MOT and relicencing!

Yesterday morning, I completed preparation for the MOT test (UK compulsory annual vehicle test), fitted the new rear roofrack that had arrived, and set out for the MOT garage. Handling as a six-wheeler was easier than I had expected; I was anticipating him handling more like a large ocean-going vessel (which reminds me that I haven’t yet fitted the red (port) and green (starboard) marker lights I fitted for use when wading). To my delight, he passed (with no advisories)!

The test was completed just too late to go to the Post Office to get the tax disc, so I did that online, and then was annoyed to find I can’t drive the vehice until the paper tax disc actually arrives and is on the vehicle; even though the vehicle is taxed and the DVLA database could confirm this if I was stopped and questioned about it, “failure to display” is an offence in its own right. Very annoying, as it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, and I could have been having fun driving around.

No new photos yet, as my computer and camera currently aren’t talking to each other. But little has changed on the outside, apart from the fitting of the new rear roofrack, since the most recent picture I put up.

This isn’t the completion of the project; there are plenty of bits still to do, but none of them are required by law for the vehicle to be road-going. The central wiring hub is still a big mess, so I’ll soon be getting an aluminium frame made up to hold neat rows of connectors, and a cover plate with a neat grid of holes to take LED mounts, so I can have debugging built in. (I like to make things myself, but I concede that making an exactly lined-up grid of holes is best done by someone with the right equipment, experience, and aptitude.) The new wiring hub will get a blog post of its own once it’s ready; my wiring list is in an emacs .org file, and I’ve written some emacs-Lisp to parse it and produce a connection list. It’s currently reporting 79 connections, but that includes earth, and some analog ones, so there won’t be quite that many LEDs. I’ll have to design a PCB for the LED part of the system (a resistor for each LED) which will also have the voltage dividers and zener diodes to drop the vehicle’s 12V down to 5V to feed to an Arduino Mega which will monitor just about everything (and will control very little; I trust big steel levers for most of that kind of thing in this context). Also, I have to alter some connections on the big “black helicopter” cab ceiling switch panel, and connect that up.

There are some more seatbelts to go in in the back (for the bench seats; the vehicle is old enough for them not to be required by law, but my insurer has started to require them). The new rear roofrack needs modification to take the tent, and will have mesh welded to it, and a few smaller changes. The winch bumper needs a little more metalwork (in case, when I replace the rather tired front roofrack, I go for a longer one and it needs suport from the bumper instead of the bulkhead), and while it’s out, I’ll overhaul the winch (which is a proper gearbox-driven one, none of this modern electrical stuff for me). The wheelarch extensions I built from aluminium and fibreglass really aren’t very good; I’ll cut some HGV ones down to size instead. (The readily available tandem-axle trailer ones are too small.) The second-row doors don’t really look right, and I had to cut them around quite a bit to make them fit, so I’ll replace them with some from a Series III (which are thinner). And I had failed to think of how to unlock them; with the extended B pillars, the locks can’t be reached from the front seats, so I may have to fit electric locks to them. The side steps (from a scrapped Discovery) need some welding to adapt them to the mounting points I have made.

But now I can do these without quite such a feeling of pressure, and a lot of them I can do in my own driveway, instead of driving to a village the other side of town. So now I can start doing other “spare-time” activities; for the past year, I’ve just been doing work, Land-Rover tinkering and Krav Maga. Today I started to dig the rather neglected vegetable patches in my garden, and I have some woodwork to do for storing things in the kitchen, and some software to write (including a tracker for the Land Rover, and programming the Arduino Mega), and a disorganized photo collection to sort.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 2013/05/05 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations on the MOT, fantastic result to get a first time pass after such a big rebuild 🙂


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