To make an appointment with your local DVLA office you have to phone Swansea.
Of course, they have one of those awful systems where you choose from several options......several times!!!!!
After a few cracks at it I found a combination that connected me to a human being.
It took a while to get them to understand what I wanted, but eventually they said they would contact Peterborough who would then contact me.
An appointment was duly made for June 20th.
The place in Willingham who I had previously hired trailers from seems to have shut up shop, the nearest alternative seemed to be at Huntingdon, which would mean 100 miles to fetch & return the trailer, assuming I could find someone available & willing to tow it.
I couldn't find a "self drive" transporter, and then someone suggested a guy in Littleport who might take it on trade plates.
So on the 20th of June, loaded up with oil/water/jacks/tools we set off.
It struggled to get to the top of our hill, but once it warmed up it started to chug along nicely.
Gavin had just commented on how nicely it was running when it started playing up.
Having done the usual look under the bonnet, we turned round & headed back to Sutton.
Gavin thought it was ignition & suggested that I look at the plugs & points.
4 plugs were black & 4 were O.K.
The points had a gap of 0.006"!
There is an external screw to adjust the points gap/dwell angle, & when I turned this, the points opened up then closed again!
It appeared that a plastic nut had a stripped thread, but when I removed it, it seemed O.K.
It would appear that the spring behind it put enough pressure onto it to make it jump a thread.
The solution? Fit a steel lock nut. This is obviously a temporary measure, but I need to get it on the road.
It now ran better, so I arranged for Gavin to come & collect it & take it back to his workshop to tune it to pass the M.O.T.
The carbs were well out of balance, & the timing was out.
This sorted it ran much better.
It had boiled up while Gavin was working on it, which confirms my belief that the switch is not working properly
Another appointment was made with the DVLA & this time it made it there & back, although it did hic-cup once as we got to Peterborough.
The inspection was really to check that the vehicle was what I said it was & to check that I hadn't radically altered the chassis, so the V5 was sent off for a change of body style & change of colour.
The inspector told me I would be able to tax it on line, as I wouldn't get a V5 for up to 6 weeks.
Found that pound shop in Ely had bought bankrupt stock of caution yellow paint, although only small tins - bought the lot - 10 tins.
Arranged insurance from 1st July & booked M.O.T. for same date.
Every thing was fine on the M.O.T. apart from the hydrocarbons, so I left it for them to play with.
It had boiled up again, so I shorted the switch out with a split pin.
When I went to collect it they advised me that they couldn't get it to pass & suspected a blown head gasket - this would also explain it coughing water out.
Back over to Gavin who did a test for hydrocarbons in the rad, which proved negative, but because of foaming in the rad he still thought it was likely that the head gasket was blown.
Time to investigate potions to put in the cooling system!
I don't particularly want to bodge it, but I want to get it on the road, & if I have to remove the heads I would prefer to do it when it suits me.
The next day I spent at Pymoor show on the WWT Welney stand, & during a break spotted the "Ely Services" stand.
As they specialise in restoring Rovers I thought they might know a bit about V8s!
They suggested I take it in for a block check, & I thought, "I've been here before", but no harm in getting a second opinion.
Sunday morning, & I'm browsing through a Land Rover Mag when I spot an article about a guy who bought a RR running on 7 cylinders.
First thing he did was remove the plugs, then finding one was washed clean, put some K-seal in the system.
So out with the plugs - No. 6 all gunged up & black with oil, all the others O.K.
First thoughts, broken rings.
I swapped plugs 6 & 8 & started her up, obvious popping from the exhaust.
I tried removing plug leads but most of them made no difference to the running!
I removed 6 & 8.
The normal looking plug I put in 6 was still O.K., & the oily plug I put in 8 was now clean.
While under the bonnet, I noticed that the loop of pipe I have left to connect the gas vaporiser into was a ideal spot for an air lock, so I repositioned it.
I hadn't got a suitable replacement spark plug, so on Monday I bought one + a bottle of K-Seal.
With the new plug installed it ran much better, the popping in the exhaust had disappeared, so I arranged to take it to Ely Services.
Their check also did not show hydrocarbons in the water & they said it did not have a blown gasket & the water blowing out could be because I had overfilled it.
I mentioned the performance was poor, & they said the CO needs to be about 3.5 - 4.0, where as at the M.O.T. it had been 2,5.
Off to the M.O.T. station, & it passed.
The CO was down from 2.5 to 0.7 & the hydrocarbons from 1660 to 900 (1200 is a pass)
I phoned Gavin who agreed to tweak it up in a couple of days.
Finally I can tax it.
On the phone to Swansea, trial & error on their options that don't seem to cater for unusual situations, & eventually I speak to some one who can see I have insurance & M.O.T., but will not Tax my vehicle as I do not have a V5.
I explain that I am waiting for a V5 & she says that she can see that on her screen, but even though I am waiting for them to supply with one they will not tax it over the phone & my options are to wait for my V5 (up to 6 weeks) or go to Peterborough.
So off to Peterborough & finally I get it taxed.
Over to Gavin's & he tunes the CO to about 3.75 & the hydrocarbons are about 300 & now it goes!!!
It is already 10% over geared, having Land Rover tyres instead of Range Rover ones, & previously when I put it into Overdrive at 60 it slowed up, now it pulled up to 70 easily.
Now it is road legal I have written a list of jobs to do, improvements to make - 2 sides of A4 so far & growing daily!!!!!!!!!!!