allowing for the exaggeration. Then he connected it to the power. And it worked.

Happy Adrian handed over his money - no extra charge, obviously - and cycled back. New solenoid, cleaned-out starter motor, and a couple of beers and some chat.

And put it in this morning. Using a variety of props to support the motor while he screwed on the nuts. It worked when he turned the ignition too. Vrrrrm. In fact it starts up much better than before.

That's probably why he had problems with the starter motor last year when he drove back to the UK. The solenoid had been slowly dying. A good result though. Another electrical fix - but the cost is always in the mechanical work for taking out and putting back. Today - Smug Partner.

But the bad news was that he had to throw away his 21-year-old T-shirt from Laura Ashley. When he took it off it ripped. And it was his best mechanicking one too. Gutted.

Any queries about what to do though - please ask in comments.

Axles and diffs

I have no idea what sort of axles and diffs I have on my Land Rover Santana 3.5 diesel 6 cylinder Station Wagon (DL Super).

They are not like any axles on any of the Land Rovers I have owned. They are not Rover, and they are not Salisbury. Could they be ENV? Both front and rear axles are very big and strong.

Can anyone shed any light on them for me?

Front axle

Front axle

Front axle

Front axle number

Rear axle

Rear axle

Rear axle

Rear axle number

If you have any idea please comment below (anonymous usually works ok). Thanks. Adrian


And their Land Rovers. Actually our Land Rovers.

So Eat Drink Breathe Sleep Talk SurfInternet Land Rovers Addicted Adrian decided to take off the roof yesterday and put on the hood sticks and the rag top.

Cool idea, especially being in Spain.

Well, yes, but we were meant to be going somewhere today. (No not shopping, that is his job too - not that he did much of it today.)

So when the roof is out on the street, along with the Lintrans dog kennel, he asks if we are going on the pre-arranged trip.

When? Midnight?

So he finishes off the hood sticks and rag top. Very nice it looked too.

And then can't get the roof back in the corral.
Good one, mate.