Here in Switzerland the number plate on a vehicle is associated with the driver, not the vehicle. When LGL is “officially” on the road, I will be able to swap the number plates between the Defender and LGL… Handy eh?

The Fahrzeugausweis (MOT certificate, for UK readers) was annulled by the Strassenverkehrsamt (Cantonal MOT station) in May last year as I was not able to attend the safety inspection… given that the whole vehicle was in pieces.

So how did I get some number plates, given the vehicle has no MOT?

Also handy is that you can rent temporary number plates and insurance from the Strassenverkehrsamt for a few days. One might do this if you were buying a car from another canton, or buying a car with no test certificate…. or in my case, renting some to give a vehicle a shake down and taking it to the garage for a full pre inspection.

Interestingly, when I asked the Strassenverkehrsamt what my options were, I was informed, I could even drive direct to the test centre on the allocated date without having any number plates!

So, with the temporary plates clipped to the Landy, I tentatively dipped all four tyres into the street and set off round the block.

The result of this epic journey was the identification of a few things that needed to be addressed before I drive over to Knonau (about 10km) on Monday…


OK, the vehicle turns left and right with great aplomb but in a straight line, it wandered terribly… more so than a normal Series Land Rover. I knew what it was straight away. The “toe in” needed to be set again. I’d following the manual guidance on how to do this but without special workshop tools, I figured it was never going to be all that exact.

Fortunately, the Series 2 forum service section has a dimensioned drawing of the steering rods and the lengths they should be set at.


Each of the track rods has a “track rod end” at each end, one with a right hand thread, one with a left hand thread. When you loosen the clamps on either end and rotate the track rod, the centre to centre distance of the track rods ends is changes. This in turn toes the wheel in or out.

Drag link (foreground). Track rod (background). The clamps can clearly be seen.


Same on the other side.


The rod that connects the drop arm on the steering box to the steering relay at the front of the vehicle.


  • Rod from drop arm to steering relay = 3mm increase in length
  • Track rod = 4mm decrease in length
  • Drag link = no adjustment required
  • Remove and refit steering wheel so it’s in the correct “forward” position.

Believe to or not, these seemingly tiny adjustments were sufficient to transform the handling of the vehicle.


The overdrive jumps out of gear under “hard” acceleration… It’s fine when the OD is engaged. I adjusted the linkage but but all that has done is reposition the lever in the cab. (which needed doing anyway) Nothing is fowling the engagement of the shaft on the case of the overdrive. So, no idea why this is happening. I’ve posted a new topic on the Series 2 Forum. Someone out there will know.


The brakes were still binding on. I was pretty sure no mount of chamfering was going to make a blind bit of difference. So I sat down with the manual and went over each component setting and checked it was correct. All wheels and drums off again…

Eureka… I had at some point, set the brake master cylinder shaft incorrectly. I think I might have done it trying to bleed the brake lines.

There should be 2mm of free play in the piston rod before the brakes begin to bite. I didn’t have 2mm of free play… no where near it. More like minus 8mm. I had to adjust the nut on the shaft a whole nuts depth to get it freed off. As there was no “expansion” in the hydraulic system as the brakes heated up, they would just lock to the inside of the drums.

Out and about

So with a little bit more confidence that the vehicle turns stops and runs, I went for a bit of a potter to run the engine up to speed and use all of the gears. It was quite a lot of fun and one point, we reached 40 mph 🙂 LGL developed an annoying habit of popping the passenger door open though… I think I’ve fixed that by adjusting the lock keep so it’s parallel to the lock.





“Little” Green Landy

After all of the pollen we’ve had, I really didn’t like the yellow accents on the body seams and window edges… so a quick rinse and polish saw the day off nicely.