Expert Bleeder ….

Good Morning022

Congratulations are in order! I am now an expert bleeder of brakes. Another little accomplishment in my bag of many tricks. And what’s even more amazing, Richard and I are still speaking! Well we would be if he was here. He’s toddled off to work bless him – and on a Sunday. I think he has a motive. Well two actually. One, he wants to get away from the continual improvements to the chuck cage, which, as my friend Lauren pointed out yesterday, is a hotel. And second, I think he wants to earn a bit extra so that he can throw it into Betsy Land Rover’s ever hungry, open mouth.

As I sat on her cracked leather upholstery yesterday, drinking tea and listening to Richards repetitive instructions of, ‘DOWN. UP. DOWN. UP. DOWN UP.  DOWN. HOLD IT!’ the unforgivable thought crossed my mind – this pile of tin is NEVER going to pass an MOT. Honestly, I was not born  a defeatist but Betsy has seen better days – and sadly, I have to confess to having that little fact in common with the old pile of scrap. We could both do with a few creases ironing out.

I have been  informed by Richard that the brakes are now functioning and what’s even more unbelievable is, he actually thanked me for helping him. Blimey. They’ll be snow in hell next! The next problem lies in the fact that Betsy won’t tick over. Ha ha. The poor old girl shudders into life at the turn of the key and then dies. I have every confidence in Richard’s ability to sort this … no …honestly …I do. And when he does I thought I might borrow Betsy to take my stuff to a car boot. Richard hates car boots. Really hates car boots, so I think asking him to take me is a no-no. Driving the heap myself isn’t something I’d anticipate with confidence because my memory, though often failing, does stretch back to the last time I drove her – or attempted to point her in the general direction of home…

I was flying down the motorway at ninety miles an hour (forty, shaking, rattling and vibrating the fillings in my teeth) looking for the slip road, saw it, indicated (good driving hey?) and pulled off. As  I did a slight left on to the slip road Betsy went into a tailspin, swerving to the left and then the right and then to the left. I bellowed, ‘Shitttttttt!’ but with no effect as the stupid thing continued to tango across the two lanes. Applying the brakes, which at that time were almost apparent, didn’t help. We gradually straightened and came to a halt at the roundabout.

I haven’t driven the thing since that day.

Actually, I’ll admit this to you but NEVER to Richard, I’m quite looking forwards to getting Betsy back on the road. She’s a soft-top ( bit like Richard) and I think it will be really cool driving round the country lanes with my hair blowing in the breeze and my new shades on. And I may even pack a picnic and a flask – little cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Ha ha, don’t be silly, I’m joking, I’ll probably leave the crusts on!!

Having said all this, Betsy needs gallons of fuel just to get her off the starting blocks so I reckon Richard had better get used to working on Sundays?

Hopefully, this afternoon, when he gets home, he will have enough remaining energy to sort out Betsy’s tick … tick …tick …over?

All for now. Short and sweet. Time to go and wash the chuck’s bum.

Take care my lovelies x




12 thoughts on “Expert Bleeder ….

  1. Tut, tut, tut Jennie, don’t you know that if you drive an old Land Rover like a normal (b/i/u) car you’ll kill yourself!!!! 😀

    So seeings as you’re now an expert on brake bleeding, next time Annies/Ciggys need doing I’ll send Mud over to you house okay …….. 😉

    The sun is shining here this morning and Muds muttering about getting the bulkhead out to sand down ready for painting, time to go hide in the greenhouse me thinks!


  2. Betsy looks lovely 🙂

    Sorry to hear of your frightening experience, that must have shook you up a bit! An old Land Rover shouldn’t be that tail happy though unless violently provoked (not saying anything about the driving here….. 😉 ) so can only assume dodgy tyres, broken leaf spring or faulty shocks? Poor old Richard may need to be working 7 days a week for a while to pay for this……..

    I’m assuming Betsy is a petrol? You’ll be shocked to hear that normally the petrol Series Land Rovers are quite quiet and refined compared to the diesels (like our Annie). While Annie can actually cruise at 55-60mph on the motorway and get upto 70mph on the flat, at that speed it feels like you’ve put your head into a biscuit tin and put the tin into a washing machine on 1200 spin – we still haven’t got around to fitting any soundproofing yet 🙂

    Thankfully, after spending a small fortune two years ago on Annies refurbishment which included modern tyres and wheels, all new suspension and all new brakes she now handles pretty good and can be hustled along country lanes with good speed and can corner just as well as most modern trucks. I think the tyres make the biggest difference to safer handling but at £1000 for a set they aren’t cheap and lots of die hard Series fans don’t like the modern wide tyres and the wider track they provide however for me safety and handling come before looks especially as in our case Elaine would be driving the truck and she’d never driven a Series Land Rover until we’d bought Annie. They take a fair bit of getting used to and for Elaine who was going from a modern car with power steering and excellent brakes I wanted to minimise the risk of problems in the few months it would take her to get used to having to think about stopping 1/2 mile from where you actually need to stop…….. 🙂

    Fingers crossed that you get Betsy on the road again soon.



    • Ha ha – put your head in a biscuit tin and put the tin into a washing machine! Sounds about right. We had a new Land Rover a few years ago and frankly that wasn’t exactly quiet. Par for the course I reckon? Joking apart I am looking forward to it be road worthy – they are fun and great work horses. xx


  3. Really interesting post, Gail. Mud for fun’s comments are a bit disconcerting, I had no idea LR tyres were so expensive. You;ve done well bleeding the brakes, the danger, as you know is leaving air inside, and it;s tricky to squeeze it all out. Betsy might prove a little hard to handle, but she’ll really be a character on the road: not like these modern tin cans , you’ll be able to tow a caravan or trailer to get rid of rubbish or transport heavy items, and you and Richard will have a vehicle to be proud of, one which was built to last. Will you break a bottle of champagne on the rear mudguard to launch her?


    • LOL, Actually the tyres themselves were £750 for a set of five and they are VERY large tyres being 255/85R16 (33.5″ Dia) and they are BFG KM2 mud tyres tyres so are quality tyres. The extra money was in the new wider wheels that were required to fit the modern tubeless tyres. It is very dangerous to fit tubeless tyres to original Series Land Rover rims as they were designed for tubed tyres only.

      Annies tyres are a great compound that works well in most conditions and they last for ages. Annie has done 7K miles on her new tyres so far and they are only showing 0.5 – 1mm of wear off 14mm of new depth so we think they should provide a usable 30-40K miles which is quite remarkable for such an open treaded mud tyre. Their road holding is superb in both dry and wet and far superior to any mud tyre I’ve ever used before and actually far superior to most AT (all terrain tyres). They are also very quiet on the road too. Basically you get what you pay for. You can get remould or very cheap new tyres for a few hundred pounds but in my experience they are lethal on a truck like this as they don’t provide consistent grip in the wet and will often break away far too easily. Given that my wife and kids would be on board for most journeys I put safety over cost. Thankfully I was in a position to afford them 🙂

      A pic of Annie here shows the new tyres and wheels:



      • My take on the ‘tyre’ thing is simple. They are your only contact with the road and as such should do the best job possible. Although I do have to say that Betsy won’t be required to make mammoth journeys anywhere at speed. She’ll be a little workhorse. We have the very economical little VW UP for dashing places. x


  4. Hi Geoff. Not sure if we will break a bottle of champagne across her rear bumper or make do with a bottle of beer and drink the champagne! I don’t think I’ll put it on ice yet though! I’m sure she’ll be a sweetie when she’s


  5. “My take on the ‘tyre’ thing is simple. They are your only contact with the road and as such should do the best job possible.”

    My thoughts exactly 🙂

    “Although I do have to say that Betsy won’t be required to make mammoth journeys anywhere at speed. She’ll be a little workhorse. We have the very economical little VW UP for dashing places.”

    Yep, we use Annie for mostly short local trips to the shops, garden centre etc. She rarely goes further than 40 miles. Mind you she is not that bad on fuel really as she gets 25-30mpg which is actually no worse than our modern Mazda pickup truck in local short journeys. I always prefer to drive Annie over the modern truck though because she has so much more character and always brings a smile to my face whenever I get behind the wheel. The kids love her to bits and take any opportunity of going out in her with us 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s