|Posted on 26 March, 2015 at 20:25||comments (0)|
2015 is our 70th Year!!! It all Started with Chas Trigg back in 1945. We might not being in the same premises where we started, but we are still Trigg owned and operated and going strong in Toronto.
|Posted on 4 January, 2015 at 19:00||comments (0)|
The steering set up on the Classic’s is well thought out but has its weak points that are easily improved:
The steering box in the earlier models had bronze bushing in the box. Wear and age catch up with the bushes and sector shaft and therefor start to leak. Lower seals are easier to fit, but if the input seal is leaking it pays to replace the box with the later version, which has needle rollers on the sector shaft and is more reliable.
The pit man arm ball joint can wear and cause severe feedback and play. It was modified in later models to a better design – replacement bits are available to repair this joint.
Then we go to the drag link (pitman arm to left hand front wheel) the tie rod ends wear and can cause play in the primary operation. Replacements are available and they were modified in later models.
The tie rod at the rear of the front differential also has ends and carries the steering damper. If the damper is soft or not working then all sorts of shakes can occur. The best way to deal with this is to replace with a quality damper and add a second damper to the front drag link. Stronger tie rods are available after-market for the off road boys.
The front and rear trailing arms have bushes that do wear and cause steering pull problems; there are modified bushes and heavier arms available to rectify the bush problem and for the off road. The top of the swivel hubs that house the CV joints must have tension on the bearings and are adjustable by shims. A slack swivel can cause steering to shake. Bigger tyres and wider arms cause their own problems with steering and wheel bearings, but can be a help in some off road situations.
If a Rangie is lifted to any major degree, the caster on the front axle can alter dramatically and may have to be rectified by offset bushes or modified arms or swivel hubs.
If a much wider wheel and tyre is used, there can be a problem with the turning circle and the tyre hitting the trailing arm. The setup can be adjusted but the best way is to offset the road wheel to allow the original degree of turning angle.
There are good front differential guards available now to protect the diff casing from damage and to give a skid pan.
You may think that a lot of mods have to be done to make a Rangie go off road – but let me assure you that a stock standard Rangie will out do many much modified monsters and in proper set up form nothing much will touch them for ride, handling and capability.
Dennis R Trigg. O.A.M. J.P. MIAME.
|Posted on 21 October, 2014 at 21:45||comments (0)|
We have looked at the stop and go. Now for a look into the ride and handling department.
“Springs’ are the things! Range Rovers from the start have had a very pliable suspension due to an advanced design, and not many motor vehicles can compare favourably with the Rangie – even now!
Up to the mid-nineties the good old coil spring was all the go but the bright boys got the idea of air bag suspension for the Range Rover. The early attempts were a disaster as regards to ride, handling, steering shake etc. and most of these vehicle have been converted back to coils to get away from the inherent problems – the one plus was that when everything was new and working properly, one could raise and lower the vehicle height at will – very good thing – but this frill soon became a nightmare when the suspension wouldn’t pump up due to any amount of mechanical or electrical problems and you had to thump your way home on the bump stops.
The main problems with the air suspension were compressor failure, valve unit malfunction and the airlines and bags failing. We won’t dwell on this malady and will stick to reference of the original coil suspension.
There are two common spring styles in the Rovers. Progressive and Linear. The Progressive, as the name suggests, gives a softer ride for the first inch or so of travel and then hardens up. Good for the softer ride but not so good for handling and body roll. The Linear coil is wound evenly and gives a firmer initial ride and less body roll. Dependent on the requirements of the vehicle which way you go. – But if you intend to load the vehicle or tow something heavy, then Linear is the way to go.
The length and strength of the coils is “use” dictated. In my particular Rangie, I have a 50mm lift, rear Linear coils with an increase in wire size of 2mm. Because my truck is used basically for towing and is always heavily loaded, I also use poly air bags in the rear springs and raise and lower the air pressure to compensate for times of maximum load etc. For the average Range Rover and normal loading the most common is 30-40mm lift and 1mm increase in spring coil diameter in a Linear spring for both front and rear.
If you are looking for increased wheel travel (i.e. Off road) then you enter a different ball game of longer shocks – modified spring bases – longer brake hoses and sway bars etc.
Getting onto the shock absorbers. Being a heavy vehicle the shocks need to be good and well anchored. There are many and varied and each breed and type have their own area of excellence. You can have adjustable shocks to vary damping for different terrain and loads. Strong shocks to make the truck handle at speed, long travel for off road or the run of the mill “Toorak Tractor” basic unit to give a reasonable ride and handling.
In my case I have gone for a fairly stiff standard length shock in the front and twin high capacity standard strength lengthened in the rear to help with the rigor of heaving loads and towing. Using a stiff single shock in the rear is ok but when push comes to shove and the shock is working hard it will fade and or, chop out bushes. Using two lighter shocks halves the workload of a single and consequently less fade and problems. Duals on the rear is a simple job that entails lengthening the lower bases and fit another original upper mount to the chassis.
The standard shocker bushes don’t last long under rough conditions and it’s better to use a bigger diameter bush and heavier backing washers to take the load. A good idea is to cover the leading edge of the rear shocks with 3/16 to ¼ Rubber insertion to protect the external case and bush area from damage by rocks.
Better diff bump stops or rebounds are in order. I use Toyota 4Runner units to give me a more progressive and controlled rebound under full depression.
Another Rangie thing is the BOGE ride leveller in the rear ‘A’ frame. The Leveller is supposed to level the truck when a load is put in the back and thus still retain a good ride when unloaded. Unfortunately the Boges don’t work for very long and then all they do is rattle. Mostly we remove the units and compensate with spring rates. The Discovery models did away with this unit from the word go and now some models have an improved version of the old air bag system to raise the vehicle – we have converted quite a few of the later Rover vehicles back to coils and the owners are very happy with the conversions.
That will do for now and we’ll have more on suspension and steering mods next time.
Dennis R Trigg. O.A.M. J.P. MIAME.
|Posted on 10 July, 2014 at 20:40||comments (0)|
A bit more of Classic Range Rover facts and fables.
We have covered stopping, so let’s get into the going side of things.
The Range Rover being a 3.5ltr V8 to the 1990 models then 3.9ltr to the 1995 models, then a 4.6ltr option to date.
The most practical power increase option is to go to 4.6 litres. This can be achieved by either boring, sleeving and stroking a 3.5ltr block or stroking a 3.9ltr or replacing with a later 4.6 block.
The replacement 4.6ltr is the better option, as it is a much stronger block due to heavier webbing and cross bolting the main bearings. This is also a much better balanced engine than the earlier versions.
The existing 3.5 or 3.9 heads will bolt onto a 4.6 block using 4.6 gaskets. The camshaft is different in a 4.6 but the original can be transplanted whilst using the same front timing cover and distributor drive. I suggest a standard 3.9 auto camshaft.
The original engine can still be made to go quite well without huge changes but still lacks the low down torque necessary for auto or towing. Camshafts can be modified – compression raised and better induction and exhaust systems introduced. Camshafts were a problem on the earlier engines mainly because the engines were dirty – meaning that the oil was contaminated very quickly thus causing premature wear on the cam lobes due mainly to lack of sufficient oil changes or quality of oil.
If the fuel system of the earlier engines is being used on a 4.6 (i.e. Carburettors) there needs to be change of needles and resetting of mixtures. If the later fuel injected hotwire management system is being utilized, a modification or re-chip of the computer is necessary to get the mixtures rich enough under power.
Super charging a 3.5 or 3.9 is another good option and gives a good spread of extra horses throughout the range.
If you stick with the carburettor induction, then a replacement inlet manifold can be fitted to accept a spreadbore or four-barrel Carby to make the engine very responsive through the gears.
Intercoolers are great but a bit of a job on an Range Rover but getting fresh ambient air into the motor (via the air cleaner) is a good power booster alternative. Drawing hot engine bay air is a No No and should be avoided.
A snorkel or some device to direct the outside air into the air cleaner is a good thing. The addition of an electronic ignition to the pre 86 models is a big advantage. One can buy an aftermarket kit or fit a post 86 original distributor and ancillary gear.
The Auto Gearboxes cope well with the extra horsepower but the ZF Auto (86 and up) can be re-valved to get the torque converter lock up to come in later. This gives top gear much more flexibility, especially when towing.
An extra auto oil cooler is a must for towing.
The engine cooling system will need to be upgraded if you go to 4.6 litres. The radiator needs to be changed to the later core size for increased capacity and cooling area.
If the motor is fitted with a viscous fan hub it must be firm and operating to specs, otherwise a problem will arise with prolonged idling or slow running. The extra electronic fans must be operating correctly to help the engine fan in an emergency situation.
A good thing to be used a lot lately, especially in racing is to add an electric water pump, which is fitted into the lower radiator hose and helps to boost the flow of coolant through the radiator at crucial times via a thermo switch setup.
As you have gathered by now when you increase the horsepower you also increase the heat output and you have to get rid of it either via the coolant system or in other ways. A help in getting rid of some of the internal engine heat is to fit a good external oil cooler. Most English V8’s use a cooling coil in the radiator tank – this is OK for the UK, but Not for us here in OZ. Disconnect that cooler and run hoses to a good quality front mounted cooler – keeping the engine oil temperature down will lower the overall engine temperature quite substantially.
A successful cooling aid is to put vents on the rear side of the bonnet on Range Rovers to extract some of the hot air built up under the bonnet.
Ceramic coating of exhaust systems can also aid in heat transfer.
Good oil is important and most V8’s have lots of bearings and places that oil can escape and thus lose pressure when hot. The V8’s cope well on 25-50 grade Castrol Edgesport with Wynns friction additive and this combination gives very good pressure under heat and doesn’t lose its viscosity as quickly.
Leaking tappet covers are a nuisance in the Rover V8’s but if you fit the 4.6 Neoprene gaskets that will generally overcome the problem.
There are a lot of questions on fuel lately. The compression ratio will determine what grade of fuel must be used. Basically up to 9.1, run premium 95 unleaded, over that ratio, premium 98 unleaded must be used.
As a general rule in Rover V8’s you won’t need to put lead replacement additives into the fuel. Those motors have hard valve seats and get a fair amount of oil down the valve guides and this assists in lubricating the valves.
An option for fuel economy is to fit a diesel engine or LPG – I don’t like the noisy smelly things – more on that later.
End of Part Two – Until Next Time.
Dennis R Trigg. O.A.M. J.P. MIAME.
|Posted on 11 June, 2014 at 1:35||comments (0)|
RANGE ROVER CLASSIC - THE ODYSSEY - PART ONE
Quite a few “Rover car” exponents also have a darker side but still want to stick to their intrinsic belief in the marque – so they also own a Land Rover or a Range Rover – good on them – I am one of the order – I do believe that the classic Range Rover – say for argument sake, 1986 to 1993 models, are questionably the best (in a wide context) four wheel drive “still” on the road.
The Rangie encompasses all the plus’ of later marques and many in built features and characteristics that still shine after 30 years.
We won’t go into fuel consumption at this point but suffice to say that any current, (heavy and big capacity) 4X4 still isn’t any better in the economy stakes – especially if pushed hard – Perhaps with the exception of some diesels.
There still are not all that many 4X4’s with constant 4 wheel drive – four wheel disc brakes – a smooth V8 engine – excellent suspension – ground clearance, good ride and handling with the capacity and design to be upgraded even further and finally a feeling of solidarity and security with CLASS.
The later and lighter derivative of 1993 to 1998 Land Rover Discovery has a stronger body than Range Rover and a similar suspension but not the sophisticated drive train and brakes of the Range Rover.
All in all the Range Rover presents as a fairly well thought out package.
Sure! They had a few design and production problems i.e. Dust sealing, fuel consumption and inefficient air con, but so do a lot of others.
So with a few tweaks here and there they can be a pleasure to drive and own for many years after the alternatives are dead and buried.
Some of the tweaks consist of improvements in braking – suspension mods – power output -- cooling system – drive train – electrical – fuel system and body bits.
There isn’t a vehicle built that can’t be improved- even the latest and greatest.
We will start with the braking system.
Range Rover’s up to the 3.9 series didn’t have ventilated discs on the front and suffered a bit from brake fade under severe conditions and even later ones did have the malady but to a lesser degree.
Softer brake pads work well at slow speeds and lighter use but when subjecting the Range Rover to higher speeds and heavy loads with hard braking, the brakes get hot and fade occurs – Fade is caused by several factors but mainly due to boiling or vaporizing of the brake fluid – a higher boiling point fluid (i.e. Castrol racing fluid) can alleviate some of the problem and coupled with harder, temp resistant pads, the system can cope better and be much safer.
The moisture level in brake fluid is critical and must not exceed 5% as a general rule – change and flush fluid annually and you will be trouble free for many years.
The brake booster is another component that is often overlooked and needs some attention – things like blocked or soggy vacuum hoses and leaking boosters can decrease efficiency quite a lot.
These maintenance items apply not only to Range Rover, any vehicle over 10 years old should be maintained to a higher degree than its newer cousin, especially in the area of fluid moisture levels.
Equally important are the brake hoses, they get soft – spongy and even blocked and expand under pedal pressure, causing a loss of feel and a spongy soft feel to the pedal. A good Mod is to replace the standard hoses with braided lines, which don’t expand to the same degree and give the pedal a better feel. A big benefit can also be had by grooving or drilling the discs to help get rid of the heat and Pad residue build-up, thus making a better surface contact, the pads and discs will last a lot longer also.
Getting plenty of cooling air to the discs is an advantage and sometimes the fitting of wider wheels and tyres can mask the disc and stop the flow.
I will leave part one at that and go further into other avenues next time.
Dennis Trigg. O.A.M. J.P. MIAME.
|Posted on 15 May, 2014 at 22:35||comments (0)|
Things to keep in mind as the cold weather returns
Living where we do we are lucky we don’t have the extremes of weather that some other parts of Australia do, Although I must admit that lately we have had some very sudden changes in the weather pattern.
The main problem that we have in our area in winter is Batteries. The cold weather brings an apparent problem in this area. If your cars battery is over three years old it could fail at any time. If the motor is sluggish to start on a cold morning, go and have it tested and if necessary replace it with a quality battery.
Have the engine drive belts checked for wear and replaced if necessary. Belts tend to harden in the winter and cause all sorts of problems if they break. Engine oil can become sludgy and thicken in the cold weather and should be changed before weather cools.
If you are one of the lucky people who get to go to the snow skiing then you need to make sure of the anti-freeze level in the coolant (radiator) and top up to at least 50% glycol before you go. The other things to check are wipers, the demister and air conditioner to help clear the windscreen and keep you warm over the cold period. Tyres of course should have good tread depth remaining for grip on the road.
Look at these things, take the appropriate action and have a good winter.