Boris Breakdown

I’ve discovered running out if fuel is an inconvenience no matter were you are! It can happen to you even deepest darkest South West London. Finding out about the little things will keep my busy in the 2 months before departure.

I have just had Boris refitted for the expedition journey. He had been sitting idle since he returned from 2 years around Africa in 2011. So I had the lads at Overland Cruisers give Boris a health inspection and came up with a list of things to do.

Here is the full list of work done:

  • 2 * 80 Series Drive Shaft CV Joint
  • 2 * 80 series Front Drive Flange (longer CV)
  • 4 * 80 Series Koyo Inner Wheel Bearing
  • 4 * 80/100(front only) Series Koyo Outer Wheel Bearing
  • 4 * 80 series Koyo swivel bearings
  • 2 * 80 Series Front Inner Axle Oil Seal
  • 2 * 80 Series Rear Inner Axle Oil Seal
  • 2 * 80 series Front Inner Hub Oil Seal
  • 2 * 80 Series Rear Inner Hub Oil Seal
  • 2 * 80 series knuckle wiper seals
  • 2 * 80 Series Knuckle to spindle gasket
  • 2 * 80 Series Spindle Oil Retainer Seal
  • 2 * 75/80/100 Series Front Hub Star Washer
  • 1 * 80 series OME 2850 Front Coil Spring – up to 50kgs 50mm lift (pair)
  • 2 * 80 series OME 60070 Front Sport Shock
  • 2 * 80 Series OME 60071 Rear Sport Shock
  • 1 * SU-OME 661 Shock Stone Guard
  • 1 * 80 series Superpro Front and Rear Anti Roll Bar End Link Bush (post Aug ’92)
  • 1 * 80 series Rear Anti-Roll Bar End Link
  • 2 * 80 series Front Panhard Rod Bush
  • 2 * 80 series Pattern Front Brake Disk (post Aug ’92)
  • 1 * 80 Series Front Toyota brake pads
  • 1 * 80/90 series rear Toyota brake pads
  • 1 * 80 series Reconditioned Power Steering Box
  • 2 * 18″ Front wiper blade
  • 1 * 16″ Rear wiper blade
  • 1 * 80/90/100/120 Series Oil Filter
  • 2 * Optima Red Top 4.2
  • 1 * Optima Yellow Top 8012-254 battery
  • 6L Dexron III Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • 2L Dexron III Power Steering Fluid
  • 1L High Temperature Wheel bearing grease
  • 2.5L High Temperature CV Grease
  • 6L 80W/90 Diff Oil per litre
  • 2L DOT 4 Brake Fluid
  • 4.5L Toyota Red Coolant Concentrate
  • 11.5L 15w/40 Semi-Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil
  • 1 Number Plate Light
  • 1 Water Filler Cap with Barrel and Keys
  • 1 MOT Test
  • 50 hours Standard Workshop Labour

I’m now in the road testing phase with Boris. I’m trying to spend as much time as possible with him to find out how he runs and to iron out the kinks in the system. I’m expecting to find a few items that need to be resolved.

On my first road trip to Derby I noticed the fuel gauge was faulty. 300 miles on a tank still half full was rather unlikely. I watched the mileage grow as the fuel gauge stayed still. As it was the first time driving Boris I was unsure what the maximum mileage would be so I kept driving while monitoring the mileage. I assumed that the light would come on even if the gauge was faulty. How wrong I was. 328 miles into my journey, on the way to see my expedition consultant, I ran out of fuel. While parked on the side of the road in south-west London I put out an SOS to Nathan to come and rescue me.

While I was waiting I discovered the rear indicator light wasn’t working. Funny since it just passed an MOT a week ago.

Nathan to the rescue

Quick as anything Nathan arrived with 5 litres of diesel. In it went. We manually pumped the fuel pump and tried to start it. No joy!! Damn. After 5 mins of trying different things we decided to add another 5 litres of diesel. We tried again and still no joy. Bugger!! After another ten minutes of trying we were struggling to think what was wrong, when Nathan pointed to a light in the cab. What’s that he said. Ah that’s just the immobiliser light. It’s always on (I think). Then the penny dropped. The immobiliser had activated itself and wouldn’t allow the car to start. One push of the button and Boris roared into life. Instantaneously I thought hooray and you muppet!! I headed off to the station to fill up and also stick some fuel in the extra fuel tank which had been empty! Nathan and I were able to continue with our planned day of getting to know Boris and all his equipment.


  • Always have some spare fuel in the tank.
  • The immobiliser is brilliant security device. Lets just hope any criminals are just as smart as me 🙂
  • The best way to learn about your equipment is by using it, especially when it breaks down. You tend to discover other issues that are not obvious. (Sounds simple doesn’t it)

5 Responses to “How little things can lead to bigger problems…”

  1. Eric Beardmore says:

    Just keep up the practice!! Dad

  2. Graham Naismith says:

    Great article. Yes clock up as many miles as you can before you go!


    Graham Naismith

  3. Ah yes, and a big lesson I learnt with my defender is an immobilizer is wonderful until it becomes faulty… Pack a spare unit and spare gadget battery!

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