Tag Archives: Land Rover

Pedal Power

Bespoke Defender Pedal Car

Bespoke Defender Pedal Car

Should you want to compliment your tot’s Bulgari, get them to sling their Jimmy Choos or Loakes on the pedals of this beauty.

Bespoke, British-made chelsea tractors for the playground shuld be winging their way to a Harrods store near you from Q2 16 (the middle of next year if you’re not a bit of a banker).

Classic elements of design meeting the needs of the modern nursery commuter, the off-road ability of these vehicles will naturally be supreme. Attention to detail includes maintaning the classically-low approach angles front and rear to facilitate climbing steep obstacles, low waist-lines to allow good side visibility for driver and co-driver, rock-sliders to protect the vulnerable side sills and a spacious engine bay for storing Mr Wuggles, the other half of that rice cake Mummy gave me and a full range of crayons.

Expect hard-wearing food-resistant seats, low servicing costs and high residual values. Resuslts of the Euro Kneecap tests haven’t been released at the time of publishing, with some speculating that although crumple zones may be absent, most impact speeds are likely to be low so driver protection should be acceptable.

If you have a real Land Rover and need any servicing, repairs or accessories, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or give us a call

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

45 Range Rover Facts

4-generations-of-range-rover

If these are the horsemen, give us the apocalypse now.

Land Rover have very generously given us 45 facts based on the Range Rover line.

We’ve chosen some of our favourite and included them here:

3. Charles ‘Spen’ King, the visionary engineer behind the Range Rover, drove a Rover 2000 road car on the farmland around the Solihull site to assess the effects of coil springs on an off-road vehicle – a radical idea for the time.

 

4. During the prototype stage in the 1960s, Range Rovers were cunningly labelled with VELAR badges in order to fool any journalists who were on the lookout for a scoop. Stories differ as to what VELAR stood for: the official story is that it is a Spanish word for ‘to protect or take care’; other accounts say it stood for ‘Vee Eight in a Land Rover’ or that it’s from the Italian velare, meaning ‘to veil or cover’.

 

5. The Chinese characters that represent the name Range Rover in China translate as ‘Capturing Victory’.

 

9. The Range Rover Sport SVR will feature in the forthcoming James Bond film, Spectre. What you might not know is that Range Rover vehicles have also starred in: Quantam of Solace (driven by 007 himself), Casino Royale, Layer Cake, Eastern Promises, Snatch, RocknRolla, Kiss the Girls, Syriana, Ocean’s Eleven (and Twelve and Thirteen), Under Suspicion, The Football Factory, The Player and many more.

What a fantasy garage!

11. The armoured Range Rover repelled eight live ball rounds from the barrel of a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle, eight bullets from a Makarov pistol, and a 7.62mm live ball round fired from a distance of 32 feet. The bulletproof glass is 40mm thick, and the floorpan can withstand two DM71 hand grenades. An optional built-in Oxygen system protects all five occupants against gas attack, the tyres boast run-flat technology, and the suspension has been fine-tuned – because a fast getaway is still the best form of defence.

 

13. Although it has outstanding off-road ability, when engineers developed the Range Rover Sport, they placed the emphasis firmly on-road. Testing was carried out on the notorious Nürburgring, where it clocked up over 5,000 miles, hit speeds of 130mph, and lapped the track in an amazing 8 minutes, 49 seconds. Each lap has 73 corners and endless combinations of radius, camber and gradient, so it’s not hard to see why the Range Rover Sport became such an accomplished performance vehicle.

 

16. In the 1970s and 1980s, British company Wood and Pickett customised Range Rovers. The vehicles would often be given more power and wider wheels, and the interiors would be kitted out with Recaro seats, sports steering wheels and additional dials, according to the customer’s requirements. The vehicles were re-badged as Sheer Rovers and proved popular with some of the biggest celebrities of the time, such as Peter Sellers. In the late 1970’s, Wood and Pickett were also consultants on the first Range Rover Vogue.

17. In the 1970s, specially-built six wheel Range Rovers were used as fire trucks. Some of them are still in use today.

Let your body move to the music (not to mention the potholes)

Go on, say ‘nee nah!’ in a Terry Thomas voice.

21. Madonna used her Range Rover as a mobile medical unit on the set of her then-husband’s 2008 movie RocknRolla. Madge set up shop as distributor of vitamins to a run-down cast – which included Hollywood darling Gerard Butler – from the back seat of her vehicle. In related trivia, Madonna and Guy Ritchie also used Range Rovers for their wedding at the exclusive Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands.

 

29. In 1970, the introductory price of the Range Rover was set at approximately £2,000 – just under half the price of the average house. By 1978, thanks to a decade blighted by inflation, the price of a Range Rover had reached £9,000.

This would now cost over three times the list price. If you could find one.

30. Two Range Rovers were sent to Morocco for extreme hot weather testing before full production got underway. The 3,500-mile journey was documented in the film Sahara South, which is still available to buy at the Heritage museum website.

 

33. When it came to the look of the original Range Rover, Charles ‘Spen’ King (an engineer and not a trained designer) was left to his own devices, because at that time, priority in the styling studios was being given to other Rover vehicles. Like many engineers, King felt that form should always follow function, and as a result, came up with a simple but elegant design. It was so good that when David Bache and his dedicated design team took up the project, they only had to make minor revisions to King’s design.

 

37. In 1985, the first diesel Range Rover, codenamed ‘Project Bullet’, ran at over 100mph for 24 hours at the MIRA test track in the UK. It broke 27 diesel-powered records in the process.

If you have a Range Rover and it needs some TLC, or if you’re the proud owner of any of the Land Rover marque’s range and you need parts, accessories, repairs or servicing, check our our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or call us on 01691 657 705.

Call us even if you’re not currently a Land Rover owner, we can help change that too.

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

45 Years of Range Rover

45 Years of Range Rover

Muddy Luxury  is 45

Muddy Luxury is 45

The Range Rover is now 45 years old

Have you had one?

Ours was the iconic Range Rover Classic V8. By the time we acquired the Rangey it had seen better days. The head lining hung down, meeting the rising almost-physical-fug of smell from the carpet’s mould.

The short, spiky fibres of 1980s plastic used to create the seat fabric would have truly irritated delicate legs, but it was now to carry fat, hairy blokes in muddy jeans or cammo-trousers so that didn’t matter any more.

Faded black paint, touched up here and there with household gloss and Hammerite by someone using not a paintbrush but a dead badger. Whilst balancing on a tightrope.

Bumpers which had been used to shore-up a demolition company by driving into the most concrete-heavy of 1960s landscape-blotts, or else a short-lived carreer shunting trains.

But the engine. Oh, the engine. Tickle of choke, stroke of key, spin of starter and the crescendo of sound from the cheese-grater exhaust system. Bliss.

And the unbelievable ability to find traction anywhere. Absolutely anywhere.

If we could go back in time, we’d never decide to sell such a beloved steed. But that was always the point of the Range Rover. Buy one, revel in the glory, then sell it and buy something which doesn’t cost a fortune to run…

 

If you need welding, waxoiling, wheels, servicing or just re-assurance that it will all be alright, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or call us (details on the contacts page).

 

This article wasn’t written by Rupert Astbury, who knows how to buy Range Rovers properly, but he knew  what I was doing.

 

Range Rover Locks Don’t

Range Rover Lock Bug

Range Rover lock bug hits Range Rover and Sport Models from 2013

The BBC Has revealed that remote locking software for Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models from 2013 may be vulnerable to hack attack.

Land Rover is recalling more than 65,000 cars to fix a software bug that can unlock the vehicles’ doors.

Drivers would get no dashboard warning that the doors of their car had been unlocked, the firm said.

The glitch affects Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles sold between 2013 and now.

Experts said problems with keyless ignition and locking systems on some luxury cars had made them favourites with car thieves.

Should you need any help getting into your Range Rover, as long as it is really your Range Rover, give us a call or visit our website at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

All The Gear, No Idea?

Get your Cogs round this. Britpart and LRO are teaming up to provide workshop features for the dedicated petrol-head with a muddy bent.

From technical pieces investigating how manufacturers set the gearing ratio for your vehicle to useful DIY guides on how to add accessories to your pride and joy, you can now relive the best of LRO’s articles on the Britpart website.

You can click the picture link abocve to go directly, or keep watching this space for hand-picked choices.

This week, we’ve taken a fancy to the explanation of how gearboxes, transfer boxes, over-drives and under-drives work, and how changes you make affect the vehicle.

Click here to go to the LRO workshop article pages hosted by Britpart

If you need a new gearbox you can prop into the shop (sorry) or transfer to our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk .

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Suck, Squeeze, Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow

Bi Comnpound Charging McDonald 4X4

Bi Compound Charging

 

We’ve read a forum post. It’s crazy.

Take a Series 3 88, with a 2.25l Diesel engine (rice pudding skins; quake ye not in fear) and add a 200Tdi engine.

Fair enough, we thought, seems like a sensible upgrade, reasonable on a cost basis, acceptable on a performance level, a good all-round compromise. Shake and serve in a martini glass. Cushti.

Or there’s ‘Bi Compound Charging’ to add a few horsepower.

Simply add 30 years of engineering experience, superchargers, turbo-chargers, intercoolers and charge coolers, and turn the 2.5l Land Rover engine into something approaching a 7 litre power-house.

We started by asking the question ‘But… why?’

We realised that this was the wrong question.

Failing to find anything more suitable, we settled on the age-old favourite;

‘What’ll it do, Mister?’*

 

If you need anything for your pride and joy, from washers to sprockets to alternator pulleys to Ridley-Scott-Inspired, ‘Last-of-the-V8-Interceptor’ make-overs, contact us directly or go to www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

 

*About 50mph apparently. Remember to tip the hospital porters, not the ambulance crew.

Print Your Own Land Rover

3d Printer McDonald 4X4

Your new garage?

Time and again, we’re told  that buying a brand new car is the second biggest purchase you’ll ever make. So you want to own a car, but you can’t decide which one to spend your hard-earned on? You like the look of this one but the colours of that one, the driving position of this one and the gadgets of that one. Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all wheel drive?

What if you could have it all?

3D Printing is having a major effect on manufacturing by providing rapid access to prototypes; the sooner you can see a design in real life, the sooner you can assess it and make changes.

The benefit for Joe Bloggs is that the trickle-down effect has meant an ever-increasing supply of machines for home use, and a year-on year reduction in price. With a 3D Printer capable of creating plastic or metal alloy parts already available for under £1000 you could conceivably be replacing parts suppliers for cosmetic parts with a software program. Scan the old part, and print a new one. As the meerkat said, simples!

McDonald 4X4 Jay Leno Blog

Picture courtesy of Popular Mechanics.com

As you can see in this article in America’s Popular Mechanics blog by Jay Leno, including the comments made by car fanatic readers, the vintage car market is already benefitting considerably from the new technology:

One of the hardships of owning an old car is rebuilding rare parts when there are simply no replacements available. My 1907 White Steamer has a feedwater heater, a part that bolts onto the cylinders. It’s made of aluminum, and over the 100-plus years it’s been in use, the metal has become so porous you can see steam and oil seeping through. I thought we could just weld it up. But it’s badly impregnated with oil and can’t be repaired. If we tried, the metal would just come apart.

So, rather than have a machinist try to copy the heater and then build it, we decided to redesign the original using our NextEngine 3D scanner and Dimension 3D printer. These incredible devices allow you to make the form you need to create almost any part. The scanner can measure about 50,000 points per second at a density of 160,000 dots per inch (dpi) to create a highly detailed digital model. The 3D printer makes an exact copy of a part in plastic, which we then send out to create a mold. Some machines can even make a replacement part in cobalt-chrome with the direct laser sintering process. Just feed a plastic wire–for a steel part you use metal wire–into the appropriate laser cutter.

As an example, see Stuff.co.nz’s story about kiwi Ivan Sentch’s project Aston Martin

Ivan Sentsch's 3d printed Aston Martin DB5

Ivan Sentsch’s 3d printed Aston Martin DB5

Using a $500 Solidoodle 3D printer, Ivan Sentch, a programmer from Auckland, is printing a mold of the the car. “I have been printing since January and I have printed about 72 per cent of everything,” Sentch said…

Once finished, he will make a fiberglass mould of the print and fit that to the engine, electrics, suspension and drivetrain of a 1993 Nissan Skyline. He will then have to build the interior. The project is a labour of love that comes second to his day job and family life and Sentch doesn’t expect to have the mould ready for another 18 months. He won’t be driving the car for another five years.

 

McDonald 4X4 3D Printed Car

The Strati 3D Printed Car, picture courtesy of The Guardian

The Strati is made by Arizona, USA company Local Motors, and although it’s an electric car, it points the way to a revolution in kit-car building.

So before long, you could see major manufacturers getting in on the game. This Autoexpress article from 2013 discusses the Urbee 3D printed car;

The first Urbee was custom printed using Fused Deposition Modelling – the spaghetti and glue gun approach – to create a honeycomb structure like a bee hive. This material was only used where necessary, giving a light, strong and green structure that performed well in a crash.

For the Urbee 2, all visible components inside and outside the vehicle will be printed in what KOR EcoLogic calls a factory of the future – a bank of printers working on 40 discreet panels, with ducting and wiring incorporated into each printed part.

Read more: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/03/07/road-ready-3d-printed-car-on-the-way/

So it seems that even if it doesn’t happen soon, it could well be worth saving up not for your dream car, but for your own factory…

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Where now for Land Rover?

McDonald 4x4 Jaguar CX17

Picture courtesy of Auto Express

This is the Jaguar CX17. It will have 2 and 3 litre engines, petrol and diesel, probably an electric hybrid in due course, will cost between £25k and £50k depending on specification and toys, and will be aimed at brand-conscious people who want to stay on tarmac but feel like they could drive anywhere.

 

Oh yes, and it’s a 4 wheel drive car.

 

Its parent company, Jaguar Land Rover, is no stranger to 4 wheel drive. It owns one of the oldest and arguably the most famous 4 wheel drive brand.

Land Rover already has, in descending order of  wage level, Range Rover Sport, Evoque, Discovery and Freelander lifestyle-orientated off-roaders to suit the same market.

The Freelander becomes a Discovery Sport next year, and gains at least £10k on the price, so is the CX17 going to compete with other Land Rovers or will it replace the entry-level (yeah, right, it you’re a footballer or celeb maybe) Freelander and become the soft-roader of choice for the British Public?

A Jag?

 

Still, it’s not the first time Land Rover has been sold on to a company which has taken all the off-road technology and sold Solihull on…

And with Range Rovers set to be involved in driverless-car trials as quoted in Auto Express, will you even need to get a driving license?

 

McDonald 4X4 LAnd Rover DC100

Picture courtesy of Carbody Design.com

This is the possibly-soon-to-be-released Land Rover DC100 Defender replacement. The people who designed the Defender and its antecedents could have also worked on bridges or railways, where as the JLR design group seems to have been drawn from people who could just as well have designed iPods, kettles or vacuum cleaners.

How is that a replacement for this Defender?

McDonald 4X4 Desert Defender

Desert Landrover. Picture courtesy of Overlandia.mx

 

Or this one?

McDonald 4X4 Desert Defender

Picture courtesy of Adrianstomcat.co.uk

OR this one?

 

McDonald 4X4 Land Rover Forrester

Land Rover Series 2A Forrester, picture courtesy of Dev.Grip Magazine.de

Will it only be millionaires who can afford a proper off-road Land Rover?

 

McDonald 4X4 Land Rover SVO

Land Rover SVO, pictures courtesy of Auto Express

 

If you need any bling for your iRover, sorry, Lifestyle-orientated ‘Solely Urban Vehicle’ visit our shop at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk where you will also be able to buy proper suspension and sump guards and winches and the like designed to get you into the mud then back out of the mud without ruining your Ugg boots.

This article was written entirely by Rupert Astbury. Honest.

Getting To Grip

Getting stuck in?

McDonald4X4 Differentials

Don’t fixate on the fact that you’re stuck. Stop and have a think.

Off-road driving is only possible thanks to 4 wheel drive.

McDonald4X4 Differential

Henry Alexander, Ben Nevis, Model T Ford, 1911. Nutter.

Actually, there was quite a lot of driving in the days before full-time 4 wheel drive, though you’re welcome to recreate it in your daily motor if you want. I’ll pass thanks.

Slipping around on mud is all very well, but when you start driving on tarmac, things get complicated.

The width of a vehicle means that when turning a corner, the outside wheels are always going to travel further than the inside wheels. If you don’t do something about this, the inside wheel will start to spin and you’ll crash. Or the outside wheel will start to spin and you’ll crash. Or the axle will break. And you’ll crash.

To stop all this needless crashing, those clever boffins who made cars turned to the differential. Now for the science bit.

A differential is a particular type of simple planetary gear train that has the property that the angular velocity of its carrier is the average of the angular velocities of its sun and annular gears. This is accomplished by packaging the gear train so it has a fixed carrier train ratio R = -1, which means the gears corresponding to the sun and annular gears are the same size. This can be done by engaging the planet gears of two identical and coaxial epicyclic gear trains to form a spur gear differential. Another approach is to use bevel gears for the sun and annular gears and a bevel gear as the planet, which is known as a bevel gear differential.

Definition courtesy of Wikipedia

What this really means is that you get to go round a corner without crashing; the benefits are obvious.

To put it in a modern context, ie youtube:

Video courtesy of Allegroracing

There are other options; DAF built cars as well as lorries once upon a time. Their engineering was surprising, as was their design. You did away with differentials and replaced them with CVT (Continuous Velocity Transmission) belts. The style baby got thrown out with the technical bathwater though;

McDonald 4X4 Differential

The Daf Daffodil. Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

So if you want to cover all your bases, you need a car with differentials front and back, right?

Of course, you also need to consider the trade-off of differentials, which takes us back to the problem highlighted by those brave Ladies Of The Mud at the top; if you get off the tarmac, you’re going to get stuck.

The solution was obvious. Give up on this car nonsense and stick to horses. Except there was so much money in cars, everyone kind of ignored the horse option.

You can limit the slip of the differential, which comes in handy if you want to go racing and need a little bit of slip in the corners, but more grip on entry and exit.

If things get extreme though, you need to go straight to the locking differential, as the best of both worlds.

A Differential. Exploded.

A Differential. Exploded.

If you need help getting unstuck, or if you just want to buy Land Rover parts online, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Just Slow Down

 

McDonald4x4.co.uk

Big brakes need careful management. picture courtesy of Forza Lounge

When did you last test your brakes?

We all know about the standard ‘brake light bulb’ and ‘after-you-drive-through-water’ brake test, but seriously; when’s the last time you put your money where the manufacturer’s mouth is and really stomped on the stop lever? What happened?

Did you get more than you bargained for?

Richard Bremner of Autocar Magazine makes an interesting point in his article on the Autocar blog ‘Notes from a 10-car motorway pile-up’

A friend of mine had an accident recently, being part of a 10-car pile-up on the M1 one Saturday morning. Impressively, given that all 10 cars were doing around 70mph when their panic-braking began, everybody walked away…

My friend’s was car number three in the train of destruction, which was triggered by somebody undertaking and surprising the lead car, which my mate reckons may have been slow to react. But when its driver did brake it was hard enough to trigger his car’s emergency brake assist, prompting an older supermini without this feature to bury its nose beneath its tail, aided by the impact of my friend’s car hitting it too. My mate was hit by the car behind, and another seven cars followed that. Which was enough to close the motorway.

If you needed to stop in a hurry, you’d be glad of all the help you can get, but do you know exactly how your car will respond?

It’s important to make sure that you know how your car does what it does so that you in turn know what to ask it to do. For those of us who remember learning to drive in cars fitted with brakes which felt like you were pushing a rubber brick on to the tarmac directly, modern cars can surprise you with the level of braking available at the pedal.

Progressive power and feel are not necessarily the manufacturer’s prime consideration when deciding how to market a vehicle, as outright stopping distance is much easier to measure and use in sales marketting.

 

But of course you’ll be concentrating 100% on the car and the road ahead, anticipating the conditions to come, at one with your machine, not concentrating on anything or anyone else at all…

Distractions? What distractions?

McDonald 4X4 Distracted DriversPicture courtesy of The Daily Mail

The biggest distraction to drivers isn’t their cell phone, but their children claims recent research…Over a 16-minute car ride, drivers with kids in the car looked away from the road for an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds – 21% of the time...According to Australian researchers AAA that means kids are twelve times more distracting while driving than talking on a cell phone. 

 

McDonald 4X4 Hooters Girls A DistractionPicture courtesy of ctvnews.ca

Police in Dartmouth, N.S. have told employees of a Hooters restaurant not to practice calisthenics outside because their bouncing bodies have been deemed a major distraction for nearby drivers.

McDonald 4X4 Sighn SpinnersPicture courtesy of turnstylenews.com

Dancing sign spinner arrested in Florida and accused of distracting drivers with his moves… Ryan Brown, 22, was arrested after a driver complained his sign-spinning antics were distracting drivers

McDonald 4X4 Sheila's Wheels Retractable HeelsThe Safe Shoe survey by insurers Sheilas’ Wheels found 86 per cent of women admitted wearing unsuitable footwear while driving… As part of their awareness campaign, Sheilas’ Wheels have launched the Sheila Driving Heel, shoes with a retractable heel for driving.

 If your car needs a service, if you want an MOT or if you just need help fitting a hands-free device or a bluetooth – enabled car radio, we can fit you in to our workshop and service centre in Oswestry, Shropshire.

Alternatively if you want Land Rover brake pads or discs, give us a call or visit our webshop, www.mcdonald4X4.co.uk

This post was written by Rupert Astbury