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20.04.2011 - Mali – Home

Our time in Africa was short now; in a few months we would be back in Europe, back in the UK, back home. Read more..

Festive season

January 8th, 2010

Happy New Year from To Hel And Back!

The winter has really set in now and it is not helping us to work on the car what so ever! Thankfully been reduced to touch-ups and fine fiddling, having overcome the major mechanical problems before temperature plummeted and it really began to turn nasty.

One of the things we haven’t talked about much recently is the fundraising aspect of the trip as the car has required more time than we ever imagined to get ready for this epic adventure. We are delighted to say that our grand total of money raised now stands at £2670. Thank you so much to all who have already so kindly donated. Even if you can’t afford to donate yourself, please spare a thought for the work of these two charities and point friends/family in the direction of our website. Thank you.

New shoes for the car was the last big buy on the list, so we contacted a friend of Carls down at Watling tyres. Happily, Mick is the manager of his branch at Watling Tyres, and he sorted us out with 6 new rubbers in next to no time.

 A lot has been said about different tyre choice, a lot of which is worth listening to. Consensus centres on BF Goodrich, as they are the most reliable and have the best reputation in the buisness. We chose to go with six All-Terrains rather than the more aggressive Mud Terrains, as the first haf of our journey will be mostly covered by road.

We hooked the new rubber up to 6 brand new black modular 16” rims. This was to ensure that we were using the common rim size, should any problems occur on the road. As we said a humungous thankyou to Mick and drove off home, the noticeable difference in reduced road noise from our old Mud Terrains was astounding. The motorway roar is significantly reduced and the car feels a hell of a lot safer on wet tarmac now. Thanks again to all at Watling Tyres in Maidstone, you’ve made such a difference with all your advise and generosity.

We decided early on that we wanted to carry 2 spare wheels at all times, as we are not happy with taking a risk and carrying one spare rim. The chances of smashing a wheel to oblivion are too high to consider only one spare and buying spares whilst on the road isn’t part of the plan.

We have decided to mount one spare from the rear door on a swing-away carrier and strap the other to the bonnet. Although visibility is reduced by mounting the 2nd spare on the bonnet, it keeps a lot of weight off of the roof – the only other viable mounting point. The rear Paddocks swing-away works well and keeps the weight off of the rear door by attaching straight to the bodywork; the door would otherwise buckle under the strain.

Last time we updated the blog, the back of the Landy was being converted into a kitchen/storage bay/living quarters/work station/spares cupboard/garage on wheels. A quick trip to the DIY store and a lot of screws later, the back has been compartmentalised with waterproof plyboard.

This allows us to divide items which we won’t need to access that often, such as oils and major spare parts, into cupboards and cubbies which keep them out of harms way and stop them from being thrown around as we traverse over rough track.

A full-height second bulkhead now splits the cab from the load area, preventing any larger items from embedding themselves in the back of our heads in the event of a crash. This also imporves security for all of the kit in the back of the truck.

The split area in the cab now houses the fridge, thus allowing access on the road, as well as a few drop-boxes for bags and daily items. To obscure the kit housed in the back, we popped over to the chaps at Pentagon Windows in Reading, who tinted the back windows limo black and applied a UV flm to the front windows, thus allowing us to stay the right side of the law whilst lowering the temperature in the cab in direct sunlight. Under-car neon lights and spinning 20” rims to follow shortly.

Security has also been increased by fitting heavy-duty padlock hasps to all three doors. Thanks to the Defenders wafer-thin panelling, we had to mirror all of the hasps on the outside with metal plates on the inside of the doors and panels. Thanks very much to the guys at Proppa accessories for their help with these.

We have been working  improving and reducing road noise meant a call to Sound Reduction Systems. Alex at SRS helped us out with some sound matting which now lines the floor and sides of the cab. Whilst this adds a fair bit of weight, the reduction in roadnoise will help tremendously on the long drives south to Die Hel.

At this point we would  like to thank PJ Home Improvements, also known as Carl’s dad and South Bucks plumber extraordinaire, for help during all these late nights in the cold, providing advice and tools as well as guiding us along the way. Thank you!

We have now packed the car with all of the big, bulky kit and have made good use of the space. However, it is important to highlight the Foley sidelockers. Honestly, they are a bloody lifesaver which we have only really come to appreciate since we started jamming all our kit into the car. The bulk and weight of 4 jerry would have ruined our careful packing plan!

LED Lights from Labcraft now illuminate the back, allowing us to work in the back independant of any power plug. The voltage use is surprisingly low, which is great news for our auxllary batteries!

One of the most recent jobs we have completed is to fit Mammouth 4×4 Chequerplate wingtops to the truck. The bumper and wings were becoming a well trodden path to the roof so we figured it was about time we did something about it before we put a foot through the wing. The anodised finish which looks great, lasts a bit longer and will also give off less glare than the standard finish. We would like to thank both Stef and Sal from Mammouth for all the time and advice they gave us.

The best news may well be last this week however, as we showcase our lovely new seats from Exmoor Trim.  To Hel And Back is now embroidered across the middle seat in the cab and the other two seats look the business in black. See what you think.

The plan is to leave for our practice expedition as soon as we have some respite from the weather, with our eye currently on next weekend. From there it will be home for two weeks to iron out any issues which arise and then jump aboard the ferry!

  • Riders Retreat - mountain bike holidays in Morzine
  • Land Rover Experience
  • Watling Tyres
  • Draper Tools
  • Brit Part
  • hel
  • Koni
  • aalx designs
  • Bradt Travel Guids
  • Map Vivo
  • Antares - engineering with answers
  • EBC Brakes
  • Sentry Safes
  • Twisted Performance
  • X Eng
  • challenger 4x4
  • Goodwinch
  • K and N
  • Kenlowe
  • Waeco
  • Polybush
  • MM 4x4 Land Rover
  • Keith Gott
  • comma
  • Stigs stainless fastners
  • Tracmat
  • Alli Sport
  • BOSCH - invendted for life
  • Allparts - number 1 in car parts
  • Proppa
  • Goodyear 4x4
  • Aaron Radiator
  • Sign a rama
  • better Prepared
  • Devon 4x4
  • foley specialist vehicles
  • Labcraft LED lighting
  • Mammouth Premium
  • Plastor
  • Exmoor Trim
  • Terrafirma
  • sound reduction systems
  • aquarius
  • Master Lock
  • P and O Ferries
  • Dixon Bate
  • hibiscus
  • Ring Automotive
  • Roverland