Thursday, May 19, 2016

LDV convoy vans in London

Did you know there is an area full of LDV convoys in London?
North east london it is. This is home of the hasidic jewish community whose members own convoys for group transport (schools etc). They are really all over. They (the community members not the convoys) always look at my little pilot suspiciously or enviously when I go around there. There was one for sale lately but I didn't have a camera phone at the time. Now I was given one and there was only this blue beauty for sale!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A procedure to remove Burman 30-370 steering box on LDV Pilot 2003 (400 serie with DW8 peugeot engine)

Pilots' pilots.
Here is my two cents procedure and suggestions to remove your steering box on your own.
This is a long post so here is the start of it and I'll finalise it when I'll get more time.


  • Jack
  • 3 axle stands (one to support engine)
  • copper hammer
  • pitman arm puller
  • ratchet
  • 3/4W socket [drop arm]
  • 22mm socket [tie rod end]
  • lump hammer
  • 13mm spanner/socket
  • 14mm socket
  • 17mm spanner
  • 10mm
  • hex key [vaccum pump]
  • oil cap and container
  • tipex corrector
  • manuals (available free on LDV files)

First and foremost, immobilise your vehicle properly and don't go under until it's firmly and steadily set up on axle stands on a flat surface because since you have a van there are people who need you and they won't like you anymore if you are as flat as a pancake because it dropped onto your face as you were working under it to repair it. Stay in shape, make it stable!

Lift up front of van high as to have enough room for arm movements.
Take off driver side wheel.
Take down tie rod end from drop arm
method used: Bang Bang (see pic) but on the right spot (see other pic)

other methods: fork etc will write up later

Take down drop arm
method used: Pitman arm puller (less than £10 online)

other methods: 
Heat drop arm around shaft (risk! Not so much as to melt seal inside).Hit both side of drop arm with similar lump hammers.
will write up later

Get caps and empty containers ready to stop and deal with oil spills.
Unscrew 2 pipes from box (from reservoir and from high pressure supply pipe), leave short pipe on as it’s connected to box only. Leave to empty itself.

In cabin, remove dashboard part under steering wheel (and around ignition barrel?).
In engine bay, put steering column to straight and mark placement of shaft with steering column coupling shaft to remember (I use tipex corrector) [check manual around this issue as I think it can be worked out in some other way when refitting but always good to make marks in case it helps] and remove completely pinch bolts from steering wheel shaft.

In cabin, support the steering column and remove the 2 nuts and plate that hold the column (note that here you might have to remove a plastic part that connects the shaft to the body where it goes through to the engine bay. I think I read it’s recommended to do this before removing the nuts and plate - it’s broken and missing on mine so I didn’t have to). No need to disconnect any but watch out for cables and not to reap any off.

plate/bracket supporting column above


broken bit on mine

steering column coupling shaft out from steering box upper shaft (above)

Pull shaft up until about 3/4 inches are left on engine bay side (or whatever is enough to get steering column coupling shaft out).
Disconnect the high pressure supply pipe from the engine crossmember (clips)
SUPPORT THE ENGINE PROPERLY (see manual and pancake story at beginning of this post)
and undo the 2 bolts and  the plate at bottom of steering box.

Remove 3 bolts holding steering box.

Remove the vacuum pump (very easy 1 bolt, 1 hex bolt)

Getting the box out.
Method I used:
Get a copper hammer (thanks Tony Norbury for this and many more tips) and hit at the bottom of box on the side facing the back of the van.

That should rotate the bottom of the box upward toward the front of the van
so you can access the 2 bolts of the box lower mounting fixing where the crossmember was connected.

At the start I did hammer the box down from the top, hitting on the place where the hole for the right hand top bolt was (when still in place) This made it rotate a bit more but not that much and it was noisy, exhausting and not so efficient so I came up with the following solution.

This is what I called the Gap of Hope. The rotation started showing some progress. and my biceps to cry.
Also the lower little white arrow show where I was hitting to rotate the box in the opposite direction.

Get a L-shaped bracket (thick metal) with a hole of similar size to bolt. The shortest the short side of the L shape is the better I reckon, and the longest the long side is best too but not crucial as it can be extended.
You should also find a short bit of metal with similar thickness to even up pressure from the side of the other bolt - so as not to bend the original plate.
Bolt this bracket and the short bit under the plate where the crossmember was.

You have made yourself a lever and you can now rotate the box indefinitely until it comes out.
Lubricant where/when possible helps. There was quite some rust around mine.

You can remove the box one out from under through where the vacuum pump was.

Think the box outside.
Amazing power of the mind.

Many thanks to all from Club LDV who have helped with ideas and suggestions all throughout.

Now for the refit...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Toolbox of Land Rover videos for LDV vans owners

I have found this youtube channel (below) very useful and informative:
Land Rover Toolbox Videos
The videos are professionally made, clear and to the point and have lots of tips.
It has  helped me find out about my gearbox and steering so far.

Here is a video that show how to refill your R380 gearbox oil:

and one about steering check basics:

Check it out!

As Darren from Club LDV often reminds us (!!!), LDVs has lots in common with the Rover SD1
(they share British Leyland group heritage) - Rover SD1 infos and more infos

Although they know little about LDVs they do have corresponding parts (at cheaper cost) so you might want to take a look at the Rimmer bros online shop that sells SD1 parts.
(Note: This is NOT advertising, just sharing knowledge).

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Assume nothing but TEST everything! Parasitic draw test, relays, glow plugs, earth connections, etc

Check your earth connections first!
and assume nothing but test everything!

Preheating - glow plugs control unit and relay
(9639912580-G CARTIER) - Pricey when new but can be found second hand and tested
for a LDV Pilot van (DW8; it fits many other vehicle, check for yourself)

Once more it was the earth, the same battery earth that was causing the engine not to start.
I had readjusted it a few days before the engine went and it looked fine.
For this reason I looked at everything else, read all the manuals, cleaned all possible connections (even bought a replacement Preheat control unit), performed a parasitic draw test for all fuses and relays; checked all fuses and relays (post with video on checking relays here).

Eric the car guy explains how to perform
a parasitic draw test
in the above video.
This is what you need to do if your brand new battery keeps going flat overnight.

and in the end as I was doing the test, seeing that I had no draw and being clueless.
I thought I've been cleaning up everything electric around so let's just undo this battery negative earth connection, clean it and grease it up.
Next thing the van start (with a tongue in cheek look).
Made me feel like an idiot but as long as it started I'm happy and delighted I learned so much about my van's and 12V systems in general!

Next comes the power steering box. Bring it on!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

How many perfectly working spark plugs have we discarded?

Needless to say I bear a lot of guilt on the subject..
The video underneath from ElectronicNmore  show us how to determine whether a spark plug is a working one or not.
Just about time!
Big thanks to you ElectronicNmore guys.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cure to the frustration of rounded bolts and nuts!

Yet another life-changing tip from Scotty Kilmer (his website) in one of his videos.
Personally I never had many good tools to work on mechanic "projects" and when I started to get a handful of decent ones I still couldn't get my head around this frustrating situation of a rounded nut or bolt, whether on bicycles, cars, vans or whatever that's held with nuts & bolts.
This is like an epiphany to me! That tool's inventor I want to hug!
Check out the video below to know the full story.

Thanks a bunch for that one Scotty Kilmer. Here is Scotty's video channel. Some people comment that they can't take the way he speaks. I only see a lot of life, positivity and no nonsense in his tone (which I like it if you asked me but you didn't) and it also comes from the video editing that is fast and furious. He also does Live talk as mechanic online.
As a film-making enthusiast I ought to ask him who is the videographer behind the youtube content and how they work together on the script!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How to deal with rusty stuck bolts - Tips from a mechanic

Almighty ever energetic Scotty Kilmer gives out a great tip for LDV vans DIY owners in his video!
He uses heat from a torch!
Check it out!
Are you asking yourself why I am using so many of those these marks !!! at the end of my sentences!!!?

I am a fan!!!

(I couldn't resist drawing that one for my cartoon and caricature blog.)

Friday, November 20, 2015

New LDV files website and forum online

Here the link to the new LDV Files website that also have a forum announced by Michael Mc Donald who runs the LDV Files group of fb. The new website front page reads as follows:

"Welcome to Ldv Files - We have workshop manuals for the Pilot / Convoy & Maxus as well as a forum where you can discuss , the sherpa , 200 , 300 , 350 & 400 , Pilot and Convoy & Maxus.
As well as all this you can browse videos , your vans , self builds , selling page and a lot more ( even camping recipes ) 

Click here to go to the FORUM"

Long live to this new forum.

The LDV Sherpa II forum remains available.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Conversion tool for your mileage and more motoring conversions UK, US

Look no further and try this converter site. It works well for me (found one eventually).
Plain and simple
Handy to figure out your fuel consumption if you are going on a journey.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

LDV Pilot van - Squeaking serpentine belt

Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!
My current unresolved problem probably caused by (me)splacement and probably misalignment too which happened I presume when I replaced the belt.
This video from the Dayco videos serie is helping me out.

So far, I took the belt out and re-placed it but to no avail. I noticed a wear on one side, edge of the multi grove belt (referred to as sidewall wear in the video). Some of the worn out rubber seems to have accumulated in and around the alternator too. I cleared it out.
I check manually that all pulleys, discs were sound and to the right tightness. It feels steady but probably needs better checking but no wobble.
I also noticed that on the tensioner roller I can see misalignment of the belt and can't do a thing about it.
My next step will be to take the belt of and listen and I will need to take the brake vacuum pump (shorter) belt to do that.
My guess is that my tensioner is worn someone. Let's see.

Review your belt and pulley basics with Eric the car guy's video and understand why, although it doesn't stop you from using your vehicle, it's not a good thing to use it with a noisy belt for too long as it directly can affect the timing of your engine resulting in more consequent and costly damages to essential parts of the engine like the camshaft itself.

and this is from Chris Fix which I will need in case my "diagnosis" (guess) is correct. That's another belt and tensioner replacement cost.

(Let me transcript this last video bit as it's too fast spoken for me to get it clear)

Diagnosing with water bottle spray

  • Run engine (keeps your fingers, limbs, hair, loose clothing away!)
  • Spray a little water on the inside rib of the belt (direct to pulley's groves)

If noise stops - the belt is still moving, the pulleys are still moving:

  • NOT a bearing problem.

If the noise does NOT change:

  • A bad bearing in a pulley
If the noise gets LOUDER:

  • Belt tension is too tight or too lose
  • which could be due to a bad tensioner pulley
  • or could be due to a worn/stretched belt

LDV Pilot with a DW8 pug - A silent video on changing a head gasket

It is not the best tutorial (also because it's subtitled in french) but it gives you a good idea of the amount of work involved to change a head gasket on a DW8 peugeot engine.

LDV Pilot van - Engine oil leaks? Viscosity, Honey and Water on the menu

I finally managed to get enough little coins to do an oil change to my dear LDV Pilot van.
And since I'm getting bigger oil leaks. One around the head gasket, two around the gearbox...
Here's a video from Eric the car guy that explains what's happened.

He speaks about the difference between liquid flow rate and viscosity; and about the mix of oil and combustion gases that wear the gaskets, rubber joints and metal parts. Those are the main culprits!

His very articulate way of sharing his knowledge and experience through talk and video works very well for me, it might as well for you.

Looks like there a gaskets replacement session ahead!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Engine epihany and anatomy with a very instructive video on the basic of engines parts

Recently I'm having an epiphany. I am starting to understand how engines works (it's about time).

That's thanks to a lot of hours reading, listening and watching as well as keeping my nails dirty.
It's not like I have a choice; I got two engines (diesel and petrol) and no money to pay for a mechanic and do my Qigong routine each morning to nurture my self-confidence and solution finding mindset as opposed to giving in to despair and disproportionate amount of colourful language.
This formula seems to work with lots of advice and guidance from anywhere I can get.

Now I am re-watching the video below from Eric the car guy (who's on that big online social network) and it's making sense (!). I can feel the shifts in my brains when I hear camshaft and timing belt. Enough about my godly revelation, here is the video:

(Thanks for all the work you put in doing these videos Eric.)

Gearbox - How does a manual transmission clutch work?

What is a manual transmission clutch and how does it work?

If you are like me you can drive for years and have a 'feel' or a basic understanding of that is a clutch
but you still don't understand what it really is on a vehicle and how it operates.
I'm done with daily use of things I don't understand so I looked on the net for readings and among others, I found this article and very straight to the point video from Howstuffwork.
It tells and shows the various parts flywheel, crankshaft, input shaft, pressure plate, clutch disc and explains how friction is used to connect elements and get power to your wheels for spinning.

So now you should know what is really happening when you hear a horrible grinding noise:
it's the sound of the friction between the flywheel and the clutch disc which is made of ceramic based materials in today's cars (asbestos in some older cars).

If you still don't get it, have a read of this article about transmission on Howstuffwork
and watch more videos.

If you prefer real images to animations, watch Ericthecarguy's very articulate take on the topic

What is the difference between a Petrol and Diesel Engine? - Just a reminder

Just a reminder to self:

"What is the difference between a Petrol and Diesel Engine?

Petrol engine:

  • In petrol engines fuel is mixed with air
  • then forced into the cylinders
  • where the fuel-air mix is compressed by the pistons
  • and ignited by spark plugs.
Diesel engine:
  • In a diesel engine the air is compressed before the fuel is added to it.
  • When air is compressed it heats up. This means that when the fuel is added to the compressed air it is very hot and the fuel-air mix ignites automatically. (So there are no spark plugs in a diesel engine as pressure is used to ignite the fuel-air mix.")

Brilliant animated demonstration of the working of a diesel engine on Thomas Schwenke online channel

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nothing to do with a LDV van? Baddie the Pirate talks LED lighting for your motorhome too.

This is the simplest and clearest explanation I found on the net about electricity.
How does it relate to LDV vans? Pilots and Convoys are often purchased for camper conversion!
Having been at the school of "nothing hands-on" I've struggled for so long at understanding what Volt, Watt, Amps etc relate to and how they work together. Thanks to the school of "nothing hands-on" I can read and write well enough so I'm gonna share what I found with you with no further adue!

Source: Baddiethepirate


The units that are used to measure electricity are:
  • Volts:  Electrical force of pressure behind the electrons in a circuit. Like water pressure or PSI for air. (Usually 12v on a narrowboat). 
  • Amps:  The number of electrons flowing past in a second. Like litres per second in a pipe, it defines the electrical current in a wire. 
  • Watts:  Total amount of electrical energy, per second.

The formulae to work them out are: 
  • Watts = Volts x Amps 
  • Volts = Watts divided by Amps 
  • Amps = Watts divided by Volts 
For example: a 20 Watt light bulb in a 12 Volt system:
20 Watts divided by 12 Volts = 1.66 Amps"

Baddie The Pirate is a small website/business that sells "LED lighting for boats. motorhomes, caravans and chicken sheds."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

LDV Pilot and Convoy vans - Basic advice on replacing the kin pins

How and what tools do you need to replace the king pins on a Pilot or a Convoy LDV van?
In 2 posts, quoting from auto banter:
external usenet poster
Posts: 70
Default LDV pilot - convoy

Whats the going rate for a king pin change - mine needs doing and I
swore blind never to do another myself ;-)

Also, is front axle same off convoy, can get a complete one with new
pins for £100.. seems like a much nicer option!

  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 12th 09, 10:32 PM posted to
external usenet poster
Posts: 41
Default LDV pilot - convoy

Pins are only £29.. which makes up for the fact you either take the axle
off and take it somewhere with a press, or spend three days with a
sledge hammer beating the fcuk out of it...
(3 days? Some say a week)

  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 09, 11:53 AM posted to
external usenet poster
Posts: 1,691
Default LDV pilot - convoy

a big air hammer takes them out in seconds. 
(Don't forget to grease them well)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

LDV vans forum - Alive and quicking!

About 3 years ago when I got my Pilot I used to look up two forums set up by LDV vans, sherpas etc owners and lovers. These were the only forums available online and were very useful.
Unfortunately soon after I joined they all disappeared. I took up the task to set them back up and archive some of the best tips and most useful conversations on the then newly set up fb LDV groups.
My archiving was slow as it takes a lot of time to search on the fb group page for posts that keep disappearing in the scrolling down system (*#@%$?!!!).
However few admins from the ex-sites took over and slowly but surely new members registered.

I was delighted today to see that it's well alive and quicking!

LDV lovers, Join up our forum!

The advantages over fb is that you can look up the infos without having to scroll down for ghost-posts (I'm gonna call them that), it's always there for you. The search option is much easier to use than fbook.

Thanks again to the admins who are taking care of the forum.

Why driving on the left? or on the right?

That is ze question.
I always wondered the reason why different countries would have a different system on the road.
Apart from the usual frog/rosbeef jokes no one ever could tell me.
Thank to the instructor in the bicycle mechanic course I undertook this month,
I now know and thanks to internet I now can tell and share.
In this article, it explains why do the British drive on the left?

in brief this is why:
"In the Middle Ages you kept to the left for the simple reason that you never knew who you'd meet on the road in those days. You wanted to make sure that a stranger passed on the right so you could go for your sword in case he proved unfriendly."

In France Napoleon's successful attack strategies and his massive ego are responsible for France and its colonies to have kept the driving on right system.