New products and specials at Billing 1999

by Alain Hoffmann

 

Enough body parts to built half a dozen of Landrovers

 

The largest Landrover meeting in the world tends to be more and more a showcase of new products and an ideal place for bargain hunters. We walked the stands for more than 3 days and I'm quite sure we still missed most of it. So I'll try to give an quick overview of what I saw and bought. No guarantee on the prices as many were showspecials.

Universal Rover

Staunton Moor, Nr Great Staughton, Huntingdon, Cambridge PE19 4BT, phone (0)1234 376263, fax 378281

A small company selling take-off parts, new and used. Many new and almost new body parts. Roof, sides, front and rear window for 550 GBP. I bought an complete NAS spec soft top with the genuine rollbar but the front loop outside the cab was missing. So I got a second rear bar and all this fitted perfectly, just 2 small holes in the top where the front loop entered the cab. I paid 250 GBP for all, quite a bargain when you consider the prices of genuine standard soft tops including the framework. And it looks way better.Also I can buz later the Bestop top if this one wears out.

Scorpion Racing

Located near Kings Cross, Central London. Phone (0)20 7485 0050, fax 7485 5581

A full range of DeCarbon Gas dampers including those elusive 2" longer-than-stock items for 90/110's with longer travel suspensions. Expect to pay around 40-50 GBP per shock. Also coil springs in vanadium steel, powder coated. Any lenght and rate included lifts, from mild to wild. Quality items. Around 40GBP a piece. They also carry race harnesses, fire extinguishers, leather steering wheels etc. Competent shop.

National Power Steering

Phone(0)116 2514706, fax 2628959

PAS conversions for all LR models, steering boxes refurbished. Exchange steering for 90/110/Disco/RR costs 135 GBP. A very well known company.
The picture says it all...  

Chris Perfect / T.I. Console

Phone/fax Chris UK (0)1570-423206, T.I.Console (Netherlands) phone +31 71 5170067, fax -5156586

Parabolic leaf springs, LPG installations (513GBP for 4-cylinder, one tank, 549 V8 all plus VAT, one tank, tanks size from 30 litres to 110 litres, also twin tanks), Front Disc conversion for Series III
This is the front disc conversion
 

Paynes Overdrive Systems

F.J. Payne & Son Ltd., Oakfield road, Eynsham, Oxford OX8 1TH, phone (0)1865 882299, fax 882309

Very nice and well made overdrive systems for 90/110/Disco/Range. The unit drops the ratio by 26% and is shifted hydraulically/electrically even under load. It fits on the back of the L230T Transfer Box. Mounting time for Defenders 2 hours, for Discos 4 hours. The unit costs 995 GBP plus VAT. There was a cut-away on the stand and it looked quite serious. Looks like a good addition if you have fitted short diff gears.

Cut-away view of box and T-case. On top new gear switch knob.  

Trakkers

128a Kineton Green Road, Olton, Solihull, West Midlands B92 7EF, phone (0) 121 707 4449

They are famous for their seats and trims. Now they offer, beside the traditionnal cubby boxes made by them a new cubby box with built-in 12V fridge. Although the fridge insert takes most of the space it leaves some essential room for maps and papers. I'd seriously consider that one if I'd live in a hot place. Fridge can also heat. Price 179 GBP incl. VAT. Available in interior matching trim.
They also showed an 110 coverted to an luxurious cabriolet. Very nicely made but I think the price tag might be a bit on the high side. It's for sale.

X.W.D. Military Equipment Specialists

Phone/Fax (0)1798 831955, e-mail: info@xwd.co.uk

They had a couple of very impressive looking military Series III for sale, complete with all weapons and equipment for around 6000 GBP. Or without weapons for 4500 GBP
Here with weapons removed but still impressive...  

Dakar Cars Ltd.

Stanhill Farm, Birchwood Road, Dartford, Kent DA2 7HD, phone (0)1322 614044, fax 668500

A well known company selling parts and repairing LR's as well as the famous DAKAR Range Rover conversions. A great looking Dune Buggy made out of a Range Rover Chassis and mechanics and an plastic body. Looks and drives like hell. Available as kit or completed. Prices from 4000 GBP(?) up to around 15000 for a complete road registered car.

He also sells some interesting stuff. Old Man Emu shocks with external reservoir around 200 GBP a pair. Very good knowledge of the car even if the boss always looks a bit tired... but friendly.

   

Dormobile Ltd.

Phone (0) 1843 588833, fax 853782, e-mail: dormobil@netcomuk.co.uk

The manufaturer of the famous conversion is back. Nicely made although I'd prefer a more "substantial" cloth for the roof. Lifting Roofs for 110/109 at 950 GBP incl VAT (show price), Full standard conversion including lifting roof, 2 bunks, kitchen, cooler, dual batteries, storage lockers and roof rack 4550 GBP incl. VAT and labour.

My only real problem would be with the folding bunk beds. I doubt if they were ever tried out by a good sized middle european male. And that size... But it's up to you to set up something different.

Above and right: The interior of the new Dormobile. It might be a bit cramped but after all it's only a small Landrover.

 

Simmonites 4x4

755 Thornton Road, Thornton, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD13 3NW, phone (0)1274 834306, fax 835117

The famous sisters were there again, as nice looking as always. They had chequered plating (I hope I spelled this correctly) for many places. I bought a set for the rear lower back corners where René's wife hit my Land Rover the first day I got it. They sold for about 18 GBP a set. Also on stock massive aluminium door handles, gear knobs and window regulator handles. Great looking and sturdy. Also available Bilstein shocks in 10" and 12" lenght with helm joints who eliminate the shock bending on full extension at the rear. Starting at 90 GBP.

And all the fast driving equipment as quick ratio steering boxes (600 GBP), bead lock wheels, Remote change-speed transfer box.

M.J.Lee Engineering

Loversall Farm, Loversall, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN11 9DD, phone/fax (0)1302 310468

Quite an impressive lot of new products. A couple of the nicest looking side bars for 90's, if I still did not have some I'd bought those. Also single and twin mounts to replace those rustprone turrets in front, in standard or extended lenght to fit longer shocks. The first to make shock mounts to weld onto the axle that look exactly as the original stuff. This way you can mount twin shocks in front or rear and keep identical shock lenghts which is very important. Also by this you can change easily your older 90/110 to rear disc brakes by using an ex-Range Rover back axle casing. As the Range does have the shocks mounted opposite each other and the 90/110 have them both facing forward, you have to cut off the offending left shock bracket and make a new one- or use the lower left mount from Lee. Quite a lot of trial and error eliminated with these mounting bracket. At 18 GBP incl. VAT per bracket not cheap but sturdy, genuine look and exact fit.

They also carry adaptors to eliminate the studs, an extremely annoying idea from Landrover. Once shocks get a bit rusty you can only remove them with a hacksaw. Why not fitting eyes at both ends? Sadly the Lee kit is designed for Bilstein shocks with the helm joint. Those are a far superior design but also at a far superior price.

Lee also makes a kit to eliminate those ever-failing bushes at the ends of the trailing arm. They get replaced by sturdy helm joints fitted into a new welded-on bracket. This gives way softer ride, a far superior ability to flex (see those heavily modified US 90's) and no more bushes to wear out. The only problem for many of us is that in some countries you are not allowed to cut/weld/transform your suspension at this extent without lots of paperwork certifying that you know what you are doing. But I look at this setup as a very viable option. Lee has proven the setup in the Hillrallies and they cope even with those high speeds on rough terrain.

They had also some used parts for sale like a complete ex-Camel Trophy full rollcage for a 110 for 450 GBP, an 300 TDi cylinder head for 30 GBP or a complete injection system for V8 for 150 GBP.

Aart Kok Adventure

Cruquiusweg 29, NL-2102 Leemstede, Netherlands, phone (0031) 23 547 1774, fax +23 547 0946, e-mail: aartkok@tref.nl

This dutch enthusiast showed 2 very well made trailers able to go over the roughest terrain. Named Tuareg and Takla Makan they are hand-built on a sturdy frame with all the comfort you will need on those long trips. A very nice idea, not new but proven. Sadly at a steep price of 7000 GBP for the Tuareg and 10.500 GBP for the Takla Makan. Add to this from the generous option list and you end up at the price of an almost new Landrover...

But they are nice and when you think of the added room you won't have too much choice. Other solutions aren't cheap either. And if you are good at working with wood and steel you can also get only the naked base for a good deal cheaper.

DLS (UK) Ltd.

Water Lane, Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 4AA, phone (0)1629 824361, fax 825683, e-mail: Sales@DLS-UK.co.uk

As usual they had a large stand but way smaller than last year. Anyway some good deals could be found as door mirrors for 15 GBP, reverse lamp for 7 GBP or rear bump stop for 3.60 GBP
The Carabungawagon as featured in LROI in front of the DLS stand

W&H Wheelcarriers

Providence Cottage, 150 Moorside road, Eccleshill, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD2 3HE, phone (0)1274 636303, fax 632070

As every year this small company has made several new products available. What I like on them is their sturdiness and the quality of the material. New this year was a large box designed to fit from side to side behind the seats. Galvanised, waterproof and made of thick material it looked like the way to store all that trash that accumulates inevitably in the back of Landrovers.

Also at least a kit to elimiate the bulkhead behind the seats. I had done this some 4 years ago and gained by that enough space to sit with extended legs, about 4 inches. But it was some work involved and the end product was not what I wanted to see. But it's practical. Now those guys make a kit where you can cut down the alloy bulkhead and cover the cut with a sturdy metal piece that also acts as a much needed stiffener. A definite must for anyone who is used to sit comfortably. Around 79 GBP.

Some other additions are tank protectors for 90's, track rod guards, spare wheel carrier that put the weight onto the chassis, removable hitches, side bars, stainless steel tanks for 90 and 110 and tool racks. Most of the guards are available in very thick anodized aluminium, galvanised steel or stainless steel as are the wheelcarriers.

The bulkhead eliminating kit in place  

Mobile Storage Systems

17 Eldo Road, West Row, Suffolk IP28 8PZ, phone (0)1638 510180, fax 774215

A newcomer at Billing this small company makes a nice fitting drawer that goes between the wheelarches. Well built and sturdy those are rated at 160 kgs. You just have to figure out what you want to do with the space left behind the drawer (lenght about 600mm). Priced at 149 GBP in standard steel powdercoated or 175 GBP covered with chequered plate.

John Craddock Ltd.

One of the biggest LR specialists in the UK. He's by far not always the cheapest one but has some parts in stock no one else has.

Sadly this year he didn't show up with the usual LARGE sales stand but only with some 101's and Series III. Rumors were told this was due to the large amount of stock being stolen last year, about 20000 GBP. I wonder a bit about this as the security staff last year was quite impressive...

The 101's however were priced excellent, I've never seen them better and cheaper. If I'd be interested in one of those beasts I'd buy NOW:

   

Safety Devices

  This company has produced tubular constructions for a long time. They make cages and roll bars for everything Landrover as well as roofracks etc. They were even left loose at a poor Freelander who does now look really mean. The empty weight of the vehicle must have been risen by quite a lot IMHO.

Twisted Animations

Phone (0)1621 842020, Fax 842021

This newcomer company makes grooved brake discs (76.50 GBP each) for Landrovers as well as stainless steel braided flexible lines (35.25 GBP for the 3)
   

Milemarker UK

For all those using the Milemarker winch: Here's a setup that works. You need the factory brackets for fitting the alternator if the car has an Air Condition. In place of the alternator you put an PAS pump like Chevrolet uses them- cheap and plentifull. You have to modify the mounting holes a bit and make a small bracket to hold up the pump in the back.

This setup has made the famous Winch-a-mile. It consisted of winching the vehicle for a whole mile uphill without giving the winch a chance to cool down.