Miscellaneous Cheap Tricks

Small animals and Land Rovers

This is a typical sign of martens.
Look at the sharp cuts from his claws in the soft insulation material.

In many parts of Europe martens (german: Marder) can be a real problem. These small animals crawl inside your engine compartment, search for food (they seem to have a liking for the plastic isolation on electric connectors) and then begin to build a nest. For this they climb up on the engine and begin to remove the insulation under the bonnet. Then they stuff it all over the top of the engine and around the warm turbocharger. As soon as someone climbs into the car they run away- but leave the nest in place. When the turbocharger heats up the black liner begins to burn and produces a terrible smell and thick clouds of white smoke. Although the insulation itself is fireproof this black liner isn't. And it stinks like hell.

This makes for a nice emergency stop and a smelly car. A solution for this? Shoot the marten or never park your car outside. Trouble is once a marten gets in and marcs it's terrain (by peeing) other martens are magically attired to the same spot... Up to you to think of a smell that covers the pee of a marten.

Suck it!

If you ever need some fuel out of your tank as for the lawn mower do not suck directly on the line. Feed this line into an jerry can and insert the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner also into the can. Switch it on for some seconds and- presto- the fuel comes out of the line.

Take care as this is not without danger. Gas vapors are highly explosive and a vacuum cleaner motor is not hermetically sealed.

Theft protection

This is a cheap way to protect your car. Prepare several small cards, either business cards or similar with, on the backside, the vehicle details and have them laminated. Hide them in unusual places as behind the dash, inside the door skins etc. Even if it doesn't protect your car it may provide a very bad surprise for the thief if the next owner once finds them. It may also help to prove your ownership if the chassis numbers have been removed. Preventing your expensive auxiliary lights from finding a new owner use some type of locking compound. They come in various types from demountable with hand tools to demountable only by applying heat. Unless the robber has a portable gas burner he will have a hard time. . BTW, I know of a guy who inserted razor blades under the nuts. Worked great as he often found blood around his lights. Sadly they were often also broken...

Washing off the belly

Getting hardened mud out of wheelwells or from around the gearbox is a mess. But you can make the task much easier by putting a lawn sprinkler under the component you wish to clean. Switch it on for one or two minutes, let the mud soak for some time, at the end switch the sprinkler on again for a couple of minutes. Repeat as needed.

Now if anyone has a solution to avoid having to clean all the driveway after this please let me know...

Checking rear lights

Checking rear lights is easy by using a shop window. Place your Land Rover with the backside near a window and look for functioning lights in the side mirrors. It's as easy as that.

Clean batterie posts

To keep batterie posts from oxidizing first clean them. Than apply a thin coat of copper grease inside the connectors. Bolt them down, wipe off the excess grease with an oily rug and put some silicone on the whole thing. The silicone seals off moisture and can easily be cleaned off the slightly oily post.

Duct tape stock

Duct tape or insulatng tape comes often handy. But rolls of them tend do disappear as they are used around the house and not put back. So wrap a good lenght of those tapes around your wheel wrench. This way you will always have a small stock at hand.

Brush it off

Used toothbrushes are very useful. They reach all those small places you have to clean out, are rather hard so they clean well, you can remove dog hairs with them as the hairs cling better to the brush then to the mats. They are quite insensible to oils too. You can bend them using a hairdryer or cut them and glue them together at any desired angle. So don't throw them away. Oh yes, they do also a fine job of cleaning the dirt out under the nails.

Fixing a broken coil

You can temporarily fix a broken coil spring by using 2 wire clamps. Sure, they don't grow on trees but any hardware shop should carry them. Remember, it's only a temporary fix.