Workshop – Bearings Change

Sorry, I’ve not been around much of late. Our last two outing left little to write about and whilst I’m keen to share all of our exploits in the great outdoors if I just start babbling rubbish you’ll all soon get bored. I’ll say this though, we have some exciting weekends coming up so keep your eyes peeled for those, I’m certain they will deserve a write up in either a blog post here or one of our You Tube Videos here  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDZAhfSeHirymRZp0ydNk5A?sub_confirmation=1

Anyway, latest development in the life of Marc is that I was rushed into hospital on Sunday and had an emergency appendectomy 12 hours later. Rather unexpected but it has allowed me some time to get a blog post up and for ages I’ve had this idea of posting workshop posts. Though what with summer time being so busy I’ve actually had little time to make any changes to Daisy or the trailer but there are many things on the list so again keep your eyes peeled for them. They will all be titled ‘Workshop – xxxxxxxx’ so will be easy to differentiate from our usual travel ramblings.

Here I’m going to tell you how I went about changing the bearings on our trailer after we had the misfortune of one of them collapsing on our Elan Valley trip. You can read more about that in an earlier blog and share in our trials and tribulations over on You Tube where we posted a video of the whole journey with a clip of the SWLRC lads trying to remove a wheel from a hub. How many of them do you think it took?

I guess this is what we started off with. As in this is how it looked coming back from the St Davids/Elan Valley trip. You can see that the dust cap has gone, as has the split pin – replaced with some stainless steel cable to hold the hub bolt in place and copious amounts of spray grease added to the front and back of the bearing assembly to ensure it didn’t dry out after the roadside repair.

 

Once we had it back in the workshop (aka our 12×12 ex-army tent) we got it jacked up and started stripping back the temporary roadside repairs.

 

Vehicle is jacked up and as we start stripping back the repairs we see that the stub axle has hardly taken a beating at all. We used a combination of self amalgamating table and strips of stainless steel cut from a Diet Coke can to bulk out the rear bearing that had come from a Land Rover and was miles too big for it’s intended purpose.

  
It was at this point we noticed the hub actually appears to have been re-purposed at some point as the Bolt holes appear to have been re-drilled in a different location. Most likely I guess to accept wheels with a different PCD at some point. I don’t think the wheels had come off this trailer for some time though as the bolt turned with the nuts. Wayne from SWLRC came to the rescue on that ones and with his swanky new 200 watt welder stuck some weld onto the back of the hub bolts to keep them glued in place.


So stripping, tidying, welding and cleaning complete it was time to start putting it all back together again. The shiny new bearings were acquired from https://simplybearings.co.uk they have a really handy tool on their website that allows you to take measurements from either the existing bearing if you have it (or from the stub axle and inside of the hub if you don’t) and pop them into a space on their website and the site will return all the results that will fit. Really handy section on how to measure bearings too. https://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/Info-Pages-How-to-Measure-a-Bearing/c4746_4972/index.html

I went out and bought some Vernier Calipers because I wanted to make sure I got the sizes correct first time but I’m reliably informed that the same measurements can be achieved with an adjustable spanner and a ruler. I have to say though I seem to use so many different size nut and bolt combos between LR and trailer I’m often wondering what size hole I need to drill for a particular bolt and those calipers will be brilliant for measuring ‘M’ sizes.

I just used a long tool I had lying around to gently tap the new bearings back onto the stub axle. I also gave the axle and the inside of the bearings a generous coating of fresh grease to help them on too.


And this was the final result. Very pleased with how well this went on, I thought I was going to have a lot more trouble.

 

We drifted the outer races into the hub whilst I was at Wayne’s as he had the correct tools to do the job and no doubt if I had taken it back to the workshop I’d have spent an age trying to find a big enough bearing to do it myself.


So bearing are back on the axle and the outer races are back in the hub. the whole hub assembly can now be pushed back onto the axle.

 

Bolted back in place and correct split pin re-inserted.

Wheel back on and dust cap tapped back into place

 

Just a couple of points before I sign off. I hope what I’ve written here helps some of you. I’m not a fitter by any means and this job is far from perfect but it’ll work. The more astute of you will notice I didn’t fit a fresh seal on the back of the inner bearing and that is because I did not have one and the trailer needed to be ready for our next adventure which it completed happily. When I got it home I stripped down both sides again and re-fitted the bearings with the rear seal. The purpose of which is to stop the grease leaking straight out the back and keep it all as a sealed unit.

The Unplanned Tour That Lost Its Bearings!

It seemed like only yesterday we were getting lost on our way to Anglesy on the 2017 Unplanned Tour with the South Wales Land Rover Club. Back then I remember some of the other club members miss-fortune and thinking I’m glad it wasn’t me. But little did I Know, eh, that in a years time I’d easily trump those minor niggles.

This time it was all about the scenery, the bearings and (so Amanda says) the toilet stops! And obviously, what with it being an unplanned tour we had no idea where we would end up on Friday evening or that we would make it to our intended final destination of Celtic Camping just outside St Davids on the Saturday.

Our meeting point was Bearmach at 3:30 on Friday but traffic was bad through Caerphilly so a few of us were running late. For those of us that made it in time we were given a quick tour of the Bearmach warehouse by Richard before we left. If you’ve only ever seen the shop one could be forgiven for thinking they just had a few shelves with parts the other side of the shop door, not a mammoth international operation running inside a warehouse big enough to play a full on 15-a-side rugby match. So Bearmach tour over we set off from Bearmach HQ shortly after 4 on Friday and headed North…….hang on, aren’t we meant to be going West!

The weather forecast looked ominous from the off but Lis and I packed shorts anyway, we like to play the optimists game. And in fairness for the most part it wasn’t too bad, it was pleasant enough for us to be able to sit outside and have our usual camp fire on the Friday. We ended up at the Whitehouse campsite in Builth Wells, which incidentally, is the same one we ended up in on our way to Anglesy last year too. It’s right on the river with a view of the Builth bridge in one direction and resident swans bobbing about on the river in the other.  We put the drone up for an aerial circular shot of the campsite which worked quite well – vlog will be on the OLO and SWLRC You Tube Channels shortly. Bolognese and some lovely tiger bread was on the menu (thanks Dave and Wendy who took care of the communal cooking yet again – legends they are) and very nice it was, fortunately so as Dave was quite adamanat that extras were compulsory as none of it was going to waste.

All was looking good as we set off on day 2 of our grand [Unplanned] Tour 30 minutes ahead of schedule on Saturday morning. The forecast told us the weather was going to be fine when we arrived at St Davids which we expected to happen shortly after lunchtime. Little did we know what lay in store. All was going well until a request came across the radio ‘shall we see if we can get the drone in the air to follow the convoy?’. Naturally, I was super keen on getting some aerial footage from the Mavic Air for the vlog. So we stopped a little further down the road to check the wind speed, could I put it up in this? With that Tom shouts ‘Marc have you seen your bearing?’. What bearing! There was no bearing left on the trailer, completely disintegrated, gone! This was going to be a massive problem and we all knew it. Our trailer simply couldn’t continue without a fix. So whilst Wayne, Tom, Gary and Dave G got their hands dirty and I supervised and took pictures we gradually realised that our options were slim. We were in the middle of the Elan Valley with no mobile signal and at least a good few miles from anywhere. Two vehicles moved away towards Rhayader in the hope that we could locate some replacement parts but not knowing what axle/hub assembly was on the trailer this was going to be no mean feat.

After hitting Rhayader and visiting many garages we eventually came across E T James, a quad/bike supplier who couldn’t have been more helpful. ‘There’s my store-room and there’s my press’ he said. ‘Get what you need, help yourself’ he said. I wish I had taken his name, what a top bloke. Life-saver even. Unfortunately though we were only able to source one of the two replacement bearings I needed. The ever resourceful Tom though figured out a way to use a half a Land Rover bearing which I happen to be carrying in my toolbox as replacement for the one we couldn’t replace in Rhayader. It was a real bodge but hey not only did it get us to St Davids but it got us all he way back home again too. I always seem to need to offer thanks in these blog posts and this time is no different, so I offer lots of thanks for lots of things but especially to Wayne and Tom for making the fix happen. To Dave, Wendy and Tom and Pauline for cooking. To Paul and Pauline for letting us make Alys’ bottles in the cravan and to Sarah for the tea and to everyone else for just being a part of it.

Upon arrival at Celtic Camping at 7:30pm, just 6 hours later than expected, we soon realised that Saturday evenings weather was going to be rather less conducive to a roaring fire and sit down outside whilst watching the sun set over the horizon. That is, unless we fancied battling the gale force winds! I was ever so grateful to see our Planned Tour friends already setup with kettle on the boil (thank you Sarah for that, you make a great cuppa). So after much deliberation and plenty of ‘bearing’ jokes it was into the rather welcoming Celtic Camping barn for the traditional SWLRC quiz and a few beers in the dry. I’m sure there was some dodgy scoring techniques by Wayne our resident quiz master which lost me a few points but it’s OK, I took it like a man and let the other team take the title this time. I’ll be back on top form next time though, I do like a good quiz. Pete, Gary and I still found ourselves sat outside drinking our beers at midnight though, like the mad men that we are, whilst everyone else had the sense to head off to their nice warm beds. We slurred peacfully through the noise of the wind rattling our jackets and put the world to rights.

If you’ve never traveled through mid and west Wales with the sole intention of trying to avoid the busy A roads you really should give it a try. The scenery is easily equal to the imposing frontages of the North Walian mountains in places and is very tranquil and quiet to boot. The Elan Valley is a particular favourite of mine, for it has an abundance of wilflife and raptors in particular are a big feature.

I have so many memories from this weekend that I’ll keep with me and I could carry on writing about for ages but I’ll leave it there for now and share them with you when we next catch up. Bye for now, if I don’t see you before. we’ll see you at Billing.

P.s. Keep an eye out for the flag! You won’t miss us 🙂





 

 

Happy 40th Birthday to Marc @ Malvern Land Rover Show

Only a short insert this time folks and I’ll start with the negatives, birthday celebrations aside I felt the show this year was a bit lacklustre. So this is more a thanks to the members of South Wales Land Rover Club whose stand we were on for the weekend, for keeping us entertained more than it is a writeup about the show itself.

Overall both Lis and I are starting to feel that the shows are becoming a bit of ‘same old, same old’.  Two shows in particular are the exception to that rule though and whilst others may disagree, these are our thoughts. The  Adventure Overland show with its interesting people that are always happy to impart their wealth of skills and knowledge, not to mention the plethora of vehicles in all their different shapes and sizes that are on show, Tom Mc does an astounding job of organising such a large event and now potentially twice yearly too with the introduction of the Spring event. And the Billing 4×4 Show that’s run by a family whom I have had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions and are as friendly as they come! Compare those to big company operated shows such as this one and you see how it can be done differently as soon as it is removed from the confines of commercialism. Though in the case of Billing there is the small matter of that tremendous off-road course too which I’ve no doubt attracts the crowds. Plus this year, the potential to break the Guinness World Record attempt for most Land/Range Rovers in a single parade.

Most of the rest of the shows on the circuit have almost blurred into one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great opportunity to bump into friends you probably wouldn’t otherwise see because some of the exhibitors and visitors come from far and wide. Ron Wood and his Liverpool Land Rover Club popped over to say hi this weekend for example and we bumped into Edd and family from 4×4 Response. But for the most part we can often say we have seen it all before.

That said, Challenge South West always put on a good arena display at Malvern and keep the visitors entertained (note I don’t use the word crowds there as there was a distinct lack of them). Though, one thing that bothered me about the arena displays was that there was no itinerary posted. I often only want to see certain things in the arena and if I don’t know what time they are on I’m less likely to hang around and wait to see them. In my own opinion though this year saw a notable decline in both visitor numbers and trade stands on last year. One trader apparently outright blamed Brexit for that, not sure a LR show is the place for politics personally so I’d have quickly parted company with that conversation where I one of its participants.  Incidentally, a number of traders started packing up early on the Sunday and they appeared to end the arena schedule an hour ahead of time suggesting to us at least that the show actually closed early!

Nevertheless, we will no doubt be back again next year as it is our local show and South Wales Land Rover club always has a good turnout of members because of that too. Let’s hope that with plenty of continued support Malvern can grow again and become the show it has the potential to be. Mark Woodward if you happen to be reading this, I’d suggest more advertising wouldn’t go amiss either.

So onwards and upwards to Friday and Saturday nights festivities. Well, that is, what I remember of Friday night anyway. I certainly don’t remember making it to bed! And Saturday was a struggle, especially in the 25 degree heat of the day. I had, however, recovered enough by the evening to consume a few more  ciders whilst sat around a fire, well 3 fires actually and a lot of wood to burn having spent the whole of Friday night in the marquee having a right old laugh! I seem to recall the marquee being packed until the wee small hours of Saturday morning but come midnight on the Saturday there were just 5 of us left sat around the fire. The night before obviously having taken its toll!

On Friday I was graced with birthday cake, card and a cup. None of which I was expecting so big thanks to all at South Wales Land Rover Club that came along, that entertained, that cooked (must not forget Dave and Wendy’s mammoth effort who cooked for the whole club on both days). People say your only 40 once, well I say I am only every age once but I’ve got to say that with my family by my side doing one of my very favourite things (travelling that is not consuming) and my extended club family all around us you really did make it one to remember. So if I haven’t said it already massive thanks to you all.

One more thanks you before I sign off until next time. Last but by no means  least thanks also to Mam for putting on a mini birthday spread at home when we got home on the Sunday. You are the best!

Carpe diem! 

EDIT: Excuse lack of quality pics this time. Camera broke!

 

 

 

The Not So Secret Brecon Wild Camp Spot

There’s a secluded field in the heart of the Brecon Beacon in the Cwm Llwch valley right at the foot of Pen y Fan, the largest mountain in Southern Britain.

On Saturday night I just happen to mention the great forecast for  Sunday and so came about a spontaneous overnighter that we hadn’t really planned. It was a bank holiday weekend, the forecast glorious and so far too good an opportunity to miss we thought.

 On the drive up we worked out that I had been coming back and for this site on and off for the best part of 24 years.  The first visit back at the age of 15 with a school friend. Parents dropped us in Libanus on the Friday and arranged to pick us up at Pont-ar-Daf at 4 on the Sunday. And that was back in the days before mobiles. How times have changed, eh! Even though I’m of the opinion that the dangers in the mountains have hardly changed in that  time I still struggle with the idea of leaving my kids out alone for that length time.

Mind you I do have two girls and perhaps that makes a difference. But it just goes to show that the most beautiful places on our Earth are often not only on our doorstep but are a  draw that keep pulling you back time after time.

So we arrived and Lis (with it being her first visit to this place) picked our camp spot quickly. A nice flat spot with a view of Pen y Fan to the South and what would develop into a glorious sunset to our West and just a few feet to our right beyond our campfire we could see and hear the gentle ebb and flow of the Cwm Llwch stream. If you’ve never been and you don’t mind roughing it then I suggest you get Google open and start searching for this place. When I say roughing it mind I do mean that, literally it is a field with a view. I’d suggest packing either a good shovel or Imodium!!

On Monday we took a walk up through the meandering valley towards Pen Y Fan and a little over half way up after several kilometres you are again blessed with another beautiful sight in the form of Pen Y Fan pond. Another hidden gem that you cannot see from the valley floor, but after many false ‘summits’ it finally creeps up on you and I tell you on a beautiful day you wouldn’t feel out of place popping the swimming shorts on and having a wild swim, as indeed many where when we were up there. I however, wasn’t brave enough for any of that.

So, here’s to the next 24 years of visits to this beautiful hidden gem.

Show Report…. Welsh Festival of Land Rovers

1948 was an especially good year. A Welshman by the name of Aneurin Bevan formed the NHS, the future Prince of Wales was born, and The Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagan opens its gates for the first time. But what trumps all of that? Land Rover was born from a sketch drawn on the beach at Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey. With the first model 80in launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show on April 30th, it soon took the world by storm.

Just like that first launch all the way back in 1948 the first Welsh Festival of Land Rovers was an astounding success. The display came together better than we ever imagined it would and combined with the events and facilities that the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Spring Festival has to offer this has the potential to become a future kingpin of Land Rover displays in Wales. The Food Hall and Street Food areas provided ample and varied lunching opportunities and there were of course various excellent bars and restaurants dotted about the showground that stayed open until late in the evening on the Friday and Saturday.

The display had it all (well almost), a 1949 Land Rover right through to a 2018 Evoque and everything in between from an Armoured Personal Carrier, one of only 2 left in existence we’re told, to a home-built 6×6 Defender that’s on the verge of a round the world trip. A dormobile that really is a home from home, a good range of Series vehicles from very early 1’s through to 3’s and many, many more too.

The build up to the event in the week before the show was fast paced and exciting. Making sure everyone had received their tickets and that everyone knew how to get onto the display once they had entered the showground. The ticketing system for exhibitors at the RWAS shows is something to be mastered so making sure everyone knew which ticket they needed and when was paramount. On Saturday morning when the two late arrivals turned up pre-8 before gates closed and bollards were erected, we could finally relax a little happy in the knowledge that everyone had turned up, been put in their respective places and the display was ready to rock and roll.

There was however still the small matter of our grand arena display scheduled for 5:15 on the Saturday. That was a task that SWLRC’s Andy had chosen to take on and what a sterling job he made of it. He spent most of Saturday selecting vehicles and interviewing drivers, he prepared movement plans and organised marshals. The parade lapped the main arena with a sense of pride and Andy proceeded to interview drivers as he worked along the line-up of 18 Land Rovers that were bathed in glorious afternoon sunshine.

At this point I should like to take the opportunity of thanking everyone involved. All the members of the South Wales Land Rover Club for helping on the day and in particular the working group of Andy Kendall, Marc Andrews, Gary Thompson, Angela Forster, Pete Phillips and Dave & Wendy Gibbins for bringing it all together. The exhibitors that turned up to make the display the spectacle it was. The Royal Welsh Society for letting us hold the event and take over a rather large corner of their showground. Likes Land Rover for loaning us the Evoque for the arena parade and of course all those visitors that came to view the vehicles.  Massive thanks to you all for without you this would never have come to fruition.

For anyone interested in the next one please contact marc@swlrc.co.uk or visit www.swlrc.co.uk

I’ve been asked ‘Why another One Life account?’

Aren’t there enough already I hear you say! Well, maybe not all is as it first appears. Read on………

We are two people with a thirst for travel, adventure and overlanding, oh and Marc is of course a terminal Land Rover fan! Marc and Lisa met two years ago and currently live in South Wales, UK with their young daughter Alys (Aly Lilly to us!) Teulu, their Cocker Spaniel and Marc’s first daughter Caitlin.

We wanted to share our experiences with anyone one who has the time to read our blog, our Instagram, You Tube channel or Facebook Page.

As well as our overlanding travels we will also blog about the Land Rover, 4×4 and Overland shows we visit up and down the UK. The shows probably account for the biggest part of our travels in any one year so keep your eyes peeled for that as there’ll be lots to tell.

By now your probably wondering why One Life Overland. Afterall, there’s plenty of One Life…. accounts about, right? First of all for those of you that don’t know let me tell you a bit about the actual ‘One Life, Live It’ motto. It seems to link back to the Camel Trophy series adventure challenges when Land Rover supplied the vehciles for the expeditions and it just seems to have stuck with Land Rover ever since.

For me however, it’s far more than that. You see back in 2011 Marc had a heart attack (well, a few actually) and afterwards found out that he suffers from a hereditary condition that means his body cannot control cholesterol. Thankfully, all controlled by medication now which I will take for the rest of my life but I’m still here, that’s the main thing. So, that is the reason why I named our account One Life Overland. It’s not just about the link to Land Rovers and Overlanding but more about the reality that we really do only get one shot at life and you really should live it to it’s fulllest. Make the most of everyday and never take anything fro granted. On each of my arms I have a tattoo. On one side its says ‘ONE LIFE. LIVE IT’ and on the other it says ‘CARPE DIEM’. The full sentence in Latin being ‘Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’. Or roughly translated as ‘Seize the day, don’t put your trust in tomorrow’.

 

 

 

Classic Land Rover Show

Day 1

We arrived late due to me over-running in work and immediately  upon arrival we remembered our ‘point to note’ from the 2017 show! Do arrive early so you can get on the show side of the camp site. You see whilst the show is one of our faves, the campsite is less than ideal. That is to say it is sort of divided in two by a huge earthen mound. If you happen to find yourself arriving late you will almost certainly end up having to stay on the car park side if the camp site (yes, I said car park, literally!). And from that side you have no view of the show at all until you’ve climbed the earth mound which is vast enough for many campers but than you have a full unbridled view of the rest of the campsite and the fabulous showground being watched over by the equally magnificent British Motor Museum and the Collections Centre. Anyway, it was setup tent, get baby fed and off to land of nod, pour few swift vodkas and with not even time for a fire bed time for us too.

Day 2

We spent most of the day watching the excellent selection of classic and historic vehicles in the arena. The Classic always manages to pull in such a great selection. On more than one occasion I feel my mind wandering off to our own Welsh Festival of Land Rovers that’s organised for Mid May and I think to myself if we can even muster a fraction of what this show can we’ll have done ourselves proud. At this point I wish I had brought my drone, thinking that I would have got some great aerial shots but the thing I always worry about is falling foul of the law when flying too close to crowds with the minimum being 150 meters away. Too far for any decent shots to show the vehicles off at least.

At the Adventure Overland Show the DJ in his converted Land Rover came by the name of 4×4 Traks, this time it was the turn of Beat n Trak. Great ideas, basically a Land Rover 110 Defender with a raising roof and a set of decks thrown in the back. I also got to meet Nick Enston of Instagram landroverphotoalbum fame no less (www.instagram.com/landroverphotoalbum). Little did we know that we’d soon meet again after that on a trip down a popular Welsh lane with the team form a rather well known Land Rover mag.

Day 3

Lazy morning followed by another visit to the arena where  today’s events looked slightly different to yesterdays. Beat N Track had competition today with the regular trio and the amazing sounds of My Favorite Things, a period group that perfectly suits the show. Last but by now means least what trip to this show would be complete without a visit to the museum and having the opportunity to walk past the iconic 166 HUE. By the way whilst a visit to the museum is a must many of the people I spoke to seem to have missed out the collections centre all together where actually there are some Land Rovers in there that’ll really knock your socks off. Honest, you absolutely must go into both buildings.